Day 4 to 14: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

I want to finish what I started! A month ago, I came across the 12 Days of Christmas challenge on a website. Check out Ally’s website for all the details.

Life got in the way after Day 3 was published! We sadly lost two amazing grandparents within 3 days of each other at the end of November – 3000 miles apart. One of which I included a picture of in the Day 1 post! My motivation to continue dwindled quick.

Baby Beazley woke me up early this morning and as I tossed and turned a few times, this unfinished challenge crossed my mind. This is going to be brief, but at least I will know that I completed what I started.

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Day 4: Tips/Tricks to a Budget Friendly holiday season

Regift or make unique gifts. The past 2 years, my siblings and our spouses drew names and used this theme!! It’s been so much fun.

Day 5: Favorite Holiday Movie/TV Show Special

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Day 6: Gift ideas (what do YOU want? We all have family/friends reading our blogs…so let them know!)

Nothing! What is the world coming to – we buy what we want, when we want. Our families are really trying to remember the reason for the season and spending time together instead of unnecessary amounts of money on material gifts. However, just so you know that I’m normal – I can think of one thing that I haven’t bought myself:

A camera!

Just about a year ago, I lost/left my camera on vacation. It would be lovely to have a new one before Baby Beazley arrives to capture all the fun moments. My iPhone is wonderful, but doesn’t take real high quality pictures.

Day 7: Holiday Craft/DIY (If you don’t make anything, what do you WISH you could make?)

I made this berry ristra decor piece last year and love hanging on our front door.

Day 8: Least favorite thing about the Holidays

Too many amazing options and opportunities to eat! I love sweets and turkey and mashed potatoes and… Despite being pregnant, I am only eating for 1.1 – not 2!! I want to shed this lovely baby weight after it arrives ;)

Day 9: Favorite Holiday recipe

Turkey with my Mom’s homemade gravy!

Day 10: Favorite Christmas Songs/Caroles

Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer (don’t ask me to sing the lyrics though, recall I’m fabulous at tapping my foot but not at knowing the words!)

Side note – John’s favorite is Oh Holy Night sung by John Berry!

Day 11: New Year Resolutions

Oh…I haven’t thought about actually. I’m more about making a “motto” for the New Year. I talk about this concept in my December 15 ezine HERE!

Day 12: Show us your decorations (indoor/outdoor)

You’d think this would finish at Day 12 – but Aly & Molly made this challenge with 14 days!?

Day 13: Favorite Cookie Recipe

Hmmm…I love sweets. John’s Ginger Cookies are AMAZING! He made lots this festive season, so as a helper (not really) I took it upon myself to eat lots. The best part is his cookies are soft and rolled in sugar, not the hard gingersnap type.

Day 14: Oprah’s Favorite Things: What item(s) would you want if you were in the audience?

Oh…so many amazingly fabulous things to choose from!! One day, I will have stardom power and giveaway things like Oprah! Just wait…he he…

My top picks are the:

Le Creuset Cookware (I’m sure Chef Beazley would use more than  me – but I fell in love with these from The Pioneer Woman‘s kitchen)

and…

Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera (refer to Day 6 above!)

I look forward to hearing your answers from these questions!

Merry Christmas,
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Day 3: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

Day 3: Most meaningful gift/best gift you’ve received

Hmmm… I love experiences WAY more than material items. SO…quite honestly and sadly, I tend to forget from year to year what I’ve received in the form of “stuff”.

The most meaningful gift that I’ve ever received is TIME with family over the holidays! Pictures like this one from Christmas morning with my husband, an amazing gift from God and other pics with family are treasured prizes to me. The images allow me to visualize and relive the experiences and reflect on the place we were at in our life.

I remember the experiences of sitting around the living room, watching my family members expression as they open their gifts, giggling, sharing stories, playing games, spending quality time together is by far the BEST gift ever.

I’d LOVE to hear about the most meaningful gift/best gift you’ve received!

Live Inspired,
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Day 2: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

Day 2: Black Friday/General Shopping Tips & Tricks

I’ve been in the US a couple times for Black Friday and here are my 2 tips:

Wear body protection!!

Two years ago, John and I ventured out to hit the early bird sales well before 6am. I nearly got taken out by a lady with a shopping cart at Wal-Mart!! Some people get really aggressive about racing to get their hands on the deals.

Grab and HOLD!

If you find an item that you want – grab it and don’t let it out of your hands! People WILL steal things from your cart!!

My nice brother-in-love, his wife, and their friend took John and I out Thanksgiving night two years ago to a local Outlet Mall. I was amazed at the 2 hour lineup outside the Coach store that night!!

Good luck ;)

What are your shopping tips & tricks?

Cheers,
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Day 1: 12 Days of Christmas Challenge

I’m always up for a challenge, so when I saw this 12 Days of Christmas themed one – I jumped in! My understanding is that a blogger named Ally and her friend Molly created this idea. Check out Ally’s website for all the details.

Day 1: Christmas/Holiday traditions

As I was growing up, we would alternate our Christmas and Boxing Day (Canadian holiday on Dec 26) with my grandparents. Then in junior high, we started spending every Christmas Day at my parents. We’d continue to wake up early in the morning to see what Santa brought!

Once I started dating my husband, we alternated between spending the holidays in Alberta or Texas. We’ve also been trying to gift “experiences” instead of material items to our loved ones.For example, last Christmas while in Texas – we took John’s parents and grandparents out for supper, to the symphony, and up Reunion Tour for dessert after!

With a new chapter of our life nearing, I know that we’ll start creating our own traditions!

One of my fondest memories of the Holidays – was playing spoons with my Grandma and cousins. You would always come away with new war wounds from scratches to bruises. I definitely used to leap across the table if it was necessary to fight over a spoon. The rules were that you always had to remove all jewelry – watches, rings, earrings, necklaces – anything that could be broke or ripped off you! I may have to initiate a game of spoons this festive season.

What Christmas/Holiday traditions do you have?

Hugs,
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