December 24, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 24

If you are not already tracking Santa, you should be.
And, yes, Virginia... there is an app for that.
Ho ho ho!

December 22, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 22

Well, this was pretty awesome.
I was on my way to pick up my fella this afternoon,
and had to pull over to let this horse-drawn wagon pass.
That's not something that you get to say every day.

December 21, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 21

When flour comes along, you must whip it.
When butter comes along, you must whip it.
When sugar comes along, you must whip it.
It's not too late.
I say whip it. Whip it good.

December 20, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 20

Matt Nathanson's cover of The Kinks "Father Christmas".
Click through to the Soundcloud page to download.
Now you can take it with you.
You. Are. Welcome.

December 19, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 19

This. Is. Cool.
Android users can take their phones caroling with this little holiday feature.
Just type "let's go caroling" into the Googles, and a magical, karaoke-esque app opens up.
Then, all you have to do is sing along.

December 18, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 18

There are those who always buy the best gifts and those who need a little help.
If you are in the latter group, have no fear!
My friend Shel has shopped for you and she has the perfect gift for everyone on your list.
Visit her blog for gift ideas, and check back daily. 
There's so much amazing stuff, like the silver pendant (above) from Citrus Silver.
I haven't seen anything on there that I wouldn't want.

December 17, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 17

Homemade Christmas treats.
'nuff said.

December 15, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 15

Fact: you don't need to go away to get away.
Especially during crazy season the holidays, even a night in a nice downtown hotel is enough to recharge the ol' batteries.
After our night at the Fairmont, I think I am ready to face the next two weeks.

December 12, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 12

It's not too late to order custom holiday cards.
Just upload a photo, choose your design, add a greeting, and you're done.
It's really that easy...and it's cheap!
Use the code CHRISTMAS to receive 50% off and free shipping. 
Then just sit back and wait for your cards to arrive.
(Maybe have a cookie or two while you wait.)

December 11, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 11

As far as awesome events go, Help Portrait was right up there as a highlight of the year.
I realized this year that in addition to selfies, the Mascot and I needed to have some real pictures taken.
When I heard about this great project, I knew we had to do it.
Last Saturday, we went down to Aspire Studios and had a fun session 
with the talented and incredibly bubbly Trish Palud.
It was a great deal - for $60, we got three great pictures (including the one above)
and 100% of the proceeds went to Siloam Mission.
According to my calculations, that sixty bucks will provide a hot meal to 20 people.

December 10, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 10

This is my most-favourite magazine in the whole world.
Page after page of drool-worthy bikes and tons of info on active transportation...
and they're Canadian! What's not to love?
If you have someone in your life that lives to ride or rides to live, consider a gift subscription.
Right now, you can get a whole year of Momentum for $12.95 to give to your favourite bikey person.
But, don't worry about me. I sent the link to Santa ages ago.

December 9, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 9

This is the Mascot's advent calendar.
Twenty-four bags of treats strung from a festive little garland.
The bags contain everything from chocolates to lottery tickets to soup.
(It's ok, he doesn't read my blog.)
We had to hang it above the kitcken cupboards this year
because it was too long to go anywhere else.

December 8, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 8

It's horribly addictive.
Don't suffer alone - make a double batch and share.
You can find the recipe on my blog.
I'm sorry.

December 7, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 7

Do you like beer?
Do you like dessert?
Do you like beer that tastes like dessert?
This ale is smooth and chocolatey and vanilla-y and so, so good.
If you are going out tonight and want to try something a little bit different,
I strongly recommend that you try one of these.

December 6, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 6

This song breaks my heart every time I hear it.
I used to think kd lang did the best version, but I think these guys have her beat.
Sorry, kd.
For my dad.

December 5, 2013

Ad Astra 2013

Trust me - the Mascot is in there. Somewhere. 

"Ad Astra" is Grant Park's annual performing arts show, which features hundreds of singing, dancing, acting teenagers, giving their absolute all in front of family and friends. In past years, the show has clocked in at just shy of 13 hours (or, so it would seem.) This year, however, they trimmed the program drastically, split some of the numbers over two nights, and got it down under two hours including a 15 minute intermission. That meant parents got to see more of their own kid and less of everyone else's.

The Mascot was in three out of 10 numbers - a song, a dance, and the finale. You can accuse me of being biased all you want, but I think he was awesome... especially during the ballet piece when he was lifting the girls. I even had one of those "Oh, my big, strong boy!" moments. It was all very, very* awesome.

*The second very is for the Grade 7s, who did "What does the fox say?", complete with strobes, black lights and smoke. So good.

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 5

I love things.
Tiny Feast is a wonderful new shop in the Exchange that sells things. 
It is the place to shop if, like me, you like things.
There is nothing in Tiny Feast that wouldn't make a terrific gift.
Hint, hint.

December 4, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 4

Our tree.
It's funky and sparkly and doubles as a light-source.
Can you spot the sequinned whale?

December 3, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 3

If you are not a fan of this movie, well, you're a cotton headed ninny muggins.

December 2, 2013

Small Business Saturday

It started out like any other Saturday:

"What do you want to do?"
"I dunno... what do you want to do?"

But, it wasn't just another Saturday. It was Small Business Saturday. So, instead of answering back "Um, I dunno...", I said, "Why don't we have lunch in a locally-owned restaurant, shop in small, independant stores, buy cupcakes from our good friend Pam - I hear she's having a sale today - and then maybe have dinner somewhere small, local, independant and neighbourhoody?" (I didn't mention taking a nap, but for us, a nap is usually implied.)

So, we did just that.

Here's my fella after eating a very yummy lunch at Elements at the U of W. Doesn't he look happy? That's because we just finished two huge bowls of hot & sour ramen soup - beef for him, tofu for me.
After lunch, we drove over to the Exchange District to poke around in Toad Hall Toys. I was too excited to snap a picture (ok, ok, I was too busy playing with the hand puppets), but it was every bit as magical as ever. Maybe even more so. I picked up a few little gifty things and then we wandered up the block to Cake-ology for some cupcakes.

In honour of Small Business Saturday, they were having a 2-for-1 sale on cupcakes. It never occurred to either one of us to only buy one, so we each got to pick two - R chose marble with strawberry buttercream and classic red velvet, I picked spice with cinnamon buttercream and banana with nutella buttercream. Not bad for a fiver!

On the way home, I got another brilliant gift idea. We decided to stop in at McNally Robinson. I found what I was looking for before we even made it through the doors, which meant lots of time for perusing magazines before heading home for a cupcake and a nap.

Since we were on a roll with the whole Small Business thing, and no one felt like cooking, we went to one of our favourite neighbourhood pubs, the Grove, for a late dinner. Despite the fact that we were there well past a "normal" dinner hour, the place was hopping and showed no signs of slowing down. Luckily, we were able to get a table within about 10 minutes of arriving.

This salad (apples, blue cheese, candied walnuts) was absolutely delicious and completely cancelled out the cupcakes that we ate before our nap. I'm not going to say anything about the fish and chips that followed it. Not a word.

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 2


Orla Kiely's Holiday Collection for Method 
~ available at Target
I can't even tell you how good the peppermint-vanilla smells. I bought both the dish soap and multi-use spray and they actually make me want to tidy up. It's a Christmas miracle!

December 1, 2013

Twenty-four Days of Awesome - Day 1

Gingerbread and Vanilla Frozen Yogurt
Sliced Almonds, Yogurt Pretzels, Gingerbread Boy Sprinkles
~ Tutti Frutti on Corydon