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In a flurry of sparkly torn up wrapping paper, indulgent foods that left a bit too much on our waistlines, and, in my case, a snowy white mountain of balled-up tissues, Christmas has come and gone. I spent my holiday attempting to survive. The flu had hit me hard and I spent most of last week medicating myself and sleeping.

There were moments that I felt a bit more energetic, so I would use it to bake cookies, wrap presents, clean up, make dinner – and then collapse on the couch, shivering in a feverish haze, and falling asleep by 8 pm.

But besides my failing health, we had a wonderful Christmas. The kids were spoiled, as usual, with loads of new Lego, teddy bears, and tons of trains to add to their collection. We had a delicious homemade fondue dinner for Christmas Eve, with smoked sausages, pretzel buns, and those tiny pickles my daughter loves, and for Christmas we went out to have a turkey dinner at a restaurant in Whistler.

Now that I’m feeling better, if not 100% healthy then at least 90% better than last week, I’m slowly getting back into the groove of things. I have some exciting news to share in the next couple of weeks, but for now I’m busying myself with the business of organizing, purging, and getting ready for the New Year. Ta for now!

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Our Christmas tree this year has been very much influenced by the nature around us. Looking out the window, we’re surrounding by trees, streams, mountains, and the ocean. Our home is a blank slate, and while I love its’ minimalist feel, I definitely wanted to add a bit of warmth and naturalness to our faux Christmas tree.

Last year’s tree was full of glitz and glam – I added a hint of blue to my usual black and white tree, but the colour scheme didn’t seem to fit the feel I was going for. All the black and blue ornaments are gone this year, and all the silver ribbons have been replaced by twine and burlap! Our silver star has even been replaced by a rustic rattan-wrapped star. View Post

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Mornings always have the tendency to get wild and hectic, especially when something “important” is happening that day! As Christmas approaches, there seems to be more and more “important” things happening, and we seem to spend our mornings shouting at each other to ‘hurry up!’ as we rush out the door just in time to miss the bus! I can’t be the only one to have mornings like this! (Above: Sorel slippers & Mug from Chapters)

I’ve been reading an amazing book on getting my life together and applying time management skills along with gratitude, in order to have a happier ME with a simpler life – don’t worry, next week I’ll be telling you all about this must-have book. But this book has made me take a look at the problem areas in my life, things that make me stress out, things that don’t go smoothly, and see where I’m going wrong and how to fix them.

What makes a good morning? The ideal morning would have me in a cozy robe and warm slippers, sipping a delicious tea in my favourite mug. Lunches for school and daycare are ready in the fridge, made the night before, and the kids wake up on time and in good spirits, ready for a simple breakfast that they would actually eat!

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Gizmo from the movie Gremlins via What Culture

Gizmo from the movie Gremlins via What Culture

Some Sunday nights we plop our family down in front of the television and watch a movie. Complete with dark chocolate drizzled sea salt popcorn and orange Jones soda pop in the glass bottles, we decided to watch Gremlins. Apparently, it’s a Christmas movie that even beat out Home Alone on this site’s list of top 50 holiday movies.

Neither I nor my husband could fully remember this movie, though both of us had watched it sometime in our childhoods, and remembered that it had a cute Gremlin and some scary ones. So, we had ourselves a family movie night, complete with a scary 80’s movie that made our kids laugh, giggle, roar, cover their eyes, and then cry at bedtime because they were terrified of the red-eyed creatures that might pop out in the dark.

Of course, our two-year old was sound asleep by 8:30 pm, but our eight-year old had decided to sleep with the lights on and come out of her room every ten minutes to use the bathroom, or get a drink, or simply cry that she couldn’t sleep. My heart was breaking because I, too, was a scaredy cat growing up and was scared of movies like E.T. and couldn’t sleep without being scared for years!

It was almost 10 pm, so I pulled her out of the room so we could watch an episode of Bob’s Burgers, our favourite cartoon, just so it could take her mind off of cute furry creatures who multiply with water to terrorize the world. Next time, we’ll just stick to Home Alone 1 & 2 for our movie nights. Merry Christmas to us all, indeed.

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…

The days and weeks leading up to Christmas are full of anticipation and excitement. Our family watches holiday movies with extra large cups of hot chocolate, we listen to Christmas music and make our own ornaments for the tree! The Christmas shopping is all done and ready to be wrapped up in pretty silver and gold paper, and I finally sat down to write out the Christmas cards today!

I’m really taking the time to slow down, and truly enjoy the Christmas season this year. I feel like I have this year’s Christmas somewhat under control – or rather, I don’t feel overwhelmed by the prospect of all things merry this year. It hasn’t always been this way though! Perfectionism and anxiety would make me pore over every single detail, and used to paralyze me with a constant feeling of dread – I would overspend, stress myself out, and really take the joy out of the holiday.

What’s changed this year? I’ve done more planning for Christmas, but I’ve also learned to let go when things don’t exactly go my way. That is HARD, especially for me, a Type A, Perfectionist. What else has helped? The 12 Days to a Stress Free Christmas  from Ruth Soukup at Living Well Spending LessView Post

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Imagine this: It’s a Saturday in December and the mall is bustling with holiday shoppers. You have a shopping list that’s about a mile long, but thankfully, your husband and kids are there to help (right…!). The parking lot is jam packed, but instead of searching for that lone parking spot in a sea of vehicles, you simply drive up to the mall’s entrance and use the complimentary valet service to park your vehicle.

You stop at the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique to drop off your family’s coats, and your Christmas shopping begins! A sweater for grandpa, candles for your sister, and a few teacher’s gifts later, you quickly acquire a few handfuls of shopping bags. The hubby looks bored and the kids start to whine – it’s time for a break at the RBC Avion VIP lounge!

While the gift’s are being wrapped by the Avion professionals, the Café provides you and your hubby with a quick and complimentary caffeine pick-me-up, and a couple of marshmallow-topped hot chocolates for the kids. Your husband finds a comfy spot to watch the game on a flat screen tv, while the kids are occupied with holiday-themed books and a borrowed iPad. You decide to do some secret shopping for the family, and ask the concierge for some quick tips on where to find the last few items on your list.

The shopping is done and you indulge in a chocolate chip shortbread cookie, while the gift wrapping service finishes up the last few presents. Think this scenario is too good to be true? Not with the RBC Avion Holiday Boutique! View Post

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When I first started the #moms30for30 challenge, I was super pumped and excited to suddenly be devoting some time to myself and to my own style. My style… what happened to it, I wonder?  I realized that every photo of me at almost every community event consisted of wearing tights and a tunic (easy, simple, chic… right?), but now that the little one is older (and going to daycare!), I need to step up my “me game”.

If you’re just catching up, the Moms 30 for 30 Challenge consists of choosing 30 items in your closet and wearing them all month long, mixing them up with each other and accessories to create new looks and actually wear your wardrobe! I signed up because I wasn’t wearing my wardrobe or giving any real thought to my style – but the first 9 days have already taught me a few things. View Post

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