All Plaid Everything

Country Christmas at the Waterloo Region Museum

Last weekend we had some grand plans to have our whole family join us to experience Country Christmas at the Waterloo Region Museum and Doon Heritage Village but thanks to a round of snow storms and a few colds, the group was scaled back to me, AMH and my fellow adventurer in blogging, White Cabana! While I feel bad that our family was digging out or nursing a cold, I didn't feel bad for long as we had an incredible morning celebrating a variety of Christmas traditions!

#CTLCookieExchange - Gingerbread People

I selected this week's #CTLCookieExchange, gingerbread people, because at the end of last week, I was off to a cookie exchange with some of my favourite people for our first annual cookie exchange. My original intention was to create gingerbread people that can hang off your mug and I thought I could just modify a regular gingerbread cutter for that. You can tell I'm not an engineer. After a few batches of trying to hook one arm of the dough, I realized (thanks Google) that there are cookie cutters for just the purpose. Oh well, there's always next year. But all was not lost! I continued on and made some of the cutest gingerbread people that sprinkles and icing could make.

L.L.Bean Bootmobile in TO

Sweater Fleece Pullover | Women's Bean Boots By L.L.Bean, 8" Thinsulate | Katahdin Pom Hat | Leather Handle Boat and Tote Bag Canvas | Bay Stripe Gloves | Leggings | Socks | Lipstick | Mascara

The Guardian Building, Detroit

Location: The Guardian Building, Detroit, Michigan | Outfit: Sweater (old, similar), Skirt (sold out, similar), Shoes, Nylons, Necklace (similar), Lipstick Blake's Red

Holiday Gift Guide For The Gents

Well I couldn't release a gift guide for the ladies 10 days before Christmas and not put out one for the men in our lives! While some might think that gentlemen are easier to buy for because they can't possible like as many things as women...think again. Guys can be incredibly tough to buy for, especially the ones who always answer "nothing" when you ask what they want for Christmas.

Holiday Gift Guide For The Ladies

The final countdown is on, only 10 days until Christmas. I was going to skip creating a holiday gift guide this year until I woke up and read a few Facebook posts all declaring their panic that Christmas is so close and the shopping has not yet started! Well, fear not for I have pulled together a few items that would make any lady on your list happy Christmas morning. All of these retailers can commit to delivering the items before Christmas, provided you order in the next few days. 

#CTLCookieExchange - Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

For the fourth week of the #CTLCookieExchange we are shaking things up and baking bars instead of traditional cookies. Raspberry Oatmeal Bars to be precise! These bars are chewy, sweet and smell a-mazing coming out of the oven. They need to cool completely in the pan before cutting, which is actually the hardest part about baking these bars - waiting to eat them! The raspberry oatmeal bars are made with only six ingredients, all of which you probably have on hand. They take about 10 minutes to prepare, 35 to bake, and another 20 to cool so in about an hour you have a homey tasting bar ready to share...or eat all to yourself. No judgement here! They also freeze beautifully so you can save them for the holidays or leave one out to enjoy with a cuppa tea. 

Stocking Your Bar Cart

With only 11 days (yes, I just said that...11 days!) until Christmas, now is that time to assess what holiday soirĂ©es you will be hosting and determine exactly what you need to stock your bar cart. In Ontario we are lucky enough to have the LCBO which is basically Toy R Us for adults. Even people who do not drink, love to visit the LCBO. Their displays are always lovely, and their magazine Food & Drink is coveted by all. I'm not going to lie, I have left with a beautiful bottle from the LCBO of a type of liquor I have never tried, just because I loved the bottle and the display (I'm looking at you St. Germain which I have no idea how to drink!).

The Fisher Building, Detroit

Location: The Fisher Building, Detroit, MI | Outfit: Skirt, Shirt c/o, Necklace & Earrings, Shoes (old, Similar), Nylons, Lipstick, Clutch (old, Similar), Brooch (vintage, love this)

Cookbooks Holiday Gift Guide

Cookbooks make a great Christmas gift. You can give them to experienced cooks, those just starting out, and even to someone you pulled in the holiday gift exchange that you don't really know and have no idea what to get them! They make useful gifts but not just any cookbook will do. I've rounded up ones I have personally tested (I'm pretty sure I have every Martha Stewart book she had ever released), a few that friends of mine have tested, and ones I am dying to get my hands on. 

One of A Kind Show, Toronto

Last weekend the One of A Kind Christmas Show was held in Toronto. I had never been to the OOAK show before and wanted to check it out, and I knew just the girl to show me around. My friend Kendra of Kendra Bester Design, Interior Designer, baker and all around great gal, has attended the OOAK show many times and knew exactly what booths to hit. We had a wonderful time walking and talking, checking out some new-to-us vendors, and even chatting with a few of them! I love when you can meet the artisan and share in the passion for their product, it's always inspiring and informative! Today, I thought I would share a few of my favourite vendors from the show. They all have websites and sell in either online shops or through a store so you can pick up a few one of a kind items for your Christmas shopping. I know Kendra and I sure did!

#CTLCookieExchange - Hershey Peanut Butter Blossoms

It's week three of our #CTLCookieExchange and while last week I promised a more grown up cookie...The Youngest just returned from his adventures in Europe and the first thing he, and his big brother asked for, was these Hershey Peanut Butter Blossoms! How could I say no to these cute little (okay, not so little) teenagers! One request from them and I was off to the store looking for the largest pack of Hersey Kisses I could find (I bought two packs of 200g).

Pretty Candles

Celebrating This Life

Pretty candles always make a great gift item. An uplifting scent is perfect as a get well gift or something warm and spicy as a holiday hostess gift would be greatly appreciated by the gift receiver. So many candles are housed in the most beautiful containers meaning you can still enjoy them long after the candle has burned (you can reuse the vessels for holding pens or make up brushes!).

Christkindl Market

Hat | Gloves | Coat | Boots | Bag | Sweater (old, similar) | Jeans | Necklace (old, similar) | Lipstick Blake's Red |

Winter Pink

Twinning with my favourite butter tart bakery. I love wearing pink in the winter, or any season for that matter. It's one of my favourite colours!

Jacket (similar) | Sweater | Jeans | Boots | Purse | Hat | Necklace (similar for less)| Lipstick (Fuchsia)

CP Holiday Train

The CP Holiday Train rolled into small town Ayr, Ontario this week and kicked off the holiday season by reminding us that this is also a season of giving. The purpose of the CP Holiday Train is to spread cheer through their decorated train, provide entertainment through their musical performances at each stop, and to collect food donations for local food banks throughout North America. All the money and food donations collect at each stop, stay in that area. 

This year CP is raising awareness of heart disease, as it is a growing health challenge in North America. They are asking for healthy food donations at their stops and encouraging you to also donate to your local food bank. The items most in need are: 
  • grain products
  • vegetables & fruit (canned but ask your local food bank if they accept fresh)
  • milk products 
  • meat & alternatives

The CP Holiday Train is a great family activity, especially for little ones. The Oldest and I stood along the tracks with many (many, many) little ones who were beyond excited to see the "choo-choo with the lights" go by. The crowds gathered around performance stage were incredibly large, something I was not expecting from such a small town, but the I totally understand given who the performers are: Dallas Smith (who I saw this summer and was amazing!), Odds, Kelly Prescott, Doc Walker and Colin James! *They don't all perform together, check your stop to see who will be performing. 

There is still time to see the CP Holiday Train for yourself, they still have stops in Illinios, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and B.C. ending on December 17, 2016. You can check their schedule here.

And one last plug, this season please remember to give generously to your local food bank. Let's help our neighbours have a Happy Christmas!