Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hooray for the Holidays

My husband and I have never spent a Christmas together.  When we first met, we agreed that until we had kids, we would each go home for the holidays.  I know it sounds strange to some people – the holidays are about being with the one you love right?

True.  But I look at is as I am so fortunate to be with my husband all year round that being apart this one time of the year is not such a biggie.  Especially when I know how much it means to both our families to have us there.

Well this year – things changed.  I was so thrilled when my in-laws and sister-in-law decided to come to Montreal for Christmas – thankful not only to spend my first Christmas with my new husband but excited for both of our families to be together.  I hope your holiday were as good as mine – filled with family, friends, lots of laughs, delicious food and altogether, great memories.

(picture taken Christmas morning - the snow was beautiful)
Everyone has gone home now.  I would be sad except that in less than a week, we will see them all again when we head to Florida for a little vacation.  For now - I can just relax.

After making Chocolate Candy Cookies from the other day, I decided to try something a little healthier today – granola bars (from

  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened

  • 1/2 cup honey

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Hoping you all get some time to relax this week.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Family Stoned

I cannot believe I’m saying this… but it’s FRIDAY! Again! But not just any Friday, because tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Yay yayayayayayayayayayayay! I am so excited for tomorrow it’s crazy. I am feeling a bit better today, though still congested, but I did manage to get ALL my wrapping done last night and am super relieved to be able to cross it off my to do list. I sat down with a nice cup of tea, and one of my favorite holiday movies: The Family Stone. It may not be a traditional Christmas movie, but if you ever feel overwhelmed by your family, watch it and you’ll feel better… I promise. I love SJP in this movie. She is so good at being awkward and cold. I spend half of the movie cringing for her; secondhand embarrassment at its best. I laugh, I cry… I love it.

I came into work today and not only is it a short day, but its dead around here. I took NyQuill to sleep, and therefor had to take DayQuill to be able to function, and now I feel like my head is under water. I hope this cold is gone by the weekend, because I would hate to 'miss' this Christmas doped up on the 'quill. This may be happening though:


I have also compiled a list of VERY last minute gift ideas; just in case you forgot anyone. All of them are around $50 and are sure to please.

Bag and dress both from TopShop for the Bay and are around $50. Perfect for a Holiday party or for work. I have seen the bag in person and it's good quality and matches pretty much anything.

I love a good quilted jacket and this one, also from TopShop for the Bay, is younger than most. Perfect in the fall or on a rainy spring day. It is on sale from $90 to $40. The necklace is from Banana Republic and is $50. It would be great paired with a plain dress or even just to dress up a white t-shirt with jeans and a blazer.

Though I'm useless when it comes to makeup... both my sister K and sister in law K love makeup and sister in law K used to work as a makeup artist. This Nars gift set is so nice and comes with the perfect combination of must haves. For $39 at Sephora, it's the perfect gift set for a friend. The Lavanilla gift set is lovely. It has a soft touch of vanilla without being overwhelming and the scent actually stays on your skin. $48 at Sephore.

With the dry air this winter, everyone needs a good hair product. Bumble and Bumble quench will give your hair the perfect amount of moisture without making it greasy. This gift set is $35 and is worth every penny. And for that man in your life there is the Ralph Lauren Polo Scent Gift set. With 4 amazing smells to choose from, he'll never get bored. The bottles are small but at only $45 it's worth it.

I'll be back with a Christmas Eve post tomorrow!
With Love,


Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Four more days...

I have been doing tons of baking lately for my mom, my grandma, for D’s party but I haven’t made anything for my poor husband.  I usually bake for him two-three times a week but for the past few weeks, he has gotten nothing except to watch me walk out the door with the baked goods.

So today, I let him choose something – pound cake.  I was a little hesitant because I wanted to make something festive, but I found a way…

I always use Betty Crocker's recipie:

 2 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

5 eggs

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

My sister and I were decorating my grandparent’s tree the other night and we always have so much fun doing it.  My grandmother has kept all of our old decorations (unlike my mom who caved a few years back and decided to get actual store bought ones).  My sister and I crack ourselves up laughing  at the decorations she has collected over the years from us - many of which you can hardly tell what they are supposed to be.  My grandma insists that they are beautiful..I guess that’s what grandma’s are supposed to do.  Here is my favorite, made by S.  It is an angel (obviously).

Happy Wednesday.


Moves Like Jagger

Good morning everyone! Only FOUR days until Christmas. Still can’t believe it… but I guess I better start believing!  I’m still not feeling well but, please hold your applause until the end, I pushed myself last night and got the majority of my wrapping done in one shot! I have a few small things left to wrap, but all the big things have been wrapped, bowed, and tagged and I’m thrilled. Now I just have a few little things left to buy, but I hope to not be in the stores at all this weekend. Christmas Eve day on a Saturday = good news for the malls, and bad news for shoppers. Now I just have to get myself up and running and I’ll be ready to partay! T’s husband B’s family will be joining our family for Christmas this year, which means K will be here and I can’t wait to see her. After seeing her so frequently during wedding prep, it seems like FOREVER since I last saw her and I can’t wait for all us sisters to open up a bottle (or two) of Champagne and cheers to the Holidays.

Ok... B can come too :)

Since I’ve been sick the past few days, I haven’t done much and therefore don’t have any pictures to share. Instead, I have chosen to post a link for a video that makes me laugh every time I watch it. It’s a scene from ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, and hands down my favorite part of the movie. Sometimes around the holidays, when T & I have had a few drinks, we like to imitate their dance moves, especially little red-headed girl’s sweet straight-arm strut. You may need to watch it a couple times to be able to catch everything going on. Man, I wish I could dance like these kids. Enjoy!

Happy Wednesday and Happy 4 days until Christmas!

With love,


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


That's FIVE days till CHRISTMAS!!!!

I am trying to write this blog post but keep getting distracted by the Christmas music that is playing in the background…I can’t focus.

Christmas music is now off…

With less than a week left, it is starting to look feel a lot like Christmas around here.  There is a serious lack of snow in Montreal (and across the country) and although it definitely feels weird, my schedule has been filled with holiday festivities resulting in some serious holiday spirit.

Saturday night B and I attended a holiday party with many of our close friends.  It was wonderful to get together and as always, there were lots of laughs, great good and drinks.


Sunday night we went to our church for an annual carol service.  I first started going to this service with my mom a number of years ago and since then, others have joined each year.  We now go as a family including my grandparents, husband and sisters's boyfriends.  After the service, we all head out to dinner.  I look forward to this every year.

I got in past nine tonight after some extended holiday shopping with my husband.  We decided to make one of my favorite  This is the recipe that I use for the dough (so simple and easy):

1 package active-dry yeast
1-1/2 cups very warm water

4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil

Have a lovely evening everyone and I will be back tomorrow for more holiday posting....

Kisses, T

under the weather

Good morning everyone! I hope all is well and that everyone is ready for Christmas… especially since it is now only 5 days away! I honestly can’t believe it. I cannot believe that, in 6 days Christmas will have come and gone. Maybe it’s the lack of snow, or maybe it’s because I’ve been so busy, but for some reason this year it seems a little surreal. I better accept it though, because I’ve got tons of wrapping that needs to get done by Saturday! The reason I haven’t finished it is that I’m sick L I have a bad cold and it has really been slowing me down. I need to get some rest though because I absolutely need to shake this by Friday. I think I got sick because I overdid it this weekend. Despite me saying I wouldn’t, I tried to squeeze too much into those 2 days and now I’m paying for it. I’m sure T will post more thoroughly about our weekend, because she has all the pictures, but I’ll give you a brief rundown:

Friday night my mom had 12 women over for a full sit down dinner. Since we don’t like my mom to be stuck in the kitchen, K does all the cooking, T & I serve and make sure that everyone has drinks and anything they may need, and my dad does the cleaning and supervising. We have done this for the past few years and have almost mastered it completely. Despite a little kitchen almost-fire incident, the night went very smoothly and I am sure that all of my mom’s friends had a great time. Saturday T & I did some Christmas shopping before having some visits. We then had a friends Christmas party, which was amazing and absolutely perfect. I only got home close to 2 AM however and T and I had to present an offer early the next morning. We got through it though and I had enough time to do some wrapping, shower, and make it to the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ service at our church. It was beautiful and really put me in the Christmas mood (though I still couldn’t believe we were in church for a Christmas service). From there, E and I zipped to his brother’s house to do a Christmas dinner with him and his family. They will be away for Christmas, so we gave the babies their gifts and enjoyed a delicious dinner together. All in all, it was a great weekend. Unfortunately, I woke up yesterday feeling like death. My throat is so scratchy and I have a terrible dry cough. I am going to do my best to get rid of it by Friday, so for now I’ve put away my party dresses and there is a whole lot of this going on.


With love,


Friday, December 16, 2011

This Is Why I'm Broke

It’s Friday. It’s Friday. It’s Friday. It’s Friday. It’s Friday….. It’s FRIDAY! As usual, I am so excited that it is Friday. But it’s not just any Friday; it’s ‘less than ten days before Christmas’ Friday, it’s ‘my mom’s big girls Christmas dinner party’ Friday, it’s ‘office Christmas lunch party’ Friday, AND it’s ‘one of my best friends who I’ve known since we were 3 25th birthday’ Friday. Phew… Hope I didn’t forget anything :)

After work yesterday, E and I went to get the last little things for his nieces and nephews in Italy. His brother will be going home for the Holidays and will pack them and take them for us, giving us a little more time than if they had to go in the mail. Those got wrapped last night, despite my laziness. With Christmas just over a week away, I am finally almost done the rest of my Christmas shopping as well. Though I love being in the stores on Christmas Eve Day, my love is limited to the years when my Christmas shopping is done, wrapped, and under the tree, and I’m just browsing; making sure I didn’t miss out on the perfect gift for anyone. Yes, when it’s you shopping it sucks. The stores are packed, the lines are long, and the salespeople are sick and tired of it all. BUT if you’re all done, you can wander the stores and finally take in the decorations, the babies sitting on Santa, and all the other stuff you missed out on while on a mission to get everything on your list crossed off.  Well, for those of you who aren’t as ahead of the game as I am, a friend of mine sent me a link to this amazing website full of gift ideas appropriately named They have everything from the ‘OMG I have to have that’ to the ‘Who in their right mind would buy that?’. I could literally spend hours browsing through all the crazy things that people have come up with. Here are a few of my favorites:


Price tag: $130,000. Admit it, this would be awesome! Imagine being at the beach and seeing someone with one of these? You would be MAD jealous. I feel like I would crash into that cliff of rocks, but I'm sure they provide proper training when you purchase this... right?

 Price tag: $55,000. Though I never did get the whole 'tron' thing, I do get why this is cool. I mean, I'm not a fan of motorcycles, but I think I would feel pretty damn cool riding this one. Also, compared the the water jet pack I feel like this is a better bang-for-your-buck. More 'practical' when compared to the other ridiculously impractical items.

 Price tag: $660.20. Again, pretty good bang-for-your-buck. I also love the caption they have below it reading 'no bachelor pad would be complete without this coffee table aquarium' as if this should be every guy's big move when he's trying to bring a girl home from a club: "Hey, wanna come back to my place? I've got a coffee table that doubles as an aquarium... and if you're good, I might even let you feed my fish ;)" CREEPY

Price tag: $299.95. Now, this one is pretty funny. I get it, it's a sleeping bag that makes it look like the shark is eating you ha ha.. ha. But, for $300, I don't think it's worth the money. I guess if you have someone who really likes practical jokes.. but it's a pretty expensive practical joke.

Price tag: $8.34. Now this one, I totally get. GLOW IN THE DARK BUBBLES! As a kid, I would have been alllll over these. I love(d) bubbles, and I think having glow in the dark bubbles wouldn't have made me the coolest kid on the block.

Price tag: $28.95. Just what every girl needs: a creepy fake man to sleep with at night. If you're single and you have one of these, then you'll probably want to count on being single for a while. Also, if a guy ever does come over, please hide it or he'll think you're a stage 5 clinger and will be gone faster than you can say 'oh, that thing... my friend's bought it for me as a joke.. ha ... ha'.

Honorable Mentions:

Square ice cream scoop, should be on every ice cream lover's must-have list... but probably isn't. People might find it cool (excuse the pun) for a minute, but it would then sit in your utensil drawyer with other gimmicks such as the slap chop and the easy cracker.

And who doesn't want to smell like Play Doh? Spray this on and you'll have every pre-schooler on the block chasing you down.

"Go the F**k To Sleep' .. the perfect gift for every mother of a 2 year old.

Jelly fish aquarium. K, I kind of want one.

So, if you have someone in your life who simply COULD NOT live without a $130,000 water jet-pack… well now they don’t have to. Look around, I promise you’ll get a few laughs.

With love,


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fashion Love

It’s FINALLY Thursday afternoon, which means we are that much closer to the end of the work day and that much closer to FRIDAY!!! In honor of this Thursday afternoon, I have decided to do a second blog post. And not just any blog post… but a fashion post, which are my favorite kind of posts. This isn’t a fashion post of things I own, per se, but rather a fashion post of things I saw on the internet and wished I had. Enjoy!

Now, some of these things may seem a bit odd for me to post in a winter fashion post... BUT, if any of you visit any shopping websites you will know that most of them have a winter vacation section featuring everything from bikinis to sunglasses. So, even though I stay in the cold weather at Christmas, I love the heat and never miss a chance to look at some pool beach fashions. I love this bag as a beach bag, it's easy peasy and low maintenance but the pop of color screams sun. The dress is such a perfect cut, material and color combo and just looking at it I can smell the salt water in the air on a hot night in the Caribbean. As for the clutch and the bow rings, I just thought they were cute and would go perfectly with the dress for a night out.  Finally, I'm a sucker for navy and most people who know me know I am, so this bikini drew me in and I want it! All styles from

For anyone who hasn't tried Deborah Lippmann nail polish, you're definitely missing out! With colors like ruby red slippers, bad romance and shake your groove thang they are just as fun as their names. You can wear them alone, but putting them as a top coat literally gives depth to your nails. I swear, the first time I put bad romance over a dark purple, I thought I was looking at the sky on a starry night. They are a bit pricier than normal nairpolishes, so you may want to add it to your Christmas list!

Now for the shoes! I love these Brian Atwood heels for one reason: They are the perfect holiday shoe without being over the top or in your face. Though we all know I love sparkles, it's way too much to wear a sparkly dress with sparkly shoes... even for me. But these, with the combination of gold and silver.. perfection. Then come the classic black pump. I have a similar style to these Miu Miu heels, but they are closed toe and I would love to get a peep toe version like these.

And these... I know they may seem too loud, but paired with a dark pair of jeans, white tee, black blazer and big bag.. Love. I thought I was over the whole 'pointy toe' thing, but this point is very subtle. It is classy, but a little wild making them perfect for the office. Shoes from Aldo.

Now for the more 'weather appropriate' styles. Both of these are from Top Shop for the bay. I don't know if I could actually pull off a faux fur wrap/scarf, but I love this one. It looks like soft faux fur, not the matted shiny fake looking stuff you sometimes see at cheaper stores and though the color is a little light for my jacket, I really like it. , Throw on a cute LBD, a pair of black tights, a blazer and grab that leopard clutch and voila! Perfect New Years Eve outfit without being predictable.

So that is all for my Fashion Post for today... I will be back with another one tomorrow or Saturday as I try and find some Christmas Eve/Christmas Day outfits.



Holiday Sweets

I am ashamed to say that there are only a few cookie remaining from all the batches that we made last week.  Here my mom and I thought that we had got our baking done and now, there is hardly anything around.

Since my mom is hosting a dinner party tomorrow night for 10 of her 'golf ladies' and we are expecting 17 or so for Christmas this year, we needed to get back in the kitchen!

I don't know how my mom reads her recipie cards but I guess after 25+ years of making the same favorites, she doesn't quite need directions...just a little guidance as a reminder of what goes into each.  Here are two that I love and just wipped up (they are currently waiting in line for the oven).


Aunt Tracy's Brownies

melt 2 squares unsweetened chocolate with 1/2 cup butter

mix in 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 eggs (beaten) and 1/2 cup flour

bake at 350 for 25 minutes

G-Ma Loise's Nanaimo Bars

Layer 1) melt 1/2 cup butter with 1/4 cup sugar

add 3 tbsp cocoa

add 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs, 1 cup coconut

press into 9*9 pan

Layer 2) In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups icing sugar with 1/4 cup butter, 2 tbsp kovah custard. moisten with a little drop of milk to make icing texture

spread in pan overtop first mixture

Layer 3) melt 4 squares semi-sweet chocolate and spread evenly on  top

Cool & Enjoy (even better frozen!!)


Because It's 5 O'Clock Somwhere

Good Morning everyone! Only 10 days until Christmas!!! Don't worry... I'm not drinking at 9:30 in the morning, but this post is about booze so I felt that to be an appropriate title. I’m feeling the Christmas spirit more than ever today, and not because I've been drinking, but because last night we decorated the tree at my parent’s house.  Despite the unavoidable arguments about which ornaments should go where and how the angel isn’t perfectly straight, we had a great time and there were lots of laughs. Besides, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a few fights :)

One of the two beautiful porcelain Angel's that have been passed down through my mom's side of our family. They sit on the mantle watching over us at Christmas time. Love her little toes :)

After getting home last night from the decorating festivities, E decided he needed to get on making his limoncello. It can take 10+ days to ferment, so he HAD to do it yesterday if he was going to get it done in time for Christmas. Though not everyone likes limoncello, it is a great aperitif to serve when you have guests over and makes a perfect gift… especially when it’s homemade.

 It’s also very easy to make and only requires: 8 lemons, water, sugar, and 750 ml of the strongest alcohol you can find. Because it takes at least ten days to be ready, it is definitely a labor of love and takes patience but let me tell you, it’s worth it! Put it in a decorative glass bottle with a cute label, and voila! It makes a great hostess gift.

The one E made last night won’t be ready until Christmas Ever (perfect timing) but, lucky for me, we had some in the freezer that was ready. Cheers!

With Love,


And even though I don't hate my job, a funny video to cheer you up on this Thursday morning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What You're Not Festive?

Good morning everyone and happy 11 days until Christmas! The weather continues to be unseasonably warm here in the MTL and so it doesn’t look like we will be having a white Christmas this year. I don’t want to complain, because we could be standing in two feet of snow instead of carrying umbrellas, but there is something magical about snow around the holidays and I kind of miss it. Though we don’t have any snow here, there was a dusting on the ground and trees on our drive to Ontario and it was beautiful.

 I know I promised a Christmas post yesterday afternoon, but I was so busy and I also thought T’s post was really amazing and didn’t need to be overshadowed by an over the top Christmas post… so here it is now.

I freakin’ love the Holidays. I love the music, the decorations and yes, even the stress. I know that sounds odd, but the stress is part of what makes it so special for me. Partially because it is more excitement that stress, but also because I’m a procrastinator and probably wouldn’t get it all done if I didn’t have such a tight deadline. Something else I LOVE LOVE LOVE is how much effort the stores put in to making such beautiful Holiday displays. I’m sure someone in marketing would give me a whole spiel on how the stores do it to suck you in and make you buy more and blah blah blah. Well guess what? It does suck me in, and it may make me buy more (subconsciously) but I love it nonetheless. I love to picture that scene from Elf where Buddy is anticipating a visit from Santa and spends the entire night turning the department store’s toy section into the most beautiful winter wonderland. Well, the Bay may not have elves, but heck… I think they made a darn good winter wonderland.

Monday, on our way back from being away, T and I decided to do some power shopping and boy did I shop! For some reason, I got a burst of inspiration and managed to cross a few people off my list all in one store. I couldn’t believe how everything just seemed to fall into place; every store had the size I needed, I got the last pair of shoes in the color I wanted, and there was even a sale on a gadget I wanted to buy. Everything just fell in line and I got a lot done. I can’t, however, say the same for my wrapping. I am slacking on my wrapping. Last night, over a glass of red wine and some blaring Christmas music, I forced myself to sit down and wrap. The pile of gifts in my room was piling up and I would stare and it every night and sweat. I knew I had to tackle it… I just kept saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. Well, last night was tomorrow. I said to myself “Just do five. Five is a small number, it won’t take you long”. I ended up doing eight! And they were pretty well done too. I’m no Martha Stewart, but I’m pretty darn proud of the wrapping I did last. Eight down, Fifty to go :) 

In case you thought my Christmas excitement couldn’t get any crazier, it can, because tonight my sisters and I will be decorating the Christmas tree at my parents house.  It’s one of my favorite nights of the year, could even be tied with Christmas Eve. I love listening to the music while the three of us dance around putting ornaments on the tree and the guys look at us like we’ve lost it… and maybe we have… but I don’t care! I’m pumped to decorate and will do a post about the tree tomorrow. I’m sure my sisters are just as excited as I am, but I hope they aren’t feeling the stress… with 18 people coming this year for Christmas dinner, the heat is on! But we’ve being doing this for years, I’m sure we’ll handle it like pros. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The past couple of years have been a rough ride for me and my family.  We lost of couple of family members and a few others were diagnosed with cancer.  After a relatively flawless 20+ years of my life, it felt like everything bad was happening at once and just when I’d think ‘what more could go wrong’…something did. 

Though there were many feelings of fear, loss and heartache, life continues on and that helped to distract me.  Often, when things quiet down or I take a break, I reflect on the events of the past few years and I am faced with the emotions.  This weekend we went to pay our final respects to my aunt.  With her, we also laid to rest my uncle who we lost a little while back.  The service was beautiful and I felt comfort and closure.

While away, I had the chance to go on some nice walks.  I love the calm and relaxation I feel when out in the country.  I’d like to share a couple pictures I took along with a list of quote’s from Andy Rooney that I really like (a forward that many of you have probably received but I think we can all benefit from reading them every so often.)

I've learned.... That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I've learned.... That when you're in love, it shows.

I've learned.... That just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day.

I've learned.... That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I've learned.... That being kind is more important than being right.

I've learned.... That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I've learned.... That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way.

I've learned.... That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I've learned.... That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I've learned.... That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I've learned.... That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I've learned.... That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for.

I've learned.... That money doesn't buy class.

I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I've learned.... That under everyone's hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I've learned.... That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I 've learned.... That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I've learned.... That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I've learned.... That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I've learned.... That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I've learned.... That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I've learned... That life is tough, but I'm tougher.

I've learned.... That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I've learned.... That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I've learned.... That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I've learned.... That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I've learned..... That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I've learned..... That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you're hooked for life.

I've learned.... That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.

I've learned.... That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.