Category Archives: Holidays

Last Minute Gift Idea: Pre-Loved Books

IMG_5647.JPGThere 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…

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Snow-Day Hot Chocolate

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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.

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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.

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Kate’s Fall Reads

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Kate’s second instalment of book recommendations are perfect for this spooky season. (Read her first instalment of recommendations here).  

I love the arrival of fall. It means colourful leaves, pumpkin-spiced everything, cozy sweaters, and, hopefully, some rainy afternoons with a good book in hand. With the weather turning and Halloween approaching, I always find my literature choices veer to the darker end of the spectrum. Suspense, thrillers, mysteries; they’re all fair game for me now. Here are some of my all-time favourites to help jump start your fall reading.

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Children’s Fiction

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

While Ray Bradbury is better known for his adult fiction (his works such as Fahrenheit 451 are very popular in English Lit classes) his kid’s books are just as delightful. My particular favourite is The Halloween Tree. The story opens on Halloween, with a band of friends gathering, eager to run amok.  When they discover a member of their group is missing, they must turn to a mysterious stranger for help. Only by travelling through time and space to learn the true meaning of Halloween can the boys hope to save their lost friend. This fabulous book offers a bit of everything; it’s spooky, educational, funny, and emotional and appeals to a wide range of readers. Plus, it’s not that long, making it a perfect family read.

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Thrifty Halloween Decorating

Halloween Mantel

Halloween and thrift-store shopping are two of my favourite things. So, this year, I was excited to decorate my mantel for Halloween with the help of Value Village.

While shopping I found a variety of housewares that I thought would add a spooky feel including a candleholder, dessert stand, vintage books, and old glass bottles.

Halloween Mantel

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Mother’s Day Ideas

Celebrating my mom on Mother’s Day has always been so special to me, and it’s even more so now that I am a mom myself. In honour of this wonderful day, I thought I’d share some easy last minute ideas. Perhaps even as a nudge, nudge, wink, wink to my hubbie should he be planning anything for me.

Greeting card with flowers. Pastel colors. Handmade. Watercolor

As I wrote here for Father’s Day, I’m a big fan of planning three components to days like these. I think it’s nice to give that special someone time for themselves, time with family, and a gesture or keepsake.

Gesture/Keepsake:

Homemade:

Every year I make a homemade card for my mom. I pour my heart out while I’m writing it and often end up in tears as I reflect on how important she is to me. I can’t think of anything more meaningful to give a mom on her special day.

For wee ones, art involving their adorable handprints or footprints is sure to melt the heart and become a treasured belonging.

A special photo with mom from the past year is another nice keepsake and something that can be looked back on each year.

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Store-bought:

As we grow older, we sometimes feel it necessary to show our love with a gift of appreciation. Each year, every mom in my life – my own mother, my mother-in-law, and my adopted grandma say they don’t want a thing, and I know they are telling the truth. But, I find it hard not to give them a special little something, so here are a few gift ideas:

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Terrarium, Ring, Tumblers, Slow Coffee Brewer, Floral Mists.

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Easy Easter Bunny Cake

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Sometimes I find it overwhelming to try and make a cake plus attempt to decorate it in any kind of interesting way. My fine motor skills have never been my strongest suit and yet I’ve always loved the idea of elaborate crafts and baking projects. So after many a google search, I came up with my own “cheating” version of the classic bunny cake.

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