There is something wonderfully personal about giving someone a book you’ve handpicked for them. So, this Christmas, with the help of Value Village, I selected some pre-loved books to give as gifts to my loved ones. Here are a few I chose which may help inspire you in your search…
Snow and a hankering for hot chocolate go hand-in-hand. So, yesterday while we enjoyed looking out at the winter wonderland outside, Frankie and I made hot chocolate with candy-cane marshmallows. Thank goodness my mom was over because making anything with a toddler is always a bit bonkers.
*Not pictured: our chocolate covered hands, faces, hair, and walls and Frankie’s fountain of toddler tears from only being allowed one marshmallow.
We dunked the marshmallows into semi-sweet chocolate melted in the microwave, dipped them into candy canes that I had crushed using our coffee grinder (mental note: I need a food processor), and put them on parchment-lined trays to dry. We made our hot chocolate to taste using roughly a 1:2 ratio of cocoa to sugar, mixed with a bit of cold milk, then topped up with hot milk. We stored leftover marshmallows in the freezer for when we have another hankering for hot chocolate, which will probably be later today, and every subsequent day until the marshmallows are gone.
This past summer, I hosted my sister’s bachelorette with her best friend. There was lots to do and it was great organizing the big day alongside someone. After a few calls and many texts, the day’s plans were decided: start at my house for snacks, bubbles, and games; load ourselves into a party bus and head to the Deighton Cup; before dinner, and finally dancing at the classic Roxy Nightclub.
After planning this epic day, I realized there were four key parts that helped make the day go smoothly…
Some reads for the long weekend…
Loved reading about co-living and the idea of making neighbourhoods within buildings themselves.
Like a lot of people I’ve been obsessed with Stranger Things, so that means I was totally interested in seeing Eleven with long hair.
Speaking of Netflix, here’s all that’s coming soon.
Mmm, Bento Box snacks. Such a great idea.
I’m guilty of always letting my phone’s battery die completely. Apparently, it should never go below 50%!
These homes with green grass roofs are magical.
Some healthy habits and tips to keep in mind.
This short documentary about gender is on my watch list.
The rain is setting in and I’d love this to keep me covered.
(vintage tea pot from Etsy found here)
While my oldest sister was visiting this summer she whipped up the most amazing ladies’ tea for a few family friends. She’s always been quite the entertainer, so I wasn’t surprised by how beautifully it turned out. I was amazed, however, at how quick and easy she made it look to put on such a spread. She says that living in London for the past ten years has definitely helped her master the art of the afternoon tea. Here are a few of her tips…
Maria’s Basics for a Successful Tea
To enjoy a proper afternoon tea you have to enjoy the finer things in life and a little old world charm. Seems obvious when you are cutting crusts off of 12 cucumber sandwiches. You want your guests to sit down and not think. The sugar is within reach, so are the lemon slices. When coming up with a guest list try to think of who will be happy to simply sit around and enjoy each other’s company.
Summer usually flies by, but this year I feel it going by even faster than usual. I think this is because of my quickly approaching due date. Here are a few things I want to make sure I get a chance to do before the rains of the fall and excitement and storms of the newborn stage begin.
- Go for ice cream and a warm evening stroll. I’m partial to Earnest.
- Visit a fair. Like most years, I plan to make it to the PNE.
- Take a loooong midday nap.
- Dine al fresco and try making a watermelon salad.
- Take a trip to the beach and collect some driftwood so that I can make this on a future indoor day.
(How incredible is this summer salad my brand new brother-in-law made? He’s a keeper.)
It’s been radio silence on here for over a month as I’ve been enjoying both hectic and slow summer days. I’ve been soaking up as much excitement and relaxation as I can while celebrating my sister’s wedding, going on some local trips, and preparing for baby number 2. Here are a few of my snapshots from this quickly fading summer.