Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Blogmas Day 25: Merry Christmas!

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. It is finally Christmas day! The best day of the year is here! Today I will be visiting Liam's mom and sister and boyfriend and having lunch with them first, then we will be spending time with my parents and sister and brother-in-law at my parent's home and having dinner. I am so looking forward to going to visit family and share in the special feeling of Christmas. I love our gift opening tradition of giving each other lots of gifts to open and taking turns opening and seeing what we each received.

Our tree on Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you. You have made Christmas more special with your comments, kind words, and visits. I also have had fun visiting your blogs and seeing what you have  been up to this holiday season.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Blogmas Day 24: Merry Christmas Eve and a DIY project

Hello Friends,

I hope you are enjoying the holidays. It is Christmas Eve today and it is another exciting day of the year. I worked this morning from home and then finished work at 1:30 pm which was nice. I then did some last minute Christmas shopping and then started wrapping some gifts. We just finished dinner and then we will start our celebrations soon.  My family have traditions that we have done each year. This year I spent Christmas Eve at our apartment with Liam and we are still going to be exchanging one gift later tonight which is something I did with my parents that I loved each year. Then watching my favourite movie "Its a Wonderful Life" later on with Liam.

Today I finished a very quick and easy DIY project to share with you. I made mason jar winter scenes.

 To make this DIY project you will need craft glue, some small trees, mason jars or plastic jars like I have, and some white plastic snow flakes.You can also add whatever else you would like such as glitter for the snow, figures, animal figures and more.

 I started by gluing the trees down onto the lids of the plastic containers. Then once those were dry I then added more glue onto the base and also onto the tree to add some snow onto the tree. Let it dry then screw the lids back onto the jars and then the project is finished.

Today I was wrapping some of my gifts for Liam and my family. Here are some of them and some that Liam wrapped for me. I still have some to wrap, I might be up a bit late tonight wrapping and preparing! 

 These are the two gifts Liam and I will be opening tonight. The blue bag is mine and the red wrapped box is Liam's. My mom gave me the blue bag because we have a tradition of opening pajamas on Christmas Eve and my mom got me some that I could wear tonight for Christmas.

 I have filled Liam's stocking up with a bunch of things so you can see how weighed down the stocking gets when it is full! Good thing it is not for too long or the stocking might stretch.

Thank you for seeing what I am up to this Christmas Eve! What are you doing on Christmas Eve? I love these traditions as well and look forward to the night before Christmas as well. I will be posting again tomorrow for the final day of blogmas for this year. I know many of  you will be busy as will I, so I wanted to say in case you don't see tomorrow's post in time...

Merry Christmas!

I hope that you enjoy the day with family and friends and enjoy the spirit of giving and sharing wonderful memories together. I have really enjoyed blogmas this year sharing with all of you and reading your comments. Have the best day tomorrow!

Have a great night!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Blogmas Day 23: Wellbeing at Christmas

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I wanted to post today on how to de-stress or take care of mental health around the holidays. It can be stressful with buying gifts for everyone on your list, and some last minute rushing around, baking for holiday parties, and making sure everything is perfect and ready for the holidays. I know I have been feeling some of that holiday stress lately and here are some things that have worked for me and have worked for others along with some tips I have read online.

Photo source

1. Spend time on relaxing activities 

In the flurry of crossing things off our to-do lists and rushing around here to there, it can really work wonders for our mental health and wellbeing if we simply take time out to relax. I have found that just sitting on the couch and putting on a Christmas Hallmark movie and knitting can help me to feel less stressed. Or you can watch any other TV show or movie and kick back or meditate or just read a book. By doing this, it gives us time away from the to-do list and refreshes our spirit and we feel better prepared to go back and tackle the to-dos afterwards.

2. Spend time with loved ones and friends 

It helps this time of the year to spend time with family and friends and share good times and laughter. This helps us to curb the stress and overwhelm of this time of the year. Today I spent time with my Fiance's family and had a great time and this helped me to take a break from my list and things to buy for awhile and to enjoy myself.

3. Get organized

Organizing your space can help to make you feel back in control of your surroundings and of things you need to do and help you to do those things. Woman's Day advises that even organizing the gift wrap box and tidying that up can help you feel like you are in control again. A lot of the time we can feel stressed because our surroundings have become chaotic. I will go and tidy up my git wrap right now...

4.  Get more sleep 

Sleep is so important all year round but will help especially at Christmas or during the holidays when we feel most stressed. Mental Health Foundation advises that at Christmas our sleep patterns can be particularly disturbed at this time of year with parties and other events and we need to take our sleep in consideration.

5. Practice gratitude

It is a great time to slow down and focus on the good things that are happening and what we are grateful for. Network of Wellbeing  suggests to write a list of five things you are grateful for at this time of the year or in your life and then to see how you feel afterwards. I know I usually feel happier and less stressed when I take a moment to write down what I am grateful for. I try to write down three things I am grateful for everyday and this usually helps me to feel more at peace and happy by focusing my attention on things that are going right instead of things that are not.

What are some ways you relax or de-stress during the holidays?

Thank you for visiting my blog for blogmas day 23. Join me again for Christmas Eve tomorrow for blogmas day 24! I will be talking about what I am doing for Christmas Eve and traditions and also sharing a DIY mason jar craft.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Blogmas Day 22: Knitted Santa Gnome Ornament

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  I finished knitting the Santa Gnome Ornament pattern by Red Heart and found on Ravelry. It is such a cute Santa in the end with a long hat. I love how it turned out and it was a fun and fast knit. There is still some time before Christmas to knit one up!

Finished knitted Santa Gnome Ornament

Santa up close

I chose to knit the pattern flat whereas it can also be knitted up in the round. I sewed up the seams after finishing the main body of Santa and the beard and hat trim which are laying to the right of the Santa in the photo below.

The Santa before I sewed the seams and filled with polyester stuffing

Thank you for joining me again for blogmas day 22. There are only 3 more days until Christmas I can't wait! I will be posting everyday for blogmas for three more days. Please join me again tomorrow for a DIY project!

Have a great day

Friday, December 21, 2018

Blogmas Day 21: A Christmas Miracle

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I can't believe that Christmas is only 4 days away now. It is such a special time of the years when we believe in miracles and magic of Christmas. Yesterday our power went out in our area and Liam and I were waiting for the power to come back on. As it got darker we found flashlights and used them to light our way. I needed to go out and Liam had to go somewhere. I stumbled around in the dark and got ready and thought how we take electricity and light it causes for granted. When I got back from going to the gym and then the grocery store with items to bake cookies, all of the lights on our block and the block over were still in darkness. I was thinking that I needed a miracle for the power to come back on so I could bake the cookies in time to bring to work tomorrow and also to share as a blog entry with all of you. As I walked down the street I kept thinking that and taking in the darkness of our street. It looked like a different street to me, so different all in darkness. I anticipated having to go inside and grab the flashlight and thought of how the items I purchased like eggs,milk, and butter would all go bad. Just then the power came back on and the first thing I saw was all the houses being lit up by beautiful Christmas lights.I felt so overcome with joy and relief that I could turn on the lights when I got inside and bake cookies. How many times have I turned on lights with no gratitude or second thought? Now it was a blessing. I think that night I felt like there was a higher power looking out for me and the power came on right at the perfect time.I am grateful that it all worked out the way it did and so grateful that we have had our power ever since.

Photo source
I believe that it was a Christmas miracle last night and it is because of my hoping and wishing that I could witness a miracle. The way it all happened with the lights and power coming back on right as I walked down our street I believe it was.

Have you experienced a Christmas miracle this season?

Thank you for visiting my blog it was so nice to have you stop by. Please join me again for tomorrow's blog post.

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Blogmas Day 20: Baking Peanut Blossom Cookies

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Tonight I  made some Peanut Blossom Cookies to take to work tomorrow. It is the last day that most people will be at work before the holidays, so I wanted to make cookies for the team and give them as a gift. They turned out so delicious! Liam and I tried them and he said they were really good, so they passed the test! I am so happy with how they taste and look. They are a bit crumbly, but I think as they cool down they hold together better. I found the recipe off of a blog called Chocolate with Grace you can find the recipe here.

Some of the cookies packed up to take to work

First the dough is rolled into balls and into sugar

Cookies are topped with Hershey kisses 

The cute tin I bought from Michaels to take the cookies tomorrow

The cookies were so fun to make. I enjoy trying out new cookies and treats at this time of the year. I have a feeling this recipe will be a favourite to have in our home around Christmas as we both love them!  Please join me again for blogmas tomorrow for day 21!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Blogmas Day 19: Looking Back on 2018 and Resolutions for 2019

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This year has been a great year and one of my favorite so far! I found a job I love early in the year, I was maid of honor in my sister's wedding in September, I got engaged last month, and I have felt so happy and stable in life. I feel like this is the feeling I had really wanted for a long time when I was in jobs that weren't right or relationships that weren't right. 2018 has been amazing and I am excited for 2019 that will be even better. 
Photo source


Resolutions I made for 2018 and progress:

1. Get a job
 I have a job that I really enjoy and I am excited for what opportunities might come from working there. I like my team and the work I am doing. 

2. Get in shape and eat healthy  
I am getting in shape and feeling better. But I did not get down to my goal weight this year. I did not really focus on this goal and take it super seriously so next year will be the year for that as my wedding will be coming up soon. I do however feel like I have achieved this goal because I joined a gym this year and have a personal trainer and feel so strong from doing a lot of strength training and being able to lift a lot heavier weights.

3. Read 20 books 
I got to 8 books this year and maybe I will finish a 9th book, so next year I might aim for less than 20 so I can accomplish this goal next year.

4. Knit different projects
I knitted fingerless mitts and a tank top (I still haven't sewn together oops) and some more little holidays plush decorations. I knitted a ribbed scarf in December.  

5. Try cooking new vegetarian and vegan dishes 
I have tried some more recipes from cookbooks I received for various occasions. I tried making a pasta dish from the Oh She Glows book and also a chickpea dish from a sheet pan meal recipe book. I have tried a recipe my sister gave me that is a taco mix that you eat in a taco shell that is really good. I think there are so many recipes to try I could be making so much delicious and new food all the time. 


1. Use less plastic 
I would like to use mesh bags instead of plastic ones, refuse plastic bags unless I really need them, and limit buying food or other items that are wrapped in excess plastic. I bought toilet paper last week that had rolls wrapped in plastic in pairs of twos, is that necessary? I want this to be more of a focus this coming year. I might have a more tangible goal to reach each month such as only take one plastic bag from a store each month so it is an emergency situation otherwise I need to carry things and force me to bring reusable bags wherever I go. I also want to stock up on more totes I can bring with me shopping like the one below and also purchase more environmentally friendly products like the wooden toothbrush. I did but mesh bags to put my produce in instead of using those plastic bags each time I grocery shop.

Photo source 

2. Knit a shawl 
 in 2018 I kept thinking I want to knit a shawl and I never did, this year I would like to find a nice shawl pattern on Ravelry and go for it. 

Photo source

3. Read 15 books 
 As I mentioned above, reading 20 books was a bit of a stretch for me this year and so I brought it down to 15. I kept it higher than what I achieved this year so I could aspire to get to a higher number because I am almost at 10 and it is doable. Then each year I can work my way up to 20, 25,30 etc. I really love to read I just don't take enough time out of my day to read and usually try to squeeze it in right before bed when I am tired. Once I get started reading, I love it and can read for hours. 

Photo source 

4. Complete 12 knitting projects 
I would like to complete a new project each month next year. Most years I probably do get to this number, but some I don't and it would be a fun to have a monthly project to work on and help to set time limits to how long I am working on something.

5. Find and secure a venue for my wedding 
 This is a goal that I have to do because I will be getting married in 2020 and we need to find a venue to have the wedding and make sure we secure a location in order to move ahead with other plans. I am looking forward to really getting into planning the wedding next year. This year has been busy since our late fall engagement with Christmas coming and other things on the go. I am looking forward to slowing down in the new year and taking more time out to plan.

Photo source

6. Get to my goal weight
I would really like to get down to my goal weight this year and really feel ready for this to finally happen again after years of wanting to but not getting there. I am now part of a gym and have a trainer and should really make better use of these resources. This is the year for it to happen before my wedding. I want to feel and look my best for one of the biggest days of my life. 

What are your New Years Resolutions for 2019? 

Thank you for visiting my blog for blogmas day 19. It was fun writing this post and I love sharing my year reflection of the goals I made more this year and looking ahead to the goals I want to focus on for the next year. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Blogmas Day 18: Knitting Santa Ornament and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am continuing to knit the Santa gnome ornament and I will try to have it done for this week in time to enjoy it a bit before Christmas and to show you the finished product. I used the pattern from Ravelry and it is by Red Heart. It has been a fun knit so far and easy to knit up because of it being knitted flat but I am already thinking of the seaming I will have to do later but it is a small piece so it shouldn't been so bad. Currently, I have started knitting Santa's face and used Patons Astra in the color of Apricot for Santa's rosy cheeks. I hope that the white yarn for the beard shows up as a different color in photos when I am finished.  For the bottom of the Santa which is the black yarn in the photo below, it asked to cast on stitches on either side of that black triangle to make up the sides of the Santa. I used a method of casting on by just making loops around the needle or knots instead of the usual long tail cast on method so I knew I would have enough yarn. I hope this helps someone because I was pretty confused at that part when they ask to cast on stitches and then knit and then to cast on more the next round. Also helped me to see an example on Ravelry of how the Santa looks before it is seamed and stuffed and put together so I knew how it is supposed to look.

I am continuing to read The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben, I have only read the introduction so far, that is just how far I have gotten! I want to read more of it before Christmas so I can start reading some other books I might receive as gifts.

Joining Frontier Dreams for Crafting On

Thank you for visiting my blog today for blogmas day 18! I can't believe we are at 18 now it is only 7 days left of blogmas and until Christmas. At this time next week will be the big day. Thank you all for joining me so far this month it has been fun writing to you more often and to read your comments, than you for the support.

Have a great day!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Blogmas Day 17: Vegetarian for Over a Year

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This will be a bit of a different post today. I wanted to share with you all that I have kept on with being vegetarian for over a year, 18 months to be exact. Since September 2017. The reason why I decided to go vegetarian was mostly for my health and after watching documentaries which I learned about how animals are treated in factory farms I was turned off eating them. Also a large part of why I am happy to vegetarian is for the ethical reason of not wanting to eat animals and wanting them to live.

Photo source 
Being a vegetarian is not easy at all and sometimes I even think of being vegan, when I am at home and then I go out into the world and realize how hard that would be for me, not saying it is impossible but it would be even tougher. Just because you have to cut out dairy which is in a lot of food products.

When you are vegetarian you get questions like "why don't you eat meat?" asked randomly, like your values are being questioned and you have to have conversations about not eating meat with meat eaters while they are eating meat which feels so awkward. Even after all of this it is still important and meaningful enough for me to keep going.

I don't really miss eating meat, only on occasions when I think it would make social situations less awkward, on holidays, or coming up with meal ideas seems difficult but there are so many alternatives that I feel like even as a meat eater, I sometimes had moments of wondering what to eat for dinner or lunch. I do have thoughts one and awhile about going back to eating meat and how it would be easier and why not just some of the time. But I feel like it would be a big decision at this point to eat it again even in small doses that I would have to be sure it was the right thing. But honestly, I don't feel the need to. I do eat fish sometimes but I still feel like I am vegetarian and Pescatarian (you only eat fish or other seafood) feels like vegetarian and is a form of vegetarianism.

I just went out for lunch with a friend who eats a limited amount of meat and shares a similar outlook and values as me on eating meat. We like to go to vegan festivals together and try out new vegetarian and vegan restaurants. There is a new vegan burger restaurant called Boon Burger in Oakville, and they also have locations in Burlington, and Hamilton which are all not far from Toronto. We went together this past weekend and I tried the burger for the first time and it was amazing! I also loved their poutine which was to die for. I have missed having poutine as well.

Delicious burger and vegan!

Yummy vegan poutine
I love how there are so many delicious options out there in restaurants now. The new A&W burger is so good I recommend trying it. I love going to a restaurant called Fresh and there are many locations in Toronto. There are so many restaurants in Toronto I have yet to try such as Doomies and I should try more of them.

My advice to you if you are thinking about going vegetarian is to watch the documentaries on Netflix like Forks Over Knives and Cowspiracy and more. I also watched Vegucated and Earthlings and those were so good but are not offered on Netflix.  Also I think it is good to learn as much as you can and educate yourself on reasons why it is good for you and also ethical reasons so when people ask you feel confident in your decision. Also to talk with other people or read blogs or watch YouTube videos to see that so many other people made this decision and what tips and recipe ideas they have to share. I recommend looking up James Aspey if you are interested in learning more, he is a passionate vegan and has some amazing informative and thought-provoking videos. Do not be too hard on yourself if you slip up with eating meat here and there, it is progress and you don't have to cut it out cold turkey, you can take baby steps to eventually cut it all out if that is what you would like to do. There are a lot of resources online about going vegetarian you can read guides. This article called The Beginner’s Guide To Going Vegetarian Without Getting Sick is very informative and helpful on knowing how to go vegetarian the healthy way.

Thank you for reading my blog post today and I hope that you join me again tomorrow for an update on my knitting and reading for blogmas day 18!

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Blogmas Day 16: 5 DIY Projects for Winter and Christmas

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well and enjoying the season. I found some wonderful DIY crafts for Christmas that you can make in time for Christmas for your dinner table centerpiece or decor around your home to make it even more cozy and full of Christmas cheer.

1.  These pretty knitted trees pattern by Meg Ritcey are available for free pattern download on Ravelry until December 31st.
Photo source 

2. Branch Wall Decor. Words are for Writers shares this minimalist decor idea. I love the simplicity of this piece and how lovely it would look on the wall.

Materials needed: stick, yarn, fake or real festive greenery.

Photo source 

3. Winter scenes in mason jars.  These would decorate a shelf or table center piece.

Materials needed: mason jars, fake snow, small pine trees.

Photo source

4. Vase filled with twinkle lights and pine cones. These would be pretty on a side table or as a dinner table center piece at Christmas.

Materials: pine cones, battery operated small twinkle lights, hay for the bottom , vase

Photo source 

5.  Fleece Cone Christmas tree. Happy Happy Nester shares their tutorial on how to make these beautiful fleece cone trees.

Materials: Fleece pieces, wooden stand, cone
Photo source 

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I will be making the mason jar Christmas tree decor DIY this week and will share my tutorial. Please visit again tomorrow for another blogmas post.

Have a great day!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Blogmas Day 15: Starting to Knit the Santa Gnome Ornament

Hello Friends,

I hope that you are enjoying the holidays and also finding time for yourself to knit or read or other things that you enjoy doing. I have been thinking about how important it is to take time out of our busy schedules to relax and do things that calm and refresh the spirit. It has been a busy time with work, courses I am taking, going to the gym, Christmas shopping, blogmas, and working on knitting and reading goals. It sometimes seems like a lot of extra work that I am taking on, but I know in the end that doing these things like taking courses (for work), knitting, reading, going to the gym, and blogging will ultimately make me happier and feel more fulfilled.

I have started knitting the Red Heart Santa Gnome Ornament. I found the pattern on Ravelry and it is a free pattern worked either flat or in the round. For my first try at this pattern, I decided to knit it flat and then I will sew the seams together at the end. It is a bit funny looking before the seams are sewn and the Santa is filled as it is just knitted as one flat piece. I have knitted 29 rows of the pattern so far and the next 8 rows are a repeat of the last rows I knitted in red. Right now I am working on knitting Santa's red jacket.

The bottom of the Santa. The cat in the basket of yarn stitch marker is from The Clever Clove 

Santa Gnome Ornament Pattern on Ravelry

I love knitting plush toys and decorations for the holidays. They get me into the Christmas spirit and look so cute as decor for the apartment. I am looking forward to having this little Santa sitting on my desk as Christmas approaches.

Thank you all for joining me again for another post! Please join me tomorrow for blogmas day 16. Also, let me know in the comments below what your favourite ornament or decoration is to knit for Christmas or the holiday you are celebrating and please share the pattern if you have the website link.

Have a great day!


Friday, December 14, 2018

Blogmas Day 14: Books I Read in 2018 and Books For 2019

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I am happy it is Friday it has been a long week and I am ready for some down time. I have been wanting to read some more books before the year is done and one on my list to read before 2019 or maybe even before Christmas when I hopefully receive some new books is the Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben. I finished reading Girl,Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis tonight. For today's blogmas post, I wanted to share a list of books I read this year along with some photos of them from previous blog posts from this year. There will also be knitting along with the photos of the books because they were part of my knitting and reading update posts.

Books I read in 2018 

1. Stuff Every Vegetarian Should Know by Katherine Mcguire: this book was interesting and a fun read. I was new to the whole vegetarian diet and lifestyle when I received this book for Christmas from my sister last year. The book has an interesting introduction at the front of the book and then has cooking tips and things to buy. I really enjoyed reading this book at the beginning of the year and I learned a lot. I will have to read it again soon!

2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed: This book was a bit of a long one for me. I remember reading this one for a long time and not being too interested in reading it. It was the story of a woman who goes backpacking along the popular Pacific Crest Trail.  I think I might have been interested in reading about her own self discovery and development and I thought it was more focused on bad relationships and decisions made.

 3. The Sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur: I loved this book! I remember relating to a lot of the poems and was thinking at the time I was reading them that I should every now and then pick it up and read a few poems to lift my spirits or find inspiration. I think I might go and do that soon!

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: I enjoyed reading this book because Eleanor was an interesting character who said exactly what was on her mind, did not understand social cues, and did what she wanted. She has some struggles in life and works her way through in her own way.

 5.  Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: this book was interesting I enjoyed reading about the families that were connected by their parents' new marriages. I found it to be an easy read and fun to read. There was a lot of depth to the characters and they each had their own struggles and own way to approaching their life and dealing with their past.

6.  Reading People by Anne Bogel: It was an interesting book and got me thinking more about personality types. The author spoke about personality assessments a lot and it might be more interesting if you have taken the Myers-Briggs personality assessment prior to be able to know your type because she talks about each type in detail so you could learn more about the type you are ex: INFP or INFJ. I think I am one of these two types and it would be interesting to find out which one exactly.

Photo Source

6. Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella: This book was good but I was a bit disappointed in the story of the couple and how it took a whole different turn than I expected. I think when I picked it up, I was looking for a fun read about how a couple tries different things to surprise one another and then they get closer and learn more about each other with some bumps in the road. But it was not really like that, there was a big secret and it overshadowed a lot of the fun and lightheartedness I thought would be a part of the book. 

7.  Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.  It was such a good and fun read. I like how she gave advice and her own life experiences as well. She shares a very difficult time in her life and I think it took a lot of courage to write about her experience with becoming a foster parent and I think it is a good warning for people considering becoming foster parents about what could happen to them. I liked that she introduced each chapter with "the lie" or what we believe to be true but is not and then at the end of each chapter she has tips on how to help with that particular issue.

Books I want to read in 2019: 

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Becoming by Michelle Obama

and more... I am looking forward to reading some amazing books in 2019! Do you have any recommendations?

What was your favourite book that you read in 2018, and what books do you want to read in 2019?

Thank you for visiting my blog for day 14 of blogmas! We are moving right along in blogmas now. There are only 11 days left until Christmas and 11 more posts! I will work harder at visiting more of your blogmas and blog posts.

Have a great day!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...