Sweet Spring Cards


A few weeks ago, when the #bloggerfavthings hashtag was going around Twitter & Instagram, I realized how little I send in the mail. Sure I receive things I order online, but I couldn't tell you the last time I sent a card or gift in the mail.

Staying in touch online is so convenient & easy, but the extra effort to write a card & send it? It's something I want to do more often. I don't know what it is - does it feel more personal? caring? - but there is something special about holding a physical letter in your hand from a friend.

I love all the sweet cards above - the Quill & Fox Etsy shop is one of my all time faves - and I kind of love the idea of getting personalized stationary. Something very grown up about it :) And minted has so many options, I had a hard time picking some for this post!

What's your favourite shop for stationary goods?

xo,
B

*affiliate links used in this post

The Christmas Shower


Well, my first proper maid-of-honour duty was a success :) We had the loveliest time on Saturday! Everyone should have a Christmas bridal shower haha I was a bit nervous as to how everything would work out - it was not a typical bridal shower and you never know what the weather will be like in December. But, everything turned out splendidly! Gently falling snow came down that morning, giving just a hint of Christmas. And everyone was on board with the ornament theme - turned into a bit of a woodland creature/Canadian tree by the end :)

Mom & I headed up the night before to help prepare & decorate. Kirsten, one of my best friends & one the bridesmaids, joined us with her delicious cookies that we packaged up for favours. We realized that the three of us (Sophie, Kirsten & myself) hadn't all been together since Canada Day!! Seems so crazy, but it's always like no time has passed when we get together :)

The house was all decorated for Christmas, just a few touches from me for the party :)

Photo-ception? haha

Kirsten and I are not fans of the usual bridal shower games. So, since we were planning this one, we decided against the usual games and opted for a simple photo game. Many laughs were had picking out the photos and they definitely put a smile on some faces as guests passed by :)

The wildflower banner worked really well - not too Christmas-y or too bridal-y!



Are those pavlova's not the sweetest?? Sophie loves them and I thought those 'Hooray' banners would be just perfect atop them :) They turned out even better than I thought!




I don't think I ended up having a slice of cake (you saw all the other food up top right?) but I'm regretting that a little looking at these photos again!




I don't think Sophie & Michael will need to buy an ornament every again haha They received some of the loveliest ornaments I've ever seen!! The fluffy owl just kills me :) I thought the antler was gorgeous  and the 'country mouse & city mouse' are so sweet. The sock monkey was from me haha had to keep it real :)






There's one bridesmaid missing from the photo below, but she lives in Britain so it's just the three Canadian bridesmaids with Soph below. My dress was vintage and you can sort of see my black & white cameo that I wore. We all unintentionally coordinated in black, white & little bit of green :)

Kirsten, Sophie, Heather, me
I love the two shots below of Sophie & her mum :) I snapped the first one as we sat down (what were you doing Soph?? haha). There's something I love about candid shots, but the more 'posed' one turned out really well too :)


A huge thankyou to Audrey, who opened up her home & organized all the food, and Kirsten - your cookies deserve an award!! haha Couldn't have pulled this off without all your help! And to mama, thankyou for helping & putting up with my endless queries. And to everyone that came!! Thankyou for making it such a special day for Sophie :) I know her and Michael will treasure your gifts for years to come.

If you've made it to the end of this post - thankyou! You can read more about my planning here & here, and see how I incorporated some of the decor into a Christmas tablescape here. And if you want to see even more photos from the day, you can view the whole album here.

I've also got two little DIY's that I made for the shower - glitter jars & paper banners - coming later this week! Hope your week is going well!

xo,
B

A Christmas Shower, Take Two

top to bottom, left to right,
one, two, three, fourfive, six, seven, eightnine, ten, eleven, twelvethirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen

After sharing the idea early last week, I thought I should update you on the Christmas bridal shower I'm throwing! Things have been in full swing since then: invites have gone out, RSVP's are coming in, decor has been bought/made, and food planning is underway.

I'm so excited :) It's not everyday you get to throw a party for your best friend, especially with all the lovely Christmas decor abounding this time of year! You'll see the board above is quite different from the original one. There's a lot more neutrals (creams/browns/golds) but still with hits of red & green. I didn't want it to be overtly bridal-y or Christmas-y, but rather a mix of both.

There's a few ideas that are serving more as inspiration, and there's even a few sneak peaks of the invites I designed! We've got a month to go and there's a few more DIY ideas I have up my sleeve so I'll be sure to share those.

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

xo,
B

*some links above are affiliate links.

A Christmas Bridal Shower

top to bottom, left to right:

I know, it's not even Halloween and I'm talking about Christmas. But it's for a good reason!!

I can't remember if I've mentioned it on here before, but my best friend is getting married next summer and has asked me to be the maid of honour! :D

The bride-to-be is currently living in the UK, but will be back for Christmas so we're planning a Christmas bridal shower/party. I've been googling ideas and etiquette all morning, and I think we're going to be breaking most of the rules haha We'll be inviting people who aren't invited to the wedding, since the wedding is going to be quite small. And because she'll be living in the UK after the wedding, she won't be able to take anything big back with her (or risk incurring massive shipping charges!).

I know she won't mind skipping some of the traditional shower activities, but I do still want it to be a lovely afternoon for her & the guests. Above are a few of the ideas I've been gathering from Pinterest, but I'd love to hear from those of you who've thrown showers or had one thrown for you - what did you do/love? Any special ideas or games that turned out really well? Anything a definite must-do or don't?

xo,
B

Artist Love: Holly Casto

Very excited to have an amazing little shop to show you today! Holly Casto is the owner and designer behind Charm & Gumption, a Nashville based company that specializes in stationary and office pretties.

Holly has something for everyone in her adorable shop - it's full of lovely notepads and cards and stamps, but I think my favourite items are her gold foil prints - I just think they are so lovely and I love the message of each one.  I had an opportunity to ask her a few questions to find out more about her shop & items below! (like how she came up with her adorable shop name & what her favourite item is!)

How did you come up with the name for your shop? How long has it been open?
Coming up with the name was quite a process! You have to find something that you like, and then you have to make sure that no one already has it. I loved the combination of those two words, and I felt that it was fitting because charm and gumption are two qualities that every successful woman needs. I opened the shop on January first of this year.

Treat Yo Self Stamp
Who is your perfect customer? Does she have a story?
The Charm & Gumption customer is a woman who takes care of business and looks good doing it. She is working her way up in the workforce, starting her own business, or setting other big goals. She has fun with fashion and entertaining. She has the combination of cute style and impressive work ethic, or...charm and gumption. :)

Be Brave Print
What was the inspiration for your gold foil prints? 
I created each one with sayings or mantras that spoke to me; words that inspired me to work hard and get things done. The designs themselves are simple because I really just wanted the words to shine through. Because of the simple design, I felt that they would really stand out in shiny gold.
Get Fit Notepad
Is there a cool back-story behind one of your items? 
The Get Fit Notepad is actually just the way that I always organize my notebook when I'm trying to watch what I eat or record weight loss. I would divide the page up into sections and track things like water intake, diet, etc. I thought other ladies might find it helpful to have a notepad that is already set up in that way.

Inspiring Sentiments Postcard Set
What is your favourite item in your store?
My favorite item so far is the Inspiring Sentiments Postcard Set. I love the idea of having a set of cards ready to send a quick, inspiring message to a friend who needs it. In college, I made some great friends who would always send me a little note if they knew I was struggling with a certain class or stressed out about something, and it meant more than any text message or tweet. This set makes it so easy to pick the right message, write a quick note on the back, and stick it in the mail - you don't even need an envelope!
________________

Thankyou so much Holly! I have to admit, I missed those postcards when I was going through your shop, but they are completely adorable!! I kind of love postcards (and snail mail in general) and those are just the sweetest - wouldn't it be lovely to receive one of those?

Holly has generously offered you guys 10% off for the rest of the month with the code "CANDG10"! Be sure to browse through Charm & Gumption (and don't miss things like I did haha) and check out Holly's blog. You can also find Charm & Gumption on Facebook and Twitter.

xo,
B

Neck Jewels


I'm not a bracelet person. There are so so many cute and lovely bracelets out there, but I can't wear them for more than 5 minutes. The bracelets I do own sit as decor, so I know now not to buy them.

I may not have any arm parties, but I sure do love my neck jewels :)
Raw Quartz Crystal Poin


Gold Clam Shell
Ice Crystal Pendant
Secret Message Locket
I'm kind of in love with that secret message copper ball - such a modern take on the traditional locket. Do you have any favourites? Or are you more of a bracelet or earring person?

xo,
B

Silver Delights

Hello hello!

Since discovering my forgotten Christmas present 'B', I've been on the hunt for lovely silver details to add to my room. And since my 'B' comes from Anthropologie, I thought that was the perfect place to start :)

I know gold is super popular lately, but I still like a bit of silver :) What's your favourite??

xo,
B

Nailed It: January Edition

I had so much fun sharing my nails with you last month, that I thought I would make it a monthly feature! Nail polish is my favourite accessory :) I tend to paint my nails every 4-5 days, but if they still look good, I'll leave it on for a extra few days. This tends to happen more with glitters than with cremes - glitters tend to have more staying power (which if you've ever tried to remove one, you'll know! haha)

All manicures were done with Essie All In One basecoat & Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat. The glitters have a layer or two of Gelous (you can get it at Sally Beauty Stores) over the polish to keep them nice & shiny!


When I first saw swatches of this polish, I thought it was nice but not for me. But I am SO glad I finally decided to pick it up! This is Deborah Lippmann Mermaid's Dream, and it is such a gorgeous polish! It needs 2-3 coats to be opaque and definitely several coats of Gelous (a glitter polish's best friend). I love all the different kinds of glitter; there's the soft turquoise foil-y bits, with the larger blue glitter and then there's tiny golden flecks - so pretty!! And even though it looks a little bumpy, it wasn't at all.




Have you ever seen gold Minx nails? Well I think OPI's Goldeneye is the closest nail polish will ever get to replicating that effect. It was seriously gold & seriously reflective. I'm usually not a huge fan of gold tones as they don't suit my skintone, but this was just SO fun! It definitely changed depending on the lighting, so I tried to capture the different 'tones' it gave off in the photos above. This polish is probably not for the shy haha



I love this colour, but I will admit I bought it for the name, Hello Gorgeous! (No really, that's its name!) It's by China Glaze and was released as part of their United in Purpose Collection for Breast Cancer Awareness. Love the cause, love the colour, LOVE the name. It's a dusty rose gold pink glitter with TONS of holographic glitter thrown in. I tried to capture some of the awesome glitter in the second photo - so sparkly!


The only creme of the bunch! This is an oldy-but goody :) It's Lapis of Luxury by Essie and it originally came out several summers ago for a short time, but they've released it as part of their drugstore collection, which is where I picked it up. I love a good glitter, but sometimes it's so nice to just have plain glossy creme nails :) This is 4 coats of polish, which I know is a pain, but it gives it this glassy/squishy effect that opaque-er polishes just don't have. And please excuse my super dry cuticles in this photo (and my wonky pointer finger nail - it has a split right where the nail grows above the skin, so I've been using tea bags to 'wrap' it until it grows out), the joys of winter!

What's on your nails lately??

xo,
B

Sparkle-icious Nails

Hello hello!

I've managed to catch some nasty cold that's going around so I spent the weekend between my bed & the couch. Mom bought me some meds yesterday so I'm feeling a bit better today, but still fairly sick. Won't get to spend tonight with my besties, but hopefully I'll see them soon :)

I realize this post might be a bit late, but I wanted to share some festive & sparkly nails with you in case you still need some ideas for NYE tonight! I used Essie All In One Basecoat & Sally Hansen Insta-Dri topcoat with all of these mani's. (If you haven't discovered quick drying topcoats, you need to go buy one asap!)

This mani might be my favourite of the bunch. It was just SO sparkly in person! This is several coats of Essie Beyond Cozy with one coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust (a holographic sparkle polish) for extra fun :) With glitters like this, you'll need at least 2 coats of a good topcoat because they tend to 'eat' topcoat and lose the nice shiny finish topcoat gives. And no one wants dull nails on New Year's Eve!


If you like a good navy, then you need to find a bottle of China Glaze Midnight Mission. It looks ok in the bottle, but on the nails it is so much prettier! I layered Essie Stroke of Brilliance over it to add some extra glitter :) The lighter shimmer from MM matched the glitter in SoB so well! Yay for happy accidents haha


If you want something a bit softer and more understated, then go for a nice cream or white polish and layer a subtle glitter over top! I showed this mani last week, but that was an Instagram shot and this one shows the pretty holographic sparkle a lot better :) This is 4 or 5 coats of Sally Hansen Mousseline with 2 coats of China Glaze Fairy Dust. You'll definitely want to use a quick drying topcoat with this one (I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri, but there's tons out there) so the 8 layers of polish don't take hours to dry!


This gorgeous combo is what's currently on my nails, but I'm going to have to change it later because I just managed to get a large chip on my right hand. This is 3 coats of a really beautiful Color Club wine/maroon/oxblood colour that I don't know the name of (but there's tons of similar ones out there), with China Glaze 5 Golden Rings & some loose gold glitter on the moons. Won't lie, it was a little fiddly to do the moons, but it was definitely worth it. I love the effect it adds to a previously plain red nail!

What are your plans for tonight?? (Hopefully more exciting than mine, which currently involve my couch & Netflix haha) And what's on your nails?? Love getting new recommendations & ideas :)

See you next year!!

xo,
B

Christmas Week

Good morning!

Hope you've had a lovely week :) I have been laying low, enjoying time with family & friends and eating way too much food haha Just wanted to pop in and share a few photos from the week :)
 This package came on Monday and it was the most wonderful early Christmas present :) I ordered Paolo Roversi Series 1 & Rivoli, and then Leigh always includes a 5x7 in every order (this one is Flatterie). Last year when I ordered some prints from Leigh they didn't come until almost New Years, so it was exciting to get them before Christmas this year! Cannot wait to get them framed & hung :D

 Christmas nails! This was a combo of a really soft cream (Sally Hansen Mousseline) & a holographic sparkly topcoat (China Glaze Fairy Dust). It gave the softest sparkle and looked so pretty in the light!

I received several books for Christmas (including Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, which I've already finished haha) and I'm so excited to make my way through this one. The Elements of Style is such a classy looking book, I think I'm going to have to leave it on display when I'm not reading it!

I think this picture makes me smile more than any other one I've taken recently.  So many things I love in one photo! A real fire (courtesy of my brother :) ), good book (Mr Penumbra's), cozy pants & socks, and a little kitten peaking out from under the stool :) All it's missing is a cup of tea!

We had a green Christmas this year (our grass was actually still green it's been so mild), but we woke up to a slight dusting on Boxing Day and then woke up to this yesterday! If only it had been 2 days earlier, eh? haha

I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas week!

xo,
B

Birthday Wishlist

Good morning!

Seeing as my birthday is 1 month & 1 day away (!!!), I figured it was high time to make a little list of things I would like to find all wrapped up :) Many of these items are things I have loved for a loong time (mercury owls, zinc letters & that photo of venice - so dreamy!). And others are items that represent a general category that I love (birch trees, ampersands, & rose gold jewels). And the other two would be for my room (sparkly knob for my dresser & a lorem ipsum switchplace, which is so awesome, I have no words) that is always in progress (isn't that always the case??). 



This sort of doubles as my Christmas wishlist, but there's a few books I'd add to that list. Some people might see having a birthday 22 days before Christmas as a problem. I however, choose to see it as a whole month of gifts & celebrations :)

Happy weekend!!

xo,
B

Mint Love

Good morning!

My mint skirt find last week has had me dreaming of mint all week, so I thought I'd share my favourite finds :)

Mint Stripe Paper Straws
Green Vintage Camera Watercolour Print
Mint & Gold Interlocking Bracelet
Green Striped Silk Pillow
Mint Julep Owls
In case you missed it last week, I was guest posting over on Stephanie's blog! She invited me to join her new series, The Gratefulness Tag, and I was honoured to join & share! You can check it out right here :) Steph is one of those truly lovely people that inspire and encourage, and I was so honoured she asked me to participate!

I'm away at camp this week (snuck in some scheduled post before I left!) but I hope you all have a lovely week!

xo,
B