Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve To All! (and a cookie recipe from me!)

Merry Christmas everyone! I won't be able to post tomorrow, so I thought I would give my best today :) I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas. Not only will I be spending Christmas with my family (as confusing as that can be sometimes - I have several 'pieces' of family to see over the next 3 days), but this will be our first Christmas in Kelowna since we've moved back. I've noticed it's been a lot less stressful without having to worry about buses and places to stay. I'm so thankful for these past few months. In this ever increasingly product obsessed world we live in, I'm suprised that what I'm most thankful for is just to be living in the same city as my family at this time of year. We have to remember what's important :)

And now I'm going to share my favorite cookie recipe with all of you!

You will need:

1 c. melted butter
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 lrg. egg
1 lrg. egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. white choc. chips
3/4 c. dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Beat melted butter and sugars. 3. Slowly add in vanilla and eggs until well blended. 4. Combine dry ing. in a seperate bowl, then slowly add to wet ing. 5. Fold in chips and cranberries. Spoon onto a greased baking sheet, and bake for 7-10 minutes. 


This is such an easy recipe, and it's a great base recipe. You can use just chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, or crushed chocolate bars - everything works.


I made them as gifts and stocking stuffers this year:



Wrapped and ribboned :)




Have a great Christmas everyone!


Love, Jamie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

Last night I was writing a to-do list of all the last minute things I need to get done. Bake cookies, pack overnight bag, etc. Then I wondered if I should write a quick blog post before all the real festivities begin, and I realized I haven't shown you the tree yet! Haha, perfect timing I guess! Here it is!

Day time ..



Night time!



I absolutely love how it turned out. I wonder what I'll do next year! What colors did you go for on your tree this year?

Love, Jamie

Monday, December 19, 2011

Homestretch to Christmas

So, I haven't been doing anything really 'blog worthy' lately hahaha, but I thought I'd write a post on what's going on over here :) Let's play catch up shall we?


My lovely sister bought me a wreath of my very own to decorate!! Any ideas?

My friend Danica just went away on friday to LA for Christmas, and we've been pretty much inseperable since I moved back to Kelowna, so it's weird not having her around anymore! I won't be seeing her much when she gets back either (she's moving to Vancouver in January), except for when she's training me for a few days to take over her old job at the pet store. It's funny, I moved back to Kelowna to get away from Vancouver and she's doing the exact opposite. Well Dani, we had a few good months. I'm really looking forward to be working soon, I've been going crazy wanting to work since we moved back! It is sliiiim pickings for jobs in Kelowna right now. Anyone looking knows what I mean. Luckily Tristan and I have both found jobs FINALLY.

On another note, I've gotten all my Christmas gift shopping done, and put under the tree :) Cards are mailed .. I like sending snail mail cards instead of email, feels more personal, although my writing is terrible - too much technology! Texting and typing and phoning .. I wrote beautifully as a child, but I'm afraid at 22 I don't get as much practise as I should. My writing is definitely chicken scratch.

I can't believe this Saturday is Christmas Eve! I seriously woke up this morning, checked my phone, saw the date and my jaw dropped. It really crept up on me, I've apparently been in my own little world. Our festivities always start on Christmas Eve, and this year it's extra special because we're going to my cousin Carly's dance recital before we go to Oma and Opa's for dinner. Then Christmas day at my mom's and Boxing day at my dad's. It's going to be a very busy few days for us. I'm going to thrive on it though, I love the chaos and  noise of my family. When I first moved to Vancouver, I was salivating over the prospect of peace and quiet. I had been living in the corner of the basement, with sheets for walls. All noise, all the time. But let me tell you, the quiet got old, fast. I ACTUALLY missed the dog barking, my little brothers screaming and running up and down the stairs, doors slamming, loud video games, little feet jumping on my air mattress to wake me up, everything. Within a week I was cranking the TV or music just so I could function.

Oh Kelowna, I MISSED YOU!!

How stoked are you getting for Christmas?!

Love, Jamie

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Housewarming Gift From Oma!

My Oma came over yesterday for tea, and she brought us a present! So sweet of her. I thought I would share it with all of you :)


What could it be? I am loving this furry, fire-engine-red bag by the way haha!


Ooooh napkins and pink tissue!


Annnd it's crystal wine glasses!


I have officially entered grown-up land. My own crystal wine glasses! I love them, and I love the napkins (so vintage and dainty looking!). Thank you Oma!!

Have you ever gotten a housewarming gift that instantly made you feel you'd entered adulthood?

 And, as always, follow me and/or leave me a comment if you'd like :)

Love, Jamie

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Party Touches

My friend Kayla is hosting a Christmas Eve party for her friends this year (I've mentioned before she's teaching in Korea), and she asked me for a few ideas to add a little festivity to her place. She's not really crazy into the whole Christmas decorating thing, so I came up with a few easy ideas (nothing over-the-top) that you can do with the things you probably already have around your home :)


1. Add a little something 'extra' to the treats you put out by placing a paper snowflake on the plate.


2. Not only does adding curling ribbon to champagne glasses add some cheer, it's also functional! Use a bunch of colors; that way your guests will remember which glass is theirs when they set it down. This is also cheaper than buying wine charms.


3. Use red and green peppers to hold dips. Quirky and colorful! These also work in summer, just use yellow and orange as well!


4. Toss some cranberries into your ice cube trays. Cranberries or torn mint leaves (make sure you tear them to release the flavor as the ice melts) are nicest in the winter, while you could use all different kinds of fruit in the summer; strawberries, pineapple, raspberries etc.


5. Tape paper snowflakes inside your lampshades. The look is subtle but so lovely!

I hope some of these work for you Kayla!

Love, Jamie

Monday, December 12, 2011

Decorating with the Family

I haven't posted in awhile (sorry about that!), and I was starting to get itchy to write, when, luckily, material for a blog post came up last night. Sue asked Michelle and I to come over and help her decorate the tree, as well as dress her brand new table (she gave me her old one - future posts on that coming up!) that she waited TWO months for! Ridiculous company. She saw my post on table decor and loved it, so she asked me to do it this year :) Before I show you that, here are a couple pictures I took around her house (she always has the most beautiful items, very crafty stuff!).


I love this raspberry and rose branch, I gave it to her years ago and it is impossible to find now! I can't even find any online! She found some with just raspberries this year, so I may have to hunt some down and toy with them a bit for myself!


Michelle made these for an art project and ended up not needing them, so she gave them to Sue who did this with them! I love how the lights make them look. I have some store bought balls like this, but I think I'm going to need to make some of my own one day. Apparently it's just soaking string in glue, wrapping around a balloon, waiting for it to dry, then popping the balloon! A lot like paper mache. Easy yet creative stuff.

So, here is the table on it's own:


It's such a beautiful set, I'm so jealous! It matches her house perfectly as well.


Here it is :) much like my table at home.


How adorable is that tea light holder? I want!


And, just for table staging sake, these pretty gold ornaments. I love the mix of blue and gold in this picture.

As for the tree, you will see it most likely when I post pictures of Christmas morning!

Do you have any decorating traditions with your family?

Love, Jamie

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Super Easy 'Frosted' Oranges

Tristan and I went grocery shopping yesterday, and bought a box of Christmas mandarin oranges. I was looking for a snack when I had an idea (ended up forgetting about the snack).



This little decorating project is really easy, and all you need is few things you can find around your house:

a bowl or dish (a pretty one you want to display the oranges in)
oranges to fill said bowl or dish
any little items you want to add in with the oranges
sugar
a plastic sandwich bag
water!


First, dip an orange in water and place it in the dish. This will be your practise orange. Put a little sugar in your baggie, and cut a hole in the bottom. Practise sprinkling the sugar on the orange until it looks as frosted as you want it to. Water the other oranges and add them to the dish. Sugar away!


You may think it would be easier to roll the oranges in the sugar, but it's not. They will end up with your fingerprints all over them, and the sugar will be wet and lumpy. Next, you can add leaves, or whatever else you may want to make them pretty. Mine turned out just as I'd hoped :) They do have a few finger prints but I didn't mind, texture is good in my opinion. Now all you have to do is decide where to put them (and try not to scream when someone tries to eat them)!

Hope you liked this idea, and as always, feel free to leave me a comment (even if I don't know you or this post is old)! If you'd like to follow me (and I really hope you do!), just head to the left side of the page under my Blog Roll :)

Love, Jamie

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Clothes Pin Tree Ornaments

I went down to the store on Sunday with no real plan in mind, I just knew I really wanted to tackle the 'not-liking-the-tree' situation. I've mentioned it a few times now, so I figured I needed to just go do it. I brainstormed and came up with my color scheme (neutral; white, cream, gold and brown), and the look I was going for (traditional, with neutral colors and natural elements). While I was browsing, I came across a cute little snowman decoration attached to a clothes pin, and I instantly had an idea. I bought a bag of clothes pins, and a bag of frosted/painted nuts and pinecones. Here is what I did:


How pretty is that? It turned out exactly how I wanted!

If you want to try this, here are some tips/advice:


I used all purpose 'cement' glue, but you could use a hot glue gun if you like (I always burn myself so this is better for me). It's probably a better idea to use the glue gun especially if you have kids; the cement glue is super strong smelling and harmful (I opened the balcony door and almost froze to death making these).


Just glue the nuts/pinecones on, hold for a few seconds, and set them down to dry. Beware: several of mine tipped over, so lay them on newspaper and keep an eye on them. Unless you want to wreck your table. I wasn't that worried about mine. My coffee table was $17 at Ikea. It's already wrecked.


And there you go! Super cute decor for next to no money :)

Pictures of the whole tree coming closer to Christmas!!

Happy crafting!

Love, Jamie

Monday, December 05, 2011

Holiday Link Party: Table Decor

I came across a 'Holiday Link Party' on a blog last night, and decided to share a few photos. I'd never heard of one before, but this one was for table settings, and I looove table decor, so I thought I'd give it a go.  I honestly just threw this together. I used only items I already had around my house. Christmas doesn't have to cost a lot! So here we are:


I went for a traditional glamorous look, with crystal, mirrors, and natural items (cranberries, pinecones, scented nuts).


These are the same cranberries I used in a previous post, I just love them. I like that they take up visual space but you can still see the person sitting across from you. I used river rocks and styrofoam balls coated in shimmer for inside the glass vase. They go quite nicely with the jars I filled with scented nuts and places around the table. You've probably noticed I adore using jars filled with pretty items!


For reasons only a decor blogger would understand, I placed a few beautiful items on each plate. If I were actually hosting a party, I would place little satin bags next to each plate so my guests could take these items home as a souvenir. You can also put a little place card between them.


I used plain white linen napkins, tucked them into a tumbler and garnished with a few cranberries (have I mentioned how much I LOVE red and white? :)). Not many people use coasters at the dining table, but I like the 'polished' look I achieved with it ;)

So, all in all, a super easy setting to put together, and your guests will love it! 

Thanks for popping over! Here is the link to the party!

Holiday Home Link Party: Tablescapes For Christmas

Love, Jamie

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Downtown Tree Light Up!

Last night, I, along with Tristan, my sister Danielle and my best friend Danica (see her blog here: Ready, Set... Pet!), went to the downtown Kelowna Tree Light Up! Unfortunately we arrived late and missed the actual lighting of the tree (being fashionably late doesn't really pay off), but I was able to take a few pictures!


Lovely! Choices Markets sponsored the event and had a free apple cider tent set up, and there was also live music. After we checked out the tree and saw the insanely long line for cider, we headed over to Gorgeous George's for burgers (if you haven't been to Gorgeous Georges, I strongly recommend you do!). Then we got our cider, headed home and played Nintendo 64. It was a good night.


Can't forget the trees along the streets downtown! It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...

Do you enjoy going to community events?

Love, Jamie

Saturday, December 03, 2011

From Great-Grandfather, to Grandfather, to Father, to Daughter

Yesterday my dad dropped off two pieces of very old furniture at my house. He and his girlfriend were cleaning out their guest room and offered them to me, and seeing that I now have a huge apartment to fill, I was in no position to pass them up. However, although the years have clearly been good to them (hardly any scratches), they are in some need of updating. I'm not a fan of bedroom sets (I don't like matchy-matchy), so I figured a little paint and new hardware could instantly bring them to this decade. I believe they are from the 50's or 60's (the TV set legs tell the story).



Yes, I'm aware I would be 'ruining' history, but I've got my dad's blessing to go to town on them. In his words, "I know they're not the greatest looking, but they're still good furniture." They are are real wood underneath, so I might pull that plastic 'fake wood' stuff off and see what's going on under there before I paint them. I don't have any problems painting over the fake stuff, but I can't ever bring myself to paint real wood, especially on antique furniture (like in this post: Hallway Decorating).


I'm thinking maybe ivory with glass knobs, or paint the pulls already on them black? And maybe paint a pattern overlay on the drawers only? And of course remove the legs. As you can see in the mirror of the first picture, I gravitate towards light colors in the bedroom. These pieces are just too dark and bulky in this room; they really close it in.

So readers, any color schemes or ideas for me?

Love, Jamie

Tealight Central

I've been noticing a recurring item in my home lately, and it's right in the title of this post. I love tealights, especially the fancier ones shaped like flowers, adorned with glitter, etc. I also love holders for basic tealights, as I never burn the fancy ones (how sad would a glittery flower look melting in on itself? Not exactly the atmosphere I go for). Here are some from my vast collection:


My Oma gave me a set of these years ago, and I only bring them out at Christmastime. They're very poinsettia-esque in my opinion.


I have two of these, and they were in my stocking last year (thanks Sue!). I love keeping them on the coffee table.


I bought these at a Homesense a couple of years ago ($5.99 for 6 I believe?). Again, glitter!


Even though this holder is kind of holiday looking, I always keep it out. I got it for $2.99 on sale at Pharmasave. It was always in the living room, but just recently when I was making over the main bathroom, I thought it would be perfect with the dark brown towels and bath mat.



And lastly, these beauties. I found them in a shop in Vancouver earlier this year, when I was going for an earthy vibe. That vibe didn't last long though (I think my overall style is very classic and crisp), so they currently do not have a home in the house. Hopefully I will find a suitable place for them soon, I do like them alot!

Feel free to e-mail me at polishedtouchbyjlesko@gmail.com or leave a comment for feedback, advice, or just to show off some of things you're proud of in your home!

Love, Jamie

Friday, December 02, 2011

Glass Touches in the Bathroom

Lately I've been working on the bathrooms. The main bathroom still needs quite a bit of work (needs some stuff on the walls and a new shower curtain). I'm mostly finished (for now!) the ensuite, so I thought I would share some photos.




The infamous peonies from my banner made their way in here :)


Also on the counter, this lovely wash cloth stand. $14.99 at Homesense. Hahaha, yes, you can see my weird looking arm in the reflection.


I had been searching high and low to find glass knob shower curtain hooks, and just when I gave up hope, guess where these came into stock? Oh Homesense, you treat me so well. $9.99 for a set.


I have four of these mirrored votive holders, they were $1.95 each at a dollar store in Vancouver. In hindsight I wish I'd bought more before I left, as I'm always moving these ones around (they would look great here! Oh wait, over here! Or in there!). And yes, you can see my hands and camera here as well :) Apparently I'm not very stealthy! The crown picture was $12.99; Homesense. The small shelf was a set of two, I believe I got them at Zellers ages ago.


And last but not least, my favorite place in the world to be: the bathtub. Shower curtain, $14.99 marked down from $29.99; Home Outfitters.

What is your favorite way to relax? Email me at polishedtouchbyjlesko@gmail.com or leave a comment to share what makes you happy :)

Love, Jamie

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Glitter, Glitter Everywhere!

As you may have noticed, I'm a big fan of glitter. Especially around the holidays. I am also a fan of flowers, especially hydrangeas. I used to consider them a summer flower, but I'm changing that!


Add some dried leaves, sparkle, and place next to a lamp adorned with a glittery tree ornament. They give quite a different vibe now don't they?


These green and white hydrangeas give my kitchen a 'frosty' feel now.

All the hydrangeas pictured were from the Walmart Better Homes and Gardens collection. They have a great selection of colors there. If you want to get really fancy, I saw gorgeous hydrangeas (and other silk flowers) at Michaels craft store last week. Sadly, $15 a stem wasn't in my budget, but if it's in yours I would say they're definitely worth it! You can find glittery white branches at pretty much any dollar or home store (can't remember where I found mine!).

Let me know what you think!

Love, Jamie

Lilies From My Love

The other day, I got up to a sweet suprise from a sweet man.


Way to make a girl feel special Tristan <3

Love, Jamie