It's winner time!!!

Get it? Winner time? Dinner time? Flatware? I’m giving away a set of the new Present Time Mix ‘n Match flatware I carry on Nicole Jane Home. I have a set at home, and it’s the one that all of us prefer to use. They’re just so whimsical, and they feel pretty comfortable in your hands. You probably already received this flyer if you’re on my newsletter subscribers list.

Like the picture says, I’d love it if you could pop by the Nicole Jane Home Facebook page (CLICK HERE) and click on “like”. Good luck everyone đŸ™‚

nature versus nurture…

I got both nature and nurture this past Thanksgiving weekend (for us Canadians, eh!). We all hopped in the car–two city dogs included–and headed for the hills…er…Armstrong, BC to see my in-laws. There’s really nothing quite like the beauty of the Okanagan in the fall–the light and colours are amazing.

My wonderful in-laws, Fred and Diane Findlay, breed red angus cattle on their beautiful farm, and we always love seeing them as much as possible. It’s a working farm with lots of history and few frills. It’s nature at its best and hard to beat in my opinion.

There’s lots of wildlife on the farm, including a huge white tail deer that nearly gave me a heart attack when we were walking to one of the upper fields. And we steered clear of the forest, ’cause a momma bear and cubs made it their home during the summer–bears like to chase me!!!!! Hundreds of ducks, geese and rare migratory birds put on quite a show on the lake and in the grassy wetlands. The frogs are amazing on a summer night, but they’ve been replaced with a pack of howling coyotes this fall. If you’ve never heard coyotes, it’s a sound that always scares the pants off me.

We city folk turn into grubby, fresh-faced, well-fed country kin after a visit to the farm. Our prissy blonde city dogs were both brown by the time we climbed back into the car for the ride home. We’ll just have to dream about fresh air, real wood fires and wiener roasts the next time we go for a visit.

schmooze fest with design pals…

I was so delighted to attend BLEND2011, a cocktail party for the Design & Lifestyle Bloggers West network on the weekend. It was a celebration of the annual IDS West design show in Vancouver. The party was generously sponsored by IKEA Canada, who spoiled us with amazing food and drinks at the Loden hotel, swag, and a chance to win a $1000 gift card (bummed I didn’t win).

What a thrill to be in the same room with Canadian House & Home editor, Suzanne Dimma and designer, Mark Challen!! I even shook Suzanne’s hand…sorta like shaking a rock star’s hand!!!

Mark Challen (Cdn House & Home), Erica Cook (Moth Design) & Suzanne Dimma (Cdn House & Home)

Jodi Bueckert (The Simply Inspired Home) & Sharon Laxon (Layers & Layers)

Carol Smyth (The Design Pages) & Michelle Mollinga (I Dream of Chairs)

Darryl Bueckert (Photography by Darryl Bueckert & The Simply Inspired Home)

Mark Challen (Cdn House & Home) & Erica Cook (Moth Design)

Barbara Matson (Hodge:podge), Nancy Marcus (Marcus Design), Suzanne Dimma (Cdn House & Home magazine), Karla Amadatsu (Kerrisdale Design), Victoria Lambert (Edin's House)

It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet so many talented bloggers. I even gushed on the way home with my hubby about how amazing social media is. Ten years ago, if you’d asked me, I would have said “no way” to the possibility of a network that would allow you to meet total strangers on the web and build amazing friendships!!!

Kudos to the event organizers, Barbara Matson, Nancy Marcus, Karla Amadatsu & Victoria Lambert!!

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