One of my favourite everlasting Christmas tree releases this season is
Urban Barn'sVegas model. With its glittering
champagne metallic branches, it's
unapologetically artificial, but would work
so well with the mix of warm bronze and gold finishes throughout my home: [caption id="attachment_1108" align="aligncenter" width="410"]
Vegas 7.5-foot tree in Champagne, $149, Urban Barn. Photography courtesy of Urban Barn.[/caption] It also scores bonus points because it reminds me of a
gold spray-painted wreath I made for
Style at Home magazine a few years back, which ended up being one of my all-time fave festive accents: [caption id="attachment_1112" align="aligncenter" width="410"]
The gold spraypainted evergreen wreath I designed for Style at Home back in... Wow... December 2007! Photography by Brett Walther.[/caption] Although the Vegas model is certainly not for the Christmas traditionalist, this ultra-glam take on faux fir doesn't push the envelope quite as far as the option you're about to see... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you
the feather tree. [caption id="attachment_1109" align="aligncenter" width="410"]
Seven-foot feather tree in white, $200, Bouclair. Photography courtesy of Bouclair.[/caption] The folks at
Bouclair have included a seven-foot feathered fir in variety of
very daring colourways in their holiday lineup: [caption id="attachment_1110" align="aligncenter" width="410"]
Seven-foot feather tree in fuchsia, $200, Bouclair. Photography courtesy of Bouclair.[/caption] I'm imagining most of us fall firmly into one of two camps: the type who sees this as hugely over-the-top; and the other type, who sees this as a fab opportunity to indulge in whimsy and colour -- and more than a bit of camp! -- during the dreary days of December. [caption id="attachment_1111" align="aligncenter" width="301"]
Seven-foot feather tree in white, $200 Bouclair. Photography courtesy of Bouclair.[/caption]
Today's question: What do you think of feather trees? Charming and whimsical, or just downright wacky?
I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments section below!
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Bridging the gap between Parliament and fashion, UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first British head of state to be featured within the pages of the U.S. edition of Vogue.
Who says Americans have all the fun? Following in the footsteps of Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, British Prime Minister Theresa May will be featured in the April issue of U.S. Vogue and–politics aside–we can't wait to see the glossy spread.
Shot by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, and accompanied by an interview, the photoshoot reportedly took place at May's official country residence, Chequers, according to the Telegraph. While the UK's only other female leader, Margaret Thatcher, posed for British Vogue several times during her tenure, May will be pioneering the trans-Atlantic jump.
Vogue has increasingly become more political and may be looking for another female political head to rally behind, after they formally backed–for the first time in history–U.S. candidate Hillary Clinton. The exclusive may also come in handy with presenting a more personable image, suggests a source for TheSun, for her official visit with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in May.
Since stepping into office six months ago after the historic and polarizing Brexit vote, May has been regarded for her love of fashion–notably for head-turning footwear. She even listed a lifetime's subscription to Vogue magazine as her luxury item when she appeared on a BBC radio show, according to the Independent. Proving that being a woman in high-political office and great style are not mutually exclusive, May has said, “I like clothes and I like shoes. One of the challenges for women in the workplace is to be ourselves, and I say you can be clever and like clothes. You can have a career and like clothes.”
Not everyone is applauding the fashion move. The criticism has been heavy on social media, where people are labelling the Vogue appearance as trivial, particularly in the midst of a still very sensitive fallout from the summer Brexit vote.
The kitchen probably has the most traffic in your home, which means it can also be the messiest. Keep your counters and cabinets clutter-free with these clever storage ideas.
1. Looking good
Display your pretty serving pieces on open shelves and use decorative baskets to house the less attractive and infrequently used kitchen necessities (think small appliances and tools).
2. Mix it up
Varied storage keeps items of different sizes in their place: deep drawers for medium-to-large appliances, stacked shelving for wine bottles and shallow drawers for spices.
3. Within reach
Keep the items you need most, such as cereal and snacks, between waist and eye level, and move the rest of the goods up high or down low.
4. All access
A pull-out pantry allows you to see inventory at a glance and helps keep supplies organized so that nothing gets pushed to the back and out of view.
5. Now you see it
Cabinets that are tucked behind a sliding door will provide a functional space-saving solution to a typical pantry. This storage system can be built along an unused wall in a kitchen. Use it to conceal mismatched boxes, jars and canned goods.
The biggest advantage in a kitchen is accessibility, yet the most common blind spots I see are cabinet shelves that are too high and wasted space between shelves. Whether you've just moved in or you've settled into a kitchen, it's worth the time to adjust shelving to fit the contents and to lower shelves so you can reach what you need. After adjusting the height, you can often add an extra shelf to accommodate wide narrow items, like trays.
1. Skillet Stroganoff Pie
There's no need to choose between shepherd's pie and beef Stroganoff, thanks to this simple skillet dinner, which combines a creamy mushroom-and-beef filling with a smooth, buttery potato topping.
2.Crispy Japanese-Style Pork With Sesame Slaw
This shortcut version of tonkatsu, a crispy pork cutlet that's a favourite in Japan, doesn't require any deep-frying but tastes just as delicious as the traditionally prepared dish. Toasting the panko before breading the pork results in an even golden crust. Serve with a dab of spicy mustard.
3.Stir-Fried Seafood Udon Noodles
For nights when you're low on time, udon noodles are a great ingredient to have on hand because there's no need to boil them in a saucepan; simply separate the noodles by hand, then add them directly to your stir-fry for a one-pan dinner that's ready in no time.
4.One-Pan Jerk Chicken Dinner
Very little prep is needed for this tasty one-dish dinner—simply toss together and bake! We've made our own jerk spice, which will keep for months in a sealed container, but you can also look for a prepared mix in the international section or spice aisle of your grocery store. Serve with our Pineapple Salad.
5. Slow Cooker Dal
Green lentils hold their shape after hours of cooking, so they're ideal for slow cooker recipes. Partially blending this classic vegetarian curry creates the same thick, velvety texture you'd find a restaurant. Serve with roti or rice.
Self-improvement and self-care are important, but this time of year always brings me back to the focus of my childhood New Year's experiences: my family.
By the time the fireworks crescendoed over Cairo and my 22-month-old-daughter woke up to witness midnight on her second New Year's eve, my mind raced with changes I wanted to make in the year ahead to strengthen my family.
Ringing in the New Year with my sister at a Nile-side café, sharing plates of Arabic mezze such as hummus, baba ghanouj and kebab, was very special. Separated by thousands of kilometers and national borders, I don't get to see my loved ones nearly as often as I'd like and the holidays present a rare opportunity to rekindle the bonds of family.
As we talked—and the clock moved closer to midnight—sharing our plans for the New Year and reminiscing about our childhood, it struck me that the types of resolutions we usually think of around this time of year are foreign to me. Growing up in Kuwait and Gaza, the New Year was a very different affair.
Sure, there were fireworks and parties—but even at their loudest, our celebrations felt quieter, more subdued and grounded. There were no glaring campaigns encouraging you to join a gym, take that dream vacation or switch phone companies. New Year's Eve was another occasion to spend time as a family and connect with those closest to you.
It wasn't until I moved to Europe and eventually came to Canada that I saw the full force of the self-improvement craze as people promised to slim down and tone up, get more sleep and stick to a budget.
Self-improvement and self-care are important—being fulfilled in ourselves empowers us to care for others—but this time of year always brings me back to the focus of my childhood New Year's experiences: my family.
Firstly, I'm committing to use technology to enhance my family's relationships, instead of just to fill time while commuting. I'm going to be present with the people in my life, leaving my phone in the other room to make the most of the time I have with my loved ones over dinner. And for my family we can't share a meal with, I'm going to make sure they're an active presence in my daughter's life through video chats and photos.
Next, my husband and I are committing to volunteering together. Families that are actively engaged in their communities create a generation of change-makers and one of the greatest gifts I can give my daughter is the knowledge that she can have an impact. That starts with modeling behaviour for her now.
Lastly, I'm going to ensure my daughter grows up knowing what it means to be a part of a diverse community that cares for each other. Whenever I travel I'm reminded of how special Canada is, where people from all backgrounds speaking a multitude of languages celebrate cherished cultures side by side. This year my family is going to celebrate the threads that make up our diverse tapestry by sharing meals with our neighbours.
As 2016 drew to a close, headlines around the world declared it the worst year in recent memory: darker; more politically divisive; full of disaster, disease and an uncharacteristically high number of celebrity deaths. We have the potential to make 2017 better—not just for ourselves (when we finally lose that extra five pounds or remember to pack lunches for work) but for our family's and for each other, when we learn about issues together, leave notes of kindness to brighten one another's day, or tell the people in our lives what we're grateful for.
These are simple steps I plan to take for my family but my goal is much larger. I imagine a day, not too far off, when my daughter is a little older and we can talk about the issues and challenges she sees in the world. I want to raise her to care about little injustices and dream of ways she can help because she knows she can have an impact. That starts now, with a strong grounding in our home and our family.