Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kiss Me At Midnight

The clock is ticking towards the end of what was an exciting and wonderful year for us. When I think back over the past twelve months and all of the experiences we had, I am overwhelmed. 

We celebrated our Granddaughters first birthday in 2011. We celebrated the success of a new division added to Richard's business. I celebrated my first year as a blogger. 
We celebrated so many successes and happy times with our children and family.

We know that we are blessed. 


As the New Year approaches you can't help but think about what the upcoming months will hold. Many people prepare a resolution to begin the calendar year. I find myself recanting the same message again this year .....'I will put more effort into taking care of my health'. 
I did pretty well in 2011 kick starting back into an regular exercise routine ...... well, at least towards the end of the year. And I guess ending the year on a positive drive will ensure that I'll start a new year the same way.

Do you have a New Year's Resolution ?

I can count on one hand the number of times I have celebrated New Year's Eve at a large party, preferring to celebrate in the comfort of our home. I think it's the perfect setting to say goodbye to the year gone past and to welcome a brand new year of promise. 

Norman Parkinson 1951 Vogue

There were a few years when I was happy to see the calendar finally put away..... we all have a tough year at some point in our life. No matter what the year brought, I always took a moment to say thanks for all the goodness in my life. 

As 2011 comes to a close I will give thanks for all of the experiences that this year brought to my life. And for 2012..... I know it's going to be an exciting year of changes, new opportunities and continued dreams with my Honey. 

When the clock strikes twelve I know that my heart will be filled with the love that is deep within our family; I know that we will kiss at midnight to welcome the New Year. 

Happy New Year to all. 
May your year be filled with good health and happiness !

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Here comes Santa Claus

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, 
right down Santa Claus lane............

Kya waiting for Santa

"Hey Santa, I know that I wasn't very happy when I visited your little house. 
And maybe the picture of us together this year was taken when I was crying. 
But I really do believe. 
Please stop at my house........there will be cookies."

Santa at the Oakville Parade

Four Sleeps until Christmas

With only a couple of days left until Christmas the thing that I am wishing for is a bit more time to finish everything I need to do. The truth is that even if I had another week to prepare I would use every minute adding on to the original plans, fussing and tweaking things.

Lucy and Ricky

This year I am less prepared than usual...... two weeks on a beach in December will do that. I haven't even started wrapping gifts, but I know that everything will come together. Only a few more 'sleeps' and the joy and magic of Christmas will be here. Our children will gather with us and it will fill our hearts to see them having fun together.

Send me a note and share what is on your Santa wish list..... I'm asking for more time to blog.

Grace Kelly

Thursday, December 15, 2011

House Building Season

Gingerbread house building season is upon us. What is not to love in the tasty little spice cookies that are topped with sweet icing. 

Oh ginger, you sweet thing.

via pocket pastry chef

rock recipes.blogspot




The perfect combination...... Hot chocolate and Gingerbread.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

List of Gifts

There is much more to Christmas than the commercial aspect of gift giving; but most of us do get wrapped up {sorry for the pun} in the lists of gifts we need to buy. I am generally good at making a gift choice for someone without asking 'what would you like from Santa'. 
I have been searching for some idea's and have found some different items that I think would work well wrapped up and under the tree. I have special people in mind for several of the gifts, but thought that maybe this quick list may help with a few idea's for you as well.

Great Hostess Gift ::  Acacia Rectan Cheese Board from Crate & Barrel

For Her : Vintage style travel jewel cases from Pottery Barn

For anyone ::  Old World Leather journals from

Hostess Gift: Woodfire scent candle/diffuser from Z Gallerie

For Him {or Her to compliment great French cuff blouses} : custom cuff links from WhiteTruffle on Etsy

For Her : leather coin purse 'If the shoe fits buy it' - it's perfect to tuck a little gift card in. From

For Him or Her : Roots leather weekend bag {we both of one of these, available in black as well ... love it!}

For Anyone {in need} : a little self therapy fun note pad from Z Gallerie

For anyone : Adele, live performance DVD {the power voice} from

For the Cook : Herb Keeper from Crate & Barrel 

For Anyone : Clarus display boxes from Crate & Barrel. Perfect to tuck special keepsakes in.

For Her : Tiffany Scooter charm & a bevy of other great charms/accessories At Tiffany & Co.

For them : Sweet words to dream on. Pillows from HoneyPieDesign on Etsy

Etsy is a great place to get some terrific idea's and many of the blogs I follow {check my list of fav's} have their own wonderful gifts and products to offer as well. 

Something I have always told my children rings so true especially at this time of the year when we tend to overindulge : 

'It's not the presents, it is your presence'.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

We have only a couple of days left on our beach vacation and in my mind I have started to organize the list of things that need to be done for Christmas. 

Somehow I thought that the hard part of our trip would be going from this.........

via bountifulhome

to this....... OK, this much snow is an exaggeration for even us right now.

I managed to set up some of our Christmas preparations before we left two weeks ago. My Granddaughter was delighted to set up the Christmas tree with me and was amazed when all of the lights twinkled. 
We went with my Daughter and Son for our now traditional Santa visit with Baby Kya. Last year at only 7 months she thought the pom pom on Santa's hat was fascinating; this year nothing about Santa was fascinating. 

She cried her little heart out, Poor Santa, he must go home each night with a complex.

Grandma encouraging Kya to go and talk to Santa.

Important things are in order ..... like a little girls holiday dress and new party shoes. 

Kya's new party shoes...... she's ready for the holidays.

I know that when we get home I'll be taking the list, checking it more than twice and running at top speed to get things in order. 
The important things are that two weeks from now we will all be together enjoying our Christmas traditions.....midnight mass with Richard, opening the Santa stockings, sharing breakfast and a big dinner ......and every yummy nibble in between. There will be a bevy of picture taking to ensure that we have all of the memories of the day catalogued to share with each other.

via beautyandthebudget

I will be watching Sande at A Gift Wrapped Life over the next week to help me with some creative ways to put the finishing touches on on Christmas packages. Her creativity and gift idea's are inspirational. Not to be missed is Sande's selection of 'Objects of Desire', there are some great gift idea's there.

via A Gift Wrapped Life

I love the bustle of the holiday season, the twinkle of the lights and the pretty things in the stores. But more than anything, I love that everything we do together as a family sets yet another page in our memory books, and builds another tradition as a family.

Monday, December 5, 2011

One 4 the Boys

I'm not sure when the slogan 'MAN CAVE' began, but I will admit that every time I hear a reference to it I cringe. It makes a statement about a guy space that sounds really barbaric. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a great idea that the boys have a place to retreat that is relaxed, away from the worry of spilling food and definitely as sound proof as you can make it. 

The space doesn't need to be void of great masculine style to be able to achieve those requirements. And although the boys will be boys...... they are mature and sophisticated enough to want to show off some great style all of their own.

Maybe a little old Hollywood charm and sophistication could set the tone.

William Curtis-Rolf

Both of our Sons have their own space. My Son Dallas, is 30 and has an apartment in the downtown core. The building is retro style and they have retained much of the charm of the lobby from the original build. That is what sold him on the space when he was hunting for his own place. My Son is the neat freak {sorry sweetie, you inherited that from me}. He asked for my help {ok, I also pushed my way in} when he was decorating the space. 

I urged Dallas to chose warm masculine colours with pops of vintage fresh. His washroom is painted charcoal gray and is accented with white and burnt orange towels. He scored my antique radio for the reading nook area and it is teamed up with a leather chair and ottoman, reading lamp and a vintage silver airplane sitting neatly on the radio. 
We hunted down an art deco style hutch to hold cut crystal cognac glasses; part of the vignette on top of the hutch there sits a great black and white image of one of the BOND girls. It's a little RatPack vintage look.

New York Times

Richard's Son is 26 and lives in his own condo in the burbs. He is not the neat freak, but he has a unique flair to his decor choice. When Justin was setting up his condo he had very specific idea's of how he wanted to decorate the space. He started by re-staining the floors dark, knocking down the wall between the kitchen and dinning area, and installing brick on a wrap around wall in the main living area. He was 25 at the time and I was amazed at how much he took on without hesitation.

Justin's style is Asian influenced and he has been lucky to tap into his Dad's collection of original items. A large Chinese hutch adorns his dinning area and has been transformed into bar cabinet. A very large Chinese gong hangs on the main wall of the common area and has been carefully lit to enhance the patina and reflect back off of the brick wall behind it.

We found great antique doors on original barn door rails and they were installed at the washroom in the master bedroom. The master bedroom is somewhat of a James Bond den with a full remote controlled screen retracting down from the ceiling to enjoy movie watching from the bed. 

These young men of ours who want to have fun and relax, know that they can do that and still have a space that reflects their masculine style.

I like the idea of chairs, sofa's or cushions upholstered in men's tailoring fabrics. Grey pinstripe, nubby tweeds, classic herringbone; all of it works to create a warm and relaxing space. Like both of our Sons did in their spaces, consistently adding a pop of colour to bring out the design adds the drama.

Use unique finishes to establish a distinctive look

Hunting for original pieces is worth the effort.  via electricrevisted

Use or install natural elements to a man's space.    via casasugar

And if you must...... the humidor provides an essence of 'the guys space'. It doesn't need to be this complete of a humidor experience, and truly wouldn't this cabinet be great to display many things.

via squob

Ostrich Leather, heavy crystal, silver...... provides a vintage feel to a man's space.
via squob

The Humidor Cigar Bar in Palm Coast, Florida offers a wonderful mix of vintage appeal for a man's space.

The Renovated Rental

Interior Designer Grant Gibson struck a deal with the landlord of his apartment in San Francisco prior to moving in to the space back in 2007. The landlord gave Mr. Gibson  two months rent in lieu of the designers talents and workmanship renovating the space. Here are a couple of the images {and the link to the article} about this great masculine space.

The Renovated Rental via New York Times

via New York Times

Masculine Personal Space......... doesn't that sound so much more sophisticated than man cave?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Shopping

Why yes, as a matter of fact I am ready to go shopping for Holiday gifts...............

Shop in your usual Glamourous Style.

White Christmas

Everyone has their preferred style for Christmas decorating. It may be very rustic using natural elements from tree's and the yard, or maybe your preference is glitz and sparkle. 

I love the vintage look of Christmas items that look like they might have a story to tell. I especially think this mixes well with new items sprinkled in to bring a bit of playfulness.

Albeit that I am not a lover of snow, there is something magical about this time of year that makes me yearn to see a 'little' bit of pretty white flakes. 
Here is look at some of my favourite finds for a White Christmas............

via Canadian House & Home

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas...........

via Veranda 2009

just like the ones I used to know................

Pottery Barn

where the treetops glisten and children listen............. hear sleigh bells in the snow.

attention2detail blog

Martha Stewart 2011

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
with every Christmas card I write..............

Martha Stewart

May your days be Merry and bright.............

Lynda Quintero-Davids

.............and may all your Christmases be white.

Martha Stewart

I made this Martha Stewart wreath two years ago, I'm happy to say that it turned out exactly like the picture. People actually stopped by the front of the house to comment on how pretty it was {especially stunning on an black door}.
This might become a fresh wreath standard for me to make every year.

 And the real reason seeing the flakes fall is exciting...............

My beautiful Daughter and her baby enjoying a 'first' sleigh ride last winter.

I look forward to more playing in the snow with the girls.