Thursday, December 6, 2018

those festive scents

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is filling our home with the smell of fresh evergreen. With the start of the cold weather, I swap out the fall scents for pine and cedar and our house instantly transforms into a cozy wooded forest. Candles are my go-to for scenting a space, which is great for your main living space where you spend most of your time but you need some options for unattended spaces as well. Here are a few of my favorites for getting you in the mood with festive, foresty scents.  

Every. single. scent from this Canadian west coast candle company is amazing. Their scents are earthy and have a great depth - plus the jar and packaging is spot on. 

This winter white is a really nice mellow, warm scent. It's not too sweet but still feels festive.
(Tip, switch around a few of the reeds every few days or so, it helps with throwing the scent)

The diffuser essential oil blends are great because they have the added therapeutic benefits and can be gently absorbed into the respiratory system. 

This is a beautiful set to keep beside the kitchen sink. The scent isn't too strong and the combination of soap and lotion keeps your hands moisturized through the dry winter. 

A classic fir candle that immediately warms a room. If you have a faux tree, this is a necessity for that real-life smell. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

gift guide: when everyone is on your list

When it comes to holiday shopping, my list of family and friends to buy for tends to grow pretty quickly. Once the list is made, then my favorite part begins - shopping and searching for the perfect gift for each and every person. With a long list you definitely need to consider budget, but it doesn't mean you have to sacrifice finding a thoughtful gift that is sure to be enjoyed. Here are a few ideas, ranging in price from $20-$50.

I have a hot water bottle that I use almost daily (they're not only for old ladies!). You fill it with almost boiling water and it keeps you cozy, curled up watching Christmas movies. 

Statement earrings are always a good idea and it's hard to go wrong with a modern, monochromatic pair like these - they can dress up an average outfit, or add the finishing touch to a fancier look.

We have several of these essential oil roller balls on our house - help with sleeping, fighting germs, relieving headaches and managing stress. They can fit easily in your purse and are a natural way to maintain feeling healthy. 


There's nothing lovelier then fresh flowers to brighten up your home. Fill these vases with a few stems when gifting or allow them to shine on their own. I have the Celia vase displayed year round at our place and love the three piece set for styling. 

A cookbook that has easy-to-follow and accessible recipes (because who really has time to search for that impossible ingredient and follow a 50 step recipe). I have both of these books and there are tons of recipes that are sure to become regular go-to's. 

Cute stationery that is perfect for any occasion. 

The fluffiest scarf to keep warm and fashionable.

A good bottle of gin for delicious negroni's. Plus who doesn't appreciate the help stocking the liquor cabinet. 

A candle that smells like a winter forest is sure to impress anyone. I burn this scent exclusively from November to March and can't get enough of it.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

gift guide: that extra special something

We're nearing the end of November and it feels like the holidays are already in full swing. I took out some Christmas decor last night and have already gotten a good jump on my shopping list. 

I wanted to share a few luxurious gift ideas for that extra special someone on your list. My favorite part of gift giving is the thought that goes into it but sometimes certain people deserve to be spoiled. 

Lovely candle set that you likely wouldn't buy yourself. Pretty to display and the scents are gorgeous.

We are big fans of our Away suitcases and I love their new mini cases. It would be perfect for carrying your passport, boarding pass and phone when traveling. They've curated three sets including this beauty collection with some items perfect for keeping your skin looking fresh. 

It's no big secret that silk pillowcases are supposed to be great for your skin and hair, so I was stoked when Brooklinen came out with a silk collection. This duo would elevate bedtime with the added beauty benefits.

Cool French sneakers are always a good idea. I mean, is there anything more chic and inspiring then a stylish French woman?

These would be great for traveling, commuting  or just 'Netflix + chilling' with the ipad on the couch while your husband watches sports... ;)

Monday, October 15, 2018

san antonio + austin

{ illustration via }

We leave for Texas next Saturday! I think it's fair to say that D and I are very much looking forward to this trip. We can't wait to escape work stress for a week and get in a good visit with his parents. We're splitting our time between San Antonio and Austin for the 8 nights were in town. 

S A N   A N T O N I O

I've booked us at Maverick for our first dinner together on Sunday night. Maverick is described as a Texan Brasserie and the space itself looks beautiful. It's within walking distance from our B&B on the river walk too.  

D's parents have friends coming to meet us for dinner one night, and I thought Clementine sounded lovely. It's run by a husband and wife team and the food looks fresh and well thought out. 

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D's Mom had a special milestone birthday recently, so we've booked a surprise brunch at Forthright Cafe to celebrate. 

I spotted Arlo Grey on instagram and was immediately drawn to the beautiful view. Turns out it's part of The Line Hotel run by the winner of Top Chef season 10. I'm really looking forward to a tasty dinner here.

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In an effort not to over plan our trip, I've kept reservations to a minimum. Part of the fun of vacation is seeing where the days take you, and enjoying the spontaneity of adventuring in a new city. I have a big list of spots that we can check out if time allows and use for inspiration. During my research I found that happy hour is a big thing in Texas.. so I think we're going to do just fine  :)

Monday, September 24, 2018

cookbook inspiration

I recently picked up these two cookbooks and am so excited to dive in and start trying new recipes. I find the Fall weather brings a desire to hunker down and cozy up at home. Chrissy Teigen has some Thai comfort food that looks amazing and Gaby keeps things Californian inspired with fresh and simple dishes. I'll report back with favorites recipes!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

gilmour avenue :: main floor

One of the major selling features of the house was how open the main floor is. With older Toronto homes, most often, the main floor is divided into several rooms and it's a daunting task to imagine opening it all up, and the structural implications tied into renovating a hundred year old house. The old owners took care of the dirty work for us and really invested in lovely finishes for the space. 

With a coat of paint, a few new furniture pieces and some styling, we made the space our own and I really feel like it reflects our personality. I will admit that I've found myself at several times over the past year sitting in the space and happily gushing to D and how much I love our home! 

I wanted to keep the front entry simple and welcoming. We bought this rod iron console table and got a custom piece of stone for on top - it cost a fraction of what it would have in a retail store and is sleek and elegant. 
D's grandad painted the stool and it came from his family's cabin - it's the perfect spot for people to take off their shoes or rest their purse.

This blue chair was a hand-me-down from my late grandmother. It used to be burnt orange and my in-laws had it reupholstered as a gift for me years ago. 

I saw this print on another house tour and fell in love with it. I bought it and had it mounted and it hangs on two simple gold clips. We love being by the water and I find the print so calming.

We decided to buy a new sectional to give the living space a new look.  It took us time, but we really searched for each piece we added into the space to make sure we had found something that felt right and was worth the investment. 

This bookshelf came from our old apartment and is still such a functional, yet stylish piece. I color coordinated our book collection and have added some greenery. Insider tip, I usually have a candy dish on one of the shelves filled with little treats.

We bought this chest of drawers at a church sale for $6. We refinished it and it now holds all sorts of hosting accessories like napkins, candles and place cards. The planter was a slam-dunk wedding gift from one of our best friends. 

My cousin built us this gorgeous black walnut, live edge table as a wedding gift. It is the feature piece when you walk in the front door and we can fit ten comfortably around it. 
We bought the chairs online and thankfully they all worked beautifully together. I love how the blond highlights on the table match the lighter wood on the chairs. 

Our booze collection exceeds anything we could fit on a bar cart, so this little round version is perfect for holding little treasures. The stump print is our newest piece of artwork and came from a young artist at the One of a Kind Show. The second painting is of the northern lights by D's grandad. 

I finally understand the saying, 'the kitchen is the heart of the home'. Anytime we have friends over, we end up congregated around the island, usually snacking and socializing. 

There's a huge amount of both cupboard and countertop space in the kitchen. It's been great for storing all of our things away and out of site and allowing for some fun styling of prettier things on the countertop. We love cooking together and it's a comfortable space that we get to enjoy together.

A little space for tech. We almost always have music playing on the bluetooth speaker and the iPad is in easy reach for recipe referencing.

At the other end of the main floor, we have our mud room. Most often we'll enter this way, coming from the garage or the bus stop and it's spacious with room for lots of shoes and jackets. It's right off the kitchen, so it's also perfect for hosting backyard parties.

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Here's what it looked like before...

We painted the entire space and switched out the pendant lights over the kitchen island (one was cracked when we moved in). We have a new pendant fixture for over the front door that's waiting to be hung and I'd like to find a new fixture for over the dining table and maybe even swap out the cabinetry hardware. Little updates that have a big impact.