Hanging Christmas Ornaments

For the very first time since we’ve moved in together (that’s 4 years now!), Allan and I decided to decorate our little apartment with Christmas decorations. And let’s face it, when I say “Allan and I”, I really mean me, since Allan would much rather be playing video games than doing holiday decorations ;) Plus, I’ll be honest — I’ve been suffering a little bit from wedding withdrawal, and I’ve been dying for an excuse to do floral arrangements, place settings and entertaining :)

Hanging Christmas Ornaments

Over the past two weeks, I’ve decorated our home space, the common room at work, and my parent’s house. I’ve been elfing it up this year for some reason! Normally we do Christmas completely over at my parent’s place as they have space to do the big tree… and while Christmas will most definitely still be over there, we are having my folks over for Christmas breakfast this year and wanted to prep the apartment in advance. I decided to do a silver and champagne Christmas theme with red accents.

Festive Flower Arrangement

Champagne and Silver Place Setting Starting to arrange flowers


We hosted a holiday dinner party this past weekend with Trev & Crista and Mat & Ali and managed to find some space for our pop-up table. Seating 6 around this table in our apartment is difficult, so swapped our normal computer desk for a “rolly” desk that we can roll into a different room when we have people over. Awesome! Then it was time for new place settings! I also did all the floral arrangements with fresh roses and Christmas greens.

Low Festive Flower Table Arrangement

Low flower arrangements with large red roses and berries.

Christmas Table Setting

I really like the way our place settings turned out and I think they are versatile enough to use all year round. Or do you think it would be too much for normal entertaining?

Silver Wreath

Here’s a silver wreath we used to bring some festivity to our kitchen.

Fresh Pines and Peppercorn Wreath

And my favourite… a fresh wreath with peppercorns, pinecones and tons of greens… smells so good!

Christmas Decor

Our side table was replaced with some silver Christmas trees and mercury glass candle holders…

Christmas Decor Christmas Decor and Wine

… a couple other accents here and there with reindeer and more candles.

Aftermath of Festive Dinner Party

The aftermath of our dinner party with some holiday decor on our coffee table and a festive throw blanket.

Clarifying Butter Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Making Chocolate Decorations Making Spinach and Beets for Pasta Colouring

I find cooking for 6 people really hard to do with plated dinners, so we did quite a bit of prep the previous night. I learned how to clarify butter for the first time (awesome for searing scallops at an extremely high temperature). I also toasted the pumpkin seeds, prepped the chocolate decorations and the veggies to give the pasta some colour.

Kobe-Style Beef Short Ribs Butternut Squash Cooking Brown Butter Sage Sauce Peas and mint for the puree

The next day, we put the kobe-style marbled beef short ribs in the oven for four hours and got the butternut squash soup going. Some photos of our prep with making the sage sauce, and the minted pea puree.

Making Striped Ravioli Spinach and Beet Striped Ravioli filled with Wild Mushrooms or Butternut Squash

Allan did a really nice job with the striped raviolis. We did beet-coloured ravioli for the butternut squash filled ones, and spinach-coloured ravioli for the wild mushroom filled ones.

Butternut Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Oil with a Parmesan Crisp

First course: Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Pumpkin Seed Oil, finished with a Parmesan Crisp … we always seem to make this one when other people come over! (recipe)

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Double-Smoked Bacon

Second Course: Seared Scallops in a Minted Pea Puree with Applewood Double-Smoked Bacon

Braised Beef Short Rib with Cauliflower Puree and Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Butternut Squash Ravioli

Third Course: Braised Beef Short Rib in a Red Wine Reduction with Cauliflower Puree and duo of Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Ravioli in a Brown Butter Sage Sauce (recipe)

Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration

Fourth Course: Tiramisu Cheesecake with Chocolate Decoration and Strawberries (recipe)

Our Festive Apartment

Overall I think our dinner party went well and our apartment is looking festive! I think we’re all set for the holidays…. can’t wait for Christmas! Can you believe it’s only 2 weeks away now?

What are your holiday plans this year? Are you going to decorate your place?

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  1. mango Says:

    Looks gorgeous Allie! I love the colours you’ve chosen…and the silver wreath is my favourite!

    mango recently posted.. Crunch in Your Mouth

  2. Nikki Says:

    Look at you! I’m always so impressed at the effort you put into meals. Some day I’ll come for dinner!

    Beautiful arrangements too!

    Nikki recently posted.. flea market inspiration: vintage wedding gown

  3. Lori Says:

    Your decor is absolutely gorgeous! I love the little details of the room. That little reindeer candle holder is adorable. And I can’t say enough about all that delicious cooking – butternut squash soup os my fav! Glad to have found another wonderful Vancouver blogger!

  4. MizzJ Says:

    Wow move over Martha b/c I think you could give her a run for her money! All the food looks and sounds fantastic and great job on the decor!

    hehe and thanks for visiting my blog too :)

    MizzJ recently posted.. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

  5. Chic 'n Cheap Living Says:

    Wow – this is completely gorgeous! Everything from the centerpieces, accompanying decor, and the divine looking food is just lovely!
    Thanks for dropping by and have a lovely week! I hope to see you soon in the blogosphere!

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living

    Chic ‘n Cheap Living recently posted.. {Party} Highlight: Hermès Scotts Square Launch and Graffiti party

  6. Mel Says:

    The flowers are gorgeous — I’m inspired to step up my own decorating!

  7. Amy Says:

    Oh my gosh. Those scallops look amazing – nice work Allie! It looks like Allan helps you in the kitchen?! Lucky you! I need a kitchen helper…

  8. Vancity Allie Says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Amy, yep Allan is a great helper in the kitchen! He does lots of the cutting and is definitely getting good at making the pasta. Now if only I could convince him to cook for me sometime…. ;)

  9. Camille Says:

    You and Allan are such wonderful hosts- and amazing cooks!
    Nothing is cuter than watching the two of you making pasta side by side together :) Your guests must have been thrilled.

    Your apartment looks so pretty and festive and great idea to use colours you can bring into decor all year- sparkle is always appropriate!

    Camille recently posted.. JONETSU HOME: PROTOTYPE SNEAK PEEK

  10. liv Says:

    Looks lovely especially the fresh wreath. Your home made pasta with slow cooked beef is delicious – what lucky guests!

    Funny this is the first year too I have done some decorating around the house. not much – just a miniature cypress tree and some poinsettias. it’s nice to have some greenery in the house though.

    liv recently posted.. Sundays

  11. Elisse Says:

    Hey Allie!

    I enjoyed reading about all the details you put into decorating your space – especially the floral arrangements and the wreaths!

    I’m usually more on top of decorating our space – one tradition that is important to me and hubby since we got married is choosing a new ornament for our Christmas tree :) It’s only been two years though, and before that I wasn’t big on decorating my space for the holidays!

  12. Adelaide Says:

    Gorgeous decor, Allie! And as always, your homemade meals (art) completely impress me! You need to go on Masterchef! ;)

    Adelaide recently posted.. Christmas Red

  13. kimm Says:

    Happy Holidays Allie!

    It doesn’t feel like Christmas is only in a few days. I guess with this summer like weather and hanging out the beaches everyday I get, my mind has been elsewhere.

    You do have to come visit South Africa, this place is amazing!!!!

    Your cooking is making me homesick..

    kimm recently posted.. Good Morning from South Africa

  14. Vancity Allie – the blog of a Vancouver girl who lives and breathes the West Coast » Blog Archive » THE YEAR IN REVIEW IN PHOTOS Says:

    [...] decided to stay home and enjoy our beautiful city and cozy up in the apartment together. We threw a dinner party and decorated our apartment. It was a great way to finish off a fantastic [...]

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This the blog of a 28 year-old Vancouver girl who loves and writes about everything “Vancouver” and West Coast. This is the blog of a girl who works in Vancouver's video game industry, it's also a surfing blog, snowboarding blog, food blog, Canucks blog, gadget blog, and photography blog. VancityAllie.com is an award-winning blog that receives over 2.7M unique visitors every year and over 4,500 followers on Twitter. VancityAllie.com has been featured in books, newspapers, magazines, and television.

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