One Room Challenge Linking Party and a Birthday Shout Out

Hooray, it's Friday! What's everyone up to this weekend? I'll be in class all day Saturday (AutoCAD) and all day Sunday (Kitchen Planning & Renovation). But don't feel sorry for me because I have ALL OF NEXT WEEK OFF WORK! Finally, I can get started on my list of house projects. It will also be nice to sleep in, catch up on stacks of unread decor magazines, write more blog posts, catch up with friends, and get a chance to be outside while the sun is up as opposed to being cooped up in an office all day (especially now that the sun is finally starting to make an appearance again). Maybe I'll get a little shopping done, and I'm long overdue for a haircut and a mani-pedi. Ahh, staycation, I love you! Not as much as I love sipping cocktails on a warm, sunny beach, but c'est la vie.   

Speaking of that list of house projects...have you heard of the One Room Challenge? It's an event created by Linda of Calling it Home, where a group of design bloggers each transform one room in their home (or their client's home) over a 6 week period, blogging weekly on the progress they've made. In the most recent round of the ORC, Linda set up a linking party so that anyone who wanted to participate could join in on the action. She's hosting the linking party again this time around and I plan on taking part. It officially starts on April 3rd - to follow along with me and all the other participants, look for the ORC logo on my blog, which I'll be posting on my sidebar as a link before the challenge starts.    

In other, more important news, today is my brother's birthday! Happy birthday, Matt! My brother is an extremely skilled guitar player and song composer and plays in a band called Burning The Day. Here's a picture of my bro and his boy, Stan. I'm so proud of my brother, and I love him so much.  I don't tell him that enough. Cheers to you, bro! 

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! 

Happy Birthday To Me!! And Merry Christmas To All :)

It's my birthday! Happy birthday to me! For me, today is all about sleeping in, having breakfast in bed, relaxing all day, then later tonight my boyfriend is making a special, surprise dinner for me. And of course, there will be champagne. Lots of champagne.  :) 

image via coco+kelley

Because I didn't get the chance to send my holiday wishes out earlier this week, I also want to take this moment to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays; I hope you celebrated with the season with the ones you love. And for those in Ontario dealing with the ice storm - I hope you had power! If you didn't, hopefully you were able to get somewhere warm. My mum's house was without power for most of the day a couple of days before Christmas - branches heavy with ice on the huge tree in her front yard fell down and took out some hydro wires. Though the power came back on, it wasn't guaranteed that it would stay on since the hydro guys needed to shut it off to fix the downed wires. We didn't want to take any chances, so my mum packed up the turkey and our family's Christmas celebration was hosted at my house instead. Every year we take family photos with our Santa hats (a tradition that my dad started, that we continue to do in his memory), and this year we used the "photo booth" from my Christmas party a few weeks ago as the perfect backdrop.  

Christmas 2013 with my mum and brother (and my brother's dog Stan). My brother found some grey hair spray leftover from a previous Halloween and decided to give himself a Santa beard.   :)

I didn't have very much time for holiday decorating this year, didn't even have time to get a tree, but I'm very thankful to my friend Trish for bringing me this live mini tabletop tree (it's only about 2' high) - not only did I not have time to get a tree this year, but due to my new living room configuration I don't even have space for a full-size tree. This little guy is perfect:  

As I mentioned, I set up a "photo booth" for the Christmas party I held earlier this month, complete with a selection of props including a Santa hat and beard, Frosty the Snowman's top hat and carrot nose, Naughty and Nice arrows, elf hats, and my favourite, Rudolph's antlers and red nose. For fun, I tried to hold the antlers and nose up to one of my cat's faces, and as you can see from the series of photos below, he wasn't too keen on holding still for the photo!   

Finally, I wanted to share a couple of photos I took of some ice-covered branches from the storm. I snapped these pics on Christmas Eve, the first sunny day after the storm, before the sun had a chance to melt the glittering ice away. I was amazed by the ability of this ice storm to bring about so much damage, causing power outages and property damage from fallen trees, and yet Mother Nature still dared to be beautiful in the face of her destruction. It was lovely to see friends and communities coming together, those with power opening up their homes to those without. That is the real and true meaning of Christmas.  :) 

Today is my special day, the sun is shining and life is good - I raise my glass to you all!  Cheers!