Sunday, 29 November 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids

I can't believe Christmas is less than a month away. I have to admit, I am pretty stressed out right now because I feel so behind. I have only gotten my kids a couple of gifts so far, so I still have a lot of shopping to do. I am usually much more organized and almost finished my Christmas shopping by now. I think what put me behind the eight ball was looking for Christmas décor for our home. We needed a new Christmas tree this year, so shopping around for that took some time. Plus, I also changed up my Christmas décor from last year, so I was busy running around getting the house all decorated for the Holidays. Today I have finally finished decorating, so this week I am really going to get on Christmas shopping.
Here are some of my favourite gifts that our kids already have and love and ones that we have put on the list for this year. I have an 18 month old and a 4 1/2 year old so I divided the list into 2 sections (Under 3 and 3-5 years old). If you haven't finished your Christmas shopping I hope my Holiday Gift Guide gives you some good ideas! 

Under 3 years old

Ages 3 -5

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Open-Front Wool-Blend Poncho


Sweater: Old Navy  *  Black Leggings: Aritzia, *   Boots: Urban Plant (Old) Similar HERE
I am kind of loving this new poncho trend. They are just so comfy! This one is from Old Navy. I like that it has arm holes, and they are extra wide which gives it more of a relaxed look. It comes in 4 colours online. I chose the Teal Plaid. I am wearing an xs/s and it fits me perfect. I think it runs a bit big, so I would go down in size when ordering it. Hope you are all having a great week! 

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Hosting a Christmas Cookie Workshop!

Every year I like to host a little Christmas get together for my son and his friends. Last year I did a Snowman Breakfast which I blogged about HERE. This year I decided to do a Christmas Cookie Workshop.
This was really fun to put together, not only for me, but also for my son. He helped me with everything!
Organizing this party was pretty easy. My son helped me bake all the cookies, and make the icing the night before. On the morning of, we wrapped our kitchen table with red wrapping paper, and placed a green plate at each seat for everyone's cookies. Next, we got muffin cups and filled them with all the Christmas sprinkles we bought, and placed the icing bags in the center of the table.

These shortbread cookies were sooooo good! So soft and buttery.
Here is the recipe I used for the shortbread cookies:
1 Cup of salted butter
1/2 Cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. I only needed to bake mine for 8 minutes, but every oven is different so just watch them. Makes approx. 12-18 cookies depending on how thick you are making them. I made mine pretty thick, so I tripled this recipe and got 3 dozen. This way each child got 3-4 cookies to decorate.
I made 10 different shapes of Christmas cookies. An angel, gingerbread man, Christmas tree, snowman, sleigh, candy cane, snow flake, bell, star, and a mitten.


For the Royal Icing I used the Wilton Recipe.
Royal Icing:
3 tablespoons of Meringue Powder
4 Cups confectioners' sugar
5 tablespoons warm water
Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
I needed a lot more water than 5 tablespoons. I think I put in closer to 10. This recipe makes 3 cups, so I doubled it to make sure I had enough icing for the kids to decorate all the cookies.
I made 3 different colours. White, Green and Red. To make the green and red I used Wilton icing colour. Then I put them in the Wilton disposable decorating bags and tied them with a rubber band, and cut the tips with scissors.
For the sprinkles we went to the bulk barn and got an assortment of Christmas ones. We also cut mini marshmallows in half, and crushed up candy canes to add to the selection.

The kids had so much fun!
I also had an assortment of drinks and snacks for the kids and parents. Wine and pop for the adults, and juice boxes and milk for the kids.
For food, I had a veggie tray, dips, cheese and crackers, rice crispy squares and fruit.

Once all the children were finished decorating their cookies, we did a gift exchange. I did this last year as well and it was a huge hit.  All the parents brought an unmarked wrapped gift under $10 and we played a game of hot potato. The kids were just so excited to open their gifts and see what they got.
As a Thank You for coming, I gave each child a goodie bag to take home filled with Christmas chocolates, stickers, a candy cane, a pencil and an eraser.

What a fun time we all had. I can't wait to host another one next year!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Light Pink Sweater with Shoulder Cutouts


Sweater: Dynamite, Skinny Jeans: H & M Similar HERE , Shoes: Aldo (Old) Similar HERE, Necklace: Old Navy
Hope you all had a great weekend! This is my OOTD. I went out with some of my girlfriends this afternoon and I decided to wear my new sweater from Dynamite. As soon as I saw it in the store I knew I had to have it. What sold me was the shoulder cutouts. It was very different and unique, and I don't have anything in my closet that is similar. Just an FYI...I found the fit runs large. I bought a small online and needed to exchange it in store for the extra small. I paired it with my black skinny jeans from H & M.  I was also thinking for those colder nights in the spring it would look nice with my white skinny jeans too.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

My Top 5 Places to Visit, Eat and Sleep when in NYC

This is a highly requested post, and I am happy to finally share it with you guys. I got a lot of emails after posting my Brunch at The Loeb Boathouse in NYC when I was there in the summer for my anniversary. I got questions asking what places I like to visit when I'm in the city, what restaurants I like to eat at and what hotels I would recommend. Well, you asked and I delivered.

Here are my Top 5 Places to Visit, Eat and Sleep when in NYC!

My Top 5 Places to Visit:
1) 5th Avenue- If you like to shop, this is the place you want to be. You can find Tiffany & Co, Versace, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton etc...

2.) Times Square- Do I really need to tell you to go here? It should be a given. lol


3.) Ground Zero- This summer was the first time I have seen the memorial's twin reflecting pools. They are so special and made me very emotional. They also have the 9/11 Memorial Museum which is a must see!

4.) Central Park - So much to do in Central park. There are guided tours you can take, visit the zoo, children's playgrounds and bikes you can rent.
5.) Statue of Liberty- They have great cruises you can take to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I also love the view of the city that you see from the boat.
My Top 5 Places to Eat:
1.) The Loeb Boathouse - This restaurant I have to say is my absolute favourite. It's located in Central Park over looking a beautiful lake. After your meal, you can rent a boat and explore the lake. The food is so good and the atmosphere cannot be duplicated. You can read more about my experience HERE.

2.) Polo Bar - Ralph Lauren has 3 restaurants- Paris, Chicago and NYC. I never got a chance to eat at the Chicago location this summer because we had the kids with us so when we were in NYC I made sure we went. The restaurant is so warm and inviting, and the service and food was amazing!
3.) Patsy's Restaurant - Amazing Italian food. It's family owned since 1944.
4.) The View Restaurant - This restaurant is the only one in NYC that has a revolving rooftop. Beautiful views of the city!! It's a must see!
5.) Carmines - I recommend going with a group of people to this restaurant or just ordering 1 meal, and splitting it if its just 2 of you. The servings are HUGE!! I like to go to the location on West 44th Street, so after dinner I can walk around Times Square.   
My Top 5 Places to Sleep:
1.) The Michaelangelo - This was the first hotel I ever stayed at when I was in NYC. It's so beautiful inside. Great location, it's walking distance to Times Square.
2.) Millennium Broadway Hotel- I just stayed here for the first time this past summer. Great location as well if you want to be close to Times Square like I do.

3.) DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City - Times SquareYou can't get closer to Times Square than staying here.  
4.)  Park Lane Hotel- If you want something a little more quiet, I really like Park Lane Hotel. It's right by Central Park and the lobby is so nice.

5.) Warwick New York Hotel- I loved this hotel. It's close to Central Park, Times Square, and Rockefeller Center.