Friday, November 28, 2014

Holiday Decor Sneak Peak

Happy Friday, and Happy Thanksgiving to those south of the border. I just had a deja vu moment that I was only writing a post like this not long ago. A year seems to have passed in a flash. 

Every year I waited anxiously until just past the U.S. Thanksgiving to put up my holiday decor. This year I am not going for any particular theme but anything that pleases my eye, simple and easy to put together. The tree is not up yet, but here is a sneak peak at our 2014 holiday mantel (wait, is it mantle or mantel, I can never figure that out!). 

The JOY marquee sign from Indigo, part nostalgic part glamourous, love it! 

More pictures to follow. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vintage Murano Chandeliers

I couldn't believe my luck! Over the past few weeks I scored not just one, but two vintage Murano glass chandeliers. The first one is this glass prism pyramid brass chandelier - there are 88 pieces of solid glass prisms on it. Lucite would've been fine but real glass is even better! I don't know if it's a real Camer, but an identical one with two more tiers of prisms is going for $5,800 on 1stdibs

The second one is this Murano glass chandelier coming all the way from near the border. There were headaches and heartburns involved getting this light, but it is now in the house. A bigger one is going for $8,500 on 1stdibs, and a petite one $1,250. Score! 

We are going back to Italy next year, and Murano is one of stops so I am definitely going to load up tons of these goodies and drag them all home. 

I took advantage of a 20% sale at Hudson's Bay and ordered this 3-tier Architecture Dessert Stand by Gluckstein. Remember I also have the plates in the same patterns. It's perfect for holiday entertaining.

I love, love the clean design. Cupcakes are from my favourite bakery Short & Sweet

The week is half over. If you are in the snow-covered areas, stay warm and drive safe! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Calgary in the Fall

In late October Anthony and I took a short break from our crazy work schedule, and hopped on a plane to Calgary to celebrate our goddaughter Olivia's birthday. Olivia's mother Jessie and I are best friends from school. Although we are at the opposite side of the country now, we had always tried to find ways to see each other. 

The iconic Calgary Peace Bridge from Eau Claire Park. 

Critics were right that apart from the colour red, the Peace Bridge almost looks identical to the Hans Wilsdorf Bridge in Geneva

I have been to Calgary and Banff area multiple times but never in the fall before. The temperature was mild, but it was as dry as a bone. So if you are visiting Calgary in the late fall, make sure you load up anti-frizz hair products and skin moisturizers. 

This is the beautiful Weaselhead Wetlands from North Glenmore Park. 

Apart from the birthday parties, we did a lot of amazing things together including spending an afternoon at an equestrian trail to watch Olivia's show jumping practice. 

I wish I had taken a better picture of magpie, which can be seen everywhere in Calgary. 

Jessie also booked a private art glass class for us with a local stained glass artist Janice. 

Olivia made this trinket plate for me. 

She and I made this pink tray together. 

And Jessie and I (well, mostly Jessie) created this artsy starburst Christmas ornament! It's the jump-off point for my Christmas tree this year. 

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas, no?

Speaking of glass, I finally tracked down a Murano glass chandelier I wanted for the dining area in our kitchen. It's enroute to me, and I am beyond excited. 
Photo credit:

On the home project front, I came across this cute little 2500 sqft house in a well established hood, and I am seriously thinking of buying it as a rental property. It's a custom built brand new house, so we can rent it out as is and don't have to do a thing. If it was bigger I would've wanted it for ourselves. So tempting! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Back to Basics

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas, or is it? Can you guess what my Christmas tree would look like this year? :) 

This year for me it's all about going back to basics, to the traditional and colourful Christmas tree from our childhood memories. That's right, none of that "themed" Christmas tree but the one with the good ol' fashion glass ball ornaments. 

Ikea, you've really outdone yourself. I can't have enough of these handblown glass balls with gold stripes. 

And the gold dipped ones. 

We finally have a glimpse of sunshine today, so enjoy it while we can. Have a great weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Birthday Weekend and Cheltenham Badlands

It was an amazing birthday weekend for me celebrating with friends, tons of good eats, and even a road trip to a local town called Caledon.

A couple of my dear friends made my favourite cakes for me - I had four of them including the one Anthony picked up from the store! I am a very lucky girl! 

Regarding the trip to Caledon, I read about the Cheltenham Badlands a while ago, and have been wanting to go since early fall. A lot of things got in the way, so we finally made it this past weekend. The leaves were mostly gone, but the terrain was nonetheless impressive. 

Cheltenham Badlands in Caledon

You can read about how the Badlands were formed and why they are considered as nature's time capsule. 

Cheltenham Badlands is tiny compared to other famous sites such as Badlands National Park in South Dakota. But it is so close to us geographically, and I feel so fortunate to be able to enjoy such nature's wonder so close to home. I should feel so joyful after the trip but it was nothing but very mixed feelings for me because of this - see all the people on the hills and gullies? I had to Photoshop them out of all the pictures before this one, but that's the least of my complaint.  

There were signs like this asking people to stay off the Badlands on top of the slope at the designated viewing spots , but people chose to ignore them and jump right into the red shale surface. A couple and their entourage were even having their wedding photos taken right in the heart of the Badlands - they were shooting a frigging film! I was angry and frustrated at the same time: so many people went down to the gullies to pose for pictures; kids were jumping from one hill to another just for fun; and pets were leaving their waste behind and I didn't see any poop and scoop - they should've never been in there in the first place! Many people tried to kick red clay off their shoes as they climbed out of the Badlands, as if it was such an inconvenience to them - I wonder if it even crossed their minds that they were slowly wearing down a piece of earth's history. Did they even care our future generations may never get to enjoy what we have today at the Cheltenham Badlands? I don't know if the local government has any budget to fence off the area, but I think that's an easy solution that's going to keep people off the Badlands - I would be very willing to make a donation to prevent the human erosion and preserve the Cheltenham Badlands! 

Nough said and on to some happier thoughts. This past weekend I cut off all the dead flowers from the hydrangea bushes in our backyard. By the time I was done and turned around, I was surrounded by an ocean of Hydrangea! Kind of pretty don't you think, even when they are wilt?  


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