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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY Natural Rustic Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is less than a week away & beleive it or Not, Today is technically the first day of winter. But... there is still time to get in those last minute DIY Projects / Gifts - Especially if you chose one like this, that takes less than 5min from start to finish;
These DIY Ornaments are unbelievably simple to make & could even be done with children depending on their age / ability or with Parental Supervision (as there is some steps and tools that could be potential dangerous if not done or used correctly).

What You Need:

  • Wire cutters / Scissors
  • Cord / Ribbon 
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Refills
  • Metal Wire
  • Home Decor Balls/Natural Elements [(the ones you'd find in the Home Decor section that are typically used in a vase) - I chose Unscented ones but you could chose whatever you like or already have around the house!]

How To:

  1. You are going to begin by selecting the for the sake of the blog lets call them 'balls'.
    Using the end of your wire Pre-poke holes into the 'balls' where you would like your Ornament to hang from. 
  2. Using your wire cutters cut wire into 2" lengths (one for every ornament you'd like )
  3. Using the dull part of your wire cutters gently shapre the wire to bend a small loop at one end as shown in the image below.
  4. Apply a small drop of Hot Glue to the Pre-poked hole & Gently insert the wire until just the loop is exposed.
  5. Cut cord / ribbon into 3" Strips; threading one through each loop securing with a knot and Viola You have yourself a cute rustic Ornament in just minutes!!

Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

DIY Christmas Hot Chocolate Bar

Creating a hot chocolate bar is slowly becoming one of the favourites of the new Traditions we have started around Christmas time! Cody & my love for chocolate is no secret & who wouldn't love to warm up next to one of these Yummy Bad Boys at this time of year.
 It would make the perfect addition to any Christmas Eve Celebrations!
Upcy Hot Chocolate Bar
 It is so simple to pull off and is always a hit with both kids and adults! I created my first one for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I held few years back just, using some mix & match holiday glasses & mason jars, I wasn't able to track down a photo of the actual Hot Chocolate Bar from that year, but I was able to find this shot of the incredibly minimal prep work!

This year I 'Sparkled Things Up A Bit' by adding glitter.
If you would like to re-create something Similar, All I did was Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge (or clear drying craft glue) using a paint brush in whatever shape OR pattern you would like your Sparkles to appear ( I chose to do a mix of lines and geometric designs to create a mixed finish!) Sprinkle on the Glitter & then repeat once more over top with the Mod Podge to seal it in & limit the glitter shed!

Have fun experementing with different toppings or even Hot Chocolate Recipes!
( Did you know that you can make a delicious & nutritious Hot Chocolate using Arbonne's Chocolate Protein Powder?
Simply mix 1 scoop of Arbonne Chocolate Protein Powder into 1cup of Almond Milk Heat & Enjoy!
Or that you can make it in a Crock Pot & just have it Hot & Ready All Day Long!?! I did that this year & it was a huge success & surprisingly (or maybe not) a LOT less work!!

I also experimented with a Hot Chocolate Cookie Recipe this year & was super happy with how they turned out - They actually taste like Hot Chocolate!
My Hot Chocolate Cookies Packaged in a DIY Holiday Mug
Okay back to the actual Hot Chocolate Bar Fill the Glasses with all of your favourite Hot Chocolate Toppings, set it with a Big Pot of Hot Chocolate & Enjoy!

Some of my & I am sure everyone's favourite toppings are:
photo from Pinterest
  • marshmallows ~ preferably Home Made & since I have no ability to make that happen I am grateful to have a friend who is!
  • cinnamon sticks 
  • crushed mint candies or Candy Canes
  • baked coconut shavings
  • whipped cream OR Whipped Coconut Cream (which I recommend you try if you haven't already)
  • & more chocolate 
Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

Sunday, December 20, 2015

25 Holiday Episodes That Christmas Just Isn’t Complete Without


          If you’re anything like me, you might agree that Holiday programming should begin on December 1st and play solid through to the New Year. Now, that’s a full month of programming and Frosty and Rudolph can only get you so far. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of holiday specials from the past 25 years that should help you fill in the gaps of your holiday programming… and I must say it’s just not Christmas without some of these classic Christmas stories.

25.  PORTLANDIA - Winter in Portlandia (2012)

           Not specifically a Christmas special, but wintery, holiday-themed and funny enough to still make this list. In this episode we catch Peter and Nance struggling to keep off winter weight; Candace's son visiting the feminist bookstore during the holidays, and artisan curators Bryce and Lisa offering a winter vacation at their newly opened Outlet Hotel.

24.  KING OF QUEENS – Bakers Doesn’t (2005)
          Doug and Carrie run into their Reverend who ropes Doug into standing guard duty for the Christmas decorations at the church and Carrie into baking a cake for the church bake sale. While Doug and Carrie are helping with the church Arthur and Spence decide to try to write the next big holiday song.

23.  IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA – A Very Sunny Christmas (2009)

            After years of being mistreated by Frank during the holiday season after he buys gifts for himself, Dennis and Dee decide to teach him a lesson by contacting his old business partner, Eugene, for a Christmas Carol inspired intervention. Meanwhile, Mac and Charlie reflect on their twisted childhood Christmases. And I mean twisted… This one’s not for kids.

22.  STILL STANDING – Still Avoiding Christmas (2005)
          Judy’s idea for reducing the Christmas stress is for her and Bill to not worry about getting presents for each other. Thanks to the beauty of a little miscommunication, Bill ends up magnifying the Christmas stress and the kid’s fake jobs to get out of helping with the Christmas decorating.

21. EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND – Christmas Present (2000)

          Ray tries to get Debra a really great present for Christmas so she'll agree to let him go golfing. Little does he know Debra got him a really great present. You may be asking yourself “where’s the conflict?” It’s the Barone’s… There’s plenty of conflict to go around, and then even some leftovers.

20.  SOUTH PARK – Black Friday (2013)
          Also not specifically a Christmas episode, though it does highlight the rampant greed and horrible aspects of shopping around the holidays. While the children of South Park form two battling parties to get either a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One during a Black Friday sale, Randy takes a temp job as a security guard at the mall in order to make a little extra holiday money, and in true South park fashion, things get a little gritty to say the least.

19.  FRIENDS – The One Where Rachel Quits (1996)
          After accidentally breaking a little girl's leg, Ross tries to help her sell boxes of Christmas cookies. Rachel does something that crosses just about everyone’s mind if you work customer service during the holidays by quitting her job at Central Perk, and after Joey takes a seasonal job at a Christmas tree farm, Phoebe realizes just what it means for a Christmas tree to fulfill its “Christmas Destiny”

18.  FRESH OFF THE BOAT – The Real Santa (2015)
          While Eddie and Emery struggle to find the perfect Christmas gift for their mother, Jessica feels that Santa could use some improvements. She and Louis then convince Evan that Santa is a little different than the average believer might think - someone Louis can look up to and aspire to be like. This makes for a modern Santa that’s somewhere between Traditional Santa and a nightmarish Lo Pan. 

17.  HOME IMPROVEMENT – It Was The Flight Before Christmas (1995)
          On their way to attend a winter festival for Binford, Tim & Al become stranded at a tiny airport, and everything is shut down due to snow. This leaves Tim’s annual Christmas light display on the shoulders of the boys. Simultaneously, Al tries to allocate his Christmas between his mother and his girlfriend from afar.

16.  FAMILY GUY – The Road To the North Pole (2010)
          When Stewie's trip to the mall to see Santa goes poorly, he and Brian decide to head to the North Pole to give Santa a lesson in Christmas cheer. This satirical and at times overly graphic depiction of the current state of Santa’s workshop provides a sobering view of the realities human greed still plays in a magical world. This one’s definitely not recommended for kids (or even some adults for that matter) but with that said it’s the statement that the episode makes about not distancing yourself from the true meaning of Christmas that maintains its relevance.

15.  THE SIMPSONS – The Fight Before Christmas (2010)
          This special Christmas episode from the Simpsons consists of four short separate dream segments that all take place during Christmas. In the first segment Bart is taken to the North Pole in a parody of the Polar Express. In the second, Lisa has to cope with Marge being deployed overseas as a soldier at Christmas time, during WWII. The third segment sees Martha Stewart stop by Springfield to help Marge create an inspirationally crafty Christmas, and in the final segment the Simpsons take puppet form, and try to escape for a holiday vacation which features special guest Katy Perry.

14.  HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER – How Lily Stole Christmas (2006)
          Lily takes away her traditional, larger than life Christmas display after she finds out that Ted called her a “Grinch” while she was broken up with Marshall. It’s then up to Ted to make things right and it’s up to Lily to embrace one of the underlying reasons for the season – Forgiveness.. and for Marshal - just cookies.

13.  PARKS & RECREATION – Citizen Knope (2011)
          As Leslie tries to keep herself busy during her suspension from the department by doling out an especially personal round of Christmas gifts to the office, she gets some bad news about her campaign. Back at the office the team is busy at work attempting to make the perfect Christmas gift for Leslie when little did they know, the perfect gift was right there all along.

12.  BOB’S BURGERS – Christmas In The Car (2013)
          After killing two Christmas trees since Halloween, the Belchers must go out on Christmas Eve to find a new one. But when Bob cuts off a giant candy cane truck, they are forced to outrun the crazed truck driver and spend the night together stuck on the side of the road in the car, showing that Christmas isn’t so much about where you are but who you’re with.

11.  THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR – Twas The Night Before Christening (1993)
          Will’s cousin, Nicky is being christened on Christmas Eve. After finding out about all the incredible gifts Nicky is going to be getting from the family, Will tells everyone he is going to get Boyz II Men to perform at the christening.. Which proves to be more trouble than expected. Nevertheless Will’s tenacity prevails and this episode features some classic Boyz II Men Christmas tracks so fire, you’ll forget just how cold it is outside.

10.  MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE – Hal’s Christmas Gift (2004)
          Not even clever budgeting can make this Christmas a fiscal possibility, and with Francis coming home for the holidays, Hal and Lois decide that this Christmas shall be all handmade. When Hal is presented with the thoughtful, quality gifts the boys made, he feels bad about his shoddy attempt and panics to create some Christmas memories for the whole family.

9.  MODERN FAMILY - Undeck the Halls (2009)
          In a display not seen since a particular Dr. Seuss classic, Phil and Claire (to their own dismay) cancel Christmas for the kids, to persuade one of them to confesses to burning the couch. Jay is hesitant to celebrate Gloria and Manny's Columbian holiday traditions while Mitchell and Cameron take Lily to meet a Mall Santa that might just be able to show them the true meaning of Christmas.

8.      30 ROCK – Ludachristmas (2007)
          The staffers get ready for their super-raunchy holiday party, but Kenneth hijacks the party to teach everyone about the true meaning of Christmas. Jack gets attached to Liz's visiting parents because they provide a polarized love and support than that he receives from his own mother. Once families get together however, in typical holiday fashion, you can always expect at least a little crazy.

7.      THAT 70’S SHOW – Winter (2004)
          When Kelso takes the police department’s donated gifts for needy kids, Eric begs to keep some because Red had never given him any toys for Christmas, and opening 'just one' leads to all the presents being opened. Meanwhile Donna and Jackie help Kitty out with the annual 'Ladies of Point Place Christmas party’ where the gifts were intended to be given away by Santa ‘Bob’.

6.      LAST MAN ON EARTH – Secret Santa (2015)
          A virus has wiped out normal traditions and holidays, not to mention most of the life on planet earth. As Christmas approaches, Carol spearheads a "Secret Santa" gift exchange to spread some festive cheer among the last known survivors, making for one extravagant Christmas - where money is no option. What would you gift to your friends and family if the material world was basically at your disposal? The group definitely go above and beyond, showing that even with a billion dollar spending cap it’s still the thought that actually means the most.

5.      BIG BANG THEORY – The Santa Simulation (2012)
          Sheldon is gifted A holiday themed quest of Dungeons and Dragons to rekindle his Christmas spirit. While the girls take Raj out to a nightclub to find him a date, back home the quest takes the guys to the North Pole where they’re tasked with saving Santa Claus.

4.      COMMUNITY – Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas (2010)
          When Abed begins to see everything in stop motion animation, Professor Duncan and the study group help him try to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This Christmas adventure takes a journey through the clay-mated winter wonderland of Abed’s mind. Making for some wild Christmas surprises and a big steamy mug of holiday magic. 

3.      SEINFELD – The Strike (1997)
          When you’re protesting the commercial and religious aspects of Christmas, what do you celebrate? December 23rd, Festivus of course! When Jerry and Kramer become fascinated with Frank Costanza’s spin on the holidays - Festivus is on. Meanwhile, In true cynical Seinfeld fashion, George is upset when his Christmas gift from his boss turns out to be a charitable donation made in his name, which gives George an idea to selfishly swing the holidays back in his favour.

2.      THE OFFICE – Secret Santa (2009)
          When Jim promises Phyllis that she can be the Santa for the office Christmas party (essentially creating one of the most beautifully heartwarming Christmas moments ever witnessed through a television screen) Michael becomes combative while trying to maintain the holiday spotlight. Nevertheless the true meaning of Christmas is realized thanks to a Christmas miracle and The 12 Days of Christmas.

1.      MR. BEAN – Merry Christmas Mr. Bean (1992)

          While Christmas shopping, Mr. Bean gets into some of his typically outrageous antics, and in this special creates too many iconic ‘Christmas-style-Bean-moments’ to count. In one of the best/worst Christmas’ we have ever experienced, Bean covers all the traditional holiday staples. From the Nativity and the carolers, to the turkey and the tree. Not to mention topping it off with an unforgettable Christmas dinner with Irma – it’s got it all, making this specific episode one for the ages.

Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

Monday, December 14, 2015

Go To Winter Day Makeup; Transformed to Night in just 3 Products!

Christmas is less than two weeks away. The list of things to do in a day is longer & the days are shorter! We more often than not have more than one place to go or be in a given day; days often start off with one thing but end very differently. Below I have shared a simple way to transition from Day to Night using just three products!! *All of which can be purchased now at the link below at a discount of 20%-40% OFF & If ordered Today can still arrive in time for the Big Day & be stuffed into one of those impossibly tiny clutches we for some reason really like to use this time of year!? Shop Here To start off I created this super clean & cool winter (day) makeup look using my Go-To products [all products used have been listed & linked below the image(s)] It is very light and casual yet still looks very pulled together, & is a great way to hide the tired eyes that come along with the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season! I am in NO way shape of form a morning person - so my morning routine is quite fast and simple, and can almost entirely be applied using just my fingers while before running out the door!

Primer . Perfecting Liquid Foundation . Concealer Sheer Glow HighlighterBronzer
Translucent Setting Powder .  Tulip Lip Liner
Get the Look: Always begin with a clean and moisturized face! First things first is the primer - this is key to creating a base that will last all day & night, as well as the Translucent Setting powder which I will mention later! Follow with the Perfecting Liquid Foundation, and concealer to conceal my bags. I applied a tiny bit of Sheer Glow Highlighter to the inner corner of my eyes, under the brow bone, cheek bones, as well as on my lips. I skipped the shadow and eye liner & just opted for the It's A Long Story Mascara. Again simplicity and dual purpose products are my Go-To's so I created a simple pink lip by lining my lips with tulip (which is the shade closest to my natural lip colour) and then dabbed a bit of the Sheer Glow Highlighter into the center to create a light pink hue. Lastly set the entire look by dusting the Translucent Setting Powder over the entire face. Did you know you can transform ANY glossy lipstick to a matte finish by dabbing a tiny amount of Translucent Powder over top?! This look can be easily Transitioned to a bold evening / night look using the sugar plum baked eye shadow pallet, liquid eyeliner & a bold lipstick shade such as Iris OR if you're into a more classic Red like Hibiscus . I normally have more time, energy and patience in the evening so this method works well for me!
Sugar Plum Baked Eye Shadow Pallet  . Liquid Eye Liner . Iris OR Hibiscus
Get The Look: Using an eye-shadow brush I gently dusted the inner corner of my eyelid - sweeping outwards with GingerSnap (the Gold tone). {I have hooded eyelids}, so I created a bit more dimension to the look by adding Ganache (the Deep Brown tone) just above my natural crease to create a shadow/smokey effect & finished the eye off with a dramatic wing liner. Tip - be sure to always line your lips when wearing lipstick & go back over/ outline with concealer to touch up any mistakes & achieve a crisp & clean lip line!

I hope that you are enjoying the Holiday festivities & fun so far! Be sure to keep an eye out for more Christmas coming to the Blog including an upcoming Blog Take Over of MUST SEE Holiday Specials! Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Round-Up of Timeless Up-Cycled DIY Christmas Decor Tutorials & FREE Gift Tag Printable!!

Last weekend was my first feeling of Christmas Spirit of the year. Saturday we went and saw the 
Ottawa 'Help Santa Toy Parade', & Sunday was spent Watching Christmas Specials, Wrapping Gifts; 
& my kitchen is still a mess from all of the Christmas Recipe testing I got up to...
I almost left out the most exciting event - running into Santa on Friday while getting groceries for said baking (& he may have blessed my wrapping paper)!
I haven't had a chance this year to get as much of a Head Start on Christmas DIY's as I did last year, in fact I haven't had time to create any new Decorations just yet, but I do hope to share some new DIY's Here with you All into December.
In the mean time I know I am not the only one who likes to get started on Decorating & Crafting early so I have decided to put together another Round-Up Style post of Up-cycled Christmas Decorations I have made in the past & have held onto over the year(s) - which during purging times is saying a lot & I know not everyone will understand but any fellow obsessive cleaner/re-organizer will understand! 
Now put on your comfiest/ tackiest Christmas P.J's, a hot chocolate & have fun getting Creative; If you do decided to create one of the DIY's shared below, or another cute Up-cycled Christmas DIY, I would LOVE to see what you create too, so be sure to share with #UpcyChristmas

DIY Yarn Wall Hanging

DIY Sparkle Reindeer Silhouette Canvas

DIY Advent Calender

 DIY Recycled / Music Paper Wreath

DIY Popsicle Stick Snowflake(s)

DIY Toboggan Tree Ornaments

DIY Christmas Bulb(s)

DIY Christmas Tree Garland


I have decided to share the FREE Gift Tag Printable (designed by Cody Humble) again this year it will be available as a FREE Printable until Dec. 15th
 Enjoy & Merry Christmas!Dream Big      Sparkle More      Shine Bright