Wishing You A Merry Christmas

Wishing all my faithful readers (thanks for being there on the sidelines) a very Merry Christmas! May your holidays be blessed and full of joy! Thank you for your comments and encouragement throughout the year. I am grateful you are here despite my sporadic posting. I am feeling a bit more encouraged and inspired in the decor department and am hoping to have some things to post about! Hard to post when you aren't inspired. No sense in boring you with recycled images and "filler" posts. 


I am looking forward to having a full house, enjoying TWO WEEKS OFF, and rejuvenating my mind and soul.

I hope that you will be able to do the same.

See you next year!


I'm Featured on Etsy!

Stuck on gift ideas? 
There are only 16 days left till Chrismas. Eek! I haven't even begun. But if you feel like giving a bit of handmade, then keep reading!

It was a thrill to be asked by Etsy Canada if I wanted to participate in Etsy International's DIY Advent Calendar! Yours truly's DIY is up today, featured on several international Etsy blogs! 
If you want to read it in English, check it out on Etsy UK.

My DIY is an oldie that was up-cycled and revamped! So be sure to check it out. While you are there you can browse the previous 8 days worth of Christmas inspired DIY!

If you want to brush up on your foreign languages, you can pop over to Etsy Germany

XO Barbara

Get Your Baking On

With report cards behind me (woot, woot!), my next few weeks planned for my class and my house almost decorated for the holidays, I am ready to start baking!

Style at Home is running their annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Swap where you can possibly win a Kitchen Aid Mixer! 

I already have one, but would LOVE to win one for my sister. Wouldn't I be simply amazing if I gave her one for Christmas? Kidding aside, I love my sister and she works so hard to feed her family. My niece has an enormous amount of food sensitivities and my sister slaves to make sure her food tastes good and is balanced. On top of that my sis struggles with her own food sensitivities that are different than her daughter's. I think this mixer would be a perfect pick me up for her and to help her with her food prep!

So I am digging out my recipe cards this weekend, and going to get my baking on with hopes to win that red beauty!

Any baking plans for you? Any go-to holiday cookie recipe you love?

XO Barbara

Holiday Gift Guide: Posterjack

One of my favourite gifts to give is framed photos or photo art for Christmas. I know the grandparents LOVE getting photos of the family and a perfect way to give photos is all framed and ready to hang.

Posterjack came to the rescue this holiday season, giving me the opportunity to show to you some gift ideas that I would choose to create using their site. For those who aren't familiar with Posterjack, they are an online photo art shop, where you can take your personal photos and turn them into something personalized like a gallery wrapped canvas, poster, photoboard, acrylic or metal print, even a peel and stick photo!

I chose to create a wrapped canvas using one of my husband's Instagram photos that he took, to give it to him as a gift. 


My hubby is quite bike obsessed and lives on his bicycle when the weather is fair. He loves to document his rides with Instagram and this was one photo that I really loved. Using their site was really easy. You simply choose the product, upload you photo, crop and buy! 

Easy, peasy.

The second gift idea I chose were framed photos. The grandparents were long overdue in receiving an updated family photo, especially since my kids are now taller than me! Yikes! 

Posterjack offers framed photos too, which come all assembled! How easy is that?

All you need to do is hang them! 

(Yup, that is me, the shorty in the middle - and I am not that short either - 5' 9")

The delivery time was speedy. Had my gifts within a week of ordering. What is best, they are Canadian!!!! Yes, no duty charges or long shipping times. Perfect for us Canucks.

Head over to Posterjack and get creating a one-of-a-kind gift!

XO Barbara

Holiday Decorating: Living Room

This past week I managed to get a bit of holiday decorating done in my living room thanks to Home Depot Canada. The asked if I'd like to zhush up my holiday decor with some goodies from the newest Martha Stewart holiday collection. Of course! Being a bit bored with what I have stored away, I could use something a bit different. The hard part was deciding which direction to go. I have to admit I made a few trips to the store because I couldn't decide! There was oodles of pretty to choose from but I went with what caught my eye right away, choosing a bit from several of the holiday collections. What I loved the best was that what they offered at the store would mix perfectly with what I already had at home.

 I fell in love with the mercury glass style trees and owl. Using the mercury glass figurines as my jumping off point, I then grabbed the silver glitter bottle brush style trees, the mini glass gold ornaments, and the medium and large sized ornaments, to add glitter and glam to my living space.The faux berry wreath and grapevine reindeer also came home with me. You can't go wrong with mixing rustic with glam, and I loved the combination on my fireplace mantle.

After a minor setback (broke one glass tree and had to go back to get a replacement) I am thrilled with how it all came together. Holiday decorating at our place is subtle. Since I don't have a lot of time lately to make garland, or DIY an ornament wreath, I just fill up vases, bowls and lanterns with ornament balls. It is quick and easy yet a fabulous way to add a bit of holiday sparkle. I am all OVER quick and easy these days. 

 (Yes, I still have those darn pleather Parson's chairs - don't judge me)

I bought the little reindeer to be a little buddy to the big reindeer I already had. Aren't they cute? 

Nothing is easier than filling your outdoor lanterns will baubles. Using the mini glass ornaments, mixed with the medium sized ones and a few of my own red ones for a pop of colour, they give a bit of holiday glam to my front door.

Who would have thought that such elegant things could be found at Home Depot? But make sure you pop in soon, as the collection is selling like hotcakes!

What I used:

Now I need to decorate the rest of my house!

XO Barbara

Holiday Gift Guide: Saatchi

If money were no object around my house, I would LOVE to purchase some original art. I have a few small pieces picked up from street side vendors when I visited Paris and Prague. Hanging on my walls is some originals created by my own children. My one daughter even has her own online shop (it is temporarily closed) where she sells her original paintings. Watching her pour her heart into her art, I can appreciate the emotional energy an artist puts into his or her work.  

Want to get lost and gaze at original paintings online? I recently discovered Saatchi, an online gallery of original art featuring artists from all over the planet. The fabulousness of this website is that some artists offer prints of their work - which I think is brilliant, as you can have one-of-a-kind art hanging on your walls at a fraction of the price! It is a great way for artists to be discovered and you to discover art that you love!

Here are some of my favourites:

Happy Browsing. Trust me you will get lost in all the creativity.

XO Barbara

Popping In

Popping in to say hello. Yes, I know, my last post was saying hello too. I have had a few stressful family issues take place this month, ones I don't care to divulge but lets just say parenting isn't always easy. On the plus side, last weekend I managed to fly out and visit my oldest baby who is in her second year of university. Her dad and I are so proud of her. I loved staying in her little suite (sleeping on the floor - which was fun!) and taking her grocery shopping to stock her pantry up. It is such a joy to see your child growing up, maturing, and creating a life for themselves.

Her dad and I also helped her buy a car! I enjoyed being there when she got the keys. Buying the car was a stressful and hilarious ordeal at the same time, since we don't live in the same town as she does. Lucky for us, our daughter attends university near where my husband grew up and there is family around. We asked my father-in-law to help (he seems to LOVE the thrill of the car hunt) but it became a WHOLE family affair, with every brother-in-law and sister-in-law consulted in the process. So glad she has wheels now and can get to work and her activities safely.

This past weekend was a busy one. I am excitedly working with several brands for some upcoming holiday projects and gift ideas! Can't wait to share.

And I am getting more annoyed with the state of my home on a daily basis. I don't care if we might be buying a home in the near future (still haven't found one we like at a price WE are comfortable paying), I am going to clean the carpets, buy new rugs and PAINT. It will be slow, since I don't have time weekdays. But I am just SICK and tired of the ugly. Can't wait for the holidays to be done, so I can make a few decor changes once life settles.

Enough of the sap....

Be sure to pop by in the next while.

XO Barbara


Hello!! Hello? 

Anyone still reading this blog? 

No, I did not fall off the face of this earth, just wrapped up in life. Teaching kindergarten has taken over my LIFE! I really do enjoy kindergarten! Where else can you turn everything into a song and they all start to sing along with you? I love the energy, the hustle, the bustle, and the creativity. But is SUCKS the life out of me! Those kindy kids are exhausting. If I don't watch them like a hawk, someone's hair will get cut, stuffed animals will go flying, little pumpkins get squashed and paint will spill. 
I keep wanting to work on a few projects around the house, but by the time the weekend comes I am pooped. Oh, and several glasses of wine later, and I am glued to the sofa. 

I love how many of you still stick with me, even though I am become a bit boring. 

Thanks. Love you.

Moul Falls in BC. Our family had fun running underneath the falls. What a thrill!

I do have a few pillows that I am going to whip up...soon! A piano to paint. A house to re-paint. And how I would LOVE to sell some furniture on Craigslist and start again. So bored...yawn.

And I am excited to be working on a few projects with a few brands for the upcoming holiday season!!!! Woot woot!

Fingers crossed I can cough up a few blog posts to keep y'all entertained in the next few weeks.

XO Barbara

Monday Blues..... and White!

Being a lover of blue and white, especially ceramics and anything chinoiserie, it is only natural I decorate my home with bits of blue and white. If I had a generous decorating budget, more blue and white chinoiserie ceramics would find their way into my home! A few ginger jars and Asian drum stools would be really nice.

My love affair for blue and white china began when both my grandmothers started collecting Czech "cibulak", Blue Onion china for me when I was young. Even after all those years, I am in love!

As  part of The Pink Pagoda Blue and White Bash, I am sharing snippets of my home where blue and white has taken up residence.

A Pink Pagoda print, which I simply adore. She creates some fabulous art pieces. I think I need a few more :)

There you have it. Not much, wish I had more. But I am keeping my eyes open every time I hit the thrift shop or Homesense. Homesense had a great collection about 18 months ago, and I kick myself for not buying more. The prices were so good. 

How about you? Are you a fan of blue and white?

XO Barbara