northstory notes – Nov 15, 2013

red lantern

I have a confession to make.

Up until the point where I started dating my now husband, I hated Christmas.

No really.

For a variety of personal reasons that I don’t want to get into in a public forum /you can never really press delete in a forum like the internet, let’s just say that by the time I was in my late teens, Christmas and me were mortal enemies. It wasn’t the same magic as it was when I was 6. So I begrudgingly went through each Holiday (working retail no less that meant not having a Boxing Day off in 8 years) and just tried to get it over with.

It honestly took several years for my Christmas loving (by loving I mean he has his own Clark Griswold hockey jersey) husband to make me understand how fun this season can be.

Now I’ve gone from the Grinch to the hamster wheel spinning in my head of how we can decorate the trees (I said trees – we have 3 in the house and 1 on the porch) and living the excitement of the season with my kids who are besotted by the Christmas lights every time we go out anywhere in December.

So needless to say we get to decorating early. And this week I started noticing in my Instagram feeds so many other people doing the same thing and then saying “Is it too early? I’m sorry!”

Stop apologizing.

If you want to decorate, decorate.

If you want to put up your tree, put up your tree.

If you want to hang your garland on your banister, get out all your lanterns and lights and hang them up everywhere while having a Bailey’s with your Elf on the Shelf sitting next to you on the couch as you watch Christmas Vacation, do it.

And in the same breath, if you want to wait, then wait.

But don’t feel like you have to justify why either way. I for example, am not a fan of Easter decorating for myself. But if it makes someone happy to put pastel eggs all over their house, who am I to tell them otherwise? My husband ironically doesn’t enjoy Halloween but he would never tell me to stop celebrating or decorating for it. We in Canada have our Thanksgiving in October so we personally usually wait until after Remembrance Day to do anything. Even though the day after Halloween, both our girls asked “Can we put out the tree today?”

Do what makes you happy.

For the record we just bough a new tree for the house because our old tree is almost a decade old and shedding like a cat.

It’s a teensy bit too big for our living room. Clark Griswold would be proud.


In this week’s northstory notes:

It has been a long time since I sat in front of my computer and just been blown away by a photographer. You will not regret discovering Kyle Thompson.

Christmas word art!

Because I love a good upcycle, this garland is amazing.

Let the card making begin…

Amy at Love on Sunday is sharing her behind the scenes experience at Chatelaine. Go read her interview with Emma Reddington. Some eye opening advice for bloggers.

Becky is doing a series on easy DIY Teacher Presents.

One of the best holiday decorations I have seen this season.

Because I adore my red Kamik rainboots, that boot ornament in the photo above you can get here.

And continuing in my unhealthy obsession with white kitchens.

Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to see if I can convince James to make this bookshelf for our future home office (read: my craft room but home office sounds better).

Happy Weekend!


  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    YAHOO Christmas FUN is here!!!! Oh boy, I love every single part of Christmas. Even the part where my birthday falls 2 days after and everybody forgets about it because they are so overwhelmed by Christmas.

    I love the decorating, buying the best gifts without asking what they want, the family dinners, the late night laughs with family, the me even at this age still waiting for my brother and sister to either wake up or show up at my parents on Christmas Day to open our presents! YUP every single part and this post was AMAZING! I almost LOVE you for it…wait that would be weird. 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      I ironically have so many friends who have birthdays around Christmas and my husbands Grandma’s birthday is on Christmas Day. And she never minds it b/c that means she gets all her family around her on the best day of the year.

      We didn’t have a big Christmas growing up so we really try to do it now in our home for our kids.

  • Reply
    Amy | Love On Sunday Blog
    November 15, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Hey lady, thanks so much for sharing my interview! 🙂

    I LOVE Christmas and also love the fact that you have 3 trees in your house, AH-mazing! I can’t wait to see how you decorate them all.

    I plan on getting started a bit this weekend while watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      You know you’d think I’d actually do a post on my actual trees but I never wind up doing so b/c they’re in the most impossible to light areas. Or there is usually chaos around them and I just am too lazy to clean up the giant mess behind it…lalalalalala…

  • Reply
    Lynne Knowlton
    November 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I just bought the same stamp kit ! Great minds think alike 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 4:58 pm

      That reminds me I need to get some more proper Ink b/c I bought pigment ink by accident and it’s smear city on my paper.

  • Reply
    sketchy styles (@RebeccaCaven)
    November 15, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Wow! Thanks for the shout out my friend!

    I LURVE Christmas! The older I get the more challenging I find it to keep up with everything (parties, gifts, cookies!) so this year I’m making a pact with myself to relax and enjoy the season. Pretty posts like this with sentimental photos remind me to do just that 🙂

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      I have already befriended all the local LCBO folks, have my Christmas tree ice cubes starting and fully plan to hang out at the local village fair for Christmas with hot chocolate. Or what appears to be Hot Chocolate in my cup….

  • Reply
    Danielle from Storypiece
    November 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Love that bookcase… pinned!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      That bookcase is ridiculously amazing! This is the one disadvantage of living in the cold climate. Building things in the garage in the winter requires a lot of space heaters.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    James always hated Halloween, but Christmas couldn’t come soon enough. He always enjoyed decorating the tree and putting out all the other decorations. I even made a Christmas mobile for his bedroom.

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      I think James is more excited each year for present opening than anyone. And he doesn’t even unwrap them anymore from under our tree.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Unhealthy obsession with white kitchens? Yeah, I’m completely with you!

    • Reply
      November 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      I once looked over my kitchen board on Pinterest when I was thinking So maybe one day I’ll paint the cabinets grey and then realized that’s never going to happen b/c of how much I love a classic white kitchen.

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