Friday, November 21, 2014

Fabulous Friday: Girlfriend love + Gift Guide Giveaways + Winner

TGIF! Have a good week? We had our first real snow fall this week in Ottawa. It was enough for the kids to wear their snow pants and make a mini snowman. The kids were super excited. Although, I love winter, I dread snow suits. I swear it feels like it takes an extra 30 minutes to get the kids out the door in the winter!

So...are you feeling the holidays creeping up? It's still early days but I heard the words "holiday work party planning" floating around the office today, I've launched Keep It Beautiful Designs' Gift Guide and it's time to seriously start thinking about holiday décor. My favourite.

I'm headed off this weekend, to be with my University besties. I've told you about them before. I love them. We've pretty much experienced it all together. This was us at the cottage about a year ago. My baby girl looks so little.

I've also shared with you that we lost Robyn (she's in the middle with the scarf on) in May. She was a beautiful friend, Mommy, daughter, sister & wife. This will be the first time that we've been away without her and it's hard to believe. It's surreal really. I'm looking forward to being with my beautiful girls and talking about our Robyn and the incredible memories we have of her.

I hope you have a great weekend. All our hubbies will be solo with the kiddies this weekend....this will make you smile.

Oh and this - Deep Dish Apple Bourbon Streusel. Put that on the holiday baking!

Next week I'll have more of this to share with you...

Also, it's time to announce the WINNER of the first contest in the Mason Jar Series - Set of 500ml Bernardin Mason Jars + Salsa Mix! The contest ended yesterday! THE WINNER IS:
LIAN WRIGHT

Congratulations Lian.  Don't forget to enter into all the contests I have going on right now for a chance to win great stuff that I love and know you will too!
Win a set of green Vintage Bernardin Mason Jars
Set of 1L Bernardin Mason Jars
$200 Gift Certficate to Nordik Spa-Nature
Family Pack (4 tickets) of tickets to Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival

Woot! Woot!

Keep it Beautiful.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

2014 Holiday Gift Guide and MORE GIVEAWAYS!!

Hey my friends!

I've got more holiday gift guide love to share with you.

This one is more for my Ottawa peeps but if you want to travel to Ottawa, then this if for you too!! What child doesn't love Disney? Mickey Mouse? Toy Story? Donald Duck? Little Mermaid?

I know my kids love all those guys and will be over the moon when I let them know we're going to see...
 
I thought this would be a great gift to give your kids to kick off the holiday season. Or, a really great gift for Grandparents to give their Grandchildren and extend it to an entire special day out.

The show is playing in Ottawa, ON at the Canadian Tire Centre on December 14th, 2014 @ 12pm, 3pm & 6pm. You can get your tix here. You can also learn more about Disney Live! here.

I also wanted to give you the chance to win a family pack (4 tickets) to celebrate the holidays!! Woot! Woot!! It's really easy to enter. The giveaway tickets are available for the 12pm show only and all kids ages 2 and up need a ticket. I'll be announcing the winner on Thursday December 4th.
Disney Live! Mickey's Musical Festival




Don't forget to enter into the other contests I have going on. You can't win, if you don't enter!
http://www.keepitbeautifuldesigns.com/2014/11/mason-jars-go-trendy-giveaway.html
http://www.keepitbeautifuldesigns.com/2014/11/mason-jar-series-homemade-pickles.html
http://www.keepitbeautifuldesigns.com/2014/11/holiday-gift-guide-le-nordik-spa-nature.html

Keep it Beautiful.




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide - Nordik Spa-Nature GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey everyone,

As promised, it's the first day of Keep It Beautiful Designs' Holiday Gift Guide.

Do you love the spa? Silly question. How about, would you love to be gifted a day at the spa? Or an evening at the spa under the stars? Surrounded by snow covered trees? Ummm, yes please!

I had the opportunity to be a guest at Nordik Spa-Nature and I thought I would share my love about it. Nestled in the entrance of Gatineau Park, Quebec (10 mins from Ottawa) is North America's largest spa. Cool eh? It has 7 outdoor baths, 8 saunas, infinity pool, restaurants and lounges. My friends, if you haven't been, it's gorg.

Nordik Spa-Nature kindly let me bring a guest too. Meet my mom. It was her birthday :) Do we look totally relaxed and sleepy?

If you have a spa lover on your list, here is the awesomeness you need to know:

We arrived at the spa around 10am (entrance to the spa is first come-first serve) and they give you your towel, robe (you can rent them for $11, or bring your own) and locker bracelet. All you need to bring is your bathing suit and acceptance of total relaxation.

We were surrounded by the gorgeous fall colours, but when it snowed today, I thought about the lucky folks sitting in the hot infinity pool, overlooking the Gatineau hills in the winter white.

I'm not sure who that guy is, but the view is pretty spectacular.

The concept is the "thermal cycle". Hot, cold, rest, repeat. The hot makes you sweat, eliminating toxins. It is recommended you stay in the hot for 7-15 minutes (depends on which "hot" you are in). The transition from hot to cold produces a thermal shock that closes the skin's pores and releases adrenalin in your body. After thermal shock, rest helps eliminate the adrenalin in favour of endorphins, which makes you oh-so-happy and relaxed. You can rest in the Adirondack chairs surrounded by a warm fire, hot stone beds, relaxation rooms, outdoor hammocks and lounge beds. Yes, I said lounge beds. Amazing.

Click here to learn about their 8 saunas. As well, they have this very cool ritual, called Aufguss in the Finlandian Sauna. Very cool.

At lunch time, we were pampered in the restaurant (FYI...you eat in your robes, all warm and cozy. Heaven) with a delicious lunch and wine. We never felt rushed, the food is magnificent and our glass was never empty. I've been to Le Nordik Spa-Nature with Mr. Fix-It before in the summer time and we sat out on the patio in our bathing suits sipping on sangria and enjoying a cheese plate in the sunshine. Every season has it's perks at the spa.

A treatment that we also experienced was unlike anything I have done before. It is called the Källa treatment.

Källa is a large salt water pool dug 5 meters deep into the rock. Filled with water saturated to 12% of Epsom salt, Källa invites you to the extraordinary experience of weightlessness in the quiet.
If you’ve ever experienced the Dead Sea, you’ll appreciate floating in Källa even more. Here, only the most carefully selected and balanced magnesium salts are used. There are two in the world, this is one of them.

Mum and I both felt that this was one of the coolest experiences we have ever had. Essentially, you feel like you are in zero gravity. At first, it was a little daunting. You go  under ground into the dark pool with changing blue, green and red lights. There are 20 floaters max at one time. This is what you see when you go down.

Yup, it's different, seeing random people floating in a dark concrete pool, in total silence. However, the experience is incredible. Marianne, our host, told Mum and I that if we didn't feel totally relaxed about letting our whole surrender to the mindless float, to go back up to the baths and try again. Honestly, it was the best advice. The first time we went down we were aware of our surroundings, the second time - zero gravity, no thoughts, no boundaries...pure timelessness. Incredible. Mum and I spent most of our time floating around in this space. I can't wait for Mr. Fix-It to try it and I really want you all to experience this zen.

Nordik Spa-Nature has some great events. Tuesdays is girls getaway, Foodie Wednesdays, Lounge Thursdays and New Year's Eve (I love a good NYE party but this is right up our alley).

Like I said, Mum and I arrived at 10am and left at 5pm. If you have someone on your list that loves a spa experience, needs some down time or looking for a romantic day/night. You should think about adding Nordik Spa-Nature to your gift giving list. Since when have you ever been able to go to a spa for the entire day for the price of Nordik Spa-Nature? Never. I've been with girlfriends, Mr. Fix-It and my mum. We've always had a wonderful time and craved for the next opportunity to go.

Here's the BEST PART!! Nordik Spa-Nature, graciously gave me a $200 gift certificate for you to win. AMAZING! Enter here:
Le Nordik Spa-Nature Holiday Contest! Win a $200 gift certificate!!

Keep coming back, I've got more great Gift Guide suggestions and GIVEAWAYS for all the holiday love.

Keep it Beautiful.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Keep It Beautiful Designs' Holiday Gift Guide Launch!

Hey there!
 
Joy to the world! Today is the official launch of....

Over the next few weeks I will be showcasing items/experiences that I think would make a fresh.fabulous.sophisticated gift for someone on your list. Many of them will have a giveaway with them so make sure you stay tuned and enter to win. Woot! Woot! You can't win if you don't enter, right?

Tomorrow marks the first holiday gift guide item. Think rest and total relaxation. See you tomorrow, you'll want to come by my friends.

Keep it Beautiful.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Mason Jars Go Trendy + Giveaway!!


Welcome to the last day of
 
We’ve talked salsa and pickles, now let’s chat other ways to use mason jars. I've had a great time cooking with these Bernadin mason jars and finding unconventional ways to use them. Last week I shared my mason jar Pinterest board with you and if you’re a regular user of Pinterest or avid home décor magazine reader, you’ll know that mason jars are oh so trending. They’re like macramé in the 70’s, everyone is doing it.

Mr. Fix-It and I have been trying to be more diligent in bringing our lunch to the office, as well as, loading up on salads. We’ve been using these large (1 litre) mason jars to hold our salad. I try to make up four of them at a time so we each have one for the day and another ready to go the next day. The benefits…lunch is made, our food is in glass containers & not plastic, a great way to use up items in the fridge, the layers look yummy and it's oh so easy.


The salad changes based on what’s in the fridge. I keep a jar of dressing at the office (oil & vinegar is my fav) and Mr. Fix-It likes his dressing free. Naked salad.

Mason jars might be trending but using them
as a vase is a classic.


                       Mason jar lighting hack. You can do it too!
 










How pretty and easy is this for the holidays? I think I may do this for my urns outside this year. Outdoor candlelight in the winter is a lovely way to welcome your guests.



When we came home from our trip South last winter, our big guy created this beach in a jar. Literally, its sand, seashells and water mixed with blue food colouring.  It was easy to do and it reminds him of the beach.


I’ve had my sewing kit (clearly an indication of how much I sew by the few spools of thread and needles I have) in a plastic baggy forever. Ghetto.

In a few easy steps, this mason jar transformed into a sewing kit. Stay tuned next week for the simple how-to tutorial.


Think this might be the next project. Mason jar soap dispenser.
Before you go, I have one more CONTEST!!!
Enter to win 6 X 1 Litre Decorative Mason Jars from Bernardin. For all your salad making, sewing kits and so much more! Don't forget the holidays are coming, I know you'll need these jars!
Don't forget to enter the other two mason jar contests also! All you have to do is leave me a comment as to what you would like to do with your new mason jars. Contest closes November 25th.
Keep it Beautiful.
 
Alicia
 
**Bernardin has graciously supplied me with the mason jars for this series.
All the content and text are all mine and my opinion. Now go enter the contest and get yourself some awesome new jars :)



Friday, November 7, 2014

Fabulous Friday!!

Hey everyone

TGIF! Hope you have a great weekend! It’s Mr. Fix-It’s birthday so we’re hitting the Ottawa Food and Wine Show this weekend. Woot! Food + Wine = guaranteed good times.

For Fabulous Friday, thought I would share a few things that I’m loving and wanted to share with you heading into the weekend….
Check out this headboard? Isn’t it oh-so-gorgeous. It belongs to my brother and his girlfriend...and their cutie pie Frenchton Penny.


The even better part of this headboard, is that my Dad made it. It’s right on trend, handmade with love and fits perfectly in their swanky TO condo. I’m trying to convince Dad to sell these beauties on Etsy. Anyone want one? I’ll take orders!

Here are a few other things that are making me smile today....
Check out this cute holiday planning calendar for  December created by crazylittleprojects.com You can head over to her blog and press print. She has a gift guide template on there also.
crazylittleprojects.com
It’s grey skies in Ottawa today…wouldn’t mind waking up in this sunny lake house


Looking for something yummy and cozy to have this weekend? I’ve shared this stew recipe with you before, it’s become one of our go-to cozy meals.

Don’t forget to enter into the two contests I have going on right now…
Mason Jar Series II - WIN A SET OF 500 ml VINTAGE GREEN MASON JARS & PICKLE MIXES


Mason Jar Series - WIN A SET of 500 ml Mason Jars & Salsa Mixes!

Amen!

On another note, I’m going to be on tv next week. Fun! Next Friday, tune into Daytime Ottawa. We are going live at 11am with repeats that same day at 2pm, 5pm and 11pm. Rogers customers can view the entire show online through Rogers Anyplace TV. I’ll be doing a segment on home design.  Now the question is, what’s a girl to wear??
It’s going to be busy on the blog up until Christmas. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve for the holidays and looking forward to sharing them with you.

Have a fabulous Friday my friends!

Keep it Beautiful.





Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mason Jar Series: Homemade Pickles

Hey guys,

It's Wednesday Yummies - Mason Jar Series today. Let's get right to it. Do you love pickles? If someone adds a pickle to the side of a sandwich or even better toothpicks it through the sandwich, I'm like butter in their hands. To me, a dill pickle is the perfect partner to a sammie.


There are lots of pickle recipes out there as well as options for how long you want to be able to store your pickles. When I made salsa last week, I chose the long method which allows you to keep whatever you have canned for an extended amount of time. This is the ideal way to can, but time consuming. This time, I chose a shorter method but the downside is that your product's shelf life is really reduced.

I also chose to use this product:

Essentially, it's all the spices you need in one. You slice the cucumbers into quarters, add the mix of spices, water and vinegar (follow directions on the back on the package) and boil. Once the mixture is boiling you pour it over your cucumber slices and wait until the mixture cools to room temperature.

Pour in the mason jars and store in the fridge. Let them get happy in there for at least a week and then dig in! This is where you can extend the life of your pickles and follow through with the steps I outlined in last week's salsa recipe. As well, if you want to store your canned food for an extended period of time, don't forget to follow safe canning practices.

If you want to use all fresh ingredients, this recipe sounds pretty delicious.

Bernardin has these time limited vintage mason jars right now that I think are pretty cool to store our pickles in.

They're looking pretty old school in the fridge.

Got pickles?

Don't forget to ENTER into the CONTEST TO WIN a SET OF MASON JARS & MIXES!
Mason Jar Series II - WIN A SET OF 500 ml VINTAGE GREEN MASON JARS & PICKLE MIXES



As you know, mason jars are trending! Next week I'll share a few ways that I use mason jars outside of canning and I've created a Pinterest board to get your inspiration moving.


Keep it Beautiful.



**My friends, everything in this post is my own. I have not been financially compensated for this post. Bernardin graciously supplied the mason jars...wasn't that so nice of them? Thank you. It was my idea to start canning and everything I've said are my own words.



 
Design by: Designer Blogs