Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Favorite Posts of 2011

2011 was a bit of a wild year for us. We had a big move, some projects to prepare the old house for sale, and then getting settled into our new home. My favorite posts are all related to our new home. Honestly, it saddens me to look back on our old home-I miss it! Anyhow, here are a few of my favorite posts of the past year, with a link to the full post:

1. A Blank Slate:



The first day we took possession of our new home, I took some pictures to show you around.

2. The Sunroom:

My favorite room in our new house was finally ready for it's photo op:





3. Master Bedroom Reveal:

We quickly focused on our Master Bedroom in the new home and decorated it basically starting with nothing:



4. Great Room Reveal:

Christmas decorating gave me an opportunity to show you our new Great Room:



This year, we have 3 large projects slated for early in the year (including setting up the nursery!), and then I am focusing on adding accessories and little tweaks to really make this new home feel like ours =)  I will share the details of these upcoming projects with you soon, when I do a post on my 2012 home goals!

Sharing at Savvy Southern Style
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Playroom in Progress

What a Christmas!  We had our quietest Christmas in a while since we moved far from family =(.  However, it was filled with friends, new and old, plenty of children running around, and a horrible flu.  Yup, while I usually tend to get sick around New Year's (an annual tradition of mine it seems), this year I managed to mix things up and got sick on the 24th.  I managed to survive until yesterday, when I crashed and spent the entire day in bed.  This morning, I'm itching to get out and hit some after xmas sales, but we'll see how the day progresses.  Unfortunately, sickness and pregnancy make for a bad combo, and I tend to pass out when I do too much.   Anyhow, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!!  I am getting (already) geared up (at least mentally) for some new projects around the house.  Our latest deadline is March, when this baby is due.  We have kids rooms to paint, and a nursery to set up, amongst a few other projects.  The hubs is going to be one busy guy =)

Today I wanted to show you the Playroom, even though I haven't quite completed this area. I can't tell you how much I love this room; not for it's decor or prettiness, but for its functionality! The girls adore it, and with everything all organized, and in one place, they are able to enjoy all their toys and crafts.


I love my new pillow for the settee.  It's from Heidi Devlin designs on Etsy.


This portion of the playroom consists of a wall unit which houses most of their toys, a 'dress up' area, in the form of a clothes rack that came from my Grandmothers house, and a cushy carpet to play on.


As you can see from the light fixture, this is meant to be a billiards area, with the bar off to the right.  We're not the type to play pool, and this area is SO much better served by using it as a playroom!


We scored this wall unit for free from Kijiji.  It was brown and orange (funky 70's orange, not a lovely harvest hue).  My hubby added a beadboard back, picture frame molding on the doors, new hardware and a fresh coat of cream paint.  I wish I had a before picture-you wouldn't believe it's the same piece!


The other half of the playroom has their craft table, all sorted and organized, their kitchen set, playdough (which is what my daughter is playing with in this picture) and a big ole roll of paper for colouring.  I've placed a plastic cover over our antique pine table to protect it.  The girls are usually painting and colouring here on a daily basis.  It's also the perfect table for those family games and puzzle nights!

Still to do in this room:

-Hang some great vintage animal encyclopedia pictures and a huge map that we have waiting for a frame.
-Paint and reupholster the chairs around the table. I'm thinking black chairs, lightly distressed, with a durable and easily cleanable fabric in a fun pattern.
-a new sofa table which will still house the craft and colouring supplies, but supplies will be hidden in drawers rather than out in the open.  That way I can pretty up the top a bit, since this table is right next to the family room. I've been eying up a great and affordable option at Ikea. (UPDATE: we found a great option at Ikea, and will show you just as soon as I have time (ie get out of the sick bed) to style it and take some pictures!  It looks so much better than the old table you see in the picture above!).

Thanks for coming along on this tour of our playroom =)

Linking to my Favorite Parties!
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #9

Festive Favorites #9
Family

Afterall, what is a celebration without friends and family to share it with?  This is without a doubt, my absolutely favorite part of the season.  Seeing your child's faces light up when they first see under the tree on Christmas morning. Sharing a wonderful feast with children, parents, grandparents and more.  Passing your families traditions onto your children, so they can pass it along to theirs.  Absolutely precious, and worth the 364 day wait until the next year. 



Merry Christmas!  May all your favorite traditions be shared and honored, and your wishes for 2012 come true.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #8

Festive Favorites #8

The Christmas Feast

What dinner is more special than a table full of delicious offerings and family favorites, served on Christmas Day?  We are traditionalists, offering Turkey, stuffing, and all the fixings!  I also love leftovers and turkey sandwiches for days on end afterwards.




I hope you too, enjoy the spoils of the Christmas table, come this December 25th!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #7

Festive Favorite #7

A Beautifully Wrapped Gift

I have a confession.  There is one (and only one) thing that I don't love doing at Christmas:  Wrapping Gifts.  I have no patience for it, and while I try to choose beautiful papers and use ribbon, rather than a pre-fab bow, that's as far as I go. 

I do, however, love and appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift.  My mother has an incredible talent for wrapping (she's renowned for it) and I delight in seeing her wrapped creations each year.  Her gifts are often adorned with ornaments, embellished with greenery, or tied in the finest ribbons:



Are you an elaborate wrapper, or do you prefer the ease of a gift bag?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #6

Festive Favorites #6

Christmas Decorations

My second most absolute favoritist(ist) part of Christmas!  You've probably seen many of my decorations and tree already, but I can't resist a few more pictures for you.














Many of my friends don't understand why I spend so much time decorating my house, but it's one of the most special parts of the season for our family.  I love it when a child (or adult for that matter) comes into our home, and their eyes widen in delight at all the pretty, sparkly things.  I know my children will remember it fondly too.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #5

Festive Favorites #5

Stockings

Yes, we do stockings for everyone in our family (even our four-legged members!). They are such fun!  Gifts small, yet no less special fill these beautiful socks. Certainly my favorite part of gifting on Christmas morn.





Madelyn, Christmas morning 2009.  I think stockings may be her favorite part too!

Does everyone in your family enjoy the fun of the Christmas Sock?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #4

Festive Favorite #4

Cozy Nights by the Fire

When else do you have a license to laze about longingly staring into a blazing fire, for hours on end?  I find it mesmerizing to watch the flames lick the logs, and feel the warmth on my cheeks.  Ok, ok, so we have a gas fireplace in this house, but we get a similar feel!



We love to watch our favorite Christmas movie (Alastair Sim's Scrooge is an annual Christmas Eve tradition), play a family game, or work on a jigsaw puzzle.  I long to sit under a cozy blanket and cross stitch, or perhaps finish that binding on my latest quilt.  Lights are dimmed, and sweetly scented candles are burning.  Oh, how I love these cozy wintery nights.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #3

Festive Favorite #3

Baking




Each year I spend the weeks before the big day baking up sweet and savory delights, and this year is no exception.  On the list today is Christmas Sandwich Cremes, Butterscotch Icebox Cookies, and Browned Butter Sugar Cookies.  I usually bake about 6-10 different types of cookies, homemade Nut's and Bolt's (not exactly a baked good, but worth a mention as it's sooo buttery delish!), and many other delicious bites.

I try to add a few new recipes each year, but am sure to keep the family favorites also.

Some of my clearest memories of Christmas at my Grandparent's home is the glorious food and baking that was created lovingly by my Grandma.  I hope that my children too, will think back fondly on Mom's Christmas baking!

What do you bake each and every year?  Do you have treasured family recipes, or try new each year, or say to heck with it and buy from the bakery?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Our Favorite Ways to Celebrate #2

Festive Favorite #2
Christmas Carols

I utterly love Christmas music. While I enjoy all types, this is, afterall, a list of my favorites, so while difficult to narrow down, here they are:



Diana Krall's jazzy melodies are the perfect backdrop for a soiree with friends. I also love Michael Buble's Let is Snow, and Sara McLachlan's rendition of Noel.


I absolutely love Celtic Woman, and their Christmas album is no exception.

I love Classical Christmas music. The staff at my clinic make fun of me for this, as they all prefer more light hearted renditions of Frosty and Rudolph. I listen to these as well, more for the sake of my children, but a good ole classical piece really gets me in the Christmas spirit.

If asked what one Christmas song is my favorite, it is without a doubt, Carol of the Bells. It gives me tingles whenever I hear it.





What is your favorite Christmas music?  Classical, or the Classics, fun and lighthearted?