Tag Archives: candles

Bring Home Some Romance

It’s the middle of the week, and it’s also 2 days until Valentine’s Day!  Yes, the sugar-sweet, hearts-everywhere, chocolate-covered, rose-scented Hallmark holiday.  It’s secretly one of my favourite holidays, and we don’t usually do anything too extravagant (actually, I usually don’t even care about the very day itself), but I adore seeing the world put on some pink and red and hearts.  So I thought I would share some easy ways to bring some romance into your home.

1 – Candles:  This is a classic staple for romance.  There’s nothing quite like the warm and flattering glow of candlelight.  Kick it up a notch with some pink or red candles, like these red tapers or rose scented tealights, you can even pull out your red or white candles from Christmas!  Why not spend one evening, or even just dinner, with only candles to light your home?  It will feel magical, romantic, and evoke the beautiful mysteries of so many thousands of years of nights when candles were the only way to light up the night.

2 – Sweet posters and artwork: This is the perfect time to pull out your most romantic wall adornments and pictures.  Wedding and engagement pictures are timeless classics, but for a more novel nostalgic spin, how about the sweet posters you maybe had when you were younger?  I have two posters from my university days hanging up – a beautiful black and white shot of the Eiffel Tower, and the entire balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet written out on a black background to form a rose.

3 – Flowers: Obviously.  Since I’m frugal, I have a few red silk roses that I keep around, and I make them the star of the show this time of year – they bloom beautifully every time, and for no extra money out of pocket!  Just put some silk blooms in a pretty vase and you’re set for a centrepiece.

4 – Romantic accessories:  Do you have some throw pillows or decorative blankets in romantic colours, or with sweet phrases and patterns?  Or pretty mugs that say things like “Good morning, beautiful?”  Grab them and enjoy the extra little bit of love they add!

5 – Love garland:  This was an idea I just came up with the other day, when I was taking down my Christmas card garland at the end of January (I know).  I decided to use the ribbon and make a heart-shaped spiral.  I have heart-shaped post-it notes, so I made one for the centre that said “Love”, and then thought how nice it would be if Nick and I wrote out some things we love about each other on heart post-its and stuck them to the spiral.  This is super easy and fun, and you can do it with kids too!  It’s a sweet reminder to see the love in the details.  Of course, leaving notes like this is always nice, like in a loved one’s lunchbox, or on the bathroom mirror (in lipstick if you’re feeling sassy).

Are you bringing some Valentine’s love into your home?  Let me know what ideas you have 🙂




Christmas Decor in the Castle in the Sky

Well, it’s that time of year again!  Time to break out the tinsel and holly, make peppermint cocoa and Christmas cookies – yay!!! If you picture me skipping around obnoxiously cheerful singing “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” like a parent in those back-to-school commercials, you’d have a pretty accurate picture of how I feel.  So we’ve had our tree up since oh, November 1st, but out of consideration for those not as cheer-happy, I’ve held off on the decorations post until now.

I pulled out our beautiful red tapers from last year, and this year they are beautifully lining our window.

Our tree is up again, beautiful and twinkly.

We picked up a special ornament for this year, commemorating our first car 🙂

I tried an idea I saw on Pinterest for dressing our window – hanging ornaments at different heights.  This turned out great, since I wanted to dress it up, but find icicle lights to not have quite as clean-lined a look as I like.  Check out how my little faux garland turned out!

And this is the magical look we get to see with our tree reflected in the window, and city lights at night.  This view, this is why I call our little place a castle, I feel like I’m in a magical land when I look at this.

And of course, I can’t forget our coffee table with our pretty bowl from Ikea that we got last year.  Since I was using the red and silver ornaments on the window, I picked up some more gold and silver ornaments for a sophisticated, mixed metallic touch.

How are you decorating for the holidays?  Any other crazy-early enthusiasts like me out there?

Little HomeSense Treasures

A little while ago, I went on a mini shopping spree.  I’m not really one for shopping sprees anymore usually – there’s the fact that I’m cheap (ahem, frugal), and while my teenaged self loved to see the offerings at the mall and spend hours browsing either alone or with friends, I’m far more impatient nowadays and prefer to shop online.  But as luck would have it, I had a $25 gift card to HomeSense (kind of like HomeGoods in the US) sitting around, and finally I decided one evening to go out and find something to use it for.

Let’s just say that for a girl who’s used to Ikea and online, it was a bit overwhelming at first – what did I want?  A sweet decorative dish?  Linens?  A pretty lamp?  Vases, throw pillows, fancy sauces and cookbooks?  I remembered why I tend to shop online!  But eventually I settled upon two items, and I’ve really liked them ever since.

First up, this cute little organizer caddy/doodad.  I like it because it’s a great little spot to thow papers that need to be dealt with, emptying pockets, and collecting those little knick-knacks that tend to become clutter if they’re allowed to roam free.  It also has a really small footprint on the desktop, yay!  It was quite the bargain, but I love the rich espresso leather finish with detailing 🙂

The other item was more on the pretty/frilly side.  I love scented candles, so this beautiful (pink!) one caught my eye.  Not only is the shape and colour nice, but it smells good enough to eat!  Not overly sweet or fake, just as if I’ve been baking delicious cakes all day….. mmm, cake…

They’re little touches, but I thought them sweet, and part of how we make our place really a home.  What do you think?  Are any of you guys scented candle fiends like me?  Any organizing-lovers?


A Lovely Valentine’s Day

Hello, sweet friends!  I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, and keeping warm in the (hopefully) last few weeks of winter!  We had a wonderful evening, and really a fantastic long weekend, since it was also Family Day on Monday here in Ontario.

So Valentine’s Day fell on Friday, and needless to say I had hearts and sappy love songs dancing around in my head all day – what else can you expect from a romantic like me? 🙂

When I got home, my sweet husband surprised me with the perfect low-key romantic night.  I was greeted by Il Divo music playing, and all the candles lit with their glow and sweet fragrance filling the apartment.  Nick also gave me a beautiful red rose, he’s so wonderful!

Next was dinner.  He whipped up an amazing steak dinner all by himself, which we enjoyed with his selected red wine, by candlelight.  I’ve gotta say, Nick’s steak done restaurant style at home is one of the best I’ve ever had, so this is always a treat!

For dessert, he had picked up amazing chocolate and raspberry cupcakes from one of my favourite bakeries in town – The Cupcake Shoppe!  (This was the same place I got our anniversary cake)  They were delicious!!

The evening was perfect and romantic 🙂

Thus commenced a perfectly relaxing and restful weekend.  On Saturday, we definitely scooped up some deeply discounted Valentine’s chocolate – a Lindor heart box, and a Ferrero Rocher one – and they’re both gone 🙂

Sunday, Nick’s parents were in town for the weekend, so after church we met up with his brother and had lunch at a dumpling house in Chinatown, which was so tasty and oh-so-filling!  Nick’s sweet mother also surprised me with an amazing pink trench coat and purse set for spring, so I can’t wait to start wearing those, they’ll get a feature post for sure!

After all the excitement, Monday was spent lounging around, relaxing, and planning for the future – because that’s what us weirdos do when we have spare time 🙂

Did you guys have a lovely (haha) Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear all about it 🙂

Seasonal Buys to Warm Up Your Winter

I’m not usually much of a spendy shopper, but my shopping definitely picks up as the weather hits the coldest times of year.  In the midst of twinkly lights and presents, there are also the seasonal items that I love, so I like to pick up a few sweet things in the winter, and I’m sure you guys do too!  Here are some of my favourite items.  They’re still in stores right now, and likely at great deals, so there’s no need to lose our holiday cheer just yet!

1 – Bath & Body Works seasonal candles

I like candles in general, since they’re beautiful accents, their flames lend to instant magic and romance, and they usually come in amazing scents.  My favourite scents, though, are the holiday ones!  I’ve had a BBW Twisted Peppermint Candle on hand for every winter since getting married, and this year I picked up a Red Velvet Cupcake one as well!  These particular 3-wick ones last a long time, and are usually 2 for $30, so you can pick up a few – they make great hostess gifts!

2 – Chocolate Advent Calendars

Here we have the classic Lindt chocolate advent calendar.  These are so much fun!  Sometimes we buy them and alternate who gets the treat each day, sometimes we buy cheap ones and eat the whole thing in one sitting, we’re such rebels haha!

3 – Bath & Body Works Holiday Lotions & Creams

This particular one was a Pink Sugarplum scented lotion from Bath & Body Works, but I love picking up Peppermint scented lotion, it’s a great pick me up for dull days!  The Twisted Peppermint (same as the candles in #1) is a nice scent that’s not overly feminine or overpowering, and it smells like a candy cane with notes of vanilla!

4 – Starbucks Seasonal VIA

By now, my love of the Peppermint Mocha is well known, but I also found this stuff – VIA in Peppermint Mocha!  You mix it with hot milk, and it’s like the most amazing and caffeinated peppermint hot chocolate ever!

5 – EOS Holiday Lip Balm Collection

As I’ve already mentioned in this post, I love eos lip balms, so I picked up the holiday pack!  It has the Sweet Mint flavour, as well as Limited Edition Vanilla Bean, and Raspberry Pomegranate – they are all super yummy!

Those are my favourite seasonal buys of 2013, and it sure helps that I love peppermint and candy cane scented and flavoured stuff!  Besides, chocolate is really always in season 🙂  What are some of your favourite items to pick up that get you in a holiday mood, or just pick up your spirits when it gets cold and dreary outside?

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

First, a quick confession – I am the type that gets all excited about Christmas pretty much in November.  Basically, as soon as the stores start spraying holiday cheer and evergreens everywhere, I bust out the Christmas songs and seasonal everything – I love it!  Especially here in Canada, it’s a perfect way to brighten up our terrible winters a little bit 🙂  So it should come as no surprise that I quickly decided to brighten up our apartment with some Christmas decor, especially since this is the first year we have room for a tree!

I started off simple, with elegant red tall candles in glass holders on our dining table.  Tall candles and tapers always seem so lovely to me, and I love the bright red colour of these.  (Candles, candleholders, and tray all from Ikea)

For the coffee table, I splurged a bit on a fabulous bowl, which will be perfect for all seasons, so it was more than worth it!  I’ve had my eye on this bowl for over 2 years now, so I know I’ll love it for a while.  To add seasonal cheer, I filled it with some bright ornaments.  This look is simple, easy to pull together, and very festive!(Bowl and ornaments from Ikea)

And now for the star of our show – our very first Christmas tree!  About a month ago, there was a big sale on at Canadian Tire when they rolled out their trees and holiday decor, so off we went and picked out this beautiful prelit tree!  We also picked up a few ornaments there, and some more at Ikea.  Here are some close-ups of our picks beyond the basic ball ornaments:

At Canadian Tire, we picked up this beautiful sparkly pink swan, silver deer’s head, and this adorable snowman!  And of course, my lovely little Starbucks cup – not only for my love of their delicious concoctions, but also an ode to many sweet memories spent with friends over coffee ❤

And at Ikea, we got this sweet teddy bear and rocking horse in a 2-pack, as well as a 4-pack of silver tasselled ornaments, and a 4-pack of white ornaments with silver design.  The silver star tree topper was also an Ikea purchase!

So our home has been filled with cheer since early November, with a lovely tree, ornaments, and Christmas music filling the air, though I figured I’d wait until December to post about it!  How are you guys decorating for the holidays?  Any earlybirds like me?