Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Challenge- Catch up!

*** Warning this might be a Christmas overload post, be prepared ***
So, with such a busy weekend my intentions of participating in Aly and Molly's 12 days of Christmas did not happen! However, I am rested, refreshed and ready to continue!

Day 5: Favorite Christmas move/T.V specials

I have to admit, I don't watch that many Christmas specials on T.V. When it comes to movies I only really watch them if they are playing on T.V or when I am wrapping Christmas presents.

There are a few that are a must every year though

1. White Christmas
2. The Grinch
3. The Family Stone

Day 6: Gift Ideas...FOR ME!

I really hate asking for things. I know it makes it easier for people but I find it hard to think of things that I want. I gave Ryan a break this year and made him a list.

1. New work out clothes
2. Yoga mat
3. New cookie sheets
4. Anything fabric or craft related
5. New board game
6. Socks

Isn't it funny how you use to HATE getting socks for Christmas and now it's actually something that you really want?

Day 7: Christmas Craft/DIY

I am a becoming someone who loves to make things for around the house. I would love to show you the neat Christmas craft from this year but I don't want to ruin the surprise!

This year I have been getting together with some friends to do a monthly craft together. This month (Christmas) Sharon (Hi Sharon!) and Josee (Hi Josee!) were hosting a make your own Christmas centrepiece/wreath.

The participants instructions were to bring pruning shears, gloves and a floral foam.

Sharon had collected all of the foliage for the craft from around her in-laws farm. It all smelt soooo good!

The instructions were pretty simple, just start sticking in branches.

After the foam was full of foliage we add some decorations, pine cones, ribbon, etc.

Sharon (Hi Sharon!) also helped me make a wreath and I am in love with it !!

I can't wait to make another one next year! It is so simple and cost effective if you live around a spot where you can find the foliage.

Day 8: Least favorite thing about Christmas

This may see weird but I really hate finding Christmas cards that DON'T say "Holidays". I am a proud Christian and celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. Therefore, to express that I like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

I have no issues with other people who do not have the same beliefs as I do and prefer "Holiday" cards but I want to exercise my right to say Christmas, and it is very difficult now to find cards that say "Merry Christmas"

Other then that, I can't of anything I don't like about Christmas.
Day 9: Favorite Christmas Recipe

I love everything about Christmas but especially the turkey dinner. There is something about getting together with family for a huge feast, it's the best.

My favorite part of Christmas dinner is the stuffing.

My mom uses "Dalton's Dressing" recipe.
I wish I knew the recipe, I'll have to get her to pass it onto me this year so I can share it with all of you sometime!

Happy Wednesday!



Happy It's Monday!

Yes, you read that title right....I am actually happy that it is Monday! It's not that I didn't have a great weekend. I did, it was a very eventful weekend full of activities, however I never really got any sleep! I am looking forward to being on my normal schedule.

First here is your dare this week:

Dare # 57

Make a list of stuff you still need to get before Christmas. It is less then a month away! Woo hoo!

As I had said above, I had a very eventful weekend. It all started on Friday afternoon when I got to leave work early! Woo hoo!!

I laid down for a while to rest but then was feeling too productive so I decided to run around the house putting stuff away. I quickly got ready for the Christmas party and headed to town.

We had a great Christmas party!! The food was awesome, the gift exchange was super fun with lots of stealing! It was a perfect way to end the busy work season. Now, that it is so quiet at the farm, it really feels like winter is here, and Christmas is around the corner!

Frank with his 10 year plaque.

Saturday morning I woke up early to do some baking and cleaning. Dad came over for breakfast and started to paint my bathroom, I know, I have the BEST dad! Tucker kept getting in his way.....ha ha

Saturday afternoon some amazing ladies came over to do a Christmas craft hosted by Sharon and Josee! The craft turned out great! I made a centre piece and a wreath! (Post to follow)

Later on Saturday afternoon, I went to Ryan's parents to see his aunt, uncle, and cousins who were visiting from North Bay. All the ladies on Ryan's side participated in a Christmas cookie exchange. We all exchanged goodies that evening and I ended up staying for a delicious supper.

It was a good thing I did have that supper because it gave me lots of energy for a busy work night ahead. There were three parties at work that night so I was mixing up drinks for almost 6 hours straight, with no break! It was worth it though because for one of the parties they were selling raffle tickets and I won a prize!! I won a snowmobile rental for a day which Ryan was SUPER excited about. ha ha!

I woke up early Sunday morning and headed to church with my family. As much as I enjoyed church, I probably should have stayed in bed because I suffered for the rest of the afternoon. I was so tired!

I fought through falling asleep and managed to (help) get the lights up on the house and decorations on the inside. (Dare #56 completed)

Later that night Ryan and I had friends, Evan and Josee over for supper. It was great visiting and celebrating their pregnancy! We even got a quick game of Yahtzee in!!

Tucker is a big fan of Evan :-)

I was SO ready for bed last night but I did feel like I got LOTS accomplished over the weekend.

How was your weekend? What did you do?


Friday, November 26, 2010

TGIF & 12 Days of Christmas Challenge Day 4

Happy Friday!! Now that the weekend is here I can't believe it. I'm excited though because tonight is our company Christmas party!! All of the guys (and girls) are looking forward to a fun night of good food and lots of laughs! It is a perfect way to end the busy work season.

It is kind of a perfect day for a Christmas party too because there is snow on the ground. It officially feels like fall is over and winter is here. As much as I hate snow it does give me a "Christmasy" feeling!

Today over at Aly & Molly's 12 Day's of Christmas Challenge we are on Day 4.

Tips/tricks to a budget friendly Holiday season:

As some of you are well aware, I am a budget/frugal freak! I like to be organized and start the planning early.

What do I mean by early?

Well, in July Ryan and I started saving extra morning towards Christmas.

First, we wrote down everyone we had to buy for and how much we wanted to spend on each person.

This gave us an idea of how much money we needed to save in order to get gifts for everyone. By the 1st of November we had all the money saved up needed to get gifts/food/etc.

Even though we started saving in July (yes, I know, I'm crazy) anytime I saw something on sale that I thought would be a perfect gift for someone I would pick it up! That way not only am I done shopping early but I can also stretch the spending budget if something was less expensive then expected.

One thing that I always find to be WAY over priced is Christmas decorations. That is why I usually by any extra decorations AFTER Christmas. It is kind of fun to get to open a new package this year and hang up a new decoration, that I got at 80%...Boo Ya!

Ryan and I used my parents old Christmas lights on the house last year.

Wasn't a big deal, they worked great but it was getting harder and harder to find replacement bulbs. We knew eventually we were going to have to switch to LED lights. The problem, that would be $200.00!!!! No thank you!

A few weeks ago Ryan heard an ad on the radio promoting LED lights. The ad said that for that weekend only, if you brought in your old string of lights you could get replacement LED lights at 50% off! So, we ran down to the city with all our lights and traded them in! Thank you!

Since I didn't get vaccinated last winter for the craft bug, it is still running through my veins. This year I am making a few Christmas gifts which saves a ton of money. Plus, I know a nice homemade gift sometimes means more then an expensive store bought gift they didn't need. (I'd tell you what it is but I know Ry's mom read's my blog and I don't want to ruin the surprise! Hi Bev!!)

So, basically these are my tips/tricks for spending less this Holiday season:

1. Make a list with a set budget!
2. Start saving early!

3. Scan through sale flyer's, radio ads, etc to get the best bang for your buck!

4. Homemade is usually less expensive and meaningful (bonus!)

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day 3

Hello middle of the week...come on weekend! This week seems to be dragging on a bit but I can see the end is in sight!

Today is day 3 of Aly and Molly's 12 day's of Christmas.

Today's topic

Meaningful/Memorable gift(s):

First off I would like to start by saying, I am a very lucky girl. My parents work really hard and I am thankful for everything they have given me in my life. They have really instilled alot of values into me and to me that is the greatest gift I have ever received.

I think my most memorable gift as a child is the years that my parents got my brother and I a trip(s) to Disney. We were so excited, especially the first time we ever went.

I have a couple of really meaningful gifts that come to mind.

1. One year when Dad and I went to Disney I saw this snow globe of Cinderella's castle and fell in love with it.

It was REALLY expensive and even though Dad had offered to get it for me I denied wanting it so that he wouldn't spend all that money. Never thinking anything more of it we went about the rest of the trip. The next winter I was opening a gift at Christmas time and it was the snow globe! I was so excited I started crying. At the bottom Dad had wrote a sweet message to me. I still have it at home and it will always be a symbol to me of my Dad's love.

2. This is not Christmas related at all but it brings tears to my eyes everytime I retell this story.

I was living out is British Columbia for the summer a few years ago. I was not happy and very homesick. I had made the decision to break up with my then boyfriend (of 2 years) and move back home to Quebec. I had felt like a failure. I thought I was going to make it out west and I had thought people would think I was weak for coming home.

I loaded up my Jeep Liberty and hit the road for the long drive across Canada. I would drive 16 hours a day, stop at a motel, sneak my puppy in the room with me (because most said dogs weren't allowed) and then stay up all night with my hand over the dogs mouth to try to get him to stop barking. I would wake up the next day and do it all over again, but with no sleep.

I woke up on the third day and I was broken. I was tired, heart broken, and feeling very depressed. I picked up my stuff and headed out to my Jeep to get ready for another day of driving. Except now, my Jeep was frozen, snow covered and I didn't have a scrapper. I started scraping my car with my finger nails, tears streaming down my face.

Just then a tall, beer bellied, full bearded man walked out of the motel and to his truck that was parked beside me. His truck had been scrapped and running. He looked like he was a sales man, ready to hit the road. Just as I was cleaning the back window I hear this deep man's voice;

"Excuse me Miss? I found these in my truck and thought you might like to have them?" Handing me a pair of gloves.

I was kind of in a daze with teary eyes and I took them from him. He smiled at me, grabbed the side of my arm and with a gentle squeeze told me to take care on the road today.

It may seem really silly, I mean I know it was just a pair of old farm gloves but at that very moment I needed his kindness. It lifted my spirits and I was able to peacefully continue on the road.

I never got that strangers name and I am sure he will never know the impact he had on me that day (and to this day) but I do thank God for that man being there that morning. It really showed me how the smallest gift/act of kindness can have such an impact on a complete stranger.

Note: I still have that meaningful pair of gloves safely stored away in my house.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

12 Days of Christmas- Day 2

Today is day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas blog challenge.
Don't forget to head over to Aly and Molly's blog to participate!

Today's topic:

Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

Being that we don't celebrate Black Friday in Canada (Unless you travel down to visit our southern friends) the only real bargain shopping day is Boxing Day, December 26th. I've heard of many people participating in the craziness of shopping on Boxing day but I have never done so myself.

I am not a huge fan of crowds. In fact, once my parents took me to Ikea to get some new things in College and I ended up in a corner hyperventilating. I felt like I was part of a herd of cattle following each other to the slaughter house. It was awful.

I am a big online shopper! I love finding deals online and not even having to go to a store. It is delivered right to my doorstep.

I am also a big fan of making a list. If you make a list of who you need to buy for and what you think they would like it goes so much better. I work on my list around the 1st week of October for Christmas. That way when I am out in town and I do see something on my list, I can go ahead and cross it off!

What are you're general shopping tips and tricks?


Monday, November 22, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Blog Challenge- Day 1: Traditions

There is not a holiday that I love more then Christmas so when I saw some other blogger friends (Hi Kelly) joining, I thought it would be fun to participate too. Hop over to Aly and Molly's blog to take part!

Day One: Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions would long start before the 25th of December.

It has been a family tradition to listen to Wayne Rodstad's, Christmas In The Valley, cassette tape. In fact, Ryan and I listened to it last year while putting up the Christmas tree in my house.

It is "illegal" in our house to turn on the Christmas lights before the first Sunday of advent. We would usually put them up in November and then my brother and I would fight over who would turn them on for the first time! We would all then walk down the road to see the lights at a distance, with lots of "Ohh's and Aw's".

Christmas Eve as kids was very special. You would get in your best clothes for Christmas Eve church service. It has to be one of the fondest memories I have at Christmas. The candles glowing at the end of service and Rolly on the acoustic guitar playing/singing Silent Night. Heavenly.

After the service we would head back home where mom would prepare the nicest snack foods for us to nibble on. We would head to the basement, where the Christmas tree was, and get to open one present before bed. Before bed, Dad would read us "Twas' A Night Before Christmas" from the same worn out book of past years.

Christmas morning was MADDENING! My brother and I would have our stockings ready to be opened on Mom and Dad's bed and they would be downstairs getting coffee. I remember one year waiting an hour with my stocking full of wrapped gifts, waiting for them!! It drove both Jared (brother) and I crazy!! ha ha! Once my parents FINALLY got upstairs we would open stocking gifts one at a time, starting with the youngest, Me!

Once stockings were opened we would all head downstairs. Dad had to be the first one to go down the stairs and he would tease us about how many presents were down there. Finally, Jared and I could run down to see all the loot! It was so exciting! We would then open one gift at a time again, saving a big gift for the very end!

We have this really cute way of doing name tags that we have continue on into adulthood. The idea is to give a little hint at what the gift was without giving it away. For example:

Socks: To: Lindsay

With Love: Frosty The Snowman

Cook Book: To: Mom

With Love: Betty

Christmas dinners would happen on boxing day with the expended families.

Now, traditions are totally up in the air! I still love Christmas but they are certainly not as magical as when I was a kid. I am looking forward to the day when I have my own traditions with my own family. Ryan and I are kind of at an in between stage where we don't know what to do. I guess more traditions are to come!


Dare #56

Happy Monday! I am kind of glad to see Monday come actually. As much fun as I had this weekend I can't wait for weekends to come because they are all so full of fun Christmas activities! Yay!

First, here is your dare this week:

Dare #56

Put up your Christmas lights before it gets too cold!

Ryan and I had a little adventure this weekend! We both took Friday off of work (woo hoo, long weekend) and loaded up the Jeep to head for my old University town of Guelph!

I have a lot of really fond memories from my years at Guelph. I am constantly telling Ryan stories. I was excited to finally go back to Guelph for a visit and show Ryan all the places I always talk about.

The drive down was very smooth. We always love our road trips. We have so much to talk about. You resolve/talk about everything because what else are you going to do in those 6 hours?

When we finally got to Guelph and checked into our hotel room we were both pretty beat. So, in true "us" fashion we took a nap! (I can just hear you now Stacy, ha ha!)

Waking up refreshed we got ready for supper at an old favorite, Shakespeare's Arm. A cool little pub that also happened to be walking distance from our hotel.

We had a couple of drinks and awesome pub food while listening to the live band. It was great!

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early to get ready for our day ahead. First stop, Royal Distributing, a store that sells everything snowmobile/four wheeler/dirt bike related. Ryan was in heaven!! He was seriously a kid in a candy store! We got some new gear for the upcoming snowmobile season, now we are ready for the first time we get out on the sled!

We headed back to the hotel and took the short walk to the University campus. I showed him where my residence was in first year, the campus pub, where my classes were, the famous cannon, and the book store where we each got new Guelph shirts.

We then headed to the University arena where I would spend many a lunch times. The arena was so close to where my classes were and they have a great sports lounge with amazing food. Gryphon's sports lounge is where I first had deep fried pickles! Yum! I couldn't be in Guelph and not order some!

Ryan and I then headed down to the mall to finish up our Christmas shopping. The mall was full of people getting their shopping done too! It was crazy!

We unloaded all of bags into the hotel room, get refreshed and headed out for supper.

One of my old professors had a family restaurant, The Greek Garden. He took our whole class there once for supper. It has such great food and is a fun atmosphere. Ryan was a little skeptical, thinking he wouldn't like anything. I assured him that I made sure there were things on the menu that he would like.

It takes a lot for Ryan to love food! Well, he LOVED everything. From the Saganaki (Greek cheese they set on fire), the Caesar salads with homemade dressing and chicken AL pesto. I had to keep telling him to slow down because he was devouring everything at lightning speed. He then declared, "I'd come back to Guelph just for the food."

With bellies full of food and being tired from a day of walking we decided on doing something rather then going out to a bar.

A 6 pack of beer, bed and a good hockey game (where leafs lost unfortunately). A great way to spend a Saturday night in my mind!

It was great drive home, perfect weather and a impromptu stop in Belleville for lunch and visit with Ryan's Uncle "Fabio" and Savannah! We got home, beat and spend the rest of the day doing absolutely nothing! Sad to leave...
It really was a great weekend relaxing, visiting and lots of story telling!

I can't wait for my next trip back to Guelph!

How was your weekend?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Craft Night With Lovely Ladies

As I mentioned on Monday, on Friday I had some crafty friends over to get our creative juices flowing, and make something useful! This was our second craft night of the year and so far so good! I love just sitting around chatting, catching up, and making something pretty at the same time.

It was my month to show off a craft and felt as though it was a little too early to have a Christmas craft. I decided instead on a fun jewelry craft that you can either give to someone else or keep for yourself.

Here is all of our supplies:

- Washers (from a home hardware store)
- Modge Podge
- Scrapbook paper
- Diamond Glaze (love this stuff!)
- Black jewelry string
- Silver jewelry claps
- 1/8 inch alphabet stamps
- Hammer
- Black Sharpie marker
- Beads
- Metal wire for twisting on smaller beads

The first necklace we started on was a washer that needed time to dry.

Necklace #1:

1. Take washer of choice and cut out a small piece of scrapbook paper. Trace the washer on the back side of the paper and cut it out. You will probably need to do some trimming afterwards.

2. Glue it in place by applying a small amount of modge podge to the washer and then on the top of the scrapbook paper.

3. After modge podge has slightly dried apply Diamond glaze starting with outlining the washer and then filling it in. This allows for less spillage!

Note: See this pretty lady...This is Jo! I love Jo, she's awesome and she announced to us on Friday that she is going to be a Mommy!!! CONGRATS EVAN AND JOSEE! XO

4. Once the diamond glaze has hardened (this was by the end of the evening after the second necklace) loop your jewelry string to the washer and attach claps in place.

5. Enjoy!

Trust me this project is so simple and has a really pretty result!

Necklace #2:

1. Take washer to a firm surface. Decide what you want to spell and take the first letter and place it on your washer. Hammer it really hard. You will probably notice the first one you did not do hard enough. That is o.k just place it back and hammer it again.

2. Continue until all the letters are complete. Most of the girls did their daughters name and a couple of them did semtimental statments.

3. Take your sharpie marker and trace the letters. Wipe off quickly with a damp piece of paper towel. The black sinks into the letter and shows off the word better.

4. Attach sting and claps and wear it proudly!

Both necklaces we all completed in about 1 1/2 (including drying time for the first one which took a bit of time). This of course is with a lot of breaks for chatting! They are really simple to make but fun to complete. Who knew a plain hardware store washer could become something so fashionable? Either way, good craft or bad, I love meeting up with the ladies for a great evening!

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dare #55 and Monday's Suck!

I would like to apologize in advance. For the next two weeks there will never be a point that I won't say that I am not busy because well I'M STINKIN' busy! It is nice though to have a blog to reflect on and take a small break from life's hectic-ness.

No matter how stressful the work week gets I know that I can make the most of the weekends, and I intend to, and have been!

Dare # 55

Tell me about your favorite family Christmas tradition.

Mine is going to Christmas eve service, coming home to yummy snacks, opening one Christmas present (usually from Grandma) and then Dad reading, "Twas the Night Before Christmas" before heading to bed. Great times.

Friday night I got home pretty late from work but got right down to business making supper and getting the house set up for my upcoming craft night with some close girlfriends! We had a great time making the craft and chatting! Sometimes I just think it is so amazing that we all never run out of things to talk about...haha!

The craft was super successful and can't wait to share it with you later.

Saturday morning I woke up early to get ready for the day. It was my Dad's birthday on Saturday and I made him this card in the morning.

Afterwards, Ryan and I met my parents and took them out for a birthday lunch at St.Hubert's, a restaurant that specializes in rotisserie chicken, yum!

After stuffing our faces Ryan and I took my parents for Dad's second birthday stop. The War Museum. I know what your thinking..."Wow, how exciting (in a sarcastic tone) spending the day looking at war stuff." But seriously it was awesome. Since the new museum opened in Ottawa none of us had seen it. My dad is a HUGE war buff so he was so surprised and excited! See....

We spend the next three hours walking around the museum and only got half way through it. We're totally those annoying, slow people who have to read every sign in the museum, don't hate! :-)

We were all ready to go home for a relaxing evening. Ryan was going to the hunt camp and I was heading into a slow evening at work.

Sunday morning was church and then another trip to the city. Last week, Ryan heard an advertisement on the radio. It said, this past weekend only, if you brought your old (energy sucking) Christmas lights into Home Depot they would give you your new LED Christmas lights at 50% off! SWEET! We handed in 10 strings of old lights and got brand new, energy efficient lights, ready to be hung! Woo Hoo! Great Deal!

We the hopped over to Lonestar for some yummy Fajitas for lunch! Mmm...

Sunday afternoon we put on the movie, The Good Sheppard, starting Matt Damon.

There were some really good actors in the film but it lacked some direction. It just left you with a disappointed feeling a the end of the movie, would not recommend.

Overall, it really was a great weekend full of activity, visiting and rest....perfect in my books!

How was your weekend?


Have you ever heard of Kelly (Hi Kelly!) from Keeping up with kelly & co. Kelly's blog is one of the first ones that I ever followed. Since then I've really enjoyed reading her blog, not to mention she is awesome and a total sweetheart! She is having her very first giveaway. So, I would recommend that you check out her blog and the great giveaway that she is having!!


Friday, November 12, 2010


Happy Friday everyone! I am so happy to see the sllllooooow week come to an end. Seriously, is it just me or did it drag on forever?

If you know me, then you would know that I hate snow. Seriously, I am all in favor of a GREEN Christmas! Santa's sleigh can just use wheels if it was up to me!

I hate being cold, which is most of the time even without snow. I hate shoveling, I hate cleaning snow off of my car, I hate snow. In fact, I'm not even that big of a fan of winter in general.

With all that said there is a part of me that is secretly hoping that Jack Frost will make his appearance soon because I'm tired!! Our work here at the farm is seasonal. So, as soon as winter has hit the hours become better and the work load is a lot less crazy! I guess that is my love hate relationship with snow! But shh....Don't tell my Dad I said that. I think he would seriously shoot me if I said I wanted it to snow. ha ha!

I am so looking forward to the weekend. Tonight I am having some lovely ladies (HI GIRLS!) over for a craft night. I can't wait to show you next week what we made!

It is taking every effort I can to not do any Christmas decorating yet. I am like a little kid when it comes to Christmas! I just love it!

In fact, I am actually almost done Christmas shopping. I would say I'm 90% done! Woo hoo! But I got to get my little craft butt in gear and start finishing some homemade gifts! Which, again I can't wait to show you either!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday and a relaxing weekend!