Special Holiday Post๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽโ„โ›„

 

Hi Everyone,

The Christmas holiday season is always a happy, festive and fun time of the year. Colorful lights, beautiful decorations, ornaments, hot chocolate, baking are amongst some ย of the things that come to mind. With this in mind I have a few suggestions of fun things to do during the holiday season this year in December.ย 

The first idea is:

1) DIY Holiday Decoration Canvas Board

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This is a vey fun project to do with your kids, nephews nieces, friends or just on your own. You put your own creativity into it and once completed you can put it up for decoration or display anywhere in your house. A DIY decoration is just as nice as a store bought decoration. For this art project you will need the following items:

  • a large canvas board. These come in different sizes so you can choose whichever size you prefer. I like to use the large one though because that means I have more space to decorate! ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Any holiday embellishments. To get an idea I will share what I used.ย  ย ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย ย 
  • Different holiday stickers. I was able to find different felt type stickers and it was actually a holiday crafting set that had different embellishments which basically included different kinds of felt or material stickers like sparkly red stockings, pine or Christmas trees, gift boxes, reindeer, snowmen, Santa Claus, snow balls and so forth.6C6E8241-D839-4248-8594-4786DB6A941B
  • I also found this great holiday doodle book that was filled with decorative festive Christmas holiday backgrounds to draw on. However, instead I took one of the backgrounds I liked and used it as a background or template for my holiday canvas.E969DDD0-154F-406F-B368-5DA210D4F608
  • I also had some pretty green beads in my craft tray that reminded me of the decorative balls that are used as tree hangers or decorations so I put that on the canvas too.
  • I also got this beautiful flower or rose twine from the store and used it as a type of wreath that went around the message Happy Holidays. I printed out the message for the happy holidays but you can write it yourself too if you want.96D726A8-343B-4550-8589-443584421FE6

2) Fun Holiday Baking Recipes

I have two fun baking recipes to share with you that I have made.ย 

Peppermint Cupcakes Recipe

For this recipe you will need:

  • Readymade cake mix like Betty Crocker. Ideal flavours to use are Butter Pecan, French Vanilla or Golden Cake mix. Bake according to package instructions. Usually for package cake mix obviously vegetable oil, eggs and water or milk is required. Or if you prefer you can bake them from scratch. For your convenience I have provided a link for an easy and simple recipe for cupcakes which isย https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/vanilla-cupcakes/
  • Vanilla frosting. Again it is up to you if you want to use ready made frosting as it is definitely more convenient. I like to use the French vanilla frosting or cream cheese frosting by Betty Crocker. However, again I have included a recipe link for homemade frosting which isย https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/vanilla-buttercream-frosting/39107a19-be94-4571-9031-f1fc5bd1d606
  • Bag of Small round peppermint candies
  • cupcake tray
  • cupcake liners

The picture of the cupcakes I made are below!

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Cute Reindeer Cupcakes

I had a lot of fun making this recipe! I got this recipe from this link which isย https://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking-and-desserts/recipe/reindeer-cupcakes I did change up the recipe a bit and made some changes. For example, for the eyes I used mini oreos and split them apart and used as the base for the reindeerโ€™s eyes and for the pupil I used chocolate chips. For the nose I used M & Ms. For the antlers or ears I split the mini pretzels in half so I made like mini antlers. Another tip I have is that once the cupcakes have cooled and I have frosted and decorated them. I like to put them in the fridge for a bit just so that the icing can set. The picture of the cupcakes I made are below!

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Homemade Rustic Pizza ๐Ÿ˜‹

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Pizza is always a nice meal to prepare at home especially during the cold weather season and month. Its nice aroma fills the house and is the ideal comfort food to have during this time of the month.

As we all know pizza is a pretty versatilze and open recipe. So when it comes to toppings there are so many options to choose from. For me when I made this pizza recently I used whatever ingredients I had in the house at the time and decided to be creative!

Ingredients (based on the way I made my pizza. Just a guideline and some suggestions ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Ingredients

  • Store bought pizza dough that can be rolled out in desired pizza shape. I used Pillsbury crescent pizza dough. However, usually in the grocery store there is a section, refrigerated, where they have homemade dough created from scratch and ready to roll out and make at home.
  • Pizza sauce. I used about half a cup of Ragu sauce. The original flavour one.
  • Two to three green onions sliced
  • One to two green chillies sliced
  • Yellow bell pepper sliced
  • about a cup of ground lean chicken with green peas that I had cooked as a meal previously
  • About a full cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

Method

1) According to the packaged dough instructions. I preheated the oven and I lined a rectangular shaped making tray (I decided to make the pizza in rectangular shape) with parchment paper and sprayed vegetable oil on it. Then I rolled out the dough in the desired shape onto the pan and used a rolling pin to spread it out. By the way I call it rustic pizza because I just roughly shaped it and didnโ€™t bother if it wasnโ€™t perfect. I also rolled the ends to give the effect too! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ

2) Using a tablespoon I spread out the sauce onto the pizza dough. I then sprinkled the mozzarella cheese on it along with the other toppings and baked in the oven at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes until the dough and topping is golden brown. Take out and let it cool for at least ten minutes before serving as cheese can come off. Upon serving I also sprinkled some red chilli flakes on top.

Holiday Gift Ideas ๐ŸŽย 

The Gift of Giving To Those in Need โค๏ธ

We all know that during the Christmas holiday season it is a very special and especially meaningful gift when we give to those in need. There are many ways we can make this holiday season extra special for those in need which can include donating a brand new purchase toy to a toy drive so kids that are in the hospital or cannot afford to buy a toy can be cheered up and happy by getting a surprise and gift like this. Nowadays it is very common to find many toy donation boxes set up in different stores or super centres.

Another idea is to donate food to a food drive including non – perishable items or a special meal to a local food bank where individuals can enjoy a nice holiday meal or in general a nice meal.

Cash donation to a hospital or to a charity.ย 

There are so many beautiful and festive items, accessories and so forth that you can gift to others during the ๐ŸŽ„Christmas holiday ๐Ÿ™‚

Gift Cards

There are many different gift cards you can purchase whether it is a cash gift card like a Visa or MasterCard (these types of gift cards are especially ideal when you cannot figure out what to give someone! ๐Ÿ˜€), music, cinema and so forth. However, if you know the likes, hobbies and interests of the person or friend you are giving the gift to you can give more of a personalized gift card. For example, you can give a Starbucks or Tim Hortons gift card (if you live in Canada ๐Ÿ˜‰) to a person or friend who loves coffee. During this holiday season the cards have very cute designs and on the envelope where it includes To and From.

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Personalized or Homemade Gifts

Personalized or homemade gifts are perfectly great ideas that can really ย make someone happy like homemade baked goods wrapped or placed in a pretty seasonal decorated tray or box. For some ideas again you can check my recipes above for two types of cupcakes! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ๐Ÿ‘

Another fun idea is a holiday bullet journal that you can design and give to a friend who you know is into journaling ๐Ÿ“’๐Ÿ““. I have been watching these videos on YouTube by a girl whose name is Amanda Rach Lee. She is so creative and an expert when it comes to creating different designs, doodles and layouts for bullet journals. This holiday design one she created is especially nice because it can help you or the friend you are gifting it to organize tasks during the Christmas holiday season. I have provided the video below:

Gift Baskets

There are so many different beautiful gift baskets available for purchase at stores but you can easily make or assemble one at home too. There are many different themes or ideas you can go for which can include:

  • Tea and cookies
  • Hot chocolate
  • chocolate lovers theme
  • Coffee
  • Or you can create DIY gift baskets and add fun items like this cute coffe cups and different flavoured coffee mixes box and add it to a basket for those that love coffee (like myself which is why I keep on bringing up this idea! ๐Ÿ˜€). Below are some pictures I took of different kinds of gift baskets available at the store during the Christmas holiday season:
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Making your Greeting Cards Extra Special โ˜บ๏ธ

To add a creative and easy special touch to the holiday greeting cards you will hand out to family and friends can be done by adding pretty embellishments like adding fun and festive holiday stickers like candy canes, Santa shoes, reindeers and so forth. These can be used to seal the envelope or to add to the front and inside of the card too! This year I got these ones below:

 

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Quote of the Day Thursday

Hello Everyone,

Here is a beautiful quote by Hellen Keller below ๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŒท

I’m also hoping to post a special holiday post for December very soon so stay tuned for that!

Best Regards,

Sophie

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Self -Care: Skin Care Routine for Colder Months: How to Keep Dry Skin Moisturized & Recommended Beauty Products

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Hello Everyone,

As we all know there has been a weather change and the months effective now and in the future will get colder (at least here in Toronto Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆย it is!) so skin gets particularly even more dry during this time. So it is important to use products and remedies that will really penetrate deep into the skin and keep it moisturized. Below I have listed some products I use on a regular basis that keep my skin moisturized. You will notice that they are body butters. I believe these are the best kinds of moisturizers for the skin. This is just to give you an idea of what body butters look like and what ingredients they contain. There are many types out there but I find that the ones with Shea butter are very effective. I also like the olive based one I use. I notice that my skin stays soft and moisturized longer. I also have a homemade moisturizer that my mom makes and uses. I will also list how to make this below.

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I also like to use body wash to keep skin moisturized too. My favourite one that I have been using is Softsoap Body Butter Shea & Almond Oil. It not only has a great scent but really makes the skin soft. I also believe in using a sunscreen moisturizer on face and body on a daily basis too. This one by Equate (Wal-Mart’s own brand) is reasonably priced and works great at keeping skin protected (high SPF content) and moisturized. I use it on my face and body.ย 

Vitamin E cream is also great for very dry skin too. Below is the cream I use when my skin gets especially dry:

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Next I will list below how to make the homemade moisturizer. It is very easy to make and very effective:

Homemade Moisturizer

* 1 cup rubbing alcohol

*3 tbsp lemon juice

*3 tbsp glycerin

*** Mix well and put in a clear bottle. It is ideally best to use this moisturizer before going to bed as it has rubbing alcohol content. If you want to use during the day make sure to wash hands prior to cooking for example. You can use this homemade lotion on your hands and feet. The lemon juice clears any discolouration from your skin. The glycerin moisturized your skin.ย 

Toothpaste for Acne

I know everyone has already most likely heard about this beauty and skin care hack for acne which is toothpaste but I feel like the toothpaste I am using now is not only good for whitening the teeth but also good for getting rid of acne, fast and effectively. The toothpaste I am talking about is Colgate Optic White and I specifically use the Icy Fresh one. If I ever get a breakout or a pimple on my face and I apply this toothpaste on it or on acne (ideally after cleansing at night before going to bed) and I let it dry and in the morning I can see that it has visibly reduced the size of my acne and gets rid of the annoying little things fast ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘

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Beauty & Makeup: Recommended Products

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Makeup Product

There are three new products that I have incorporated into my makeup routine which are: ELF Colour Correcting Stick, ELF Hydrating Primer and Huda Beauty Liquid Lip Colour.ย 

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I am so happy I discovered the ELF Colour Correcting stick (the one for light skin tones). I use it mainly under the eyes and I have to say it has worked better than any other under eye concealer I have used before. When I apply it under the eyes or even on the top where the eyelids are it goes on very smoothly and it blends and corrects any apparent dark circles. The result is that you have vibrant and fresh looking eyes and it looks completely natural. It doesnโ€™t look like you have applied any concealer or makeup. I have found with other concealers I have tried before that sometimes they donโ€™t blend as easily and you can tell makeup or concealer has been applied. Another product I have recently started using and love is the Huda Beauty Liquid Matte. The shade is:ย Bombshell.ย When it comes to lip colour I really like what I call the dusty pink warm shades, so a combination between neutral nude colours and warm tones like pink, so neither too dark or too bright. I guess I like more mellow tones but that is just my personal preference ๐Ÿ˜‰.ย 

So yes I think you can tell by now and from my previous posts that I really like ELF makeup. Their products are not only reasonably priced but are good quality makeup products. I have found that any new product I try from ELF seems to suit me and I am happy with the overall look and effect. However, I have not been too happy with the unavailability of one of their products that I cannot find anymore (and that I used regularly whenever I applied makeup on my face) was the Blemish Control Primer. For some reason none of the stores I usually purchase this item from no longer carry it ๐Ÿ˜. So when this happened I decided to get the ELF Hydrating Primer. I am happy with this product too because it acts as a moisturizer as well as a primer for the face which is especially good for my skin during the colder months which tends to get dry during this time. It also does not seem to clog my pores and I donโ€™t break out in pimples.ย 

Another ELF product that I have discovered and purchased is the Rose Gold Look Set. I really like the colour palette and I plan to use it for an upcoming wedding.

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In this kit you get:

* Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette

* Baked Highlighter & Blush

*Beautifully Bare Smooth Matte Eyeshadow

* Matte Lip Color

Hopefully you can try some of these products and homemade remedies and maybe you might like them and they can work for you.

Take Care,

Sophie ๐Ÿ™‚