Monday, November 21, 2016

12 days of holiday baking roundup (plus a few extra)

a couple christmases ago, i partnered up with a few of my most creative friends to compile a '12 days of baking' series- highlighting 12 of our most favourite holiday baking recipes. many of these are still in heavy rotation at our house, so the thought of recreating the wheel seems totally unnecessary, but i did want to take a moment to once again share these awesome recipes, plus add a couple new gems to the list to keep things interesting.

1- salted butter caramels
2- ginger whoopie pies with cream cheese icing (becky zimmer)
3- whipped shortbread
4- sweet and spicy mixed nuts
5- cocktail crisps (anna palmier)
6- lemon squares (michelle walker)
7- simple cinnamon buns (stephanie nigh)
8- glogg- mulled wine (carina theideke)
9- anne's gingerbread (anne thorburn)
10- almond roca
11- sugar cookies
12- brown sugar shortbread (kristen powell)

plus three more recipes i am eager to try...

1- tartine's salted chocolate rye cookies
2- the kitchen magpie eggnog cookies
3- salted caramel pretzel bars

ps- some (still awesome) gift guides HERE

Sunday, November 13, 2016

christmas in vancouver 2016

photo by alison page | wreath by rogue florist
so, im a bit of a dork, and i spent the better part of an entire saturday going through and finding pretty much every christmas activity around vancouver in december. (my initial intention was to find a few new activities for us to do this year and it all sort of just snowballed...)

the end result is a fairly lengthy list that i figured would be worth sharing with anyone local (and somehow knowing that it might be of use to more people than just me makes the insane amount of time i spent putting it together somehow worthwhile)

hoping you can find something new to enjoy this holiday season. and if you have a favourite activity that i didn't make mention of, please share!

and of course, just keep scrolling if you aren't in vancouver or the thought of christmas in november is giving you hives. ;)

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting | Friday, December 2, 5pm-7pm
Robson Square | Free (Buy a bulb donation to Int. Children’s Festival online)

Toque Craft Fair | December 2 – 4 | Friday 6-10pm, Saturday + Sunday 11am-5pm
Western Front, 303 E 8th Ave | Admission: By donation to Western Front

Aberthau Winter Pottery Sale | Dec 3 from 10am – 4pm 
West Point Grey Community Centre, 4397 W 2nd Ave | Admission: Free  

Santa Claus Parade | Sunday, Dec 4 – 12:00pm
Georgia at Broughton, E on Georgia, S on Howe. Ending Howe + Smithe
FREE – donation (monetary or non perishable) for the food bank.

CP Rail Holiday Train | December 17 - 4:20pm Port Moody | 6:00pm Port Coquitlam
PM - 300 Ioco Road | PC 2125 Kingsway Ave | FREE – Bring Food Donation

A Charlie Brown Christmas | Weekends, November 26 – December 24
The Waterfront Theatre | Adults $35 | Seniors $29 | Kids $18

Vancouver Christmas Market | Nov 26 – Dec 24
Jack Poole Plaza (New Location) | Adults $8 | Seniors $7 | Kids 6 and under Free

Bright Nights Stanley Park Christmas Train | Nov 28- Jan 1 from 3pm-10pm daily
Stanley Park | Adults $12 | Seniors $9 | Child $8

Christmas Fly over Canada | Nov 24- Jan 2 from 10am – 9pm daily
Adults $20.75 | Seniors $17.91 | Child $14.13 (buy tickets online -10% off)

Grouse Mountains Peak of Christmas | Nov 25 – Jan 2
Lights, Snow, Santa’s Workshop, Crafts, Tobogganing, Slay rides and Ice Skating
Family rate $89.95 (2 adults, 2 kids) Adults $43.95 | Seniors $39.95 | Kids $15.95

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens | Dec 1 – Jan 2 from 4:30pm – 9pm
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Adults $15.24 | Seniors $11.43 | Child $8.57

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge |  Nov 24 - Jan 28 (4pm onward)
Adults $39.95 | Seniors $36.95 | Childer $13.95 (kids under 6 are free) - If you are a BC resident, admission provides you with a free annual pass, so you can go back endlessly for the next 12 months.

Collage Collage Family Craft Night | Family Craft Night - Wednesday and Saturdays in December
Make 10 unique handmade ornaments | $50 for one adult and one child

|| FREE ||
(Make a day of it, walk around downtown and do the whole list…)
Robson Square Ice Skating | Dec 1 – Feb 28, 9am-9pm | Free (Skate Rentals $4 Cash only)
Festival of Trees at Four Seasons | Nov 25 – Jan 2 | Free (Donations for BCCHF)
Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency | Dec 4 - 27 | Free (Donations to Make a Wish)
Woodwards Window Display | 999 Canada Place (Dec 16 – 30, 9am - 10pm daily) | Free
St Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope | 1081 Burrard Street (Nov 24 onward) | Free (Donations to St. Paul's)

Carol Ships Parade of Lights | Weekends Dec 2 – 23 
Various times and locations around the city | Free

Friday, November 11, 2016

gratitude tree

by all accounts, it's been a pretty crappy week in the world. like most people, i have found myself wallowing in the aftermath of the us presidential election. terrified for what this new government means for minority groups and already marginalized people in the states. fumbling to find any sense in this senseless outcome. doing my best to hide my feelings of disgust and the deepest anger from my young son while trying my hardest to ensure this disgraceful example is one that is NOT to be tolerated, echoed or glorified. it's a lot.

so today, more than ever, we needed something to distract our focus. a little bit of a light and positivity in an otherwise gloomy moment in time. so finn and i crafted a gratitude tree. we collected a few branches from the yard, and cut some leaf shapes out of white cardstock, and spent time together sipping tea and coming up with lots of things that we have to be grateful for in this lifetime. and as is usually the case with these types of activities, there was A LOT that we have to be grateful for.

and although this little tree doesn't take away any of the the fear or upset, the worry or stress or anger or feelings of complete helplessness, it is a good reminder that in spite of all that, there is still gratitude.