Friday, September 27, 2013

Ladies Who Lunch...

Or Brunch....or Dinner......or Breakfast...

As my last post eluded to, I am a HUGE believer in both making new relationships but also building and nurturing current and longstanding ones!

I truly do think that everyone you cross paths with, you do so for a reason. Those people that you then choose to welcome into your life open a wealth of new possibilities through whatever type of relationship may suit...professional, personal, romantic etc...

I was lucky enough to meet a wonderful group of women this past weekend at BlogPodium and I wholeheartedly look forward to growing, nurturing and building those relationships/friendships.

Through social media (see my last post for our new FB page), our blogs, get-togethers (some of us already have a brunch planned here in Guelph in October and I definitely think a treehouse get together is in order) I am sure new friendships will develop and to say I am looking forward to it is such an understatement!

I have written previously about how important my gal pals are to me and over the past few years, they have grown dearer and dearer to my heart for so many reasons. 

I truly am blessed by the wonderful women that surround me and that I am lucky enough to call friends. Whether we were on the ice together at 3 years old learning to figure skate, sitting beside each other in grade 9 homeroom, university roommates/classmates, co-workers at the same company, neighbours...the list goes on....But.. every one of those gals I cherish, adore and I truly miss their smiles/laughs/hugs when I haven't seen then as much as I would like to.

I have found that as we get older, lives get busier, families get larger, careers get more hectic....we turn to lunching, brunching, drinks, dinner etc to get together, get caught up and sit back and breath!

Whether it's around my dining room table with a stack of magazines (thank you so much again BlogPodium), chocolate cake (that my friend's husband made that was truly FABTASTIC!), some fruit and a latte..(and yes, this was breakfast) sets a mood of ease, comfort and relaxation. The minutes tick by, turning in to hours and you don't even notice it.

mmmm....chocolate cake, magazines and a latte...the perfect Sunday breakfast with a gal pal!

I am also a HUGE fan of going out for breakfast and brunch. It is the time of day that it allows for great discussion, a relaxed environment, many cups of tea or coffee and time to just focus on the gals (note: always turn off the phones, UNLESS, there could be baby problems at home)...

this is the breakfast pizza at Ox in about the PERFECT brunch food...oh, and their lattes....TO DIE FOR!!

Then...there's dinner and drinks.... Really, is there anything much better than a fantastic bottle of wine, amazing food and stunning conversation! I think my friends and I have solved many of the world's problems when all of these things fall into line!

Dinner and Drinks
note: bottle of wine, amazing bar top, gorgeous stone walls, and a menu that was so yummy fantastic we couldn't decide what to order. 
we spent HOURS there that night my friend and I ...the setting was just perfect for great conversation and lots of laughs.

ambiance is key too (kinda obvious, I know)....this was actually just last night and the lighting fixture and the fireplace just added the little extra "muah" to the room!

To me, my girlfriends are like great design.....timeless, warm, welcoming, steadfast and comforting. Keeping those relationships well nurtured and strong is no different then oiling and maintaining that antique piece of furniture you love so dearly. 

Life has thrown a lot of curve balls my way the past few years and without my friends, I don't know where I would be today! all know who you are and I am so utterly thankful to have each and every one of you in my life!

The reason I wrote this post is because I got the sweetest and timeliest message from one of my dearest and oldest friends the other day....I literally opened it up and the tears just started flowing. She and I have spent many, many a day, night, 3am either cooking, lunching, snacking, drinking, chatting, laughing, crying....those simple times have been the best times...and her message to me reminded me of that! Thank you so much Kris...Love ya!

So....get your gals together....throw a dinner party for just the girls (or have an ice cream party where everyone comes in their comfies with a tub of ice cream, cookies, sprinkles and you make sundaes like no other), make reservations and get all dressed up and go for dinner and drinks, or all plan to meet at the local bistro for brunch and coffee (maybe a mimosa too). Keep growing those friendships....building those relationships....these women are in your life for a reason. You have welcomed them into your life...take the time to keep them there!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Connect, Converse, Collaborate

Those three words that can be found on the cover of the BlogPodium Program could not sum up that day/event any more perfectly!

I am still in absolute awe after hearing Sarah Richardson speak. To say that woman is genuine and passionate about what she does for a living and the company/brand she has built around her is the world's biggest understatement! It is very, very apparent that she has worked extremely hard to get where she is today and that every step along the way, she has gained a new piece of wisdom and taken them with her to this day. The most poignant part of her keynote for me was when she put up the email that contained the "not so nice" comments someone had sent her about her new show. She talked about relationships, about how every interaction we have is an opportunity to form a new relationship and asked us to always remember to be careful and cautious of what and how we say things to others. 

Margot Austin of House and Home also echoed Sarah's sentiment during the "Let's Talk: Traditional Media, New Media, Social Media" panel discussion. Margot said, "We're all running the race together and we all have our success stories".

Essentially, these two amazingly successful and driven women reminded us that at the end of the day, we're all in this together, be the better person and support those around us as it will also in turn help us as individuals. Simple, sound and sage advice from two women who would know best!

From top to bottom (L-R): Rhonda Riche (Covet Garden), Jacquelyn Clark (Style Me Pretty Living), Emma Reddington (Chatelaine), Margot Austin (House and Home), Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault (Hue La La), Stephanie (A Paper Buffet), Myself, Sara  (Saige Wisdom) and Sarah Richardson.

In addition to a room full of inspiring and lovely women, there were also some wonderful sponsors at this event and their booths just made me want to go home and get decorating!

Tonic Living (this will be the fabric for my dining chairs)

Sarah Richardson's new fabric line with Kravet

Chapters Indigo, Tonic Living and the Business Card Display.

I have so many new ideas and made many notes about goal setting, prioritizing, making tough decisions, getting organized, networking, time management and leaving time for personal time. This event is really what I needed to give myself that 'push' to help me re-focus on both myself and my blog/business.

CHEERS to all of the amazing ladies (and gentlemen) I (finally) met and be sure to pop over to our new FB page...
Canadian Home, Decor & Lifestyle Bloggers (The Canadian Blogging Belles)  ...let's keep this energy alive!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Jennifer (Rambling Renovators) and her team for making this event such an overwhelming success! I can't wait till next year!!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Too Much Fun = No Rest For The Weary!

The past few weekends (and weekends still to come) have been quite busy...but in a really, really great way! There has been little rest...I am a tad bit is soooo worth it!

A wedding....DIY projects...a Blogger Party....too much fun!

A good friend from University got married at the Ancaster Mill and friends from across the country came to attend! The venue was spectacular....the rustic charm of the Mill has been so well preserved and integrated into the modern renos that they have done. 

Isn't this cake topper fun! His 2 loves...his motorcycle and his bride! Simple and beautiful table settings...that we quickly filled with an assortment of beverages.

Seeing as this was a Mill at one point in time, it was amazing to see how they incorporated the waterfalls, that would have once been for a more practical use, into the beautiful ambiance of the grounds. Thank you Dave and Monika for having me!

The next weekend, my friend Maria texted me that she had found a great coffee table for one of my DIY projects, so I headed to her shop to pick it up.

This home is just down the street from Maria's boutique....I have 2 words for this home... 

I got the table home, gave it a good sanding and a few coats of paint (I sprayed the table versus applying pain with a brush). I did have a bit of a 'hiccup' with one of the cans (the applicator broke) so the plan changed from the the table being a Satin Nickel to a Glossy Almond....

Here it is in my living room....I'm really happy with how it turned out!

I even put together a Fall center piece using last years dried Hydrangeas, a tall Crown Jar, a wire tray and some gourds ..(I even snuck in my bronze bird). was time to get ready for a party...a Blogger Event at Blush in Guelph.

Here's my #OOTD....the invitation (how gorgeous is it!) asked us to wear some sparkle....I ended up going with a dark pair of DKNY jeans, copper booties, a shimmery tank, blazer, flowy scarf (from Blush) and the amazing bracelets that came as part of the invite.

The shop looked absolutely amazing and there were so many yummy goodies to ensure we kept up our energy as we mingled, chatted and shopped. (I treated myself to the black and white geometric dress)

Hey Lovely! ... It was great to meet fellow Canadian Bloggers such as Stephanie, Krystin, and Renee.... Make sure you have a look at Blush's Blog to see all who attended! Michele, THANK YOU for such a fun afternoon!

Louis even joined the party! SUCH A CUTIE!!

After a super fun afternoon of meeting some great gals and some oh-so-needed retail therapy...I had to get on the road to the Muskokas for some meetings for work the following day.

Had some sushi and Sapporo at Wabora in Bracebridge.

This was sunrise the following morning at the Sherwood Inn where we were having our meetings...

This weekend I will be attending BlogPodium in Toronto...I am REALLLLY looking forward it and the opportunity to meet even more amazing bloggers that I have gotten to know through various social media sites...but can finally put faces to names!

The weekend after that I am off to Homecoming at Western University (or, the University of Western Ontario as it was called when I attended). I try and go every year and it's always a blast!

So....looks like I won't be getting much least for the next few weeks...but as they say, sleep is highly overrated!!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

A New Old House...

I just recently re-activated my subscription to House Beautiful magazine (I really have to stop moving so much...I lose track of these things and had really been missing getting this magazine every month)....

My new issue arrived and let's just say, there is a kitchen in it (an no, it's not the Kitchen of the Year..though it is fantastic too) that had me absolutely drooling (if you have the new issue...keep an eye out for the copper pots).

I also follow House Beautiful on my Rustic Retrievals Facebook Page and noticed HB had posted the photo of the amazing soapstone sink in the room with the stable door (see below) and I just had to have a look at the rest of the house!

I'm sure glad I did!

The home, in Nashville Tennessee, is amazingly beautiful, airy and bright.....a fluid mix of rustic charm and southern beauty.

The following are a few of my favorite rooms and needless to say, I absolutely love this home!

Whether is was the amazing fixture/s in the staircase, the numerous soapstone sinks (LOVE how they have one double as a bar cooler), the gorgeous outdoor spaces, the immense walk-in closet, the modern stone fireplace or the kitchen that just begs you to entertain in it....every photo provides wonderful inspiration and perfectly illustrates the allure of this lovely home.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

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