Category Archives: Celebrations

Posted by Sharon Auld

Last year CMC featured a Lumberjack Birthday Party designed by Shannon Valente Weddings, for her son’s first birthday. Today we’re happy to share her son’s woodland animals birthday party! Shannon is a pro at DIY projects and it’s always so fun to see the children’s parties she designs! Once again, she delights with this fun, boy’s birthday party!

I love that this birthday party has lots of DIY elements that anyone can do! Of course, the hand-made tent and campfire are quite impressive! Overall, it’s full of sweet details and creative styling. Most importantly, it looks really fun for the kids!

Woodland Animals Birthday Party

Woodland Animals Birthday Party from Shannon Valente Weddings

From Shannon Valente Weddings

Decor

“With a December birthday I like to embrace the winter decor, wood and campfires seem to draw me in, so the woodland animals theme came fairly naturally. I had recently made a teepee for a photo shoot so decided he would get that for his present, I made a fabric campfire to go along with it, which also doubled as decor, bonus!”

teepee

Woodland Animals Birthday Party from Shannon Valente Wedding

Woodland Animals Birthday Party from Shannon Valente Weddings

Woodland animals birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

Woodland Birthday Party by Shannon Valente Weddings

“I found a few free printables on Pinterest that fit the theme perfectly. I added a bean bag toss game that I made from the leftover teepee fabric (a canvas drop cloth from Home Depot) and a punch for a prize box (filled with mini chocolate bars) and the kids loved it. I also had a craft area set up with cutting/colouring pages where the kids could make animal masks and finger puppets.”

Woodland Animals Birthday Party by Shannon Valente Weddings

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

Food

“Since it was an afternoon party I kept the food simple, a hedgehog cheeseball, apples and marshmallows (to look like mushrooms), ants on a log (celery, peanut butter and raisins), some sandwich wheels and trail mix favours, we are lucky we don’t have any nut allergies in our group of friends.”

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

deer party

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

hedgie

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

“Of course, I could not forget the cake and cupcakes! I picked up some mini tree and animal figurines at Michaels and added those to the birch cake and cupcakes, I also did a few fox face cupcakes and green coconut to look like grass/moss. They turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!”

cake two

shannon 3

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

“I’m lucky to know (and live around the corner from) Heather at Orange Trunk Vintage Rentals so I raided her supplies and came up with the wood slabs and CUTE woodland animal napkin rings. I should have also gone shopping at Sharon’s from CMC to really put it over the top.” 😉Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

Enjoying the Woodland Animals Birthday Party

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

Woodland Animals Birthday from Shannon Valente Weddings

Woodland birthday party from Shannon Valente Weddings

woodland_birthday_party, boy_birthday_party, forest_animals_party

“Overall, a happy birthday boy = birthday party success. 🙂

Here are a few pics I managed to snap, kids parties are crazy, ha!!” Shannon

Woodland Animals Birthday Party Credits:

Designer / Stylist and Decor (including tent and fabric campfire): Shannon Valente Weddings; Photography: Shannon Valente Weddings: Wood slabs and napkin rings: Orange Trunk Vintage Rentals, Minature trees and animal figurines: Michaels; Printables found on Pinterest.

From Canadian Mountain Chic

Okay, can we just say that Shannon is amazing? Pulling off a December birthday party, with holiday festivities and planning weddings, I don’t know how she manages to do it all! Somehow she found time to make decor, style everything, serve up a feast and take photos! Thank you Shannon Valente Weddings for sharing your son’s second birthday party with us!

by Sharon Auld

We’re wrapping up our series on Christmas Traditions for Couples and today we’re sharing the details on the goods (or should we say goodies)!

If you’re still looking for stocking stuffers for that special someone, then Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography have you covered with goodies for both ‘His’ and ‘Her’s’ stockings from local shops found right here in Alberta (while supplies last)!

“The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there”.

A Visit from St. Nicholas |Clement Clarke Moore

Click to see more!

 

Stocking Stuffers Available at:

Local brands

Happy Camper sweatshirt and mug by Camp Brand GoodsFiasco Drinking ChocolateFiasco Coconut Marshmallows  available at The Livery Shop.

Luggage tag by Fairgoods , Passport holder by Yor Leather available at The Uncommons.

Mrs tee custom design by Adorn Boutique.

Razor & Shaving mug Kent of Inglewood.

Macarons by  Yann Haute Pattisserie.

Mini Champagne: Kensington Wine Market.

Canadian Brands

Bow tie by LVJ Haberdasher, available at Kent of Inglewood.

Carry-on Cocktail Kit by W&P Design, available at The Uncommons.

Wool Socks, Peppermint Patties, Maple Mint Tin, Maple Syrup: Roots.

Other Brands

ban.do iphone cover and ban.do ear buds  available at Adorn Boutique.

Kate Spade gold and white striped travel mug  available at Adorn Boutique.

Free People socks available at Adorn Boutique.

Kate Spade Notebook available at Indigo.
Faux Fur Stocking available at Indigo.
Stanley Flask available at Restoration Hardware.
Photos and styling by Tara Whittaker Photography.

 

 

 

Posted by Sharon Auld

There’s something so special and magical about a rustic mountain lodge at Christmastime. When there’s a chill in the winter air, and the mountain peaks are blanketed with fresh snow, a mountain lodge beckons with the promise of warmth and coziness after wintry day on the slopes. At Christmastime, decked out in twinkling lights and greenery, a mountain lodge is never more welcoming.

Naturally Chic, takes us to Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff and shares with us this rustic mountain lodge, holiday inspiration. Tara Whittaker Photography captures it all!

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittake Photography

From Naturally Chic:

“My inspiration for this table was simply the rustic beauty of the Wapiti Longhouse. I love this space! With a massive, fieldstone fireplace, wood beams, open timbers, and hard wood floors, it’s sheer perfection! The mantle is always decorated so beautifully for the holidays. It’s everything you want in a mountain lodge; rustic, warm, cozy and inviting!

I design lots of weddings, and while beautiful, I don’t always get to take full advantage of the raw, rustic beauty of this space. With this tablescape, I wanted it to complement the space. I wanted it to be warm, cozy and inviting!

I chose simple, rustic elements; a wood harvest table, a wood bench and willow chairs. I used lots of textures, lambskin, faux fur, and this great “wool sock” table runner with buffalo plaid napkins from Roots. Seasonal greenery, wood accents and lots of candlelight completed the look.”

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

“The centepiece is a simple, DIY project that anyone can do! It consists of a wood box and candles in glass cylinders (floating candles would be nice too). I used clippings from my yard and floral foam (available at any craft store) to secure it in place.”

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography“It’s no secret that I love wood; I used lots for this tablescape, including these gorgeous wood chargers from  Celebration Creation (you don’t have to be a wedding planner either to rent some accessories from your local decor shop).

I used crisp white, modern china plates and vintage silverware for the place settings. To complete the look, I made wood menus and used small pieces of leather for place cards.”

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker PhotographyLeather place card and engraved wood menu + holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

buffalo_plaid, rustic_mountain_lodge, buffalo_mountain_lodge, baff_wedding_planner, banff

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table + wood menu designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

“I hope you enjoyed my take on a rustic, mountain lodge Christmas! Cheers!” Sharon, Naturally Chic

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Tablescape Design and Concept: Naturally Chic; Photography: Tara Whittaker Photography; Venue: Buffalo Mountain Lodge.

Wood menu: Naturally Chic; Wood Chargers: Celebration Creation; Floral Centrepiece: Naturally Chic; Buffalo Plaid Napkins (tea towels): Roots; Table Runner: Roots.
Models: Kari and Derek Owen; Ladies Fashion: Adorn Boutique; Hair & Makeup: Mountain Beauties (Hair – Suzanne and Makeup – Nadine).
Thank you to everyone from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts for hosting us at Buffalo Mountain Lodge! Special thanks to Lauren, Pamela, Kerri and Bree! And a very special thank you to Kari and Derek for spending the day with us!

by Sharon Auld

What better way to make your holidays more meaningful than to spend it with each other? If you’ve been following along, you know we’ve been sharing ideas for starting your very own Christmas Eve Traditions. Whether you’re newly engaged, newlywed, or been married for years, we hope you’ll find inspiration in our ideas below, along with Part 1 and Part 2 of our Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples series.

Tara Whittaker Photography and Naturally Chic teamed up to take you on a mountain escape. What better place to spend some romantic alone time focusing on each other, than in the quaint mountain town of Banff? It’s especially beautiful in the winter with snow capped peaks, breathtaking scenery and welcoming mountain lodges. Cozy up with your special someone and meet them under the mistletoe this Christmas!

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker PhotographyChristmas Eve Traditions for Couples

8. Dinner for Two at a Cozy Mountain Lodge

Glistening under a blanket of snow, at no other time do the mountains outside sparkle so brightly than in winter. Inside is no exception. Decked out in shimmering lights, shiny balls, candlelight and roaring fireplaces, a mountain lodge is the perfect place to rekindle a little romance.

At Christmastime, many places offer up traditional holiday fare. There’s no worry you’ll miss out on any of the festivities while you’re away. Skip the holiday preparation and fuss, and have dinner served up for two. All you have to do is sit back, enjoy and toast the season together!

To put us in the festive mood, Naturally Chic dreamed up a little holiday inspiration and created this rustic, holiday tablescape at Buffalo Mountain Lodge.

Christmas Eve Traditions tablescape design by Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

Rustic mountain lodge holiday table designed by Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

 

Table design + wood menu by Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions design by Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

9. Romance in the Mountains

Celebrate Christmas in the Rockies and escape the holiday bustle with a romantic getaway. Perhaps get out on the slopes and enjoy the snow and fresh air! Then, cuddle up under a warm duvet, listen to a crackling fire and soak in the relaxed ambience. Together time has never been so inviting!

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

10. Watch a Holiday Movie together

After dinner, snuggle up and watch a holiday movie together. Whether it’s a classic such as ‘It’s Wonderful Life‘, a comedy like ‘Elf‘, a romantic comedy like Love Actually, or maybe even the action thriller ‘Die Hard‘, every couple has a favourite to watch year after year!

Here’s two, filmed in Canada, holiday movies with a local connection that you may not have seen. ‘Holiday in Handcuffs‘ is a romantic comedy filmed in the foothills of Calgary and area. ‘Christmas Lodge‘ stars Erin Karpluk, former resident of Jasper, Alberta.

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

11. Love Letters Wine Box + Mistletoe

This is one of the most romantic holiday traditions to start! It’s pretty simple, you write a note to your partner telling them how special they are and what they’ve meant to you throughout the year. You then share the letters and read them on Christmas Eve.

A fun twist, is to seal your love letters in a wood box with a bottle of wine. Then, you take the letters out and read them on the following Christmas over a bottle of bubbly. It’s a great way to reminisce the year that was and to express your heartfelt appreciation for one another!

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Wood wine box + love letters by Naturally Chic | Photography by Tara Whittaker Photography

Wood wine box + love letters by Naturally Chic | Photography by Tara Whittaker Photography

Wood wine box + love letters by Naturally Chic | Photography by Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

12. Exchange a Holiday Stocking

This is a fun one and doesn’t have to be expensive! As a child, you probably received a stocking chalk full of tiny treasures and treats from Santa. Re-live the magic and fill a holiday stocking for each other. Have fun opening together and enjoying the spoils.

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Our couples’ stockings were loaded with goodies from some of their favorite local shops.

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Styling of Stocking items by Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

From The Livery Shop and Coutu Kitsch

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

A few Other Ideas for Christmas Eve Traditions

13. Enjoy the Holiday Lights. Take a stroll or drive and check out your favourite holiday light displays together. In Calgary, Zoo Lights is a spectacular, magical display! It’s a tradition you’ll treasure year after year, maybe with your own family.

Christmas Eve Traditions | Calgary Zoo Lights | Photo via Peter Haley

Via Arvada Church | Photographer Peter Haley

14. Attend a special holiday presentation such as The Nutcracker. In both Calgary and Edmonton, the Alberta Ballet performs a yearly presentation of The Nutcracker and is not to be missed!

Alberta Ballet

via MetroNews.ca

15. Take a Holiday selfie and make it into an ornament. Hang it on the tree to commemorate your Christmases together.

I love the idea of repurposing an old clipboard to make a photo holder via Organized Clutter.

via http://www.organizedclutter.net

So, tell us, what are your favorite holiday traditions to do as a couple? We’d love to hear from you?

Credits

Photography + Styling: Tara Whittaker Photography;Design Concept, Tablescape + Styling: Naturally Chic ; Venue: CRMR, Buffalo Mountain Lodge; Ladies Fashion: Adorn Boutique; Hair and Makeup: Mountain Beauties (MUA Nadine and Hair Stylist Suzanne); Wood Signage + boxes: Naturally Chic; Models:  Kari (owner of Adorn Boutique) and Derek Owen. Men’s Pyjamas: Roots.

Tablescape:

Wood menu: Naturally Chic; Wood Chargers: Celebration Creation; Floral Centrepiece: Naturally Chic; Buffalo Plaid Napkins (tea towels): Roots; Table Runner: Roots.

 

Stocking + Stuffers:

Local brands

Happy Camper sweatshirt and mug by Camp Brand Goods, Fiasco Drinking ChocolateFiasco Coconut Marshmallows  available at The Livery Shop.

Luggage tag by Fairgoods , Passport holder by Yor Leather available at The Uncommons.

Mrs tee custom design by Adorn Boutique.

Razor & Shaving mug Kent of Inglewood.

Macarons by  Yann Haute Pattisserie.

Mini Champagne: Kensington Wine Market.

 

Canadian Brands

Bow tie by LVJ Haberdasher, available at Kent of Inglewood.

Carry-on Cocktail Kit by W&P Design, available at The Uncommons.

Wool Socks, Peppermint Patties, Maple Mint Tin, Maple SyrupRoots.

 

Other Brands

ban.do iphone cover and ban.do ear buds  available at Adorn Boutique.

Kate Spade gold and white striped travel mug  available at Adorn Boutique.

Free People socks available at Adorn Boutique.

Kate Spade Notebook available at Indigo.
Faux Fur Stocking available at Indigo.
Stanley Flask available at Restoration Hardware.

 

Thank You: A very special thank you to Lauren, Pam, Kerrie and Bree from CRMR + Buffalo Mountain Lodge, and real life couple, our wonderful models Kari and Derek.

 

Posted by Sharon Auld

This week we’re taking you to Banff and sharing ideas for starting your own Christmas Eve Traditions. If you missed it last week, we shared Part 1 of our three part series on ways you can make Christmas Eve with your special someone even more memorable!

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Whether your extended family lives far away or right next door, every couple will, at some point, have to deliberate on where to spend the holidays. Do you spend it with your family or with your partner’s family? Or, maybe you want to spend time alone with just the two of you? Perhaps you’re lucky enough to be able to split your time with both your families and spend some alone time?

Whether it’s on Christmas Eve or at some point during the holidays, make the most of your relationship by reconnecting and enjoying some time together. Escaping to the mountains is always a good idea!

Here’s a round up of more fun ideas to incorporate into your own Christmas Eve Traditions.

Christmas Eve Traditions

4. Outdoor Skating

Dust off your skates and head outside for some good old-fashioned skating! There’s nothing like skating on a frozen pond with a mountain view, but any outdoor rink will do.

As Canadians, most of us have childhood memories of skating with our families at Christmastime. If it’s been a while, harness your inner child and get outside and have some fun! You’ll get a healthy glow and maybe even burn off some holiday stress!

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Popular skating areas include Lake Minnewanka (as long as the ice is thick enough); within the Town of Banff you can skate at an outdoor rink in town, or at the Waldhaus Rink at Fairmont Banff Springs. In Calgary, try skating at the Bowness Park outdoor rink.

5. Dashing Through the Snow

Maybe a romantic horse drawn sleigh through a breathtaking winter landscape is more your style? If you’re in Banff, you can head to the Warner Stables and the Banff Trail Riders will take you on a wintry jaunt! Sit back under the warm blankets and enjoy the ride. If that’s not enough, along the way you’ll also stop for hot chocolate and s’mores beside a warm campfire! What could be more romantic?

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples from Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples from Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples from Naturally Chic with Tara Whittaker Photography

6. Window Shopping in Banff

It’s an experience in itself to stroll down Banff Avenue, breathing in the fresh mountain air, all while taking in the wonderful shops and boutiques. Along with the souvenir shops and eateries, there’s classic Canadian stores such as Roots, The Hudson Bay and Beaver Tails! You’ll also find shops that are unique to Banff such as Mountain Chocolates, a popular chocolatier (have you tried a ‘Bear Claw’?), and the Banff Candy Store among others.

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions with Naturally Chic + Tara Whittaker Photography

7. Choose a Christmas Ornament Together

Decorating for the holidays is well treasured, but even more so when your ornaments hold special meaning. You might already have special ornaments given to you by family, but you could also choose a special holiday ornament together. Each year, choose an ornament that in some way represents your year together, or is meaningful to you in some way. Over the years you’ll amass your own special collection of ornaments to treasure and maybe one day pass on to your own children!

The Spirit of Christmas in Banff is the go to store for ornaments all year long!

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Naturally Chic created this special box to hold treasured Christmas memories! Filling the box with all the special ornaments chosen throughout the years, would be a fun way to commemorate your Christmases!

Christmas Memories ornament back from Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Memories ornament back from Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker PhotographyChristmas Eve Traditions for Couples with Naturally Chic and Tara Whittaker Photography

Christmas Memories ornament back from Naturally Chic | Photo by Tara Whittaker Photography

Credits:

Part 2

Photography: Tara Whittaker Photography; and Design Concept: Naturally Chic, teamed up with CRMR and their their Banff venue Buffalo Mountain Lodge, along with Adorn Boutique (ladies fashion) for this inspirational shoot. Hair Stylist: the lovely Suzanne from Mountain Beauties, and Makeup Artist – the talented Nadine from Mountain Beauties; Models: real life couple Kari and Derek. Customized wood ornament box: Naturally Chic, White Ball Ornament: The Spirit of Christmas Banff; Men’s Plaid Pyjamas Pants from: Roots.

A special thank you to Kari and Derek, to  CRMR’s Lauren Webb and Pamela Bigg, and Buffalo Mountain Lodge onsite Conference Coordinators Kerrie-Lynn Carter and Bree McMaster.

STAY TUNED!

On Wednesday, we’ll be sharing more great ideas for Christmas Eve Traditions for Couples in our final segment of the series, Part 3! Don’t miss it, we’ve saved some of the best ideas for last!