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Life List Recap 2017

It’s that time of year already! I get to look back to see what I was able to accomplish on my Life List. Most of the items were related to our trip to Italy and I also managed to complete a few others:

  • Travel to Italy
  • See the Sistine Chapel, Italy
  • See the Colosseum, Italy
  • Travel to Tuscany, Italy
  • Enjoy pasta and wine in Italy
  • Take a train in Europe
  • Eat pizza in Italy
  • Have gelato in Italy
  • Travel to 50 countries (increased by 2 for Italy and The Vatican: 20 done, 30 to go)
  • Have a proper English tea: We went to the King Edward and it was a fabulous splurge
  • Participate in an Escape Room: I was with colleagues in Ottawa and we had a fun time trying to escape – we almost made it!!
  • Cook a whole fish: I don’t know why I had never done this before but I finally tackled it. Not a fan of all the little bones, but it was tasty!

For my annual book, movie and cooking challenges, I did pretty good:

  • Watch 50 movies in 2017: I’m currently at 57. Overshot this one very nicely! πŸ™‚
  • Read 30 books in 2017: I’m currently reading #17. Not stellar and it’s not because I selected really big novels either. I’ve just been doing other things (watching movies apparently!). May have to reduce this next year to be realistic.
  • Cook 30 new recipesΒ in 2017: I’m currently at 27 with a few days to go. It might happen.

My list is now at 310 completed of 441 total.

Next up: Revising the list and planning next year’s To Do’s!

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Our family loves to visit heritage and pioneer villages; the ones that have original homes and buildings and the staff are dressed in period costume and stay in character while they explain how things were done back in the day. I just love the simplicity of how things used to be.

This year, we went to Black Creek Village in North York during the Christmas by Lamplight event on Saturday night. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas, withΒ  decorations and treats from yesteryear. There were carolers circulating around the village. All the houses/buildings were decorated and staffed with amazing team members, some offering entertainment including caroling, dancing, old-time games and crafts. Others offering treats including mince tarts, candied orange peel, turkish delight, gingerbread cookies, cheese straws, peppermint pastilles, and more!

We had a great time! Can’t wait to go back next year!

Last night was my first time visiting a Christmas Market. We headed down to the Distillery District just east of downtown Toronto late afternoon and braved the throngs of people to enjoy the festivities. It truly was a magical setting with Christmas music playing throughout the area, the lights and enormous Christmas tree.

There were booths selling all kinds of holiday treats and goods. We got fudge (classic!), and enjoyed hot doughnuts (omg) and had a tasty curry for a quick bite.

The shops and galleries were nice too and gave everyone a chance to warm up from the chill outside.

There is a whole section for food and drinks (for young and old).

I can’t wait to go back next year but I think we’ll go during the week as it was ridiculously crowded, but that can be expected on a Friday evening. Still a good time!

We warmed up with hot chocolate before heading downtown:

On the GO Train, heading downtown. We played the alphabet game with Christmas themes. An extra passenger bailed us out when we got to Q. πŸ™‚

The entrance to the Christmas Market:

The tree!!

Chris and I πŸ™‚

Munching on warm doughnuts – holy moly they were good!!

These were near the entrance/exit – they looked cool!

There’s nothing like seeing things through the eyes of a child, especially during the holidays.

Case in point is my 10-year old niece Maddie. We were shopping at Michael’s yesterday picking up some holiday craft stuff.

We were talking about her letter to Santa and I innocently (honestly, with this one, I should have known better) asked her if she had been good this year.

She admitted: “I was a little bit naughty.”Β  Then she added with a shrug and her hands up in the air “But who hasn’t??”

Her answer was so unexpected that I cracked up (pretty loudly) in the aisle.

Wise beyond her years that one. πŸ™‚ (Also a bit of a smart ass).

 

Christmas is a sentimental time and retailers pull out all the stops to create commercials that tug at everyone’s heartstrings. I love holiday ads, from the funny ones to the ones that make me all sniffly and tears-eyed. πŸ™‚ In fact, the only ads I ever watch are Christmas ads ans Super Bowl ads.

John Lewis – cute take on a child being kept awake due to a monster under the bed.

M&M’s – love this one. I wish this would actually happen this way if such an event were to occur.

Paddington:

BBC One: Love the dancing dad who knows he ain’t doing the flip LOL

John Lewis – The Fox and The Mouse – OMG get the Kleenex out. Love the song too.

 

 

I can’t remember what year it happened for me growing up, but there was suspicion leading up to the full-blown realization and many whispers with my siblings about what they thought and whether they believed or not. But sure enough, Santa came that Christmas, sure as the sun rises and sets.

We never felt betrayed about our parents lying to us about Santa. I don’t even remember being disappointed – I think we suspected it for a while before we were old enough (and willing enough) to acknowledge the truth.

My eldest niece is at that point now – she’s started to ask her mum about Santa but then quickly said not to tell her because she wasn’t ready to know. πŸ™‚ It’s sweet. I think it’ll be her last year.

Santa Came!!! (My nieces Christmas morning 2014)

Author Martha Brockenbrough published a letter in the New York Times that made it easier for all parents out there. Her daughter had figured out the truth about Santa and Martha handled it beautifully:

Amazing.

Happy to be on Santa’s team. πŸ™‚

These crack me up – I love a good laugh. There seems to be more and more of these circulating. People are getting increasingly more creative too!

I gathered a few of my holiday-themed faves – Hope you get a giggle or two out of them like I did. πŸ™‚

Ho ho ho!!! πŸ™‚