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Friday, January 31


So I’m apparently going to the Cornish coast on vacation. Have you SEEN this rental?!

Spiked Rice Krispie Treat Shake Shooters. Yes, you read that right.


Thursday, January 30

I've been coveting gold foil prints lately. I can't get enough. In case you're in the same boat, I've rounded up a few of my faves:

Congo Studio ($39.14 CAD)
 Charm and Gumption ($17.17 CAD)
 Oh My Deer ($13.73 CAD)
 Miss Poppy Design ($19.02 CAD)
 Charm and Gumption ($17.17 CAD)
 Miss Poppy Design ($19.02 CAD)
 Gilded Mint ($30.90 CAD)
 Made By Girl ($45.78 CAD)
 Stephanie Creekmur ($22.89 CAD)

Extended Holiday

Wednesday, January 29

Given that we were going to see each other in person in January, my besties (who live in New York and Toronto) and I decided to wait to exchange our Christmas gifts. This made for a pretty awesome extended holiday season this year, and I wanted to share a few of the new treats I received. They know me pretty well ;)
This gold tortoise shell box from Target (!!!) I mean, REALLY. It's so perfect. If you read this blog regularly (as someone obviously does, haha), you may recognize it from last week's mood board. I haven't decided where I want to keep it yet... thinking it might be perfect for #OperationOffice.
(Print is one of many I own by Clare Elsaesser; Chalice is vintage; 'Thank You' cards are Target)
ALSO in last week's mood board was a ceramic white egg carton! I've been wanting one of these for the final phase of my jewelry storage plan. As you may remember, I devised this contraption for storing my necklaces and bracelets (which is still going strong!) but I still needed somewhere to stash my rings and earrings. Love how they look here.
(V is old Anthropologie; Egg Carton is Fishs Eddy; Perfume is Burberry Brit Sheer and Tocca Cleopatra)

And of course, being the leopard and tortoiseshell fanatic that I am, these beauties have already made their way into my daily rotation.
(Clutch and Compact Mirror are Indigo)

The Apple of my Eye

Tuesday, January 28

A few shots of the past weekend, spent in NYC with my besties.
        Soho  |  Tribeca
    Snow-covered stoops  |  My girls                     
                   Caffeinated besties  |  Our favourite breakfast spot
                                Lovely Bride  |  Gold-flecked cowhide rugs    
      Wedding dresses  |  The sweetest tote
J. Crew Bridal chandy  |  You know it            
Successful girls, ravenous for ramen & dumplings
                                 Fishes Eddy  |  Orchids in the Flower District
            Copper signs  |  Art Deco facades
  A building, stuck  |  Iconic skyscape

Just Another Mood Board Monday...

Monday, January 27

I'm craving Spring. Are you?
Spring Fever
Click on image for individual sources.


Friday, January 24


This former church makes for the coolest abode.

On the DIY front, Amber pulls out a pretty adorable doormat and Emily organizes the office.

Blair is making me reevaluate my winter wardrobe. Oversized camel coat and stick-straight hair, it is.

Really feeling a toque paired with a lady-like ensemble lately. Krystin does it perfectly (here and here).

And a mani that I must try.

All Stars

Thursday, January 23

It’s been almost a year since I last posted about my favourite products, and given the popularity of that post, I thought an update was in order. I’m still in love with a few of the products I shared last time while others have been replaced by products I love even more. 

Here’s what I’m using right now:

All Stars - Skincare

Noxema. I know, so high school, right? I picked up a travel-sized jar last summer and was shocked at how much my skin seemed to like it. I use Noxema morning and night and my skin is usually clear. I should note that I always ALWAYS try to wash off my makeup before bed, which certainly contributes to the clarity.

Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub. This stuff is brilliant. I use it when I shower, as it’s a bit hard to get all the little scrubbies washed off without the full shower spray/ I also follow The Beauty Department’s guidelines for exfoliating. Blackheads are practically non-existant.

The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream. I shared this one last time and I still love it. I usually pick up a few jars when they’re on sale after Christmas.

All Stars - Makeup

Clinique BB Cream. Still addicted to this stuff. It’s perfect and makes your skin look even and flawless. I apply it with a beauty blender. The beauty blender isn’t cheap, especially considering it’s just an oddly formed sponge, but it’s AMAZING. The trick is to run it under cold water, squeezing out the excess, until the sponge is twice its size. Then, use it in a stippling motion to apply the BB cream (or your foundation).

Laura Mercier Translucent Pressed Powder. Best setting powder/shine reducer I’ve used. It looks white, but goes on translucent and keeps me shine-free for most of the day. I’m super pale though, so I’m not sure how translucent it would be on darker skin tones.

Benefit Lollitint Lip & Cheek Stain. I’ve used the Benetint stain for awhile now, which is more of a reddish-rose colour. Benefit just came out with the Lolli-tint colour, which they describe as “candy-orchid”, whatever that means… All I know is that the pink colour perfectly matches the flush my cheeks get when I’m out in the cold. They also have 2 other colours (here and here), in case one of them is a better match for you. I prefer cheek stain to regular blush BY FAR. I find blush disappears on my cheeks after an hour or two but this stain lasts all day. Consequently, make sure you’re very careful when you apply it because if you put it in the wrong spot…it will be there ALL day.

L’Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara. I mentioned this one last time too. It’s the best. Every time I think I should try something new, I’ll use the new mascara for a week or two and then switch back to the False Fibre. It’s absolutely perfect.

So, those are my current faves! If you have any that you swear by, feel free to share in the comments. I LOVE finding new products to use.

Operation Office: Chalkboard Wall

Wednesday, January 22

Operation Office is OFFICIALLY underway. Check it out, guys:
That’s right. It’s a chalkboard wall. I still need to give it a few days to cure before conditioning it (which is basically rubbing the side of a piece of chalk over the ENTIRE wall. So that will be fun…) but then it’s a free-for-all with the chalkboard wall ;)
The whole wall took two full coats and a few touchups, which used the full can of Rust-oleum paint. I did a little research online prior to getting started and Rust-oleum seemed to have the best reviews. I picked it up at Home Depot for around $30.

And now onto the next project! I think we're going to paint the other walls next. I'm thinking a light whitish grey but we shall see!

Other posts about Operation Office:
-          The Plan
-          The Bookcase (Phase 1)
-          Choosing the Rug

Big Apple Bound

Tuesday, January 21

I'm heading to New York City this weekend to help my bestie (you've met her here and here) find the perfect wedding dress. I couldn't BE more excited to help her find the frock of all frocks. For today's post, I thought I'd share a peek at a few items that likely will be making their way into my suitcase for the most epic of girls' weekends. Mostly monochromatic with a few pops of colour. Comfortable for lots of walking and travelling from appointment to appointment. Easy to mix and match and easy to dress up with lipstick and jewels. Let the festivities begin!

Packing List
For individual sources, click on the image.

Just Another Mood Board Monday...

Monday, January 20

Scandinavian Chic
Click on the image for individual sources.


Friday, January 17


So many people posted helpful blogging posts this week. I especially loved Victoria’s post on how to create a media kit, Roo’s post on how bloggers make money, and Elizabeth’s post on figuring out your “why” for blogging.

Erin’s bathroom plans look GORGEOUS. Those brass recessed medicine cabinets are stunning.

Amber drops a little knowledge on how to construct the perfect gallery wall.

Emily killed it this week, as usual. Check out her living room progress; I can’t WAIT to see where this room is headed. And she posted the coolest modern jewelry blocks DIY.

Julia has been all about the monochromatic outfits with one insane pop of colour. This is a trend I’m totally on board with. Check out Julia’s outfits here and here.

And lastly, this Russian mom took the most stunning photos of her boys and their pets
Seriously breath-taking.


Thursday, January 16

Ch-Ch-check it out, guys! Look what I stumbled upon in Target the other night when I was on a quest to find the new Nate Berkus collection (which doesn’t appear to be in our stores yet). These amazing cement lamp bases!
I think they’re so unique looking - I love the mix of crisp clean white and industrial cement. And at $16.99 each, they were a total steal. They’re a slight detour from my full-on office focus, as I plan to use them in our guest room, but when something you love pops up for such a good deal - it’s hard to resist and stay focused. The only issue is that none of the lamp shades they had on hand were the right shade of white. So now I’m on the hunt for the perfect white shades. Wish me luck!

Operation Office: Choosing the Rug

Wednesday, January 15

While I’m working away on this…
I’ve also been doing a little internet searching for this:
Operation Office: Choosing the Rug
As you can probably tell (uh… Vanessa, why did you post 8 almost identical rugs?), I have a pretty good sense of what I’m looking for. I want something that evokes a vintage library feel but I don’t have the funds to purchase something super authentic, like we did for our living room. I’ve been scouring Rugs USA and Overstock to find something I like for a more affordable price. The hardest part is weeding through the affordable-but-looks-cheap to find the affordable-but-looks-good. 

If you’ve got a line on similar style rugs that won’t cost me my first-born, let me know!

Colour Code

Tuesday, January 14

As I shared in this post, one of my priorities for our office is to fix the shelving situation. Our current bookcase is a little on the "rustic" side and a LOT on the small side, which resulted in a library of chaos. Not my favourite thing. I devised a little in-the-meantime fix to corral this dog's breakfast until we find a new bookcase: colour coding.
Sigh. Isn't that so much more restful?
Here's a little before and after for you:
Yes. This will do for now.
Don't judge me for owning Twilight.


Friday, January 10


Kim over at Desire to Inspire shared her awesome mudroom/pantry makeover, which looks totally doable.

I would happily (ECSTATICALLY) move into this awesome beach "shack". Imagine being on that deck in the midst of a storm?!

STUNNING folding chair makeover from Melissa.

And lastly, I’m all over this simple and edgy look from Ashley. All I want to wear are grey shirts and red lips.

Operation Office

Thursday, January 9

This is our office. Sometimes I call it the study because I like the way it sounds. In reality, it’s a square box that houses scholarly things like pencils, a computer, our degrees, and my Harry Potter books.
As you can tell, it’s not particularly attractive at present. Up until a few weeks ago, when we made it our mission to clear it out, it was more of a storage closet than an office. But now it’s office-like, with officey things – most of which will be politely removed from the situation once we find replacements. I know I shared a plan for this space awhile ago (and some of that hasn’t changed), but now that this room is our focus and changes are more of a reality, I thought I’d give it another go.

Priority #1: Chalkboard wall. I’m being selfish and making this a priority, even though it totally isn’t the most important thing to do first. But it’s the part I’m most excited about – and I think it will get the ball rolling on everything else, once we see how AWESOME it looks. It'll be the wall below.
Priority #2: Curtains. This is an actual priority. It’s actually super hard to work on the computer in the afternoon because the sun shines directly in these windows. It’s awesome, given how dark the rest of the house is (this room is the brightest in the house), but it’s also pretty much impossible to work in the afternoon without sunglasses on. So, curtains need to happen sooner rather than later. These windows are also exceptionally high, so I’m thinking standard premade curtains won’t work and I may need to make the curtains myself. I’ve wanted to try a project like this for some time, so I’m pretty excited. Likely, we’ll just do one super wide curtain that can be pulled all the way across, given how little clearance there is on the left side of the windows. I haven’t decided on fabric yet…
Priority #3: Hang those dang degrees. We worked hard for them. And they’re presently getting no respect, piled in the corner. I’m thinking they’ll go to the right of the curtains.
Priority #4: A larger desk. More specifically, a rectangular wood table. This desk is my old one and although it’s cute (and in great shape!), it’s obviously way too small for both of us. I’ve been stalking Kijiji, looking for something with the right dimensions and a dose of character. Wish me luck!
Priority #5: Whiteboard wall. This wall will be opposite the chalkboard wall, with the doorway to the living room. A whiteboard wall is the boyfriend’s request, and the only reason it has a lower priority than the chalkboard wall is because he wants to take some time and do a bunch of research on what will work best. Not all whiteboard paint actually works – so thorough research on the subject is a good idea.
Priority #6: Paint the other walls. I’m not really a beige/taupe girl. And given that we’re already painting two of the four walls and this room is fairly small, it’s a fairly simple undertaking (unlike the rest of the main floor!) I’m leaning towards a nice light cool-toned grey for the remaining two walls. I might see if I can mix the leftover paint from my old bedroom with some white.
Priority #7: Rug. Initially, I bought this rug for the office. But the office was still full of junk at that point, so we rolled it out in the dining room and ended up loving it there. So the office is in need of a rug of its very own. The boyfriend made an off-hand remark about getting another oriental rug for the office, and the idea stuck with me. I think it would make for such a great library feel. There are some really cute and reasonably priced versions on Overstock and RugsUSA – and I’ve heard positive things from other people who have ordered from them. We shall see.
Priority #8: Bookcase. Obviously, this one is overflowing. I’d like something not too fussy and not too expensive. I really love the look of industrial wire/metal bookcases in indoor spaces (rather than garages). Alaina from The Everygirl has a great one in her kitchen. I’d like to put one along the wall opposite the windows and use it to store our books, as well as a few odd objects for interest.
Priority #9: Matching chairs. Once we have the larger pieces of furniture and textiles in place, I’ll start looking for matching chairs. I imagine we’ll probably use dining chairs in the meantime. I’m not a fan of rolling office chairs, like the current one… because they’re usually ugly and the ones that aren’t are WAY out of our price range. Given that we use this room for a few hours (at most) per day, I think we can get away with nice upholstered non-office chairs. I’m leaning towards something with mid-century lines, like these or these.
Priority #10: French door. This may sound extravagant but I actually think it’ll be fairly simple. All of the bedroom doors in our house are French doors… weird, I know. They were installed before we got there and apparently someone didn’t really value privacy? Either way, at some point, we’ll be switching them out for something a little more suitable. At that point, I’d like to move one of the French doors upstairs to the office. I’ll paint the casement on the door black (it’s now a brassy gold) and possibly replace the knob with something a little more fun. The added benefit to using a French door is that because this is the brightest room in the house, a little of the light should spill out into the living room, brightening up that room as well.
Priority #11: Reading chair. This one is perfectly functional for now, but once we have other furniture in here, it may be a bit large. At that point, we may switch it out for something more suited to the space.
Whew. That was a long post. Thanks for reading all the way to the end... so what do you think of our plans now that it's office go-time?