The other night, we hosted some friends for a holiday Fondue Friendsgiving, which was not only our first dipping party, but also the first festive gathering of the season!

I'd love to share some photos with you if you'd like to see, along with my five tips for hosting...

On our third, and final day, in Florence, we stood in line to get tickets and climb the Duomo--a huge cathedral (above) that you can climb over 500 stairs to the top, outside, look out and see the entire city.

After spending about half an hour in line to buy tickets, and hardly moving, we decided to split up; I went to stand in the get-in line, while Marco continued to wait to buy the tickets. Everything was going well until the rain started...


Marco and I arrived in Florence early Thursday morning and since we couldn’t check into our hotel, we wandered around with our carry-on bags in a haven’t-slept-for-24-hours daze.  We were able to finally check in around 2pm and caught a few zzz’s in hopes that 6-hour time difference doesn’t affect our entire vacation.

We are staying in the city centre, which is so close to everything.  It’s our first time in Europe too, so this is exciting!  Today we saw the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio and walked around the cobblestone streets.  We even tried some amazing, authentic Italian pizza, but more to come on that later.

The internet here is a little sketch, but I’m going to do my best to blog and share our days here.  Better run, time to get ready for dinner (which I’m told is always after 8pm)!  See you tomorrow.

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Hello!  Hello!  I'm back from four days in Vegas feeling rejuvenated, happy and a little tired of course with the time change (three hours) and long travel day.  I had a great time away, ate far too much and managed to pack everything into a carry-on using this guide.

I'd love to share some photos with you, if you'd like to see...

Denim jacket // Dynamite tank (similar) // Billabong skirt (similar) // Hair Tutorial

As I mentioned previously, Marco was in Vegas for work and I tagged along.  Since we couldn't get the same flight down, I arrived around 11am, settled in and changed into some warm weather clothes (what a treat!).
We spent our first night at the Luxor (tower) which is a bit of an older hotel, also known as the pyramid you might have seen in photos.  There is a tram that runs between Mandalay Bay, the Luxor and Excaliber which I took to get a bit closer to get to the hub of the strip.

I spent the afternoon shopping at Marshalls (haul video coming!) after grabbing lunch at an outdoor bar patio.
Joe Fresh dress worn backwards (similar) // The Bay jewelry

Marco got in early evening and he had made a reservation previously for my birthday for dinner, which was so thoughtful.  We went to Tender in the Luxor which was a really nice, French cuisine, restaurant.  You can see a few more photos here.

Photo heavy after the jump...

I have several sequinned items; tops, skirts, dresses, a pair of shorts, but no pants and I could see these babies fitting right in.

I'd pair these with a black blazer and silk cami for work or a party with friends and something sexier like a sleeveless top for a night out with my man.  These are definitely flashy but would work so well for NYE and since I'm a pant lover--more so than dresses, usually--these would be the perfect compromise.


Outfit deets:
* Joe Fresh jacket that I've had for maybe two years, and I love.  It gets enough play although I've only blogged about it once with black skinny pants and some cool heels.
* Gap cardigan (old).
* Old Navy two-layer chiffon tank, last seen in Florida with lace shorts and gladiator sandals.  I also have this beauty in a magenta flower pattern and an army green.  Bought them all on sale at Old Navy (online) last summer for like $9 (okay, that's a lie, I bought the army green one full price, loved it so much I scored the others at the end of the season).
* H&M white denim pants which I've had for a couple years and have gotten a ton of wear (more lately than ever).  Seen with a favourite gray sweater and over-the-knee boots and also with a turquoise top & wedges (and a bunch of Canadian geese).
* Diva Lounge wedges which I only purchased a couple months ago and am loving (sadly they are sold out).  Seen with a pretty white dress and also in Florida (at the airport) and with denim shorts and a leather jacket on my birthday.
* Accessories:  Nicole Marciano pashmina, Mexxnecklace, Dollarama earrings & ring, H&M bangle & Pandora bracelet

I celebrated Easter on Monday with my family.  My mom had us all over for a big ham dinner (are you a lucky one that gets turkey for Easter?  If you are, I'm jealous) and some delicious pie.  My grandparents and parents gave us some sort of chocolate and we all had a nice visit.  When I arrived I joked to my family that, 'Easter threw up on me!' as you can tell from the colours; I'm basically one big Peep waiting to happen.  On that note, my mom decorated the table with Peeps and I pretty  much ate them all.  

{ with my chinese-gift-exchange score: two bottles of my fave champagne }

Every year at Christmas time, my high-school friends and I (aka THE 5) get together at my place for potluck dinner and a chinese gift exchange.  We all live in various places and have busy lives and the only time we connect with all five of us is at Christmas.  We try to get together twice a year, but Christmas is always a certainty.

This year it almost didn't pan out as one friend was only in town for a few days, and we all know how busy it can be during the holidays.  However, another friend suggested we do a potluck brunch instead and it worked out so well.  We had baked french toast, veggie quiche, bacon, a fruit platter, fresh juice and coffee.  It was delicious and after we stuffed ourselves with a late brunch, we did our chinese gift exchange ($20 limit) which was equally as fun.  Afterwards we discussed who we have and haven't seen recently from High School, what's coming up in the future, etc.  It's so cool to stay in touch with friends I've had for over a decade (wow, that makes me feel a lil' old) and reminisce about the old memories and create new ones.

{ THE 5 - Christmas 2010 }

See Christmas 2009 & 2008

We finished decorating our tree and living room a few nights ago, and I'm so excited to share the photos with you!  I'm not really one to do a different colour scheme each year, but I love adding to the collection we already have and enjoy collecting trees and reindeer.   The accent colour in our house, on the main floor at least, is orange (sound familiar?), so I like to keep things flowing with that.  We don't do a 'theme' tree, and while this surprises most people (thinking I of all people would have a matchy-matchy tree) we love the mish-mash of our tree with all our unique, sentimental ornaments we've collected over the years.  Take a look.

{ I used a large jar from our wedding candy buffet and filled it with extra Christmas balls }

{ our living room }

 { favourite ornaments & silver glittery trees in our front foyer }
Festive Flare

Red Hot

Silver & Gold

 Prices & Details

 { Leopard 2009 }

 Happy Halloween!  Did you go out last night to a party and get dressed up?  I love dressing up for Halloween and thought I would share my costumes from the past three years.  We have an annual Halloween costume contest at work, which I entered last year (as the leopard) and won second place!  This year, I didn't dress up and people were actually surprised as it was so unlike me.  Tonight, we will be giving out candy to the kiddies, which is always fun.  My girlfriend is even coming over to help as she doesn't have a place to give out candy - fun!

 { 80's Aerobics 2009 }

{ Sailor 2008 }

Yes, it's a wig, what do you think of me as a brunette?
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