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Love. Create. Celebrate. : December 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

.... so these pictures should tell you a lot! 

Just a snapshot of some of my memories of Christmas in Ontario this year. Missing home already! Can't wait to be back again soon :) 

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mini Cork Christmas Trees

Oh, I did it again... made another Christmas craft! This time I made little tiny Christmas trees :) 


- old wine corks
- ribbon
- acrylic paint

  1. Paint corks with various tints of red and green Christmas Colours. I just mixed the colours randomly. Some of the old corks had a natural red tinge to them that I kept cause I liked the colours! 
  2. Line up corks and use crazy glue to stick them together. (My glue gun wouldn't stick the plastic corks together) 
  3. Glue sticks to the bottom of the trees. I used corks from other champagne bottles. My husband sanded them down for me so that they would sit straight. 
  4. Add ribbon and any other decals you would like :) 
  5. TA-DA! Beautiful new rustic decorations! 

I put them up on my mantle to stay cause I think they look nice with the greenery behind them. Another successful Christmas craft :)

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Growing Families

More Christmas fun was had at our house a couple of weeks ago. This lovely group of people all belong to our Life Group at McLaurin Baptist Church in Grande Prairie. My husband was attending the  church before we met, and then I joined at some point during our relationship. 

It's been a great opportunity to grow in our relationships with God, meet some new people, and build friendships. 

Here's a pic from our Christmas get-together :) Obviously all of the families are growing! All three other ladies in our small group are currently pregnant. They left and Mr. A looked at me and asked, "You're not pregnant are you?!" lol. But our family grew this year too because we got married! It's fun to see these families growing, and to watch the kids grow up over time. We've really been enjoying hanging out with this group. So important for growth in the church to build relationships like this! 

Here's to another great year! Hopefully we'll continue even with all the new babies next year :) 

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Christmas time is here.... la la la... la la. So many Christmas tunes playing in my head these days :) 

Here are some pics from our Christmas dinner at home. 
Obviously my husband is dedicated to his Alberta beef. Enough so that he braved the -19 degrees and two feet of snow to bbq outside!  

Our table all set. Awaiting delicious food :) 

My place settings!

I'm actually very proud of how pretty they turned out! Just glue guned twigs and pine needles from our tree outside, and made the place setting with paper and stickers. Plus plus Christmasy!!

Dinner is served! Including: Steak, green beans, glazed carrots, mashed potatoes, and sweet potatoes :)

Classy. You can tell how classy he is by the pinky finger in the air.... obviously... lol. 

Not quite the same as turkey and stuffing, but a pretty good Christmas dinner for two :) 

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

There's No Place Like Home For the Holidays

Russel and I decided to have our Christmas at home before we left on a trip to visit my family. 
I could've waited until after Christmas... but you know my husband... itching for presents... 
So we opened them early and had lots of fun celebrating together. 

I'll let the pictures tell the story :) 

Had to open this first (from Santa) so we could have a proper Christmas coffee. 

I'm opening a present here. Something Mr. A gave me in a old paintball gun box. I wasn't fooled... 

Mr. A opening a present :) 

Look at that happy boy's face! 

Our Christmas scene

Eating a Christmas chew stick. 

Unwrapping a Christmas chew toy. She actually did a great job unwrapping it herself too! 

Showing off out LOVELY Christmas gifts. Watch + Earrings + Love = Happy Couple

My Bliss: Chocolate, Coffee, and Scrapbook Planning with my new gifts :) 

His Bliss: Playing with lego. 

He finally finished at some point in the evening. This was the tough stuff. For ages 8+!! hahaha. 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Goodnight!!! 

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Scented Pinecone Centrepiece

Time for another Christmas craft! I saw a picture of some spray painted pinecones earlier in the month, and I thought, "Huh, that's easy. I could do that!" Especially since I already had red and white spray paint from wedding decorations. 

Crafting Materials:
- basket
- pinecones  - I buy mine scented from Michaels. Cinnamon :)
- spray paint - whatever kind you want, but I went with red, white, forest green, and pistachio colours
- ribbon if desired

1. Spray Paint Pinecones (maybe two coats)
2. Decorate basket
3. Ummm... nope. That was it. See below! 

E-A-S-Y. And sooo pretty! It looks very nice on a tiny table by the door, or a side table in the house.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Club #1

GOAL #218: Join a book club.


I successfully attended my first book club this week. Yay! My expectations in a nutshell were: meet some cool people, talk about a book. Not complicated.

The book we read was "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. It was a great choice for my first discussion group because the ending of the book is open for interpretation. It was very interesting to hear others' views on the story. Different peoples opinion of how the story ended. Different interpretations of the symbolism in the story. Different interpretations of the ease of reading.

For example, I found the book very difficult to dive into. I had to read it in small doses before I was really able to get into it, and overall I would've hated the book if not for the last 20 pages. Some others found it to be a page-turner from the very beginning. Interesting perspectives.

I think what most surprises me is how deeply I am able to look into a story. All those years of high-school English did teach me something! I still s-t-r-o-n-g-l-y benefitted from the wisdom of other group members in looking at the symbolism and themes, but I was surprised by my level of understanding. I thought that because I hated English as a school subject, I might find these discussions a bit dull. but I was pleasantly surprised.

Cheers to a successful first venture into book discussion! Excited to find out what the next book will be!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas Cards A-Plenty!

Christmas time brings out the scrapbooker in me! I love Christmas colours and the layout possibilities! 

I had over 20 cards to make this year, plus a plethora of other card-giving possibilities. 

I love giving these cards because:
1) They're more personal
2) I enjoy making them
3) It's cheaper to make them than buy them
4) I feel like they are better appreciated these days than cards that are bought
5) It challenges my creativity each year

Maybe next year I'll be more ambitious, but for this year here is what I managed: 

Close to My Heart (scrapbook company) had some great "Pear & Partridge" paper this year that I used to make a lot of my cards. I also used it to put together two scrapbook layouts (to be seen after Christmas, when pictures have been added). I was really happy with how the cards came together this year :) I copied some of the card layouts straight from looking at the CTMH catalogue, but others I came up with all on my own. 

My favourite ones are the ribbon Christmas tree one, and the mittens :) If you know me well enough to check this site, you can probably expect one of these in the mail! OR in person if you're lucky!

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

I L-O-V-E Surprises :)

My husband is the best. 
True story. 

We got a book as a wedding gift that was filled with date ideas. It was called "101 Nights of Grrreat Romance". The trick to the book is that you can't read any of the dates and things ahead of time. Each date is assigned to the guy or the girl. We decided that we would try some, and have a month to complete them, so Russel and I each pulled one out. 

I did mine awhile ago (I'm not the best at keeping surprises). 
Russel just did his over the last month. He gave me a calendar with a bunch of numbered dates on it. On each of the 7 days he gave me a new clue, which led me to a new letter, which eventually spelled a word. 

Here's the calendar with the letters after I unscrambled them: 

This was the final letter I found, and the attached envelope. 

Tickets to a skating show were inside!!!!! 
This is obviously a gift for me... he would not go to this by choice, lol. 

Not just any show either. This show was called Holiday Festival on Ice, and had famous Canadian skaters that did routines to Christmas songs :) Amazing! 

I use to skate a lot when I was young, and I still watch skating on TV whenever I get a chance, so that was especially special to me. So thoughtful! The book only said he had to do a surprise! He went above and beyond obviously. 

Not only did I get tickets to an amazing show... but also I got this amazing necklace! LOVE it. 
I'm so spoiled.... ;)

This is a picture of us at the show. Sorry for the poor lighting issues...  

See some amazing skaters below...  From one of the routines. Then Kurt Browning from behind, and then Elvis Stojko! They were all amazing! 

The photos aren't great for a few reasons:
1) We weren't allowed to take pics - oops! 
2) The skaters were moving around. 
3) I was trying to take pics around a big head in front of me. 

Nevertheless... the event was great. Kurt Browning was hilarious too! It's amazing to see some of these skaters I've been watching for years up close. They make it look SO easy! So graceful and beautiful up close. Amazing moves that I will never be able to imagine doing in a million years. 

Such an amazing husband I have that's willing to do this for me! Very blessed. 
Fun romantic evening for two :) 

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Sometimes Grande Prairie winters can be a little rough. We've been dealing with snow since Oct. 9th (three days after our lovely 19 degree wedding day!). The cold and the snow have basically decided to stay. 

Winter  causes me to want two things: hot beverages and staying inside. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for my health) the puppies force be outdoors in the winter time! After a few days without long walks two puppies can start getting pretty antsy! Jumping around. Eating their dog beds. Waiting by the door. Its cruel not to take them out actually. So we do! 

Here are some pics from our latest -20 adventure! 

Waiting anxiously to go outside!

Handsome man in his nice winer hat :) 

This is us in the centre of the cul-de-sac. Can't even tell where the roads are! 

Trees literally piled with snow. 

Puppies having a leash-less adventure. Lucky! They actually listen really well now so we give them privileges every once in a while. 

Running after a snow ball Mr. A threw in the air!

Snowy nose. 

Even snowier nose!

View down the street. Crazy winter... 

Me and the little puppy. Sooo difficult to get a shot of him standing still! 

Hope you enjoyed our winter adventure. Maybe some of you Ontarians can live vicariously through our winter wonderland. It's looking like it's gonna be a white Christmas for us! 

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