Holiday Tablescape + Setting the Mood

So for this years theme I wanted to do something natural and with matte black flatware. And so my 2018 theme was born.

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natural with matte black, brass + gold

What you’ll need

+ Mandarin Oranges with leaves still on (find at your local market)

+ Eucalyptus Leaves if you can’t find oranges with their leaves still on

+ Cinnamon Sticks

+ Twine

+ White Linen Napkins

+ White Plates

+ Matte Black Glasses

+ Matte Black Flatware

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+ Cozy Sheepskin to throw over a chair

+ Small Gold Candle Holders

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+ Antique Brass Candle Holders

+ Matte Black Candle Holders

+ Tealights

+ Tapers

+ Natural looking place mats

+ Champagne flutes (optional – I actually thought I had more than I did.. that’s why there’s only 4 on the table)

Layer placemats with the usual place settings, add glasses leaving room in the centre for your centrepieces (matte black + vintage brass candle holders). Then scatter oranges around the settings until you figure out what looks good. Add gold candle holders outside the place settings on either end. Take your linen napkins, roll them up + place a cinnamon stick in the centre of each one as you tie twine around.

 

Tips for setting the mood

+ Turn on fireplace or holiday fireplace on tv

+ Light candles

+ Play John Legend A Legendary Christmas on Spotify

+ Use cozy throws on chairs and couches

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And of course make it your own!

I’ve linked as many products as I can here:

//White Linen Napkins //White Plates //Matte Black Wine Glasses //Matte Black Flatware //Cozy Sheepskin //Matte Black Candle Holders //Tealights //Tapers

You can find antique brass candle holders at your local thrift shop. Mine were given to me my by grandmother. The round gold candle dishes I got at Michaels.

Happy Decorating!

 

 

Holiday gifting

Ahh the Holidays are finally here. Christmas feels so close! If you’re stuck on gifts then look no further. Below is my holiday 2018 Holiday Gift Guide curated especially for you. I know I’m a little late to the game but it’s been requested so here it is.

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide (2)
1// Saje Diffuser 2//  Barefoot Dreams Cozy + Soft Blanket 3// Rose Macaron Candle 4// Main Character Beanie  5// Ray-Ban Sunnies  6// Main Character Mitts 7// Campo Energy Roll-On 8// Hydro-Flask Water Bottle
forhim
1// Audio Technica Record Player 2// Bullet Journal 3// Bose Soundlink Micro Speaker 4// Hydro Flask Mug 5// Santal 33 6// Herschel Weekend Duffle 7// Tumi Portable Charger
forthehostess
1// CB2 Salt + Pepper Grinders 2// UJ Mini Serving Board 3// UJ Hand Dipped Serving Spoons 4// Project 62 Metal Phonograph 5// Vancouver Eats 6// Marble Salt Cellar 7// Marble + Acacia Cake Stand 8// Marble Utensil Holder

 

Happy Holiday Gifting!

Less than 24 hours in Calgary

4 pm

Settle in with a latte at Cafe Gravity + Wine Bar in Inglewood. I first discovered Inglewood as my best friends brother lives there. It’s such a cute and trendy little spot with seriously good coffee just minutes from downtown.

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5 pm

Check into hotel. Typically we stay at the Westin when in Calgary as it is just close to everything and the service is always the same.

7 pm

Mercato on 4th street. If you like Italian food then you are in for a real treat! Request to sit at the bar top so you can watch all that happens in the kitchen. It makes the experience!

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Usually they have a special on and if you’re lucky it will include truffles! This truffle parmesan risotto will have your tastebuds tingling.

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Also their tomatoes are imported from Sicily making the Caprese salad a must try. The restaurant is definitely share style, whether you are two people or with a group prepare to eat!

9 pm

Drive around and look at Christmas lights. Since it is Christmas time we decided to go for a little drive to check out the Christmas light displays at Spruce Gardens.

10 pm

Relax in hotel.. blog.. or whatever you want to do.

9:30 am

Breakfast at oeb on 4th street. Ask for the Double Trouble! Fried egg on brioche bread with cheddar cheese + heirloom tomatoes with chipotle aioli, all topped with arugula and shredded manchego cheese.

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10:15 am

Walk to Phil & Sebastien from oeb. Get a coffee + a donut for later.

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11 am

Checkout of hotel + head to Chinook Centre for some shopping before catching your flight.

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Until next time Calgary…

2018 Holiday Housewares Haul

Tis the season for decorating your home + of course shopping for holiday decor and housewares as you are entertaining. Or maybe you are looking for that perfect gift for the host! I’ve linked my holiday picks below.

James & Katie
//1 Fladis Seagrass basket //2 Rundlig serving bowl //3 Blanda Matt serving bowl //4 Tillagd 20 piece flatware set //5 Korken bottle //6 Kalasmat serving plate //7 Gripande salad server set 8// Variera flatware tray
6
//1 Rens Sheepskin //2 Glattis Tray //3 Champagne Cooler //4 Lohals Rug //5 Fulltalig Candlestick Set of 3
7
//1  Velvet Ivory Pom Pom pillow //2 Ivory Faux Fur & Sequined throw //3 Matte Black Stemless Wine Glass //4 Bristol Faux Fur Ivory Pillow //5 White Buffet napkin set of 6

 

 

A Purely Northwest Experience

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I like to celebrate American Thanksgiving. I still love my Canadian traditions but I really appreciate celebrating in honour of my American family + friends. And let’s be honest it’s another excuse for Turkey dinner. It’s something I started doing a few years ago.

I’m lucky enough to live close to the border so I visit Bellevue and Snoqualmie and other close cities in Washington frequently. I love the Evergreen state and the drive from Bellingham to Snoqualmie is absolutely stunning. I love seeing all the trees -the green in the summer, orange in the fall and the bareness in the winter.

The Pacific Northwest is home to me. And maybe home to most of you. But if you’re looking for a truly northwest experience then this is it.

Salish Lodge + Spa

Perched atop Snoqualmie falls, Salish has become like a second home. A place to retreat and feel at ease. It’s like your worries just melt away. It’s the ultimate cozy spot! The lodge is a secret spot I’ve been hiding away at for a few years, I visit a few times a year and the experience is always pure bliss.

The Rooms

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The ultimate cozy spot!

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They recently renovated so all the rooms have gas fireplaces. They used to have old wood burning fire places in every room and it was one of my favourite parts about the lodge but i’m not gonna lie the renovated rooms have grown on me.

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The Attic

A cozy spot for comfort foods + casual fare. House made wood burning pizzas + unreal house made chips with caramelized onion chip dip.

The Dining Room

Some of the yummiest brunch options. In the evening they have lovely dinners as well.

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Thanksgiving Dinner

If you’re planning on dining on on Thanksgiving I recommend booking early – like October. There’s nothing like a homemade Turkey dinner but this I promise is pretty close!

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The Spa

Definitely one of the best spas I have been to. They have lots of different options for treatments but be sure to check out their Honey treatments. Look for the bee on the menu.

The Country Store

I always find the cutest little knick knacks or seasonal items in this store as well as their very own selection of jams, honey, right down to their pancake mix.

The Falls

See the falls from the top just steps from the hotel or take a hike down to the falls. Immerse yourself in nature.

 

Guilt Free Hot Cocoa

Guilt free… almost. Now that the Holidays are nearly here… if you’re anything like me you’re probably looking for ways to enjoy some nearly guilt free indulgences as there are so many sweets happening throughout the Holidays.

This hot cocoa is a lightened up hot chocolate I would say. I can’t take full credit though as I found this recipe in a Keto book although I used vanilla almond milk instead of regular. I just had to share it with you as it is seriously delicious! It’s probably the yummiest hot chocolate I’ve had.

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Probably the yummiest hot chocolate I’ve had!

+ 1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk

+ 1 tbsp cocoa powder  + extra for dusting on top

+ 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream

+ 2 tbsp Swerve

Swerve is a replacement for icing sugar. I’ve just recently discovered it. With the whip cream I didn’t taste anything different. It’s as if I had made it with actual icing sugar. You can find it on amazon or check your local grocery store.

Whisk on stove for 2-3 mins.

For the whip

+ 2/3 c heavy whipping cream

+ 1 tbsp Swerve

+ 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat in a cold bowl on high speed until medium to stiff peaks form

Enjoy!

Weekend in Whistler

As a Vancouver local it’s very easy to visit and if you live near Vancouver you probably visit often. If you’re not within a quick drive to Whistler, I would definitely recommend visiting any time of year. Whistler is a haven for outdoor sports and activities year round and is a great place to relax and restore with friends and family. There’s just so much to explore here.

Stay

The Four Seasons Whistler never disappoints. Although sadly I did miss their famous Smore bar at their courtyard fire pit. They start that up mid November. On arrival get greeted with a Whistler Warmer! It’s warm cider and it’s oh so good.

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There’s just something that feels inviting and relaxing about Whistler

FS Whistler’s service is definitely one that you won’t forget. The staff will remember your name and ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible.

Shops Native to Whistler 

Open Country Whistler + OC 2
A fashion and footwear boutique. Get yourself a trendy pair of Sorel’s or find some other winter goodies here.

Rocks + Gems Canada

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I love stopping at Rocks + Gems Canada every time i’m in Whistler or Banff. I love their beaded bracelets, and the variety of different rocks + gems. They have some really beautiful agate pieces I love to use as coasters.

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Ruby Tuesdays
Everything from Pyhrra Jewelry to local artists + definitely a good collection of silver + gold stacking rings. Ask for Helen. She’s awesome.

3 Singing Birds
Handcrafted items from local artisans that are inspired by the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find many lovely items from pottery and jewelry to candles + creams.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
A chocolate covered almond apple with sea salt is a must! I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl and every time I visit Whistler I have to get a candy apple.

Nourish

Side Cut
Four Seasons very own, Sidecut offers apres ski snacks + dinner. Their spicy popcorn is so good!

Il Caminetto
I’m a huge fan of the Top Table Group and one of my favourite restaurants in Vancouver is Cin Cin (also by Top Table Group) so naturally I was excited to try this restaurant. This is one of their newer restaurants and is Italian fare. It definitely has a different vibe than Cin Cin but they have some similar items on the menu like their truffle and mushroom risotto which is to die for. Be sure to visit their sister restaurants in Whistler Araxi and Bar Oso.

Bar Oso
‘Oso’ means bear in Spanish. It’s a cozy little spot apres ski for charcuterie boards done right + to die for wagyu short ribs. They also have yummy cocktails + a wine list.

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Pure Bread
Delicious baked goods + house made coffee.

Other timeless favourites:

Hys
Classic steakhouse.

Barefoot Bistro
Upscale dining with nitro ice cream + and a champagne bar. You can saber a champagne bottle in the wine cellar.

Araxi
Whistler’s oyster bar. Although I don’t love Oysters, it’s definitely a place I would recommend dining at least once.

Carambas
The ultimate comfort food. Mac + Cheese and Pizza.

Relax

Spa at FS Whistler
If you are staying at FS Whistler then this is very convenient. You also have access to the pools if you’re not staying in the hotel.

Scandinave Spa
An outdoor spa in nature with an age-old Finnish tradition. First sauna, then immerse yourself in the cold pools and then out to relax.

Your mind and body will thank you.

 

48 Hours in Palm Springs: Where to Spy

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Palm Springs Door Tour

Spying on all the colourful doors in the area

I heard of this as I was researching modernism week (which happened to be the week before I went, so sadly I missed it) and decided to give it a whirl.

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Following a little map I found after googling ‘palm springs door tour’, we went around spying on all the colourful doors in the area. If you happen to be in the South Palm Springs area then be sure to check it out. Look for the pink house at E Sierra way and then bike or drive around.

Galleries

We didn’t have much time to check out the galleries, but we walked into a couple on El Paseo.

The Shops at 1345 have some cool abstract art by local artist Robert Landry.

Pottery by Double M Pottery in the shops at 1345 is a beautiful little pottery gallery on it’s own.

What other art should I be checking out next time I’m in Palm Springs? Has anyone visited the Palm Springs art gallery?

 

48 Hours in Palm Springs: Where to Eat

Azucar Bar

A Mexican inspired setting with a small bar and a few tables. The cauliflower tacos are seriously good. Need I say more? Definitely make reservations if you can as this place is small and seems to be a hot spot so it tends to fill up fast!

azucar

Mexican inspired restaurant with a small bar and a few tables.

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Sugar High Rooftop Bar

Good for cocktails and light bites. Complete with an outdoor rooftop fireplace and lots of fun seating.

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In-N-Out

No trip to California is complete without In-N-Out, unless you’re a California Native then this is probably your fast food staple. Nothing beats In-N-Out’s classic burger and fries.

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Tommy Bahama

A yummy lunch choice if you are shopping on El Paseo  and feel like getting some shade. You will feel like you have been transported to the Bahamas but with a twist, a desert mountain view. They make a really refreshing Island Tea with Mango Black Tea, Pineapple, Orgeat and Mint.

I don’t feel like we were there long enough to really check out a lot of food options. Do you guys have any suggestions? If so, leave them in the comments below.

48 Hours in Palm Springs: Where to Shop

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The Shops at 1345

This was my favourite stop. You need to shop here if you like vintage or eclectic finds. They have a neat collection of vintage items as well as some handmade pottery and jewelry, even a small slice of morocco.

A unique collection of shops and a must see for all visitors to Palm Springs!

Be sure to check out Soukie Modern for a little slice of Moroccan heaven. They have Moroccan wedding blankets, vintage Moroccan rugs, and are all about the textiles here. You can’t miss their gorgeous collection of Soukie bags which are co crafted in Morocco and California.

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Another Vendor to check out is Jewelry by Respect the Chief. I was lucky enough to have met AJ, she makes the jewelry with her boyfriend. They are seriously talented and the jewelry is gorgeous and so unique! I couldn’t resist buying one of her pieces. She also happens to be one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.

Even if you just visit the shops for the Instagram worthy photo of the #PSPinkWall no one is judging. #diditforthegram

Just Fabulous

A store just off of Palm Canyon Drive in the heart of downtown Palm Springs. Perfect if you’re looking for some coffee table books on the history and architecture of Palm Springs. They also carry a small selection of Taschen books, stationary cards, as well as some fun party items like blow up pool floaties.

El Paseo

The Rodeo Drive of the desert

Stroll down El Paseo on a nice sunny morning and get your step count in for the day. They call it the Rodeo Drive of the desert. While that may be true, not all the shops on the strip will necessarily make you break the bank.

Johnny Was

Neat boho finds. There is a local artist out of Yucca Valley, where I actually happened to visit as a teenager, that creates beautiful Macrame pieces that are showcased and sold in Johnny Was. One of her pieces in the window is actually what prompted me to go in to the store! Needless to say I bought two of her pieces. There is one located off Palm Canyon Drive near The Rowan hotel and one on El Paseo.

Anthropologie

This store is everywhere, but I happen to love it no matter where I am. They just simply have beautiful home accessories and apparel.

Saks Fifth Avenue

If you need to get your department store fix.

Desert Hills Premium Outlets

We stopped here on our way in to Palm Springs since we drove up from Orange County. Lots of good shopping here with lot’s of stores to choose from: Saks Off Fifth, Levi’s, Diesel, Rag + Bone to name a few, with a lot of high end outlet stores like Gucci, Furla, Saint Laurent and Valentino.