December 31, 2014

Tis the Season (A Christmas 2014 Recap) ...

Can y'all believe that another Christmas is already over?! I consider Christmas to be the entire Christmas season so for me Christmas isn't quite over yet. To those people taking their Christmas trees down on Boxing Day: my heart is really unhappy about that. I plan on leaving my tree up until at least the end of January (if not all year). There's just something about a Christmas tree at night that makes my heart super happy. I'm crazy for Christmas y'all

I'm still watching Christmas movies (I did get all the ones on my Christmas To Do List watched) but that's no surprise. I've watched Love, Actually, Elf, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, & Serendipity at least 8 times each in the month of December alone. I'll be watching them in July when I'm dreaming of Christmas. Though lets get one thing straight - I HATE winter. With a burning, loathing passion. I get the Winter blues every year and with no holidays planned (insert sad face here) I'm sure it isn't going to be any different this year. The only thing I like about Winter is Christmas (obviously). After Christmas is over I'd be fine with moving on to Spring. But enough about all that - lets get onto the Christmas recap (I'm sure y'all are waiting on pins and needles for this...)

On Christmas Eve, after a family friend stopped over for a visit, my Mama, the girls, my sister, and I drove around town in our jammies while we drank hot chocolate and scoped out all the Christmas lights. We drove down 98% of O-town's roads I'm fairly certain. There were so many people who I call 'Grinch's, with absolutely no Christmas lights or decor outside. Where's the Christmas spirit?!

Before we left the house I made the hot chocolate and everyone got to pick their toppings. I had bought some Solo brand paper mugs with a Christmas design specifically in mind for this. The girls went crazy with their toppings, adding everything that I had set out, but what kid wouldn't when faced with all the choices? The girls both agreed that the house pictured a few photos down was their favourite of all the lights. The house belongs to a friend of mines parents and each year their lights display gets better and better. Some people ridicule them for their display but I love it! Also, I felt like a total stalker as we drove by their house at a snails pace with Audie-Rae holding my phone out to take a picture. And not even all of their decor is pictured!

Trying to get a nice picture of these two girls is like pulling teeth. They just don't cooperate! This is one of probably twenty attempts and is the best I got. Aye carumba. The girls elf, Candy Cane, made her last visit of Christmas 2014 and brought along a letter for the girls to read, and some cookies for them to make for Santa. They were able to hug and kiss her goodbye after Santa lifted her magic for a few moments. I think their favourite part of having their Elf around is being able to touch her on Christmas Eve. I know lots of people don't like the idea of the Elf on the Shelf but my nieces love it so we'll continue doing it

If you follow me on Instagram you would have already seen that MY BROTHER GAVE ME THE BEST PRESENT EVER!: Christopher the Christmas tree on VHS. VHS you say? It's the only way you can get a copy of the movie. Also, I still have my 19 inch tv with a built in VCR. I don't like change...

Backstory behind my excitement: when we were younger my siblings and I could NEVER sleep on Christmas Eve because of the excitement of Christmas. We would go to bed and toss and turn until finally getting out of bed around 2:00 or 3:00 am. We'd sneak into one of our rooms and all end up in one persons bed. We knew our parents wouldn't let us get up yet so we would watch tv until it was time to get them out of bed. Christopher the Christmas Tree was always playing on YTV around 3:00 am on Christmas morning. It was our absolute favourite. After watching the movie we would get our parents up around 4:00/5:00 am and open all of our presents. We haven't seen Christopher the Christmas Tree on TV in many, many years and each year I search the guide looking for it, to no avail

My brother brought my present over to the house on Christmas Eve after supper at his mother in laws.  He was insistant that I open my present that night. I was really reluctant because we have never been the type to open presents on Christmas Eve  - they are strictly for Christmas day. I was basically forced into opening the gift, even though it went against everything I believe in (regarding Christmas anyways). When he whipped out his flipcam to tape me as I opened it I was really confused. As soon as I opened the box and realized what it was I knew why he had been so insistant and why he wanted to tape my reaction. I was floored. If I was the crying with excitement type I would have never stopped crying. He won Christmas this year, that's for sure. The reason he wanted me to open it that ngiht was so we could all watch it just like we used to. The 6 of us (brother, SIL, sister, nieces, and myself) all piled into my room and watched the most magical Christmas movie ever. My heart was the happiest it's ever been I think

As per usual I could not sleep on Christmas night. I tossed and turned quite a bit and by 5:00 am I was wide awake. That may have had something to do with the fact that I forgot to shut off my alarms for work, but regardless I was awake and no matter what I tried I could not go back to sleep. I may or may not have then spent an hour on Christmas morning finishing up my wrapping while also unwrapping and re-wrapping presents because I hated the original wrapping paper I had used... Crazy Christmas lady, remember?

My sister and her girls FINALLY showed up around 10:00 am. The girls showed off their Santa presents and what was in their stockings. Graycie got the cutest little leather jacket from Santa and Rae got the first 12 Boxcar Children books (my sister and I LOVED these books when we were her age!). I've already asked to borrow them after she's done reading them #noshame

Normally we open all of our presents and then our parents make a really big breakfast. This year we had breakfast first, so we didn't even start opening gifts until after 11:00 am. Such a far cry from the days where we would be done opening gifts by 5:00 am and by 10:00 am we'd already be having our first naps of the day. Oh to be young again...

Even though we said this year we were going to tone it down a bit with all the gifts, the girls were still completely spoiled. When anyone would ask Graycie what she wanted for Christmas she would say 'Peanut Butter.' Peanut Butter?! For the kid that barely ever even eats it? Alright...When Rae was first asked she said she wanted 'My Little Pony's'. My sister decided to play a prank on them when they refused to answer with more ideas (though Rae decided about a week before Christmas that her list had expanded and kept adding and adding to it). She took an unopened jar of peanut butter from my parents house and wrapped it up from Graycie and then took a My Little Pony that Rae already owned (she got it for her birthday in September) and she wrapped that up for her. After the girls opened their stockings and gifts from Santa she gave them each their one little present, and explained that she didn't have much money this year but wanted to get them what they asked for

When they got to my parents house they had brought along all of the gifts they had opened at home. They still had a mountain of presents waiting at my parents house but they were SO excited about their stockings and Santa gifts. They didn't even seem upset about the fact that all their mom had gotten them was Peanut Butter and a toy they already owned. Graycie was most excited about all the little things in her stocking - I think she would have been fine without a single other present.

When it was time to open presents my sister had the girls open their 'real' present from her first (that they had no idea they were getting). She had gotten both of them mini iPads. They were SO excited to finally have their own iPads since they fight over my Mom's iPad all.the.time. Ater that it was a frenzy of opening gifts - the living room floor was covered in wrapping paper.

My parents were brats again (thats exactly what I told them when I opened my gift) and spent way more than they were supposed to. We all got spoiled once again. I FINALLY got the sewing machine I've been asking for for years but have been to cheap to buy myself. I had asked for one for my 25th birthday and got a beer pong table instead (my mama said she thought that it would get more use - she was probably right at the time). I have absolutely NO idea what I'm doing but I'm having fun figuring it out! My sister got me my first (but definitely not last!) pair of Hillberg and Berk sparkle ball earrings. I love them so much!

Krickit got totally spoiled but it was her FIRST Christmas so what else was a puppy mama to do?!

I stepped up my champagne game this year by making some champagne ice cubes on Christmas Eve. Many, many  mimosas were had over the holidays. We started a new tradition last Christmas of playing the Home Alone drinking game on Christmas day. Let's just say the drinking game is no joke. It is not for lightweights!

Mama outdid herself again with an amazing turkey dinner and all the fixings. We were in a food coma for the rest of the night. We couldn't even eat much the next day we were still so full!

After we had cleaned up from supper the family played Cards Against Humanity. It was my parents first time playing - I'm glad they have a good sense of humour. I'm not so sure many other people their age would appreciate the humour of the game

I'm always a super sad panda on Boxing Day, even though I don't consider Christmas to be over its still a sad feeling knowing I have to wait an entire year to see December 25th again. The girls headed off to their Dad's house that morning which made my sad feeling even worse. My sadness went away for a bit that night when we headed over to my Aunt and Uncles for some appetizers and drinks

I hope y'all had a great Christmas! Santa Paws is still exhausted from all her work up until Christmas...

December 24, 2014

A Look At December...

Krickit started getting used to the white fluffy stuff - unfortunately it was here to stay come December. We actually barely have any for this time of year (knock on wood) which is very, very odd for this area

My parents company purchased this advent tree at the EFC's annual Twisted Tree Auction. Each day there was a gift inside worth upwards of $20.00. I'm planning a whole post around the advent tree and its contents - if we're friends on FB you would have seen me posting the contents daily - everyone was so interested to see what was inside each one!

Audie-Rae's school Christmas concert was last Thursday night. I swear her class was on for a total of 5 seconds - you blink and you miss it - but she was front and centre on stage and really committed to her role. She did great!

Graycie's Pre-K Christmas 'concert' was the next morning. She wore the adorable dress I convinced my Mama she needed to buy for her. She actually sang a little bit this year (last year she stood on stage with her finger in her mouth, holding onto one of her teachers for dear life) though you couldn't really hear over the sound of the CD that was playing their songs. None of the pictures I took on my phone were clear enough - silly iPhone

The hoar frost has been SO gorgeous lately. This is the trees lining the west side of our yard one morning 

I exchanged Christmas gifts with Mallory and Nikki while in 'the city' on Sunday for the Cookie Swap. I was supposed to get together with them for supper on Friday night but the roads were terrible and there was zero visibility due to the fog. Silly weather getting in the way of my plans! They both know me too well - Nikki gave me a Tim Horton's mug (I collect Starbucks and Tim's mugs) and Mallory gave a bottle of champagne - can't wait to use both of them tomorrow morning! A few of the girls from Beaver Cove gave gifts as well at the Cookie Swap - mugs and chocolate are always a great gift to receive!

I bought this cute card at Typo in the MOA last November and just finally gave it out this year

I made up this cute little gift basket for Mallory's two little girls (and her and her husband too). I had a bunch of leftover gifts and decided to put them all together to make a little 'movie night' basket for their family. I was going to take a picture of all the items laid out but by the time I got everything arranged I didn't want to have to undo all the work. I started out with a microwave popcorn tub, added a cozy Christmas fleece throw, a Christmas children's book (Llama Llama Holiday Drama), two kids colouring packs, a box of holiday M&M's, a bag of licorice, HOME ALONE (my favourite movie of all time), and two packets of instant hot chocolate. I love gift baskets and LOVE gift giving - it makes my heart so happy. I wrapped it all up in clear wrap, threw holiday ribbon around it, stuck a bow on it, and voila it was ready to go!
Two weekends ago I headed up to Saskatoon with my Mama and Toni and stayed at my aunt and uncles for the weekend. My aunt is the Queen of Christmas - she goes all out, starting her decorating on Halloween and I absolutely love every last bit of it. There were 5 Christmas trees on the main floor alone! I was in a winter wonderland and never wanted to leave! I felt like I was at the North Pole all weekend!

My cousins dog stayed at her parents place while we were there since they were having a holiday party on Saturday night. He is such a good dog and if there weren't two little girls who would have missed him terribly I would have smuggled him out in my suitcase!


December 23, 2014

Christmas To Do List...

Watch Elf, Love Actually, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, The Santa Clause, Four Christmases, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dr Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Serendipity, Christmas with the Kranks. Any others that I NEED to watch?

Finish wrapping all my presents (and help my Mama with hers).  I used to love wrapping so always volunteered myself to do my Mama's so now I help out every year with hers. She usually has to do a lot of it too since I leave everything until the last minute

Prepare a Mexican feast for Christmas Eve Mexican and Margaritas. My brother and SIL will be at her Mom's for supper on Christmas Eve so I still might move this to NYE - have to decide ASAP

Wine and craft with my SIL. We were supposed to do this on Saturday but since I spent ALL DAY baking we decided to move it to Monday/Tuesday of this week. THEN she ended up with the flu yesterday (or morning sickness? Sorry, Kels - had to! haha) so this may be post poned until after Christmas 

Assemble and deliver baking trays so the temptation is out of my house! Two down, a few more to go. There is so.much.baking!

Write a goodbye letter from Candy Cane and leave a gift for the girls from her. What should she bring them? HELP!

Drink hot chocolate while driving around looking at Christmas lights. I might even get super fancy and try one of those homemade hot chocolate crockpot recipes I've seen floating around Pinterest

Play the Home Alone drinking game. My brother and I played last Christmas and were definitely feeling it the next day. It's not for lightweights!

Play Cards Against Humanity with the family. I just got a couple of expansion packs and two of them are Christmas themed - can't wait to play!

Dress Krickit up in her santa suit and take pictures in front of the tree. Easier said than done. She is terrible at sitting still for pictures. I also need to convince the other two dogs to wear their reindeer ears... Wish me luck!

This was my first attempt. It didn't go so well...

Make Eat More Bars and Poppycock. I didn't get around to them on Saturday and my brother will most likely disown me if I don't make his favourite. And its not Christmas without caramel flavoured popcorn!

Make a Christmas garland. I bought a circle bunch while in Minot at the beginning of December to make my life a lot easier but haven't gotten around to assembling the garland yet

Take family photos with photo props. A la last year's Beaver Cove Cookie Swap. I totally forgot them at home this year and 'the city' is 45 minutes from my home - I was so bummed

Make mimosas Christmas morning. 7 am isn't too early, right?

Listen to Christmas music while wrapping presents. I have a burnt CD of Christmas music (that I listen to all year round...) with all my favourites on it

Wear my 'Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal' sweater while opening presents Christmas morning. Paired with my new AE flannel pj pants it will be perfection

Make cookies for Santa and reindeer food for his reindeer. The girls LOVE 'helping' with baking but I am completley OCD when it comes to baking so I never let them help (I'm a horrible auntie). I don't like anyone else even being near the Kitchen when I'm baking. SO I bought those Pilsbury reindeer cookies that you just open the package and put on a baking tray and that's what the girls are going to 'help' me make for Santa

It's a long list (and I'm sure I'm even missing a few things!) but I am super excited to get it all finished. This girls LOVES Christmas!

December 22, 2014

Cookie Swap 2014...

This past weekend was a complete whirlwind. Yesterday was Beaver Cove's 3rd Annual Cookie Swap in 'the city'. I spent ALL DAY Saturday doing up most of my Christmas baking for family, friends, and the cookie swap. On Saturday alone I made:

4 doz. Monster Cookies

1 1/2 doz. Rolo Pretzel Delights

4 1/2 doz Pretzel Kisses

3 doz. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 doz. Cookies & Cream Cookies

2 batches Muddy Buddies (otherwise known as Puppy Chow)

3 doz. Reese's Oatmeal Cookies 

3 doz. Peanut Butter Blossoms

3 doz. Whipped Shortbread M & M cookies

2 batches Shreddie Snack Mix

2 batches Chex Mix

I still have a few things to make but I need to clear up some counter space first and deliver some baking trays to friends of the family. Everyone thinks I'm crazy for going all out with my Christmas baking but I absolutely LOVE doing it - it just wouldn't be Christmas without it - and with my new Kitchen Aid mixer (that I got for a steal of a deal on Amazon on Black Friday!) I swear my time was cut in half from last year. I got way more accomplished in one day this year than I ever have!

We were missing two Beaver Cove members at this years Cookie Swap - the Twin was at her Mom's family Christmas in the states and Amanda moved back to Nunavut in July :( We were able to Facetime with Amanda (I LOVE technology!) and that made us less sad that she wasn't around for this years festivities.  The whipped shortbread (that I added M & M's too because YOLO) is Amanda's mom's recipe so it was almost like she had contributed to the swap this year!

The goodies that I came home with. There is seriously no Kitchen counter space left right now!

Another successful Beave Cove Town Council Cookie Swap is in the books.  Thank you Nikki for hosting at your new place!

December 17, 2014

Santa Baby...

Santa, if you're reading this,  after you've saved all the animals and used your magic powers to make Amy and Tina my BFF's,  then I'd also love the following:

Christmas Time

Whitney English day designer, Kate Spade stapler, sparkle ball earrings & necklace, Lululemon scarf, Project Life core kit, Ugg Australia boots, white desk, Starbucks t-shirt 

Whitney English Day Designer: Then I'd finally be a real blogger, right?!

Kate Spade stapler: Kerri introduced me to this one and I absolutely NEED it!

Hillberg and Berk sparkle ball earrings & necklace in rose gold: The ladies behind this company are from Saskatchewan and appeared on Dragons Den (like Shark Tank in the US) and I LOVE all the sparkle ball pieces. O-town is lucky enough that our local boutique carries the line

 Lululemon scarf: I'm a Lululemon and blanket scarf addict so of course this made it on my list

Project Life core kit: I'm only three years behind on my Project Life albums and I keep telling myself that if I had a new album and core kit that I would start off 2015 right and stay on top of things

UGG Australia boots: short, and in chocolate brown thankyouverymuch. The exact same ones I got for Christmas in 2008 and have now worn out :(

White desk: I also keep telling myself that if I had a designated blogging space that I would make the time each day to write. Also, the desk is from Target which is my happy place 

Starbucks t-shirt: To really proclaim my love

Realistically, these items are most likely going to be worked into my budget over the next few months. Don't tell the tiny humans, but Santa hasn't stopped at my house in almost fifteen years. And no, its not because I always make the naughty list!

What's on your list to 'Santa'?