blush holiday guest room


with the holiday season rolling in, one of the first things on my to do list was to get the guest room ready. we have a lot of family & friends who live out of town, so december is a full house. for the guest room, i wanted to create a luxurious, cozy space with a soft colour palette. i chose a blush, gold & white theme, with pops of soft greys because i just can't get enough of all things blush.

the first thing we did to the space was add the wallpaper. i chose a pattern that pulled from every colour i desired in the room. the winning print was "blostma" (bp 5203) by farrow & ball. it really helped tie our vision together, as well as add some texture to the walls in a very subtle way. while the print may look busy from close up, as a whole it is very simple. the trim is painted in "wevet" and the doors are painted in "mole's breath", both estate emulsion by farrow & ball. i love the contrast the doors bring against the paper.

next on the list was the bedding! this is the most important thing as everyone wants guest to get a good night sleep. we upgraded the pillow & duvet inserts to down filled before choosing the perfect duvet cover. i have a linen duvet for myself & i can't get enough of it, so a linen cover for the guest room seemed like a no brainer. i opted for west elm's natural colour duvet over a pure white duvet as it is easier to keep clean with two dogs in the house. to pull in the rest of the colour pallet i went with platinum "wool looped pillows" & the softest "mongolian lamb pillow" in rosette. the mix of wool & fur really help bring in the holiday winter vibes. last but not least, ALL the chunky knit blankets! living in an old house, the rooms can get quite cold. having a number of blankets at arms reach ensures every guest will be toasty & warm all night long. plus, i get to feed my blanket obsession. i love the hint of metallic in west elm's rosette throw, it adds a sublet touch of festiveness.

to decorate the dresser i chose the gold "metal framed round mirror" as the main feature. i can't get enough of how amazing it looks against the blostma wallpaper. next i added some holiday decor to the dresser top so every room in the house has those holiday vibes. i chose blush & white "accordion paper trees", mercury glass tea lights & filled a couple vases with the blush hydrangeas i dried in the fall.

with a space like this, i can't wait to host. the hardest part will be keeping the two dogs out of the bed before the guest arrive.. then again they both think they own everything in the house! especially little pete.

p.s. see the full modest house reveal over on the west elm blog!!!

like what you see? get it here. wall paper | trim | door | rug | bedding mirror | dresser | nightstand | bed frame

gingerbread caramel milkshakes


this milkshake is everything. it is loaded with gingerbread flavour! a gingerbread milkshake drizzled with gingerbread caramel sauce & topped with the cutest gingerbread man cookie. because i wanted to get SUPER festive with this milkshake, i used eggnog instead of milk. but don't worry, you don't have to get as holiday crazy as me. if eggnog isn't your jam, just substitue it for whole milk! i like my milkshakes thick, so this recipe will yield just that. if you prefer them a little more liquidy, add an extra splash of egg nog (errr milk). the most important part here is to include the homemade gingerbread caramel sauce! to get the gingerbread flavour into the vanilla ice cream base, i baked fresh gingerbread cookies (see recipe here) and blended them into the shake. the vitamix is amazing & really blends up that cookie so the drink is silky smooth! use the left over cookies to put on anything you can think of over the holidays. i am going to fill little mason jars full & hand them out to the neighbourhood as a little edible gift. maybe a jar of gingerbread caramel too.


for the milkshake

  • 6 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
  • 3/4 cup egg nog (substitue equal parts whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread caramel, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup gingerbread men, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • whipped cream, for topping

for the gingerbread caramel

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  • for the milkshake: in the vitamix add the ice cream, egg nog, vanilla, caramel, gingerbread cookies, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. blend until smooth.drizzle gingerbread caramel sauce inside desired serving glass. transfer milkshake to glass. top with whipped cream & additional caramel sauce. garnish with an additional cookie if desired.

  • for the gingerbread caramel sauce: in a saucepot over medium heat add the sugar and water. bring to a boil while wiping down the crystals that form on the sides of the pan using a pastry brush (do not stir, i repeat, do NOT stir). continue to boil until the mixture turns to a deep amber colour, approximately 5 minutes. be sure not to burn the caramel! it will go from a deep amber to burnt sugar VERY quickly. remove from heat and immediately whisk in the cream, butter, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & salt.

this post was created in partnership with vitamix! xo

winter spiced mulled wine


you may not love winter as much as i do, but i think we can all agree mulled wine on a cold winter night is pretty much the best thing ever. it is easy to make & quick to heat up! i like a little apple cider in my mulled wine because it adds a natural sweetness, plus i also love mulled cider so this is the best of both worlds. this recipe features vitamix's winter spice mix. the winter spice mix is a blend of freshly ground holiday flavours like cinnamon, ginger, oranges & cloves. it works for both sweet and savoury recipes. a little change i made to the vitamix recipe was to eliminate the salt in the mix itself. this allows me to add the salt as i go because not all dishes requrie the same amount of salt. mulled wine aside, the spice mix makes for a nice edible gift to give over the holiday season.

cheers to the first snow fall! xo


winter spice mix

  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons crystalized ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pink peppercorns
  • 1½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ cup (50 g) dried orange peel
  • ½ cup (110 g) brown sugar, packed

mulled wine

  • 3 cups red wine
  • 2 cups pure apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons winter spice mix
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • cinnamon sticks, for garnish


  • winter spice mix: place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. select variable 1. start the machine, slowly and increase it to the highest speed. blend for 60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached.

  • mulled wine: place the wine and cider in a large pot over medium heat. add the two tablespoons of winter spice mix in a tea strainer. place this in the pot and add the orange slices. simmer for ten minutes. pour into mugs & garnish with cinnamon stick.