Thursday, December 14, 2017

Our Family's Christmas Eve

Christmas morning has always been particularly special, but for as long as I can remember I have looked forward to Christmas Eve. It is the one night that cannot be replicated because of the meal being served, the people involved and the sheer magic of the evening. 

This post is part of a Maritime Blog Hop celebrating Christmas Eve traditions in our families and our communities that we hold near and dear to our hearts. At the bottom of my post you will find links to the other posts - be sure to hop through to each one.
family christmas traditions
Looking back at old photos made me realize just how special of a night it really is and how much it means to me. I am so thrilled now that I am a mom that we get to add to our family traditions and create new traditions for Little Dude to cherish.

Follow me down memory lane and I'll tell you all about our family's Christmas Eve...
Family Christmas Eve
We have done the same thing every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember and even before I can remember. And, as the oldest grandchild, both Little Dude and I get to share the being the inspiration for traditions that would shape our family for years and years and years to come.
Family Christmas Eve
Being the oldest grandchild for me has always been special. I have a special connection with my grandparents that I can't really explain and although it might sound self-centred I love looking back at these early photos when I was the only little one there.
Family Christmas Eve
Traditions are something we know, something that's in us and for me on Christmas Eve its all about going to Grammy & Papa's house and enjoying my family.
Family Christmas Eve
Welcoming my little brother was so fun (or so I'm told). After-all being the only kid at the party gets old after a few years.
Family Christmas Eve
But the tradition of going to Grammy & Papa's house has always stayed the same no matter if there was a change in the menu, a new addition to the family.
Family Christmas Eve
We do pretty much the same things every year. 
We arrive at Grammy & Papa's house just before dinner to the sweet aroma of seafood casserole. It is very Atlantic Canadian of us, but it is a special meal that we all enjoy only once a year. It is so delicious my mouth is watering just telling you about it.
Family Christmas Eve
We have WAY too many desserts. And the funny thing about it is that every year the big debate is "what will we have for dessert" and through a series of indecisive compulsive worrying that there won't be enough, everyone brings something that makes it that there is an over abundance of desserts every single time. The Doucet's all have a sweet tooth though so really, there can't ever be too many desserts.
Family Christmas Eve
After dinner we open gifts from Grammy & Papa as well as Aunts and Uncles from that side of the family. The gift part is so much fun when there are little kids around... Little Dude is the star of the show now, but a little more than 20 years ago these two little dolls (my sister and cousin who are 6 months apart in age) below were the entertainment!
Family Christmas Eve
After the gifts are opened and the wrapping paper is all cleaned up, we take family pictures. Just the boys with Papa, just the girls with Gram, each individual family and so on and so forth. 
Family Christmas Eve
We always complain about the family pictures (all the kids that is, and Gram, haha) but it's at times like these that it is so special to look back and have the pictures year after year to see how we've grown as a family, as individuals and also to notice all of the additions we've welcomed over the years.
Family Christmas Eve

Family Christmas Eve-GRAM
In 2015 we welcomed Little Dude into our Christmas Eve traditions and started a small one with him.
Family Christmas Eve

Family Christmas Eve
Of course we take a family photo...
Family Christmas Eve
And, of course he leaves milk and cookies for Santa...

We started taking a picture of our toes with our new jammies that Mrs. Claus delivers to us on Christmas Eve. You see, we alternate where we are for Christmas each year so I wanted something that we could do no matter where we are and that we can collect for out little family of three.
Family Christmas EveFamily Christmas Eve
This year, Can't wait to do all of these very same things!

We are adding a "Christmas Light Tour" drive to out itinerary this year and plan to make it an annual tradition with Little Dude. But, most of all the entire Christmas season is about family (and food!). It's about the people you are with no matter what day the calendar says it is, the season of giving and love, the celebration of the birth of baby Jesus and being thankful that we have each other to celebrate with each and every year. 
Family Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve 2015
My Shoes for That: Toronto Maple Leaf Slippers
If you know me, you know I must love my Papa an awful lot to promote Toronto Maple Leafs gear! But as you can see in the picture above, he always has on his latest Toronto Maple Leaf slippers for the Christmas Eve celebrations.
toronto maple leaf slippers

Now that you know exactly what I'll be up to on December 24th - hop on over to see what my fellow Maritime Blogging friends and their families will be doing :) All the links are below.

Monday, December 11, 2017

All The Gift Guides

gift guide

At this time of the holiday season if you haven't started shopping, you need to at least start thinking about it!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Recipe Shorts: Delicious Dishes in 140 Characters

Quick, simple, convenient and delicious.
recipe shorts

I haven't made time to cook a proper meal in quite some time. There are a million excuses I could give you and all of them quite valid... The Mr. and I have been travelling for work, I didn't have time to make a grocery list, frozen lasagnas are just easier, cooking makes such a mess and takes so much time to do well... and the list goes on and on.

{be sure to read to the bottom of this post to enter a super fun giveaway!}

All of these excuses are not only true, they are my reality as a working mom - this is the moment when you nod your head and say "Amen, sister!". 

I know, we are all busy and cooking elaborate meals doesn't top the priority list anymore without something else equally (or even more) important suffering. Like, who has time to whip up homemade parsley pesto linguini after work, before bath and bedtime while still finding 5 minutes to play with that little person running around the house?!

This was all true until about 3 weeks ago...

Monday, November 27, 2017

28 Christmas Cookie Recipes

christmas cookies

Is Christmas really Christmas without Christmas Cookies?!?! It certainly isn't in my family that's for sure. We have certain recipes that we make year after year but every year we always try to incorporate a new one into the mix. At this stage we've tried so many it can be hard to find something new, until now that is!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Family Gift Guide [Under $35]

Family Gift Guide
**This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase one 
of the products linked in this post, I may receive a small commission.**

Every year I find it relatively easy to come up with gift ideas for Little Dude, The Mr. and I, but year after year we are asked by friends and family what they could possibly buy for us that isn't a million dollars. So, I did what any blogger would do... I created this gift guide for my friends and family who are asking for ideas but especially for all of you, my readers, who are looking for ideas for those hard to buy for people in your life. Every single item in the post is under $35 (Canadian) and is something that we would love, and hopefully the people you are shopping for would too!

Here are 5 ideas for each of us, starting off with the Little Dude's list:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Construction Theme Birthday Printables

construction birthday
Does anyone else out there feel like they have to have a pinterest perfect birthday?! I can't help myself. Before pinterest was even a thing I thrived on party planning, decorating and organizing a cleverly crafted event.

But now, with a two year old running around I don't have the time or the energy to start creating my own printables a priority and am so thankful to all of you that have taken the time to do so in order to make the rest of us mamas look amazing when it comes to event hosting!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Great Big Friggin' Red

Name: Great Big Friggin' Red
Country: Canada (Nova Scotia)
Vintage: 2017 (Canada 150 Special)
Price: $21

Why did I decide to try this wine? The name kind of says it all doesn't it? really though, I loved the name and the label, then found out it was a Nova Scotia wine which I also love and last but not least read the back of the bottle which describes the wine as "friendship in a bottle". I couldn't leave the store without at least one bottle to try! I ended up trying this wine the night before Little Dude's 2nd birthday so thought it would be kind of fun to take a picture of it in his decoration toy dump truck.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Accepting Change {Little Dude is 2!}

Everyone always says time flies. They say to cherish every moment because it goes so quickly. One minute you are waking up in the middle of the night for feedings and diaper changes while the next you are checking the oil in their car before they take off to college. 
accepting change

Monday, November 6, 2017

Bloggers of BlogJam Atlantic {let me introduce you}

blogjam halifax
Yesterday I had a great day at BlogJam Atlantic in Halifax, NS. When preparing to attend Blog Jam this year I knew I really wanted to take advantage of meeting other bloggers, learning from them and especially getting to know them. So to hold myself accountable and make sure I did exactly that I decided to make sure I met (and photographed) at least 5 Bloggers and asked them two short questions so we could get a quick snapshot about them. 

I photographed their shoes (you knew I would!) and asked them their favourite something and a would you rather question.

Elayna was the first speaker of the morning and she really set the bar for everyone else. She spoke about writing for one person, being vulnerable and provided excellent tips for the group (as fellow Bloggers) to take advantage of in order to make small changes on our own blogs but see big differences. Elayna was a delight to meet and had on some pretty amazing heels! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Elayna:
Elayna Fernandez (@thepositivemom)
What is your favourite movie? The Lion King
Would you rather eat cake or cookies? Cake!
blogjam halifax


I have been following Jenna and her blog for about a year now and was so happy to finally meet her in person. She is just as lovely "in real life" as she is online... and, her sneakers are absolutely amazing! They are her family tartan... super fun eh?!
Jenna Morton (@pickleplanetmoncton)
What is your favourite toy? Vintage Fisher Price playhouse
Would you rather stay up all night or sleep all day? Stay up all night
blogjam halifax


A few weeks ago I asked you on on twitter what you were drinking for the weekend and an overwhelming number of you answered with "Beer". So this blog is for all of you - pleasure to introduce you to Todd:

Todd Beal (@maritimebeerrpt)
What is your favourite song? Crazy by Patsy Kline
Would you rather have ketchup or mustard? Ketchup
blogjam halifax


This was the first time I met Stephanie in person, but you might remember her from the easter egg hop she and I both participated in a few months ago. Well, she was just as lovely in person as her easter egg transformation was online. Be sure to check out her blog for home decor, some DIY and more:
Stephanie McDougall (@mommyzoid)
What is your favourite holiday? Christmas
Would you rather eat a bug or a worm? A cruchy bug
blogjam halifax

As it turns out, Lori and I both have similar approaches to blogging. We both blog for fun, we both have full time careers outside of blogging and we are both labeled as "creative" people by our peers. One of my all time favourite posts from Lori is about barn quilts. Never heard of a barn quilt?! Find them on her blog and you'll see what I mean!


Lori Byrne (@farmfreshstyle)
What is your favourite animal? A baby lamb
Would you rather live where its hot or cold? Cold
blogjam halifax


Beautiful rooms, home decor and more is what you can expect if you follow Lauren on instagram. I shared her post about her son's bedroom not too long ago and love the idea of a grown up, but still fun space for all of the Little Dude's in our lives. Meet Lauren:
Lauren Hire (@houseofhire)
What is your favourite game? Cranium
Would you rather be able to read minds or be invisible? Read minds (without hesitation!)
blogjam halifax


Last, but certainly not least, I met Brittany who has recently started her blog. Her blog is a behind the scenes look into graphic design... kind of like a modern day Mad Men! The design process has always intrigued me and so I can't wait to see what really goes on behind the scenes.

Brittany Pickrem (@brandingbybrittany)
What is your favourite book?"Built to Sell"
Would you rather give up pizza for a year or tv for a year? TV
blogjam halifax


There were of course, MANY other bloggers with fantastic blogs at the event this year - If you'd like more introductions or have a topic in particular you would like to find a blog about comments below and I will be happy to recommend my fellow bloggers to you.

Have fun checking out all of these bloggers and their blogs!

My shoes for that: The shoes I wore to BlogJam Atlantic 2017
blogjam halifax


Thursday, November 2, 2017

It's Party Time!

It's party time and you're invited!

I am hosting an online Stella & Dot Trunk Show (aka PARTY) on November 8 at 8:30pm ADT (7:30pm EST) and would love it if you could join me! Hopefully all you mamas will have the little ones in bed for the night, but if not just hop in when you can...like some posts and participate to win prizes during the event.

For those who don't know, Stella & Dot sells boutique style jewelry and accessories through in-home and online trunk shows and, here is a fun fact for you... over HALF of the collection is UNDER $60 and 40% of the collection is Versatile (All pieces with a (V) beside them in our catalogue means you can wear it more than one way!) Pretty neat, right?!

I have put together 3 combinations that all reflect my personal style and items that I have on my wishlist to help you get inspired, here they are...

Inspiration Combo #1
Faux fur, pom poms and fun accessories are really what winters were made for! While we will all be hiding under parks for the next few months make sure what is showing is super fun for the whole season.
Stella & Dot Winter Wonders


Inspiration Combo #2
This time of year is always filled with holiday parties, receptions, work functions and family fun! This top is the perfect style to be suitable for any and all of your events, not to mention adding on some accessories to dress it up (or down) as you like! The earrings in particular are worth checking out... they become studs for when you have baby with you and full on statement earrings when baby stays home - fun, right!?
Stella & Dot - black textures





Stella & Dot Black Feather Statement Earrings



Inspiration Combo #3
Last but note least, you all know I travel a lot for my job but also love to travel with the Mr. and Little Dude. Here is my travel chic recommendation all based around the Stella & Dot Getaway Bag. It comes in several prints but I think the elephants are super fun, but still classy.

Travel Chic - Style me brown





Stella & Dot Getaway Bag



If you would like to join the party on November 8 - send me a message on Facebook and I will invite you to the event :)

In the mean-time, the party is open online now so have fun Shopping my party --> ca.stelladot.com/ts/m31oj

My Shoes for That: Charlotte Russe Brown Booties (as shown and linked above)

**This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase one of the products linked in this post, I may receive a small commission.**