Holiday Card Shopping with Minted!

Good Morning!

Well friends, it is now OFFICIALLY my favourite time of the year!  Cheers to the holidays!  I’m so excited to get my decorating going and maybe get working on some homemade gifts (if I can get my act together). But first up is always my holiday card shopping with Minted.  For the last 2 years I’ve ordered my cards from Minted, and this year will be no different. I have nothing but great things to say about the selection and quality of their cards, not to mention the service.

Minted Holiday 5

If you don’t know Minted they are a design marketplace that uses  technology to allow consumers to discover great independent artists who may not have access to traditional retailers. They source creative content from a global community of independent artists, then sell the best content in the form of art, home décor, and stationery to people like you. Minted has been holding art and design challenges monthly since April 2008 which are open to anyone for both submission and voting, and so products sold are essentially curated by the Minted community itself!  I love this concept.

Minted Holiday 2

I love sending and receiving holiday cards but let’s be honest, it can be time consuming especially when it comes to addressing the envelopes. One of the best features of Minted holiday cards is that they offer free custom envelope addressing. If you have your contacts on your computer, you can just export them to excel and upload them to your account and they are there for whenever you order cards!  Then you get all your envelopes pre-printed with addresses in the design you choose!  You can also choose to order return address labels! The holidays are already jam packed with things to do, so these time-saving features are a lifesaver.

Minted offers a variety of beautiful photo-cards as well as non-photo cards with a variety of paper and printing options. Foil, letterpress, luxuriously thick or fancy glossy paper, the choice is yours. But one of the coolest options Minted has launched this year is their Completely Custom Cards. Do you have an adorable holiday picture that your kids or nieces and nephews have drawn for you?  Well, you can have holiday cards made with that on the front!

Minted Holiday Your Drawing as a Holiday Card foil (1)

Minted Holiday Your Drawing as a Holiday Card - LP 2

So awesome, right?  And it doesn’t have to be kids art! Maybe you want to use a drawing or sketch you’ve done. The possibilities are endless.  You can also have these masterpieces made into Completely Custom Art Prints which would make great Christmas gifts.

custom Art

Now the idea of me posing by myself for a holiday cards feels a smidge on the awkward side (no one want to see me with a Santa hat on the front of card) so I typically go for the non-photo cards. Here is the card I ordered last year….

minted 2

I haven’t ordered my cards yet for this year (thank goodness they have an express shipping option for many of their cards!) but these four are definitely contenders!


Which one do you like best?  Again, I cannot say enough about my experiences with Minted.  As example of the great customer service they provide, last year the address on my return labels was cut off.  So, I simply used their online chat option (which was so easy and awesome) to let them know about the error and I had new corrected labels at my door in 24 hours! Needless to say that made me love them even more.  And even if you already have your holiday cards covered, they have so many unique gift ideas throughout their site, so check it out! Have a great day!


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Disclaimer: In exchange for writing this post I was provided with Minted product. However, all opinions are my own and are based on my excellent past experiences with Minted.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments

Good Morning!

It’s been oh soooo long since I’ve posted.  When you have a ton going on and only 24 hours in a day, something’s gotta to give.  Lately it’s been the blog.  However, I managed to squeeze in some time to share a great low cost DIY holiday gift idea. I know that for me as the holiday parties and gatherings approach and I see all the festive, sparkly clothes and shoes, I just want to buy new clothes and shoes for every event.  Not realistic budget wise, and let’s be honest, there are very few occasions to wear the green sequined dress or  super blinged out shoes so it’s not all that practical either.  Today I’m sharing a quick and easy way to add some inexpensive drama to your outfit with DIY holiday shoe embellishments.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments - 2_edited-1

We all have 1 or 2 (or 20) pairs of plain heels. And yes, any heel adds something to an outfit. But for party season why not add something and make them stand out?  And it’s SO easy.

All you need is:

1) Clip-on earring backs (I got mine at Michaels)

2) Button backs (optional)

3) Glue gun

4) Feathers, faux rhinestones, beads or whatever embellishments you to add.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments - 3_edited-1

 Step 1:  Take the clip-on earring back and glue on the button back. The button back is optional, as you could just use the flat part of the earring back, but I wanted a slightly larger surface area for mine.

Step 2: cut and and glue on the feathers in a circular pattern on the base.  I used finer end part of the feather for these but you could use any part of the feather.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments - 5

 Step 3:  Glue on your rhinestones/beads to the center in whatever pattern you want.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments - 4

Step 4: Clip on to you shoes!

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments - 6 copy

This simple accessory adds so much flair to a regular shoe! And it only costs a few dollars to make dozens of the them! You also could use them on flats or sandals if you wanted.  And there are so many options for things to them embellish with that you can easily customize them to any ladies on your gift list.

DIY Holiday Shoe Embellishments

You could also make cute ones for kids shoes. And they make a great gift for a Secret Santa that has a low price limit.  So many options!  And if you want to find other great handmade gift ideas, search the hashtag #CDNHandmadeHoliday on your social media feeds.


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Halloween and New Projects

Good Morning!

Happy Halloween!  I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but Halloween has never been my favourite holiday. I’ve never been into scary.  Scary movies, scary stories….nope, not my thing.  Plus, for me it gets in the way of Christmas, and if you’ve ever read my blog your know that I’m obsessed with the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do totally understand the excitement of getting dressed up in costume, but thinking up a good costume idea is always stressful for me.  I don’t always carve a pumpkin at home since my entrance is in the back of the house and and so I don’t get trick or treaters.  However, my company does a pumpkin carving contest every year which is really fun.  This was our teams’ submission this year….

Halloween and New Projects - Pumpkins - Copy Our CEO’s name just happens to be Bert, and one of our EVPs’ name is Ehren so we just did a bit of a name change to add some humour to our submission.

As for tonight, due to some other commitments I have this weekend as well a project deadline, I’ll be spending my Halloween night giving these gorgeous mid-century Danish designed dining chairs (+4 more) a new look for a client.

Dining Chairs

And starting promptly next week, I’ll be starting another new project for another client….


These two darlings are OLD, and will require some major work, but the frame is in great condition and the shape/curves are awesome.  Can’t wait to see them finished.

Have a lovely Halloween!


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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas – Etsy Round-Up

Good Morning!

Hey, remember me?   It has been whirlwind this last couple of weeks with 2 client project on the go and my recent trip to BC for my childhood best friend’s wedding and I’ve been suffering from some jet-lag since I returned. But I’m a bit more myself today so I’m sharing a little round-up of some Mother’s Day gift ideas from Etsy.  Now I will admit that although all these gifts could be great for any Mom, most of these gifts are inspired by things I think MY lovely Mother would enjoy or find useful.  Go with what you know, right?

Etsy Mother's Day Gift Ideas

1.  If your Mom is a gardener how about these super cute Leather Gardening Gloves? And they are washable!

2.  I can’t think of a better way to represent a Mom’s tireless love and care than with a pretty piece of jewelry  with the infinity knot, like this  Infinity Knot Gold Filled Bracelet.

3. I really like the style of this hanging planter/basket with a hand spun copper & brass bowl.  This one might be a bit modern for my Mom but she might like to use it outside and let it get that rustic patina.

4.  There have been a few times my Mom has suggested a book she has that she thinks I would enjoy, only to realize that she has lent it to someone.  In these cases, she either doesn’t remember who she lent it to or she knows but hasn’t gotten it back yet.  Enter this set of library book cards that you can put inside your books reminding those that have borrowed it to return it.

5. My mom (and often my dad) are perpetually looking for their glasses.  If your mom has the same tendency to misplace her glasses, this magnetic eyeglass holder that you just attach to your shirt is a great practical gift!

6. What Mom doesn’t love a nice tea towel. And this Coastal Cottages tea towel is lovely, and just a little different from your standard tea towel.

I hope this gives you some good ideas for your Mom this year!

Have a lovely day!


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Valentine’s Day Outfit

Good Morning!

Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all.  This isn’t a holiday I would say that I actively observe , nor do I have anything particularly exciting planned for the day (unless eating cinnamon heart until my tongue bleeds can be considered “plans”). However, since the day is here and I figure there is no way to totally ignore it I’ve put together a V-day themed outfit for a casual Friday at work.

Valentine's Day

(Click on the image above to see all the sources on my Polyvore page).

Distressed jeans are back, and I’m a fan of the trend.  Those flats are very pretty, and even a V-day cynic like me can admit that the heart sweatshirt just screams cute and fun.  I mean a girl can dress the part even if she’s not feeling the vibe, right?  Yes she can.

I hope you all have a great day full of love, (and more importantly) candy and chocolate!


Magical Christmas Lights

Good Morning!

I’ve been trying to pin down what is the part of Christmas decorating makes it so magical.  I mean I pretty much love all holiday decor but I think the lights are probably the thing that makes it special.  Sure you can use lights all year round but only during the holidays can you wonder around a town or city and see so many homes, stores and parks sparkling through the darkness.  Here are some photos of holiday lights that I found on pinterest this week that gave me that warm fuzzy feeling I often have this time of year.

lights copy Clockwise from top left:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6, 7, 8, 9, 10

I’m now off to my last day of work before I head back to New Brunswick for the holidays. Have a lovely last weekend before Christmas!


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SMACK: The Ultimate Christmas Candy Recipe

 Good Morning!

Today is a big day at Recreated.  I’m sharing what might be the BEST recipe for any person to have in their holiday cooking repertoire.  And I don’t say BEST in a flippant way.  I actually mean it.  This is a recipe my mother has been making forever. She has always called it Christmas candy but when she started sending it to me in university and my friends tried it, we started calling it SMACK.  Because it is addictive. Addictive like a drug. Smack is so delicious, it is almost impossible to just have one piece.  It tastes a bit like a homemade Skor bar, but is way better than a Skor bar.  Today I’m sharing this killer recipe.


WARNING:  The ingredients are not healthy.  They are perhaps the very definition of unhealthy…..but together they make magic…


1 Pound (2 cups) of butter

2 cups of white sugar

1/4 cup of water

2 tbsp of corn syrup

1 1/2 cups of chopped blanched almond

6-8 squares of semi-sweet chocolate

1/2 cup of ground almond


Candy thermometer (IMPORTANT!)

Large heavy saucepan

2 large cookie sheets (preferably rimless)

Double boiler (of some kind)

wooden spoon

soft brush (bbq brush or similar)

Step 1: Toast your almond pieces until just starting to brown. This time I used the almond slivers because I couldn’t find any blanched whole almonds, but I definitely prefer the roughly chopped whole almonds for this recipe.


Step 2:  Melt butter in the large saucepan under medium to high heat.


Step 3:  Incorporate sugar then water and then corn syrup.  Put in your candy thermometer. Make sure that the end of the thermometer isn’t sitting on the bottom of the pan as it will spike the temperature on the thermometer and give you a false reading.

Step 4: Let it cook to a temperature of 290 degrees or “Hard Crack”.  It is very important that you take it off exactly at Hard Crack, no earlier and no later.  If you take it of too soon, it will be like toffee and will get stuck in everyone’s teeth.  If you leave it on too long it will get really sugary and crumbly.


Do not stir vigorously, just slowly pull the wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan, more frequently as the liquid heats up. While it’s cooking you will see the liquid change colour and consistency.  It starts off yellow and thin and by the end will be be brown(er) and thick.


You will find that it will take time to get from 200 to 250 but after that it tends to shoot up to 290 really quickly so have your almonds and pans ready.

Step 5: When it hits 290, remove from heat, pour in your almonds, do a quick stir and then immediately pour onto the 2 baking sheets.  Smooth out as quickly as you can until it looks sort of like this.


Step 6:  Put the baking sheets either outside (if it’s cold) or in the freezer for about 10 – 20 minutes.  In the meantime, chop up your chocolate squares and melt it in your double boiler.


Step 6:  Bring in your baking sheets and brush a layer of chocolate over top of the candy and sprinkle with the ground almond.


Step 7: Put it back outside for a few minutes until the chocolate dries. Then bring it back in and flip it over.  If you are lucky it will flip over in 1 or 2 big pieces (but it often it breaks into many).  Repeat step 6 (chocolate and almond) on the other side.  Put back outside.

Step 8:  Break it up into small pieces and ENJOY!



It is the perfect thing to bring to a party as a hostess gift.  Everyone loves it.  And it’s also great for a holiday cookie exchange because one batch makes so much.  Overall, it is just awesome.  Crazy awesome. And then some.  You are welcome.

Also, if you  haven’t yet entered to win these fabulous earrings from Her Pretty Bird jewelry on Etsy….get your booty over here to get yourself entered!

Enjoy your SMACK.  (I’m sorry in advance for enabling your addictions.)


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Holiday Decor and Annual Christmas Lunch

Good Morning!

It was a busy weekend with three different Christmas gatherings as well as some holiday cooking on the agenda.  I also have finally managed to take a few shots of my Christmas decorating.  Here is a little snippet of some of the festive prettiness around my place.

christmas decor copy

The shimmery goodness in the top picture was a mini DIY project made from three white gourds that STILL weren’t old and rotten even though I’ve had them since October! I spray-painted those bad boys gold and set them up with some greenery in margherita glasses.  Instant loveliness.  And the picture second from the bottom shows off my new “Merry & Bright” print from SS print shop.  Awesome.

On Sunday I went to the annual Christmas lunch that my friends and I have.  There was good food, eight kids between the ages of 0 and 4, and Santa. My friends Sam & Pete hosted the party again this year, which is a feat considering Sam is 8 months pregnant AND they only returned from a week-long vacation Saturday night!  I tell you, this woman is a machine.  Anyhoo, here is a little looksie at the fabulous food we all put together.

christmas lunch copy

On the menu were the most luxurious make-your-own sandwiches using with delicious beef tenderloin and beef brisket, and some yummy salads .  The dessert highlight had to be the adorable Santa hat cupcakes. Delicious meal.

And then came the favourite part of the Christmas lunch….when one of of the Dad’s dresses up as Santa Claus (they rotate) and they bring all the kids little gifts.  Of course there are always a couple of kids who aren’t keen on Santa which results in tears but this year’s the reaction to the the jolly fat man?  It could be best described as an all out revolt.  The majority of kids were in tears the moment he got the bottom of the stairs.  I wish I had more pictures of some of the good moments with Santa but these are what the majority of my pictures look like.


Now, this in no way is a reflection of the performance of Santa himself (Geoff you did a great job), but let’s be honest to a 2-3 year old a big fat man in a red suit who is loud, has jingle bells and is a complete stranger (as far as they know) is kinda frightening.  There is also a video of Santa’s arrival in which the ensuing choas was described by one of the parents as being “like a bomb went off”. I was going to post the video, but I decided not to as it might make you re-think having a Santa at your holiday party ever again.  The best/worst part about the video is you can make out the not so faint sounds of laughter in the background as so many of us adults were unable to keep a straight face during this seemingly traumatic event. Of course it was highly sympathetic laughter.  One thing is for sure, I now have a lot more respect for the mall Santa.


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Unexpected Holiday Traditions

Good Morning!

We all know and love many of the holiday traditions that come with this time of year, but you might be surprised to hear of some of the traditions that are practiced in other countries.  Today I’m sharing some of the more random traditions that I have found from around the world.


For many in Japan the traditional Christmas dinner is KFC.  Yep. It is popular that you have to make reservation in advance at a KFC if you want to go.  Really?  I guess Colonel Sanders does resemble Santa Claus a little….


Czech Republic

This one is right up my alley.  On Christmas Eve day  single women perform a ritual of standing in front of a door and throwing a shoe over her shoulder.  If the shoe lands with the heel closest to the the door she will not marry in the coming year.  If the shoe lands with the toe closest to the door she will get hitched.  I’m totally doing that this year, someone remind me.


photo via


In the capital of Caracas, all roads are closed on Christmas Eve morning so residents can roller-skate to mass!

photo via


In Norway it is believed that witches and evil spirits will rise from the graves on Christmas Eve and steal brooms from houses in order to fly through sky and cause terror and chaos until morning.  As such, it is tradition for people to hide their brooms on Christmas Eve.


And finally for the strangest of the traditions….in the principality of Catalonia, it has become customary to decorate the traditional nativity scene with an extra character, known as El Caganer, also known as “the pooper.”  Traditionally the ceramic figure has been that of a shepherd,  however modern El Caganer come in a range of pop culture personalities as you can see below.












Photos via and via

Hopefully you were as enlightened and amused as I was but these wacky traditions.  But who knows, perhaps in some of these places caroling may seem a bit weird. You can read about other holiday traditions here and here.

Have a great day!


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Community Christmas Tree with a Twist

Good Morning!

I came across this image and story from Designboom when I was perusing Apartment Therapy recently and I just had to share.

You all know I love a making old new again story.  Well,  this is the ‘taste tree’.  Created by the design duo Mooz this tree is found in the main square in Hasselt, Belgium. It is a 9 ft Christmas Tree sculpture made out of of 5000 crockery items that have been donated by the local residents.

all photos via Design Boom

Not only is it amazingly cool, and highly creative alternative to the typical holiday decor but the community gets to really feel a part of the result.  You can read more about it here.  It is pretty amazing what can happen when people think outside of the box.  Have a great Friday!


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