[ Happy Holidays ] : 2015

So its been a while...I guess that's what happens when you have a baby thats teething and sleep training. It's amazing how the brain and body can turn to mush without the right amount of sleep, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel. And it's almost Christmas!!It's my favourite time of year, and I'm so excited to celebrate my daughters' first christmas, and to start all of our own traditions. I'm also excited to start decorating and joining in on the holiday festivities. I have a strict rule not to start any christmas shenanigans before December 1st, but one can always start planning and making lists :) I love lists. So for now i've broken it down into a few categories; Trees, home decor, christmas baking, cards, gifts, and things to do around the city. I'm so excited!! I hope you like some of my holiday ideas. As I go through each one of these categories during the holiday, i'll be sure to post so you can follow along.

[ Tree Inspiration ]

This year I'd like to change up our tree. In previous years my tree has always been gold and silver. Now I think I'd like to create more of a rustic/organic feel with a little bit of a contemporary pop. I really like the natural elements, but also loving the black and white accents. I'm not sure how much I'm going to get away with this year as I'm sure my daughter might try to pull down all the decorations as a tasty snack. So wish me luck!

[ Home Decor Inspiration ]

Keeping with the same ideas as the tree, I think the ideas below are totally doable, and very budget friendly. I already have a chalkboard in my entrance way so that should be easy to add a small wreath with ribbon. The cranberries in a mason jar will make a cute centrepiece for our dinning table, and I can't wait to decorate the mantle with a simple garland and banner. And once the wreath is removed from the card display it can be used year round to display small photos. I think these small and simple decorating ideas are perfectly festive, and great for not over doing it in a small space like a condo.

[ Christmas Baking ]

Christmas baking is by far the best activity that gets me into the holiday spirit. It's a great way to spend the day with family and friends. Put on some holiday music, keep the apple cider (with some spiced rum) flowing, and make an entire day of baking all your holiday favourites. This year I think i'm going to give these mini gingerbread houses a try. They are so freakin cute!!! I also just recently got a copy of Rosie Daykin's new book, Butter Celebrates, and I can't wait to make some of her yummy goodies.

[ Greeting Cards ]

I love getting Christmas cards from friends and family, but somehow I always seem to leave it to the last minute to get my cards out. This year I vow to get them out on time. I have our family photo session scheduled with my very talented friend, Iulia Agnew, and now I just have to plan our outfits (no matchy matchy stuff going on here) and which card design we'll choose to print. There are so many designs out there but these are some of my favourites!

[ Gift Giving ]

I think sometimes we can over complicate the idea of giving gifts during the holidays, and it becomes much too stressful. Last year my family tried something new. We decided to simply draw names and this way you only have to buy one gift. Lets all be honest, we don't need lots of things, and most of the time it turns into exchanging gift cards, which doesn't exactly scream the christmas spirit. So we used the secret santa generator - DrawNames. Its free, and very easy to use. You simply register all the participants and then you are emailed with the name of the person for whom you need to buy a gift. It also allows you to create a budget and a wish list so that you can get exactly what you want, even if it is a gift card to your favourite store. Easy peasy! Another idea that we are excited to start this year for my daughter is the idea of four gifts. Something you want, need, to wear, and to read. I have seen so many kids get incredibly spoiled (i know i once was, maybe stil...) and they don't even really appreciate what they got. I want the idea of spending time with loved ones to be whats important during the holidays, not the newest plastic toy that she'll forget about in the near future. But i also do love giving gifts and I am very excited for her to open something on christmas morning. I found these cute tags to help label the gifts.

[ Celebrations ]

I love all the holiday celebrations in the city this time of year. There are so many to choose from, but I always enjoy the Vancouver Christmas Market, Bright Nights at Stanley Park, the Christmas parade, and of course getting a picture with Santa!!

I hope some of these ideas have inspired you for this holiday season. I'd also love to hear of your family traditions.