PARKSHOW 2015: LUXURY ART + FASHION SHOW

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Last night I was whisked away in a town car to a top secret locale to reveal the 2015 location of PARKSHOW. Starting the evening at my favourite salon, Butter Beauty Parlour in Mission, we sipped bubbly and got hair/makeup/nail touchups. I had so much fun getting my hair smoothed out a bit, chatting with other writers and bloggers and getting some brow tips! After everyone was sufficiently gussied up, we went off in our town cars to the next location – the mystery spot.

We took wild guesses the whole ride over when we finally reached our destination. Tucked underground, we drove into Chinook Centre‘s parkade, hooked a left and then a right – and ended up at the doors to Nordstrom where we greeted by the entire PARK team. Surprise! PARK is going underground with their May 23rd fashion show – right there in the Chinook Centre parkade!

PARKSHOW Calgary presented by Chinook Centre connects Calgary fashion and art lovers with today’s young talent. This event will transform Chinook Centre’s North Parkade into an ocean-swept paradise with a breathtaking art installation by Jennie Vallis and a fashion show featuring ten exciting up and coming designers from all across Canada.

Chinook Centre‘s exclusive pre-sale is on now! ‘Like’ Chinook Centre on Facebook to receive access to purchase tickets. General sale starts on Thursday, March 19.

PARKSHOW 2015 EVENT INFORMATION:
Saturday, May 23
Chinook Centre
North Parkade P2
6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary AB

Doors Open – 7:00pm
SHOW 1 – 9:00pm (Seated)
SHOW 2 – 10:00pm (Seated)
PARK Pop-up Shops available throughout the evening

TICKETS:
VIP – Tier I: $125*
VIP – Tier II: $100*
General Seating: $60*
Standing Room: $30*
18+ Event

*Early Bird Pricing available until March 31, 2015.

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The 4 Modes of Freelance Life

One of the most common questions (or comments for that matter) I get about my job as a freelance lifestyle writer and blogger is – what the heck does that job title even mean?!  I totally understand why it is a topic of discussion – I mean, I have a career that involves a lot of internet time, a lot of social media interaction – and a lot of being a bit of a trend-hunter. Sounds fun, right? To tell you the truth, there is no way I could have ever predicted that I’d be doing a job like this, even five years ago. I feel really lucky to be doing what I do for a living – it allows me to be at home with my newborn son, I have the freedom to express my creativity – and one of the best parts? I get to work and meet and feature some of the most talented, creative and intelligent people on the planet.

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I’ve partnered with HP x360 #BendTheRules + Meghan Trainor “That Bass Tour” to share my personal take on The 4 Modes of Freelance Life. Meghan Trainor’s tour just kicked off this month and it is looking amazing so far. I love her great energy and how she has such a creative vision behind her videos – and now her “That Bass Tour”. I’m following her Behind the Scenes videos throughout her whole tour here.

Inspired by the 4 modes of the HP x360, I’m sharing how as a freelancer I like to #BendTheRules. One of the most important things about working for yourself in any sort of creative field is to maintain a very flexible attitude – just like the extremely flexible HP x360!

Mode 1: Research | Stand Mode

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I spend a lot of my days brainstorming and researching new topics to write about. I’m constantly looking for the ‘next big thing’ as a columnist for a local magazine so setting up my computer in the stand mode makes it easy for me to swipe and swish around the web with ease. With the keyboard neatly tucked away, I have room for taking notes and looking through reference materials while I work.

Mode 2: Trend Hunting | Tablet Mode

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Something that a lot of writers and bloggers often forget to do is READ! It is so important to read other blogs, publications and newspapers everyday to keep your mind fresh with ideas and language. I know a lot of writers often get scared of being too influenced by other writers but personally I feel that keeping informed in the daily news is much more important. One tip, I’d like to add is to follow your favourite writers on Twitter – even if you don’t have time to hit up your favourite news sites or blog rolls everyday, you can take a few minutes out of your day to swipe through your Twitter feed and read what they have to say.

Mode 3: Execution (aka WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!) | Laptop Mode

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Ah yes, getting down to brass tacks. Writing is obviously the most important part of my work day. I do all of my writing and editing on the computer, though I do keep a notebook on hand in case I need to jot down some quick ideas. I love the flexibility of a laptop because I am often on the go, even more now with my little baby boy. One of the things I like most about the HP x360 is the fact that I can switch between touch screen and keyboard seamlessly.

Mode 4: Inspiration/Procrastination | Tent Mode

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Ah yes, the part that totally applies to the whole ‘freelancers live in their pajamas’ notion. It is slightly true – but it is all in the name of work. Some days I work until the early early morning but I will take off the afternoon the next day to take some online webinars or watch some videos. Sometimes just watching new movies and documentaries gets me inspired to take on some new work or send out some pitches. The tent mode of the HP x360 is perfect for hands-free entertainment as you multi-task on other projects or you know #BendTheRules a bit by staying in bed until noon!

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You can see more about the HP x360 and the 4 modes here, as well as check out all of the goods from HP + Meghan Trainor’s “That Bass Tour”. There are some pretty cool episodes from the fan-generated documentary made using the HP x360 convertible PC.

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This post is in partnership with HP. Make sure to stay in the know on the Meghan Trainor tour by checking out Behind The Scenes episodes or following HP for updates. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that keep this blog on the go!

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TOP 3 SPRING TRENDS WITH HEATHER DRAPER + GIVEAWAY

Spring is just around the corner! Well, maybe not if you are living on the East Coast (sorry!) but here in Calgary the weather has been fantastic. I have my fingers crossed that we don’t get another cold snap in the next few weeks. Being able to get out of the house with baby Jack has been so great – I was totally ready to spend the whole winter hibernating with baby.

Anyways, spring is coming and so is the Calgary Home & Garden Show! In anticipation of the upcoming four day show, I got in touch with Heather Draper, owner of The Heather Co. and Home Show presenter, to share her top three trends for spring and summer. I love these trends – check ‘em out below and also enter my giveaway with the Calgary Home & Garden Show for some seriously sweet swag!

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1. Watercolors and Florals

We are currently crushing on watercolors, floral prints and abstracts. The colour schemes of these prints are beautiful, capturing a mix of soft pastels with muted greys, and soft colors with a bold pop of colour – just enough to give the print a modern feel. As always, scale plays a key factor in upping the modern ante; a cushion with an entire cabbage rose? Swoon!

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2. Classic Wallpaper

Wallpaper continues to be a strong trend this year – however, we are seeing more of a timeless-minded approach, using classic and geometric patterns over daring prints, and incorporating lots of texture around the rooms. Bold wall statements are becoming less popular as the classic trend takes over.

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3. Geometric Shapes

In addition to wallpaper, we are seeing geometric shapes moving through to furniture and lighting. This trend is extremely versatile, and is often very subtle on the base, which alludes to style over trend. Pair your favourite geometric piece with an ever-classic marble tabletop, and you are guaranteed a piece that is of the moment…and will most likely be that way for years! As with all trends, I recommend investing in one piece in a home, because the higher the quality is, the greater chance it will continue on to become a classic.

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CALGARY HOME & GARDEN SHOW GIVEAWAY! 

What you get:

  • AspenClean Professional Edition Whole House Cleaning Kit ($69.95)
  • AspenClean Super Scrub Powder ($9.95)
  • AspenClean Service Gift Card ($30)
  • IKEA Gift Card ($50)
  • 4 x tickets to the Calgary Home + Garden Show

How to enter:

  • Leave a comment here telling me what spring trend from this post you like the most!
  • For an extra entry, follow me at @kaitkucy on Twitter and leave another comment here saying that you did!
  • For an EXTRA entry, ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page here and leave another comment saying that you did.
  • The giveaway ends on Sunday February 22nd at 12pm MST. Open to Albertan residents only! Good luck!
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J.Crew Fall/Winter 2015 NYFW Presentation

Who else is obsessing over The Sartorialist and other street style blogs right now? In case you aren’t currently taking notes on what trends are hitting the streets, I’ll fill you in – it is Fashion Week in New York right now! It is not a secret that I am slightly envious of all the fashion bloggers I know that are out there right now, hitting up the shows and parties and soaking up every inch of the fashion and lifestyle of NYC. I love following along on my friend Ania B’s travels – you can catch her blog here and live NYFW goodness right on her instagram.

I saw a couple of Ania’s shots from the J.Crew Fall/Winter Presentation and absolutely fell in love with the new pieces. More classics styles that we have come to know and love from J.Crew but that added quirk that Women’s Designer Tom Mora (see my interview with him here!) is known for. Here are a couple of outfits that really caught my eye:

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The women’s Fall/Winter ’15 collection was inspired by Peter Schlesinger’s book “Checkered Past”. He captured his friends, including David Hockney, Tina Chow, Paloma Picasso, Eric Boman and Cecil Beaton in the 1960’s and 70’s. The energy of London and these iconic friends inspired the texture, color and silhouettes of the collection – intense yellow, blue violet, pale pinks and lush heather greys paired with textures like faux fur, gorgeous knitwear, burnished shearling, denim and fringe.

-Tom Mora, Head of J.Crew Women’s Design

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The main theme for the men’s collection started with a trip I took to a vintage army/navy show in the south of England. The army supplies, tents, vintage blankets and surplus inherently inspired these pieces with their functionality, but we’ve made them sophisticated. I have an image of Montgomery Clift in a great overcoat which helped inspire the tailoring and fabrications to modernize the clothes for today’s man. Like vintage utility pieces, each of our pieces are functional and have a purpose; every inch of the piece is considered.

-Frank Muytjens, Head of J.Crew Men’s Design

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The full collection will be available to view on Style.com shortly!

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SEVEN WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU

Who is excited for Valentine’s Day this weekend? I sure am – Valentine’s Day is certainly a glowing beacon of pink + red light amidst the mid-winter gloom of February. Between the chocolates and cinnamon hearts and messages of love, you just can’t go wrong this weekend!

I’ve rounded up seven ways to say I Love You with some incredible handmade items found on Etsy. I think it is the best place to find a unique gift for your true love – there are so many amazing designers out there! These products are really just a teensy scratch at the surface of amazing gifts you’ll find on Etsy.

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This My Girl Pillow from BrightJuly is so adorable and a great way to remind your girl (whether it be your love or daughter or pet!) that you love her.

Blink blink blink! This Sleepy Clay Dish from BadgersHollow is so much fun! Perfect for eating tasty Valentine candies out of or stashing away your V-Day jewels!

Put an arrow right through your Valentine’s heart – figuratively! The Rose Gold Arrows from Mineral and Matter are so pretty and would look great as Valentine decor or displayed all year round.

This card is too much!  I Wuff You Card from Quill & Fox is a cute and cheeky way to get across what is really on your mind.

 

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Treat your Valentine to a spa-like experience at home with the Coconut Milk Bath Soak from Herbivore Botanicals. This soak will be sure to pamper them in the best way possible – get ready for plenty of smooches post-bath!

A bit of a funny choice for a Valentine’s gift but this Guacamole T-Shirt from StupidFashion is absolutely perfect for your funny Valentine.

And lastly, if you are really looking to impress your true love (and get something awesome for your home at the same time) this Geodesic Pendant Lamp from Britta Gould is STUNNING. Plus, you can say something really corny and lovey about how each point on the pendant represents a different that you love about them.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend full of love + wonder! I’ll be celebrating with my little family – looking forward to the amazing weather!

 

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STARTING OFF 2015

Hurrah for 2015! I am so excited to start off this amazing year in only a couple of days. 2014 seemed to fly by with work, my pregnancy and just general busy-ness. It was such a great year but I am looking forward to all of the amazing changes that 2015 will bring to my life. So much to look forward to a slower-paced year with my own little family, writing projects and travelling.

I’ve rounded up some of my favourite items for starting off 2015 right – from super-organized calendars to inspirational prints to keep me motivated in my home office as I kick off the new year as a mom! Even something in there for baby. :)

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where to shop: 

The colours and boldness of the Bonjour Print are just perfect. I picture this at my front door or near my bedside as a warm welcome each day.

How awesome is the Cascade Backpack? The shape and design is flawless and it is roomy enough to stash my MacBook Air + snacks and my wallet.

It’s Never Too Late Print – this print is such a good reminder of how you always have time to fulfill your ideas and dreams! Don’t give up because it is truly never too late.

We just received our 2015 Stir & Shake Calendar in the mail and I can barely wait to hang it up on the wall. We bought Red Cruiser’s Beer Pairings calendar last year and became hooked on their products.

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where to shop:

I find it is so hard to find the perfect daytimer that fulfills all of my needs. I like how clean the 365 Days: Minimalist Journal is – allows me to take over the space completely with notes, appointments and thoughts.

Kinda in love with this Scented Candle: Minimalist and the quote ain’t too bad either. Such a good reminder to take note of as you go about your day.

Okay, I am in LOVE with this Ferm Living Mini Billy Basket! It is so cute – I’d stash just about anything in from throw blankets to my never-ending collection of magazines.

One of my goals for 2015 is to be more organized in all aspects of our home. I feel like this ABC Multi Pot by Design Letters would find a home in our kitchen for keeping utensils orderly or keeping our gluten-free flours nice and fresh.

Because you need somewhere to keep all that extra change you have jangling around at the bottom of your purse – throw it in the AREAWARE Resign Pig Bank.

Lastly, since I love the design of the Young Double Fred Doll. A sweet little friend for baby. :)

xx

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TIS THE SEASON FOR FAMILY

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Currently awaiting my four-days post-date babe and feeling excited/anxious to see his sweet little face. It turns out my predictions for him to be born early or at least on his due date have proven to be false and now here we are – playing the waiting game. I now have dates set for ultrasounds and an induction but I really hope he decides to make his fashionably late appearance before then. On the plus side, I’ve been able to get some extra freelance work done that I didn’t think I would have time to work on until after Christmas. This has been such a wonderful pregnancy that in some ways I am totally okay with him staying snuggled in my belly – though I think snuggling in my arms would be much better. ♥

To sweeten the already amazing deal of having a baby this month, I am also insanely excited about Christmas. It has been so lovely enjoying the holidays already with my family – I can’t believe the big day is only two days away. All of our plans have been kind of up in the air as we await the new addition but I honestly cannot wait to enjoy a delicious turkey dinner (my last craving, perhaps?!). Who am I kidding – I crave turkey dinner all year long.

I hope you all have an amazing holiday season! 2015 is shaping up to be an amazing year. xxoo

 

 

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#unBOXPossibilities with UNICEF Canada

This holiday season I had the opportunity to create my first unboxing video ever. While I often receive parcels through my job as a freelance lifestyle writer and blogger, it has never occurred to me to share what I receive on video – until now. UNICEF Canada reached out to be part of their #unBOXPossibilities campaign to bring more awareness to the incredible things they do on a daily basis for people who need the simple and essential requirements of life – like clean water, nutrition and warmth.

I’ve been familiar with UNICEF since I was a small child, collecting change in those little orange boxes we’d tie around our necks as we went trick-or-treating. As a child, you know you are doing something good, raising money, but I don’t think the awareness was ever really there – at least in terms of putting our efforts into solid, tangible items that were going to be people who needed them.

UNICEF Canada ended up sending me one of their Survival Gifts to unbox and experience what these items are really like and how they can make an impact on so many families. Please watch my video here, as I unbox and experience firsthand all of the products (and even taste them) that are things we take for granted everyday here in Canada.

WHAT YOU CAN DO THIS CHRISTMAS

♥ ♥ ♥ Shop my box to help families all over the world: Baby Blankets // PlumpyNut // Therapeutic Milk // Water Purification Tablets

♥ ♥ ♥  In the Survival Gifts catalogue, and on the shop site  too there are tons of options so you can really personalize your choices. Like Soccer Balls for a sport loving child or Art-in-A-Box to go along with the crafty gift you’re putting under the tree. While we’re buying the hottest new toys or stocking the fridge with extras this season, these are gifts that can feel like a luxury to moms and children who need them. 

♥ ♥ ♥ To see what an impact UNICEF Survival Gifts are making to the recipients, check out www.youtube.com/unicefcanada for real life experiences, and you can shop from there too! Or join the conversation at #unBOXPossibilities

♥ ♥ ♥ Help us and UNICEF unBOX Possibilities for children in need this holiday

This post is sponsored by UNICEF Canada. All opinions and views expressed are my own and I only partner with companies that I feel reflect my own personal values like UNICEF.

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GIFTS FOR GIVING WITH ETSY

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Well, here we are, four days into December. How are you feeling so far? I am feeling pretty great especially since our baby’s due date is rapidly approaching – only 14 days away! I’ve been really getting into the Christmas spirit and trying to get our house in tip top shape before our little guy arrives. We’ve had our Christmas tree up for a few weeks already and we’ve just about got everything checked off of our gift giving list.

Lately, I’ve been stalking Etsy for some unique gift ideas and Christmas decor. I’ve found some incredible things (like these gorgeous geometric ornaments that I ordered above) among tons of other great gift ideas and decor! You can check out Etsy Canada’s amazing gift giving lookbooks here – there are some seriously amazing items in there!

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These Geometric Tree Ornaments from Germany are stunning. I think they would look great adorning your Christmas Tree, on a minimalist themed wreath or even just slung across a simple dowel for a mantel-top display.

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I just about gasped when I came across this gorgeous White Polish Star Ornament. This maker creates them in all sorts of colours and sizes. They even make them with sheet music – how creative is that? Reminiscent of sea urchins I think you could incorporate these ornaments into your decor all year round.

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I really love these Linen Christmas Tree Ornaments. Such a fun and playful design, complete with the most adorable little tree trunks! If you aren’t a huge fan of traditional red & green Christmas garb, something like these trees will bring a bit of modern design to your home as you prep for the holidays. There is nothing wrong with experimenting with different decorating palettes year to year.

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Because who doesn’t love airplants at the moment? This Himmeli Ornament Set + Airplant Holder is so cool and I’m totally trying to figure out a way I can incorporate into my home all year round. In case you haven’t played with airplants you should know that even the blackest thumb can have fun with these plants. They require little to none attention so you don’t have to worry too much about killing them off.

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For any of your friends who love a bit of afternoonc crafting, this DIY Bird Kit would be a great stocking stuffer. These birds are so fun and colourful – once they’ve been DIY’d I think they would be such a fun addition to any space. Even attaching them to string to create a tiny mobile would be so cute!

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If you are looking to send out Christmas cards this year, I found this gorgeous minimalist Merry Christmas Card on Etsy that is perfect for anyone who appreciates a bit of 90’s nostalgia. Something about it kinda reminds me of Saved by the Bell…

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I love gifting mugs and coffee for Christmas. Even though sometimes it is hard to deal with a cupboard full of mismatched cups, there is something so special about a mug that someone picked out just for you. This TSC Teacup + Saucer in Check is no exception. I can picture myself or many of my friends enjoying a tea or coffee out of this great set.

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Last year, I bought their Craft Beer Pairings calendar for Byron who absolutely loved it. When I saw their Stir & Shake 2015 Calendar I immediately fell in love. Since I am a cocktail lover, I know what a perfect gift this would be for many of my girlfriends who share my love of a delicious drink. Here’s to 2015!

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You can’t go wrong with any sort of sparkle or tassel at this time of year. This Blush and Gold Leaf Tassel Mobile is so special and pretty; I think it would make a great addition to your holiday decor this year.

Never shopped on Etsy before? Click here to receive $5 off your first purchase! If you aren’t sure where to start, you can shop my Tastemaker Boards (kinda like Pinterest) for more of my favourite finds.

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HOLIDAY CARD ROUNDUP WITH MINTED + GIVEAWAY!

It is that time of year again, folks! Time to dig deep and pull out your favourite pen to start addressing envelopes. Yup, holiday Christmas card season is back and you’ve got just under a month to get your cards picked out and mailed to your list of lucky recipients. This is my third year using Minted as my stationers of choice and this year they have some seriously beautiful options. I’ve only picked out seven of my favourite cards but there are literally hundreds of options and combinations that you can customize and fit to suit your family or work needs. Okay, get ready for it – here are my top seven picks for this holiday season of card-swapping! Which one is your favourite?

The Statement Maker Card

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I absolutely love this beautiful die-cut Cheer Stamp Holiday Card. It reminds me of a bottle cap and would be perfect for anyone who homebrews (like my husband) to send out to friends and family. The design is playful and fun with a slight retro vibe – I can definitely picture this standing out on anyone’s fridge.

The Classic Card

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I absolutely love this sweet and simple card featuring an adorable little cottage, complete with a sweet red front door. The Home Sweet Home Holiday Card such a great card especially if you moved into a new home this year – what a perfect way of celebrating your big move!

 

The Scandinavian Inspired Card

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It is no secret that I can’t get enough of Scandinavian design so it is not hard to imagine that I cannot get enough of this Scandinavian-inspired Trimmed Tree Holiday Card. Not only is this colour palette absolutely stunning but I also love the fun and simple design of the tree. I would love to have an enlarged print of this card on my wall at this time of year. Spreading the joy!

The Bright + Fun Card

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This Neon Holiday Card is a lot of fun. It has a freshly stenciled and spray-painted vibe to it which I love. It is very simple and has a fun holiday message.

The Fabulously Retro Card

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Okay, seriously – this card is the best! Not only that but it is perfect for anyone who has issues with procrastination. Instead of sending a note of holiday wishes, just go straight to celebrating the new year with the Pop Pop Poppers Holiday Card!

The Traditionalist Card

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Such a darling design on this Sweet Angel Holiday Card. Again, the colour palette is pretty perfect and I love the simple vintage look of it. It reminds me of  some old Christmas books that I had when I was a kid. Such a great message of peace to send to friends and family.

The Family Mugshot Card

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And lastly, you can’t go wrong with the Destination Luggage Tag Holiday Photo Card. Featuring a spot for you to upload one of your fun family photos, this is the ultimate in personalized greetings.

 

HOLIDAY MINTED GIVEAWAY

♥ So excited to offer up a really great giveaway to help you send off some holiday well wishes to your loved ones this season! I am giving away $150 credit to Minted! All you have to do to win is leave a comment here telling me who you plan to send your holiday cards to this year. The giveaway ends on Saturday at 12pm MST.  Open to US & Canada residents. Good luck!

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GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. We randomly drew comment #6 – congrats to Sydney! Thanks to all who entered! xx

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