One family tradition that I cherish is that we celebrate 12 days of Christmas. No, I don't have milking maids and french hens at the ready- but for the period between Christmas and Epiphany we are full out, rocking around the tree, making a joyful noise. Tree is still up, carols are still blaring, we are still feasting on shortbread and sugar daily. 

We kept decor pretty minimal colour scheme wise with our white tree and purple ornaments. This year I found this fabulous cinchable tree skirt at Target. Love the burlap natural texture and that is was cheap cheap cheapie.

For these 12 days I am being as intentional as possible to rest, be present, host friends and family and generally just enjoy this time and rejoice as much as possible. I am also fitting in some goal setting for 2015 which has been a really enlightening process this year. I think because I have forced myself to slow down so much it has been easier to see areas I need to make some changes in. 

Lol to my DIY Christmas paint project that my children commandeered with their own sartorial edits : )

What are you doing for the remainder of 2014? Is your tree still up or are ornaments packed away? Love to know in the comments below.



First of all- congrats to Maggie who won my Scotch Gift Wrap Giveaway! Thanks to all who entered via commenting, Twitter and Facebook. I so appreciate you! 

Now on to the topic of simplicity at Christmas. Aren't kids at Christmas the best? This is my daughter full of Christmas joy in front of our finally finished fireplace. Our house is still not 100% done for many different reasons but I am pretty happy to have a fireplace to put my Christmas tree in front of. It's so peaceful to look at.  

Contrary to this feeling almost every year of my adulthood Christmas has felt manic. And every year, I have sworn that the next year would be different. Less stressful, more prayerful, less running around and more enjoying the people I love. Inspired by Karen's Christmas Pledge I created my own last minute version in hopes to keep myself organized and less manic. And yet every year I have failed. 

If I am being honest what had me the most manic was the PRESSURE. Of feeling like I had to buy the perfect presents, pressure to be everywhere and see everyone, pressure to create perfect Christmas memories for my children. I realize much of this pressure has been self imposed. So this year, we chose to respond differently. 

We intentionally removed ourselves from 2 Kris Kringle gift exchanges. We committed to going to only one house on Christmas Day. We are going to a cottage with limited wifi for a chunk of time after Christmas. We are making last minute, non-pressured plans over the holidays.  And I have not felt guilty that my tree just went up and that all my shopping basically took place in one day and it was yesterday. 

The removal of this pressure and expectation has lifted a veil for me. I feel like I can actually enter into this season without feeling so completely behind and so tired I fall asleep at Christmas mass. I feel like I can actually see, and this is what I so desperately want to stare at:

I hope this season, however you are spending it, is full of joy, peace, wonder and awe. A very Merry Christmas to you my dear readers, for whom I am so thankful for. 

Image taken by my husband at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal at the nativity museum showcasing nativity's from around the world.  



Today I have a giveaway that I am hoping will help simplify the holiday hustle and help with some last minute prep before the big day. This year I have been really intentional in keeping it simple- so I hope this giveaway will help you simplify too! 

I love gift wrapping but if I am really honest I usually do gift bags because it's faster. But I love a gorgeously wrapped gift- just don't always have the time it takes to get there. So when Scotch reached out with some simple ways to make gifts feel special I was excited to share. 

Like in these images above you can use tape to embellish a gift tag, add pattern to a paper or create a fun pattern. Here's a super simple version I whipped up in 5 minutes:

I have got $50 worth of Scotch goodies for you to play with to help you with your gift wrapping. To enter, simply follow the prompts below. Contest is open to residents of Canada and closes Sunday Dec 21 with delivery of the goodies on December 22 (just in time for wrapping!) Thanks for entering and have fun!

To enter simply answer this question in the comments: What gift will you make special with Scotch tape? Then click the link before for more ways to win : ) Winner will be drawn at random by Gleam. 

Gift wrap giveaway

Building a Master Bedroom You Can Be Proud Of

Building a Master Bedroom You Can Be Proud Of

As evidenced by this image, our master bedroom pre #canningreno was kinda horrible. We had a closet with no doors that basically looked like it was exploding at all times. Paint chipped everywhere and the space was never designed- just a thrown together mess of hand me downs, broken lampshades, etc. etc. It was kinda the room of shame in our house that we never wanted to show people. Luxurious retreat it was not. 

For our new bedroom I wanted it to feel grown up, sophisticated, and serene. To achieve that, I knew mouldings were going to be important.

So I partnered with Metrie to help me create a unique and custom, finished feel. For nearly 90 years Metrie has been committed to transforming spaces with exquisitely crafted architectural trim. There is a certain je ne sais quis and upscale element that interior finishes (crown moulding, baseboards, trim, doors, etc) provide that really cannot be compared to anything else (save for maybe wallpaper. Combine the two and you are golden).  

I find trim a little intimidating- there are just so many options available and the combinations and permutations are plentiful. So I love that Metrie has divided its products into 5 distinct collections- French Curves, True Craft, Very Square, Fashion Forward and Pretty Simple. They have even created a quiz to help you determine your personal style. In my home I went with the Very Square collection for all of my baseboards, interior doors and trim. 

I love the simplicity of these slab doors. The beauty is in the grain which we enhanced with a medium stain and for our walls we went with applied moulding and painted everything out a dark dark dark navy which I am uber excited about. The result thus far (although still in progress so no pictures to share yet) is pretty breathtaking. As I said at the top of this post, there is a certain level of quality and polish that interior finishings elevates a room to that I argue can't be achieved through gorgeous decorating alone. Can't wait to share the finished product with you (and to get to enjoy it myself as well!)

To learn more about this company visit their website here and read my q&a interview with them here. And for more inspiration for Metrie trim projects check out Christine Dovey's bedroom here and Amanda Forrest's flip on the Marilyn Denis Show here. And of course, to follow along the adventure that is my home renovation, follow the hashtag #canningreno on my social media channels.

Thanks to Metrie for partnering with me on my house! For more on my #canningreno click here, here, and here.  

DIY paint your way to a pretty holiday

DIY paint your way to a pretty holiday

You know what I love about paint? It's an easy way to add a big amount of change for a relatively low investment. So when CIL asked me to share some ways to use paint in your holiday decorating prep I was excited to get my hands dirty. But not too dirty : ) 

I don't have a ton of time to DIY so when I can make the time I like to make it impactful and simple. I did this project in 1 hour, using items I had in storage / around the house. Total cost of this project: $3.97 plus tax. 

Inspired by Style Me Pretty's Christmas Tree Basket, I found a wicker basket that held a bunch of kids' toys in storage. I had intended to do a kids' tree in the basement so I already had picked up my small shrub and used the basket as an alternative to a tree stand / skirt.  

Here is where the $3.97 comes in. I ran out to the Home Depot and grabbed a tester pot of CIL paint. Tester pots are a convenient way to try out a colour on the walls before committing, or do a small decor project. I barely made a dent in my pot for this project so trust me when I say you $3.97 will go pretty far : ) 

I chose to use the colour Peacock's Plume- I love modern colours for holiday colour schemes and teal is so vibrant. I dug through my Christmas storage bins and found pieces collected over the years to build my scheme.

With a regular paint brush, I applied a band of paint to the bottom of the basket right on the wicker. No secret- just apply the paint right from the tester pot. This part took me ten minutes. I could have taped it off but chose to go rogue and attempt it freehand! Doing a band at the bottom keeps it graphic and modern- and really any colour goes as long as you work it into your scheme. Silver or gold could be a really gorgeous contrast against the natural basket fibers. I let the basket dry for a full 45 minutes (go watch some Netflix…) 

Now's the fun part…

As I mentioned off the top, this project took me an hour and besides the goodies I already had around the house I spent $3.97 for the paint sample. Take that holiday budget. 

What painting projects are you working on over the holidays? What item in your home could you give a little holiday paint update? Love to know in the comments below and for more help picking the right paint colour for you click here and here.