Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Gifts

My Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in Black Onyx

A beautiful pillow made by my mum

My iPOD nano

Mini Moisturizing Kit

A little glitz for my cupcakes...

As per usual, I was very spoiled Christmas Day. Santa brought me everything I had asked for...and then some! I received some beautiful handmade gifts made with love by my mum, including a gorgeous pillow complete with sepia transfers (you can purchase these at Michael's and they are absolutely fabulous for updating pillows or tote bags). My brother bought me an iPOD (in my favourite colour), loaded with all of my favourite songs, and a sprinkle set for my cakes/cupcakes which will give them a little glitz!

My stocking was stuffed with chocolates, gift certificates and mini spa-essentials, including a mini-moisturizing kit from J.R. Watkins Apothecary. Their body lotions are 100% organic, natural, and they do not perform animal testing (something that we always look for on the products we use), not to mention the fact that they smell delicious!
I also got a gorgeous pair of black 'suede' boots and copious amounts of clothes from the Gap and Banana Republic. I highly recommend visiting both stores now, as their boxing day sales are out of this world. But, my favourite gift of all would have to be my Black Onyx Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer...I can't wait to try it out!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the holidays!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Patinage de glace

Yesterday night my dad and I took advantage of the free skating at our local arena. I haven't been on skates since I was 14, so it was a bit of a challenge to get back into the swing of things. I joked that I would probably spend the majority of the night in the children's section, skating with the assistance of a chair in an attempt to gain some balance. But, the old adage is's just like riding a bicycle. I eventually found my groove and we spent a good hour and a half on the rink. I was surprised that the rink wasn't more crowded, since I remember as a child my dad having to circle the arena a few times before finding a parking space.

We came home shortly afterwards and warmed up to some hot chocolate by the fire, and watched a few Christmas movies before they get packed up with the rest of the Christmas decor.

I think I will be able to fit in a few more winter sports before I head back to school to begin my second term. Most of the snow is still on the ground...maybe I can convince my brother to find our toboggan so we can head over to a snowy hill! Those skis of mine are also calling my name...

Friday, December 26, 2008

My (2nd) Favourite Day of the Year

I confess...even after all of the presents have been opened Christmas Day I count down the hours until Boxing Day arrives. Beginning November 1st, I begin my Christmas countdown. As soon as Hallowe'en is over and done with, the pumpkin/Fall-inspired decorations are packed away and the Christmas decor comes out. There is nothing like listening to Johnny Mathis sing White Christmas while gingerbread cookies are baking in the oven, the table gets its Christmas makeover for parties, and the lights begin to be strung from the fence in the front yard.
While I am a self-confessed Christmas junkie (I insist the decorations stay out until February), I can't help my Boxing-Day-Countdown. I love a bargain, not to mention the thrill that goes along with getting a great deal. (Early) this morning, we headed out to Home Outfitters where the Christmas stock was 60% off, including a few not-so-Christmas items (a set of 2 pillows was $5 and Oneida silverware was $20!). I couldn't pass up this $20 white tea set, $10 Mercury glass tree topper and $8 Mercury glass candle sticks...I think I might have begun a new collection!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas Tribute to My Best Friend

"The dog of your boyhood teaches you a great deal about friendship, and love, and death: Old Skip was my brother. They had buried him under our elm tree, they said — yet this wasn't totally true. For he really lay buried in my heart. "

-Willie Morris, My Dog Skip

These past few months have been a whirlwind of ups and downs, both good and bad. I began the month of September pursuing my Master's degree at a beautiful university in a beautiful new city, and have met many wonderful, unique people along the way. I spent my days in the library and my weekends and nights out exploring the city with friends. But, eventually, I grew homesick and when Thanksgiving came around, I couldn't wait to visit with friends and family...and of course, my beautiful black lab, Ben...back home. Unfortunately, it was during this weekend back home that I learned my best friend had passed away.
Over the summer I noticed he was growing tired and was beginning to show his age, though he still had a skip, hop and a jump in his step. Then Fall rolled around and his 'kids' went off to school. He started slowing down and slept most of the days away. He passed away on a crisp autumn afternoon when the leaves were starting to turn their rich golden colours.
Yesterday night I came home from Christmas shopping and on my way in the house, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a star twinkling. I am sure that star will follow me forever, and keep a watchful eye over me.
Ben, I will love you and miss you forever.
Goodbye my sweet friend.