So December has arrived and there are only 20 days left until the big day! Instead of becoming overwhelmed with tasks on your to do list I have some tips to share on how I like to stay organized and calm during this busy month.
*Make a list & check it twice with everyone you need to buy or make a gift for. Don’t be left running around trying to find a gift for that certain somebody who you happened to forget about or wasn’t sure what to get. Plan it out before!
*Draft up a meal plan so you can limit your trips to the store. Ensure it is flexible in case guests pop in (always great to have extra in the freezer!). Having extra meals in the freezer means you can spend longer time playing in the snow with the kids and dinner just needs to be reheated!
*Create lists of what groceries you will need from at least Christmas to New Years. The last place you want to be the days between these two holidays is the store. Check out what you have planned for meals and buy a few extras for unexpected guests and munchies.
*Organize a schedule of where you are to be when and then ensure you have lots of time to get there. You don’t want to feel rushed! Have to visit grandparents, in-laws, aunts, uncles and more? Know where you are going when and remember that it is okay to politely decline invites. Your time is precious. Spend it with your family!
*Block in times just for you and your immediate family. Maybe that’s Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, or an afternoon during the week. Breathe in the quiet moments.
*Baking this year? Make a list of your baking needs & set a baking day/weekend. Purchase everything ahead of time and freeze extras.
*Feeling crafty? Make a list of what crafts you want to tackle and set a craft day or weekend. Set aside enough time (plus a little extra!) to complete the projects. You don’t want to have glitter out all over your home for days or weeks!
*Watch for sales ie food, presents needed, craft supplies, etc. A lot of expenses can occur during the holidays. Create a budget and stick with it!
Most importantly prepare for the unexpected. Unexpected change of plans. Unexpected guests. Unexpected snowstorms! Let the holidays roll in and do what works best for you and your family.
What are some of your tips for preparing for the holidays? Got any to share?!
The end of November has quickly crept up on me and I have been telling people for weeks that I would be completely done my Christmas shopping by December 1st. I am determined to stick to it, or pretty close to it, and only have a few more items to cross off. I love thinking of gift ideas and putting together packages for various people in our lives. Last year we made fun baskets for the grandparents that contained various gifts from photos, tim hortons gift cards, cappuccino, and more! The grandparents are almost done this year and they are getting a wonderful…..oops can’t tell you until Santa arrives as they also read this blog ;)
There are definitely times when I struggle and cannot figure out what to get some of those trickier people on my list. You know that teenager who really doesn’t need another matching hat and mitt set. What they tend to ask for is hard cold cash and then I never know what exactly it will get spent on. Then there are the dance teachers, swim teachers, daycare providers, and the list goes on. Where do you begin in purchasing gifts that they will find useful?
Movie Ticket Packages, gift cards and more! Who doesn’t enjoy watching a great movie while enjoying the ever delicious buttery popcorn from the theatre? mmmmm that popcorn! Empire Theatres is running their fab gift card holiday program again this year. It offers so much! So much in fact I wouldn’t mind if I received it as a gift ;)
When you purchase $30 in Empire Theatres Gift Cards you will receive $30 in Empire Theatre Coupons. You don’t have to just purchase one card in a $30 denomination. You could buy 3 cards at $10 each. If you purchase $60 worth of gift cards then you will receive 2 bundles of coupons!
This steal of a deal only runs until December 24th. But that’s okay because you will be buying your Christmas gifts at least 12 hours before the actual day right? If you are purchasing online the deadline is December 18th to ensure you receive your package(s) in time before HOHO arrives!
Now here is the BIG question. Will you also be gifting your coupon bundles you receive with your gift card purchases or will you keep them for yourself? I think they would make a great stocking stuffer, but I do like that movie popcorn. Wondering what the coupon bundle includes? Well here you go…..
Coupon Bundle includes:
o BOGO Admission (January 9 to January 31, 2012)
o $2.00 off any Combo – excluding Kid’s Pack (January 9 to January 31, 2012)
o $9.99 (Admission, Regular Drink, Small Popcorn) (February 1st to February 29th, 2012)
o Buy a Large Popcorn, get a Large Drink Free (March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
o $6.99 General Admission(March 1st to March 31st, 2012)
o Get $4.00 off a General Admission Ticket(April 1st to April 30th, 2012)
Also Gift Tins are back again this year to be used as a “gift box”. If you are anything like me you hate wrapping presents. I much prefer to put it in a basket, bag or stocking. The only person in this home who always will get wrapped gifts are the kids. Something about watching them tear open the paper with curiosity and amazement. Empire Theatres are selling them for $1.00, plus tax with net proceeds going to Kids Help Phone.
To learn more about Empire Theatres and their Holiday Gift Pack Bundles – check out their site at: http://www.empiretheatres.com/gift
So if you are looking for those hard to buy people, are just leaving it to the last minute and not sure what to get, or would like your teenagers out of the house for an evening of quiet with a book and bottle of wine then add movie theatre tickets to your list :)
Happy Holidays & Happy Shopping. Oh yea, and please don’t ask me on December 1st if I am done my shopping. Give it a few extra days okay? Thanks!
Disclosure – I am participating in the Empire Theatre Gift Card Holiday Campaign by Mom Central Canada. I received compensation for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.
We were up at 3:30a.m. Friday morning to get ready and head to the airport for a 7:30 flight. Why up so early you may ask? You know my post from two weeks ago with our daycare dilemma? Well…..WE FOUND A FAB PLACE! That’s a whole other post in its own and will be coming soon :) So, we had to drop our cheque off to secure our spot immediately and did so on our way to the airport.
Baby D was a superstar through the airport, hanging out in our ergo as we checked in, breezed through security and boarded the plane. Thanks to Sheila Gallant-Hollaran from Vision 2000 for booking our flights. She was amazing to work with and I highly recommend her should you be wishing to travel.
With kamut puffs, cheerios and water bottles he was entertained the first 90 minutes of our 3 hour flight. Oh yea, he did munch on some pizza at 8a.m. too ;) The mess on the floor around us was obviously not what the flight attendant was used to as she made the comment “wow that’s a big mess” half way through our flight. Okay lady, yes you are right. However, would you rather a happy baby or a baby that is upset or disturbing all the other passengers?
Once we arrived in Orlando it was right to pick up the rental car and head to the condo in New Smyrna. This is exactly the kind of beach house you would see in an old movie. Eclectic decor, with a little of that and a little of this, but a fantastic view of the ocean and just a few steps to access the beach. The weather is beautiful, especially after leaving -24 degrees C weather.
Our first day was spent getting unpacked, relaxing and snuggles with the babe. Of course he slept horribly, but doesn’t he always?!
Day 2 started with grocery shopping to stock up for the week and then a fabulous afternoon walking along the beach (by the way my Didymos wrap was wonderful as I had him on my back, front and hip as he preferred to be moved around depending on what there was to look at and how tired he was). The night ended with a later dinner, cooked by moi and my dear hubby. I was in bed absolutely exhausted by 8:30, but have also been full of a cold for the past few days.
Here we are at day 3 already and boy did we shop, shop, shop today! Headed over to the outlets in Orlando (about an hour away) and we made extreme purchases at lululemon, coach, carters, van husens, and much more! We made a trip at lunch time back the car just to relieve ourselves of some of the bags!
I think Dom has decided that life is good when there is sun and the ocean :)
It was tons of fun and I think I may choose other fun filled days to document like this! All the photos were taken on my iPhone as we were here, there and everywhere throughout the day! Here ya go……
7a.m. Ready to go, ripped open the first present from Grandma and he doesn’t want to get off it! Love at first ride :)
8a.m. Loving my new hat while in my Christmas pyjamas
9a.m. oops, missed this one!
10a.m. Heading to SF in the car with daddy driving
11a.m. Showing off my new toy as I play at Grandma and Grandpa’s
12p.m. Time for lunch
1p.m. Time for a rest.
2p.m. Daddy & Dom snuggles
3p.m. Dom’s cousin trying to trick him so she can use his new toy. She is a cutie!
4p.m. Spending time with Great Grandma, or Nanny as she likes to be called.
5p.m. Its time to eat again! Wow, look at that old school high chair!
6p.m. What once was a kids table has turned into another adult table! All us grandkids have grown up. Soon we will need a Great Grandkid table!
7p.m. Time for a little snack aka mommy buffet. Dom’s cousin was sweet and sat there and rubbed his back while he ate!
8p.m. Sleeping on the way home
9p.m. Time to unpack!
With the Holiday Season here you may still be on the look out for fab gifts! Here are 8 items I would recommend and put on my yoga wish list any day.
Gift Card / Class pass – This type of gift is always greatly appreciated for the newbie who wants to give yoga a try to the yoga enthusiast. Don’t worry if you can only purchase a one class drop in. Yoga enthusiasts know the value of a yoga centre drop in fee and any donation to our yoga practice is always appreciated ;) Expect to invest up to $20 for a drop in 90 minute blissful yoga session.
TranquiliT Cardi Shawl (http://www.tranquilit.com/tops/cardishawl.html) – This piece of clothing is a staple in my wardrobe and I am hoping to get a new one this Christmas as I have worn mine out! TranquiliT sells beautiful clothing that is ever so soft! I have a few other pieces of their collection and have always worn them to the max!
The Happiest Tree (http://www.leeandlow.com/books/59/hc/the_happiest_tree_a_yoga_story) – This book is read every session in my preschool classes. Read and learn about Meena as she uses yoga to help her get ready for an upcoming class play she is struggling with.
Shanti the Yogi dvd (http://www.spiritvoyage.com/yoga/Shanti-the-Yogi—Mountain-Adventure-DVD/Snatam-Kaur/DVD-002410.aspx) – I am a true believer that if we are going to teach kids yoga it needs to be lead by experienced and knowledgeable yoga teachers who shine while teaching children. Snatam Kaur does just this. With her beautiful grace and presence this dvd is a great way to introduce yoga to your children at home.
MC Yogi- Mantras and worldly insight all done to a great beat! My older kids always ask for “Be The Change”( http://mcyogi.com/lyrics/be-the-change/) a powerful song about Ghandi. With a hip beat the Sun Salutations fly and the kids stay smiling!
Lululemon Everywhere Bag (http://shop.lululemon.com/The_Everywear_Gym_BagPU/pd/c/620/np/620/p/2791.html) I have used my lululemon bag as a diaper bag, travel bag, purse, fitness classes and much more! There are always a variety of colours but after 5 years of use my black one still has tons of life left! Black coloured bags won’t look dirty, stained or worn over time with use.
Yoga Mat (http://www.manduka.com/catalog/categories/products/mats/) Everyone needs a mat to practice on, it’s a place where you celebrate your personal practice. For kids colour can be fun, especially a different colour for each child in your family to ensure everybody has their own place and space to practice.
Capital Yoga Publishing Applications (http://www.capitalyogapublishing.com/index.php) – CYP is the fantastic work of Ottawa yoga teacher, Jamine Ackert. Check out CYP great yoga apps but respected yoga teachers. Having the privilege of studying with Jamine at past yoga teacher trainings I am excited to see her classes now available to the world.
*Please note that I was not compensated in any way for the mentioning of any above services or products. They are all my personal opinion.
The days are going by at top speed and Christmas is fast approaching. Do you still have a few gifts to buy and are not sure what to get? Here are a few of my easy peasy gifts for children, families and adults!
1. Family Memberships to Museums (Check out today’s Ottawa Groupon for 1/2 off Science, Agriculture & Aviation museums!)
2. Gift card to Chapters or Amazon. The recipient(s) can make a trip out to browse the shelves of Chapters or use from the comfort of their home!
3. Gift card to iTunes. Let them choose their favourite cd, make a mix playlist of new favourite songs or enjoy some new apps!
4. Magazine Subscription. Kids love getting mail! Why not get them a subscription to Chickadee or Owl magazine? Yoga enthusiast in your life? What about Yoga Journal? Health Nut? Womens Fitness, Best Health or Mens Fitness are great choices.
4. No idea what to get your sister who has everything and 3 busy kids? What about a dinner out to a nice restaurant…..baby-sitting included!
5. One of the best gifts I received when I was pregnant was access to a chef to prepare and cook 20 yummy dishes for us. But really, pregnant or not pregnant, this gift could be used at any time!!
So there you go! 5 easy peasy gifts that hopefully will help you to be on your way to finishing your shopping!
What child doesn’t love to visit Santa before Christmas day? Telling him what they would like for Christmas, sitting on his knee, hearing him speak to you is all part of the Christmas magic.
All smiles while he sat on Santa’s lap for the first time!
Who are you in this red suit?
Thanks for the gift!
Looking for gifts for the 0-1 age this Holiday Season? Look no further, here is 5 great gifts that top our list!
1. Cloud B’s Twilight Sea Turtle – bring a night light into your child’s room that will soothe & cast a starry night on their ceiling. With a timer it will only stay on for the start of your child’s night time routine, bringing comfort.
3. Wee Dreams Wearable Blanket – This sleeping bag type blanket is worn a lot in our home! Keeping babe warm and cozy all night without worrying whether blankets are getting in the way of his sleeping.
5. GroVia Diaper- This is my favourite cloth diaper right now! So trim it fits under all of babes clothes, great absorbancy and never leaks!
What is on your list for babes this year?