Tuesday, 12 December 2017

$20 Sock Present

My friends and I did this last year where we filled a pair of socks up with some presents (in total it should all cost about $20) and have a white elephant type gift exchange. This year I thought of this an entire year in advance. I figured if I was left with a couple of extra pairs of Christmas socks they would be easily gifted elsewhere. Because of this I got 2 pairs of Christmas socks for about $3 which left me with about $17 to fill the socks with. I had also purchased nearly a year ago (or maybe it was 6 months ago during the summer) during Bath and Body Works semi annual clearance a bath bomb. I've never actually used one before but I was thinking of a specific friend in this group that would REALLY love it... so I got it on the chance that others would also appreciate it. Anyways, at this point I was at about $12 left to spend. I had something that I had bought that could possibly work with this group a year ago but it was too big to fit in a sock (so I'm using that at another $10 gift exchange instead). Then I remembered that I had seen these cute cactus things at Chapters about half a year ago on clearance. The odds were likely not in my favor that they would have any left in the city but then as it turned out they had a bunch of them at the location closest to me... still for the same clearance price unfortunately (shouldn't it have been even cheaper by this point?) and then for the last piece to finish filling up those socks was to buy an actual real cactus (in case the fake one wasn't up someones alley). John and I had a bunch of leftover plastic pots from our wedding favours so I used one of those to put it in a better looking pot.

It wasn't easy this year considering the restrictions that were placed on what we could put inside of the socks. No chocolates (and I had a BUNCH of Lindt chocolates that could have gone inside from our advent calendar). no chapstick. No tea and no coffee... and those are only the restrictions that I could remember. So, I think I did alright all things considering.

I was pretty close to choosing a yellow topped cactus but then I saw this one lonely red looking one and thought that better matched the season.

Luckily, socks are stretchy and will be able to accommodate the larger items... I'll just need to put a tag with a warning on it to roll the sock down instead of just grabbing things out of it so that the cactus stays intact.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The Basement

When people walk into our basement their comments are usually about our carpet, the brick wall, the stove, and the brick arch (we usually have to point out the lovely carpeted bathroom though). We don't have much of a plan for the basement yet... we know the carpet could be of a bit better quality and a less busy look (likely something a little lighter too to help brighten up the basement). We aren't a fan of the brick wall (or the "stage" below it). In fact, the plan is to get rid of that wood burning stove to hopefully make the basement feel a bit bigger. Not sure what the plan is for the bricks though. Originally we thought we would get rid of them then it was recommended to us that we paint them white and keep them (probably a simpler solution but not sure how the bricks are going to look once we get rid of the "stage"... and we are definitely getting rid of that stage!).

The brick wall in all its glory!
So the stove is sitting on what people are deciding is our basement "stage". If you look closely you'll notice that it even has 2 lights pointed at it for "stage lighting".... perfect for concerts, plays, or saying important things while standing on.

Doors from left to right: bathroom, storage, laundry/furnace

A corner perfect for a drum set!

Friday, 1 December 2017

Advent Calendars

How do you even know when Christmas is without an advent calendar to help you count down the days? 

Over the past few years John and I have done a few different versions of these

One year we got the cheap $1 ones (we each needed our own of course so that was actually $2 and the chocolates are hardly worth that price). I also made this advent calendar one year where I counted down to Christmas with reading a bible verse (or 2) every day.

Last year I bought us a Lindt advent calendar right before December so it was discounted... but even then... you're stuck with so many white ones that aren't that good)

This year though I made us this advent calendar

I went to the local Lindt store and got 26 different flavours of their truffles to fill in the slots with (there are 2 in each - one for each of us). I had been collecting toilet paper rolls since the summer (at least!) and I even moved all of those toilet paper rolls from the condo to the new house when we moved. Right before I made this advent calendar I debated on switching it all for something that might look a little more attractive but I don't know... I don't think it looks all that bad. Does it? At the very least we know it will taste delicious! And, there are no plain white truffles inside this advent calendar!

I already have an idea for what I want to do next year... something just has to go on an extreme sale at the end of this Christmas season first so that I can justify purchasing it.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Every year I start setting up Christmas stuff after November 11th. We've already had our Thanksgiving here in Canada a month ago by this point so why not?

Here's a little look at what our place is starting to look like set up for Christmas...

Our Christmas tree has always looked the same... always red and gold. I think because for a long time all I had was red ornaments that an old roommate passed on to me.

Here's a look at our tree from a couple of years ago (I'm sure it looks very similar!)

I'm not sure if you've spied the track set up around the tree... and the one lonely house that is lite up (there are a few more on the other side of the tree near the back too) but John has a lot more room in the new house to spread out his train set this year. 

Did you know that sometimes Michaels (the craft store) offers free classes where they supply the bulk of the supplies? Because they do. I went to one in the fall with my mom and sisters to make a floral pumpkin design (all we had to do was purchase the pumpkin) and returned to make a wreath a couple of weeks ago (all we had to do was buy the wreath base - it was on sale for $8 when I bought it plus I have a teachers discount so it was even less than that!). I wish they would have supplied something red for the wreath but apparently their theme was "gold" or something. I didn't look at the cost of all the things I added on to the wreath but I'm sure it all adds up fairly quickly and I could likely sell this $8 wreath for $50 now (so if you are interested in my wreath I'll give you, my readers, a discount and you'll only pay $45... or you can just watch for the next class at Michaels and maybe you can make your own (but you might have to wait for next year for that).

Would you believe me if I told you the pink was John's idea? Because it was! Well originally he had said red but we already have red on the tree and who says all the different things in the house have to match?!? The flowers were a couple of extra ones from the wreath decorating class I took that I found another use for.