Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Home Tour

Well my friends, it's better late than never. I've been wanting to show you what I've been up to in the house for a couple of weeks now. Talk about cutting it close! Are you ready for the big day? I think we're finally ready and we're actually having a party tonight. It's a caroling party. A great way to be with our family and friends, sing some carols through the neighbourhood and share some bevvies and yummies.

Here's what it looks like at our house this year. I wanted to bring in lots of fresh greenery but still have some glam. Can't take the glitter out of this gal :)



Tis the season to eat shortbread, drink one too many cocktails and steal a kiss under the mistletoe.

From my family to yours...

Merry Christmas!

Keep it Beautiful.


Hi guys! Remember me? I'm sorry I've been MIA. I've been trying to stay afloat, like all of you, making my list and checking it twice! Phew! I've been on maternity leave so much in the last few years that I forgot how to manage my holiday schedule and work a full time office job. I'm sorry to have abandoned you all. I had so many holiday plans, crafts and décor to share with you but this year, I just couldn't produce fast enough with the amount of hours in a day. Being better organized is definitely one of my 2015 goals. I digress.

However, I know you have all been waiting to hear the winner of the fab Holiday Gift Guide Nordik Spa Giveaway

This is a fab prize. $200 gift card to Nordik Spa-Nature. If you've never been, you can hear about my experience here and it's a must if you live in the Ottawa area or are here for a visit. So fantastic for the soul.

This has been the most popular giveaway on Keep It Beautiful. Thank you all for entering. Keep entering into the contests when you see them.


BRENDA MCNALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Woot! Woot! Congratulations Brenda. I hope that you will find some time during the holiday season or the New Year to visit Nordik Spa-Nature and enjoy all the relaxation it has to offer.
Well my friends, again I apologize for missing two weeks of what feels like one of the most important times in a home design & lifestyle bloggers year...the holidays! I remember when I worked in the magazine industry for a short period of time, we started our holiday edition in August. I'm thinking next summer, my brain is going to have to start going there. Yikies.
I won't leave you completely hanging. I have a little bit of a Christmas house tour to share with you sometime later this morning :)
Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Get Your Holiday On! Mickey Goes Live & Gorgeous Kids' Craft

Hey guys,

Have a good weekend? Less than two weeks away till the big day. Crazy eh? I’m starting to feel the crunch of getting it all done. However, when I told that to Mr. Fix-It, he told me to chill out and relax. He’s right. Why get yourself all stressed out when the holidays are supposed to be about fun and relax? Taking that idealist thought and pairing it with reality, my mantra this week is to keep it all easy and simple. You should do it too.
And, when easy and simple feel like they’re flying out the window, just have a glass of wine and magically easy and simple come flying back in ;)
So, yesterday we had a great day with the kids. We took them to see Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival.

It was part of my Holiday Gift Guide this year. We told the boys in the morning that we were giving them an early Christmas present and they were super excited! What kid doesn’t want to see all their favourite Disney characters singing and dancing right in front of them?!
We had a blast. The show was only in Ottawa yesterday, but here is the schedule for upcoming shows across Canada and the US. We had a blast, it’s a great day to spend with your minis.

If the show is coming to your city soon, you should go. Our kids were so happy, they danced and it was a really fun way to hang out on a Sunday afternoon. They both said they want to go again so we’ll be looking out for future shows and I’ll let you know when I hear of any.
After the show I had a little craft planned for the boys. It's really easy, they turned out gorgeous and they were so proud of them. Keep it in mind if your minis are looking to do a Christmas craft for your tree.

Isn't that ornament beauty? Here's what you need:

- Clear plastic balls (available at Walmart/Michaels)
- Glue
- Sparkles
- Paint


Just let your minis do as they please. My guys wanted to paint them first and then add sparkles. You can also just add drops of glue and get your sparkle on.

We had an extra plastic ornament so we added real sprinkles. How cute is this?

A few crafty supplies and you have a great way to spend some time getting your holiday on and adorable ornaments for your tree.
Keep it Beautiful.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Heads Up! It's Monday Holiday Decor

Hope you had a great weekend! It was busy around here with holiday decorating and tree hunting. Mr. Fix-It strapped our tree to the roof and it's still standing in our living room waiting to be decked out and lit. I feel like our house has exploded Christmas decorations all.over.it which would be great if they were all up. Right now it's just a bunch of boxes and randomness on the dining room table. Ugh. My goal is to have them all up by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

I did get to a few things. Here's a peek at the bookshelf in our breakfast room:

I picked up this cute Christmas duct tape at the dollar store and wasn't sure how I wanted to use it.

While decorating the bookshelves I thought I would give the tissue box a little holiday makeover. A few wrap-arounds of the duct tape and VOILA...pass the tissue!

Want to know who the winner was of the family pack (4 tix) to see Disney Live! Mickey's Music Festival? Drumroll please...

Woot! Woot! Congratulations! Enjoy the show. Thank you all who entered into the contest. As part of this year's gift guide there is still time to enter in to win a $200 gift card to Le Nordik-Spa Nature. It's an amazing prize! Only a few days left to enter.
I have something really fun to tell you. Tomorrow I'll be back on TV with Daytime Ottawa.
I'll be doing two segments. The first is on how to decorate a holiday table and the second segment is showing viewers how to create a beautiful holiday urn. You can tune in tomorrow for the live show at 11am or repeats at 2pm, 5pm & 11pm. If you don't live in Ottawa but have a Rogers account, you can view the episode at Rogers Anytime TV. I'm really excited!
Happy Monday my friends!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fabulous Friday!

Happy fabulous Friday!

Hard to believe that Monday is December 1st! I'm reminding you here...don't forget your Elf on the Shelf!! Do you have your elf buried in the Christmas box? Stuffed in the cupboard? Here's where our elf has been hanging all year...in my sock drawer! Sorry for the grainy photo, it's dark in that drawer.
 Random and no idea why it's there, but I'm reminded every time I go to look for socks. Mary (that's her name), peeks out at me...reminding me that I can't forget to bring her out this Sunday in anticipation of her arrival Monday morning. Honestly, haven't we all been here so many times?
There are some amazing elf ideas out there. You can check out my Pinterest board that I've created for ideas.
Also, it's Advent Calendar time. Along with the chocolate calendars, you can make your own. They're easy and the kids love them. Here is an idea that I did last year. I'm definitely whipping out those linen bags again this year!
Last weekend, my kiddies donned their Santa hats and decorated my parent's Christmas tree. Cute eh?
You can't rock around the Christmas tree without any holiday music love. We're loving our Bluetooth speaker right now. It's small, packs awesome sound, has awesome distance and so easy to work. It's not officially part of my gift guide but it's an awesome product that I wanted to let you know about it in case you're looking for a super cool gadget to give. Ours is the Monster Superstar High Definition.

Speaking of rockin' around the tree. Here's a playlist with some of our favs for your #soundsoftheholidays

Next week I have another gift guide giveaway. Think snow, think speed, think toy, think fun!
Also, don't forget to enter in to my current giveaways. Only days left to enter!!
Have you decorated your tree yet? I noticed some of the tree lots had their trees in. Yeah baby!
Have a great weekend friends.
Keep it Beautiful.

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:

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!

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.

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