Never show up empty handed. It may be cliche, but it’s a great motto to follow – especially around the holidays when everyone is working extra hard to make their celebrations special. Bringing along a little something to thank your host for all the time, money and effort they put into throwing the best party of the year is a big deal. Finding the perfect hostess gift can be tricky but when done right, the gesture appears elegant and effortless.
Here are some of the tips I like to follow:
- Find a gift that is small so it can be easily accepted by a host who has their hands full, literally or figuratively.
- Get them a gift that suits the scale of the party. Giving your host something expensive or unexpected may stress them at an already taxing time.
- Wrap the gift lightly or not at all, they will be busy with their hosting duties.
- Get them something that can be used right away or for future entertaining.
- Bring a unique gift – a person only needs so many bouquets and bottles of wine – but don’t go too crazy. A fun tea towel, a fancy bar tool or an indulgent snack in pretty packaging are all safe bets.
- Don’t know if gift-giving is appropriate? A sincere and gracious “thank you for having me” is all you need to give your host.
- Open each gift shortly after receiving it and not in front of other guests: hostess gifts are nice, but not required.
- Thank your gift-giving guests when you receive their gifts, thank you notes are not necessary.
- If a guest brings wine, scotch, etc, try to open and serve it at the party. Obviously, this becomes impossible if everyone brings wine but you can leave unopened bottles out to show intent. If a bottle doesn’t get opened, invite the guest over another time to enjoy it with you or simply text them a picture of you enjoying it alone.
All photos by me.
I’m trying something slightly new with the Brunch Babe Skirt. Instead of offering regular, tall or petite sizes directly from the listing, I’m going to make the new pancake print skirt available in two standard lengths – either knee or midi length.
Really, I couldn’t make up my mind as to whether this print would be better as a knee length or midi length skirt, so I’m making both and letting you decide! Jeans and fancy pants are frequently available with two or more length options so I figured, why not skirts too?
I’ve had this fruit-topped pancake stack fabric bookmarked for years, waiting for the right time and idea to use it. When another idea for the fall season fell through, I jumped on this echo of inspiration and solidified it into a proper plan. This unique, novelty print by Patty Sloniger of Beck and Lundy is completely gorgeous. I’m so glad I finally got to use it.
Earrings Craft Arts Market / Nicole Gagnon
Tall and petite sizes for either length of this skirt are still available upon request, here, through the shop.
All photos by me.
Over the summer, I realized that I hadn’t pulled my camera out for anything but work in months. I had turned my hobby and passion into a profession but, in the process, I had completely lost my favourite hobby. To fix this, I made a point to play with my camera; to take it completely off auto – no auto shutter speed, aperture, ISO, white balance or focus – and have fun with it.
I’ve dipped my toes into the deep end before, preferring to shoot with my shutter speed on auto while manually controlling my aperture and ISO, sometimes experimenting with different white balance settings. But I always held tight to my auto focus for full body self portraits with my tripod and remote shutter release. I don’t see anything wrong with auto settings, especially when trying to grab a quick moment in the life of a busy kitty, but pushing myself to really explore my camera, my skills and my weaknesses has really helped me recapture my favourite hobby and make it mine again.
Today I had fun making some ghostly images in a festive dress with a slow shutter.
Using a tripod, I set my camera up with a fixed focus, slow shutter speed, high ISO, auto white balance and auto aperture. I used a remote shutter release to open the shutter and capture images as I played around the room.
Tights Shoppers Drug Mart
All photos by me.
We had every kind of fall weather yesterday. I woke up to a hazy, cool morning. Dressed for the day as the clouds gathered and the sky grew overcast. Sipped my tea through a thunderstorm. Worked while the strong, gusty wind stirred the clouds away. Then ran some business errands in the balmy early evening sunshine. This unpredictable weather seems to create a perfect pathetic fallacy with what’s going on with my skin lately.
Nearing the end of my late twenties, I though I had finally figured out my unique skin type as the sometimes severe acne I had lived with since I was 11 started to clear. My complexion would experience good and bad days, but the bad days were getting fewer and farther between.
Having spent more than half of my life with bad skin, I don’t often let breakouts get me down or shake my confidence. The past few weeks, however, have created the perfect storm on my face. I did a big outdoor market with lots of dirt, sweat and stress, I started using a really good serum again after letting my routine lapse a few weeks and had to go through the purge again, and I got PMS pimples all at the same time. My face is such a mess that I’ve wanted to stay inside and hide until it heals. But this isn’t me, this isn’t what I do. Acne is normal. If I can go out, live my life, meet up with friends, do a photoshoot and not try to hide or cover up and just one young girl or boy sees that it’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, I’ve done my good deed for the day.
Sweater Old Navy
Rain Shoes ModCloth
All photos by me *in good light that makes my skin look way better*.