Where Has November Gone?! 

December is here!! November…came and left – FAST! Didn’t it? I feel like I merely blinked and it was gone. And now the most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching! 

I have a lot of good stuff to share these days as a lot has been happening and I’ve been making more of an effort to document these happenings and whipping out my iPhone at a moments notice! 😉 I think being a mom has helped me learn to have super quick reflexes! 

Speaking of being a mom – Levi is now a ONE YEAR OLD! Can you believe it?! They certainly don’t stay little for long. It seems as though almost overnight he’s full of sass at times and has all these opinions about things. Not even kidding! He now shakes his head ‘no’ all.the.time. And he’s suddenly become a picky eater! And super independent with things now too. Where did my snuggly little baby go? He’s always itching to go explore 🙂 .

To celebrate his first birthday we drove back down to Matt’s parents. They let us have his party there – which worked out super well because that way he could be with family and close friends. It was a lumberjack themed party – which I thought was pretty perfect for the time of year, Movember and all that good stuff  😉 . It was a full house – I think there was about 26 adults and 12 little ones running everywhere! My in laws are pretty awesome for opening up their house to that many guests!!

 It was so much fun planning this party. It definitely helped me to be more excited about the fact that my baby is now one year old! Pinterest is always a great inspiration and got my creative juices flowing. When I think about my theme “lumberjack” I think about flannel, outdoorsy, camping, roughing it, that type of rustic feel. So I incorporated a lot of natural, outdoorsy elements in my decor and tried to keep it as simple as possible. With this theme, I was able to utilize a lot of our camping gear as well as my winter/Christmas decor, so that helped us to stay on a budget! I had leaves, acorns, and pinecones scattered around, and used more rustic party supplies like birch “ribbon”, twine and burlap.

 

I printed off some fun lumberjack photos from Pinterest as well as some of Levi’s first few months…

Aww, look how little ❤

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The key things I wanted to have at the party was a hot chocolate bar and trail mix favours, so those were fun to have and were enjoyed by both the kids and adult alike 🙂 .

  

  

My awesome sister took all the photos for me as I was busy prepping food/welcoming guests, etc… But sadly there wasn’t a picture taken of the hot cocoa table! I can tell you that it was fully stocked with many goodies! We had out both a vanilla syrup and a peppermint syrup (that I made myself). Then for the toppings there was both chocolate and butterscotch chips, whipped cream, caramel sauce and cinnamon, mini marshmallows and even salt! So people could have a salted caramel hot chocolate or even a peppermint one! There were many flavour options and it was thoroughly enjoyed. This is something I’ll definitely do again at another party 🙂 .

For the trail mix we put out salted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana chips and raisins. I had some “sweet timber” out on that table too which was Kit Kat bars stacked like logs and scattered some tootsie rolls to add a little sweetness to all that salty. 

I made everything myself. I wanted a fabric banner and considered buying one on Etsy, but it was cheaper to make it (and was super simple!) I baked “pancake” sugar cookies, and also made both red velvet and chocolate cupcakes (black and red – lumberjack flannel, anyone?!) 

  

    
 I had picked up both the lantern (similar) and the wooden server (acacia) from Chapters/Indigo. The candle was Bath and BodyWorks “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles”! Mmm…it was especially fitting as lumberjacks are known for their big breakfasts! 

We took our own cakesmash/ one year photos of Levi at a conservation area and then had those pictures framed an on display at the party! I was so pleased with how well they turned out. Little bottle brush trees were found at the Dollarstore.

 

Everyone came over for lunch and we served pulled pork on a bun with a side of brown beans and broccoli salad (which I nicknamed “forest of trees” – everything is on theme, of course!) with apple cider punch. There was other little finger foods/ snacks (s’mores kabobs AND s’mores dip!) and by the time we brought out the cupcakes everyone was either stuffed or had indulged in too many sweets already!

 

 

The birch paper straws I ordered on Amazon as well as the wooden utensils! The plates and napkins were from the dollar store.

   

  

  

 

 “Sharp” cheddar and Pepper “Jack” cheeses 😉 . To keep things cohesive, food was placed on either white or wooden serveware. Some things were left to keep warm (pork in slow cooker, beans in a soup pot and S’mores dip in a cast iron skillet). 

 
 

The cute little “log” place card holders are Kate Aspen and fit the party theme perfectly! 

 
    

The cute “Don’t Feed the Bear” printable can be found on Etsy. The bear glass jar that I had filled with Teddy Graham’s was actually Matt’s that he had kept from his childhood! My sister let me borrow the brown teddy bear 🙂 .

  

    
 

I love how hard dad is laughing in that picture above! 

  

He thoroughly enjoyed that cupcake 😀 !

 

You can kind of see the hot chocolate table set up behind us under the window and photo banner.

   
 

Levi was gifted some really cute clothes, a few toys and lots of great books!

   

Levi and I got a few cute pictures with my younger brother and sister. I loved that a few people dressed up in the lumberjack flannel shirts to fit the theme! 

  
 

   
 

Poor Levi had so much fun but was so hopped up on that cupcake and was in dire need of his afternoon nap! He was super tired after all the party festivities came to an end.
It was awesome to be back around family to celebrate the blessing this kid is! Matt and I feel so fortunate that he’s ours and that he has such a wonderful extended family who loves him and  prays for him regularly. We are truly blessed. ❤️

  
  

    

  

  

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Stocking Stuffer Ideas For Men!

Hello, hello! I hope you had a good day. Winter seemed to come early in November, then all the snow melted…and now it’s BACK again with a vengeance! As I sat here with my coffee this morning, the snow was coming down hard. I decided to wait it out a bit, to see if it would let up…but it just kept on coming! So, in between trying to psych myself up for shovelling and addressing Christmas cards,  I decided I ought to blog. It is, of course, “Things I Love Thursday”.

I had good intentions of getting ALL my holiday shopping done last weekend when we were out, but I did not…and my gift hunting will continue on this weekend. I love giving gifts and pride myself on thinking creatively about what someone could want or need. Gift-giving is usually my forte! However, with my husband, I really get challenged to “think outside the box”. He is quite particular, and often tells me he doesn’t need or want anything. I usually succeed with something or other but it can often be a struggle buying for men! I know I for one, want to show the men in my life my appreciation! We have done the tradition of stockings, and stocking stuffers since we’ve been married. While this is fun, it can lead to more brain racking! So today’s “Things I Love Thursday” = STOCKINGS!  And, true to my word, I’ve compiled a list of AT LEAST 50 or so, stocking stuffer ideas for all the guys in our lives. These are non-cheesy gift items for men of all ages, with all types of hobbies. These gift ideas come in various sizes, and at all different price points. So, without further ado…stocking stuffer ideas for menLinks may contain affiliate links.

1.) Syma Helicopter

Syma Helicopter

2.) Optishot Infrared Golf Simulator

3.) Logitech Harmony Smart Control

Harmony controller

4.) Black Box Innovations Personal Pocket Safe USB

5.) Pocket Ref

pocket ref

6.) Pocket Poker

7.) Deck of Playing Cards

8.) Nest Learning Thermostat

nest

9.) Ryobi Cordless Drill

10.) Brookstone Candyman Candy Dispenser

11.) Logitech Wireless Mouse Trackball

12.) Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells

13.) LeatherCraft Handyman Gloves

14.) Toothpaste Tube Wringer

15.) Shaving Kit

16.) Pomade or Wax

17.) Razors & Shaving Cream

18.) Nose/Facial Hair Trimmer

19.) Hand Salve

20.) Lip Balm

21.) BBQ Briefcase

22.) Gourmet BBQ Sauce/Meat Rub

Sweet Bourbon Glaze

23.) Cuff Links

24.) Tie

25.) C.D. – maybe a fun movie soundtrack

26.) DVD – maybe a childhood favourite

27.) Undershirts (You can buy a pk. at Costco and split them up between the guys in your life!)

28.) Boxers

29.) Wool Socks

30.) Scarf

31.) Winter Hat (a “toque” for all us Canadians – yeeeeah!)

32.) Handwarmers

33.) Gloves (different than aforementioned ‘handwarmers’)

34.) Magazine subscription

35.) Itunes Gift Card

36.) Concert Tickets

37.) Movie tickets (Costco sells them at a discount!)

38.) Fun Groupon (for a massage, fro-yo, or maybe a wine tasting)

39.) Starbucks gift card (THIS I would like to share with him 😉 )

40.) Travel mug

41.) Hot chocolate (or other fun hot drink packets)

42.) Gift card for a car wash or detail

43.) Guitar picks (Etsy has some great personalized ones!)

I pick you

44.) Car window decal

45.) Car air freshener

46.) Pocket size tire gauge

47.) Armor All wipes

48.) Car window scraper/brush

49.) Compass

50.) Swiss Army knife

Swiss Army Knife

51.) Wind-proof lighter/waterproof matches

52.) Phone/car charger

53.) Candy/gum

54.) Beef Jerky (nuts, sunflower seeds, other “man food”)

55.) USB drive

56.) Mini leatherman

57.) Earbuds

58.) Whisky stones (I got these for Matt last year and they work really well!)

Whisky Stones

59.) Flask (Etsy has some cool ones!)

Flask

60.) Cigars

61.) Wallet

62.) Money clip

63.) Utili-key

64.) Keychain

65.) Iphone armband

66.) Fishing lures

67.) Bodywash/shower gel

68.) Mini mag-light

69.) Golf ball/tees

70.) Baseball hat

71.) 365 Sports Facts-a-Year 2015 daily desk calendar

2015 365 Sports Facts A Year Calendar

72.) Protein bars/powder

73.) Cologne and/or cologne samples

74.) Bottle opener (Matt has this one and really likes it)

save water bottle opener

75.) Travel binoculars

76.) Flexible tri-pod

77.) Sudoku (or other puzzles) book

78.) Book

79.) Booklight

80.) Batteries (rechargeable)

81.) Lottery tickets (I get 10% if you win…I kid :))

82.) Nostalgic toy (from his childhood – Star wars, G.I. Joes, Legos, Hot Wheels)

83.) Handheld knife sharpener (Matt would LOVE one of these!)

84.) Handwritten poem or letter

85.) Homemade coupon book

Hopefully this can add some inspiration to your holiday shopping! Here’s to our men! Feel free to ‘pin’ any of these ideas to your holiday and gift giving Pinterest boards. Thanks for stopping by!