checking in for the holidays

the sparkle christmas card

another year has gone by, and here we are almost at christmas! on a personal note, my year was pretty eventful. last december, i got engaged, we were married, we moved, i grew my business (to the point i’m super happy with) - the only thing that didn’t happen was having a baby! and no, we are not expecting (just yet). side note, it’s funny when you get married how many people ask you when you are getting preggers… and they are totally serious.

we decided to do the official christmas card thing this year, it being our first year as newlyweds! we really wanted to use a photo from our wedding, but they didn’t arrive in time, so decided to go with this one from our engagement shoot with sweet life photography. love these cards from minted, and was surprise we agreed on the design so easily! also obsessed with those glittery acrylic pieces (from a local shop here in vancouver, barefoot contessa), which i gifted to a girlfriend.

i love the holiday season and as our first year as a married couple, we’re doing exactly what newlyweds do… and are spending the holidays apart! well, i go back to my hometown for the holiday’s every year, and since i don’t see my family often, it’s imperative. R is staying home with his family. it works for us, and absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? what about you? what are your plans?

merry christmas, and i will see you in 2015! xo


my favourite things of 2014

sparkle fave things 2014

just like oprah, except you don’t get to keep anything and no free cars. sorry, guys! but hey, at least you get to snoop through my favourite things of 2014 that have made my year so much better. from my fave snack, to the kicks you can’t rip off of my feet, to the tunes R loathes that i love.

boom chika pop is a costco staple and isn’t organic, but is gmo free which is a must – lightly salted, and more on the healthier side than alternatives, i snack on this almost nightly || these converse kicks have been on my feet non-stop. they pair with everything from jeans, to skirts, to leggings and when paired with almost anything, instantly give a downtown vibe | me, like every other girl (and most of my friends) are obsessed with t. swift’s latest album (listen to ‘style’ and remember being young and stupid). i don’t even try to fight it || the 1975′s album was one of my faves of the year || my celine nano was a splurge, and well worth it – i use this crossbody bag almost daily | this target bar cart was so worth the cross border trip to pick it up. it adds serious style to our living room and i finally have somewhere to display my ample paper straw collection (ha) || i didn’t even know a completely natural mascara existed, and double didn’t know it would be my fave! || another costco find, i love the texture this sheepskin gives to our space (and my instgram photos) || perfect for the market, barefoot contessa ina garten has the same one! love using this as a tote. it’s so substantial.

sparkle with robson street: holiday tablescape inspiration

cb2 tablescape 4   cb2 tablescape

the holidays are officially here and i’ve partnered with my favourite vancouver shopping district, robson street, to bring you holiday inspiration all month long as part of their official holiday campaign, #sparklewithrobson! alongside one of my close friends, christie lohr of style nine to five, we’re sharing ideas, inspiration and tips on decor, beauty, lifestyle and fashion! keep reading, because i’m giving you something to kick off the generosity of the season at the end of this post!

last week, christie showcased how to go from an office day to your holiday party without a dreaded trip home, and this week, i’m showing you how to get a lush and modern tablescape for your holiday dinners, or even that special one on december 25th!

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cb2 is on robson street, and is famous for their minimal and modern aesthetic; i loved using their inventory to design a tablescape i’d be thrilled to have in my home for the holidays. pulling my favourite items, and pairing them with festive green and red blooms from the flower factory, and a little whimsy thanks to sweet bake shop‘s reindeer sugar cookies, it’s a table i’d love to sit down at.

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when setting the perfect table, it’s all about playing with textures, heights, and of course, the perfect lighting. those hanging pendent lights intermixed with glass bulbs lit with tealights were a perfect mix of soft and strong. the table was so gorgeous naked, that i didn’t want to cover it up with a linen, choosing metallic placemats with simple white dinnerware as my base. a flat linen napkin brought an organic feel along with a simple piece of greenery laid on top for added interest. i love sticking with a neutral base, and sprinkling in bolder and more colourful accessories like flowers.

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the flowers can make the table and are what makes this one feel so vibrant and alive. the flowers were a mix of greenery laid down the length of the table (like garland),  bud vases full of berries and bright red blooms, and succulents and peonies threaded into wire cubes which was a fun use of such a modern piece.

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for seating, two wood benches flanked each side of our table, and gorgeous, fluffy sheepskins gave a huge hit of cozy texture. the two white chairs at each head of the table were a nice differentiation thanks to their curved legs and traditional shape (and i personally also love them as an office chair). my biggest advice when deciding which items to use is to have fun and trust your gut. if you’re attracted to something, try it out and if it doesn’t work, simply swap it out!

to see all of the items used, please see this list – there’s more than a few things here i’d love to add to my christmas list! (i’ve put a star beside my absolute faves!)

we’re giving you a chance to win a $200 gift card to set up your very own holiday table – pop on over to instagram to win. good luck!

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a day at sparkle media

blog designava

when i started sparkle media over a year ago, i had no big picture plan about where it would lead, nor did i have any idea what it would turn into. every day, i am literally so grateful for how things have evolved. i’m so lucky to work with wonderful women to build their companies. one of the exciting projects sparkle media recently worked on was a new brand and website for sugar plum sisters, a website run by two sisters (who are truly wonderful people, i have to say!), and they visited sparkle media hq recently to check in and go over some final items we were working on together. pam and laurel wanted a freshened up brand to match their stylish lives, and we created a streamlined site with unique details and special customizations. pop by their website to have a look!

peonies in november 1 sugar plum sisters 1

obviously, ava had to stay close by for lots of attention and cuddles.

sugar plum sisters

peonies in november

yes, those are peonies in november! my go-to flower shop, flower factory, is magical.

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these two have great taste, so i had to get their opinion on a fabric choice for the new custom ottoman we’re having made from lofty living.

it’s a blessing when work brings you so much happiness, and there’s not a day i don’t appreciate it!

styling your space

sparkle sweet home

we did it, we’re into our new home and i’m so, so excited about it! we are in a downtown highrise condo, and it’s my first time living up high like this. i’ve always been in older, low-rise character buildings, and thought that’s what i liked best. let me tell you, it’s really nice having underground parking, new bathrooms, a huge patio and walls of windows – we’re settling in really well. it almost feels like we’re staying in a hotel!

the most exciting part of a new space is the decorating! i’m not one to overspend on things, in the past, i usually would just rummage through craigslist and rely on hand me downs. i usually take much to long to finish off a space (especially with art!). this time, we’re newlyweds, and i feel like it’s okay to start investing in items that really reflect our taste. we have purchased most of our foundation pieces, like a couch, dining room table and chairs, a great mattress, desks and area rugs – we will be working on a coffee table, lighting fixtures, a bed, side tables and maybe new lamps and art to bring things together. i can’t wait to take you along our journey!

the first thing i did when we got the boxes into our new place, was work on unpacking decorator pieces – it immediately gave me so much happiness and made me feel settled. our new place has a wonderful pseudo built in (perfectly fit shelving running the entire length of our living area) which has become the perfect to display my pretty cake stands (which r just doesn’t understand, but i know you do), fave cookbooks and little details. many of the items have wonderful stories behind them (shower gifts, wedding reminders) and i love that we are showcasing those special things.

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i have played with layers, with pops of a few specific bright colours, turquoise and magenta, and even r likes it! not everything can be all about the decor, function also plays a role in our space, and the other cabinet holds things like dvd’s, books that don’t make the ‘pretty’ cut and other random items.

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i can’t wait to share the process of our decorating with you – i’m documenting everything on instagram with a special #sparklesweethome hashtag. and of course, the full reveal will happen as soon as the place is complete!