5 Favourite Shows & Songs for the Holidays

I like to share this post every year.  So, here we go…again!

There are a few holiday shows, songs and videos that I love to watch over holidays. So, in no particular order here are my top 5 favourites:

  • The Holiday – what is not to love about this romantic comedy with two great leading ladies.

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  • The Year Without a Santa Claus – hello, Snow Miser and Heat Miser?  My kids are now not afraid of Heat Miser and they think it is the funniest song of all time.

 

  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – thank you to the writers of this song for giving our family a theme song for Christmas. To hear it, click   here
  • Elf – Will Farrell is just hilarious

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  • So, this is Christmas by John Lennon – it is just a classic. Enough said.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

 

5 Gifts for Travellers

I was fortunate to take a few trips this past year and recently,  a friend asked what were the best things I used for packing and travelling.  It was such an easy question and considering the time of year, I thought I would share my favourites with you.

Packing cubes:

I found these at Marshalls for $30 and I picked up another set at IKEA for $10.  They keep your shirts separate from your socks and your workout gear doesn’t get mixed up with your everyday t-shirts.

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A Luggage Scale:

A must have!  With many airlines now charging extra if your bag is overweight, it is handy to check how much your luggage weighs before you leave home.  For less than $20 you should pick up this.

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Packing bags:

My sister gave me these before our Europe trip and they made packing pretty efficient.  All the little things were in their own place and easy to find in my carry on and in my suitcase.

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Passport holder:

This case is so handy to keep your passports, itineraries, boarding passes, etc.  It’s great for families and solo travellers.   I paid about $25 for this particular style.

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A reusable shopping bag:

I always take one or two of these with me.  They come in a handy pouch, are easy to pack and ready to be used for anything!  They usually cost less than $5 and can be used for groceries, souvenirs, etc.  Carrying one of these will make you look more like a local and less like a tourist.

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All of these items are pretty affordable to give as gifts or use as stocking stuffers.  Is there anything you take on a trip that should be on my list?  Please let me know in the comments and happy shopping!

linking up with: A Little Bit of EverythingSincerely, PaulaDesign Dining and Diapers,Mom Home GuideNot Dressed As LambGood Random FunClaire JustineI Should be Mopping the Floor

My 5 favourite things to watch

]This is a re-post from last year.  Just because.

There are a few holiday shows, songs and videos that I love to watch over holidays. So, in no particular order here are my top 5 favourites:

  • The Holiday – what is not to love about this romantic comedy with two great leading ladies.

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  • The Year Without a Santa Claus – hello, Snow Miser and Heat Miser?  My kids are now not afraid of Heat Miser and they think it is the funniest song of all time.
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – thank you to the writers of this song for giving our family a theme song for Christmas. To hear it, click   here
  • Elf – Will Farrell is just hilarious

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  • So, this is Christmas by John Lennon – it is just a classic. Enough said.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

 

Fun finds

Tis the season be browsing the stores and shopping.

Warning:  this post is mostly pictures of fun things to buy:

These chevron pillows would be cute for decorating during the holidays.  Would also make a sweet hostess gift tied up in a bow.


A puzzle book for the kids and it’s all about the holidays.  
These washers and dryers look deceiving.  They are tin storage containers to use in the laundry room.  Aren’t they cool?


For less than $1.50, you can own these great tote bags brightly displaying kiwi, lemons and blueberries.
3 for $5 – that was the cost of the these cute little ornaments. Great for the tree or just adding to your presents.


This cardboard box would be perfect for a hostess gift filled with cookies or other yummy treats.
Going to Paris?  Or maybe you know someone who is. This little carry bag was only $5 and imagine all the things you could stuff inside it!


Same goes for this bag.  If London is your kind of place, this $5 bag should be yours!
A holiday rug would be great at your home or maybe as a hostess gift. It was less than $15 at my local upscale dollar store.


How cute is this little speaker?  All decked out in the local hockey team colours.  It’s the perfect gift for a fan and only $10.
Yes, I know it’s toothpaste, but the packing caught my eye and who wouldn’t want a new toothbrush for the holidays?


Chapstick has come out with these travel inspired tins filled with 3 different flavours of lip balm.  They were only $4.99 and would make a great stocking stuffer or teacher gift.

Just a few fun finds this week as we continue to shop for Christmas.  Hope you find what you are looking for!

 

Not so ugly Christmas sweaters 

What do you think of Christmas sweaters?  Have you seen these on Amazon?

While I am the first to admit that pictures of families in ugly Christmas sweaters are funny, I rarely see anyone showing off some cute holiday sweaters.  Until now, that is.

Look what I found at Marshall’s!


  
  

These are the not so ugly Christmas sweaters that most of us could wear and feel festive.  My daughter loved the one with the dog and my fav is the Christmas tree. Any surprise it’s grey? 😉   And they are all under $40 – not bad, eh?

There really is a Christmas sweater for everyone , isn’t there?

linking up with: More Pieces of Me,The Pleated PoppyCurly Crafty MomHappiness at Mid-LifeJaymie AshcraftThe Jenny EvolutionJo-Lynne ShaneFashion Should Be FunShopping My Closet

 

 

 

Holiday Packing – Follow up

This past week, my blog feed has been filled with posts about about Thanksgiving, snow, Christmas and holiday decorating.

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I interrupt these festivities to bring you an update about  what I packed for a trip to Hawaii.

What to packor not...

 

The rainy weather comes fairly early here on the West Coast and with the Remembrance Day holiday in early November, many families take a holiday to a sun destination before the real cold and rain sets in.

A few weeks ago, I lamented about what to pack for this trip.  I do this for most trips and always pack just a few too many things.  So, to move this along so that you can get back to your blanket scarf and holiday decorating,  here is what I packed:

  • 3 pairs of shorts (black, khaki, distressed denim)
  • 2 black & cream short patterned dresses
  • 1 long black & grey maxi dress
  • 2 tank tops (orange & blue)
  • 1 skirt (grey)
  • 4 tees (white, black, graphic and purple)
  • 1 pair of lululemon athletic pants (to wear on the plane)
  • 1 cardigan (black)
  • 1 sport jacket (black – to wear on the plane)
  • 3 bathings suits
  • 2 cover ups
  • exercise clothes
  • 1 pair of sandals, 1 pair of flip flops and Nike fun runners

 

Are you wondering how much of this I wore?  You might be surprised.

  • 1 pair of shorts  – the black ones only. Realized that I don’t like the distressed denim ones and didn’t need the khaki ones.
  • 1 short dress – made by Columbia with a built in bra in a forgiving pattern for wrinkles and spills.  The other dress was an impulse online order and never fit well or looked good.
  • 1 long maxi dress – wore a couple times for dinner – love it!
  • 1 tank top – the orange one added colour to my shorts and fit better than the blue one I dragged along
  • 1 skirt – this grey t-shirt skirt goes everywhere with me and pretty much any top goes with it.  Super easy to pack and wear.
  • 3 tees – I wore the white one the most, then the graphic one and lastly the purple one.  The black one stayed in my suitcase the whole time, which is surprising for me.
  • 2 bathing suits were worn and both cover ups.
  • All the shoes were worn regularly.

 

So, as you can see I slightly overpacked.  Not by a great amount but there were about 8 extra items that hooked a ride on my trip and weren’t needed.

These hot tropical type vacations really don’t require a lot of clothing.  You rarely see the same people twice, most condos have laundry facilities and with the exception of the odd dinner out, it is a pretty casual trip.  Bring along a few pieces of jewellery and voila your outfit has changed.

We now resume our regular programming.  Cue Christmas music, elf and holiday decorating.

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linking up with: Pleated PoppyHappiness at Mid-lifeFashion Should Be FunCurly Crafty MomJo-Lynne Shane

 

Advent Calendar – DIY

I don’t often do a DIY, but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy. Trust me when I say that I pin plenty of them from Pinterest.

So, when my kids asked if they could each have a separate advent calendar for Christmas I looked around.  From Pottery Barn to Michaels and everything in between.  Nothing looked quite right, had the right sized boxes or was what I wanted to spend.   So, I thought to myself, what would Martha do?  Well, she would make her own.  Wouldn’t she?

I perused Pinterest and got a few ideas, but the actual design was my own. I started with these little favour (or favor depending on your country) boxes which I bought at Michaels:

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When you put them together, they look like this:

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They are not what I would call sturdy little boxes, but I figured I could make them work.  With a 50% off coupon, I think the cost was around $10.

I searched around on Pinterest and found some creative people that love to share printables.  I found these numbers in Christmas colours that were a perfect match for my boxes and printed them at home on my colour printer:

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After cutting them out and using my new best friend:

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the boxes looked like this:

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I used the Mod Podge to paste the numbers on the front of the boxes and to give them a little more strength.

I then played around with the shape, the order of the numbers and realized that I wanted the calendar to be able to stand or balance on its own.  A little LOT more Mod Podge to stick them together and voila!

This is the final result:

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This whole project cost about $15 for the white boxes and Mod Podge.  The kids think it is great and I’m hoping it will last me a couple of years.  If it doesn’t, the good thing is it can go into the mixed recycling bin.

I think Santa will be proud of me and Martha might like it, too.

linking up with: The Jenny EvolutionThe Pin JunkieDesign Dining and DiapersCurly Crafty MomHappy HousieProvident Home Design

 

My 5 favourite things to watch

There are a few holiday shows, songs and videos that I love to watch over holidays. So, in no particular order here are my top 5 favourites:

  • The Holiday – what is not to love about this romantic comedy with two great leading ladies.

220px-Theholidayposter

  • The Year Without a Santa Claus – hello, Snow Miser and Heat Miser?  My kids are now not afraid of Heat Miser and they think it is the funniest song of all time.
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – thank you to the writers of this song for giving our family a theme song for Christmas. To hear it, click 
  • Elf – Will Farrell is just hilarious

220px-Elf_movie

  • So, this is Christmas by John Lennon – it is just a classic. Enough said.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

linking up with: The Jenny Evolution

Let it snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, I mean rainy.

But the fire is so delightful, oh yes it is.

And since we’ve no place to go (who doesn’t have things to do this time of year?)

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Ok, so it doesn’t rhyme.  It’s hard to make a cute little ditty about the rain at Christmas.  So instead, I will show you what I have been wearing:

Me, my boyfriend jeans and Blundstones.
Me, my boyfriend jeans and Blundstones.
Shades of grey, of course.
Just a peak of plaid.
Just a peak of plaid.

I’ve been wearing this plaid scarf frequently almost every day.  It adds a pop of colour to my grey wardrobe and our grey rainy weather.  I think it would look great in the snow.  Don’t you?

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

linking up with:  Jo-Lynne Shane – Fashion FridayHappiness at MidlifeSweet Haute Fashion Cache Friday

From Our House to Yours

Christmas 2013 has come and gone. The wrapping paper is crumpled and torn, the tree is getting dry and the poinsettia is drooping ( I may have forgotten to water it).
This year I didn’t have my girls with me as they spent the first week of their Christmas break with their Dad in Arizona. It wasn’t the first time but it was still a little odd to be honest. I don’t think it will ever get easier but maybe I’ll get better at spending that time without them. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my future husband and his two daughters at his house. It was fine, nice even, but without my own girls there I felt awkward. It makes my heart ache when I’m not with them on special occasions. Especially Christmas.
I had an ally though. My new family comes with a loveable, needy Yellow Lab. She has no need for personal space or alone time and can sometimes be a total pain in the ass when I need those things. But on Christmas Day while I needed breathing room from the different house and different routine she was exactly what I needed!
Future Hub and I took her to the dog park for a couple hours. We walked in the cold ( it was really cold) and she swam in the lake, chasing ball after ball. I admired all the other dogs and stopped to pet them when they would let me. A couple hundred other dog people had the same idea as us so the dog count was high.
Eventually we had to go back to the house but with the wet, smelly dog I felt better. I didn’t feel the pit in my stomach quite so bad from missing my own kids and was able to enjoy his kids for a few hours more.
I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas or whatever you celebrated….with or without a needy Yellow Lab.

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