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FKE Holiday Gift Giving Guide

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FKE Holiday Gift Giving Guide

"It's the holiday season....and Santa Claus, is comin' round....the Christmas snow, is white on the ground...".  Ok, so maybe the Christmas snow isn't exactly here yet, but the carols are on, holiday baking has started, and we are EXCITED for the holiday season to officially launch this week!  One of our favourite parts of the season (besides curling up on the couch to watch The Holiday with a big mug of hot chocolate), is hitting up all the fantastic boutiques here in town!  It is always my mission every year, to support as many small local businesses as possible, and we are so spoiled here on the West Coast to have an overabundance of fantastic options!  So, to officially kick off the season, we've rounded up some of our favourite local gifts that can be found right here in Victoria!  So whether you're shopping for your best friend who always throws together the best charcuterie platters, or your co-worker who you know has a sweet tooth, we've got you covered!  Have a read below, and let us know in the comments, if we are missing any must-have items in the city!

A Modern Bodger cheese board: For the charcuterie connoisseur in your life

These stunning boards come in all shapes and sizes, and are an absolute staple in the kitchen!  Each one is made by hand, and the craftsmanship that goes into them is stunning.  And pair it with a Gift Card to Charelli's, and you'll be sure to get an invite to the next wine & cheese night at your friends place!

Where to buy: Nicholas Randall or Online.

Wester Maple Cheeseboard, $102

Wester Maple Cheeseboard, $102

A Tara McHugh Flora Gift Box For the one who needs some quality R&R time

This gorgeous box includes a Lindsay Remple water colour print tea towel, Drizzle honey, 9" tapered hand dipped pure Canadian beeswax candles from Beeswax on Salt Spring Island, and Tara Mchugh Flora tea tin. She has lots of other gift boxes to pick from.

Where to buy: Online

Heart of the Home Gift Box, $89.95

Heart of the Home Gift Box, $89.95

First, We Brunch Recipe Book for the foodie

This brunch book that features recipes from local Victoria spots is the perfect gift for your brunch squad. Tons of local eateries are feature with lots of stories about how they opened and life in Victoria.

Where to buy: Ruth & Dean

First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman, $27.95

First, We Brunch by Rebecca Wellman, $27.95

'Modern Baby' Clothing for the new mama

And for the trendiest little one in your life, this local Victoria mother & daughter team make organic and stylish clothing, accessories, and blankets.  We can't get enough of all the adorable pieces!!

Where to buy: Online or Amelia Lee or Finn & Izzy

Bloom Organic Knotted Headband, $14

Bloom Organic Knotted Headband, $14

Organic Geo Tree Leggings. $38

Organic Geo Tree Leggings. $38

Hand-picked Macarons for the coworker with a sweet tooth

This is one of our favourite little gifts for when you are in a pinch. Bon Macaron Patisserie on Broad Street makes so many delicious flavours that you can handpick the perfect flavours to put in one of their adorable gift boxes.

Where to buy: Bon Macaron Patisserie

The Honey Tobacco Collection for the new age Martha Stewart

This cozy scent is Picot Collective's signature fragrance that can be purchased as a hand-crafted body mist, candle, body butter, and roll-on scent.

Where to buy: Pigeonhole or Online

Honey Tobacco Body Mist, $40

Honey Tobacco Body Mist, $40

Honey Tobacco Candle, $40

Honey Tobacco Candle, $40

Pendleton Blanket for your S.O.

What's more perfect than a real wool blanket for you and your significant other to curl up in by the fire.

Where to buy: Nomad on Government Street

Motor Robe - Acadia Plaid, $135.99

Motor Robe - Acadia Plaid, $135.99

Monthly Subscriptions

The gift that keeps on giving! Surprise someone special with these monthly subscriptions of flowers, socks, or coffee that treat them every month.

Where to buy: Online (click on the image to take you to the website)

Thorn & Thistle  Flower Subscription, Starting at $150

Thorn & Thistle Flower Subscription, Starting at $150

Sock Fancy  Sock Subscription, $12/month

Sock Fancy Sock Subscription, $12/month

The Roasters Pack: Starting at $26.95

The Roasters Pack: Starting at $26.95

Professional Photo Session for the new family

Spoil some of your favourites with a family photo shoot with a professional, so they will have memories that last a lifetime. There are so many fantastic photographers that offer family sessions, so just reach out to your favourite local photographer to see about their family packages! 

Jesse Holland Photography

Jesse Holland Photography

Mug & Hot Chocolate Set for the chocolate lover

A mug with hot chocolate will be sure to please any sweet tooth this winter. Tip: Supply them with Mexican hot chocolate for extra richness and a hint of spice this season.

Where to buy: Nomad and Murchies

Nomad Camping Mug, $14.39

Nomad Camping Mug, $14.39

Murchie's Hot Chocolate, $7.95/tin

Murchie's Hot Chocolate, $7.95/tin

Advent Calendars

We know chocolate is a classic, but why not mix it up this year? Create your own 12 days of growlers advent calendar for your favourite brewery lover, or check out the David's Tea 24 days of tea for the tea lover in your life! 

Click on the picture to to take you to their websites.

Driftwood Brewery Growlers, $19 for growler with beer

Driftwood Brewery Growlers, $19 for growler with beer

David's Tea  24 Days of Tea, $45

David's Tea 24 Days of Tea, $45

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Building a Home: Chapter 3

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Building a Home: Chapter 3

It has been a long time since I've blogged about the house build, but if you follow me over on Instagram & Insta Stories, then you've no doubt seen a few updates here and there throughout the process.  And folks....we are SO close!  Yippee!!  Watching our dream house be built has been incredible, and even though the last 7 months have felt very long at times, I can't believe that we are basically on schedule and should be moving in before the holidays!  So, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the progression photos from the last 7 months, and also dive a bit into the challenging parts of the house build.  Because as much as it truly has been a really positive experience and loads of fun, it has had its moments, that's for sure, and I think it's important to throw in a couple reality checks every now and then ;)

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Where we've been hanging our hats!
Parents to the rescue!  We have been "rooming" with my parents since May, and we are incredible grateful that they have welcomed us with open arms, and basically fed us dinner for the past 7 months straight.  No complaints here that's for sure!  It has added a large commute to our regular routine though, and not having our own space (especially while being pregnant) isn't always ideal.  My parents seriously rule though, and not having to pay rent throughout this process has been a lifesaver...not to mention helped with our furniture shopping budget!

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Throwing a wrench in my work routine: 
Not having my home office has honestly been the biggest challenge of all.  I had no idea how much I loved working from home, until I no longer could.  I've been jumping from coffee shop to coffee shop for the better part of the last 6 months, which is not only annoying, but can also get a bit expensive lol!  It's also been a big adjustment for me, having to plan my days in a totally different way than I am used to.  So, when I leave the house in the morning, I am leaving the house for the full day.  No more just jumping into town for a meeting or an errand here and there.  It definitely isn't the worse thing in the world, and my reward at the end of this is going to be a brand spankin' new space at home to work from, so I really can't complain all that much.  But, combined with being pregnant throughout the entire build, this has for sure been the hardest part for me. 

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Managing the dog: 
Taio is our "chog" (you know - Child/Dog), and has been totally spoiled his entire life, in that he is either at home with me or at the store with Nick.  So, the fact that we haven't really had a home to leave him in (without feeling totally guilty that my parents have to look after him), has had its challenges.  I've gotta give it to the dog though, as he's been pretty great about his whole world being turned upside down this year. 

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As I mentioned above though, this whole process has been absolutely incredible, and so a few challenges along the way are nothing to worry about.  We have our fantastic builders, Philco Construction, to thank for that!  I can't imagine having to be our own contractors throughout this journey, or not having complete trust with our builders.  We can't wait for move in day, and to show you all the finished product!  And then the fun part begins...the decorating!

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Coming soon: Baby Walker

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Coming soon: Baby Walker

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It has been an amazing wedding season over here, and I can hardly believe that the crisp autumn air has arrived and that Fall will be here before we know it!  And now that things are starting to slow down for the season, I am incredibly excited to share a very special little secret that we've been holding on to...

By the end of the year, give or take a few days, we will be welcoming the newest member to the FKE family!  Nick & I are thrilled to be expecting, and cannot wait to start this new chapter for our family!  

While we have shared the exciting news with all of our couples, and those who we see on a regular basis, we have chosen to keep quiet on social media, so that we could stay focused on all of our incredible couples.  But my expanding belly is a dead giveaway these days, and so I figured it was about time lol! Most people have pretty similar questions when they find out the news, so I thought it would be fun to answer them all here!

How far along are you? I am currently (almost) 26 weeks pregnant, or 6.5 months along.  Crazy how fast the time has flown, but also how slow the day to day sometimes feels!

When is your due date? I am due on December 31st.  Yup.  A New Years baby may be in our future, but between you and me, I'm hoping we can push it into January by at least a few days.

Do you know the gender?  Yes!  We found out we are having a girl!!  Obviously we would have been very excited no matter what, but it has been really fun getting to start picturing the little girl that has already stolen our hearts.

Do you have a name?  We have a shortlist going, and think that we have narrowed in on the winner.  But this will be staying top, top secret ;)

How are you feeling?  I had a really rough go with morning sickness for the first trimester and majority of the second trimester.  It's starting to ease up though, and I am happy to report that other than a few random bouts of nausea, I am feeling really good.  The morning sickness and exhaustion that comes with pregnancy definitely made for an "interesting" wedding season at times, but I powered through, and am happy to have made it to the other side.

How is the baby?  She is doing great!  Heartbeat is strong, and everything is looking healthy and happy.  She is extremely active, and after our ultrasound technician seemed a bit thrown off with all of her moving, I've become convinced that her energy level will be taking after Nick's running career.

Will you be booking weddings next year?  Ummm....yes! Having a baby does not mean that I get to retire or skip a season, nor do I want to!  I am currently booking weddings for 2018, and am really happy with how the season is shaping up so far.  And with a baby on the way plus a new house, I have even more incentive to work hard and contribute to our family financially.  

Will you be taking a maternity leave?  As most self-employed people in this industry know, there isn't really such a thing as "mat-leave".  I do plan on taking 6 weeks once the baby arrives, where I will take a step back from the day to day business tasks and allow myself to settle into my new role as a Mom.  The lovely Paula will be taking care of all our clients during this time, and I will for sure still be around to check in on things as they come up.

How do you expect to continue your work load with a new baby?  We will be learning as we go, and are very aware that it will be a lot harder than we think.  But with both Nicks & my job flexibility, the support of our families, childcare, and an amazing FKE team, I have no doubt that we will find our rhythm quickly.  I am really excited to continue to grow French Kiss Events and Heyday Events with my new sidekick along for the ride ;) 

What are you doing for the nursery?  Seeing as we will be moving into the house (hopefully) just a few weeks before baby comes, the nursery will most likely be put off for a few months.  But I will say that I have already selected some art prints (Max Wanger for the win!), that will be my main source of inspiration for the rest of the design.  Can't wait!

Thank you so much for all of your well wishes and excitement, as we share this happy news!  And I can't wait to introduce you all to our little bundle when she arrives in just a few short months!

xo
Barb (& Nick)

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Building a Home: Chapter 2

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Building a Home: Chapter 2

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Well folks, the house is officially gone and we have BEGUN!! (And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, head on over to this post here to read about the start of our home build).  As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, the journey to get here has been a long and emotional one, but now that we are here, I am giddy with excitement!  We have a wickedly talented team building us our dream home (thank you Philco Construction!), and I have no doubt that it will be even better than I could have ever imagined (because any house that has more than 1 bathroom will be a win in my books).  

Our beautiful plans were designed by Ryan Hoyt Designs, and the house design is a Modern Farmhouse.  Every time I look at the plans, my heart literally skips a beat, and I am utterly obsessed with all things design these days.  The interior style is going to be Farmhouse meets Coastal meets California, and both Nick & I have gotten totally lost scouring instagram accounts from some incredible designers (namely: Studio McGee, Emily Henderson & Becki Owens).  Our hope is to have a bright and welcoming home, one in which you would feel comfortable kicking off your shoes, pouring yourself a drink, and staying awhile.  While I want the overall palette to be light and neutral, I am so excited to infuse pops of happy colour into the space, a nod to our love of all things Hawaii. 

Now it is going to be quite some time before the rooms start to take shape, and I can get my hands dirty designing, but there have already been a lot of decisions made (flooring, appliances, kitchen cabinets, plumbing fixtures...) which I am thrilled about! I thought I would take some time today though, to share with you our overall house Mood Board, as well as some rooms that have been providing me with major inspiration as of late.  Thank you so much for following along (it seriously means the world to me), and stay tuned for another update soon.

Design: Black Band Interior Design

Design: Black Band Interior Design

Source: Domino  |  Photography: Molly Winters

Source: Domino  |  Photography: Molly Winters

Design: Workshop APD  |  Photography: Donna Dotan

Design: Workshop APD  |  Photography: Donna Dotan

Design: Studio McGee

Design: Studio McGee

Source: The Surf Jack

Source: The Surf Jack

Designer: Becki Owens  |  Photographer: Ryan Garvin

Designer: Becki Owens  |  Photographer: Ryan Garvin

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Building a Home: Chapter 1

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Building a Home: Chapter 1

If you've been following along on the blog lately, you may have noticed a few subtle hints that have been dropped.  Well, I am SO excited to be sharing with you all today, the very exciting (and slightly terrifying) news, that Nick & I are building a brand spankin' new home!  And not only are we building a new home, but we are having our current home removed to make room for the new one (and moving in with my parents in the meantime).  We started working on this massive project back in September, and to say that we are anxious for there to be a hole in the ground would be a HUGE understatement!  It has been a roller coaster of emotions over the past few months, as designs were perfected, building plans started, and the budgeting progressed, but we are nearing the finish line of the planning stages (yay!) and getting ready to move out.  

Now, as much as all this is incredibly exciting (and I am thanking my lucky stars every day that we are getting to do this), it is also quite bitter sweet.  Saying goodbye to our current home and watching it be taken away is going to be really hard.  It is the only house that Nick & I have known together, and our entire relationship has unfolded there over the past 11 years.  We have many wonderful memories in it, and I am going to miss so many little things about it.  It's the house we first brought our pup home to, and the house that Nick proposed to me in.  The house that hosted many (many!) parties, and the house where FKE was born.  This next week is going to be an emotional one for both of us, and I will be doing my best to keep it together. 

Over the next 6 months, I will be doing regular blog posts on how the build is going, and more importantly, how the design plans are coming along (more on that next week!).  For now though, I thought I would share my 4 favourite things about our old home, and I just hope that the new home will be filled with as much love as this one has been. (please excuse the poor quality of these photos....it's the best a gal can do when in the middle of packing...)

1. Built-in Bookcase
This beautiful built-in was built by one of our very talented carpenter friends, and it is hands down, my favourite part of our house.  He matched it to the connecting mantle perfectly, and it suits the house so well, everyone always thinks it is an original feature.  

2. Photo Wall
In our kitchen, I have a wall dedicated to our latest and greatest pics (always printed from Artifact Uprising)!  It's located right next to our coffee machine, and so I always get a big smile every morning looking at them, while waiting for my first cup of the day to brew.

3. The Bar
It's no secret that Nick & I like our cocktails.  This little corner houses just a small selection of our favourite spirits, but it is always fun to look through it when entertaining.  And the table it's on?  Nick's grandfather made that, and after I gave it some TLC with a fresh coat of paint years ago, it looked good as new!

4. Glass doorknobs
Our house was originally built in 1943, and still has many of its original features.  These glass door knobs are absolutely beautiful, and will definitely be saved for somewhere in the new home.  They just don't make them like this anymore... 

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