Friday, December 22, 2017

CHRISTMAS DECOR INSIDE & OUT!

Hi. Me again! As promised, a few more sneak peaks into our holiday house for this year.

I've included a few shots of the outside too. As for the outside...well, Mr. Fix-It has free reign over how we decorate for Christmas out there. Thank God, he doesn't on the inside ;)
We call him Griswold, and I'm pretty sure he's grooming our kids to carry on his Griswold style when they have their own homes. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see how. The more lights, the bigger the decor, the better for him. Santa has a clear path to our house. Remember Olaf last year? 
He's had some friends join his party!


For the last 3 years, I've been ordering from Hammacher Schlemmer during the holidays. First year, I ordered the Countertop Wine Cooler - obviously amazing! Olaf was last year and the glowing presents for the lawn this year. The presents are really big and have a ton of mini lights in them. So pretty. Mr. Fix-It, of course was in Griswold heaven when they arrived to add to the outside decor of love.

The thing I love about Hammacher is that most of their items ship to Canada and duty free - win!! You should check them out for New Year's Eve items and entertaining gadgets.


As for the inside, here are few more ideas to share with you...








We're having a big crew over for Christmas dinner. This year, I'm thinking of paying homage to my Aunt Mary who passed away last year just before Christmas. She always had a red Scottish tartan ribbon across her table for New Year's day so this year, I'm pulling out her ribbon, her candle sticks and table cloth for Christmas day just for her.

Silver, white and a peek of gold was what I did last year.

Have a wonderful Christmas my friends. I hope 2017 has been kind to you. If it's ben a challenge, then time to close the door with a new one opening right in front of you. From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Keep it Beautiful.
xo Alicia

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

CREATING COZY CHRISTMAS SPACES

Hi guys!

5 more days! Woot. How are you feeling? Ready? Shopped? Wrapped? Baked? Yowza - for the best time of year it sure is crazy town when it comes to planning. Mr. Fix-It and I are almost there. The shopping is pretty much done and last night we started to wrap. Wrapping is a marathon in itself! Of course we ran out of paper half way, which is the Santa paper! And we know that the Santa paper has to be different than all the other paper?!?! So, I'm on a mission tomorrow night to find more, duplicate paper. The things we all do for our kids! But the magic of their belief in the big man in red is amazing and they are so.excited!!


Let's talk cozy spaces. Between now and when the kids have to go back to school, I have promised them jammie days, lazy days, movie watching days - basically total laziness. I'm so ready for it too!! While I may not be able to laze around between now and Christmas, the kids are already feeling it. With the last week of school, they're staying up later, watching tv later and just being kids at Christmas. 

So, I made this little spot in front of the fire for them to cozy up to. We have a basket of Christmas books we bring out each year and they've been hanging out here in the evenings, by the fire and reading the books, watching the tablet or just watching the fire. 

Of course, I didn't want to create any ole cozy space, I wanted it to be pretty ;) I know you want cozy pretty spaces too! Here's what I did - promise, it's simple and it doesn't need to be Christmas-y. Go with a winter feel and it will be your cozy space for the rest of the season. Super win! I really loved the stag head and cozy white pillow when I saw them. Of course on my fav site! If you're choosing multiple holiday pillows, remember to pick one that can take you through the winter season when Christmas is over. I chose this stag head pillow for that reason. 

There is something about a faux fur mini rug that makes me want to curl up and be cozy. I've had one for the past 8 years and I used to lay the babes on it after they came out of the bath. Um, total cuteness. But, it was time for a new one so I ordered this one. Love. I've laid it in front of the fire but I also drape it over chairs with throw pillows against it. It's one of those items that's versatile, adds texture and feel immediately. 

To me, in winter, you just can't get enough pillows. You want to feel snuggly. I added these pillows to the couch and chairs. 


 Here's a great tip. Look for pillow covers when the season is over and just cover the pillows right over. No one will ever know there is a Christmas pillow under there. Next year, just pull it off and voila!-instant Christmas pillow!

I'll be sharing more Christmas decor in the next couple of days. We've added to the Griswold blowups. Remember Olaf? 

Keep it Beautiful.
Alicia

Disclaimer:  I was provided some items from Wayfair that are in this post. Everything I've said here are my own words. I love Wayfair, who doesn't?   And want to share how you can continue to create fresh.fabulous.sophisticated spaces in your home. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Survival - Checking Off the List!

Happy first week of December! How are you feeling? Stressed? Ready? Honestly, this year, I'm determined to experience this month with as little stress as possible. Well, that's my goal. Have you seen Bad Moms Christmas movie yet? The original Bad Moms was better but honestly, I laughed out loud a lot watching this one. I saw it in the theatre a couple weeks ago with some girlfriends, wine in our travel mugs and it was great. What mom doesn't stress at the holidays? But really, we put this unrealistic pressure on ourselves. So, this year, I've done a few things differently.
 

The first one, I decorated early. Obviously as a home design blogger, I love to decorate for the holidays. Its my favourite. But I know you know, hauling out the Christmas boxes is an event in itself. Honestly, our house lacks storage space and Mr. Fix-It's workroom is filled with bins FULL of Christmas stuff. It's amazing how much we all store to celebrate such a short season. But, it's worth it...totally worth it. So a couple of weeks ago, mid November we brought up all the boxes, and the decorating began. It's one of those things that seems like a great idea when you start and halfway through, when the garland greenery is all over the floor and the decorations are strewn throughout the house, it seems never ending. However, the carols were on, I had my wine in hand, the kids loved decorating their faux tree in the basement with all their special ornaments and I'm a happy girl because it's one thing checked off the list of "to-dos". Now, its the first week of December and the house is shimmering and glowing with Christmas beauty. Only thing left is the tree, but we can't get it until this week or we'll be left with a naked dead tree by Christmas. Our old house is so dry, the tree would self-combust from the dry air.

I've also ordered a few more decor items online that I'm waiting to arrive to finish it all off. I'll share that post soon :) Here's a look back at the last couple of years herehere and here

So, decor done. Check. Mr. Fix-It, aka "Clark Griswald" worked on the outside last weekend with the kids. He's training them;) A few trips to the big box stores, and oh Lord, our house could be a runway for Santa's sleigh. Thank God he doesn't do the inside decor. But, the kids love it, it was great to get done before the snow hit the ground and it's another thing off the list. Check. We're waiting for one more online order to arrive and I'll share the over-the-top exterior decor in another post to come. Stay tuned.

So, on this "stress free" list, we've checked off a few things. For the bakers, have you done your baking yet? I'm not really a holiday baker but I do love the Christmas smell. 

I always do the "stove top" Christmas smell each year and only requires...easy. Let's keep it easy and simple, shall we?!

Who's travelling this year? We're staying put for Christmas but will travel to the cottage at some point. Honestly, how on earth did anyone travel with kids without Netflix? I know we didn't have it as kids but how long can you keep a kid occupied at the airport or on the road, colouring? For us, we use Netflix to save our sanity when we're driving to Toronto or at the airport. Well, let's be real, our kids watch Netflix all the time but when we're travelling...its a necessity for all involved. Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadian parents say one of their main concerns when travelling is keeping their kids entertained.



The best part is that you don't only need wifi to watch Netflix. You can download your family's fav shows. Netflix at home, becomes Netflix on the go. Amen! It's available for "Netflix originals" and you can click on "available for download" menu on the Netflix app on your phone or tablet and browse all the titles available to take with you whenever and wherever you want.

You don't need to feel like you're stuck in Litchfield from Orange is the New Black while being on a family road trip again. So, if you know you're going to be travelling with the kids this month, download all their fav shows now and it's another thing off your "to-dos". So, go decorate, get your baking done (or just create that delicious smell on the stove), download your shows and you're already ahead of the game.

Good luck guys! And when that stress level feels like it's rising, when in doubt, always have wine on hand.

Keep it Beautiful.
xo Alicia

Disclosure: Christmas is busy and can be over -the-top stressful. I'm sharing a few tips from Netflix because we all love Netflix and we all need survival during  the holidays. I'm part of the Netflix Stream Team and get perks to share ideas with you. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.








Tuesday, November 7, 2017

JUST GOOGLE IT!

Is it me, or have you noticed yourself telling your kids to "just Google it" when they have a question that you don't have the answer to. Long gone are the days that you would wander upstairs to pull out the encyclopedia (not even sure my kids know what that is) to find the answer to your detailed curiosity. In University, if someone on ICQ didn't know the answer, then you knew your answer would be found at the library- but who are we kidding...I didn't spend too much time there ;)

All the Netflix binge watching that we do has left my fam looking for answers to our questions about our favourite Netflix shows. Turns out we're not the only ones. More than ever, viewers are turning to Google to answer their kids questions that have stemmed from their fav shows. "Mummy, how far away is the moon?" This is a question I got from my baby girl while she was watching Justin Time. Ummm....well, let's Google.

I have totally gotten sucked into The Crown (ah-mazing...did you know the new season is out?). Watching it spurs so many questions about the Royal Family that honestly, I didn't care much about before. Enter in Google. The answer to all our detailed Netflix show questions. 

Does this look like your house?
What are your kids asking you when they watch shows? Have you had to Google your way through wowing them with answers?

Keep it Beautiful.
Alicia

Disclosure: I love Netflix. I love sharing all the  latest shows with you that Netflix  releases and I am part of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  Everything here are my opinions. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog.

Friday, September 29, 2017

KIDS BIRTHDAY HACKS MADE EASY!





Since I've been a little girl my parents always made birthdays feel special. You're supposed to feel like it's your day - your day to eat whatever you want, your day to feel showered with birthday surprises and make big wishes. I have vivid memories of many of the birthday parties my parents had for me, from decorating t-shirts, to popcorn cake, all the way up to spin the bottle in grade 7 - yikes!


Mr. Fix-It and I try our best to make our kids feel special on their big day. In the last 9 years, we've thrown our share of birthday parties. Of course when our oldest was born we threw a big afternoon garden party with everything matching and a whole lot of stress. I love having a matchy party but over the years I've learned that you don't need everything to match for your kids to love their party. You're kids aren't stressed about their party, why should you be? 

Netflix sent me a really cool idea that they've come up with to share with all of you. They've created 14 Birthday On-Demand Videos to surprise your little one on their birthday. You can choose from your kids' favourite characters to sing them a birthday song. I tried it out on our middle guy for his birthday and he loved it. 


Enter in stress free birthday party idea! 

Kids love tv. Kids love movies. Kids love Netflix. Honestly, they've got it right having kids' fav characters sing them "happy birthday" on their special day. Enter in stress-free for you, happy child and best parent ever!

Let me know if you wish your little one happy birthday from Netflix!

Keep it Beautiful.
Alicia
Disclosure:  I'm a proud member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.  All opinions are my own.






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