New Year, New Me? More like New Year, Improved Me! It’s the same thing every year. A new year arrives and we promise ourself we’re going to be better. This year, I’ll stop eating so many carbs. I’ll quit drinking every weekend. I’ll stop procrastinating […]
Month: December 2017
There’s something about getting older that seems to make the holiday season feel a lot less magical than it did when we were young. Whether it’s the intense need to nail the perfect gift for our loved ones, the pressure of year-end at work or final exam season, simply the stress of our busy lives PLUS now needing to attend 1000 extra holiday events, or maybe a combination of each, whatever it is, it’s time to reignite that mystical feeling of Christmas (or any other holiday you celebrate) and rediscover the love for the season you once had!
Just like my list of 4 Things to do For Yourself this past summer, I’ve rounded up a list of my favourite must-do activities this holiday season to get you in the spirit and ready to make the most of the month, whether on a date night or with your girls, these holiday classics must be checked off before December ends!
Explore a Holiday Market
Around this time of year, there are ENDLESS amounts of markets and craft sales! Grab a coffee and your bestie/babe and wander a market for a few hours. GUARANTEED you will feel 10x more festive . This holiday season, I’ve done a ton of my gift shopping from local, small businesses and it has truly made me feel so wholesome doing so! Knowing that you’re supporting local entrepreneurs while finding rad, unique gifts that can be so personalized for your favourite people is just plain awesome!
If you happened to miss Third + Bird the other weekend, they’ll be hosting a “Third + Bird Pop Up” at The Forks the first THREE weekends of the month (December 2 + 3, 9 + 10, 16 + 17). Stop by and grab your favourite peppermint bevvy from The Common, and wander through booths of amazing local vendors including organic skincare, knits, jewelry, artisan foods, and decor! Plus The Forks’ extensive list of shops don’t make a bad addition! My favourite is The Forks Trading Company on the upper level.
OR, check out the Holiday 2017 WEST Etsy Market and see all your favourite local Etsy products up close & personal (December 16th). From handmade to vintage, the WEST Etsy team scouts the best vendors and brings them all together in a setting where you can browse IRL.
If you’re looking for something more low key, check out this listing of Winnipeg’s (or find your own city!) smaller Christmas markets in community centres, churches, and other smaller venues!
Visit a Christmas Tree Farm
I’ll admit, my family’s always had an artificial Christmas tree, but that’s not stopping me from visiting a Christmas Tree Farm! Layer up in your buffalo plaid and toque, spike your to-go mug with Baileys, and head out on a hunt to find the perfect Christmas Tree. Who says you gotta take it home with you? Getting that breath of fresh air (literally) from being out in nature, plus that reminiscent smell of balsam fir trees, there’s no easier way to get back to your roots and into the holiday spirit. Plus, you’ll get some fab photo opps to keep an eye out!
Check out some Manitoba farms here.
Plan a Friendsmas
The holidays are a time of year when everyone comes back into town, calling for a reunion! Whether you see your group of friends frequently over the year, or just once or twice, make an effort to plan this one evening where everyone can attend and celebrate your own version of Christmas, friends style! (AKA without the stress of those awkward family fights or the family members you try to avoid)
Although my friend group is all based in my city so we see each other regularly, it’s still so fun to plan something extra special like a boozy brunch, a homemade dinner, or a GNO with wine and charcuterie. Consider doing a Secret Santa, that way you only have to spend money on one friend instead of worrying about all, or set a price limit and each bring a gift within it, then play a Gift Swap/Steal game to determine who ends up with what.
In order to make it extra festive (’cause you know your girls will actually appreciate colour blocked napkins, gold straws, and sparkly trees), take a note from my Mini Bar Party Prep tips for sprucing up your bar or table. Also, if hosting at a house, either stock up on or bring a fun batch drink like Jingle Juice. Not sure if this a new take on “Jungle Juice” or simply Christmas Sangria, but either way, I’m 100% sold on this prosecco-moscato-vodka-cran.
Have a Baking Day (or Cooking)
We all have those recipes, either stored in our grandma’s recipe book or saved on our Facebook account/Pinterest board that we swear we’ll whip up for a dinner or party or to package up as gifts. But life happens and it seems a lot easier to grab a dessert for the get-together from a nearby bakery am I right? So set up a Sunday with your best baking babes, compile all those recipes, and spend the day baking away! I’m much more of a cook than I am a baker, but around Christmastime, I love to have easy desserts on hand or in the freezer to pack up in a red and green tin to bring to any last minute events or as host gifts when attending something. Stock up on cute tins from any local dollar store, and cook up a big batch of clodhoppers (my personal favourite), shortbread, truffles, or whatever else you love!
Drive Around Aimlessly Looking at Christmas Lights
Since I was little, my family would take an evening drive past the city limits to see all the lit up and full-out decorated homes and trees. We’d stop in a small town and get chicken fingers and root beer floats, and it just became tradition! To this day, I still love to turn up the carols and head out, either to a planned destination or wherever the road leads. There’s something so relaxing about driving around aimlessly, but looking at pretty lights makes it that much better. One of the simplest but sweetest date nights!
If you’re not one to drive around without a reason or want to guarantee you’ll find the best lights, check out a Christmas Lights Display, such as Canad Inns Winter Wonderland at the Red River Exhibition Park! Stop along the 2.5 km and 3 million lights for hot chocolate and mini donuts while you staying comfy in your car snuggled up in your flannels while discovering themed displays including lover’s lane and Santa’s reindeer.
Scroll down for outfit deets!
With this look, I went with a cozy chic look AKA my winter uniform! Dressed here in a pair of black denim, an off-white ribbed long sleeve with a black sherpa vest with a gold zipper. This fall and winter I’ve been all about vests! Faux fur, sherpa, or puffer, the options are endless and they’re so easy to pair with any top. I dressed up the look with a simple addition of this red velvet cross body with a faux leather tassel. As per usual, I accessorized with a gold watch, bangles, stud earrings and a small statement necklace to dress it up just a little bit. I’m looking forward to pairing this sherpa vest with a big blanket scarf and winter boots for a casual cabin look.