The tradition of advent has been playing through my mind for the holiday season. Mainly, I’ve been wanting to bring a fun and interesting departure from the usual cardboard box and less than stellar chocolate. So, this is what I came up with. It could be the beginning of a great family Christmas tradition.
What I really like about this advent is that it makes decorating your tree a fun, daily, family event that leads up to the unveiling of that final decoration on December 24th.
Earlier this year I moved and because moving isn’t a stressful situation already, I agreed to tape the whole thing for Cityline! I know what you’re I thinking, but I totally knew what I was agreeing to and I wasn’t worried.
It is no secret that I am organized, so that helps. But, I also called upon 2 great companies to help me and that made the whole moving experience a total breeze.
The first was FrogBox. I love this company. Not only for how it works, but for what they stand for.
This is how FrogBox works. Instead of buying or scrounging for boxes and then throwing them out, you rent your moving boxes from them. Brilliant! They must be Canadian to come up with such a clever idea! FrogBox will deliver your boxes AND pick them up after they have been unpacked. A great service and friendly people.
Now, choosing a mover comes with many concerns and questions. Are they reputable? Reliable? Professional? Ultimately, will they take care when moving my belongings? All my questions and more were answered when Frogbox recommended Rent-a-Son. Yes, Frogbox does provide referrals for movers upon request. They track the feedback customers provide them on movers they have chosen. Upon their recommendation, I chose Rent-a-Son and they are worth every penny!
The guys from Rent-a Son were on time, organized, professional and friendly. Although my husband and I packed up the FrogBoxes ourselves, the guys from Rent-a-Son took great care in packing up items that I never would have considered, such as larger pictures, lamps etc. It was a long day for everyone, but the guys from Rent-a-Son worked very hard and always had a smile on their face. It’s just so much better when people are nice.
Click on the three videos below to check out my moving tips and see highlights of the move.
If you are moving soon or know someone who is, feel free to share my tips. Every little bit helps!
Time to clear the clutter! Have 3 containers set up to make it easy to sort out
Place mats on your floors to protect them during the move. Rent-A-Son did this for us.
Make sure to have easy-to-grab food on hand for everyone. Moving is HARD work and there usually isn’t much time for breaks.
Label, Label, Label!! Everything needs a label! FrogBox supplies them for all of their boxes… Love that!
Make a sign for each room and coordinate the labels on the boxes to each room. That way everything goes into the room it belongs in!
There are always a few last min kitchen items the day of the move. Put a note on the drawer that they are in so you don’t forget to bring them with you.
Pack your clothing standing up. That way when you NEED that pink sweater, you don’t have to rip everything apart looking for it!
It is such an easy way to pack and see everything. I might pack my suitcase like this next time I travel.
All packed up and ready to go. I loved how stackable the FrogBoxes were.
I just have to give a shout out the the guys at Rent-A-Son they were terrific and crazy hard workers!
* Note that neither FrogBox nor Rent-a-Son paid me for this post. I am just looking to share my experience & tips.
I hope everyone had a great long weekend. Now comes the unofficial first day of fall. It’s the perfect weather (here in Toronto) to get us into the mood! It also brings us to the last installment of the Cityline summer series, “Shoana’s 60 Second Cocktails”.
It is the perfect transition drink. Maybe you can enjoy one around a campfire on a chilly evening this weekend?
Summer is soon coming to an end and surprisingly I’m okay with that. I am super excited for the fall. Just think of chilly weekend nights sitting by a campfire in cozy sweaters, boots, leaves changing… You aren’t as excited as I am? Okay, here is a great summer craft, while it’s still warm out.
It is so easy to make your own candles using just sand and melted candle wax. You can even add some essential oils to make it a scented candle. Just choose a mould that tickles your fancy and get started.
As you can see, I used a small sandcastle mould putting a wick in each peak, so it burns evenly. If you have some extra wax left over pour it into a jar, add a wick and you have another candle ready to go.
*If you aren’t one for reading directions… the clip of me doing it on Cityline is on the bottom :-)
photo by Cityline
*If you aren’t one for reading directions… the clip of me doing it on Cityline is on the bottom
What you need:
Candle wax (Beeswax, Soya, Paraffin, etc)
Wooden spoon or long, thick craft sticks
Large plastic container or bucket
Candle wicks of appropriate length (the kind that has a coating of wax already)
1. Place candle wax in a double boiler over medium heat. Stirring regularly, melt the wax completely.
2. Using the candy thermometer bring the wax to approx. 175F. If you would like a heavier coating of sand on your candle, them you can heat it to 190F. The hotter the wax, the more sand will stick.
3. Add the cake of dye to your melted wax a little at a time. Blend with a wooden spoon. Remember, the finished color will be slightly darker than the stick.
4. The sand needs to be damp to hold the mold. Prepare the sand by making adding water a little at a time and mixing with your hands.
5. Firmly pat down the sand in your container. Now press you desired mold into the damp sand. pack the sand tightly around the mold.
6. Carefully remove the mold straight up and out of the sand. If the sand wall crumbles, mix in a little more water, and begin again.
7. Place the wick in the desired position in your candle. Aim for the center of the candle so it burns evenly.
8. Pour the wax into the mold in a slow, steady stream. Don’t pour too fast, as the wax will make a dent in the sand.
9. Let the candle set until completely cool. Depending on the size, this could take 40 min or hours. To be safe, leave it as long as you can – overnight, if possible.
10. Remove your candles by digging them out and pulling up. Dust off excess sand with a paintbrush, and use scissors to cut off the excess wick and wax at the base if there is any.
Happy Friday!! Continuing the with Cityline.ca series “Shoana’s 60 Second Cocktails” this week’s cocktail is the Cuban Mojito. You can’t go wrong with this classic cocktail. It can be made to suit every taste. For example, add extra sugar for those with a sweet tooth and a little less for those people who are sweet enough.
6 wedges of lime
5 fresh mint leaves
1.5 oz white rum
Top it up with club soda
In a flat bottom glass, lightly muddle the limes and the mint.
Hopefully, many of you are off on a summer vacation and can treat yourself to a mid week cocktail! Life got in the way this weekend and I wasn’t able to post my latest “60 Second Cocktail” from the summer series that I am doing with Cityline.ca!
Here it is…. better late than never. I hope you enjoy it!
photo by Cityline.ca
1 1/2 oz White Rum
1/2 oz Blue Curaçao
White cranberry or grape juice
Build over ice and enjoy!
*** Don’t let the colour of Blue Curaçao fool you – it actually has a orange flavour to it!
It’s week number 5 of the Cityline.ca summertime series called “Shoana’s 60 Second Cocktails”. Okay, you are going to have to take my word on this one! I swear these are good!! A scary thought for some, I am sure… but why not give it a try!?
– photo by Ciytline.ca
2 oz. Patron Silver tequila
1 wedge lime
Rim a highball glass with the lime wedge and dip the glass rim in celery salt.
Add silver tequila, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and Tabasco sauce to taste. Top up the glass with Clamato juice. Mix well and garnish with a celery stick.