We're two days away from the first day of spring. So close, yet it feels so far, with the past few snowstorms we've had. This winter we became homebodies a bit more, okay more like full blown hermits, because if you know me, you'll know I never say no to a fun night out in the city. Having said that, New York is nothing compared to the blizzards I've endured in Montreal for 37 years, but this winter most of our weekends were spent at home, family cuddle couching, getting Indian takeout and decorating my little sanctuary.
I have truly been appreciating the little moments we've been spending together, that it's overflowing in every area of my life...especially our pad. Before we get to it, I'd like to say that I like keeping a hint of mystery around my space, my life and the people I care about. I never like to give away too much when I'm talking about personal things, and wether you're visiting my blog or on my Instagram, I enjoy sharing little glimpses of my surroundings and try remaining especially private about my client's homes and businesses to protect their soul.... For example, here I show you little pieces of my world, and yet, my persona is a mystery.
Here I wanted to give you a peek around my all-white NY apartment. A little area for a good time… Wherever my family hangs and whenever there's laughter, drinks and tunes…I'm always there.
I’ve always been a bit of a magpie, drawn to jewelry, and odds and ends. Fun beads, unicorns, crucifixes, and especially shiny things have a tendency to capture my attention and set my imagination wildly aflame — a bit of crystal, the glimmer of diamonds. Extra points if I make something I can wear out. I only started working with the beads when I had my son and he brought out the big kid in me. I have always been a collector of beads though, gathering treasures on trips to the flea markets, Catholic Churches and toy stores. New York plays a huge roll in my creative process. The trends pop up and fade out so fast it challenges me to find new inspirations and ideas. You have everything at your fingertips in a city like this — I don’t think I have ever been as inspired as I have been decorating my apartment and my client's homes since moving here over a year ago. I definitely had a deeper Montreal carefree vibe in my designs while living in the Midwest, but I think my designs since being in NY have become more structured and concrete, which pretty much describes NYC, right?
Here are some of my most cherished pieces I collected and curated along the way, displayed on a vintage dress form I repainted (from my moms lingerie boutique, CRML) in my all-white NY apartment. Images styled and captured by Norajuku.
Decorate With String Lights And Make Christmas Endless...
You could say I was bit by the bug ever since my mom became owner of a lingerie boutique CRML in my teens and I became visual merchandiser and window decorator for over fifteen years. Then when I got my first apartment in the city (in Montreal) as a newlywed, I devoured every interior design magazine and design book I could find and when I moved to a NYC neo-modern high-rise apartment, IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Free People Home, Zara Home and Pottery Barn Kids were the obvious go-to and became a weekly ritual for me and decorated and redecorated my apartment a million times in the last year or so. When I started my freelance personal styling & home organizing business at Norajuku, I was naturally drawn to decorating my space even more. I felt that it brought everything together and creating (and re-creating) a great living space for me and my family achieved something more powerful and memorable than anything else could.
It is absolutely incredible what a string of lights can do. Immediately a mediocre space can be transformed into a dreamy, whimsical wonderland. The magic of string lights is that when they’re around, the focus is never specifically on them – it’s on the overall aura that they create within space they light as a whole. I love the look of several strands meticulously strung overhead from one end of a room to another or draped over a trendy modern headboard. As a Christmas-lover, it's second nature to want to adorn every room with them when it comes times for the holidays — and I’ve been known to drape some here and there even when the onset of winter season is way off in the distance. If you haven’t experimented with string lights yet, I challenge you to try it out. I have a pretty strong feeling you'll thank me for it.
Here are some photos of the light strings (and handmade beads, which is going to be in my next blog post) over my bedpost and one last look at our fairytale christmas tree adorned with alternative christmas ornaments from Hollister, Urban Outfitters, Starbucks & Sanrio, before we take it down (in about a month or so). I wish all of you a beautiful and full January. Here’s to all of us, and chasing our New Year’s dreams with undoubted passion and persistence that it’s all possible… not a single stone is too heavy to turn.
Much love beauties!
Photo and styling by: Norajuku
The sliver of time between Christmas and New Years is one of my favorite parts of the year. I have always adored the magic of the days leading up to New Years: the lights, shopping, church activities, Christmas carols, decorating with my family, everything surrounding Jesus' birth and just feeling that sense of joy as the world went from brown leaves falling to the ground to city streets filled with lights and stores windows stocked with festive trinkets. There are countless ways to celebrate the holidays. My favorite thing about this time of year? Traditions — a special piece of life which grow as you grow. The great thing about traditions is you can — and should — also create them with and for yourself. Whatever the case may be, traditions are ever-changing yet always filled with love and memories.
My husband and I created a new tradition this year...and decided to go to the beach for Christmas. We used to always go home for the holidays and since moving to New York last year we decided to start a shiny new tradition, so we packed our bags totally spur-of-the-moment and all flew to Miami for six days (to escape the cold) and have our first vacation together as a family. It may be cheesy, but I love looking at what matters most to us as our relationship blossoms as a couple and parents…our tradition, which makes it special. Here are a few precious memories (below) from our holiday in South Beach.
Hi Dear Norajuku reader, Something really amazing is shifting in my world. Are you noticing? This is the healthiest I've been in years mind, body and soul. And now, more than ever, God has been in control of my life's steering wheel and I've just been allowing Him to do his will more and more and mold me. In addition, I've also recently become a raw vegan and so thrilled to have my family on board, too. Just over a year ago, I packed it all and moved from the country to the big city (from SW Missouri to NYC) with my family to work in fashion and pursue my passion. And even though I will always be a Montrealer at heart, I'm feeling a huge amount of gratitude for change! So many people are afraid of change, but I’ve come to a point of embracing it, because it offers healing and expansion. Life can be a bit of a trip. You can be at your rock bottom…and things will change. It is one of life’s guarantees. Knowing that offers me peace, and also keeps me on my toes so I never stagnate. I am also eternally grateful for all the love I've received and being surrounded by my amazing family and friends throughout my journey since I left home (Montreal) seven years ago.
I've constantly got many pots on the boil. I’m building my new blog since starting one from scratch after my old blog on posterous.com was permanently erased when they shut down, I'm also doing incredible collaborations and modeling for stimulating, expansive brands, while also running my personal styling and home organizing business full time at Norajuku. I’m always working on my faith and my good health, but I can’t plan everything, so I hand it over to God! My life is all about being free. I work hard, but I really enjoy what I do so it is always fun. I can follow my dreams and enjoy motherhood at the same time, best of both worlds.
Well we all know by now that I'm extremely partial when it comes to anything to with looking good and feeling young, so of course I loved Egyptian Magic from the moment I started using it a few years ago. Here are just a few of the promo work I've done over the past year since moving to New York.
Looking for some last minute gift wrapping inspiration? Check out our very own DIY holiday gift wrapping to make this before Christmas…
This month was a whirlwind month for me: one part fun, with the flurry of activity and to-dos, and one part what the heck did I get myself into? No matter how I plan it, it seems I always end up gift wrapping at the last minute and end up wishing I’d started earlier, given myself some more time to make and do everything on my holiday checklist. A revolving and early cold and fever set me back in scheduling, but I was a busy little elf last weekend and spent some quality time in our cozy apartment with my family, surrounded by gifts both handmade and handpicked, holiday cards waiting for my signature, and mini gift cards aplenty awaiting the inscription of their recipient’s name. Are you in the same boat? In the last minute frenzy, why not have some fun while you finish up? If you’ve suddenly found yourself surrounded by to-dos and to-sends, Nora is here to rescue you from an otherwise stressful situation with this simple solution, of wrapping papers, card/gift tags. They’ve turned turned our apartment into a Christmas wonderland!
Two things caught my wrapping fancy this year. Simple white wrapping paper and mini card and envelopes.......in pink. I love the white just like my all-white apartment and modern lines and well pink is just cool. Whatever color wrapping paper, ribbons and gift tags you end up using, make sure it reflects your taste. I am using my favorite colors for this year's holiday wrapping, a fun way to put myself into the wrapping.
I know all your gifts are wrapped and under the tree........and I am wishing all my wonderful Norajuku readers a most wonderful and magical holiday season with your family and friends. I know all of us are especially grateful this year for the gift of time with our loved ones.
Closets are a very personal thing. Your closet contains all the clothes that you dress yourself with – and, for the most part, you’re the only one who steps foot inside it on a daily basis. As a personal stylist and home/retail store organizer, I’m always so interested to get a peek into people’s closets/drawers/pantries and other areas of their home. I love to see their whole wardrobe together as one, and I also love to find out how their closets are organized. Whether our clothes are perfectly organized or thrown all over the place, we all have some form of a system that lets us know where we can find that piece we need to complete our outfit.
At the moment, my closet is not quite up to par in the organization game since our big move from a 4000 sqft home to a 869 sqft apartment, but my normal way of going about things is organizing all my clothes by style and then color. I actually apply this trick when I organize my client's closets! I separate all my bottoms to the right side of my closet and all my tops to the left. I’ll start with tanks and work my way to long sleeve pieces, organizing them by color as I go, from lightest to darkest. I don't have a lot of space in my closet, though, so it is easy for things to get cluttered.
My next project is organizing my shoes and coats on the white IKEA garment/shoe display rack order I placed for our entrance, instead of just throwing them in baskets like they are now... I feel like I've been preparing for this day for the past few years, since starting my Pinterest Dream Board, Apartment Living, after moving to the Midwest from Montreal to design our first home together, only to find out we both felt the big city calling us back again, without ever imagining my dream would ever come true. If you have a small space like me, use it wisely!
A glimpse into my walk-in closet in our last home...
If you live in New York and surrounding areas book The Closet Face-Lift Package or Clutter Fairy Package now!
If you've been following me for awhile, you know I've been blogging for just a couple of years at posterous.com when it was available and I finally added one on my website this week, Koukla Blog (means doll in Greek) and hope you've been enjoying the last few posts. I wanted to start with a bang because you guys haven't heard from me for forever. But I also want you to know that it's unbelievably hard to balance freelance modeling, my online store, personal styling, while being a wife and mom, and still maintaining a social life. Hopefully I'll have time to do another photoshoot this weekend and have more exciting campaigns up my sleeve.
It means the world that you've stuck with me to this point. <3
It's been a close to perfect year and a half in NYC for this native Montrealer, since our big move from the Midwest with my family. But, life has been crazy for the past few months, and there are changes in my life that you guys might not really know about.
As you know, it's my job to look and feel good for work, as a result I'm proud to announce that I officially became a raw vegan two weeks ago (with only a few slip-ups around the holidays) and so happy that my hubby is also on-board. Although I have a lot of days where I eat all raw food, it’s not always my norm. My schtick is all about balance, keeping it simple, healthy, delicious and doing what you can when you can. Therefore, there are some times that I don’t eat all raw, especially on weekends. And, I’d say that although my cooked choices are usually top notch healthy (as far as cooked foods go), I do leave room for the occasional sushi, french toast, Belgium pastries, and my homemade oven baked fries. Thankfully, I can officially call it "occasional".
Hi guys! So today I wanted to share with you a really lovely photoshoot I did for White With Style thanks to Hypemarket, photo by: Bradleyboy, hair by: Alyssa Jade, styled by: Norajuku. Of course we picked our New York apartment hallway to be our backdrop (cool lighting). We photographed the Holiday Special Sparkle White Pumpkin Pie Flavor Professional Home Teeth Whitening Kit they sent over and had an amazing time walking out of our apartment, dancing and twirling in the empty hallways, and admiring the view of the rooftops...all the while with the best flavor ever on my teeth.
Use my promotional coupon code "norajuku" to purchase the Sparkle White Professional Teeth Whitening kit for only $28.00 (retail price: $269.99): whitewithstyle.com
Here are the photos!