Home Office Reveal : How To Make Your Workspace Happy

It's been a while in the making, but I'm so happy to reveal my home office update with The Mine. I'd shared in a getting personal post before (here) that it was filled with boxes and had become a storage space after the flood I had a while back. I also shared a preview of the looks I was considering (here)
Erica Cook Home Office Update Books Desk Lamp Snake Plant
Erica Cook Office Update Shelf Styling
Here's what I did:
The walls, ceiling and built in shelves all received a new coat of paint. The old track lighting is out and replaced with a fixture that makes my heart flutter. There's a new office chair, area rugs, soft furnishings, plants and a few accessories. (I'll take any reason I can get to order a new candle!)
I partnered with The Mine and set out to find pieces that would work in this room but also created a sense of continuity with the rest of my home. I love how easy the site is to navigate. I was able to pop in different parameters to narrow my search fields and find some truly great additions.

I started with a white desk and office chair for my base pieces and figured I'd weave black and neutral accents into the space. I thought hard about how I work and the primary functions that needed to be covered in this room. Aside from working on my computer at my desk I find that I'm often on conference calls, so I picked out a cushy bench and cushions to recline a bit while talking.

I had existing lower cabinets that I decided to keep. I swapped out the hardware as this is absolutely the easiest way to give them a whole new look. A set of layered area rugs soften the space underfoot and give some dimension with texture. The addition of a new round mirror bounces light around the space and creates a simple yet impactful focal point.

I cleared out many of my books and kept only the ones I truly love (most tucked away inside the cabinets) while the rest of the books I kept displayed all coincide with a colour scheme on each shelf. I love the striking visual balance it creates when layered with other decor items. I added several plants as well to evoke that calm, clean air feeling to a workspace.

I took the time to seriously think about what I could instil in this space to inspire me while I work. 
I came up with some tips. The most important thing about creating an inspiring work space is to think about your needs and incorporate items that make you happy. For instance I need a desk and a place to sit that isn't just an office chair. I also needed a flat surface other than my desk to put files and products as I work through my day. From there I considered my other personal happy work necessities: a lit candle, music, fresh flowers and plants, etc,. To me this is what really makes the space impactful; the styling of vignettes and table surfaces. A desk might be beautiful but it will always just be a desk... it's the visual impact of the way you adorn these surfaces that makes them have personality. So I went full steam ahead creating as many little vignettes as I could. However the items I used to style weren't just random nick-nacks. I only layered in bits and pieces that mean something or bring happiness.

Shelf Vignette Diptyque Large Baies Candle Books Palo Santo Erica Cook
Erica Cook Home Office Update Framed Fortune Cookie paper
Each shelf has something of tremendous meaning on it... for instance this framed fortune from a fortune cookie I had whilst expecting my little guy. It's a reminder of family and the joy he brings. 
Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf Matches Books Candle
The carved wooden box on the left belonged to my late grandfather. It's a little way to remember him.
Erica Cook Home Office overhaul Shelf Styling with Cactus'
Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf Styling
Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf styling
Erica Cook Home Office Update String of Pearls Succulent Coco Chanel book
Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf Styling
Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf styling with books and succulents Erica Cook Home Office Update Shelf Styling
Erica Cook Home Office Update
Erica Cook Home Office Update
Erica Cook Home Office Update
Erica Cook Home Office Update 
Erica Cook Home Office Update
Erica Cook Home Office Update Desk Mirror Area rugs
Erica Cook Home Office Update Desk Tray Roses Vancouver Candle Co Candle
Erica Cook Home Office Update Justina Blakeney Cushion Loloi Cushion Shag
Erica Cook Home Office Update Sage sticks Jonathan Adler Box Acrylic Waterfall Nesting Tables
So there you have it. I'm so excited to actually start using the space. I've been working at the kitchen counter for months. Thanks as always for popping by and reading.  xo e

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This post was sponsored by The Mine. All styling, advice and opinions are my own. 


A Week In The Mountains : Buffalo Mountain Lodge

I recently spent a few days with my favourite people at Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. There's so much beauty in our own backyard, so to speak, in Canada and we often forget to explore. So we decided to spend some time immersed in the rugged beauty of the mountains all while comforted by the luxury of a CRM Resort. To say we had a great time is an understatement. The lodge itself is tucked away from the lively streets of Banff and nestled in the heart of Tunnel Mountain, enabling it to provide that feeling of solitude and peace we all desperately need from time to time.
Upon arriving at the main entrance of the lodge, you're greeted by a large open foyer and fireplace immediately inspiring cozy and welcoming vibes. The wooden architecture and decor accents are the epitome of refined log cabin luxury.
The main lodge restaurant, the Sleeping Buffalo Dining Room was incredible. The staff were all so friendly and extremely accommodating. The menu was great and when I inquired if a minor adjustment could be made to make something vegetarian the chef was more than accommodating. However, they also offer finer cuts of meat (Caribou and Elk) which Luke loved. The kids meals were very tempting too as Luke and I both found ourselves nibbling away at LL's cheese pizza. (he was full, promise!).
Breakfast the next morning was just as divine and we were happy to see some of the staff we'd seen the day before as they greeted us with big smiles.
A night cap by the main fire in the adjoining lounge is something I couldn't pass up either. These are the comfiest chairs, and we had the most delicious wine and cheese here.... I never wanted to leave.
Something we noticed that was small but very convenient was that the parking is located right outside your suite, so you don't have to travel far and do a ton of trips to get all of your luggage unloaded. Because let's be honest, getting away is all about winding down and taking a load off and not schlepping bags.
The large outdoor hot tub was a fun and much needed escape during the cold. It's hours were optimal for little ones during the day and we were reminded that adults could get more of a restful soak at night. (Open till 11:00 pm.)
It was truly amazing to wake up to this view of the wilderness from our room. I indulged in a quiet coffee and took in the fresh mountain air on the spacious patio right off our room in the early morning hours. So peaceful.
The views near by were spectacular. I find you always forget how beautiful and peaceful the mountains are until you're actually amongst them. Complete soul rejuvenation. And lung rejuvenation for that matter. LL sure loved venturing around and we made a day of exploring and site seeing. 
Who doesn't want a real fireplace in their room when visiting a lodge? No one, that's who. This was the best thing to look forward to after a day in the mountains and roaming around the busy shops in Banff. The fire comes fully prepared and ready to light- all you need to do is open the vent and strike a match.  Easy peasy. Staff comes around daily with wood or you can always call down and get it delivered, making it possible to never have to leave your room if desired.
This has a name for it. Oh, right, it's called heaven. Wine by a warm fire is the elixir of life.
Just to the right of the fire is an armoire with a tv which felt a little like the best of both worlds. If visiting with children, the front desk has a fun selection of DVD's to entertain littles for that pocket of time after dinner and before bed. There's even a good selection for adults if the fancy strikes.
The Buffalo Mountain Café, a secondary restaurant at the lodge, is wonderful for prepared sandwiches and coffee so you can get on with all the amazing activities Banff has to offer. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunches and assortment of baked goods for dessert.
The Café also has tons of CRMR kitchen goods, which I for one love. It's such a great way to bring home a little memento from your time spent AND I like that everything is made locally and supports small business.
Time spent here was well needed, and completely relaxing. Truth be told I can't wait to come back. To learn more about Buffalo Mountain Lodge  or book your own stay visit (here).   

This post was sponsored by CRMR. Opinions are my own.


Blush Ruffles And Linen For Spring

Spring wardrobe pieces are always a favourite to shop... likely because the winter feels so oppressively long here. I found these timeless staples at Saks (ALL ON SALE!) and am loving the mix of soft pink ruffles and pearls against the playful aspect of this linen Moto jacket. I even snagged myself a new pair of white jeans. Now we just need more consistent sun... (it's snowing here as I'm posting this!) Happy Friday sweet friends! xo
PS- free shipping with code "FREESHIP" too.


My Home Office Update Preview With The Mine

If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that I've been really excited to pull together my home office makeover. I've been working on it bit by bit since last summer and I'm so happy that it's finally coming together. Today I'm sharing the two different looks I created to choose between. Can you guess which one I went with?

Mood board A for office decor updateMood board B for office decor update
I ended up choosing Look A for several reasons. There was an indulgent part of me that absolutely wanted to go with the blush and gold tones of Look B but I also wanted to the space to blend seamlessly with the rest of the main floor (which is predominantly black and white with lots of texture layered in). Also my boyfriend Luke often works in this space with me and I wanted there to be enough of a masculine vibe to make him feel supported as well so that we both work happy. The last puzzle piece to this room arrived today and I'll be styling the space and shooting soon. Looking forward to sharing the reveal! Happy Monday sweet friends! xo e


How To Attain Financial Freedom With ATB

Financial freedom, what exactly is it and how do you get there? It isn't something that's just reserved for people with millions of dollars. This is one common misconception I've heard amongst friends before. I'm certainly not a financial expert, but as a single mom I've had to learn a thing or two about planning, budgeting and finding my way to financial freedom. I often talk about interiors, fashion, beauty and health... but financial health is a satisfying goal to aspire to as well. 
At some point - or another in life - most of us will experience needing or wanting something that we can't necessarily afford at that time. Perhaps it's a trip or a handbag, or even a living expense or a sudden car repair. Saving isn't always easy, and while they teach us complex trigonometry in school, they skip the financial advice that would provide us with valuable life skills.
I felt like a fish out of water understanding some things at first, so over the years I've read books in an effort to inform myself and to hopefully make wise and savvy financial moves. It also helps that I grew up with a mom who was hard working and a well-respected real estate agent. 
When you hear about rates, mortgages and general planning at the dinner table as a child you're bound to absorb some knowledge. But despite gleaning bits of information from my mom and books, it helped considerably to rely on the wisdom of financial experts to bridge the remainder of what I didn't know and help me arrive at my goals. 
Financial freedom means you have a plan.  For some, it also means being debt free. When you stick to a plan you begin to have choices and at the same time feel a sense of having options and security. This is what I learned from the experts at ATB. Since implementing their help I've felt driven and compelled to stick with my plan. In the event of an unexpected expense I've had a financial advisor who remembers my name and my family situation to bounce my thoughts off of, and I have received excellent advice
My next goal is to take my little guy to Disney and tour around California, but I also have some things that need to be addressed around the house. In the meantime, I'll stick to the plans I have in place until I can make those things happen. 
What would you do with your financial freedom? 

To get a leg up on your financial future, ATB is currently running its “What Are You Saving For?” contest. To enter, Albertans are asked to submit the story of what they are saving for in a creative way. The contest runs until February 28th. There will be random winners drawn daily receiving $500 prizes. At the end of the contest, ATB will select a winner based on their submission to win $10,000! Make sure to make your entries fun and engaging! More details here! 
In case you don’t happen to win $10,000, or you do and you’re unsure of how to best utilize your winnings, here are some financial tips to remember
  • It's never ever too late to get started on financial goals
  • Get out of high interest debt by refinancing at a lower rate
  • Work with a trusted financial advisor who will help you achieve your goals #ATBListens
  • Create an emergency fund to cover your expenses 
  • Make list of goals and dreams and create a financial plan to accommodate them
  • It's ok to revise your goals as your dreams and wishes change
  • Take advantage of TFSA and daily savings accounts

Good Luck! xo Erica

This post was sponsored by ATB. All styling, advice and opinions are my own.


Tips For A Perfect Valentine's Night In

Valentine's Day is one of the occasions that I really enjoy. Simply put, I love a day that celebrates love. This year I decided to take a slightly different approach to the occasion. I've been trying to incorporate ways to slow down in day to day life, practising Hygge and trying to be more in the now. With that in mind I decided that Valentine's Day shouldn't just be for couples to enjoy, but for everyone to enjoy.

This specific day has traditionally revolved around the conventional sense of love, being the love between individuals, which I think in a way has become quite an exclusionary celebration. Thus bringing me to the soulful notion of self-love and how this too should be celebrated. And even though this takes practise and should be at the forefront of our lives, let's be honest sometimes that can be quite difficult. So my suggestion is to take the day to remind yourself that you're beautiful and dive into all the great qualities you possess. All while enjoying a glass of wine and some chocolates of course ;)

For today's post I'm trying to come up with ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, that are fun, not necessarily conventional. won't break the bank and maybe.. just maybe.. encourage a little self love.
Here are some suggestions based on things I plan on doing. The great thing about blogging this stuff is that I often get to do the run through for photos and have a second experience on the actual day.
Set up... I sourced a bunch of things in my own home. The rest of the items I was able to get in one morning from Southcentre Mall, Crave Cupcakes, Amborella Floral Studio and Village Ice Cream.

The Single Girl Soirée: 
It's a weeknight and everyone has plans, but that's no reason to not celebrate. Take the night and celebrate you and just how amazing you are. Appreciate just how far you've come and focus on thoughts of encouragement about where you're going. A night in could include your favourite dinner, movie or a good book. Don't forget to romance yourself with some fresh flowers or a treat (the Village Frozen Strawberry Coconut Milk below was unreal). The scent of roses has been proven to be uplifting. Giving yourself an at home spa treatment with a rose scented mask is like a win win, good for your complexion and your soul. After that treat yourself to a Saje bath swish. There's a sweet little love note in the centre that will emerge when it's fully dissolved.
Cupcakes and Cashmere Home | Strawberry Coconut Milk - Village Ice Cream | Bowl + Copper Flatware + Marble Pastry Board - Crate & Barrel 

Galentines Get Together:
Have your favourite girls over for a night of all things delicious and pink. Planning an indoor picnic for my get together was pretty easy. It can be as in depth or as simple as you like. I found extra pillows and some blankets at home. I also had a few extra rosé bottles left over from a recent brunch. The rest of the stuff I picked up.

Romantic Night In: 
All winter we opt for soft clothes that are cozy, but for Valentine's Day why not opt for something pretty, silky and pink. I indulged a bit and treated myself to some new lotion and body mist. It's light and soft and so pretty. I couldn't resist. They're the cutest little cakes that say "I love you" from Crave, and I've discovered a little Moët is the perfect compliment. The rest is up to you. *wink
Victoria's Secret Satin Cami + Pant, Body Mist + Lotion

Family Love Picnic:
I planned a living room picnic for Lolly (my little guy) too. He's still delighted by the idea of Valentine's Day and I thought it would be fun to gather and have treats all while watching a movie together. First we started with a blanket and cushions for the floor. I went with the more washable variety this time. We snacked on Kernels Popcorn, Crave Cupcakes, Purdy's Chocolates and I got Lolly some of his favourite San Pellegrino Sparkling Fruit drink. There's no reason the day can't be a celebration of family love too. 

Whatever celebration works best for you I hope this might be of inspiration. I hope you enjoy and take a little time to indulge. Happy Valentine's Day! xo e 
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