My First Holiday Home Tour!

Have I mentioned professional photos are my absolute favourite thing ever? I could not be happier with these photos, which my amazing photographer managed to get to me just in the nick of time! My house is by no means finished as far as its decorating is concerned, we’re missing rugs and key furniture but you do the best with what you have and you make it work. And that’s just what I did with my holiday decor. Have a peek at this years decor, next year might not happen as we’re hoping to do renovations at the end of the year, so you’ll likely see these all again next year, so once you see them erase them from your memory (or don’t, and just enjoy them all over again next year). Wishing you all a very happy holiday day season. xo

Photography by Heidi Lau.

Few Snaps of My Christmas Tree

I was hoping to get some photos out earlier of the holiday decor in my home, but we get our tree pretty late so I don’t have them all back yet. But my amazing photographer (Heidi Lau), managed to slip me a couple shots of my tree while I wait for the others.

Every year we go to Drysdale to chop down our own tree. Sadly, this year we couldn’t find a decent tree to save our lives. So, we ended up going with a pre-chopped tree. And it’s the most perfect one we’ve had yet! Here’s a few snaps from our tree adventure and the final product. I’ll share some more photos once I have them!

Photography by Heidi Lau (last two, the other crap photos are yours truly)

It’s not you it’s me, a farewell letter to roller derby

Dear roller derby,

I want to thank you for the amazing four years we’ve shared, I have loved you more than you will ever know. From the moment Kristin (you know her as Jonah Kill) and I first saw you in 2012, you sucked us in immediately. I was fascinated with watching the jammer (the scoring player) and vowed that would be me one day.

[ First game I ever watched, not the best photo to represent your amazingness, but I was in love. ]

In that moment we knew we needed to play this sport. We immediately joined the Fresh Meat program, learned how to skate, learned how to hit and learned how to be the most badass versions of ourselves we could be.

From Roller derby to decorating
[ First day of fresh meat, while I might look 12, I’m 33 here! ]

There’s something really compelling about you and the community you have built. You represent inclusivity, positivity and a shared cult-like passion for a sport we have all grown to love with an intensity that cannot be fully expressed to those not in it. It’s really all-consuming, but we accept that because we all love you so much and how you make us feel about ourselves.

I often wish I had found you when I was 19, as opposed to the ripe age of 33, but the truth is I found you when I needed you most. You helped me through the intense years of stress, anxiety and confidence issues. You were the three hour escape every week that allowed my brain to rest and help me begin to feel confident and strong.

Seriously though, it’s really not you, it really is me…

I had every intention being with you for one more season, but a month ago my intuition told me it was time to part ways. I can’t really explain it other than my heart just knew it was time hang my skates up to make space for new things in my life. Time to focus on a new chapter in my life. My new business, my passion and love for interior design and decorating. This new chapter has changed me in ways I never could have imagined possible, not unlike the some of changes you unleashed in me throughout the last four years.

Last Wednesday I had my last practice with the Death Track Dolls and last night I played my last game against the Kingston The Disloyalists. It’s really hard to walk away without feeling like a part of my identity is leaving me, but as my mother-in-law just said “Nope, it’s just becoming part of the fabric of you. It wears well.”

Over the last week I can’t help reflecting on the many amazing moments we’ve shared.

I’ve managed to narrow it down to my top 10 favourite moments together…

1. Becoming bionic after breaking my tib and fib (yes, it’s a highlight, it taught me a lot about myself).

2. Skating in the Fresh & Furious tournament following the leg break (our team got third place and the first time I heard my name chanted “Holllllyyyyyy Rooooockkkettttt” who wouldn’t love that?).

Toronto Roller Derby

3. Being the first recipient of the Louisa Kalimeris Heart Award, (awarded during the Fresh & Furious tournament as the freshie demonstrating the greatest heart, determination, and positive attitude).

4. Becoming a Death Track Doll! (I love my team so freaken’ much).

Death Track Dolls
5. Receiving MVP for every game I skated in the 2016 Regular Season.

6. Getting to watch my team and I on Rogers TV (although HD is a bit much, especially when your nose is busted up from a previous game).

Toronto Roller Derby Rogers TV
7. Skating with the All Stars in Pittsburg in 2016 (earning MVP!), then making the All Stars team this season (always a goal of mine and while I ultimately choose to step down because I had too much going on, my short time on the team was absolutely amazing and it allowed me to level up pretty damn hard – thank you All Stars!).
Toronto Roller Derby AllStars 8. Getting 100% lead against the Bandits in this seasons Semi-finals. (Read The Derby Nerd’s article about this game here.) 100% lead jammer status

9. Earning highest scoring jammer in this years regular season with 189 points (See The Derby Nerd’s full season standings here.) 10. Realizing that I’m tenacious and strong (more than I ever gave myself credit for) and what it means to be passionate about something.

While I’m really sad that we’re going our separate ways, I’m so excited for what’s next. I will be forever grateful for everything you have done for me over the last four years and all the amazing and inspiring people you’ve introduced me to along the way.

Holly Rocket #11

PS thanks to all the amazing photographers who are able to keep our memories alive with beautiful photos of the good, the bad, and the ugly [faces].

Toronto Roller Derby

I’m one of three featured designers for Elte Mkt Designer Day!

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! And this time it’s ’cause Elte MKT has invited me to be a featured designer on Elte MKT Designer Day. I’m one of three of Toronto’s “hottest young interior designers” offering free 20 minute consultations on July 29 (Elte MKT said it, so it must be true, right?!).

Check out this fun promo video we filmed last week! I give you my three super easy tips for adding personality into your home!

Every week that goes by, I keep being reminded that I made the best decision to follow my passion, whether it’s the amazing clients I get to work with, or opportunities like this one I just feel so blessed.
Life is short, follow your dreams, peeps.

Feast your eyes on the stunning apartment we stayed in while in Paris!

By now you’ve probably seen many of my favourite photos from my recent trip to Paris (more links at the end of this post). But what I haven’t shown you yet, was the stunning apartment we stayed in. Full disclosure, these photos are from the rental companies web site, photographing interiors is really difficult and the photos I took did not do it justice.

I love travelling with Dave and his family, not only do they plan the best trips, but they choose the best accommodations. Instead of experiencing the trip from a hotel room (whomp whomp), we literally live like locals! This apartment was right in the heart of Paris overlooking the Palais Royale. It felt so authentic and also allowed us to take a break from eating out and cook our own meals. Highly recommend this place. A beautiful backdrop to share laughs, sip wine (more than I’d like to admit), and eat more than our share of baguettes. Bonus: there were 91 stairs to get up to our apartment (after the 10th time going up, we decided we needed to count them), which meant that we could offset some of the wine and cheese we enjoyed. There was an elevator but we opted out.

stunning paris rental apartment The main living room where we all hung out while in the apartment (aka sipped wine)

stunning paris rental apartment I loved these beautiful chevron floors!

stunning paris rental apartment A few falls down this, pretty [slippery] staircase, so many laughs (I’m a jerk)

stunning paris rental apartment
The view of the Palais Royale. No big deal.

 Our room was off the main living area.

Even the doors were gorgeous!

Our massive en-suite bathroom (every room had one!)

The most charming bedroom where Dave’s parents stayed, wood beams, an amazing terrace and sloped ceilings

Amazing, right?

Their amazing view off the terrace!!!

Master bedroom en-suite, not too shabs.

The second upstairs bedroom, this was also super charmsville.

The second upstairs bedroom en-suite.

Check out some other sights from my recent trip to Paris here:

Today’s 10 (and then some) photos from our Chateau Adventures!

Today we visited three amazing castles, two of white are privately owned. Ya, privately owned. Weird, right? Dave decided to see how much it would cost to buy a castle in France, on the high end we’re talking $25 million euros and on the low end, there were a few for $850 thousand euros. Who wants a castle in France?!!!

Chateau Chenonceau Château de Chenonceau, which is said to be the most beautiful Château in Paris.

Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Chenonceau So much wallpaper and tapestries in all the castles we visited! It’s so cool to see trends dating so far back come back. Oh and hello gallery wall. You know I love you.

Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Cheverny Château de Cheverny, privately owned, the family lives in part of this castle. Imagine being those kids?

Chateau Cheverny Cheverny is also a hunting venue, this kennel apparently had about 100 French hounds. These guys were so damn cute I couldn’t even deal.

Chateau Cheverny Château de Chambord Château de Chambord, spiral staircase was designed by Leonardo Da Vinci

Château de Chambord Château de Chambord

It’s time for today’s 10 pics from Paris, spoiler berets make an appearance!

Have I told you lately that I love Paris? I have, haven’t I. Oddly, Dave and I have eaten Ramen three times already. I only recently realized I liked Ramen and now I’m addicted, and I’ve had the BEST Ramen I’ve EVER had here. So obviously that mean we should eat it like it was our job. We will be having it again too, cause the first place we had it was unreal.

Anyhoo, check out these fancy pics from the last few days walks through Paris!

Paris Trip How could I not take a picture of this handsome fella?

Paris Trip This is in the Palais Royale, right outside our apartment, a ballerina was doing a photoshoot.

Paris Trip I dunno, just a beautiful composition.

Paris Trip Paris Trip Paris Trip Ok, this ornate ridiculousness is the Chateau Versailles, it was of course just too much of absolutely everything. I kinda dig the fabric being used everywhere for the tone on tone look though.

Paris Trip Paris Trip Yep, Dave and I embracing all things Paris. And by embracing all things Paris, I meant borrowing some berets from some girls to do this amazing photoshoot. 🙂

Paris Trip Daffy does Paris.

Paris, I think I love you. 10 photos from my first few days in this amazing city.

I decided to go back and pull 10 of my faves from my first few days in Paris. For whatever reason I felt more drawn to taking tighter shots of beautiful storefronts or buildings, just seems more interesting to me and tells a better story than those big landscape shots. Not to say that landscape shots wouldn’t be beautiful, but it’s these little moments and scenes that keep catching my eye. These aren’t anywhere specific that I can remember but just some beautiful scenes while walking this amazing city.

Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery [ I loved the contrast of the side of the building in the middle in relation to details of fronts of the other buildings here ]

Beautiful Paris Scenery [ One of my faves of the trip, the election was the Monday we got here, there are still posters up, I might frame the two of these ]

Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery
Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery [ This is simple perfection, every detail in the exact right place ]

Beautiful Paris Scenery Beautiful Paris Scenery



Today’s Top 10 Snaps from Paris!

Je suis tres inspirez!!! Ya ok, that’s probably not spelled right at all. Whatevs. Seriously though, the inspiration keeps coming here. I narrowed it down to my top 10 snaps from today’s travels to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise to see Jim Morrison’s grave (didn’t include the picture in my favourites), lots of walking to various places then the Musée national Picasso-Paris. Prendre plaisir (here’s to hoping Google translate has not failed me, but I’m sure it has).

Scenes from Paris Scenes from Paris [ View from a window in the Musée national Picasso-Paris ]

Scenes from Paris [ I might have enjoyed the aesthetic of this museum more than the art exhibit. ]

Scenes from Paris Scenes from Paris [ Possibly my new favourite picture from the trip ]

Scenes from Paris Scenes from Paris Scenes from Paris

Scenes from Paris Scenes from Paris