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Holiday Dining with The DeKonings

When growing up, I remember how exciting Christmas Eve was, it was almost just as exciting as Christmas and it still is something I look forward to every year. My Mom and Mother-in-law that bring Christmas to an whole nother level, it's that these women are INCREDIBLE cooks! In my parents household, my mom fills the island with savouring hors d'oeuvres like cold pizza, water chestnuts wrapped in bacon, jalapeno poppers (my hubby's fav), franks buffalo wings and a zillion nacho dips... the smell lingering through the household is pure heaven! As a family we crowd around the island, stuffing our faces and reminiscing about the good old stories growing up, lots of embarrassing moments that make all of us squirm in our chairs, but those are our favourites! Christmas Eve is the least bit of fancy as far as setting the table, all that really matters is filling the chairs with our loved ones and indulging in the the endless amount of comfort foods. Just thinking about all the warm food makes my heart a little toasty- cheesy I know, but food is always a way to anyones heart in my family! Spending Christmas between both Brent's family and my own Read more

How To Make Your Christmas Tree Fuller

Let me tell you a little about my Christmas tree. It cost $38. No, it wasn’t on sale. No, I didn’t get it second hand. That was the full price at the store when I got it. See, I got married in September 4 years ago, and we weren’t exactly in a position to spend a ton of money on a tree, but we definitely wanted one. I waited too long to find anything early on at garage sales or online, so I got this one. I should also mention we lived in a tiny house, so the tree had to be small. I still remember taking it out of the box, so excited for our first tree, and seeing all of the gaps in between the branches. It was a little disheartening, but I was determined to make it work. And I have. You see, we still have this tree. It’s the only tree we’ve ever had, and I dare say it doesn’t look like it cost $38 anymore! I almost never put up the tree on its original base and use a tree skirt, and the main reason for that is our dog. He things the skirt is a new Read more

Bedroom, the mom-oasis of calm

We all need a place where we feel relaxed the minute we get there. For some, it's their home in general, for others it may be the beach or the forest, while for me, a working-at-home-mom, it's my bedroom. Though it haven't always been that way. I used to study in my bed as a student, and have always had a huge mess of laundry. Then, as a new mom, my bedroom was buried underneath the pile of baby clothes, diapers and more laundry. Investing in the bedroom of my dreams just had to wait. Up until recently, when one day I finally realized that it's been awhile since I had a baby to change and feed in the middle of the night. And that actually, from time to time I do find a minute to read in bed. The only problem was that, my old headboard was a little bit of a DIY project, and didn't hold that well, so leaning comfortably on it was impossible. Our mattress was getting uncomfortable, and our nightstands where cute but very unpractical little tables, too small to store anything. It was time for a change. When I've set my eyes on my new Leon's bed, Read more

5 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Reading Nook

At the end of a busy day, once the kids have gone to bed (and perhaps after you’ve gotten some holiday wrapping done), a reading nook is the perfect place to unwind and relax!  A cozy spot with the right lighting to write those last few emails, read a book or sip a cup of warm tea.  There’s nothing quite better than having a little retreat in your own home! Here are 5 tips for creating the ultimate reading nook: 1- Lighting If you’re able to set your reading corner close to a window, that’s an added bonus!  A warm light is a what you need to be able to read well at night.  Consider a reading lamp, or a small table lamp, but take into consideration how bright the bulb is as well as how much light the shade lets out.  You want more of a direct light, so that you can see what you’re reading, vs a light that will light up the entire room. 2- Table You don’t need a large table with a lot of surface space, just something wide enough to set down a cup of tea and that can tuck neatly beside you chair.  Make sure that you bring Read more

cookie swap hack: peppermint white chocolate shortcake cookies.

One of the things I love the most about December, are cookie swap parties. I just love the tradition of a cookie swap. Everyone brings a big batch of home-made Christmas cookies. Preferably the sort that only grandma used to make - because of course noting is as good as an old family recipe passed through generations of passionate bakers! Everyone decorates their cookies in a fun and original way, and then the swap begins! And everyone goes home with a lovely mix of Xmas cookies, all different all original and all home-made.. Except, that we don't always have time to make that big batch of perfect home made cookies. All the cutting and baking is definitely fun, but sometimes between work and home it's just not happening. Then what, should we cancel the cookie swap? No! Because with this cookie hack, nobody will know you didn't actually bake these cookies. Or you can tell them the truth, and I'm sure everyone will still love these! Because who doesn't love some white chocolate and peppermint candy sugar cookie? This melting in your mouth shortbread cookie, mixed with sweetness of white chocolate and the crunch of the peppermint candy cane is a crowd pleaser ! And it's a Read more