Last Minute Valentines Day Gift Guide – For Her

It’s Valentines Day on Saturday and if you’re anything like me you will wait until… maybe tomorrow? to pick up something for your main squeeze. I’m habitually bad at buying gifts (I know I have said this before, but the point is so true it is worth reiterating) so I thought why not help out my fellow procrastinators with a gift edition part deux aimed at the ladies in your lives.

Gifts don’t have to be just for your significant other, or just for valentines day, these are items your Mom, bestie, sister, roommate, the list goes on.. is sure to love! I will be spending this Saturday, like women all over the city, with my boyfriend, his name is ‘my career’ and we will be crushing grape and crawling into bed early as I have a 7am flight the next morning heading to a conference for work. #truelove

Valentines Gifts for Her

This Jo Malone cologne in ‘Red Roses’ is the perfect Valentines day scent and the prettiest hue of blush pink. I am a huge fan of Jo Malone and wear the Lime Basil + Mandarin scent religiously.

There is nothing better than crisp cotton pyjamas, and this shorts set floral print pair from Plum Pretty Sugar is the perfect set as we creep closer to spring.

Chapters always has cute home stuff, specifically this gold painted stripe cushion, which hits two major wins on my current lust list, gold + stripes.

I love a good Essie polish and recently they have come out with a new Cashmere Matte line; I can’t wait to get my paws on this pale pink color, cleverly titled ‘just stitched.’

This Olive Oil was actually an idea from a girlfriend, she got this for her Mom for Christmas and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. It’s a company called ‘Nudo Italia‘ and the way it works is you adopt a tree in Italy and the company regularly delivers to you the olive oil it produces! How cool is that?! You can also adopt a tea garden in India or receive honey when adopting a beehive in the UK. I love it.

Lastly I have pulled this adorable Flamingo Print available locally at The Cross in Vancouver, one of my favorite decor stores. I have a Flamingo obsession and I think this print would look so chic mounted in a gold frame in a white wash apartment.

Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration here! And when all else fails wine, chocolate and flowers. (But mostly wine.)



Is it Spring (Décor) Yet?

This time of year is super boring. I got back from Mexico a couple weeks ago, my tan is faded and the Christmas frenzy has long since passed (I haven’t taken my Christmas décor down yet, isn’t that ridiculous?) I’m actually so embarrassed and just text my roommate to plan a date to do it. I took my wreaths down so at least my neighbours think I have my life together. But I don’t. I just feel extremely unmotivated this time of year. I mean I COULD spend an evening tearing down the winter wonderland that is my home, OR I could turn on the Christmas tree lights, drink a bottle of Cono Sur Viognier (so cheap, so good), and catch up on episodes of modern family. IF YOU DON’T THINK THE LATTER SOUNDS WAY BETTER NEVER COME BACK TO THIS BLOG.

In search of motivation I am doing a couple fun things to spice up the worst time of the year ever. I have started a run club at my office and I am taking French lessons. The goal of both is to be overall a little sexier come spring. A girl can dreamAnyway, another thing I am really excited about, that fortunately is contingent upon getting my ass in gear and taking the garland off my headboard, is spring decorating. I’m excited for the days to start getting longer, the sun to fill my apartment later and to bring a ton of fresh color into my décor.

In a recent post I talked about my affinity for gold. The love is alive and well. In fact I would say I have renewed my vow to gold as I cruise pinterest and see how beautifully it transitions from the warm reds and browns of winter to the bright purples, oranges and greens of spring. I’ve got some strong influences guiding me for the upcoming season; via my friend Whitney‘s influence, I am really loving fun art deco style / chinoiserie inspired prints and anything that feels like it would look perfect poolside in Palm Springs. This site has the most amazing prints, I want custom calling cards and address labels immediately and I am OBSESSED with the custom lucite trays. I’m also craving bright cushions in fun prints, which is a carry over from last year. Cushions are such an easy way to add a splash of colour and really change the look and feel of a room for only a few bucks. In a frugal DIY attempt I made my own cushion covers last year but the material wasn’t perfect. So I am on the hunt! Where do you shop for well priced cushions / cushion covers? 



Gold Rush

Whenever my Mom and I go to HomeSense together I get extreme anxiety. My Mom is an AMAZING interior designer and rips through that place like a bat out of hell. She tries to buy me anything and everything she thinks will look cute in my apartment which is obviously very nice, but also very overwhelming because she’s a whirlwind and I’m a planner. I need to think about how things will fit with the rest of my decor, their longevity, if I can get a better deal (I’m a huge bargain hunter) and what my plans are for the space etc. etc. I source almost everything online before I purchase it. This way I can get all the deets, look at it while i’m in my house (genius) and be really confident when I go to buy. It’s also because I’m lazy and returning things is the worst thing in the world. EXAMPLE: My Mom tried to purchase rug a few weeks ago on a whim and it didn’t work, so the next day she went back  and exchanged it, brought a new one home didn’t like it, ended up returning it again and going rugless in that room, straight up brazilian.. after all that effort! I’m exhausted just thinking about it and may never buy a rug again as a superfluous act of solidarity. This is for you Mom!

ANYWAY. Accessories are always the easiest purchase. They are generally cheaper and ergo less of a commitment, they can be seasonal and they really add feeling and finishing to a room. Right now I’m into gold. Silver is out. Gold adds such an elegant, modern feeling to a space and you don’t need much, just a few pieces to add a bit of shimmer shammer (there is for sure a 99 cent lip gloss named ‘shimmer shammer’ out there somewhere). Also, it’s neutral enough it works in almost any space.

These are a few gold pieces that I love love love right now.


1. These sweet candle-holders from Crate&Barrel are a perfect way to add a touch of gold.

2. I am OBSESSED with gold cutlery. I think the trick is to keep it matte and super simple, if it’s at all ornate it can look dated. This set by Cutipol has nailed it. With the holidays fast approaching what better time to invest in gold cutlery?

3. This decorative ampersand is available at The Cross (which is where I would like to go when I die) and is exactly what I’m talking about when I say “finishing a room”. Which is really just a tricky way of justifying buying stuff that has absolute no real life value or purpose at all but is so pretty. It would look so sweet on a mantel mixed with some leaning photos, on a bedside table of a happy couple, on a shelf that houses red wine and stemware (caught that? can I get an amen?) really it would look cute anywhere.

4. I love this gold vase by Christiane Lemieux. The fact that it isn’t solid balances the size perfectly. I love that you would get a hint of green stems through it if filled with fluers.  

5. This end table is so cool, it offers a very chic Art Deco feeling that is so popular right now and I need it in my apartment immediately.

6. A tray is such a great addition to any coffee table/ottoman  situation. This one would look great in a living room or on a bedside table with some fresh flowers and a candle. It would also be perfect on my bar housing my crystal decanters.

Check out my WANT and INSIDE boards on Pinterest to see more of my favorite things!

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For those of you who don’t know, that is a reference to a relatively inappropriate Rhianna song, but it has been stuck in my head for the past few days as I have been spoiled rotten this past week for my 26th birthday. Yes. 26. I am unwed, childless, I rent, I’m 26 and still make a HUGE deal out of my birthday. Every year I think it will be a quiet event as I get older and wiser, but I LOVE birthdays, and every year, without fail, I end up making such a big deal about the count down to my ‘big day’ I by default intimidate everyone around me into pulling out all the stops. This year was no different and as a result this post is kind of a multi-review/story telling/gloating? kind of post, about what a lucky chick I am. Let’s start at the beginning…


Because my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, and the following weekend (this weekend) is thanksgiving, I decided to have my birthday party the Saturday prior. The Friday night before I went to visit my mom at our vacation house, where she gifted me a new DSLR camera as my birthday gift from my family, which is how I am able to supply all these lovely pics!

Saturday night arrived and my girlfriends Katie and Kristen came over, locked me in my bathroom while I was curling my hair, and did up my kitchen with balloons, candy, candles, cupcakes, champagne and a few of my fav snacks. It was SO cute and so sweet!



We drank champagne, had a great dance party and headed to my friend Sharans where we were surprised by tons of friends with more decorations and champagne, organized by my awesome brother. After that we danced the night away at Portside and wound up eating french fries at Seigels Bagels at some unearthly hour. It was perfect.

The following morning my friend Kelly took me to brunch at Abigails Party. It was the perfect morning after cure. Abigails is bar-none my favorite place to brunch in the Kitsilano / West-side area, but they also have an amazing prohibition inspired cocktail list if you are looking for somewhere to grab a drink in the evening. I highly recommend it! If you are going for brunch, get there early, it is a popular spot for good reason and almost always a bit of a wait!


After that it was pretty much business as usual until my actual birthday on Wednesday, where I was feeling the love all over again. My team decorated my desk and covered it in confetti and candy, my brother bought me coffee and came by with flowers, and my boyfriend, who is currently in Belgium, had the most amazing bouquet delivered to me. My very sweet girlfriend Denise took me to lunch at my favorite sushi place, Kita no Donburi then there was cheesecake in the afternoon (purchased at Trees Coffee – which makes the best cheesecake EVER as well as the most amazing spinach and feta scones) and after work everyone stuck around for a few drinks in our office lounge. The moral of the story is I have some amazing people in my life and I don’t need to eat any candy or cake for the next year!


 my decorated desk and fluers from my bro


Denise enjoying tea at Kita no Donburi


a birthday delivery from the best boyfriend on earth


drinks with Nikki and Andrea

At the end of the day I headed home and enjoyed champagne with a few good girlfriends and received a couple sweet gifts including The Man Repeller novel from my roommate Arielle which I am so excited to read!

It was a great few days, and I’m looking forward to a quieter weekend in White Rock with my family at our vacation house!


my apartment looking vibrant with birthday flowers!

What do you look forward to on your birthday?

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Autumn at the Empire

Fall posts have been coming out the wazoo this week and I thought I would add my two-cents. I am OBSESSED with fall. It is bar-none my favorite season ergo I have some pretty strong opinions on how to do it right. Over the course of the next week I will share my fav decor, food, fashion and fun-things-to-do fall musts.


In the words of Colin Nissan: IT’S DECORATIVE GOURD SEASON, MOTHERFUCKERS. (Thank you, Whitney, for this essay. It is perfect.) There is nothing that drums up the nostalgic feeling of cozy autumns past more than the scents + colors + music of fall (and tastes but that’s for another post).

autumn at the empire

This Votivo Aromatic Candle in Smoke on the Water is the perfect fall scent. I have this burning from Sept 1st – Dec 1st without fail.

Next, Japanese Lanterns Physalis. These come on long sparse branches and last FOREVER (literally they dry out and you can save them for a second, even third, season) they are cheap and add the perfect orange hit of fall to your home. I have my apothecary jars half way filled with pine cones and topped with dried japenese lanterns from autumns past.

Lastly music. I have pictured here an old National Album. The acoustic haunting sounds of the National, Bon Iver, City and Color and many of the like are the perfect fall pairing for me. You can listen to my full autumn playlist on songza here. You’ll also find some Metric, Anya Maria, Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse on there. You’ll hear this in the background of ritualistic games nights with my girlfriends at The Empire (which is how we have referred to our apartment for the last 3 years) where we will be drinking (too much) red wine, eating vegan chili and playing board games on dark and rainy westcoast autumn evenings. Nothing better.

So what are your favorite fall things for the home?