Taking a Lovely Gift - Hostess Gifts

Posted On: Thursday, 30 November 2017 |
Did you know that 70% of people arrive without anything for their hosts when going to a dinner or party? I find that shocking. Shame, people! Fortunately, I find that shocking because my friends and family are so generous and I hope I am too. I always love to bring fun things to thank my hosts for all the time and effort they have put into having us. As an avid hostess myself, I appreciate the work that goes in!

So here are some of my hostess gift faves (some great ideas that may just help you fill a space on your xmas list for someone too!)

Chapters/Indigo - this Canadian-owned merchant is a go-to for me. They have such a great selection it's a sure-thing. This year, the Oh She Glows Box Gift Set is a great choice or Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients. Another personal fave is Smitten Kitchen's latest!

If you are visiting an avid gardener, please head down to Southlands Nursery. The wonderful staff and atmosphere will put you right in the holiday spirit if you aren't already. You can pick up a lovely wreath but also some great garden themed gifts like this vintage looking dishtowel, soaps and more.

 Sure you can buy one of any zillion candles on the market, but the one that gets me EVERY time, is Whipped Cream + Pear from Anthropologie.

Maybe you're a traditionalist and your go-to is flowers....try "branching out!" (Pun intended!) Order up a beauty from Botany Living. These succulent arrangements are so simple and elegant. They match any decor and they last for months!


If you are heading to a home with kids, a board game is always a great way for families to enjoy each other. Speakout and Telestrations are some that will have you laughing for hours. Even the little box game of Anomia is hysterical!  Another great idea is to bring a gingerbread house for the kids to enjoy and decorate on another day. Michael's now has tiny sprinkle packets in all fun colours for just $1.50 per package so throw in a few fun colours!

Finally, if you are wanting to spread the LOVE this season but aren't sure how, head to www.bigloveball.com. Their iconic balls in all sizes and colours are a sure thing but they just launched super fun t-shirts and sweatshirts that are perfect for tweens, teens and adults. I've got 12...bet you are wishing you were on my list!

What's for Dinner?????

Posted On: Monday, 27 November 2017 |
Who knew three words could make us so stressed out!? Apparently we spend more time worrying about what is for dinner than we do making it. I love to cook but I don't like Monday to Friday dinners. Bring me a dinner party any time! I've just joined Jody Vance with a regular Lifestyle segment on Roundhouse Radio sharing what I'm cooking, buying, making, decorating, organizing....general lifestyle stuff. We started the other day.... Tune in Thursdays at 98.3 FM in Vancouver! Here is a link to our first segment! http://cirh2.streamon.fm/listen-pl-13185?smc=20

Easy Ways to Create a Swish Look for the Holidays

Posted On: Friday, 24 November 2017 |
You don't have to spend a fortune, heck you may have most of this stuff hanging around the house! With just one nice roll of wrapping paper and a couple of rolls or ribbon, I repurpose my staple holiday decor each year and create a colour theme that really pulls things together.  Check out my segment today on BT Vancouver. http://www.btvancouver.ca/videos/quick-easy-holiday-decor-tips-tricks/
Find a bold fun wrapping paper and use that as your jumping off point.
Use cake plates and clear vases to create centrpieces.

Back to School - Back to Busy!

Posted On: Thursday, 31 August 2017 |
It's that time again. On the one hand they are going back to school...no more bored days. The flip side is it's time to make lunches and stock the pantry. You've got this. Don't get caught up in the pretty pictures you see on Pinterest...you need a real plan that works for you. At our house, we make these lists so the kids can easily get ideas for snacks and breakfasts without me hearing the whine: "what can I haaaaaaave?" Check ours out but create your own based on your kids likes and dislikes. My kids don't like quesadillas, so they came off our list, your kids may hate yogurt or something else.

One thing is for sure. Keep it simple. Add good foods instead of focussing too much on taking things away (think: fat...sugar) By focussing on "healthier" that will happen naturally. Add fibre, add vegetables, greens, protein and healthy fats.

One line that really helps eating healthy easier is PC Blue Menu - available at Superstore and Loblaws. The peeled hardboiled omega 3 free run eggs are a great multitasking food and also a big time saver. Love the PC Blue Menu Ancient Grains - now a staple on my grocery list. I can easily spy the line's blue packaging so I'm always drawn to it.

Go for variety. It's the spice of life!

Life with Amazon.ca

Posted On: Wednesday, 28 June 2017 |
If there was ever a technology to embrace, this is it. My life has changed thanks to amazon.ca.

Recently I needed a stacked cupcake holder for one of my daughters' end of the year school party. I could have schlepped all over town looking for one. Well, I tried two places.... Then it occurred to me to just look on amazon.ca. There it was. Staring right back at me. Two day shipping. I didn't have to leave the comfort of my own home!

I work. I have kids. I have pets. I volunteer. I have aging parents. ANYTHING (a n y t h i n g) that is going to save me errands, stress and time is tops on my list.

From there it's gotten a little crazy. My husband got me a new apple watch for my birthday...amazon.ca for lots of new straps! Father's Day....amazon.ca. We just put up the badminton net but the racquets are so old the grips were giving everyone black sticky hands.  I'm now waiting for the new grip tapes in cute colours (as well as the LED birdies that I didn't know I needed!)

I'm still a little miffed when I see cooler stuff on amazon.com but if I'm patient even the great stuff will come too. Canada has come a looooong way in what we can get our hands on.

Thank you Amazon.ca and thanks for making life in Canada more accessible! To all, happy canada day!

Pink Up For February

Posted On: Saturday, 4 February 2017 |
It was the reason I wanted plain white plates when I was just 21...you can do so much with a blank canvas! Well the same goes for my all white and grey home today. When February 1st comes along,  I can't help but to add touches for Valentine's Day. In my case, that choice is pink as I'm not a big red fan except in certain circumstances.

This year I bought some gorgeous, rich magenta velvet and had these gorgeous throw cushions made. My West Elm linen ones are in the kitchen.

A few other touches just add that little bit of "holiday spirit" for Valentine's that I love and my girls of course love. 

Holiday Treats To Make With Your Kids

Posted On: Thursday, 1 December 2016 |
Fast forward - I can't believe we zoomed from Halloween to Christmas so quickly! Here is a great video of all sorts of fun things you can make that are easy! A trip into Pinterest is so inspiring. If you want to teach your kids about giving, pay special attention to the #TreatsForToys initiative and get busy making some Rice Krispie mixture.