Monday 26 November 2018

Our Favourite Christmas Traditions

Thought I'd share a few of our Christmas traditions right now that we've been maintaining over the past couple years. I see these traditions growing and changing in the coming years with our family and I CANNOT wait to see how things unfold. I do have to remind myself though to cherish the Christmas season as it exists now for us. As I know like many of us, I will likely look back on these Christmas' and wish that I could replicate bits and pieces.

The Christmas Tree

Right now we live in Kitimat, BC. It's about 16 hours north of Vancouver. So there is a lot of opportunity for us to hunt down a Christmas tree out in the forest around Kitimat. We've gone somewhere different every year to get a good look at the trees and make a little hike out of it as well. The trees are never totally perfect like the store bought live ones or artificial trees, but it usually ends up being a beautiful winter day and the quiet of the forest allows for some time to reflect on the year that's passed.

This obviously isn't a tradition specific to our family as I'm sure most north americans put up and decorate a Christmas tree, but it just feels like such a special part of the holidays every year that I had to mention it.

Christmas Crafts

Chad has agreed to participate in one larger craft project each year. A couple years ago we put together this Merry and Bright Marquee. We hang it every year and its given me soooo many other ideas for light up signs. None of which I've shared with Chad yet as I'm reminded every year how much he loves this sign when he continuously has to find new tiny little bulbs to replace the burnt out ones.

We also entered a craft fair one year, mostly to sell Chad's furniture, so I made little wooden garland with Christmas phrases and tress, candy canes, or stars on either side to also sell. They were a huge hit. So much so that we spent all of December taking orders and turning our kitchen table into a wood garland factory.

I'm ALWAYS looking for new holiday craft ideas. So if you have any, let me know.

Chad also recently took up chainsaw carving as another hobby. One of his first projects was this evergreen tree. We still have it sitting in the corner of our living room year round. 


I don't think this tradition needs much explanation. Baked goods. Holiday baked goods. Come on people, there are tins made specifically for sharing Christmas baked goods.

My two favourite recipes are these espresso thumbprint cookies and my sugar cookies with clementine icing.

Christmas Puzzles

This is a newer Christmas tradition. It just seemed right to sit around a puzzle all day while eating and drinking in good company. It stifles any unproductive banter, but allows for the right amount of familial closeness. It's also surprisingly addictive. Especially if you're able to leave the puzzle out during the holidays so people can pop in a couple pieces and move along with their festivities or choose to spend hours meticulously hunting for that missing piece.

I'm looking at getting some very Christmas specific puzzles this year and love this one, and this one.

Outdoor Activities

That first snow just sucks me right in. With our golden retriever we were out almost every day for walks and since she loves the wooded trails we've gotten in some truly stunning walks. Its now a huge tradition for us to get out during that first snowfall for a good walk.

Lake skating. I love indoor skating over the Christmas holidays as well but there is a natural magic to skating on a big old lake. Especially when the lake has somehow frozen completely smooth and boasts nothing but a light layer of hoar frost to skate through. If we can (and its cold enough) we seek out a good frozen lake for some skating. Thermos' of hot chocolate and some Christmas cookies usually make an appearance as well.

If we can get out for some downhill or cross country skiing then we absolutely do. Especially cross country skiing. We love it so much that we made sure our stroller for our little one, Eli could attach to a pair of skis so we can pull him behind us.

Christmas pyjamas

Christmas pyjamas are key in our family. Even during pregnancy (I was 6 months pregnant in this photo) Christmas pyjamas must be worn. Chad was such a good sport about this....not his favourite tradition, but he keeps it alive anyways.

Christmas Eve Lights Tour

I think my grandfather started this tradition actually when I was really young. I remember him driving us out to Niagra Falls on Christmas Eve to see the holiday lights display along the park near the falls. It was always full of light up disney characters that we all loved so much. Its felt natural to keep that tradition alive by touring the neighbourhoods around our house to see everyone's Christmas lights.

Like I mentioned above, I see some big changes to the holidays coming our way in the coming years. I'm sad about some traditions we will likely have to let go of, but excited for the new ones we will likely make together.

What kind of traditions does your family have?

- Katie


Saturday 24 November 2018

Filled Glass Christmas Tree Bobbles

As I've mentioned before...Christmas is coming. Chad and I will be hunting down a tree this year a little earlier than normal since we'll be spending some of December in Ontario with family. Its still important to us to celebrate our holiday traditions here even though we won't be having Christmas here in northern BC. 


Friday 23 November 2018

Crocheted Hanging Window Snowflakes

How can you say no to these?! Unless crocheting is not your thing. But at least hunt down a crocheter who might make them for you! They are so understated, but seriously add sooooo much to the Christmas  vibe in our kitchen. I've been aiming for minimalist cozy decorations this year mostly because a) we don't actually have that many Christmas decorations, b) the extreme red and green everywhere starts to hurt my eyes by the time Christmas comes around, and c) I'd like to keep some of my decorations (like these) up through January as well. Hopefully they'll remind me that I don't just love the snow at Christmas time. 


*small crochet hook (1.5-2.25 mm). Here is a really good chart to figure out crochet hook size for different yarns.
* Lace weight yarn (any kind). I used a very thin wool yarn that a friend of mine spun up and was getting rid of.
* Small scissors
* Pattern (hundreds on pinterest, but I used this one.)
* Fabric stiffener.
* Craft paint brush.
* Push pins.
* Flat cardboard.
* Window suction cups.

* Although this was a pretty easy project, it did take a little bit of planning in terms of giving myself time to crochet the snowflakes and waiting overnight for the fabric stiffener to dry, but super worth it. *

Thursday 22 November 2018

Beaded Christmas Ornaments

If you're anything like me then you'll understand that there is the rest of the year and then there is Christmas! I'm beyond excited for Christmas. It has been an incredibly eventful fall and I'm so happy to say that I actually got almost all my DIY project plans done this month! And of course they were all Christmas themed projects so planning started November 1st. Some projects were a little more time consuming like the advent calendar or crocheted snowflakes I made, so I had planned a few projects that I knew would get done during Christmas movies.

These clear pearl bead ornaments were just what I needed. Suuupppper easy in an instant gratification kind of way. It involved very few supplies and they were pretty easy to find...even in Northern BC (yep, I ordered nothing online). So here is how to make them.


Wednesday 21 November 2018

DIY Advent Calendar and Adventures in Applique

Hey folks. First off, Its almost December! It is now officially appropriate to blare Christmas music, make your house smell like clementine's and cloves, and drink obnoxious amounts of peppermint hot chocolate. We've now been living in Northern BC for just over 4 years and I was shocked when I went to pull out our Christmas decorations mid-November to find that it took me literally 2 minutes to decorate our house due to our skimpy collection of decorations. I have also been wanting to take my advent calendar game face to a whole new level for a few years now and never really found the time to do it. 

​Sincerely not for the faint of heart. I'll be honest, it was a little time consuming, so if you're a beginner in the sewing department maybe set aside a weekend to bang this out, but it was also so much fun. 


- Assorted cotton Christmas fabrics (I can totally see this being gorgeous in blues and silvers, or golds and whites)
- Number stencils (mine came out of an old scrapbooking kit)
- Scissors
- Rotary cutter (not pictured)
- Iron (not pictured).
- Sewing machine (not pictured).
- Thread matching fabric colours (not pictured). 
- yarn/jute/ribbon
​- Fusible web
- White cotton fabric (1 1/2 metres approx)
- Treats to go in advent calendar (chocolates, candy canes, small toys, crafting supplies) 

Step 1: Press white cotton fabric and square it up. Then cut the fabric into long strips 5 inches wide.

Step 2: measure 5 1/2 inches across the length of the strip and cut (the extra 1/2 inch is to account for the sleeve that your yarn/ribbon/jute will go through to make a drawstring). 

You will need twice as many white cotton squares as the number of days in your advent calendar (i.e. for 25 days, cut 50 white cotton squares). 

*Note: Fusible web has two distinctly different sides to it. A papered side and a webbed feeling side.

Step 3: Trace your numbers with a fine tip pen/sharpie on the papered side, but be sure to trace them backwards (this will make sense later).

Step 4: Roughly cut out each number.
*You will want the extra space around your numbers when you eventually go to cut them out properly and it'll be easier to iron them down this way.

Step 5: Place your backwards numbers onto the wrong side of your fabric with the webbed side facing down. Then iron the number down onto the fabric.

Step 6: Once all your backwards numbers are ironed onto the fabric they should stick well enough to cut the numbers out more accurately. One side should have the fusible web paper on it and the other side should look like this.

Step 7: Peel the fusible web off of the back of your numbers. The shiny webbing from the fusible web should be on the back of your fabric number. Then position the number with the webbing side down on the white cotton square and iron it down.

The point of the fusible web is to more or less create a temporary hold between two pieces of fabric so that when you go to sew it down the numbers don't move or bunch up against the white fabric.....thus I can't live without it.
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