Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Vintage Anthro-inspired Christmas home tour

Hot dog!  It's home tour day!!

I am so excited to be participating in this installment of the Canadian Bloggers Home Tour.  I  got to sneak in at the last minute, and I want to thank Christina and Shannon for hosting this collection of tours.  

It's so amazing to be able to see everyone's different takes on holiday decorating all corralled into one place.  Make sure you pop over to everyone else's tours through the links at the bottom of the post.

Ok, on with the tour.

I don't usually try to theme my decor, or really have any of a plan at all.  I usually just put all the things up, and it usually works-ish.  This year, though, I decided I needed a plan just to pull things together.  I had a dark and moody board all put together and I thought that was it.  Until I was scrolling through Anthropologie's website.  I saw all the fun, quirky things they had for their holiday collection and decided-I'm going for it- an eclectic mix of colour, vintage and quirky bits, using all the things I already had.

Hold onto your coffee cups friends.

This ain't a simple Christmas.  

I think Buddy the Elf and Clark Griswold would be proud.

My little flocked tree in the entry is super old- it was mine when I lived at home with my mom and dad.  I popped it into a basket that was in my daughter's room, and nestled it beside my antique seed cupboard.  It casts just the right warm glow at the bottom of the stairs.  The wreath on the front door I made myself with a grapevine wreath I thrifted and some cuttings I picked up at the grocery store.

And then on this side of the entry, I have old Lord Nelson in a bit of a snow storm but he's got his hat and scarf on, so he'll be fine.  The little paper village on top of my coat rack is a printable from Alice Wingerden click here to grab this cutie for yourself

Onto the dining room.

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that my dad and I planked this wall in our dining area last month.  I am still just as in love with it.  It adds some character and texture and it cost less than $100.

This little guy isn't vintage but he sure looks like it to me.  I grabbed him at Michael's (on sale!) a couple of weeks ago.

So it's an Anthropologie inspired Christmas, and I had to have something actually from there.  This advent calendar is even more lovely in person. (and boo, it's not online anymore)  I have treats tucked into each day that the kiddos share. I've only had one complaint, but then her brother gladly ate the offensive treat.

Displaying photos of the kiddos from Christmases past is a must for me.  This year, I hung them from this chain garland along with some vintage sign letters.  It makes me smile whenever I looked at these cuties, and get a little misty when I realize how big they've gotten right in front of my eyes.

What is a home tour without flowers, my friends?  Real life?  Yes.  But we're pretending that my island isn't covered in crap during this photo shoot, so let's pretend I usually have flowers too.

Because I had a brain blip, I didn't get to my favourite little flower place around the corner in time.  So I had to grab two $7 bunches of carnations at the grocery store.  I grabbed an assortment of jars from my cupboards (I have a stockpile of jars, don't get Tim started on it unless you have a hour to kill) and some cedar pieces from my porch decor and put together these sweet little pops of colour.

I criss crossed runners guys.  I totally did.  

You don't have to do everything the way you're supposed to.  

If a wild hair hits you, go for it.

I'm talking a lot here, so I'm going to try to catch my breath and let you have a boo at my living room and (embarassingly) large collection of thrifted glass ornaments.

See my new old door down the hall.  It's so good.


This is one of my favourite happy accidents decorating this season.  (I grew up watching Bob Ross, I know happy accidents when I see them)
I was unloading more boxes of ornaments and didn't have anywhere to put the beauties, so I put them in this big old basket I thrifted.  I love them like this and will do it every year.

You're getting a look upstairs at the loft this year.  I didn't decorate the kids' rooms this year, because I would have gotten way too miserable if I had attempted to navigate the messes.  Instead, I put up another tree- with coloured lights- that they put all their own ornaments on.  And I pretty much love it.

The wall hanging is a piece of wrapping paper that I stapled to two pieces of wood and hung with some twine.  I have to find something for the rest of the year now, cause I like this so much.

My daughter LOVES nutcrackers.  She has amassed quite a collection in her 8 years, and we put them on the dresser that serves as a TV console.  So she can see them, and I don't have to.  
I hate nutcrackers.  They're creepy little jerks.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of our Christmas home.  It's my favourite season- for so many reasons.  I hope to share my Christmas kitchen with you next week (yes, there's more) but until then pour another cup and turn on some Leslie Odom Jr. and go check out the rest of the tours!

Now it’s time to tour all of the other beautiful homes in the Christmas Canadian Bloggers Home Tour hop this season!

Click on the links below from Tuesday – Friday this week to get beautiful Christmas decor inspiration from my Canadian blogging friends.






Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas cookie blog hop- maple sugar cookies

It's Christmas time, pretty babies.  
And you know what that means?
Well, it means more than that, 
but for today it means cookies.
Today I'm so excited to be participating in a blog hop with some stellar ladies and sharing recipes for some of our favourite (and Santa's favourite) treats.
At the end of the post, you'll be able to click over and see the other bits of deliciousness.

Don't those look good!

I'm adding a little Canadian twist (maple-ization) to one of the favourites in our house- sugar cookies.

Sugar cookies are a holiday staple for me- growing up my mom cranked them out in whatever shape suited the holiday (hearts, pumpkins, bells) and we gobbled them right up.  

My kids are following in my crumbs.

This is a really simple recipe with way less refined sugar (especially if you don't ice them) than usual.

I substituted a cup of white sugar in the recipe with a half cup of maple syrup (real maple syrup, not table syrup)- syrup is sweeter than sugar, so you don't need as much.  By no means am I saying these are healthy (cause I just don't do healthy cookies) but it has less sugar.
Until you douse it with sugary icing.

This is the syrup I used.

After you make your cookie dough, you will need to chill it for a least 4 hours or overnight before you roll it out and cut out your favourite shapes.

With this cookie, I like to roll out the dough fairly thin, as I like these a little crispier- try to roll it out (on a well floured surface) to 1/4 inch or so.  You could go thinner, but you have to adjust your baking time to make sure you don't burn them.

I'm no cookie decorator- as you can see.  
I can do simple and I try to make it cute.  
I make a thicker glaze and put it into squeeze bottles to ice - it's easier to handle and to wash up afterwards.
I trace the outline of the cookie and then flood the shape so my glaze is pretty smooth and hopefully doesn't run off the edges too badly.

I hope you enjoy these, they're super yummy and they look cute on a cookie plate or as a gift for someone you love.

Maple Sugar Cookies
(adapted from flour by Joanne Chang)

1 cup butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup maple syrup (real maple syrup, not table syrup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon maple extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


3 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons milk
food colouring (optional)

Cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
Add in maple syrup, eggs and maple extract- the mixture may get a little clumpy, but that's ok.

In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix together.

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.

One dough is mixed well and all the flour is incorporated, turn out onto a floured surface and separate into two pieces.

Flatten each piece into a disc, wrap well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut into desired shapes and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack fully before icing.

Mix glaze ingredients in a medium sized bowl and pour into squeeze bottles.  Glaze or ice as desired.

Check what my friends are serving up for you today....

More Delicious Christmas Cookie Recipes:

For more Christmas cookie recipes, make sure you check out the delicious recipes below!

Swiss Mountain Shortbread by Kim of Kim Power Style 

German Iced Spice Christmas Cookies by Christina of The DIY Mommy 

Slice and Bake Shortbread Cookies by Jo-Anna of A Pretty Life in the Suburbs 

Cathedral Window Cookies by Rita of Harbour Breeze Home 

Chocolate Peppermint Biscotti by Kendra of Joy In Our Home 

Cranberry Orange Shortbread by Jen of Kitchen Counter Chronicles 

Holiday Crinkle Cookies by Lisa of Fabulous Habits 

Maple Shortbread Snowflakes by Laura of one house 2 barns 

Ritz Cracker Bark (aka Crookies) by Courtenay of Creek Line House 

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies by Jennifer of Happily Organized Chaos 

Earl Grey Snowball Cookies by Tan of Squirrelly Minds 

Gingerbread Cookies by Dannyelle of Life is a Party