After attending Springtime in Paris themed Snowflake Ball it seems fitting to pack my bags for a long anticipated jaunt to Paris via New York. I’ve had my hands full with the launch of Osolee and now I can finally take a deep breath and have some well deserved fun with friends. There will be some work thrown in, but I’m ready to let my hair down!
First stop is a whirlwind trip to New York where I’m meeting with designers and suppliers to help advance the Osolee line. Nothing excites me more than picking up new pieces for Osolee- each of which have their own unique story behind them. Luckily I have my partner in crime, (and in mischief ) Amanda, by my side after all my meetings are done. I can’t tell you what we’ll be up to, BUT I do promise that it will be filled with big laughs, adventure and, of course, champagne.
From there we both take off to Paris. France beckons me for a visit a few times a year, and I never can resist. This time I have the pleasure of supporting Amanda, who is performing with Montpellier’s national orchestra- what a treat!
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Ladurée, an amazing cafe creme on a bistro patio and of course some beautiful people watching. I find such inspiration from the way French women dress and I hope to infuse some of the trends I spot into the Osolee line. You can promise that I’ll pick up some items to spoil all those Osolee lovers back at home.
Bon voyage and can’t wait to share my trip with you when I get back!
You’re in the final stretch ladies and gents! Here is the last week of tips that I have for you. Happy Holidays to all my readers!
-Don’t for get to groom your pet
-If you traveling to family and friends this year why not travel light think gift cards. If there are gifts that you must bring try wrapping top and bottom boxes separate so airport security can easily identify it. Pack along ribbon and bows to attach when you arrive.
-Take stock of your bar, take inventory of your mixes and restock what is running low. Always have a few bottles of Champagne chilling in a beautiful bowl filled with ice …. so very festive! (Homesense now sells the large Champagne bowls that you see in high end hotels/restaurants for approx $25)
PS….Don’t forget about yourself, try to sneak in some time for YOU! Spa….haircut…pedi….you know what I am saying. Running around taking care of everyone can run you down…so don’t forget, your family will enjoy their Christmas if Mama’s happy!!
Complete half of the house cleaning, starting with the least used areas, like the dining room and guest bedroom.
Polish silver, and hand wash stem ware.
Make and freeze cookie and cracker dough to bake as you need over the coming days. Here are a few a recipes you can use.
Put up interior decorations. If you have a fresh tree the end of the week. You’ll have time to enjoy it, and it will stay fresh. Remember to trim your tree!
If you haven’t already started these tasks- get on it! Here is what I got done this past week in preparation for the holidays.
-Plan holiday menus, order a turkey, a ham, or other specialty foods. I love Luciano’s Fine Foods at 114 Preston Street, Ottawa, 613 236 7545 or Nature’s Buzz in New Edinborough
-Shop online, this you can do at anytime of the day, and it will save you the time of wrapping and shipping.
-Bring out your decorations, check to see what is damaged and needs replacing…don’t forget to check your bulbs.
-Look over your baking supplies and replace what is running low.
-Hand out gifts and gratuities to service people.
-Buy in bulk, such as a case of wine or multiple candles, to offer to neighbors, acquaintances, and party hosts. Dollar stores at this time of year have plenty of pretty bags, you could have all your bulk gifts pre wrapped and ready to go!
-A wonderful Red Wine to have on hand and scored a 90 by Robert Parker Jr. cost $21.95 Is EDMEADES ZINFANDEL 2006 MENDOCINO COUNTY This wine is a medium to full-bodied. You can find this at LCBO.
-My choice for white is from Italy, which also scored a 90 James Suckling cost $16.95. EUGENIO COLLAVINI SAUVIGNON BLANC FUMAT 2006. “Reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauvignon, but better” so said JS! You can also find this at the LCBO.
-When celebrating there has to be a bubbly JANISSON & FILS CHAMPAGNE BRUT TRADITION. Yes, also scoring a 91 . $45.95
-Put up exterior decorations, greenery lasts longer outdoors. Keep in mind there are company’s that you can find to do this. Christmas Decor/ Professionals for Christmas light installation.
-Have a family outing to pick out the tree and other greenery
The count down has begun! This is the first installment of my week-by-week TO-DO list that I’ll being posting during December. I hope it will be helpful for you to stay on track during this very busy time of year. Here are some important dates to remember for December.
WINTER SOLSTICE 21
NEW YEARS EVE 31
FIRST WEEK TO DO”S
- Write out your Christmas card list
- Take a trip to the post office and buy stamps. While you are out pick up some pretty cards (don’t forget if you are running a business to also include your clients) some wrapping paper and supplies are best to have handy.
- Sign, address, and send holiday cards.
-Spend a few hours after work, when stores are not as busy rather then fighting the crowds on weekends.
-Give yourself plenty of time to ship gifts….schedule an at home pick-up which Canada Post now offers.
-It is a great idea to have your address book with you or in your phone, there are some stores now that will ship direct from the store.
LIST OF STORES
I love all the independent boutiques in Ottawa and what better way to kick off your holiday shopping then to visit some of my favourites. Here are just a few shops in Ottawa- what’s great about these stores is that they ship direct!
What are you doing this week to get prepared for the holiday season? Write your tips in comments and I’ll add them to my list! Make sure to come back next week for more tips.
The looks that I get on Halloween from kids trick-or-treating are priceless. I open my door and all you can see is CHRISTMAS EVERYWHERE! That’s the story of a decorator, I always have to be one season ahead of everyone else- which means spring in the dead of winter and Christmas in the glory of fall.
This being said that’s why I’m knee deep in Christmas at the moment- I’ve been asked to be a contributor for a home decor piece in the Ottawa Citizen insert, Style. Along side IKEA, CHEO and others, we are each responsible for decorating a different part of the home for the holiday season and I have the opportunity to get my creative juices flowing for the front door.
This may sound fun, but it’s a daunting task in the middle of October- everywhere I look there is orange and black! I’ve steered away from more traditional colours that you would normally associate with Christmas (firstly because I can’t find any!) and opted a more contemporary palette.
Here’s what I have mind for the front door:
I plan on flanking the entrance with two glass cylinders which will stand four feet tall and span about 2 feet wide. Inside the “vases” I intend to layer different types of fruit such as pomegranates, pears, oranges and limes- items I can actually find this time of year! The skins of these fruits help keep them fresh during the colder winter weather and once they cool down the glass stays clear. The wonderful Joanne from Brantim Country Garden Center supplied me with a fresh greens to create my wreath which was composed of blue spruce, white pine cedar and red pine. Again, I will incorporate the same fruit from the cylinders and add magnolias to compliment this spectacular wreath. I will tie everything together with three different sizes of a warm lime green satin ribbon from C&M Textiles, which will pick up the colour of the pears and limes inside the cylinders and the wreath. To accent the bows I used fringed tassel on the wreath. This is just an ‘idea’ right now- I never know what will happen last minute.
Here are a few pictures, but you’ll have to wait till the issue come out to see!
In the mean time, here is the feature I prepared two years ago that I staged in my own home, for Ottawa at Home.
When do you start decorating for Christmas?