DIY Advent Calendar for Grown-Ups

1 Dec

diy advent calendar

Since our first year of marriage, my husband and I have exchanged Advent calendars.  We started out by making them ourselves.  The first year we both used envelopes and string and hung them above our bed, and filled each envelope with little candies and treats from the Dollar store.  It was fun to be able to open something every day, especially knowing that it had been put together by the other person.

The second year, I used magazine pages, and my husband used envelopes.  Again, different treats and stuff from Dollarama.  Still fun.  Plus, I put in little notes with encouraging words or funny sayings, that stated how much I love him, so he could read them at lunch time at work.

Then last year, my husband revealed to me that he felt bad because the one I gave him was always better than the one he gave me, so we decided that I would get the Starbucks Advent Calendar that year!  I was pretty excited because I love Starbucks, and he was pretty excited because it meant he didn’t actually have to make one.  Plus, I could still make one for him, which is the other part I find fun.

So this year, I got the David’s Tea Advent Calendar, and I’m so excited to get started on it today, and I used the little containers from last years Starbucks one to make my husbands calendar.  And this time, I thought ahead.  As far ahead as Halloween.  As soon as the Halloween candy went on sale, I picked some up for the advent calendar.

diy advent calendar

So I filled the calendar with little cute notes and encouragement, and a variety of candies.  This time NOT from the dollar store, and some of them are his faves.  I’m pretty excited for when he gets to read them.  AND I’m really really excited for all the tea I get to drink this month ;)

Do you like to get Advent calendars for the month of December? Which is your favourite?


Happy (almost) December!

30 Nov

It’s December tomorrow! Which means it’s totally socially acceptable everywhere to talk about Christmas, and be ready for Christmas, and have a Christmas tree!  We went to get our Christmas tree yesterday, we also went and visited Santa for Autumn’s first time.  She wasn’t really a fan, but we don’t generally let strange men hold her, so it’s not really that surprising.  Plus, she was tired :p

I had a goal in November to get my Christmas shopping done this month, and I’ve pretty much accomplished that!  Aside from a couple of small things that I still need to pick up, everything is ready to go.  All I have to do now is wrap it up and put it under the tree.  All I have left to do is the homemade stuff, which hopefully won’t take too long, but we’ll see.

Otherwise, I’m just ready to hang out, enjoy my newly decorated, beautiful smelling tree, listen to Christmas music, and drink hot chocolate.  Gotta love December!  PLUS!! The best part.  I’m not in school this year, so I don’t have to think about finals I can just think about Christmas!  So happy about that, I can’t even begin to describe how happy that makes me.

Here are some other things making me happy this week:

  1. One day left to sign up for Dressember!
    This will be my third year participating in Dressember, and this year I’m wearing one dress all month.  It’ll be so great!  You should sign up ;) Alternatively, you can donate here!
  2. My brother got engaged!!
    I’m so excited for them! I love my new sister in law! <3
  3. My David’s Tea Advent Calendar
    We got it at the beginning of November, so I’ve been waiting all month to be able to make the tea.  I can’t wait till tomorrow.  It smells amazing, and I’ve mostly been able to keep what kinds of teas there are a surprise

What are you excited for this week/month?


jeans all day

27 Nov

maternity style

shirt: Thrifted (George) // jeans: Bluenotes // scarf: gift (Out of the Blue) // socks: gift (Out of the Blue) // hair clip: Tiny Tangerines

maternity style maternity style maternity style new mama style you're so damn pretty socks

Since it’s almost Dressember, I’m wearing these jeans as much as possible this month.  I may as well call November “Jeansvember” because that is how much I’ve been wearing jeans.  The other thing is, I want to wear these pants as long as they fit before my baby bump gets bigger!  As soon as I can’t zip them up anymore, it’ll be time to pull out the maternity pants.  Probably after December, when I have “leggings and pants-uary” ;)

The first trimester had me in a bit of a funk.  I don’t think it’s helped that I need to buy contacts and that I’ve run out, because I always feel way more casual/lazy when I wear glasses.  I don’t feel like putting on makeup or doing anything with my hair, or putting on anything cute.  When I put on makeup and actively try to pick out something cute to wear, I feel like my day goes better.  I don’t know if that’s a real thing that happens to other people, but I definitely feel better if I think that I look cute.  Anyone else feel the same way?  So the first trimester was full of sweatpants, these jeans, and whatever sweater or sweatshirt that was clean, if I’m being honest.  I’m SO excited for Dressember to play around with what clothes I have again!  Looking forward to sharing the outfits here as well. (Check out my page here!)

This outfit was really fun though!  I got the scarf and socks for my birthday, but they came from a local store here in Winnipeg called Out of the Blue.  The old standby jeans haha, and then this shirt.  I found it at Value Village on 50% off day, I think, and thought it was just a regular (short) dress.  Turns out, it’s actually a maternity top!  Which makes it pretty perfect :)


Dressember 2015!

26 Nov

I’m so excited that I’m participating in Dressember again this year.  This will be my third year participating, and I’m hoping to go all out with it.  Even more so than last year, certainly (but that was understandable, I had a newborn baby so).

This year, my goal is to wear the same dress all month.  Or, in the very least, wear the same dress until it stops fitting due to pregnancy, and then pick another dress for the rest of the month that is more accommodating to my expanding midsection.

If you’re interesting in checking out my page, you can do so here!  I would be ever so honoured if you decided to sponsor me.

In order to kick off Dressember, and to give you some inspiration to join in if you wish, here are a few of my favourite looks for the last two years:

dressember 7

this one was from Dressember 2014, deep into the newborn stage with my daughter.  Mostly just wanted to be comfortable, and this dress was really soft and kind to me when I was pregnant, and still worked for breastfeeding.  Plus, wow! Look at how small she is here <3

One of my favourite dresses ever! I got it as a Modcloth Stylish Surprise that year and knew I had to wear it for Dressember.  This was the year where I picked out four dresses and then wore them each for a week.  I loved this week, this dress is so lovely.  I can’t remember where I was going, but I really enjoyed wearing this to it :)

dressember day 2

Another dress from Dressember 2013.  I love this dress, too!  It also lives in the section of my closet that I can’t wear currently because it isn’t breastfeeding friendly.  One day I will wear it again (I think, unless I got rid of it in my purge of last April? I honestly don’t remember).  Full disclosure:  I put those shoes on JUST for taking the outfit pictures.  There is no way I would have been able to wear those shoes out in the snow haha!  I still love that scarf.  My parents brought it back for me from Poland and I need to wear it more.

Looking forward to seeing what I put together with my one dress this Dressember!  I’ll be keeping you updated with  how it goes here for sure!  And, again, if you’re interested in donating, be sure to check out my page <3


saving herself for Luke Perry

25 Nov

Cher from Clueless costume

shirt: thrifted // skirt: thrifted (Le Chateau) // socks: gift // tiny backpack: thrifted

how to dress like a 90's girl

90's accessories

So, check it: the other night I shared some snaps from my Clueless/90’s themed birthday party, including the food, & decor, so here is my Clueless-inspired outfit!  I mostly went with clothes I already had (chosen by computer), and I happened to have the best 90’s accessories, too.  An authentic tiny backpack, as well as a chunky plastic ring that was directly from the 1990’s.  It was phat.

Unfortunately, all of my 90’s-esque baby tees weren’t seeming to fit, and I was totally buggin’.  Luckily, this t-shirt worked and I was able to finish the ensemble with some high socks.  While it might not be the perfect Cher outfit complete with matching yellow plaid jacket and skirt, and yellow cardigan… I think I came pretty close.  Plus, the fact that I didn’t need to buy anything extra for the outfit made my wallet happy, too!


adding an expansion pack

24 Nov

Christmas-themed pregnancy announcement

Surprise!  We are pleased to officially announce that we are expecting again!  Due mid-May.  At this time we don’t know what we’re having, but we’re really excited to find out (and I’m really really hoping that I actually get to this time).

Alysa (+1)

My Clueless/90’s Birthday Party

23 Nov


Clueless was definitely one of those movies that defined the era.  When I think of the 1990’s, the movie Clueless is one of the things that comes to mind.  It definitely had a huge impact on my 90’s!  From the incredible quotes to the clothes, this movie is everything.  If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for?? (But seriously, it’s on Netflix right now. Canadian AND American, so go watch it now!!)  It was pretty obvious that this would be the best co-theme for my 90’s party.  Plus, do we really need an excuse to dress a little like Cher Horowitz? I don’t think so!

Here are some of the ways I made my party like totally Clueless/90’s:

90's Clueless Party

First of all, there are no fancy-schmancy smart phones in the 1990’s.  So everyone had to leave their fancy non-flip phones in the basket and experience the 90’s as they really were.  Beepers were totally allowed though.



Clueless party

For the food, I had to have food from the movie!  There is a line (pictured above) that basically described the way I ate when I was in high school, so I got some of the best foods from the list.  Cher is so funny, she eats like a chipmunk but thinks she’s a heifer.  So silly!

90's Clueless Party

These were my two themed drinks.  I had to use the ultra mean quote “You’re a virgin who can’t drive” to describe my non-alcoholic beverage.  And when Cher describes Amber as being a “full-on Monet”, that was just too memorable a line to ignore.  And mojitos are amazing ;)

90's Party

I recently had my thrift store dreams come true when I found a copy of Dream Phone in Burlington, Ontario at Value Village.  It was one of the top moments of my entire life.  So of course we had to play the best 90’s teen girl game at the 90’s party!  I think people had fun playing this blast from the past game.

Clueless Party!

I really like giving out little goodie bags or a little something to my guests when they’re leaving (if I can remember to actually do it).  This year it was the little feathery pens, similar to the one that Cher has in the movie.  If any of my friends missed snagging one and still wants it, just let me know! I still have them.

90's Party

For total authenticity, the only music we could listen to had to be from the 90’s, and it had to be on CD.  I had a number of CD’s of bands who started in the 90’s, but the CD was from the 2000’s, and those were NOT played.  I was trying to keep it real. ;)

90's Party

And I definitely had to play the Clueless soundtrack, duh!


The “dress code” of the party was 90’s attire, and it ended up being pretty plaid.  But here’s me and my best girlfriend, Melanie and I showing off our best 90’s inspired outfits.

Hope you enjoyed my little trip back to the 1990’s.  It was also really fun to come back to 2015 and be able to use Instagram though ;)


Let it snow!

19 Nov

It snowed today, which means that in my house Christmas spirit is going into overdrive.  I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now, and slowly getting the house all decorated… but haven’t really been super motivated to go overboard just yet.  I’m really excited to get our tree at the end of the month though! We’re getting a real tree again, and I’m so pumped.

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas songs to help get you in the holiday spirit as well (even if it hasn’t snowed where you are yet):


What are your favourite Christmas songs?


Non-Traditional Holiday Movies to Put You In The Christmas Spirit

13 Nov

Holiday Movies to put you in the Christmas Spirit

I LOVE Christmas Movies! They are so much fun and definitely get you in the Christmas Spirit.  However, while the 25 days of Christmas lineup from ABC Spark is great, sometimes you might want to watch something that doesn’t SCREAM Christmas (like Elf “SANTA!! SANTA!!! I KNOW HIM!!”), but instead whispers it softly in the background.  That’s where these movies come in.  Hope you enjoy watching them as much as I do :)

1. Edward Scissorhands
The Christmas-ness of this movie is definitely subtle.  But you get the decorations and preparations for Christmas, and the magic of the first snow fall.  It’s really a beautiful movie.

2. When Harry Met Sally
I would put this movie in a few lists like this one.  Movies to watch in Autumn, Movies to watch at New Years, and yes, Movies to watch at Christmas.  It’s got everything, and you get to see Christmastime in New York City, which would be a dream for me to actually go there for.  Plus, the musical stylings of Harry Connick, Jr.  You really can’t go wrong with this one.

3. Mean Girls
Jingle Bell Rock, Two for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco! None for Gretchen Wieners, Bye!  Just watch it.  AND It’s on Netflix, so you can watch it right now ;)

4. Little Women
This was one of my favourite books and movies growing up, but specifically the movie with Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, and Kirsten Dunst.  There is a beautiful part of the movie that specifically happens at Christmas, where this little family who has so little, gives what they do have to another family who has even less.  It really shows the true meaning of Christmas in my opinion.

5. Just Friends
This movie is a little more obvious about the Christmas theme, because it’s set at Christmas and the premise is that Ryan Reynolds’ character is at home for Christmas.  But I think that it doesn’t really count as a traditional “Christmas Movie” simply because the fact that it’s Christmas is so secondary to everything else that is going on.  There are Christmas Carols, decorations, family, etc… but it’s not the main event.  Plus, Anna Faris is in it, and she’s hilarious.  This one is also on Netflix.

6. The Harry Potter series
There is a Christmas part of each of these movies (if I remember correctly), and when the first few came out, they came out around Christmastime.  I always associate the Harry Potter movie series with Christmas because they came out in November/December.  Plus, they’re just really good.  Do we need another excuse to watch Harry Potter? I didn’t think so.

7. Bridget Jones Diary
How could I have forgotten about Bridget?  A lot of what happens happens at Christmas, but the movie is so much more than that!  I spent a lot of times in my teens watching this movie and reading the books.  I love it :)

What are your favourite non-traditional Christmas movies?


getting it together

9 Nov

mama style

fall mama style

what to wear in fall

shirt: Bluenotes // skirt: Old Navy // socks: gifted

This last weekend was crazy! Crazy awesome!  It was my daughter’s first birthday, and along with it came her first birthday party.  It was so much fun to be able to get everyone in our house to celebrate one year of Autumn!  While it was a little overwhelming at times, it was also so great to be able to see everyone who was there for us in a major way during Autumn’s first year all together in one room.  I had a great time, I just wish I had been able to talk more with a bunch of people.

The last few weeks were all about getting ready for the birthday party, and I’m glad that it went so well!  One of my favourite parts was that my sister, who lives out of town, was able to be here for it.  It was so special for Autumn to have her Ciocia at her birthday party.

But what’s next?  Christmas of course!  I need to clean up my studio and un-first-birthday-afy everything, and get ready to bring Christmas to the house!  One of my goals I shared from last week was to get my Christmas shopping done this month, and I think I have a pretty good start to that.  In the very least, I have ideas of what I want to do ;)  That’s a start, right?



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