Rainy Daze (with kids)

What do you do on a rainy day?

For me, it used to mean making an entire pot of tea to myself, walking over to my stack of books, grabbing my favourite throw (and maybe a few cookies) before settling down to read the day away.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Oh, I’m so sorry. Doesn’t that sound idyllic and wonderful though?

Now, rainy days mean being trapped inside (my inner voice saying “you have no excuse not to do that chore you’ve been putting off!“) with a rambunctious little kid.

So what do I actually do on a rainy day?

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Rainy Day Activities

 

BECKRAAdotcom_rainydaze_icepaintingcotton-ball-painting-1Erupting Art for Kids (8)

Messy Crafts 
It seems counter intuitive to do messy crafts when you can’t make the mess outside (for easier cleanup) but hear me out. If you have a few old sheets or plastic table clothes, the cleanup from your kitchen table shouldn’t be any worse, and afterwards? A nice warm bath! You can even do this with your teeny tiny kids. N enjoyed splashing paint everywhere when she was only a few months old. ūüėČ Some ideas for babies, little kids, and¬†bigger kids.

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Build a Village 
This was technically a favourite activity of mine and my brother’s on rainy or sick days. It works for any sort of age group, and with any toys (and non toys!) you have. Use your megablocks/legos/to build basic structures or place a shoe-box on it’s side. Use your tiny kids meal toys, stuffed animals, action figures, or even salt and pepper shakers (ours were shaped like cats!). Half the fun is building up the village, the other half is destroying it! (Okay, and it might be fun to actually play with it too)

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Forts
I really don’t think this needs to be explained at all¬†but here are a few ideas if you’re looking for inspiration! Here are some¬†easy forts,¬†and sofa fort blueprints,¬†and you can always set up a tent inside. Try using an umbrella, and don’t forget all your stuffed animals, action figures, and of course, some twinkle lights!

Movie Marathon 
Pssssst. I have a confession. Sometimes we have rainy movie days. We sit around on our butts for hours, lazing about the couch (sometimes in our forts) cuddled up with blankets and popcorn. I have chronic pain that flares when it’s damp, so occasionally I don’t have the choice in letting myself and my daughter relax on a rainy day. Regardless of your health, there’s no reason to beat yourself up for not doing a ton of crazy activities. Sometimes unwinding is enough. Your kids will be happy to have a happy, chill mama. I promise. Becca wrote a list of rainy day movies, which includes some of my favourites to watch with little ones as well. E.T. anyone?

Video Games
On that similar note, rainy days are the perfect excuse for video games and TV. Especially if you get right in and join your kids! One¬†of my favourite memories is¬†of my mom joining my brother and I to play Need For Speed¬†during a thunderstorm when we thought the power was going to go out any second. Thrilling, exciting, and so fun to have her with us. I can’t wait to be able to teach N how to properly play Sims, or games on the Wii. She already loves taking the xbox remote (and can get to Netflix all by herself, which I’m not sure is a good thing?) so I’m happy to pass our passion right along.

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Fun Food 
When the weather is wet and cold, I love a good chili or soup to warm me up. Let your little one help in the kitchen! Even if it’s just playing with some of the chopped up veggies or beans ūüôā When they’re old enough, placing things in the pot, and having it be their job to “stir occasionally” is always rewarding.¬†Other fun rainy day foods that your kid will love helping with? Nachos, DIY personal pizzas (even just on naan is always a hit!), fresh baked cookies (I like these healthy ones that my 18 mo helps “stir”!) and air popped popcorn (with way too much butter and a “toppings bar” from my spice cupboard).¬†Never underestimate involving your kid in your “chores”. Being with you¬†and being a part of what you’re doing is often magical to them, and rewarding for us.

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Puddle Jumping
If it isn’t pouring or thundering out there, GO GET WET!¬†What else are rain boots good for? I found waterproof pants at Walmart for a steal, and with boots, and a raincoat N is good to splash and race leaves down the driveway till her hearts content (or until I’m too soggy to take it!) There’s a reason I placed this on my Spring To-Do List,¬†it’s a favourite family activity! Plus, similar to making a big mess in the kitchen, afterwards there’s nothing like a warm bath. Maybe followed by a movie, watched with some popcorn in your fort?

I hope these inspired you to enjoy your next rainy day.¬†Here’s to making the most of it!

  • xo, Kris

Spring Re-Fresh

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WordPress is updating, so I started typing this post in a sticky note. The intro to which I had been speculating would be something cute about how I’m not even sure if my baby monitor was going to die while I tried to write this, as I haven’t used it in two days. It’s been chaos and sickness and we haven’t had normal nap times or bed times or adult alone time in a while. (I just wanna write a blog post and play some sims, okay?)

Guess what? It died. That, in summary, is how things have been going lately.

April is normally the time I refresh. It’s never January. I read a study once upon a time (that was reiterated in a mental health seminar) that the idea of starting anew and trying to set goals mid-winter is very unrealistic. That’s actually the time to splurge, spoil yourself, and spend as much time with loved ones and doing fun things as possible. Because getting to the end of winter is HARD. Post-holiday happiness is HARD. Suddenly losing the prettiness of twinkly lights all around your home is HARD. (Okay, that last one might just be me.) So make yourself feel better! Start fresh when the world does, in Spring!

April is my GET THINGS GOING time. I have fresh bursts of energy, and I’m usually no longer in immense pain because the weather has warmed up. I had plans to start painting the house now that we can open the windows! I have birthday parties to plan! Easter is here! But alas, we’ve all been insanely sick, and when¬†A works 28 days straight, that means so do I.

But, I’m on the mend! I have lots of exciting things coming up, including being back to posting about my life endlessly. Here’s my vague¬†list of Spring/Summer Projects 2017. Maybe these will inspire you to start something new this spring.

House Stuff

  • Paint the house (especially the zebra stripes!)
  • Backsplash the kitchen
  • DIY lamps &¬†fireplace
  • Plant front garden &¬† honeybee seeds (get your free seeds here!)

Parenting Stuff

  • Join a stroller-group and attend once a month (half done!)
  • Puddle jump at least twice more
  • Kid friendly art projects, and DISPLAY them

Self-care Stuff

  • Play my first game of derby as a DRRD’y Farmer!
  • Have girl-dates with my best friends, minus my baby
  • Take 1hr a week for hygienic self-care.
    (Do a facemask, actually blowdry my hair all the way, paint my nails, whatever)

Blog More of course! 

A bit rambly, but it’s the vague outline I have for the upcoming months. Setting goals and refreshing my routine come spring-time is one of my favourite things. Thanks for checking in!

  • xo, Kris

My Top Five Albums

 

Today i¬†wanted to talk about my top five favorite albums. Lorde’s first album Pure Heroine¬† made my cut so in honor of her new and upcoming music,¬†i thought there was no better time to post this!

The thing about music, is that the first few notes of a song can transport you to another day or change your mood and emotions entirely. All of the albums on this list do that for me and this was a really fun and intimate article to write. I was really brought back in time and reminded of so many good, bad, sad and emotional memories, As i wrote about each album i listen to it’s songs and it was a slightly emotional post for me!

(*disclaimer – it was already hard enough for me to narrow down my top albums, you can’t expect me to put them in order as well! So this list is in no particular order.)

 

1.-Lorde-Pure-Heroine

Lorde- Pure Heroine

This album came out in 2013, but i really got into it during my first year out of college, 2014. I love it because only a handful of the songs on it are romantic. A lot of them are about life Рsome are as simple as spending time with friends (No Better), or as deep as commenting on society and the way we live. (Tennis Court)

Favorite Song: White Teeth Teens

Honorable Mention: No Better (this is actually my favorite song on the album, but it’s from the extended edition, so i feel like i can’t make it my official fave.)

Best Memory of this Album: I really got into this album when i first moved in with my now fiance, so it has lots of memories of love and romantic happiness attached to it! Those are my favorites, but what’s funny is that I also remember walking home from the gym once, listening to this album, when Ryan texted me saying that our room mates were having a big blow out fight. And that’s just how music and memory work! It’s not like that fight has any impact on my life after that day, i wasn’t even involved in it, i just happened to be listening to that album as i arrived home to a screaming match and for some reason it stuck with me. lol!

 

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Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway

This album was actually one of the first albums i ever bought myself. I was only about 8 years old when it came out in 2003 but i think i actually bought the album when i was about 11. I actually still have my original copy and it’s one of the most played¬†CD’s in my car!

This album is so much more then a frilly pop CD, so please really give it a true listen before rolling your eyes at it. If you actually give the lyrics a chance you’ll see that it’s full of emotion and thought. Sure, there are the iconic pop anthems (like all of Kelly’s CD’s) like¬†Since U Been Gone, but there are emotional songs (like all of Kelly’s CD’s) like¬†Because of You¬†(which is about her father).

Favorite Song: Addicted

Honorable Mention: Gone

Best Memory of this Album:¬†It’s funny that my greatest memories of this album are from current day. It came out over a decade ago, but i love to blast this album in the summer with the windows down and the sunroof open! Summer 2016 definitely comes to mind.

 

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Sarah Harmer – You Were Here

This album is a indie folk style album by a Canadian artist. It came out in 2000, but i really got into it in 2013.

Any of my family members who may be reading this are probably laughing. This was an album that was constantly playing at family parties and gatherings growing up, especially on my dads side. It was pretty much the sound track to my childhood and it reminds me of running around with my cousins, and playing in the yard.

It wasn’t until my second year of college that i really began to listen to it as an adult, and take in the music for myself. Now, this is also a big break up album for me. It reminds me of walking through Toronto, music blasting in my head phones, feeling sorry for myself because i had just broken up with a summer fling and i was back in school having to complete a program that i had lost interest in.

Favorite Song: Capsized and  Lodestar.

Honorable Mention:¬†Uniform Grey, Basement Apartment, Don’t Get Your Back Up. (All nostalgic, i can’t just pick one!)

Best Memory of This Album: Childhood and family.

*side note – if you only listen to one album from this list, let it be this one. It’s so unique and beautiful and under appreciated!

 

 

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Drake – Thank Me Later

This album came out in 2010 and shocker – this time i actually bought and listened to the album the year it came out! I remember hearing one of Drake’s first main stream singles¬†Best I Ever Had¬†and thinking to myself “Damn. I need to get this guys album.” Thank Me Later¬†is actually what i credit for jump starting my rap/hip hop phase, which enjoyed through high school and into my first year of college. lol!

Best Song: Karaoke

Honorable Mention: Show Me a Good Time

Best Memory of This Album: Hanging out in my bedroom with my friends in high school.

 

 

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Red – Taylor Swift

This was the album of grade 12 (2012, the year it came out) and¬†the following two years of college. This was another huge break up album for me, as it got me through my ‘big, end of high school’ break up and it’s still an album i put on to this day when i’m feeling emotional about almost anything.

It’s full of iconic ballads, fun, poppy dance tracks and quiet, emotional love songs. Pretty much the formula to a great album right there.

Best Song:¬†All Too Well¬†(IMO this is Taylor Swift’s best song ever.)

Honorable Mention:¬†Begin Again, State of Grace, (and¬†State of Grace acoustic, which isn’t officially on the album.)

Best Memory of This Album:¬†The song¬†State of Grace reminds me, down to every lyric, of me and Ryan’s relationship, so that song always brings good vibes. In general I’m reminded of high school friends and scream singing the songs in my car. (This album is so belt-out-able. Is that a thing? It’s just so easy to get into the emotion of each track and sing as loud as you can to every lyric!)

*side note – i think it’s pretty well known that Taylor Swift doesn’t let her music live on Youtube, so the Youtube links to her songs aren’t quality…

 

Honorable Mention Albums:

Taylor Swift’s 1989 was close to making the cut, but i really couldn’t have two Taylor Swift albums on the list… I’m not a super fan, even i know that’s a bit much.

I also adore the to the movie version of the musical¬†The Last Five Years, but since it’s a soundtrack i thought i would save it. I want to do a favorite Musicals post soon, so i’ll talk about it then!

  • xo, becca.

 

 

*disclaimer – i do not own the rights or images to any of the photos used in this blog post.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Must Watch Christmas Movies

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One Christmas when my older sister was young, she decided to chart and record every single holiday¬†special she could onto VHS tapes. I can’t tell you definitively what year that was, only that it was the 90’s and featured a lot of 70’s & earlier Christmas movies. Those are the tapes I grew up watching with my siblings.

I actually still have some of the tapes, and the honest-to-goodness best part? Watching the commercials. I know. 

Now, as I’ve got older my sister and I have added movies like The Holiday and Love Actually to our “must watch movies” but on Boxing Day as we slowly wind down our Christmas spirit.

Becca and I have comprised a list of some of our favourite holiday movies (although there are some we disagree on, see #11a/b) – hopefully we encourage you to branch out! Who knows, maybe I’ll watch some Arthur …

  • K

 

15 Must Watch Christmas Movies

  1. A Christmas Story
  2. White Christmas
  3. Elf
  4. The Santa Claus
  5. Arthur’s¬†Perfect Christmas (Yes, Arthur the cartoon aardvark. Don’t hate, this is truly one of the best Christmas specials and I’m always so excited to watch it! -B)
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life
  7. The Holiday
  8. Love Actually
  9. Disney’s Sing-Along Songs: Very Merry Christmas¬†(what, you mean you don’t still have the VHS? -K)
  10. a) Home Alone (the 1st one only! -B)
    b) Home Alone 2 (All others are blehh -K)
  11. Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Santa Claus is Coming to Town (must be watched together!)
  12. Miracle on 34th Street (1994) OR (1947)
  13. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas BOTH VERSIONS
  14. “The Stingiest Man in Town” (1978) (My fav. version of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol”-K)
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • xo, Becca & Kris

Monthly Favorites

Monthly Favorites – September 2016

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Hey lovlies!

Today i wanted to share with you all of my favorite things from the month of September.

September is a fun month because it’s kind of a mix between two seasons ‚Äď the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. You get to savor the use of your summery products for the last time and begin using your fall ones! I have a great mix of stuff this month, so lets get started!

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First off is the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette. I got back into using this palette as autumn has drawn closer and I have fallen in love with it all over again! It has great stay power and pigmentation. The pink/maroon shade (bottom row, second last from the right) and the rose gold shade (bottom row, first on the left) are my favorite shades! I may even call this one of the best pallets I own!

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Next is the L’Oreal¬†Colour Riche¬†lipstick in the shade¬†177¬†Fiery¬†Veil. This lipstick is one of my ‚Äúlast taste of summer‚ÄĚ picks. It’s a light orange lipstick and I just feel like the shade suits me. Its really easy to wear and doesn’t smudge, so I’m a fan!

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This next favorite is definitely leaking into autumn. I’m moving on from the summery, pastel nails and into the deep, dark shades. My current nail polish pick is Nicole by OPI,¬†Deeply in Love NI 044.¬†I really love short, dark, natural nails and this vampy red does it for me!

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I’ve started using the Zoella make up bag that i got for Christmas last year and I’ve been into it! I love my old bag, but after using it for literally 5 years, it has started falling apart. (FYI – my old bag is from Elizabeth Arden, apparently they make quality make up bags! So random, who knew?) The Zoella bag is spacious and a great shape. The material is easy to wipe make up messes off of and of course, I like to support Zoella, one of my favorite bloggers/Youtubers! (I am hoping to buy an item or two from her new holiday¬†range of bath and body products. If I can get my hands on something I would love to do a review for you guys! Hopefully check back for that later.)

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I have gotten into using an agenda/planner again. I used to be obsessed with them in high school and since starting the blog i have had a bit more on my plate to plan for and organize. I picked up a simple planner and have not looked back since!

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My next pick is a bit of a guilty pleasure…¬†I don’t usually drink energy drinks but I’ve been obsessed with lime flavoured Red Bull. I know they’re bad for you and I always tell my boyfriend not to drink them and here I am drinking one myself. But when I am falling asleep at 9pm on a Saturday night, I decided I needed a bit of an energy boost. I reluctantly picked up a Red Bull for the first time in years and it definitely did the trick. The lime flavour tastes exactly like rockets candy, I can’t get enough. It’s limited edition and I’ll be devastated when it is gone!

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http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367279/ Arrested Devlopment poster is the property of Imagine Television, The Hurwitz Company, Netflix and 20th Century Fox. I am making no particular claims about the T.V. show, production company or any related content or company

My T.V. show favorite this month is definitely¬†Arrested Development. I have started watching the series through again and I know its an old show, but it’s such a classic and it’s absolutely hilarious. I have probably watched the entire series through at least six times and I still laugh at every joke, It’s genius!

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http://www.bridgetjonesmovie.com/ Bridget Jones’s Baby movie poster is the property of Miramax, Studio Canal, Working Title and Universal Pictures. I am making no particular claims about the movie, production company or any related content or company.

My movie favorite has to be Bridget Jones’s Baby. I am a big fan of the Bridget Jones series and was so excited when a new movie came out! It was hilarious, heart warming and all around perfect. It was obviously not better then the original, but I think it was better then the squeal. Also, I promise I will NEVER give a spoiler with out a warning first, so NO spoilers here, but based on the news paper headline in the last scene,¬†I have a strong feeling that there will be another movie added to the installment! I would be so down for that! What do you think?

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https://www.amazon.ca/Girl-Lower-Back-Tattoo/dp/1501139886 The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo book cover is the property of Amy Schumer and Gallery Books. I am making no particular claims about the book, the author or the publishing company.

In August Amy Schumer came out with her debut book entitled¬†The Girl With the Lower Back Tattoo.¬†It’s a comedic book of stories and essays about Amy’s life and i really learned a lot about her as a person and her back ground. This book was very funny, charming and well written, it was exactly what i hoped it would be. Anyone who is a fan of the movie¬†Train Wreck¬†and a fan of Amy Schumers will love this book!¬†¬†(Is it super specific that my favourite genre of literature¬†is comedic collections of essays written by strong, funny women? Because that is what at least half¬†of my book collection consists of.)

Let me know down in the comments what your favorite of the month was!

  • xo, becca

 

 

Family Fall Activity Guide and FREE PRINTABLE

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The second part in our Autumn Guide series, focuses on what you can do with you family.¬†As much as I‚Äôd love to go to a coffee shop & get my very special version of a PSL (Double, Tall, ¬Ĺ Sweet, No Whip, PS topping IN milk, dense foam) and a pumpkin loaf (warmed, with butter in the bag so it melts as I spread it on) ‚Ķ a 9mo does not exactly have patience for me to ORDER that, let alone for me to sip my coffee hot and have a treat that she is not allowed to share. So how am¬†I going to make the most of this autumn season? Here‚Äôs what I‚Äôll be trying.

  1. Long Walks
    Take out the BIG stroller, pack it with snacks and every toy we own, along with blankets, and drive out to a tree lined path. The lakefront where I live now has been taken over by youth playing a *certain game* on their phones, but some of our parks are still beautiful! If your kids are a little older, have them collect falling leaves, acorns, and name the trees!
  2. Pumpkin Carving & Seed Roasting
    I can’t wait to watch the mess that is cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin happen. Messy fun for the little one! With a yummy snack for Mammi & Daddy after! Don’t forget to bleach the inside of your pumpkins to make them last longer!
  3. Leave Piles
    As much as I may hate the thought of sitting in a dirty pile of damp leaves, I’m going to relive the experience through the magical eyes of my child. I remember this being a high-light of my childhood, and look forward to re-experiencing it.
  4. Snuggle Up
    In Autumn the weather is finally cool enough that I can convince my human furnace of a man to get under a blanket. With our daughter in our lap, reading to her or watching some TV, snuggling up before bed and just enjoying time with each other sounds amazing.
  5. Drive
    We’re guaranteed a 2-hour scenic drive during Thanksgiving weekend. But if we didn’t, a purposeful drive where you can be warm and comfortable in your car, stopping at farm stands for fresh fall snacks (apples!) seeing the farm animals (horses with their blankets on!) and enjoying the foliage is a must.
  6. Farm Visits
    Whether it’s a pumpkin patch, apple picking, corn maze, or petting zoo (or all of the above if you’re as lucky as we are!) head out to a farm this autumn. Supporting local is always great, and this is such a fun time of year to visit. Grab a warm apple cider, take some silly pictures, and bring home some fruit to bake with!
  • xo, Kris

We’ve compiled a cute printable that combines both lists! Available in colour and black and white! ENJOY

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Recipe for a ‚ÄúPerfect‚ÄĚ Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving has ALWAYS been my favourite holiday. I love the gathering of people, the weather and season, and the meaning of the holiday. It‚Äôs not religious, so all family and friends can be included, and it signifies something that should be embraced by all of humanity ‚Äď gratitude! All around win in my book!

Right, right, so we all know nothing is perfect, but here’s my recipe to get as close as I can.

Ingredients:

  1. Door Décor
    1. Whether it’s a wreath, a cornucopia, or something of your own design it sets the welcoming tone for your festivities!
  2. Hot Beverages
    1. Hot apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee and teas (like this AMAZING pumpkin tea!) go great with dessert, and are great at warming up chilly hands this time of year. For me, any fall occasion isn’t complete until there’s a mug in my hand.
  3. Outdoor Oasis
    1. Until I was 20 I lived in homes that backed onto forests and rivers, so just standing in my backyard was enough to enjoy the autumn weather & colours. However, having yard furniture with lots of throw blankets out to keep warm under while you catch up with loved ones in the crisp fall air.
  4. Themed Table Settings
    1. I am a huge fan of place settings, but thanksgiving has always been more relaxed in my family. No matter who sits where at your table a few simple autumn touches like baby gourds and pumpkins in amongst your everyday dishes lend a special festive touch.
  5. Special Dish
    1. Mom’s awesome apple crumble? Grandma’s (Oma’s) best bacon and beans? Sister’s famous wild rice stuffing? Whatever that special dish is that makes Thanksgiving Thanksgiving make sure it’s on the table! I love Thanksgiving potlucks, so not any one person is stuck in the kitchen by themselves.
  6. Loved Ones
    1. Friends, Family, or a wonderful mixture, what truly makes any occasion great is sharing it with people you actually enjoy! Make sure you hunt down the cousin you don’t get a chance to chat with often and ask them how their studies are going, it’s a great time to reconnect before the chaos of the winter holiday season.
  7. A Moment of Thanks
    1. Sometimes in all the chaos of creating a perfect event, we forget to take time for the meaning of the event in the first place. Try to go around the table and get everyone to list just ONE thing they are thankful for this year. Hearing what people are grateful for, and taking time to reflect on your own personal gratitude is good for the soul. Another fun idea is to get everyone to write down what they’re grateful for on paper, and then choose from the jar during dessert and try to guess whose is whose!

Instructions: Place your wreath, put the kettle on, drape your throws outside, set your gourds on the table, stick that pie in the oven, gather up your friends and family and take a moment to be thankful for all you have. ‚ô•

  • xo, Kris