A Mad for Plaid Christmas! Easy tips on how to pull off a plaid theme!! (Originally posted Dec 20, 2018)
This year I decided that it would be fun if our Christmas Eve Dinner had a theme; and since plaid seems to be the latest new hip trend why not make it a plaid theme? If you’re Canadian, it’s been hip forever.
Plaid and Christmas are a natural fit so I thought it would be easy to pull off.
I did find that finding the perfect plaid item to wear was, well hard to find. What I envisioned wearing wasn’t available at the local mall and I waited too long to order something online. But I am no quitter! Plus all but my guests are pumped and on board; so full steam ahead with my Mad for Plaid theme!
What to wear?
Can you have a plaid theme dinner without asking your guest to dress up? Probably, will it be as fun? No! No, it won’t. (teasing, feel free to skip to my pictures of plaid dinner table ideas if you don’t want to deal with my plaid shenanigans)
My Christmas Eve guests have been asked to wear some sort of plaid. I left it open to interpretation; I am looking forward to seeing everyone plaided up! (yes I know plaided isn’t a real word, but it should be!).
I finally found something I like, it’s a beautiful red and black plaid shawl that I will for sure wear again; it’s basically a huge blanket. My mom has a funky pair of red plaid pants that I am sort of lusting after. She’s the most stylish woman I know!
When it comes to decor, concentrate on your dinner table. I always make that my focal point. I think most people associate plaid with rustic and homey comfort. I personally think of a tall rugged Canadian lumberjack named Alex or Jean-Guy…..lol, ok moving on; the point I was trying to make before I got distracted by visions of lumberjacks dancing in my head is that it’s so easy to pull off a plaid themed dinner table. All you need is a plaid tablecloth or piece of fabric, mason jars, pine cones and a pop of something green and red.
Last year I filled mason jars with cranberries and floating candles. Some green branches, fairy lights and red balls. So easy, yet so pretty!!
This year I will have a gray and black table clothes with red napkins. I will repeat the other same items from last year; hey, if it isn’t broken, no need to fix it!
Pro Planner Tip
Here is a super helpful tip for any and all parties, big or small; the key to creating a cool vibe for your guests is lighting! So please dim the damn lights!!!
Light some candles or load up on fairy lights, nothing ruins the mood like bright overhead lights…you’re welcome!!
Enjoy these last few days before the big day. I know they can be stressful; it may seem that everything I do has to be perfect. That’s actually not the case. I pre plan as much as I can and then the day of any of my personal parties or huge corporate events, I am pretty chill and roll with the punches. Don’t let the idea of perfection ruin the moment. Life is messy not perfect! Lol, enjoyez-vous!
At first glance this post looks like it’s about baking cookies; and it sort of is. But as you read you will discovered that it’s more about spending time with loved ones. That being said, these two recipes kick ass!!
In this post I will share our grandmother DesRoches’ super simple and yummy Scotch Cookie recipe. Full disclosure, there is no Scotch in them; nor was she Scottish, lol.
We also always make peanut butter balls, they aren’t always pretty, but they are always super delish! I guarantee that you will love our balls. Scroll all the way down for both recipes.
This family cookie baking tradition started a few years ago. I invited all the ladies on my moms side of the family over on a Sunday afternoon to bake Christmas cookies; because baking cookies alone is depressing, so the more the merrier!
Now lots of people bake cookies during the holiday, which is awesome, but we had to take it to the next level. Because that’s what we do…ok, that’s what I do, but they always follow me willingly!
How do you take it to the next level? Matching aprons, that’s how. I had custom aprons made for all of us; and you can too! I think this was the key to making this an annual event; because now that we have aprons, like it or not, we are kinda committed.
Having matching aprons or hats will make you feel like team; I promise, you will have more fun if you match!
Our sassy aprons have our names on them, but you could also just do matching aprons. Or get blank ones at a craft store and bedazzle them. You have lots of apron options. I am used to ordering in bulk because of my job, but I also do it for my personal parties. I always use Kadopromo, if you are buying in bulk, go with a company who does this for a living, the prices are better!! They often have a minimum number of items you need to order in order to get the best price. Here is who I use, but the internet is full of suppliers, there is no excuse not to match! lol: https://kadopromo.net/
We must have been really good this year because Santa gave us an early Christmas gift, that will help us mix it up!! See below.
What you could do, is have a group fund, where everyone gives $20 and the head elf buys the group gift; either an apron or spatula? We have had our aprons for years now, we just order more as our family expands. It’s a one time expense, so it isn’t so bad at all.
For our cookie baking, each ma tante and cousine (aunts & cousin) bring an ingredient; it’s not fair to expect the hostess to provide all the ingredients. And don’t forget your empty container to bring some back home.
We take lots of pictures, it’s fun to look back over the years. Because we are such a big family, some of us are scattered all over the place; it’s nice to have memories of those who can’t be with us this year.
Mémère DesRoches’ Scotch Cookies
2bls of Butter
1 cup of Brown Sugar
4 cups of Flour. Yup only 3 ingredients!!
Well 5 if you add the frosting and cherry for the tops.
Combine brown sugar and butter, mix till smooth and creamy.
Once the mixture is creamy, make into small balls, a little bigger than a quarter. Take a fork and gently press them down (don’t smush, just lightly press so the fork leaves horizontal marks).
Bake 350F for 18 minutes
Add pre-made frosting, I like cream cheese, but you can do vanila.
Cut up bottled red cherries and place on top
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup of butter
2 cups peanut butter (creamy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar
3 cups or rice krispies
2 ounces of paraffin wax
1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Melt butter and while it’s hot stir in the peanut butter
Mix well and add vanilla, powdered sugar and rice krispies
Melt chocolate chips and paraffin wax
Dip balls into melted chocolate
Cool on wax paper or parchment paper
I am thankful to you for reading and I am also so thankful for my family! There is something about belonging to a tribe that tightens around you in hard times and makes you laugh, but also let’s you cry if you need to! They say you can’t pick your family; if I could, I wouldn’t swap a single one!!!
So what is your ultimate Christmas cookie?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you from me and the fam!!!
Here is my personal bucket list; I will do my best to complete each item on this list! I will do a post holiday wrap up, or should I call it an unwrapping, lol? I will report back on which items I completed and which, if any, I missed.
I encourage you to use my list as inspiration or to create your own. It’s good to set goals, even if they are silly; especially if they are silly!
Before we get started, I realize that the holidays can be hard for some people. I get that, I really do. This year will be a trying time for my family. But instead of curling up into a ball and wishing it away; we have decided to go for it, full on! I have advised my mom that her house is going to look like Christmas threw up in it!! She laughed and is completely on board.
If you don’t love this time of year, try to do one or two holiday things and see how you feel. Sound like a plan? Let’s do this!!
1. Buy a new winter hat!
Starting off with an easy one!! I love shopping and I love hats so this one is easy peasy and already done!! I actually bought two new hats…moving on to the next item.
2. Make a snowman or snow angel.
I realize these are weather permitting. Here’s the thing friends, life is short, life gets busy and adulting is hard. Soooo if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in front of the perfect fluffy, yet sticky snow, jump in!!
I am hoping for snow so I can check this one off my list. If you complete this one, please send me pics!!
3. Go skating or snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing is weather permitting; it’s actually my favorite winter activity. You may think it sounds lame and boring, but there is nothing like snowshoeing in the forest on a sunny day! Fingers crossed that we will get enough snow here before I have to go back to Vegas. Skating can be done inside or outside, so no excuses for this one!
4. Make Christmas Cookies!!!
Invite friends or family over to bake some Christmas cookies. I know from Facebook that a lot of you already have this tradition with your families. My family and I have started our own cookie baking tradition. This year is our Third Annual Cookie Baking Party; this year’s event is already scheduled. I will be sharing details of how we cookie it up!!
5. Kissing under the mistletoe!
I figure if i get some mistletoe the kissing will naturally follow. Going with the: “build it and they will come” theory. Will keep you posted! 💋
6. Glitter it up!!
In my opinion glitter is never a bad idea! ‘Tis the season for parties, go for a bit of glitter!! Sequins if you are feeling bold; glitter gloss at the least!!
I was supposed to go back to the US before coming back to Canada for Christmas. But plans changed. This means that all my glittery stuff is back in Vegas; so I will need to shop for more…challenge accepted!
7. Be Nice
We should always try to be nice, but let’s try to be extra nice this time of year. I usually try to donate blood right before the holidays; give the gift of life if you are able, it’s free! Doing something nice for others in need doesn’t just help them, but it will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.
As mentioned in my opening, the holidays can be a lonely time for some. You never know what others are going through, so let’s try not to be assholes, lol. And if someone is rude to you, shake it off, they are obviously struggling with their own issues.
And remember the more the merrier; especially this time of year. My fam adopted two strays a few years ago and now we can’t get rid of them!! They are now part of our Christmas Eve tradition and have become part of our family. I now can’t imagine Christmas without them!! xox
8. Be Naughty!!
Be naughty, but in the very nicest way!! I will let you use your imagination for this one, lol, have fun!!
9. Santa Selfie!
Last year I volunteered for our staff kids party, mostly so I could hang with the big man in red, lol. Here’s a challenge for you; if you are taking your kids for their annual picture with Santa, get in on the action. They will probably think it’s funny and who doesn’t want to be the fun mom, dad, aunt, uncle….
It’s so easy to take ourselves too seriously!! If you don’t have kids, get a few friends together and go sit on Santa’s lap!! I double dare you!! Send me your pic if you do!
I plan on taking my 16 year old nephew for a picture with Santa. Part of my duties as the world’s best aunt is to embarrass him right??
10. Christmas Cards
I am all about technology, but there is something awesome about getting a Christmas card in the mail.
I haven’t always sent cards, but I do now, and I try to make them funny. Some years I succeed, some…not so much. I’ll admit that last year’s card may have been a bit ridiculous and some didn’t get the joke, but I am fine with that, lol.
I encourage you guys to send cards, send pics of your families, your kids… I love them all!! So thank you.
Also, I will be doing a separate Christmas card blog post shortly, where I will share my card designs for the last few years.
11. Christmas Movie Marathon.
Baby it’s cold outside! Why not stay in and watch Christmas movies? The holidays are fun, but can be exhausting! Everyone needs a day or evening to do nothing, but watch Christmas movies.
The Hallmark Channel becomes my favorite channel this time of year. The story lines are basically all the same, but I don’t care, I love, love, love!
My top three Christmas movies of all time are:
Love Actually (I made my friend watch it a few years ago and she thought it was horribly depressing, lol)
What are your favs??
12. Rock Your Winter Jammies!
Growing up my parents used to let us open one gift on Christmas Eve. It didn’t take my brother and I long to figure out the pattern; a new pair of pajamas. This seemed like a cruel joke as a child, but I think it’s an awesome idea now that I am an adult.
13. Deck Your Halls!
Some people don’t decorate for Christmas and I just don’t get it? This is a great family or friend activity; if you don’t want to put up a big tree, get a tiny tree or a few balls in a bowl. I once had a Christmas Tree decorating party; where each person was told to bring an ornament. It’s a fun way to decorate my tree.
I won’t be able to decorate my own place this year in Vegas, so I am going to help decorate my moms. We will crank the Christmas tunes and go wild.
I love decorating and I think I am pretty good at it, but when it comes to Christmas decorating, my aunts and cousins on my dad’s side take it to the next level. I plan on doing a post on them. I haven’t asked them yet, but I am pretty sure I can convince them to let me interview them and take pics of their work. I’ll get helpful hints and share!
14. Winter Hot Tubbing
This is a new tradition that I am starting this year. I am currently working on creating a list of all friends with hot tubs!! Lol. If you haven’t been in a hot tub in the winter while it snows big fluffy flakes, then you are missing out. Who wants to hot tub with me?? lol
When making your own Christmas List, be sure to add original, fun things to do!!
15. Count Your Blessings.
I saved the best for last. It’s easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, that we forget to be in the moment and reflect on what is most important. For me it’s friends and family, I feel blessed and I try to be thankful and appreciate what’s in front of me at that very moment.
I will say that with social media, it can be a challenge to focus on what we have and not what we see others have. I will tell you that no one’s life is perfect, we are all just doing the best we can. Just because someone can take pretty pictures, it doesn’t mean that they have everything figured out.
Personally, for a long time, I secretly wished for the type of family that sits around the dinning table for hours discussing important issues; you know like they do in the movies. But that’s not us! I had to get over that fantasy and go with what I have. And what I have is an amazing family that love me no matter what? That encourage and support me even when they don’t really know what the hell I am doing.
So our dinners last 18 minutes start to finish; instead of getting frustrated, I have learned to adjust. We now play games after dinner, we laugh, I make them change into their pajamas, it’s all good!
So as always, I hope you enjoyed this post and come away with an idea or two from my list. Let me know what you like to do every year for the holidays? I am always open to trying new things. And would love to hear about what your holiday traditions or activities are!
Just a quick post to wish you all a Happy Halloween!!!
I hope you have had some spooky fun this month. If you haven’t, it’s not too late!! You still have a few days, so get cracking! Carve some pumpkins, make some scary cookies, dress up for a party, you really only live once…I think?
My October has been very busy, but I got my spook on. I visited a Haunted Museum and survived zombies in Vegas. In Paris, I visited the Catacombs and saw lots of real skulls & bones…it was freaky. And today I went to see a ballet at the Smith Center in downtown Vegas. You’re probably wondering, what makes a ballet an acceptable Halloween themed activity? Well it was a Gothic ballet based on Dracula. Nothing screams Halloween more than skulls, zombies and Dracula!!
I am finishing off the month back in Canada; where I have a girls dinner party planned on the 30th. It’s a Trick or Treat theme, each person has been instructed to bring one gift and we will swap. I thought it would be fun, plus I love gifts, lol, giving and getting.
Then Trick or Treating on the 31st! Ok I may be too old for that? But I am certain I will find something to do.
For those who have read my October posts, I hope you were inspired to enjoy some fall fun.
What’s next? Christmas!!!!! The only holiday that I love more than Halloween is Christmas; I have some fun posts coming up in November and December.
Thanks for reading friends!!!
Let me know if there is something you would like to see me write a post on or if you have any questions? I love hearing what you think.
Here is a fun family tradition that my family started a few years ago that I would like to share with all of you. It’s basically a family pumpkin carving party, but let me share how it started.
When my parents sold their house, my mom decided that their apartment was too small to host Thanksgiving and that it was time for me to take over our family feast.
Our first Thanksgiving at my place was fine, but I discovered that it was a lot of work!!! Some families sit around the dinner table and talk for hours about world events, their feelings and that sort of crap. Well that’s not my family! Lol.
My dad was done eating and was asking what was for desert before I even sat down. I cooked all day and we were done and in a turkey coma within 20 minutes. They came, they ate and they left!!!
Being a professional party/events planner, I did a bit of soul searching to figure out how I could improve our family time. I came up with a brilliant idea! I realized that my family seem to bond more when we’re doing an activity; instead of just sitting around the dinner table.
The following Thanksgiving, I had a plan! After dinner, there would be an obligatory pumpkin carving contest. No one gets a pass; everyone has to carve a damn pumpkin!!
Let me share with my American friends that Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as your Columbus Day. So it’s always in October, before Halloween.
I cooked the turkey, my mom, brother and sister in law brought sides. We sat down and were done eating within 20 minutes…again!!
After we cleared the table and cleaned up, we prepared for our pumpkin carving throw down. What I wasn’t expecting was how into it everyone would be!! It was so fun; we actually sat around talked and laughed for hours!
Over the years we’ve invited cousins and other family members to join us after their respective turkey dinners. The first year we posted our finished pumpkins on Facebook and asked our friends to vote for which one they liked best. I noticed a week later that friends were posting their pumpkins and asking friends to vote for their best pumpkin. How fun!!
Other years we voted internally, the rule is you can’t vote for yourself. Who knew pumpkin carving could be so competitive? And who knew my brother was such a great carver? He has only lost one year; he did a VW van pumpkin and people didn’t get it, lol.
I’m challenging all of you to have your own pumpkin carving night with your kids, your parents or your friends! Do it!! And try posting on social media and asking your friends to vote; you’ll be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I’m pretty sure I would be an awesome judge, lol. Just tag me on Facebook!
Make memories!! That’s what my blog is about!!! I missed our pumpkin carving last year, but I will be in Canada this year and it’s on!! My brother is going down!!!!!
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