A bright and welcoming sunroom is spruced up for the holidays.
With the holiday season is upon us, make the most of this month by tackling these tasks.
As the song says, it's the most wonderful time of the year – and it only lasts a few weeks. Avoid seasonal stress by staying organized and having realistic expectations of what you can achieve. To help you make the most of the holiday season, here are 10 things to do this December.
1 Clean out the freezer
It's all too easy to let food accumulate in the freezer – and before long, not only is it too crowded to make room for more, but there are items in the back that should probably be thrown away. Set aside some time to organize your freezer – you may be amazed at what you'll find in there.
2 Make a wreath
Not only is a wreath on the front door inviting, but it really makes a house look like a home. If you've got the time, add a personal touch to your outdoor decor by making your own instead of buying one. And if you're really feeling inspired, make two and give the second to a friend as an early Christmas gift.
3 Get organized for gift wrapping
To save time during the hectic Christmas shopping season, set up a gift-wrapping station in an out-of-the-way spot in your home -- it will make it easy to wrap gifts as you buy them, and you won't be hunting around the house for the scissors, silver ribbon or gift tags. If you haven't got the space for a separate gift-wrapping table, put all your supplies in a couple of wicker baskets in the closet or under the bed for easy access.
4 Decorate the kitchen
Don't limit your holiday accents to the living room and entryway -- think about ways you can bring the spirit of the season into every room, including the kitchen. Try decorating the windowsill with candles and cedar boughs, putting a miniature Christmas tree on a shelf or draping doorways with garlands. For a finishing touch, simmer spices in water on the back of the stove to infuse your home with the comforting scent of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
5 Cook up some appetizers
Get ready for guests – whether expected or impromptu – by preparing a selection of appetizers ahead of time. Just pick recipes that can be made in advance and frozen, and you could have a season's worth of hors d'oeuvres ready in an afternoon.
6 Host a cookie exchange
Rather than devoting hours of free time to baking each of your favourite holiday treats, arrange an exchange with friends and family. Organize it so that each person bakes a different type of cookie, enough to share around with everyone in the group. Don't forget to make a few extras to serve while everyone's exchanging the goods!
7 Hang some mistletoe
The custom of kissing under the mistletoe is said to come from an ancient Scandinavian tradition that when enemies met in the forest under mistletoe, they were to lay down their arms and observe a truce for the following day. Continue the tradition by hanging mistletoe in your home during the holiday season – and spread peace and goodwill among your guests.
8 Donate to the food bank
During this season of feasting, remember those who are less fortunate by bringing non-perishable food items or a monetary donation to your local food bank. Consider offering your time, as well, to help sort donations or perform other necessary tasks.
9 Let in the fresh air
It may be getting chilly outside, but that's no reason to keep the windows locked tight. Shutting up the house lets indoor pollutants accumulate, especially if it's fairly new and therefore airtight. Let in the cool, crisp air of early winter by opening the windows for a few minutes daily – longer if the weather is cooperating – and enjoy the fresh scent of a well-aired home.
10 Make homemade eggnog
Eggnog is so rich and sinfully delicious, it's probably a good thing we don't drink it all year round. So don't settle for nog in a carton – it's easy to make your own, and the results are well worth the time spent.
Personalize your wall with $1,000.00 credit to Minted prints!
+ Take an online style quiz
+ Upload photos of your wall or room
+ Access a Minted stylist for professional recommendations and renderings of your wall
Prize Value: $1,079.00
Lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs gives her home a fresh look for Christmas. Credits: Tracey Ayton
For lifestyle blogger Monika Hibbs, Christmas is all about sentiment and style. Here are 12 ways she pulls off a fresh look filled with meaning to commemorate a family milestone.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without family and tradition, sure, but in Monika Hibbs’s home, Christmas also wouldn’t be complete without her signature styling. Based just outside of Fort Langley, B.C., the blogger, who has quickly become a master of holiday decor, switches up her style almost every year. But regardless of the theme, these aspects always remain: A classic look and neutral scheme, metallic touches, a hint of whimsy and sheer covetability. Seasonal styling is a talent Monika has honed since she was a little girl. “Even when I was young, I loved adorning the tree and wrapping gifts,” she says. “Plus, my mom always let me be in charge of floral arrangements and tablescapes.”
Now that Monika has her own family (including hubby Troy, three-year-old Liam and 11- month-old Lillya), she shares the tasks with her children. “Liam’s really into it,” says Monika. “He decorates cookies, hangs ornaments and arranges the manger.” Though Lillya is too young to get involved, her arrival just two weeks before last Christmas inspired the entire feminine theme, executed with dusty rose-hued accents like tea light holders, wrapping paper and delicate raw silk ribbon.
Holiday decorating with the kids isn’t the only tradition the Hibbses have – they enjoy hot chocolate by their outdoor fireplace in the evenings and always make time for charity. But a highlight is taking the Bright Nights Christmas Train through Stanley Park with Troy’s family. “There’s around 60 of us – we fill the whole train,” says Monika, noting that the park is lit with millions of lights – perhaps the perfect place for this family-oriented champion of Christmas who also happens to have a penchant for sparkle.
1 Lifestyle blogger and unofficial queen of fresh and elegant holiday decor Monika Hibbs has three main tips for trimming a tree: Start with a colour scheme (“You don’t have to use every ornament in your box – save the ones that don’t suit your theme for another year,” she advises); instead of buying one-off ornaments, go for groups of three for visual impact; and organize them by category (like glass balls or felted figures) before hanging them to ensure balanced distribution.
2 “There’s something special about a fire this time of year,” says Monika. The one here in her family room is not the only staple flame of the season – tea lights are strewn on surfaces throughout the house, and the outdoor fireplace plays host to many a morning coffee or evening cocoa. “I love a fire’s warmth and random crackles, which add to the magic of the holidays.”
3 Style meets sentiment in chic pieces that commemorate family milestones, such as the decorative houses arranged on Monika’s fireplace mantel. “Each one represents a huge moment for us, from the purchase of our first home to the construction of this one,” she says. “And I write a note on the bottom of each so I never forget.”
4 Monika doesn’t switch out much of her everyday decor come Christmastime. In fact, furniture placement, artwork and accents mostly stay the same, save for a few toss cushions that get traded for more festive ones.
5 When it comes to garlands, Monika goes all out: She orders a massive length of fresh cedar (last year it was 75 feet!) to string along her banister, mantel, exterior trim and garage. She starts by measuring everything she wants to adorn and then adds an extra foot of cedar for every four feet to accommodate swag. Here, the garland is garnished with eucalyptus, cypress, pine cones and raw silk bows with cascading tails for a fresh, feminine look.
6 “You don’t need to cook an entire sit-down dinner for each of the season’s many parties,” says Monika, who prefers to prep for a holiday drop-in with comfort foods like homemade apple pie. “It’s elegant but cozy,” she explains.
7 Roses may be unconventional Christmas flowers, but they’re perfectly suited to Monika’s pretty-in-pink theme. “Originally, I wanted this piece to be a garland that wrapped around the whole range hood,” says Monika. “But it didn’t look right, so I downsized the idea. It’s perfect proof that sometimes less is more.”
8 A simple wreath hung with thick ribbon serves as another example of less is more and offers a wink of holiday spirit in an otherwise unadorned area.
9 Sparkling rosé served in pink champagne coupes underscores the holiday colour scheme, while whimsical details like frozen-rose ice cubes and sugared cranberries are easy and inexpensive ways to add serious wow factor.
10 No matter her holiday scheme, Monika tends to stick to neutrals when picking gift wrap. “I usually choose paper with subtle patterns, such as snowflakes or polka dots,” she says. “But I always wrap the kids’ presents in something more playful.”
11 Born six weeks after the Hibbses moved into this house and two weeks before Christmas, baby Lillya was the main source of inspiration for the home’s festive decor last year, marked by the powder pink and dusty rose accents with feminine touches. Monika purchased the “Hello Lovely” ornament in honour of Lillya’s birth to serve as a beautiful reminder of when they welcomed her into the world.
12 From the Fort Langley, B.C., shopping bag to the plaid scarf and blanket to the warm winter boots and even the skull mount, there’s always a hint of Canadiana in Monika’s winter decor.
Style at Home Makeover
Style at Home Makeover Contest presented by IKEA Canada is giving two lucky readers the room makeover of a lifetime!
In celebration of IKEA's 40th anniversary, Style at Home has partnered with the iconic brand for the ultimate room makeover.
Two lucky readers have been selected to receive a bedroom and living room makeover designed by the Style at Home team using IKEA furniture and accessories.
The results will be featured exclusively in a future issue of Style at Home.
STAY TUNED FOR MAKEOVER UPDATES ON OUR SOCIAL MEDIA!
Readers will get the chance to vote for their favourite final makeover for the chance to win a $1,000 gift card to IKEA!
FULL CONTEST RULES
« Style at Home Makeover Contest »
The « Style at Home Makeover Contest » is held by Les Publications Groupe TVAPublications (Style at Home) and IKEA Canada who are collectively hereinafter named: the “Search Organizers”. The Makeover Contest runs on Instagram, from August 23 2016 –at 9h00 to October 3, 2016 at 23h59 ET (hereinafter: the “Search Period”).
This « Style at Home Makeover Contest » is open to all persons residing in Canada of at least the age of majority in their province of residence. The following persons are excluded: employees, agents and representatives of Québecor Média inc, of IKEA Canada, of their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, partners, suppliers of prizes, materials and services related to this Makeover Contest, or any other party directly linked to the holding of this Makeover Contest, or their brother, sister, children, mother, father, their legal or common-law spouse and individuals with whom such employees, agents and representatives are domiciled.
HOW TO ENTER
No purchase necessary. To participate in the Makeover Contest, you simply have to have an Instagram account and enter the Makeover Contest by posting during the Search Period, your own photo of either your bedroom or living/dining room and tag your images with #SAHMakeover, and follow @Styleathome, @SAHXDesign @IKEACanada and include your hometown. If representatives from the Style at Home are interested or need more information on you or your application, you will receive a "direct message" via Instagram from @Styleathome. The fact that you have received or not a ‘’direct message’’ does not affect positively or negatively your ability to become the winner of the Style at Home makeover.
Photos/videos must consist of:
Full room shot (Pulled back shot)
You must respect the following limits, otherwise Style at Home reserve the right to cancel one or several of your participations:
You can submit as many photos/videos as you wish during the Search Period provided each are submitted in accordance with the Style at Home Makeover Contest rules.
You cannot submit photos/videos from more than one Instagram account, in the case you have more than one;
The Instagram account that you are using to submit your photos/videos must be public.
You are responsible for uploading/transmitting your picture/video for successful consideration during the Search Period in accordance with the Style at Home Makeover Rules. You must only submit picture/video that: i) are created, produced and developed by you; ii) is an up-to-date photo of the space; iii) has not been considered for or won previous or similar search, recruitments iv) does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, rights of publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; v) have been created in a legal and safe manner by you; vi) that are a representation of your space (additional proof of space may be requested by Style at Home at their sole discretion if they deem it necessary); vii) that have not been altered, modified or photoshopped in any way; viii) The space has not been featured or mentioned in any competitive print or magazine.
You picture/video must not:
contain defamatory words/statements (including words or symbols that are widely considered offensive to individuals of a certain race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic group);
threaten any person, place, business, or group;
disparage persons or organizations associated with the Style Search Organizers;
invade privacy or other rights of any person, firm, or entity;
contain material that is in any way unlawful, in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, provincial or municipal laws and regulations in Canada;
refer to any person other than you or refer to any organization; and
be advertorial, promotional or relate to specific brand.
By participating in this « Style at Home Makeover Contest » and by submitting your photo/video, you hereby grant an non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, fully sublicenseable and transferable right and license to the Search Organizers (and to third party duly authorized by the Search Organizers) to use the photo/video at their entire discretion, including without limitation (notably with respect of support, media, duration, language and territory) the right to edit or modify such photo/video for commercial or promotional purposes without any compensation whatsoever owed to you. You also waive all moral rights you may hold in or to your photo/video to the extent required for the license granted hereunder. Furthermore, by participating in this Makeover Contest and by submitting your photo/video, you hereby authorize Search Organizers to use, at their entire discretion including without limitation (notably with respect of support, media, duration, language and territory), the content, in whole or in part, of any ‘’Direct Message’’ you are exchanging with the Search Organizers along with your hometown.
At the end of the Search period, two (2) winners will be determined, (1) winner will receive a bedroom makeover and (1) winner will receive a living/dining room makeover. Each winner will benefit from the following makeover, provided such winner is complying to « Style at Home Makeover Contest » rules.
One (1) winner will be given a full-bedroom makeover styled by the Style at Home design team or their representatives.
Makeover style and direction to be determined by the Style at Home design team in conjunction with winners.
Makeover will include:
Painted walls/wallpaper (product and application)
Full furnishing provided by IKEA Canada
One (1) winner will be given a full-living/dining room makeover styled by the Style at Home design team or their representatives.
Makeover style and direction to be determined by the Style at Home design team in conjunction with winners.
Makeover will include:
Painted walls/wallpaper (product and application)
Full furnishing provided by IKEA Canada
The following conditions apply:
The prize is not exchangeable and non-transferable;
The prize has to be accepted as it is;
If the prize or a portion of it is not used, no compensation will be given.
Dates are subject to changes.
By October 10, 2016 at the offices of Style at Home, located in Toronto, Ontario, two (2) winners will be selected by representatives from the Style at Home team. These winners will be selected from all pictures/videos received during the Search Period provided they were submitted in accordance with the Style at Home Makeover Contest rules. When assessing the pictures/videos, the representatives will take into consideration various criteria as defined in the registration section. Decisions of Style at Home are final and binding.
WINNERS MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE ROOM MAKEOVER FROM OCTOBER 11th – NOVEMBER 30th
Winners agree not to modify their room from the date they are contacted by the Style at Home representative until the date the makeover has been photographed. If a selected winner chooses not to participate to such makeover (for any reason, including prior commitments), such winner will not be considered.
The final look of each room will be included in a future issue of Style at Home.
Each winner agrees to the publication, reproduction and other use of pictures/video and all picture/video taken at the makeover and during the Search Period by the Search representatives as well as their name, address, voice, statements about the Search and photograph or other likeness without further notice or additional compensation, in any publicity, advertisement or other promotional or commercial use carried out by or on behalf of the Search Organizers in any media, current or existing, including print, broadcast or the internet.
In order to be declared the winner, you must abide to all conditions related to the Style at Home makeover contest. Finalists are not official until they are contacted by a Style at Home representative. All winners need to read and accept rules plus sign a release form to be considered in the Style at Home makeover.
Winner must also comply to have a portrait taken.
Failing to comply with one of the conditions stated in the section above or any of the conditions provided in these Style at Home Makeover Rules, the entry of the finalist will be cancelled without any liability to the Search Organizers whatsoever.
Verification. Pictures/videos are subject to verification by the Search Organizers, and participants agree to cooperate fully with Search Organizers in such respect. Any pictures/videos which is, as the case may be, incomplete, fraudulent, sent late, that does not bear the correct information will be rejected and will not be considered in the Makeover Contest and Search Organizers shall have no liability in such respect, or in respect of lost, misdirected of garbled communication, printing, prizing or distributor errors.
Non-conforming entries. The Search Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any person participating in this Search or trying to participate by means contrary to these Rules or in a manner which is unfair to the other participants (e.g.: computer hacking, fake pictures/video etc.). Such person may be referred to the appropriate judicial authorities. Furthermore, Search Organizers, at their sole discretion, may subtract general votes from the public that are casted in a manner which is unfair to the other entrants.
Acceptance. Any prize must be accepted as described in the present Rules and as described in further descriptions provided by Search Organizers and cannot be transferred to another person, substituted for another prize nor exchanged in part. Prize is accepted “as is” without any warranty whatsoever.
Substitution. In the event where, for reasons not related to the finalists, the Search Organizers cannot award a prize (or part of a prize) as described in these Rules, they reserve the right to award a prize (or part of a prize) of the same or equivalent nature at their sole discretion.
Refusal to accept a prize. The refusal of a participant to accept a prize according to the terms and conditions of these Rules releases the Search Organizers of any obligation related to that prize towards that participant.
Liability – prize’s supplier. A participant who is selected for a prize recognizes that upon reception of the confirmation of his status as the winner of the prize, the execution of the services in respect to the prize is the sole responsibility of the supplier of the prize, in this case, IKEA Canada
Liability limit – use of prize. Any participant releases Québecor Média inc., the Search Organizers, and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives from any and all liability for any and all damages that such participant may suffer from the acceptance or use of the prize. In order to be declared a winner, any finalist agrees, if required, prior to obtaining the prize, to sign a declaration form to such effect.Erreur ! Signet non défini.
Liability limit – running of the Makeover Contest. Québecor Média inc., the Search Organizers and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives are not liable for faulty computer components, software, or communication lines, relating to any transmission that is faulty, incomplete, incomprehensible or erased by any computer or network that could limit the possibility or prevent any person from participating in this Makeover Contest. Québecor Média inc., the Search Organizers and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives also will not be held liable for any damages or loss that could arise, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from downloading any Internet page, any software or any form and by the transmission of any data regarding the participation in this Makeover contest.
Modification. The Search Organizers reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Makeover contest and the Rules, in whole or in part, in the case of the occurrence of an event, an error or any human intervention that could corrupt or affect the administration, safety, impartiality or the running of the Makeover contest as foreseen in these Rules. In any case, the Search Organizers, their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, the suppliers of products or services related to this Makeover contest as well as their employees, agents and representatives cannot be held liable to award more prizes than those indicated in these Rules or to award prizes otherwise than in compliance with these Rules.
Impossibility to act – including labour dispute Québecor Média inc., the Search Organizers and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives will not assume any liability whatsoever in any case where their incapacity to act would result from a fact or a situation beyond their control or a strike, lock-out or any other labour dispute in their establishment or in establishments of organizations or enterprises which services are used for holding this Makeover contest.
Liability limit– participation. Any person who participates or tries to participate in this Makeover contest releases the Search Organizers, their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and/or promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives, from any and all liability for damages which such participant could suffer from participating or trying to participate in this Makeover contest.
Authorization. By entering this Makeover contest, any winner authorizes the Search Organizers, their partners and their representatives to use, if required, such participant’s name, photograph, likeness, declaration related to the prize, place of residence and/or voice without remuneration whatsoever and that, at their discretion and without limit as for the period of use, in any media and on a worldwide scale, for publicity purposes or for any purpose that will or may be pertinent.
Communication with entrants. No communication or correspondence will be exchanged with entrants in the context of this Makeover contest except as stated in the Rules.
Decisions of the Search Organizers. To the fullest extent allowed under the applicable laws, all decisions of the Search Organizers or those of their representatives regarding this Makeover contest are final and binding.
Identification of the participant. For the purposes of these Rules, the participant is the person who’s room appears on the picture/video submitted and it is to this person to whom the prize will be awarded if selected and declared the winner.
Precedence. If an article in these Rules were to be declared or deemed illegal, unenforceable or invalid by a competent authority, then this article would be considered null and non-written, but all other items would not be affected and would find application in limits and authorized by the applicable law.
Rules Style Search. This is the official regulations and rules for the Makeover Contest << Style at Home Makeover Contest. >> The Style at Home Makeover contest rules are available on the Style at Home website and upon demand.
Non affiliation. This Makeover contest is not affiliated or sponsored by Instagram or Facebook.
Personal information. The personal information collected on the participants of this Makeover contest are used only for the administration of the makeover. No commercial communication or other, not linked to the makeover, will be sent to the participants by the Search Organizers except if the participants have authorized the Search Organizers to send such communication or as allowed in the present Rules.