It’s that time of year again! The time of year I walk aimlessly around the city looking at all the twinkly lights and anticipating decorating my own little blank canvas of a home. Last year, I purchased a bunch of Holiday decor because it was our first Christmas in this apartment and I wanted to take advantage of the little bit of extra space we have now. This year, I tried to re-use as much as possible and the only new things I bought were the plants for the porch and the new candle holder from Kitchen Stuff Plus (it was on sale…).
Jamie and I followed through with our annual tradition of decorating the tree while watching Sunday Night Football and I tried to make Christmas Sugar Cookies! The cookies were a success in general, but I absolutely failed on the icing front. I accidentally made the icing too thick so it was giving me a super hard time due to my tendency toward culinary ineptitude. I finally got my icing contraption to work and spent 15 minutes icing the trees. By the time that was done, I was losing patience on the snowflakes and by the time we got to the gingerbread men, I could barely motivate myself to make more than a face blob on each one. Regardless of their ugliness, they were still delicious so I count it as a flavour win, presentation fail.
UGLY: The horror-movie gingerbread monsters.
AWESOME: It’s Christmas!!! (obviously). Being in this house with twinkly lights and festive candles makes me excited about walking through my door every day. I’m pretty sure I turn on my tree lights with the same enthusiasm one would exude when meeting their puppy at the door upon returning home.
Last Weekend, Jamie and I celebrated our 8th Anniversary! It’s hard to believe it’s been so long. When people ask me how old we were when we met, I think about it in my head and then immediately discredit my memory, because clearly it’s not possible that we were THAT young when we met. But it’s true, it just surprises me every time. We met while we were both going to school for Film Production at York University in Toronto. Even though we had known OF each other since the first year of the program, we only really started talking in 3rd year. Which means that I was 19. This baffles me because I remember our relationship starting while we were mature, responsible adults, but that’s impossible if I was 19.
Jamie has been extremely busy lately so we thought the perfect getaway would be one with as little stress as possible. So, we made a simple plan which we could execute fairly close to home to reduce travel time. We found the perfect place in Niagara on the Lake called The Pillar and Post. It’s a very picturesque hotel and spa. It’s got a fantastic restaurant inside the hotel and a dreamy spa underground – it feels like you’re in a very fashionable cave.
When we arrived, the entire hotel was covered in Christmas decorations, all the fireplaces were lit, and it immediately stole my heart. The space is quaint and rustic but also kind of grand in a way. Our room was lovely and we had our own fireplace and every night, we found a new rose on our pillows.
On Saturday, we had a Charles Dickensian breakfast (I can’t explain this – it’s just how I felt about our breakfast), and I went to get a massage in the spa. The spa is all natural browns and beiges and dim lightening and tiny Christmas trees. It was heaven. I’ve also never drank so much free peppermint tea in my life. Jamie met me after my massage so we could go for a dip in the Hot Springs – it was this outdoor hot tub that’s made to look like a natural waterfall in a tropical paradise. It was probably my favourite part of the weekend. It was very private and serene and it was just so relaxing.
That afternoon, we took a trip to Megalomaniac Winery, did some tastings and then went across the street to our old favourites, Tawse Winery. Back on our 5th anniversary, we visited Tawse and I ended up loving the Tawse Riesling so much, we bought a case. This time, we did not get so carried away, but still left with some great wine. We went to dinner at The Cannery restaurant in the hotel that night – It wasn’t the 5 star food I was hoping for, but the atmosphere and service was great and I loved dressing up for a quick trip down the stairs.
Our last day there, we had another great breakfast, did a late check out, threw our bags in the car and went back in to spend another few hours lazing about the Hot Springs and the various pools and indoor hot tubs. This was nice because most people had checked out and left so we practically had the place to ourselves. On the way home, we drove through the largest full Rainbow I’ve ever seen.
UGLY: The Yorkshire pudding. This was my only complaint of the entire weekend. You can’t get a lady excited about Yorkshire pudding and then deliver a sub-par, gravy-skint hockey puck. Everything else was delicious – it will always be a mystery to me why the Yorkshire pudding was so bad.
AWESOME: Christmas festiveness, alone time with Jamie, relaxing, reading books, seeing a rainbow that obviously represents the power of our love.
Fall stuff all over my house! Fall stuff in the bathroom! Fall stuff on the porch! I want to roll around in ALL THE FALL STUFF.
So, I decorated my house for fall this week. I’ve been looking forward to it forever. However, I did NOT decorate for Halloween yet, guys. Even I have boundaries. Let the harvest have it’s moment. Then we’ll kick it into Halloween mode when it gets chillier.
Speaking of Halloween, I’m GOING TO VEGAS ON HALLOWEEN. With all the crazies! I’m so happy to be with my people! I’ll be sure to document the crap out of it, because there will be much to see, my friends. Maybe I’ll see a bunch of celebrities but I won’t even know because they’ll be in costumes. Speaking of which, costume wise, I think it’s illegal in Nevada to wear a costume that does not begin with word, “sexy”, so I’ve been trying to think of hilarious “sexy” costumes… Sexy Lobster. Sexy pumpkin. Sexy Vacuum. These things make me laugh. I think I’ll just go as the Long Island Medium.
So, on top of decorating my house this weekend, Jamie and I also dug up all our herbs and planted them in a big giant wooden bucket to be hauled inside by 7 large men for the winter time (It’s very heavy…). We also went over to Jamie’s family’s house for dinner only to find that Jamie’s mom had broken her OTHER arm and was at the ER with Jamie’s dad. That’s two arms in 1 year. Worst luck of all time. So we tried not to let her delicious meal and lovely decor go to waste and had a lovely, but bittersweet dinner. Get better soon, Nancy!
UGLY: All the arm breaking!
AWESOME: fuzzy sweaters, pumpkins, apple cider, nutmeg. red leaves, the smell of fireplace, pretty sunsets, re-using all my dollar store decorations because I’m thrifty.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to update! Now that it’s been so long since I wrote anything, I feel like I have so much insignificant/very important information to share! In an effort not overwhelm myself and my memory, below is an account of some things that have occupied my brain since my last post:
– New Year’s Eve happened! Jamie and I were in Kingston and we had a lovely dinner with Brodie and Ashley followed by dancing (specifically dance battling).
– My Mom’s Birthday! Happy Birthday mom!
– I took down all our Christmas decorations and have been having fun thinking about normal house decorating. Wish I could visit Houston – a blogger lady who I’ve been following for years just opened a new store called Biscuit full of awesome junk: www.peppermintbliss.com
I’ve been getting inspired by all her crazy colour combos.
– I cut my hair real short and bleached it all! I’ve been thinking about making a change for a while (I’ve had basically the same hair for the past several years) so this weekend I took the plunge! It’s still a teensy bit yellow (we couldn’t do the toner because my scalp was unhappy with me), so I’m going back next week to make it even whiter! Betty White will be so jealz.
– Dance class! After the break, my super friend, Kate, told me about a dance studio near both of our houses. We tried a ballet class together which didn’t work out so great (the teacher was…unstable), but since then I’ve gone to a contemporary class and a Lyrical class which I love! I’m jumping in with both feet and joining the performance class so I’ll have a recital in April. Personal goal of the year: Try to take it seriously and not make fun of it. It’s really hard, though. There’s lots of “emotion”…
– I went on an amazing Value Village shopping spree. Among other things, I bought a Cristian Dior skirt for $6 and a sweater that has a bedazzled satellite on it…probably the best thing I’ve ever purchased.
Well, I guess that’s it till next time! I’ll try to post more often and with less weirdness…
My mom bought me an electric toothbrush for Christmas which is awesome, but it does not match the stylings of my beautiful peach and blue bathroom.
AWESOME: The DIY Electric Toothbrush cover that I made out of a can of cashews…That’s right, I’m crafty!!! So proud of myself…
So, I arrived in Toronto to spend some excellent quality time with Jamie’s family and had a great few days. We went to the gym (once…), ate leftovers and terrible treats and most importantly, spent time laughing and being silly together. Jamie and I were planning on driving back to Kingston on Saturday to continue Christmasing, after Jamie’s uncle Phil had left. Come Saturday, my poor Mom and Dad called to say they were both very sick with a gross flu that EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE HAS. Jamie was also sick with the cursed disease, so we hunkered down to spend some intense lazy, restful flu-cure time inside. I made it my mission to cure him of his ailments (and I was pretty happy to be doing nothing I have to say) and we had a great day of Upstairs, Downstairs (the new one), movies, ham and eggs, leftover turkey, and chocolate chip pancakes and bacon for dinner. It was actually the best. Unfortunately, I woke up today with the exact same symptoms everyone else had before they were launched into flu time city, so although I feel OK now, I worry it’s only a matter of time before the thing takes me down. So this pause in Holiday momentum has caused my brain to think that Christmasing is over, when in fact, it will start again once we get to Kingston on Monday. So I’m considering this weird limbo my Christmas hiatus.
During this hiatus of nesting and snuggling in blankets and tea, I also spent some time thinking about the current state of my apartment decor and how pretty it is now with all the Christmas decorations. Come January, I’ll have to put all the Christmas away and go back to real life, which makes me sad and in the market for ways to spruce. I started putting together a design board for my Living room, beginning with the elements I already have and know I won’t be losing any time soon: Brown couch (although less fancy than the one on my board), brown and beige walls, exact rug, exact bookshelves, brown dresser thing and ottoman. After I stuck in the basics, I started adding little accents that I know I either already have or can get for cheap. All of a sudden, I had this cool little design board which I’ve shared with you today, because for unknown reasons, I took absolutely no pictures in the last 4 days. I can’t believe I didn’t even document the chocolate chip pancake dinner. I am ashamed.
Forgetting to take bloggy photos! Throat burn, sniffle nose.
The recent days of extreme laziness have been amazing, despite my getting ill.
Even if I don’t end up realizing my little design board dreams, I had so much fun making it, I’m going to do the same thing for my other rooms!
Going to Kingston tomorrow for continued family time and New Year’s Eve shenanigans (hopefully neither of us will be too ill for shenanigans)!
Um…did you notice my blog is snowing? It is. I’m making it happen with my Christmas magic.
This weekend I had a crafty-fun time at the One of a Kind Christmas Show at the Direct Energy center! I love seeing interesting, creative works of art and craft, even if I don’t buy anything. It always inspires me to pick up a paintbrush or a crochet hook, look at it intensely and then put it down as I slowly back away until next year’s bout of insanity.
This year, I went with Kate and Cheryl and I bought food. Some food I can’t talk about because it’s Top Secret possible Christmas presents. But if I end up eating it myself, I’ll tell you what it is. I did buy a bottle of my favourite Smokey Balsamic vinegar which I buy every year. I like to pretend it’s for making salad dressing, but mostly I just dip bread in it. IT IS DELICIOUS.
I also went to the Frida and Diego show at the AGO, thanks to Kate! I didn’t take any pictures for fear of being tackled, but I have to say I loved the exhibit. It was super inspiring, and I never realized how much I loved Frida’s work. I guess I just hadn’t been exposed to it much, but she’s just my cup of Mexican tea.
Ugly: The nasty headache/cold monster I continue to battle…so far I’ve held strong…
Awesome: A great weekend of artsy fartsy inspiration. After the Frida exhibit, Kate helped me buy paintbrushes and a piece of wood and now I’m a gonna paint me some purty pictures!
There’s not much to say here except I’ve gone Christmas Crazy and I don’t care who knows it!
I did the same thing for Christmas decorating that I did for Halloween – I perused Pinterest until my pointers were paralyzed then I tried to replicate the super expensive holiday decor at a fraction of the cost by getting everything at Dollarama. Hopefully, next year I’ll just use the same stuff from this year and my investment will pay off for the next thousand years. I can’t describe how lovely it feels to come home to a festive, warm house with twinkling lights and smelly candles. It’s the best.
The disastrous attempt at first cookie baking of the year. I accidentally read the butter wrong and put in 2 cups instead of one. I KNEW it didn’t look right!!!
My second batch of cookies which turned out lovely.
Friday night, we celebrated Emily’s birthday at Bambi’s. Lots of sweaty dancing followed by terrible snack decisions at 7 Eleven. As I recall, I ordered a hot dog and so did Celeste. When my hot dog came, I put an enormous amount of ketchup on it. Except it was hot sauce. Celeste offered to trade hot dogs so I wouldn’t have to throw mine out. But it turns out hers was not so much a hot dog but a cheeseburger rolled into a hot dog shape. For some reason, this story amuses me.
Then on Monday, Ryann and I went to West Elm in Liberty Village for a book signing. Ryann got me on to this blog a couple years ago called “Young House Love”. It’s written by a funny and endearing couple, Sherry and John Petersik and it’s all about them renovating and redecorating their house. They have a fun style which I like and their posts are full of knowledge and funny business.
While we were standing in line for them to sign our new books, the West Elm employees handed out post-it notes, telling us to write down what we wanted our inscription to say. Basically, we were only really supposed to write our names down so they would spell them correctly, but the instructions made it seem like we were supposed to write our own inscription. My inscription from Sherry and John says “Dear Caitlin, Thanks for saving us from the apocalypse. You rule.” so I think I used the situation to my advantage in the end. Anyways, it was a super fun outing with Ryann, complete with yummy dinner after a the Brazen Head and it was fun to meet bloggers in real life who you follow so frequently that you forget sometimes they don’t actually know you at all. That’s kind of my goal in life. To be internet famous enough that someone will say to me one day “I feel like I know you but you don’t know me at all”. ARE YOU OUT THERE, BLOG FAN?! I LOVE YOU!
My completely transparent desperation to have internet fans. Even just like 5 of them would be cool…
The photo of Sherry, John, Ryann and I throwing up yuppie gang signs. Dream Come True.
Although my posts on this blog have been sporadic, you can always count on me to blog about fall. I could write a novel about fall. In fact if you took every piece of text I’ve ever written about fall, I honestly believe it would be the size of a short novella.
But THIS year is different. Because I have a porch. And an obsession with interior decorating. So THIS year, I’m going to decorate my porch for fall the way a person obsessed with fall should. With bats. And pumpkins. And fake, Dollarama foliage. And I AM PSYCHED!
I officially began the fall-time enthusiasm this evening by decorating our hutch in the living room/kitchen area. Actually, it’s just a dresser, but since it lives in my main living space, I call it a hutch. So sue me. I’m also putting up some “before” pictures, because I’m so proud of my new found ability to look at something on Pinterest and then make it happen with mostly Dollar store and Value Village items.
So, here it is…My living room/ kitchen place. I hope you love her.
The unthinkable amount of things I bought from Dollarama.
How little I paid for the unthinkable amount of things I bought from Dollarama. Bring it on, PORCH!