Sprucing for the Season

Welcome to my Winter Wonderland

Even though Jack Frost and I are not friends, I will always LOVE and look forward to the joyful Christmas season! First and foremost I love to remember what the season truly means, like keeping the celebration of Jesus alive and always keeping the “Christ” in Christmas! Secondly, even though presents can be fabulous, the best gift I am given at this time of year is time with my family and lots of festive get-togethers with our friends (just think of all the mulled wine we will drink this month!) There really are so many traditions to look forward to such as, the girls building a snowman, baking delicious treats or Chad and I finding a quiet moment under the mistletoe.

Is Santa Hiring?

Now, back to the gift giving for a quick second. I wouldn’t be staying true to myself if I didn’t admit that holiday shopping for my loved ones is a real treat! In fact, I wonder if Saint Nicholas is hiring for a personal shopper? Before I get to all of those wonderful presents there is something I have been working on for a few weeks now and I am ready to share my Christmas décor tips all wrapped up in a pretty bow, just for you!

I have to admit I have been a little TOO consistent with my holiday decorating in the past. In fact, for the last 12 years I adamantly stood by decorating purely in winter white! Strictly no other colours were allowed – even when my girls begged! Haha. Needless to say, I've thrown my friends and family off this year by opting for some colour! And not just any colour, RED!! ...  now THAT is really going out on a dramatic-colour-limb for me...

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Thanks Shelly for the inspiration!

Needless to say, the girls are ecstatic, and I think Christmas may just have to include some colour from now on…

Fortunately for me, plaid has made a huge comeback, and particularly red and black buffalo plaid! I certainly didn’t lack for options when choosing my holiday décor! Black, red, and white (of course!) is scattered throughout my home and I’m excited to share my photos and tips with you all!

 

       

 

 

 

But First - The True Meaning

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Have you 

 

noticed?

I absolutely love all of the Christian signs that I have been seeing this year. I feel like we are surrounded by the true meaning of this holiday and it warms my heart to know that it hasn’t been forgotten!

Bark, Pinecones & Foliage

As for decorating your home, I love that you can have fun with the holiday season and bring the outdoors indoors! Go on an adventure, or take the kiddies outside and forage! Have the kids hunt for various sizes of pinecones, bark, and pieces of fresh greenery such as pine and fir tree branches. These items can be added in throughout your home whether it’s added to a decorative bowl, on top of your fireplace, around your festive family photos, etc.! Get creative with it! Real greenery is easy, visually appealing, and bonus - it’s free!

And if the kids end up going overboard with the collecting and you have bags and bags of leftovers the BONUS is that there are a ton of incredible Christmas craft ideas that will solve that problem! Leftover greenery can be used for gift-wrapping, a foliage wreath, candle decoration, and so many more that you can check out on my Pinterest!

Click here for my favourite Christmas crafting ideas for extra foliage!

If you’re like me and like to decorate at least a month before Christmas, use these tips to keep your greenery looking and smelling fresh – all season long! Click here!

Sprinkle a Little Christmas Throughout

The living room or family room is easy to season up, pick up a couple wintery pillows or a cozy throw in your theme colours. Candlesticks are my favourite, and I sprinkle them everywhere! An easy holiday hack is to glue ribbon onto plain candles you may have lying around to instantly add oomph to an otherwise bland item! As mentioned above, you can also add in a piece of foliage for something extra eye-catching! Add bows or Christmas ribbon to existing wreaths or art! Vases you use all year round can look like a whole new addition once you add some seasonal flowers (real or fake!).

In the kitchen, new placemats and napkins can go a long way in dressing up your table. I couldn’t stop there though and opted for red dish clothes and hand towels as well! A room that is often neglected is the bathroom – don’t forget the holiday towels and soaps (my favourite is the Winter Cranberry,) in your guest bathrooms to really have a touch of Christmas throughout your home!  

The Festive Focal Point

This brings us to the biggest and most dramatic Christmas accent of all… the tree! When decorating mine I focus on layering. I add the ornaments first, and then add all of the fun items I stock up on at the dollar store, such as feathers, ribbon, glittery foliage, etc.! Adding these items in, some closer to the forefront, and some further back within the branches adds texture and colour to the overall effect (plus, if your tree is fake and looking as if a few too many branches are missing this will do the trick.). Try not to over think it, and add it to your tree without rhyme or reason, as the result will look effortless and not overdone. Another holiday hack is to purchase and (beautifully!) wrap gifts as early as possible to 1) Save yourself the stress of last minute shopping and 2) they act as picturesque decorations up until the morning of the 25th! With so many bag and gift-wrap options these days it’s easy to keep stay on theme and allow your perfect packaging to steal the show! 

 

As for the finishing touch on your holiday home… don’t forget the mistletoe! May it be a reminder to plant a smooch on everyone you hold dear, and spread the love this holiday season! 

A HUGE shout out to my favourite stores for helping me create this beautiful Christmas setting! Follow the links to start shopping for your festive favourites. 

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas,

-Liz

 

Uncork & Unwind with Wine Night

Let Me Start Off By Saying.....

                    Book clubs are fun and all ~ but I prefer to read wine labels! If you’re with me on this, carry on for my tips for a successful vino club!

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Another Glass Anyone?

So why is endless rosé and a group of fabulous ladies a delicious mix? Because you never know where the night will take you! I mean this quite literally – because last weekend when I hosted wine club we noticed some strobe lights in my neighbourhood and ended up crashing a karaoke party! Now THAT is something I wish we had documented with pictures, I would share more but what happens at ladies night, stays at ladies night.

Dancing on my Tastebuds...

Other than the fact that wine tastes great, makes you feel wonderful, AND helps bring all the juicy gossip to the table… it also has a way of de-stressing your soul! I mean - have you ever come home after a long, hard day and you have been thinking about that crisp white wine (I’m a white girl personally!) touching your lips…anticipation building… the whole way home?! I love you wine! Now I get to bring my girlfriends into this monthly mix and we have a recipe for a party!

Let’s get this night started!

So some initial tips to consider when starting a wine club are:

  •                       Pick 8-10 women maximum – you need to keep it at a manageable number so you get the most out of it!

  • Pick friends that live close – distance can end up being a deterrent and the club can fall apart. I also mainly say this point because after a wonderful evening your guests need to get home safely which is likely by cab. Unless you plan to turn it into a full blown slumber party - then distance really doesn't matter.

  •  Everyone pitches in – each club night everyone brings a bottle of wine along with an appetizer. Ideally, club members should ensure they bring an app that pairs nicely with the wine they bring. The general rule of thumb is red wine pairs nicely with red meat and strong cheese, while white wine is kick - ass with seafood and white meat. Click on the pairing charts for reference!  Cheese Pairings - Vegetable Pairings - Cupcake Pairings - Chocolate Pairings

Is It Your Turn To Host?

Once you establish a core group of people who are more than willing to wine and dine monthly – you get to come up with THEME ideas! This is where you can be as creative – or simple – as you like!

 

Blind Tasting

Everyone in the group brings a bottle of wine, preferably something they wouldn't recognize the taste of (we wouldn't want one of them getting a leg-up by already knowing the flavour.) Have your partner disguise the bottles with your already, hand-made paper bags before kicking them out for the evening! (Sorry, no wine-crashers allowed!)

Favourite Country (Region)

Let the creativity flow - depending on the amount of time you have to prepare you could help these ladies unwind by teleporting them to a new place! Not only do you match the wine and food but also the decor and outfits. Who wouldn't like a romantic, fashionable evening in Paris or a wild and spicy evening in Africa?

Share the Memories

WARNING - this night might end in hugs, tears and a lot of "I love you so much!" 

You must all bring a bottle that is dear to your heart. Think deeply about it, was it the bottle of wine you were drinking on your first date with your partner, or maybe it's the Prosecco you and your girls got WAY too tipsy on at your graduation - whatever the story - be prepared to share the juicy details! 


 

 

Hostess with the Mostess

Next, you find ways to make your wine club unique, for example, in the past our group decided to do quirky wine glass gifts. The members found a glass that represented the personalities or reminded them of each of the ladies and once she hosted – she received it as her “hostess gift!” 

Being a natural-born party planner (excuse me while I blow my own horn here,) I love SWAG so this time around I presented the girls with a little 'thanks for coming' gift - our very own “Surviving Motherhood One Sip At A Time” glass, (in pic above.) I am sure all you mama's out there could     agree with this one!

As for my friend Lisa, she is such a hard worker and always on the go so we presented her with this awesome 'Thank God it's Friday' glass, and she absolutely LOVED it!

 


Earthy, Elegant & Crisp

Wine club can be as casual or as proper as you’d like it to be. If you’re just there to sip at all the wines and continuously proclaim them all to be delicious – so be it! Sip away girlfriend! OR if you’d like to be able to properly use the term “flamboyant” when referring to a wine – check out this handy list of wine descriptors!

Now for the part we love most, tasting the wine! Yes, many o9087c  f you know how to taste, sip and swirl your wine away but for those (like me) who still need a bit of guidance have a look at the handy guide below! 

Amidst the motherly tasks, wifely responsibilities, demands of work, and the toll of hectic day-to-day life - Wine club is that opportunity once a month to socialize, catch up, and let our hair down. Laughter truly is the best medicine – and there’s no shortage of it at wine club. 

So whether your party is bright and elegant or completely unoaked I hope it is special! AND - as a little thank you for reading my blog I have included a FREE wine tasting printable for you to use!

Free Wine Printable

Cheers!

-Liz