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Gingerbread House

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Yesterday was our annual Christmas Fun Day at Auntie’s! Every year I have my niece over for the day and we construct a gingerbread house.
I decided to change it up a bit and surprise her with a Barbie gingerbread house. Like how cute is that! She loved it!

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Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

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I’m trying to construct the gingerbread house. It’s more difficult than it looks! ha

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Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

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Artists hard at work.

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Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

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This is what Christmas is all about.

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Ta da! The masterpiece all complete.
What a great day spent making memories with my special girls.Happy Holidays!

Laura xo

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Hostess Gifts

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We are all so busy during the holidays. With all the running around, shopping, baking, cooking, & entertaining, it can get real exhausting. We have made up a sweet list of hostess gifts that any girl would be happy to receive. Wine, chocolates or poinsettia’s are typical hostess gifts that are commonly given and while these gifts are great, we think hostess gifts can be a little more personal and have a wee bit more pizazz.

1. Soap Gift Sets from Lush

You can’t go wrong with Lush products. We love them so much. I know, I know, I have Lush on every single list for gift giving. Trust me, the hostess that receives a gift from Lush will definitely invite you back next year!

2. Specialty Tea from Teavana

Every Host knows that it takes a lot of time and energy to plan a get together let alone get through all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. A quality cup of tea is always appreciated. We love these gift sets that come in the beautiful tins that can be reused over and over. You will be affectionately remembered every time she brews a cup of tea long after the holidays are over.

3. Pure Maple Syrup from Blisgourmet

This amazing maple syrup is recognized by top chefs and foodies such as Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. This is something a little different then the typical bottle of wine or chocolates. Especially great for those that love to cook.

4. Scented Candles from Bath And Body Works

The scented candles from Bath And Body Works are to die for! We can’t pick just one as a favourite. This one is the ultimate holiday scent of rich red apples, green pine and golden cider. One for the hostess and one for me!

5. Lip Balm Sets from Korres

We love, love, love this line from Greece. The body products are the ultimate and so are their lip glosses. Perfect for the long winter to keep lips hydrated and smooth. This limited edition lip glaze set has delicious flavours such as jasmine, pomegranate, raspberry. Made with no parabens or sulphates.

6. Nail Polish Sets from Nails Inc.

Nail polish and nail art is all the rage and who doesn’t love to have their nails all done up? We are amazed at the selection of colours, textures and art that is being done on nails. Can never have too many nail polishes, now can we?

7. Bath and Body Products from Philosophy

We will never get tired of Philosophy products! Ever. The festive gingerbread products add spice to any girl’s day!

8. Designer Fragrance Sets

So many mini sets to choose from during the holidays. A set like this one is perfect with the rollerball fragrance so she can throw it in her purse.

9. Fun Novelty Gifts

Finding really fun personalized gifts are the ultimate if you know the hostess well. For music lovers, a gift like these coasters is different, unique and fun.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Love, Laura xox

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Oh Christmas Tree

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Happy Holidays!
We finally managed to get it together and got our tree up & decorated. Typically we have the whole family come over and we decorate the tree together. Usually this is complete before the end of November. However, this year everyone’s schedule was all over the place. My sister, her husband and their 2 small children went away on an impromptu surprise trip to Disneyland, my son is working out of town and my parents had plans. So that left Natasha and I. Oh and Zeus (aka our fur baby).
I went through that dreaded chore of rummaging around in the garage to get the tree and drag it all the way inside.Β  (And yes, it’s a fake tree. Gasp!) Got it all set up and 3/4 of the lights didn’t work! I tried everything to get them to work. You know, that whole process of going over all of the bulbs, checking the extension cords, plugging and unplugging from the outlet a hundred times. The joy. One hour later, Natasha tries her magic touch and still, nothing. No magic. Like how frustrating is that?
Coincidentally my sister bought a new tree and had her old one waiting in her entrance to be recycled.
Perfect! We’ll take it!

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Every year or 2 I like to choose a new theme when decorating for the holidays. This year we chose purple and gold. One of my all time favourite color combinations. A great design tip I follow is to try and incorporate the colours you have in your home so your tree becomes an extension of the whole room/home.Β  I love it. I have deep, rich warm colours throughout our home. Deep reds, burgundy, gold, terracotta and purple are the main colours in all of our rooms so the tree looks like it belongs and it is so beautiful.

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We are loving how our tree turned out.

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It’s a purple and gold Christmas!

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We have to have hot cocoa before any decorating can begin!
With Baileys Irish Cream?
Yesss please!

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Mariah… being all Mariah!
We had our tv on for the first little while because we wanted to see the lighting of the Rockefeller tree in New York… and see Mariah sing her classic Christmas songs.
Infact her Christmas CD is one of the best Christmas albums ever. We listen to it every year.
Santa Baby!
Great song!

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Our mantel.
I like to coordinate the mantel to match the tree.

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Our coffee table.

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Ummm… yes, we are wearing matching pajamas! ha!
Gotta love La Senza.

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Natasha is a beautiful model… Zeus, not so much!

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We look like crazy school teachers!

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Christmas picture selfies in the middle of the night? Sure, why not?

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It’s probably around 2 a.m. at this point.

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Natasha showing some love to the tree that almost wasn’t!

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From our home to yours, we wish all of you the most magical Christmas season.
Much love,
Laura & Natasha xo

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Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Vancouver

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It’s officially Christmas time! Woo-hoo!
Living in Vancouver there is never a shortage of fun things to do. We prepared our list of activities and/or places to check out during the holiday season well in advance.
Up next on our list was to go and visit the 23rd Annual Gingerbread Lane at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver.
The 40+ gingerbread houses were absolutely spectacular to see. The workmanship and detail that went into them is incredible.
This beautiful one pictured above won first place.

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Replica of Vancouver’s Gastown Steam Clock complete with real steam!

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This elaborate piece is Vancouver’s largest gingerbread house made by Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich. It stands 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It consists of 1400 egg whites, 400lbs of icing sugar & 500lbs of gingerbread dough!

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‘A Very Minion Christmas’ created by Karen Lowe (Vancouver, BC)
So cool!

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Christmas at the French Laundry‘ created by Oliver Bernardino from Richmond, BC.

We loved this gingerbread house! It was in our top 3 favorites.

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Okay, how cute are these?

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This one is so fun! And the detail!

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A Christmas Palace‘ created by Katherine Murray from Coquitlam, BC.

This gingerbread house won first place. It was our favorite too.
The designs and details are so gorgeous!

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Outside the Vancouver Hyatt Hotel.

If you’re in Vancouver, definitely check out the gingerbread houses on display at the Hyatt, open until December 27th.
This event is in support of Make-A-Wish foundation so be sure to make a donation as well as vote for your favourite gingerbread house!
Every year this annual event hosts approximately 20,000 visitors and has raised tens of thousands of dollars.
We highly recommend stopping by and checking it out!

Happy Holidays!
Laura & Natasha xo

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West Coast Christmas Show

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Yesterday we went and checked out the West Coast Christmas Show in Abbotsford, BC.
The West Coast Christmas Show is a big holiday convention where you can find all kinds of goodies for the holidays like gifts, fancy foods from local vendors, decor ideas, live Christmas music & even culinary presentations, (just to name a few).

We’ve never been to the show before but when we heard that Food Network’s (Baker Extraordinaire) Anna Olson was going to be there, we had to go!

Anna performed a Holiday Baking presentation, and gave out lots of helpful baking tips & tricks.
She also baked a few things on stage – an apple crisp trifle, and shortbread bars. They looked amazing!

Here are a few of Anna’s Baking Tips that she shared:

– always use unsalted butter (for a number of reasons, but it is scientifically proven that unsalted butter has more butter in it than salted.)
– when making bars, line the pan with overhanging notched parchment paper so the bars don’t stick & are easy to get out of the pan after baking.
– when cutting a cheesecake or bars – to get a precise cut every time, dip knife in a glass of hot water for 30 seconds, & wipe dry.

Getting to meet Anna was definitely the highlight of the show for us, but we also had fun walking around looking at all the Christmas goodies! There were lots of local vendors & artisans there which was great.
We ended up buyingΒ  J.R. Watkins cinnamon (Anna used it during her set, and recommended it!), and 100% natural bath body salts. (pictures below)

We had such a great time and getting to meet Anna was awesome – She’s a big inspiration to us.

If you’re in the area, definitely go check out the West Coast Christmas Show for some Holiday fun.

Happy Holidays!

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Body Saltz

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How cute are these cupcake soaps?! I am kicking myself for not buying one now.

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Monkey Toast – Delicious flavour-packed fruit crisps made from 100% organic whole wheat flour, which are nut free and dairy free.
Β We tried a sample of the Banana Blueberry crackers & they are delish!

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Laura with her goodies.

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selfie’s in the car. obviously.

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(suppp!)

Our purchases:

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100% natural body salts by Body Saltz.
These vanilla bliss bath salts seriously smell amazing.. we can’t wait to try them out.

Body Saltz is a Canadian company based in the Fraser Valley of BC that makes homemade, 100% natural body products.

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Anna’s cinnamon recommendation: J.R. Watkins.

Laura & Natasha xo
(note: all photos were taken with an iphone, as dslr camera’s aren’t allowed in the convention centre.)

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A Walk In The Park

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Since the Fall weather has been so beautiful the last few days, we wanted to really enjoy it & take some photographs at the park.
So we grabbed our camera, walked to Starbucks (obviously. Starbucks is a must), than to the park. The local Starbucks is literally only a 2 minute walk from our place and the park is also close by, so it’s perfect!

In other news, we finally got a new computer & everything is up and running, so you can expect regular posts from now on – We are so excited!

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How cute are these coffee cozies?!
I posted about them previously in my Favorite Things post which you can see here.
We love our coffee cozies! They do a great job of keeping the coffee warm. So handy & cute.
Laura got the Heart cozy, and Natasha got the Pumpkin cozy.

We ordered them from Faith’s Yarn Works on Etsy. Check out Ashlen’s work – she has some beautiful knitted goods. We are big fans! πŸ™‚

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Natasha’s Johnny Cupcakes hoodie.
If you haven’t heard of Johnny Cupcakes, definitely check out his site! His story is so inspiring.

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Laura’s Steve Madden boots!

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Xo Laura & Natasha

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