Monday, December 31, 2012

on the eve of a new year


Wishing you a wonderful evening as you ring in the new year. Here's to new beginnings and incredible adventures. May tomorrow bring the excitement of a fresh start and the reflection of days gone by. All the very best.

xoxo love,

P.S. Here are a few of the photos from the masquerade shoot I did with the stunningly beautiful Danielle & Stephanie.

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

~ T.S. Eliot

{photos by jolie adele}

Friday, December 21, 2012

champagne delight

It is always lovely to enjoy some bubbly on a special occasion. This holiday season indulge in a few specialty champagne cocktails by giving a little twist to this timeless classic. Simply adding a sprig of lavender, edible flowers or rose petals to each glass can add a hint of flavour and allure. Here are some delicious recipes, by James Chatto, from the latest issue of Food & Drink magazine.  

 "Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life." {Charles Dickens}

Sparkling Saffron
Makes 1 drink
The saffron infusion can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days. You need very little—too much makes the bubbly bitter.

A pinch of saffron
¼ cup (60 mL) hot water

Reserve 3 or 4 strands of saffron for a garnish. Infuse the rest in the hot water for at least 30 minutes. Strain liquid and chill until ready to use.

Add 2 or 3 drops of saffron infusion to a Champagne flute. Fill flute with chilled Champagne. Garnish with saffron strands.

Rose Petal Bellini
Makes 1 drink
The syrup settles at the bottom of this spectacular drink, as if someone had dropped a ruby into the Champagne flute. Some like to use a swizzle stick to draw the heavy syrup up into the cocktail, which makes the drink much sweeter. Either way, the aromas of rose, cinnamon and lychee make this cocktail smell as heavenly as it tastes.

Rosewater and rose syrup (such as Rooh Afza sharbat) are favourite ingredients in Indian desserts and easily found at South Asian grocery stores.

½ tsp (2 mL) rose syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) rosewater
½ oz (15 mL) Goldschläger
2 oz (60 mL) lychee juice, chilled
Sparkling wine, chilled
Red rose petals for garnish

Build the cocktail in a Champagne flute starting with the syrup then adding the rosewater, Goldschläger and lychee juice. Top up with sparkling wine. Garnish with a rose petal.


{photo courtesy of DishonDesign}

Thursday, December 6, 2012

create + bake + inspire

I've been coming across so many special finds for the holiday season - mainly due to my Pinterest addiction - and thought that it would be nice to share a few.

Get Creative
This beautiful DIY ornament from Craftberry Bush is so sweet - even more so because it uses sugar for the sparkly snow.

Get Baking
Whipped frosting dusted with a hint of icing sugar and topped with a few glittery pine trees makes this cake so pretty your guests will most definitely be impressed. This charming dessert is easy to make and will surely spark everyone's interest at your next holiday party.  {image via greige design}

Get Inspired
Odelae is a book arts and design studio that reclaims materials from the early 1900s and reinvents them into handstitched journals. The clam and oyster shell books are an original design. Etsy's blog tells the artist's story of the handstitched clam shell book which is described as "an offering for all the ocean provides."

The artist calls it "an ode to the ocean - a token reminder of the mysterious beauty of the natural world.  The act of sewing the broken halves of the clam shell into a book embodies a return to wholeness and relationship: two shells connected by a moving body of paper; two lands connected by the waves of the sea."

You can read more of Odelae's story here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

au naturel: holiday decor tips

It certainly is the most wonderful time of the year and that means lots of festive gatherings and family visits. This year, I have been encouraging clients to break away from the typical store-bought holiday decorations and instead use natural elements.  Bringing the outdoors inside creates a classic winter ambiance that is both inviting and comforting. 

Filling your home with fragrant pine, balsam, birch wood and pepper berries feels more refined than the mass produced decor items that fill the store shelves this time of year.  You can add a touch of glamour by mixing in some shine & sparkle with luxurious dinnerware, metallic serving pieces and lots of candlelight.

Sugar-frosted fruits {such as plums, pomegranates or apples} are a lovely touch to a dining table, piled high on a cake stand or placed across the fireplace mantle. Simply, brush each piece of fruit with a little egg white wash, sprinkle with sugar and let them dry before putting them on display.


Pinecones are fantastic for holiday decor. They make wonderful place card holders, look amazing stacked in glass hurricanes or bell jars and even better when dusted with glitter.

Filling bowls with seasonal fruit in a grand fashion can really make an impact.  Just look at these sterling silver bowls overflowing with clementines.

Lastly, a favourite go-to of mine are boxwood wreaths. They offer timeless elegance, add a nice pop of green and best of all they never dry out.

I would love to hear some of your favourite, au naturel decorating ideas.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays.

xo love,

{all images via Pinterest}

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

tea + final touches

Taking a moment in between the final preparations for this Saturday night's Nuit Blanche.

THE RESPLENDENT WARRIOR is a striking collection of custom creations by couturier ANOUK MORAN.  If you are making your way through the city during this sleepless night of art & fashion, you must stop by Hazelton Lanes in Yorkville for Art of Fashion

Saturday Sept. 29, 2012   7pm-1am

Monday, July 23, 2012

white + gold

Forget about beige - white and gold are the ultimate neutrals.  Create a simple and striking design with bright, white walls (the perfect blank canvas) and a few quality pieces in brass or gold.  Adding in pops of colour or rustic elements can also make a major impact with this luxurious combo. Anything goes. 

GABRIELLA CRESPI ‘Z’ desk, circa 1974

etco Paper Mache Bowl, Etsy

Original BTC Stanley Brass Pendant Light,  HORNE



{interior images: 1 & 2: Brooklyn Apartment via This is Glamorous, 3. Malmö, Sweden via This is Glamorous
4. The Glamourai, 5. Megan Winters}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oprah's Lifeclass

Last week I was incredibly honoured to be invited to Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour, in Toronto.  She has taken her classes on the road with a powerful new season designed to stir up the psyche, open the heart and continue the journey of finding balance.

The room was full of life with a buzzing energy. The largest Lifeclass event yet, at 8,500 people for both the morning and evening sessions, there was certainly more than a few "a-ha!" moments in the crowd.  Oprah was joined by Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Tony Robbins and Bishop T.D. Jakes for two masterful discussions on Gratitude and The Power of Forgiveness.

If you haven't already watched the Lifeclasses, they are available on the OWN Network as well as on Oprah's website.  Each week features new topics, class notes, a weekly question as well as tools to help you integrate and deepen the teachings. Here are some of my photos from the event:

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