hello holiday A G U I D E F O R Y O U R H A P P Y H O L I D AY H O M E
hello holiday! 5
FROM OUR FAMILY, TO YOURS
THE WARMEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE Living Rooms
HOMIER FOR THE HOLIDAYS Joanna’s living Room
WHERE THE HOLIDAYS REALLY HAPPEN Kassandra’s Living Room
LEON’S SOFA PICKS
WHAT’S INSIDE COUNTS Thalita’s Living Room
GIVING A LIVING ROOM Lucy’s Parents’ Living Room
A RECIPE FOR FAMILY TIME Lucy’s Kitchen
WINTER’S WARMER | UNDER THE COVERS Bedrooms
FINALLY A SILENT NIGHT Bethany’s Master Bedroom
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT Julie’s Master Bedroom
A NOVEL IDEA Julie’s Reading Nook Tips
BED, MEET YOUR MAKER Joanna’s Master Bedroom
LEON’S ACCESSORY PICKS
A MERRY “LITTLE” CHRISTMAS Thalita’s Nursery
LEON’S NURSERY PICKS
O’CANOPY, O’CANOPY Lucy’s Daughter’s Bedroom
TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE HOME Lucy’s Tips on Decorating with Lights
HOLI-D.I.Y Handmade Gift and Gifting Ideas
TABLE OF CONTENTS
36 ROOM FOR FAMILY Julie’s Living Room 42
LEON’S CHAIR PICKS
LEON’S COFFEE TABLE PICKS
COME TOGETHER Dining Room Stories
WHERE HEART WARMING MEETS HOUSE WARMING Bethany’s Dining Room
MIXING TRADITIONS FOR THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS RECIPE Kassandra’s Dining Room
hello holiday! We’d love to warmly welcome you to our second annual edition of Hello Holiday-your guide for a happy holiday home. This time, with an early print preview of our 90 page digital Lookbook launching in November. We know that life is not perfect, and that your home is not a showroom. Home is where real life happens — it’s the one place that is truly yours, where you can relax, recharge and be yourself. Your living room wears many hats. It’s a quiet place for reading, a cozy room for family movie nights, and the ideal space for cookies and cuddle time. It needs to seat four, or forty including dolls and kittens and cleverly hide evidence of pets, kids, and life’s little messes. It’s where games of tag are played and where toy tractors get stuck between couch cushions. Blankets become forts, drawers become crucial hiding places for remotes and toys, and your coffee table is sometimes used for more than just coffee. And that’s just the living room. This season our incredible team of spirited bloggers have invited us with open arms into their homes to put together this guide for you. All of the photos featured within this Lookbook were shot in our bloggers’ real homes, with their real families, their real pets, and even their real ukuleles. With some simple tips for living, gathering and gifting, we hope some of the stories featured in our Lookbook will inspire you to create some of your own memories. So claim your spot in the living room, grab a hot cup of whatever you like the best (with marshmallows on top we hope) and enjoy a few ways to warm up your home this season.
AUTUMN HACHEY / LEON’S CONTENT MARKETING
From Our Families, To Yours
There’s a reason that there’s no place like home for the holidays. The spaces that bring our families together are almost as much a part of those memories as the people we share them with. Like the living room recliner where you’ll find a napping Grandpa after double doses of turkey or the dinner table that’s home to milk, cookies and loud late night card games with cousins, aunts and uncles. The holidays wouldn’t be the holidays without family and the pieces we all gather around. Our team of bloggers, curators and creators invite you into their homes this holiday for a glimpse through frosted windows into their real lives and they’re sharing how to add a little warmth to your home even during the coldest months of the year.
JOANNA / LAZY MOM’S BLOG
BETHANY GIER / THIS LITTLE ESTATE
JULIE SHAVER / ELLIVENSTUDIO
Joanna lives in Montreal with her family and is a blogger at LazyMomsBlog. She has a background in psychology, and is passionate about making life happier, simpler, and for sharing her enthusiasm for mindful living, good food and functional yet beautiful décor. When she’s not writing and photographing, you can find her making a mess in the kitchen with her kids.
Bethany Gier is a Canadian “mompreneur” and hairstylist with a deep appreciation for all things creative. Her blog, This Little Estate, follows her family’s adventures in DIY, and inspires readers to tackle their to-do lists with her budget-friendly tips and tricks.
A stay-at-home mom to three young boys, Julie has a passion for interior decorating, fashion, the colour pink, and chocolate almonds. She is constantly on the lookout for inspiration. She’s drawn to interior spaces that combine new and vintage pieces, and when she isn’t blogging about her quest to decorate her home on a budget, you’ll find her scouring antique stores for hidden gems.
FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Auden Sofa
FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Nubia Sofa
FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Klein Chair
KASSANDRA / LITTLE DEKONINGS
LUCY AKINS / CRAFTBERRY BUSH
Kassandra (Kass) is mom to two rambunctious but cute little boys. Kass boasts a background in visual merchandising. Fuelled by multiple cups of coffee, Kass juggles raising two boys, while sharing her ideas about DIY, interior design, recipes, fashion, and all the adventures of mommyhood on her blog, Little Dekonings.
As an artist/photographer/blogger/speaker living in Toronto, Lucy Akins created her blog, Craftberry Bush, as a means of video archiving arts and craft activities with her kids. Lucy enjoys sharing her passion for decorating, and believes there is an artist in all of us. When she’s not creating, Lucy can be found enjoying time with her husband, their three children, and their energetic Aussie shepherd pup, Brody.
FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Capella Sofa
FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Astin Sofa
THALITA MURRAY / THE LEARNER OBSERVER Thalita is an art teacher by trade, who loves all things black and white. As a new mom to twin boys, she documents how she’s making her house into a home over at The Learner Observer, where you can also catch her blogging about decor, recipes, DIY, and mom life! FAVE SEAT IN THE HOUSE: Leon’s Cortina Sectional
the warmest room in the house
The living room might be the room in the house that feels the most like home. Itâ€™s where we entertain friends and family, cuddle up on a chilly Sunday afternoon, and open presents while clad in pajamas on Christmas morning. Itâ€™s a room designed for making the best memories in.
LIVING WITH: JOANNA / LAZY MOM’S BLOG
Homier For The Holidays BY JOANNA In our home, the living room is where our family reads, watches movies together and snacks on cookies while cuddled up on the sofa. Having more space for everyone to reconnect, unwind and relax in is what I’d been dreaming about for our living room.
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? Back in Poland, we prepare the same recipes every year, and on Christmas Eve we gather around 12 meals. We traditionally finish the meal with a traditional Piernik cake. One year, when I was in high school, I decided that I’d make my own Piernik. I made it while I was alone at home, and didn’t want anyone to see it until the end of the meal. And so I finally brought my Piernik to this traditionally set, old dining table. Everyone looks in surprise as I put a plate full of muffins on the table! And muffins are not a part of a Polish tradition! Well, that year I made gingerbreadchocolate muffins! They were way too dry, and kind of burned. But nobody said a thing! They all loved my invention, and bravely ate a piece each. This moment of family encouragement, of everyone around that old table surprised yet supportive, is my favorite holiday memory of all time.
FREE PRINTABLE! Click to download
Christmas is my favourite time of year, and my home is my favourite gathering place, so making it inviting and cozy is all that I wish for. And with family visiting for the holidays, having more sitting space was even more important than ever! For me, it’s about comfort, which means cushy chairs for my guests, and a couch big enough for my husband, our daughters, my cats and even my daughters’ dolls. When I first started to think about changing our simple living room, I knew from the beginning that I really wanted a Chesterfield-inspired sofa: big and comfortable enough for all of us, yet charming and elegant. I love this sofa’s forgiving material: it’s pale enough to make our small living room look larger, yet dark enough to hide little spots (because life with kids is messy!). I also wanted chairs our guests could happily sink into and wouldn’t want to leave. Now our living room is the real epicentre of Christmas traditions. It’s where we check our advent calendar in the morning, where we’ll talk on Skype with family back in Europe, where we’ll entertain friends and family, and where we’ll unwrap gifts and sip hot chocolate. We don’t need lots of space and a big Christmas tree. We already have all that we need.
HAC K I T I believe that seasonal decorating doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, and one of the best ways to add interest to your living room is by adding new and fresh prints to a gallery wall. For me, wall art is almost as important as the furniture since it can transform a boring wall into a stunning and inspiring one. Click for 3 three ways to easily refresh your gallery wall for Christmas.
Having more space for everyone to reconnect, unwind and relax is what Iâ€™d been dreaming about for our living room.
CLICK FOR MORE OF JOANNAâ€™S LIVING ROOM STORY
BUY ME! 13
Even Santa Won’t Know You Didn’t Bake Them BY JOANNA One of the things I love the most about December are cookie swap parties. Everyone brings a big batch of homemade Christmas cookies– preferably the sort that only grandma used to make–because nothing is as good as an old family recipe passed down through generations of passionate bakers! Except, sometimes we don’t always have time to make that big batch of homemade cookies. That’s where this cookie hack comes in. Who wouldn’t love a white chocolate peppermint candy sugar cookie? It’s a perfect treat for a snowy day, and one of my family’s favourites. CLICK IMAGE FOR COOKIE HACK TUTORIAL
BY JOANNA Thereâ€™s something truly magical about advent calendars. Counting down to Christmas, one day at a time, is one of the best joys of childhood, and looking at my kidsâ€™ excited faces in the morning is what I love most during the holiday season. Every day in December, my two daughters wake me up, all excited, begging me to go downstairs and see the advent calendar. Some days they find candy (leftover from Halloween!) while other days they find stickers, temporary tattoos or tiny figurines. Their huge smiles brighten my dark December mornings, as we go downstairs to count the days left until Christmas! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
LIVING WITH: KASSANDRA / LITTLE DEKONINGS
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? I donâ€™t have one in particular, but every year since having children, the same magical feeling hits me... that would be watching the boys eyes light up, gasping with excitement when they see all the goodies Santa brought them on Christmas morning. I remember how magical Christmas morning was when I was a little girl, walking down the stairs and seeing the dollhouse of my dreams that was taller than me (I still have it!). Afterwards, itâ€™s pure bliss when Brent and I can relax on the couch together, enjoying some freshly brewed coffee, watching Christmas movies and feeling so unbelievably blessed that we have two little boys we get to relive these childhood memories through.
Where The Holidays Really Happen BY KASSANDRA Our living room is where you can find our boys wrestling with my husband and jumping around until dinner is on the table, and where we like to unwind with books as the evening passes. Itâ€™s also the room in our home that always has dirty little footprints on the floor and toy tractors stuck between couch cushions. 17
Over the years, our living room has evolved into a peaceful, functional space where we can really enjoy each otherâ€™s company.
The living room is the area of our home where I see the most change, and over the years, it’s evolved from the space where our boys had their first few baby steps to a peaceful, functional room where we can really enjoy each other’s company. You’ll always find the boys lying under our coffee playing with their trains, or hiding under blankets on our sofa during a game of hide-and-seek. When we have company over for the holidays, it’s easy to drag a dining chair into the living room to form an open circle full of good tales, gift exchanges, and a few warm mugs of eggnog. I’ve come to realize that our living room doesn’t need to be jammed full of furniture; it just needs to be comfortable for the four of us while giving us the option to move items around when we host our extended families. During the holidays, I love making our living room feel extra cozy and festive. Watching our boys’ eyes light up with excitement and their tiny hands clap with joy at the sight of our sparkly décor and glistening tree, is always one of my favourite moments of the holidays. CLICK FOR MORE OF KASSANDRA’S LIVING ROOM STORY.
Stringing Things Together, Together BY KASSANDRA There’s something truly magical about advent calendars. Counting down to Christmas, one day at a time, is one of the best joys of childhood, and looking at my kids’ excited faces in the morning is what I love most during the holiday season. Every day in December, my two daughters wake me up, all excited, begging me to go downstairs and see the advent calendar. Some days they find candy (leftover from Halloween!) while other days they find stickers, temporary tattoos or tiny figurines. Their huge smiles brighten my dark December mornings, as we go downstairs to count the days left until Christmas! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
Make More Out of Your Memories BY KASSANDRA Brent, our boys and are always spending our sunny days outside. Whether it’s on the four-wheeler exploring the forest grounds or running through the creek, these boys have a love for the outdoors like no other. They are always bringing back nature’s souvenirs and I am always finding ways to incorporate them into our home. Using Polaroid photos of the boys and some elements of nature, I found the perfect way to incorporate these into our holiday decor. CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
VIDEO TUTORIAL Click to view
One kid friendly craft that can actually last through the whole holiday and beyond.
Making Your Mantle Merrier 5 Tips To Personalize Your Holiday Mantel
BY KASSANDRA When it comes to cozying up your home for the holidays, there is one particular area of the home that brings that feeling of warmth without doing much: the fireplace. During the winter this spot happens to be the highlight of our home and the place we like to dress up a little extra. Last fall I was on the hunt to add a simple mantel to our living room, and my parents stumbled across the perfect little wooden mantel in need of some sprucing up. A few coats of paint later, I had a mantel to call my own and start customizing.
Whether it be a DIY garland or an old trinket passed down from your parents or grandparents, the mantel is a great place to display your favourite holiday decorations. I have always found that grouping a few favourite items together like Christmas art, greenery and a few neutral garlands with texture really pull your mantel together without losing the focal point of the display.
The mantel is an area of your home that is bound to draw attention. By hanging a mirror or layering in holiday art, it can really define your space, giving off warm and welcoming vibes which represent your home. To go a step further, simply hang a branch over the mantel and add your favourite polaroids, also an excuse to display your Christmas cards.
Add greeery/ natural elements
During the Holidays, itâ€™s always a great idea to bring a little bit of the outdoors into your home. By adding simple branches of greenery to your mantel or tree stumps inside the faux fireplace (which I found in my dadâ€™s wood pile) they will add natural colour to your home. Tip* mist greenery with water daily to help the cuttings last.
Colour and Texture
ADD A LIGHT SOURCE
Something as simple as changing the colour of the wall or adding texture aka the shiplap, can really bring so much character to a space and it helps to highlight the mantel and all things surrounding!
Clustering candles on the mantel helps create a heat source for us during the winter months and the glow is super cozy and festive! I added my favourite scented candle along with an old lantern that belongs to my parents to bring it some sparkle when lit.
Make a statement
The Perfect Place For A Post Turkey Nap A Sofa For Every Day You Want To Spend The Whole Day On The Sofa.
LIVING WITH: THALITA / THE LEARNER OBSERVER
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? To date, my favourite holiday memory at home happened just last year. We woke up on Christmas morning with our 13-day-old babies, and took a family photo on our sofa, which was promptly covered in spit-up! It was perfect. This year we get to see them experience the joy of Christmas morning, and I have a feeling there will be a new favourite memory!
What’s Inside Counts Especially When It’s Cold Outside BY THALITA ’Tis the season to cuddle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate. Add a glistening Christmas tree and fireplace, and you might have to pry me away from my favourite spot!
HAC K I T Even an artificial tree can grow on you. Maybe your tree has seen better days? Instead of buying new, save some money (and the planet) and click to find out Thalita’s tips on how to make a lot more of a little tree. No one will ever know!
At first, putting together a living room for our growing family felt like a daunting task. This room serves a lot of purposes: daytime play area for twin boys learning to walk, evening relaxation zone for Mom and Dad, occasional space for entertaining friends and family, and a cozy corner for our floppy-eared pup, Luther. Finding the perfect sectional sofa that we could reconfigure into one large piece or many smaller ones, was lifesaver in this room. Now, entertaining during the holidays is a breeze. We can use the ottoman separately and divide the sofa up around the room, or we can put all the pieces together for one massive couch to snuggle up together to watch Christmas movies.
Having a coffee table with drawers and space underneath for baskets and bins was essential. The drawers allow us to tuck away the things we don’t want babies playing with, like remotes and other small accessories, while the open storage means blankets, toys, and extra pillows are always within arm’s reach. In a tight corner, having a slim tree means we get lots of holiday spirit without taking up very much space. Even a small tree like mine can look full and lush with a few small additions and a lot of lights! If ever there was a favourite room to unwind in, this is it. CLICK FOR MORE OF THALITA’S LIVING ROOM STORY
BUY ME! 29
See You Next Year Tips on tucking those Christmas ornaments away after the holidays are over. BY THALITA Storing ornaments has to be one of my least favourite things. Iâ€™ve done everything from wrapping them individually in tissue paper to keeping them in their original bulky boxes (that just end up falling apart), to tossing them in a shoebox and hoping for the best. Truthfully, none of those worked out too well for me (or some of the poor ornaments), but thankfully I found something that works and I canâ€™t ever go back to my old ways now! CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL STORY
A Stocking Is Just A Sock That You Actually Want For Christmas
BY THALITA Spend less time worrying about making stockings and more time filling them. I will never forget the first time my husband and I did stockings. We filled them with one anotherâ€™s favourite candies and silly little things from the dollar store. It was pretty much the best part of that first Christmas together, This year, I decided to make stockings for our twin boys. The best part is there was no sewing; it didnâ€™t take long or cost much! CLICK IMAGE FOR STOCKING TUTORIAL
LIVING WITH: LUCY / CRAFTBERRY BUSH
Giving a Living Room The best part about any living room is the people you share it with.
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? I have so many beautiful Christmas memories that choosing just one is difficult. But one that stands out in my mind is a year when our family decided that we were not going to buy each other gifts, but we were going to make them. I remember everyone trying to secretly make gifts and when it was finally time to open them, the excitement and love was palpable. The gifts felt so much more meaningful and thoughtful. It goes to show you that Christmas is not about the materials things but the love and joy you find amongst family and friends.
BY LUCY One of the many perks of my job is being afforded the opportunity to change my home dĂŠcor from season to season. I truly enjoy the process and was so excited to take on this particular project, as it provided me a chance to give a little back to my parents for the many sacrifices they have made for me and my siblings over the years.
My parents immigrated to Canada thirty plus years ago, having sold most of their worldly possessions to provide a better life for us here. We often gather at my parents’ home for holidays and birthdays, and as our family has grown, their humble home became crowded. To accommodate our family gatherings, my sweet parents converted their living room into a dining room, leaving them just a small sitting area adjacent to the kitchen. This year, I wanted to do something special for them, and provide them with not only a beautiful space, but a place that would be functional and comfortable. With seven grandchildren and two more on the way, we knew it was best to choose a sofa that was durable but also chic, and this sturdy, affordable couch compliments the space well.
This room serves as the heart of my parents’ home, where we have gathered to chat, laugh and cry. I’m certain it will serve as our gathering place for many more memories, and am so grateful to have been able to do this for them. Though only a small token of my love, I appreciate they now have a beautiful space that is not only warm and cozy, but that they can be proud of. My parents have always made a point of reminding us that it’s not the material things in life that will bring joy, but the people that you love and share life with. It’s my hope that during this holiday season, you are able to find time to make beautiful memories with those you love. Happy holidays from our family to yours. CLICK FOR MORE OF LUCY’S PARENT’S LIVING ROOM STORY 34
Room for Family Create a cozy space for the whole family to gather this holiday season and the kids will be looking forward to this time of year all year round.
BY JULIE Our family room is probably the most used room in our house. During the winter months we love to sit in this room as a family to watch tv, classic holiday movies, play board games and read books. It may have something to do with the fact that this room houses the fireplace. After dinner, we dim the kitchen lights, turn on the tree lights, cozy up with a delicious beverage and blanket and relax.
This room is our main gathering spot and where we do the most of our entertaining during the holidays. Guests sit and chat with us while we finish prepping dinner/snacks and where we all relax once dinner is over. Having multiple seating options (hello 3-in-1 ottoman!) and a variety of blankets is key so that everyone is comfy. When it came to the family room makeover, we really wanted to brighten up the space and paid close attention to the size and scale of the furniture we picked. The Klein chairs in ivory work perfectly. The colour was is right but I absolutely love the beautiful sloping arms. I know what you’re thinking light coloured furniture in a home with kids and where you entertain?! The fabric of these chairs have been treated in a way to help reduce stains setting in and well, we think it’s totally possible to have light coloured furniture and children. Accidents happen, that’s for sure, but with a little care, we’ll make the combo work!
I can’t help but to feel a little nostalgic when the tree is lit and the holiday shows are playing in this new space. Seeing the kids sitting in the family room watching shows that were my favourites growing up. CLICK FOR MORE OF JULIE’S LIVING ROOM STORY
Space For More Than Just Your Feet. Kick back while your ottoman does the work. BY JULIE I firmly believe that ottomans are one of the most versatile pieces of furniture that you can own. When it came time to makeover our family room one of the first things that I added to my list was, in fact, an ottoman. Whether you use it as extra seating or storage, the ottoman can be more than just a place to kick up your feet. CLICK FOR JULIEâ€™S TIPS ON GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR OTTOMAN.
Hung By The TV With C are BY JULIE Mail during the holiday season is most certainly extra special. It brings a smile to my face whenever I open the mailbox and spot the colourful and festive envelopes that have been carefully packaged and sent by family and friends. Our media center is the perfect place to display the holiday cards we receive, and itâ€™s a great way to make the room feel more festive for the holidays. CLICK FOR MORE ABOUT HOW JULIE HANGS HER CARDS
A Holiday Time Out Itâ€™s ok to sit back, put your feet up and give yourself a time out session during this busy season.
Attica Swivel Chair
Klein Accent Chair
Berkley Coffee Table
Lakehurst Coffee Table
Edler Coffee Table
Copia Coffee Table
Pinebrook Coffee Table
Rossington Coffee Table
Natura Coffee Table
Townbrook Coffee Table
come together The holidays are all about coming together with the people closest to you, whether itâ€™s from across the country or just a couple of blocks down the street. Those spaces to host and gather together are especially important during this time of year, and with dining rooms from Leonâ€™s, more is most definitely merrier.
LIVING WITH: BETHANY / THIS LITTLE ESTATE
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? We treat dressing the dining table for Christmas breakfast as an annual, happily anticipated event. To our little family, itâ€™s just as traditionally significant as stringing the tree with lights or mixing up cookies that only get baked for holidayâ€™s sake. Together on Christmas Eve, we fuss over the table centerpiece and remember to place juicy oranges at every place setting. Then, before presenting gifts to each other on Christmas day, we gather around our table, with adorable amounts of bed head and happy excitement to devour a hot meal together. We take this time to focus on each other while easily being reminded that the friendship of family and quality time together are some of the best gifts we will ever give or receive in our home. Around here, love lives and grows around tables.
Where Heart Warming Meets House Warming
Putting the â€?homeâ€? into home cooking, even when youâ€™re ordering pizza BY BETHANY Around here we love food. We like to plant it in the spring, watch it grow in the summer, preserve it in the fall, and fuss over traditional holiday dishes in the winter. Like most families, our fondest memories are accompanied by the meals we enjoy together, and being crowded around a table is where the most treasured interactions in our home take place. Little bodies and hearts need to be sustained and nurtured, and I truly believe that happens easily when we sit side-by-side eating a meal. When we recently moved into our fixer-upper, I imagined mixing, stirring and cooking with my own babies, much like my mom had done with me. I pictured us cramming around the dinner table, digging into the dishes we had made together, finally feeling like we had made this house a home to treasure. With the addition of a beautiful new dining set, we finally have a space in our home where childhood stories and second helpings are handed out. 47
This room will see meals but it’s also the place where schoolbooks and laptops are opened and closed, and where art projects are spread freely. It’s where tried and true classic recipes are proudly served, where burnt concoctions are hesitantly presented and, inevitably, where takeout pizzas will be eaten. Around here, love proudly lives around tables. CLICK FOR MORE OF BETHANY’S DINING ROOM STORY
Get the look
Everything you need to recreate Bethanyâ€™s warm living & dining space.
Claira Table Claira Side Chari
Klein Accent Chair
Even Ice can be Nice Keep Your Holiday Punch Ice Cold, Fun and Festive.
BY BETHANY When I think about celebrating the holidays, I think about opening our home to our friends and family. I think about piling platters full of festive sugar cookies with sparkly red sprinkles, and of the traditional, family-friendly punch we mix up in mere moments before hearing the rap-tap-tap of guests at our door. For this festive drink hack, all youâ€™ll need is a few ingredients and five minutes flat to have the prettiest addition to your holiday party. CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
VIDEO TUTORIAL Click to view 52
Hot Chocolate The Fuzzy Blanket For Your Insides.
BY BETHANY There’s something about hot cocoa that makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. I can remember one hundred happy childhood memories that accompanied frothy cups of hot chocolate. When my hands wrap around that warm mug, I am instantly transported back in time. Now that I am an adult, I take my job as the memory maker and cocoa supplier very seriously. When the temperatures drop and my own little ones with the cold and rosy cheeks bound indoors, I see myself in them and I know it’s time. It’s time to present them with hot cocoa to warm their bellies and their hearts. CLICK IMAGE FOR BETHANY’S TIPS ON CREATING A HOT COCOA BAR 53
Mixing Traditions for the Perfect Christmas Recipe
Some of the best parts about dining during the holidays aren’t what’s on the table, but who’s around it. BY KASSANDRA My mom and mother-in-law are both incredible cooks, and their food brings Christmas to a whole other level. Spending Christmas between Brent’s family and my own, has always worked for us. In my parents’ household, my mom fills the island with savoury hors d’oeuvres as we crowd around stuffing our faces and reminiscing about embarrassing moments from our childhood. Christmas dinner at the DeKoning household is very traditional. Brent’s mom always has the table set so beautifully and you bet we have to wear our goofy hats that come from inside those festive crackers. I love holiday traditions and it’s one of the best feelings, knowing that our children get to experience a little piece of our childhood. Now that Brent and I have created our own little family, we plan to carry some of our family’s traditions into our own. I will always have the same Christmas Eve filled with savoury hors d’oeuvres, and Christmas movies like my parents have done. On Christmas day, I will have a big, traditional meal at the dining room table, where I will bring out the fancy dishes and make sure to have room for guests during the holidays. To me, Christmas is about the traditions we carry, how each family has their own unique way of celebrating the holidays, and how we combine traditions to fit within our own little families. It’s about sitting around the table, eating with one another, and enjoying each other’s company. It’s about showing hospitality and inviting others to the table.
CLICK FOR MORE OF KASSANDRA’S DINING STORY 55
For When Your Table Could Use Some Sprucing Up Freshen up your holiday décor with some props from the best mom around: Mother Nature. 56
BY KASSANDRA I’m always on the hunt for new and frugal ways to decorate our dining table, something simple yet stunning, and cohesive with my current theme. Mother Nature is a beautiful thing, so why not bring it indoors? Having two young boys who love to explore and discover new treasures that belong to the earth, I sought their help to pick pinecones and acorns from our family’s farm, to bring a bit of nature to our holiday magic. Decorating your table, and even your home, for the holidays doesn’t need to be over the top. As long as you have a few of Mother Nature’s props, you are all set to go! CLICK FOR KASSANDRA’S TIPS ON DECORATING WITH NATURE
Something To Tie The Holidays Together
BY KASSANDRA Give your kids something to brag about with this simple, yet charming Christmas ribbon ornament, that your guests will love as a dinner takeaway. CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
A Recipe for Family Time
We can all use a little help in the kitchen, even if itâ€™s just someone to lick the spoon. BY LUCY They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and that certainly holds true for my family. Our kitchen is where we taught our kids to count and to sing the alphabet song. It was our dance floor as we paraded around the island holding wooden spoons as microphones and pretended to be master chefs. Itâ€™s where new recipes are made and old ones are passed down to the next generation. One of my fondest childhood memories is watching my grandmother bake cookies and then anxiously sitting in front of the oven watching them bake. The smell of sugar cookies still takes me back
When we first moved into our home nearly 11 years ago the kitchen was my pride and joy, but as time passed it began to look a little dated. Thanks to a lot of elbow grease and the help of Frigidaire Professional, we’ve once again created our dream kitchen. We completed the majority of the work ourselves, such as refinishing the cabinetry, installing the backsplash and upgrading the floor, but saved the countertop installation, electrical and gas work for the professionals. Though time consuming and labour intensive, this saved us a lot of money. Another important cost saving factor was that many of the Frigidaire Professional appliances are built to fit into existing spaces, meaning we didn’t have to reconfigure the floor plan or cabinetry, but were still able to achieve a built-in look. With three growing teenage kids and family gettogethers that commonly result in more than 40 people gathering in our home, it could be easy to run out of fridge space, yet the folding shelf feature of Frigidaire’s French door allows for a variety of storage configurations. I enjoy cooking, yet it is our younger son who has demonstrated a passion for all things culinary which brings me so much joy. I’m certain our new kitchen will provide even more opportunity for us to spend quality time making memories with our family, through the smell of delicious baking and beautiful conversations.
CLICK FOR MORE OF LUCY’S KITCHEN STORY
Iâ€™m certain our new kitchen will provide even more opportunities to spend quality time making family memories, through the smell of delicious baking and beautiful conversations.
winterâ€™s warmer under the covers When you think of spending time with the family, the bedroom is not usually the place that one imagines doing so. However, those cold winter mornings have a way of drawing your little ones out of their beds and into yours. So cozy up for the holidays in your new master bedroom. Just be ready to share it with everyone!
Finally, a Silent Night
Turn Your Bedroom Into a Space You Wonâ€™t Lose Sleep Over.
BY BETHANY When two dreamers and doers marry, the possibilities are endless. The sleep, however, is not. My husband and I have been married for 11 years, and have gutted and rebuilt seven bathrooms, three basements, two kitchens, and a dozen other living spaces together. Besides nighttime feedings with three babies, projects and renovations have allowed us to see 2AM multiple times a week. Sleep is an illusive thing around here. But we are ready to change all that. 65
Like most busy parents, we have turned a blind eye to our master bedroom which has become the family dumping ground. It’s also where painting projects go to dry, and where things that don’t need to be seen, get hidden. The room where the door gets closed so no one really sees how unrestful the space is. That, however has all changed. Now that we actually want to be in this space, we chose to embrace the comfiest sleep we could find with the addition of a new mattress. As soon as we rested our weary heads on the TempurPedic Embrace Memory Foam Mattress, we were smitten. We soon learned that each mattress has a Support System, which is the basis for the renowned Tempur layers, which help wick heat away from the mattress. The layers contribute to the superlative mattress feel, and they offer even weight distribution for proper support, and an overall great night’s sleep.
A great night’s sleep is something we need to finish our fixer-upper. This bedroom is now a place of comfort. It’s now a space we want to go hang out in at the end of a long day. CLICK FOR MORE OF BETHANY’S BEDROOM
HACK IT! Enjoy the pretty things you cherish by taking them out of the box they’re hiding in and use them as decor.
TIP Using dressers as night stands offer much more storage without taking up much more space.
Deck the Walls
Give Your House the Perfect Winter Touch.
All you need is some thrifted frames with a fresh coat of spray paint, a handful of dollar store ornaments, fishing line and 30 minutes and you have some simple but classic holiday wall art. CLICK FOR TUTORIAL 69
Get the look
Everything you need to recreate Bethanyâ€™s silent night in your own bedroom.
Tempur-Pedic Embrace Mattress
Holt Fireplace Credenza
Every Mattress Needs a Home Donâ€™t leave your mattress hanging, make sure it has a place to settle in and call home.
Gala Platform Bed
LIVING WITH: JULIE / ELLIVEN STUDIO
And To All A Good Night Room for Santa, Mrs. Claus and maybe a few elves.
Q: What is your favourite holiday memory? One tradition that I adore is sitting in the family room to wrap gifts while watching a holiday movie. We clear off the coffee table, turn on the fire and the lights on the tree, make a delicious cup of hot chocolate (with loads of marshmallows of course!) and wrap gifts for family and friends, until the movie is over. Itâ€™s a great way to unwind after a busy day!
After many years of patiently waiting for the perfect time to make over our master bedroom, we couldn’t be more excited to bring this dream to life. The bedroom is now our go-to place when quiet time is calling, or when my husband and I need to check Santa’s list twice. By creating a reading zone that includes a chair, small table, cozy pillows and a blanket within reach, we now have an inviting place to curl up with a favourite book, magazine or catch up on emails. Our bedroom has dedicated space to store meaningful items from travels, family photos, and other items that are precious to us. The most important part of our bedroom makeover was a mattress that would provide true comfort. Our Sense Firm Mattress from the incredible TempurPedic line leaves us feeling like we’ve slept in a luxury hotel. And with three energetic kids and a busy day ahead, feeling more refreshed in the morning is pretty priceless.
We tend to tuck ourselves in earlier and spend time chatting or going through our holiday plans. Scheduling visits, parties and of course, checking Santa’s list twice. We are so incredibly thankful for this cozy spot, for a good night’s sleep but most importantly, we are thankful to share the space with each other and the kiddos. I have a feeling that the newest holiday tradition for our family will be reading Christmas books right here in our room before going to bed. CLICK FOR MORE ON JULIE’S BEDROOM
BUY ME! 74
With three energetic kids and a busy day ahead, feeling more refreshed in the morning is pretty priceless.
TI P Click forJulieâ€™s tips on styling a shelf with all your favourite things!
A Novel Idea
Because sometimes all you need is a good book, a comfy chair and a nice nook to enjoy it in. At the end of a busy day, once the kids have been tucked into bed a reading nook is the perfect place to unwind and relax. A cozy spot with the right lighting to write those last few emails, read a book, or sip a cup of warm tea before you tuck yourself into bed. There’s nothing quite better than having a little retreat in your very own home!
1 COMFY CHAIR Everyone has their own definition of comfort, so take the time to think about what you love about a comfy chair. Do you like to be able to curl your legs beneath you? Do you prefer a straight back and being able to rest your arms on the armrests? Think about the depth of the chair, the width of the chair (space between the arms) and what fabric the chair is made of. And you’ll be sure to find the chair that’s perfect for you! If you’re able to set your reading corner close to a window, that’s an added bonus!
2 TA B L E
You don’t need a large table with a lot of surface space, just something wide enough to set down a cup of tea and that can tuck neatly beside you chair. Make sure that you bring the measurements of your chair with you when shopping for your table to ensure that you buy one that’s the right height.
3 BOOKCASE Including a bookcase in your reading nook is a great way to keep all of your reading materials close by. If, however you don’t have the space for a bookcase, a basket or two will do the trick!
4 LIGHTING A warm light is a what you need to be able to read well at night. A reading lamp, or a small table lamp are both great options, but take into consideration how bright the bulb is as well as how much light it lets out. You want more of a direct light, so that you can see what you’re reading, vs a light that will light up the entire room
5 BLANKET Cozy it up with a blanket and pillow. There is nothing better than a cozy blanket to throw over your legs when you’re curled up with an amazing book, especially during the cooler months! A pillow that hugs your back and a fluffy rug at your feet provide the most fantastic finishing touch! 77
Bed, Meet Your Maker A space so relaxing that no amount of reindeer on the roof will wake you.
BY JOANNA We all need a place where we feel relaxed the minute we get there. For some, it’s their home in general, while others prefer the beach or the forest. For me, a work-fromhome mom, it’s my bedroom. But it hasn’t always been a retreat. 78
Our bed has seen many years as a makeshift office, baby changing table and laundry room. Now that things have changed I actually do get a few minutes to myself to relax in bed. I realized that our mattress was getting uncomfortable, the headboard was falling apart, our nightstands were cute but very unpractical. It was time for a change.
When I set my eyes on my new Leon’s bed, I knew that this was exactly what I’d been looking for. It’s both elegant and practical, neutral and with character. I love the details on its lovely upholstered headboard, and it has six storage drawers! That’s such an organizational lifesaver for our small home!
And our new Tempur-Pedic Embrace Queen Mattress is the most comfortable, fluffy cloud I’ve ever slept on! Ok, it’s not a cloud, but an orthopedic mattress, but it really does feel heavenly! Probably because it conforms to an individual’s body weight, shape and temperature, while supporting their body weight evenly across the mattress. And as for the nightstands, I choose these mirrored tables that have plenty of room inside for books. Paired with the slightly glamorous lamps they look simply gorgeous, and make me smile every time I pass by. So now, this is my mom oasis. There’s a place for books, and some extra storage, and there’s a comfortable and inviting bed, with a purring cat waiting for me to join. Because let’s face it, happiness is a good night’s sleep! And I hope that you’ll get plenty of that during the holidays! CLICK FOR MOR OF JOANNA’S BEDROOM
Sweet Traditions One of my favourite holiday traditions involves baking Piernik aka, gingerbread cake, a traditional Polish Christmas cake, made with lots of spices and dark honey. In some families, it’s filled with a sweet prune filling, and in others, it’s covered with chocolate ganache. I’ve simplified my grandma’s recipe by using a cake mix and some spices. Now it’s so easy to make, it leaves me more time for doing what’s most important: spending time with my girls. It’s our tradition to tuck ourselves into bed and read about Santa and play games while we wait for the Piernik to bake. Then when we hear the timer go off, we all run downstairs to gobble it up. CLICK IMAGE FOR RECIPE 81
Winter Layers Accessorize with layers of rugs, art and lighting to warm up your space.
Colour Play Canvas Art
Je Tâ€™aime Art
Off The Grid Mulit Media Art Camino Rug
We Are The World Canvas Art
Urban Blue Rug Dream Big Canvas Art
Tiangles Canvas Print
Love Heart Canvas Art
A Merry “L ittle” Christmas They probably won’t remember this crib, but you’ll never forget it.
BY THALITA They say you never forget your first home – unless you happen to be less than a year old, as is the case for my twin boys. Though they may not remember the home we brought them to from the hospital that warm December morning almost a year ago, we know they’ll make memories in their new nursery. It’s the room they’ll grow up in and remember as their own, so it needed to be special.
Our current home is nestled on a treed lot that gets tonnes of natural light, and I wanted this environment to be reflected in their room, along with a sense of adventure. I chose white cribs and dressers that are neutral, bright, and can grow with them into toddlerhood. Why a loveseat in a nursery? With two babies, it’s important to have lots of room for them and for us. The Passerina Loveseat is the perfect spot for all of us to snuggle as we read bedtime stories and sing Christmas carols. It may not be the typical glider or rocking chair, but when your arms are constantly full of snuggly babies, a small but comfortable spot is just the thing, and this way there’s always room for both mom and dad to hang out in the nursery. My hope for this room is that it will always be their haven, where they can play, be comfortable, and dream big dreams! I can’t wait to hear them excitedly wake up on Christmas morning this year, and for many more to come!
CLICK FOR MORE OF THALITA’S NURSERY
BUY ME! 86
My hope for this room is that it will always be their haven, where they can play, be comfortable, and dream big dreams!
Mobile Magic The perfect distraction. BY THALITA Moms out there will understand how tricky it is to distract a baby on a changing table. One day, while trying to change my twin boysâ€™ diapers without anyone falling off the change pad or rolling over and making a giant mess, I haphazardly hung up a toy by its ears, and very quickly realized that it actually worked! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
Creating a room with a view for two.
The Perfect Backdrop To Any Bedtime Story
D IY P a in t e d M ura l
BY THALITA When it came to planning and decorating a room for our twin boys, I turned to the idea of a simple geometric landscape mural. Creating these mountains is much easier than climbing one! All you need is some tape and a paint roller that will do all the mountain climbing. CLICK IMAGE FOR MURAL TUTORIAL
A Baby House-Warming They may be little but they have big needs and more outfits than you ever will. Chose pieces that will keep them safe and you organized.
Cameron Contour Crib
Finley Convertable Crib
Morgan Convertable Crib
Darcy Convertable Crib
Finley Convertable Crib
Darcy Hutch Bookcase
Decorating is even more fun when you do it together. BY LUCY I clearly remember the day we learned our third child would be a girl. The joy I felt was incredible, yet, having raised two boys to this point, I recall being fearful of not knowing how to raise a daughter. My fear was appeased with the prospect of pretty dresses, pink bows and, most of all, decorating our little girl’s room. As our daughter grew and developed her own personality, I quickly learned the importance of encouraging her to express her own creativity– not only through the way she wanted to dress, but in creating her own space. I’m fortunate that Bella and I share similar taste in décor and she is pretty easygoing with my ideas, even though sometimes we have had to compromise (like the time she wanted to paint her desk with neon graffiti). She has shown a keen interest in decorating and will oftentimes move her room around and rearrange her décor. When we picked the gorgeous Amber canopy bed, we knew we wanted to create a magical Christmas bedroom, full of twinkly lights and soft surroundings. But Bella also wanted a little bit of glitz through gold accents. Achieving the magic of Christmas was easy to do by draping beautiful linen curtains and wrapping several string lights around the poles of the canopy. The all-white space creates an ethereal feel and is reminiscent of a beautiful white Christmas. Soft touches of blush pink and gold add a gentle contrast to the space. The best part of doing this little makeover was the quality time Bella and I spent planning, shopping and creating the space together. It’s those moments that matter most and what makes this holiday season a special time. CLICK FOR MORE OF BELLA’S ROOM 93
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Home Brighten up your home with some beautiful string lights to give it a nice magical glow.
Christmas lights are a fun and affordable way to add a beautiful glow to your space. Whether youâ€™re draping them around a canopy bed or wrapping them around a ladder, there are many creative ways to add a touch of warmth and whimsy to your home. 96
WRAPPED UP Wrap a string of lights around a handmade or store bought wreath to make it a real feature, inside or out.
LET THEM CLIMB All function with no form is no fun. Climb some lights up your ladder so that itâ€™s both functional and looks great during the holidays.
HANGING OUT Put your memories in the spotlight by using string lights to hang your favourite snapshots.
CAPTURE THEM Let your treasures really shine by adding a string of lights among your collections.
GET ARTSTY Give your walls a warm glow by using lights to create one of a kind art or add to an existing piece.
holi-d.i.y ‘ Tis the season of giving, and most definitely the season of crafting those gifts too! Trade in the hectic holiday shopping trip for some quality time with your kids, and get the hands-on experience of creating some unique, meaningful gifts. With our simple, handmade gift hacks, which even your toddlers can handle, you’ll have your house in the Christmas spirit in no time. In five steps or less, you’ll already be done, and moving on to the next important task… another DIY? Or maybe that nice warm bath you deserve (to try out that bath bomb you made yourself of course). So save the long list of steps for people who have the time and the tools (no wood saw here), and get into the holiday spirit with some of our simple Holi-DIY crafts.
From the Heart BY BETHANY I can remember being a little girl and watching, completely fascinated, my grandmother’s swift hands as she folded and tucked gift wrap, carefully and lovingly around a flat rectangular gift box. I had the important duty of handing her Scotch tape, and to this day, that smell brings back those memories of sitting on her living room floor, relishing my job as her wrap assistant. Every time I wrap gifts, I try to think of ways to personalize them so that, even if they aren’t as flawless as Grandma’s presents were, at least they will be remembered for their undeniable uniqueness.
5 ways to make the wrapping as memorable as what’s inside.
Use thick pretty lace to wrap your gift. This will add a feminine touch to your gift. Bonus points if the lace is repurposed from a crafting project. Hot glue a faux flower on in place of a bow.
Save your old Christmas cards and reuse them as gift tags. Simply cut them to size, punch a whole in the corner of each and attach with a pretty ribbon or string of your choosing.
u Attach something sentimental in place of a traditional bow. Think how to make a gift sentimental and go for it! This year I attached a hand made stitched doily to the top of my Mother’s gift.
Personalize your gift with your recipient’s first initial. You can find individual letters at craft stores or at dollar stores fairly easily. Simply attach the letter with pretty ribbon.
u Make a fun paper present topper. Simply cut and folded craft paper into triangles, punched holes through the corners and threaded string through them to create bunting. CLICK FOR BETHANY’S FULL WRAPPING STORY
Santa’s Little Wrapshop Wrap up the holidays with the perfect portable wrap station. BY BETHANY If you’ve ever been surprised mid-gift wrapping session by a little one with adorable bed head, who now knows that you did, in fact, buy them that gift they had begged for six months ago, you know the disappointment you feel. Your surprise is ruined and your little one wants the gift. Right. Now. A portable gift-wrapping station means you can carry your wrapping supplies easily from room to room and quickly wrap a gift without the children even realizing you have stepped away. You’ll also never have to search for the tape or scissors again! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
Art to Love BY LUCY I am true believer that a house is only a home when you fill it with things that evoke memories and that speak to your heart. I knew I wanted something special in our new kitchen that would remind me of my mom and the cherished times weâ€™ve had in her own kitchen. I decided to frame one of my momâ€™s hand written recipes. I know this is something that I will treasure for many years to come. CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year Should Feel Like It BY KASSANDRA Give your loved ones the gift of a few extra minutes to savour in the shower with homemade winter bombs. I love adding essential oils like lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus, because they get released by the steamy shower and inhaled into your body. With little ones running around, it can be hard to get a spa day to yourself, but try throwing a soothing winter bomb into your shower to relax and unwind. CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
Scent and Received Itâ€™s time to reimagine an old idea, with this great twist on a classic housewarming gift. BY THALITA I often struggle with finding appropriate hostess gifts around the holidays. With so many dinners to attend (and I do so gladly because a great cook I am not), I often find myself stumped with how to bring a meaningful and useful gift to those hosting. A beautiful candle was my go-to gift until I discovered that I could make something that would smell just as good (or better) than a candle, and it meant I could provide my lovely hosts with a handmade giftâ€“the best kind, in my opinion! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
Stamp of Approval BY JOANNA One of the things I like the most about Christmas is the excuse to actually slow down and craft a little more with my daughters. I like to start the preparation early, keep things simple, and enjoy every minute of Christmas music while doing so! Every year, inspired by Scandinavian Christmas, I make simple potato stamps that we stamp white paper with. I find the result adorable, and my kids have a blast stamping along! CLICK IMAGE FOR TUTORIAL
VIDEO TUTORIAL Click to view
Found: Santaâ€™s Workshop A bed that doubles as your secret gift wrapping station. BY JOANNA One of my early childhood memories is sneaking in on my grandmother wrapping gifts in her tiny little bedroom. She would keep all the gifts hidden underneath the bed, while the sheets would be all covered in colorful papers, ribbons and gifts. When she would spot me hiding there behind the door, she would rush me out, saying she was only helping Santa, since he was so busy with everything else. I, of course, believed her. When my own kids became little gift-searching creatures, I too started hiding my gifts underneath my bed, so it was only natural for me to organize my gift-wrapping station in my bedroom. CLICK IMAGE FOR MORE ON JOANNAâ€™S STORAGE BED