friday, i’m in love

2017: when I was all out of original ideas, motivation, and creativity. Chrissy posted and answered these Christmas questions last weekend and I quickly copied the idea. 

Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper with satin ribbon. 

Real tree or artificial? Artificial. In theory I’d like a real tree but it seems completely impractical. 

When do you put up the tree? Last weekend in November or first weekend in December. 

When do you take the tree down? After the Epiphany in January. My grandma is a super religious Italian and taught us about Epiphany and the only thing I took away from it was that it’s cool to keep all your pretty decorations up through the first week of January. 

Do you like eggnog? Oh. My. God. NO! 

Favorite gift received as a child? I’m not sure. Way back in 1982/83 Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage and impossible to get. My Mom’s sister was gifted one (a girl doll) when pregnant with my cousin who ended up being a boy so she gave it to me for my first Christmas. I loved that Cabbage Patch SO MUCH. 

Do you have a nativity scene? I have my Mom’s but have no intention of putting it out. 

Hardest person to buy for? Easiest person to buy for? Depending on if I have a good idea or not, the answer to both is sister.

Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail. Always. People need to know they are remembered and loved and Christmas is the perfect time for that. And look, maybe someone will take offense to this, but I’m gonna say it anyway, just sending a family photo that was printed and shipped from a warehouse with no additional heartfelt message or a card that just says “Merry Christmas” inside doesn’t feel special. Make people feel special. I have 3 social media accounts, I know what your kid(s) look like, so why are you paying SO MUCH to print and send cards if you aren’t saying something heartfelt, too? 

Favorite Christmas Movie? Muppet Family Christmas (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE but also invokes a little Christmas PTSD) and Sound of Music (which isn’t Christmassy at all, but is a Christmas Eve tradition) and The Holiday (it is so unbelievable but fantastic). 

When do you start shopping for Christmas? I pick up something at any time of the year if I see a perfect gift, but I do 90% of my Christmas shopping (online) on Black Friday. 

Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I have traded things with Laura when Mom puts our stuff in the wrong stocking, but I don’t think I have given something to someone else.  

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pierogies on Christmas Eve. Christmas bread on Christmas morning. 

Clear lights or colored on the tree? White. I HATE coloured lights. 

Favorite Christmas song? Blue Christmas by Elvis. (ps: here’s a Christmas Spotify playlist I made a few years ago)

Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel. I would much rather stay at home but I only have 1 (double) guest bed and a table that seats 2. 

Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither. 

Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning. 

Most annoying thing about this time of year? Grinchy me says everything. It’s so happy and there is all this pressure to be perfect and have a loving family and be able to cook and have enough money for gifts. 

What I love most about Christmas? Lovely me says everything. There’s hope and twinkle lights everywhere. 


friday, i’m in love


friday, i’m in love: the Christmas movie edition

  • “you realize that if anyone other than Jude Law broke into the isolated hut you were staying alone in, that’s a horror movie, right?” things that always happen in Christmas movies and never happen in real life. “…no one’s ever actually bundled to a realistic point. Cute always trumps cold. No one falls in love in a North Face.” Also, why do they always fall in love after 3 days? Are you serious? 

last minute christmas gift ideas

I’m sure there’s someone out there who thinks “last minute? I’ve got 4 days to purchase Christmas gifts” but to me, a super anxious mall-avoider, if gifts haven’t been bought by the beginning of December there’s likely no hope. 

And let’s be honest, I did all my shopping (except stockings) online so I didn’t have to set foot in a mall. Nope, no thank you. 

But! If you are still looking for something and not interested in paying expedited shipping, I’ve got 2 brick and mortar ideas for you. You can very easily stop into Chapters.Indigo or Starbucks and stock up on cozy goods for a special someone in your life. (ps: I picked items that were all in stock at stores within 50kms of my location so I hope they are easy to find in-store for you, too)


Christmas shopping: done? not started?

I purchased everything over Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend and wrapped them in the last 2 weekends. I did my last grocery shop today and am just having a panic attack about cooking my first whole turkey. Wish me luck. 

best in books: allison’s recommendations

Did you love Megan’s recommendations? Have you read any? Gifting any? Adding any to your library holds list? 

(ps: I only have 6 books on my holds list which, I think, is a 5 month low)

I originally aimed for 52 books in 52 weeks. It wasn’t really happening so I revised my goal to 26, which I passed a few months ago. I revised it again to a comfortable 40 books in 52 weeks and am currently at 44 with one book and three e-books checked out (Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter trilogy; re-reading the first 2 before starting Winter Storms. Aka: my plans this weekend as it snows…again…). So 48 books in 52 weeks is pretty great, I’d say. 

Without further ado, my favourites from this year to inspire your last minute purchases or holiday reads.


The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer: I read this back in March and it has stayed with all year. Coincidentally, looking back, I read 4 of these 5 books in succession in March and April this year. The Invisible Bridge is a hunker down and get invested kind of book; it’s long with a serious story line. It is worth it. It is an absolutely beautiful story of love and friendship, raw and honest. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: Keeping with my love of historical fiction, I followed up The Invisible Bridge with The Nightingale. Again, a story of perseverance and courage with a strong female lead. 

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman: Unless you’re my sister (the book hater) or living under a rock you’ve likely read this or seen the movie (how was it? I have it on hold at the libs). Quite simply, a great book. Who did you side with: Tom or Isabel? 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: I know, I know, you’ve probably already read this or seen the movie, as well. In comparison to all other Jojo Moyes books I’ve read, this is by far the best. Great story, interesting/controversial perspective, dreamy English countryside. I watched the movie earlier this week, also great (managed to hold off balling my eyes out till the very end, go me!). 

Big Girl by Kelsey Miller: everyone needs a biography on their list. If you’ve ever struggled with self-esteem issues, negative thoughts associated with weight, anxiety, family problems, this is the one for you. I started reading Kelsey’s articles on Refinery 29 and was excited when her book came out. Very well written. Loved it. 

Honourable mentions:
– The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
– The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
– When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
– All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
– The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
– When We Meet Again by Kristin Harmel
– It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
– Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Reid Jenkins

And some Canadian content:
Because this list is really just a love letter to historical fiction, try Jennifer Robson.


Obviously, I’m a kid book connoisseur. Or not. But I do have favourites and I think it would be sweet to gift an original and a Christmas version as a gift set for the littlest readers in your life. 

You can stay up-to-date with everything I’m reading on goodreads

Are you gifting books this year? Which ones? And what are you looking forward to reading while snuggled up on Christmas holiday? 

DIY: gifts, ornaments, and sweets

Ok friends, one full weekend before Christmas and I’ve got some cute and fairly simple ideas if you want to add a personal touch to a Christmas gift. 

You may recognize these from…last year…cause well, they were pretty great and I’m feeling pretty lazy. This is a bit of a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do post because other than 1 batch of red velvet snowballs, 3 banana breads, and 6 Christmas breads I’m not making anything for anyone this year. 

Hope there’s something here to inspire you…

DIY gifts


clay jewelry dish //  notebooks // monogram mug // mountain range photo holder // glass set // bath bombs // gold dipped mixing spoons 

From the archives: cards // glitter frames

DIY ornaments


While I adore finding the perfect gift for the perfect person, something that says “you probably won’t buy this for yourself but you deserve it”; I also love adding something homemade. A little handmade touch shows the little extra time, the little extra love. DIY ornaments as a gift tag or tied to a gift in gorgeous, flowing ribbon may just be my favourite. (maybe this year I bought cute ones from Sugar Paper for Target; if I get my shit together one year I’m totally making some ornaments.)

glitter confetti // black & white // gold leaf monogram (would also be great with gold marker) // sequins

From the archives: DIY gold glitter bulbs

Sweet treats


Cookies and baked goods are usually easy and quick to make and with a little cellophane and a big bow, look lovely to receive. My goal was only finding you easy recipes that don’t require any strange ingredients and don’t need a degree from Le Cordon Bleu to ensure these are perfect. 

christmas bread; a Christmas morning staple in our house

soft snickerdoodles, love anything with cinnamon

brown butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies; love the chew from the oats

cake mix chocolate fudge crinkle cookies; or lovingly referred to as CaCookies (cake-mix cookies). If you have time for only one cookie, make these! They are so easy and elicit endless compliments. This is the basic recipe, feel free to add whatever you fancy to the dough…like mint chocolate bar chunks. So good. 

orange spiced gingerbread with a cranberry glaze; ’tis the season for gingerbread

totally fun and unexpected, cake batter bark. (other delicious combos: dark chocolate, orange, and almond; chocolate with crushed pretzels; white chocolate with cranberry and pistachio)

salty + sweet: peanut butter pretzel chocolate chip bites

small batch, 2 ingredient fudge. Please make chocolate-orange. 

ps: don’t forget the playlist