Gifts for Him

I love Christmas and everything that comes with it. The only challenge I seem to run into each year, is finding the perfect gift for that special someone. My mom used to be the hardest person to buy for, but for the past couple of years, she has been creating a Dropbox and updating with ideas regularly – this makes things so much easier. Now the person most difficult to buy for is Steve. What does he need versus what does he want. Here are a few gift ideas for the special guy in your life!

Amazeballs $24.50 – Indigo

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Two times the power of square drink stones, they will keep your drink colder for longer. Made from food safe stainless steel, filled with a specially formulated food-safe glycerin gel that freezes without diluting your drink. Freeze for four hours and keep your drink cool for up to 45 minutes.

Nike + Fuelband SE $99.99 – SportChek

pSPCK1-19396574dtThis device is designed to track the intensity of workouts, counts steps, tell time, display your progress in real time, sync with your iOS or Android device, and it has Bluetooth. What a great way to track your activity – a great gift to go along with a New Year’s resolution.

The Nest Learning Thermostat $249.99 – Best Buy

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This fancy gadget is a sleek and intelligent heating and cooling system. This handy gadget quickly learns your habits in approximately one week, programming itself based on your schedule and preferred temperature settings – glowing blue for air conditioning, red for heat, and black if it is off. It has Wi-Fi Connectivity which allows you to access it from your laptop, smartphone or tablet to change the temperature, view whether or not you are saving energy and more! While connected to Wi-Fi, it can also monitor the weather to understand how the temperature affects your energy use.  It is a little pricey but it is designed to save you in energy costs in the long run.

 Lambswool Mockneck Sweater in “Oatmeal heather” $69.95 – The Gap

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I love this sweater. I had to include the photo of it on the model, because the photo of the sweater alone did not do it justice. It is 55% lambswool and 45% Nylon and is also available in a navy blue colour.

The North Face Etip Glove $45 – The North Face

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These warm, four-way-stretch fleece gloves are perfect for the chilly temperatures. They will not only keep his hands warm, they also feature a silicone gripper palm pattern to provide superior grip, allowing him to swipe and use his touchscreen device without exposing his hands to the cold. I love this idea!

Hopefully these ideas help with the shopping for the guy(s) in your life. Only 17 shopping days left until Christmas!

Unmuted

Test. Test. Good, my computer still works.  I just had to brush a layer of dust off of it.

I have been absent for FAR TOO LONG. I had prepared a post for New Years Eve, but WordPress would not cooperate with me and it didn’t happen. A couple of days later I was back to work, and Maxton was in daycare full-time, so it’s been an adjustment around here. New routines and changes around here are leaving us exhausted, and wondering how we can add extra hours to our evenings…

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year! I will share a (very late) glimpse of our Christmas with you (hopefully later today), and will try to get myself back on track.

I am home today, celebrating Ukrainian Christmas with my little man. I had my family over last night for a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner (which my Baba prepared), and will be enjoying the leftovers today!

Most of the decorations came down this weekend (have to take advantage of the time I am home), but we are leaving the tree up and lit for today.

I will catch you all up later this week on how Maxton’s transition to daycare is going, and how I am handling the whole “back to work” thing.

I wish you all health and prosperity in this fabulous year of 2013!

Merry Ukrainian Christmas!

Merry Christmas

Well I definitely didn’t get around to completing as many Christmas related posts as I had anticipated. I didn’t share some toddler gift ideas, or gift ideas for your favourite hostesses! Things have been busy around here and I will share more on our projects in the new year.

This will be my last post before Christmas. We will be busy spending time with both of our families next week, so watch for the recap late next week. Next week is also my last full week off before going back to work (WHAT?!), and Maxton also starts daycare next Thursday (sniff).

Before I leave you, I am sure some of you will be attending some Holiday parties this weekend. Here are some quick and easy (and inexpensive) hostess gifts you can bring along with you! (Don’t be so quick to grab a bottle of wine to bring, just for the sake of bringing something – unless you know your hostess drinks wine, and what kind of wine he/she likes. Otherwise your wine will probably end up being a re-gift.)

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How great are these? The instructions to make these can be found on the Martha Stewart website. They are quick and easy, and make one dozen at a time.  You can personalize them with your own jars and personal message!

Peppermint Bark

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This is such a quick and easy recipe, and there are so many beautiful ways to package this, to personalize it. Your hostess can put it out for his/her guests to enjoy, or save it!

Homemade Jam (or Salsa etc.)

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Another fun and easy gift. Who doesn’t like jam? For those of you who spend days making your favourite jams in the summer after berry picking, make some extra and save it for Christmas. Your hostess will appreciate this on Christmas morning!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas, and enjoy the time with your loved ones and those closest to you.

Merry Christmas!!!

Makeshift Monday

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend, and got some Christmas shopping/wrapping done! Only two more weekends left!

In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share a recipe for Gingerbread Cookies, from the Canadian Living website.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup cooking molasses
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

Preparation

In large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and molasses.In separate bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, baking powder and salt; stir into molasses mixture in 3 additions, blending with hands and kneading to combine.

Divide into thirds; shape into flat rectangles. Wrap each and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Between parchment paper, roll out each rectangle to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness. With floured 5-inch (12 cm) gingerbread person, snowflake or other shape of cutter, cut out cookies. Arrange, 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart, on parchment paper–lined baking sheets.

Bake in 325°F (160°C) oven until firm to the touch and light golden on edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool completely.You can leave them plain, or pipe some icing with sprinkles or candy!

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Mmmm – enjoy!

Source : Canadian Living Holiday Cookbook: Fall 2010

Maxton vs Santa

On Sunday, Steve and I dressed Maxton up to meet Santa for the second time. Last year the photo turned out great, and he wasn’t bothered at all by Jolly-Old-St.Nick.

This year (as I anticipated), was a very different story. The second I put him on his lap, his lip curled and the tears started to flow. We tried a second time, with the same result. He had this look of sheer terror on his face as I back-stepped my way out of the photo. “MAAAMMMAA STRANGER DANGER!!!” (He didn’t actually shout this, but I’m sure it’s what he was thinking.)

Who can blame him? There was no point in continuing to torture him,  so we decided to make it a family photo. You can see he is still upset about the whole thing, and there was no breaking that frown.

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To top it all off, when I sat down to do this post (Monday night), and loaded the CD we received with the picture on it, some random child appeared on my screen. Fail. I was quite upset to say the least. They also failed to include two key chains, which we also paid for in the package. So I went back and showed them a little less holiday spirit and requested a full refund. I had to go through head office, but I am expecting a cheque for the full amount of our package, in the mail. Sadly, they no longer had our photo’s so I had to scan the 5 x 7 we were given to make additional prints. I’m just happy we walked away with some prints and didn’t rely on the CD. Hopefully this doesn’t happen often.  If the photo had been epic (aka Maxton beaming) I would have been more disappointed.

Maybe next year he will be all smiles on his own…