There is little as special as a peaceful bath with soap you have made yourself. Try different scents, and let the kids experiment with their own colours and smells. Handmade soap is spectacular hostess treat for the holidays, or perfect for holiday gifts. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you can try different recipes, or interesting moulds to create amazing one-of-a-kind soaps.
Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a good savoury sage stuffing. I’ve been using this recipe for years and it’s a winner every time.
1. Thawing a frozen turkey requires patience. The safest method is to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. Be sure to plan ahead — it takes approximately 3 days for a 20 pound turkey to fully defrost.
The holidays are upon us, and we spoke with Celebrity Pet Expert Harrison Forbes for a few tips on eliminating stress for our best friends during the busy holiday season. Here are his ideas on eliminating pet stress.
Teachers do so much for our kids, each and every day. We spend so much time talking to our kids about how great their teachers are, but when was the last time you told your child’s teacher that you appreciate all that they do for your kiddo?
Here are 10 handmade teacher Christmas gifts that have a personal touch to help you express your appreciation.
1. Thank you for coloring our lives and making us Sharpies teacher gift from Design Wash Rinse Repeat
2. DIY fabric covered book (this would be so cute to do with a journal or notebook) from Two Twenty One
3. Homemade Tea Wreath from Kojo Designs
4. Thanks a Latte for all you do teacher gift from Longing For Home
5. Succulents planter from Shabby 2 Chic
6. DIY Tub Teas from Martha Stewart
7. Dum-Dum lollipop tree from Meet the Dubiens
8. DIY Oh Sew Easy 10 Minute Fabric Flower Brooch from Sew Creative
9. Teacher Scrabble tile coloured clothespins from Pen and Paint
10. DIY Chalkboard Coasters from Living Well Spending Less
Don’t you just love Christmas? The excitement, the anticipation, the magic in your children’s eyes as they imagine what they’ll find under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning?
We decided to help you with your Christmas countdown fun by curating our favourite DIY Advent Calendars from Pinterest.
1. DIY Magnetic Tin Advent Calendar from Makoodle
2. Colourful Forest Advent Calendar from Love From Ginger
3. DIY Modern Advent Calendar from The Sweet Escape
4. No Sew Reusable Branches Advent Calendar from Design Mom
5. Muffin Tin Advent Calendar by Doodle Bug Blog
6. DIY Lego Advent Calendar from Frugal Fun 4 Boys
7. Mini Stocking Advent Calendar from Trillium Design
8. Bright and Colourful Advent Calendar from Love My Dress
9. Toilet Paper Tube Advent Calendar from Modern Creativity
10. DIY Wall Chart Advent Calendar from The Painted Hive
It may be the dead of winter with snow tumbling and frost biting your toes, but flowers should never be far away. We’ve found a few floral gifts that will make your spirit bloom.
1. April Cornell Tablecloth: $34 – $109 – From napkins to dresses, these designes say ‘romance’.
2. Peppermint Hand Cream from the awesome Chapters/Indigo buyers $12 – Willing to bet they won’t even throw away the packaging it’s so pretty.
3. Expression Floral Necklace: $18.75 – A great price for a statement necklace!
4. Redfish Kids Swing Dress: $54 – My ‘go-to’ dresses for little girls.
5. American Tourister Color Your World Luggage: $60 – I own this model and it’s my favourite carry-on. each time I travel to Disney!
6. Capri Wallpaper by Superfresco Easy: $40 – Refreshing a room by papering even just one wall will bring the garden inside.
7. Liberty of London Wiltshire Planner $60 – I simply couldn’t be grumpy with this agenda in my purse.
8. Denby Monsoon Plates $19.99 – These ceramics are stylish, durable and make me want to bake scones for the perfect teatime.
9. Lacey Purple Flower Bath Rug: $24.99 – It could be a bloom or a hugefirework!
10. Party Ark Floral Bunting: 11.90 – The simplest of parties become festive when you hang bunting.
We received some great tips from lifestyle expert Shoana Jensen on creating the perfect holiday wrapping station. I’m still dreaming of a dedicated wrapping room instead of banishing my kids from entering the downstairs bathroom for the entire month of December. Baby steps.
1) Select a theme for the gift and pick your favourite wrapping paper.
2) Have a good selection of accessories nearby, including ribbons, bows, gift tags and a pair of quality scissors.
3) Tape is key! Scotch GiftWrap Tape features a satin finish that disappears on most shiny gift wrap papers. Using matte paper? Use Scotch Magic Tape which has a matte-finish. For a completely seamless look, Scotch Brand Double-Sided Tape. This will ensure your pretty parcel is as polished looking as possible!
Wrapping paper alternatives:
4) We’ve all used regular wrapping paper. Look for newspapers, road maps or comics as wrapping paper to cater the gift to the recipient’s personality, hobbies or interests.
5) For those sometimes awkward gifts, find ways to preserve the element of surprise. For example, put perfume or socks in an empty paper towel roll or use an empty coffee can or cereal box for small to medium sized gifts.
Ribbons and gift tags:
6) Embellish a package with small, useful items that relate to the gift. For example, attach a whisk to a set of mixing bowls.
7) Instead of a gift tag, find an old baby picture and tape it to the top of the gift. The image will identify who the gift is for and gives you time to reminisce on the good ole’ days!
A mom’s life is always busy, but the holidays are even more intense. Have you ever stopped to think of what you honestly & truly want for Christmas? Presenting Mommy’s Christmas List.
1. to go to the bathroom alone
2. someone to remove the smushed Cheerios & rotten milk smell from my car
3. to check the lost and found and not find something with my kid’s name on it
4. other people to stop telling me how advanced their kids are
5. to open the fridge and not find empty containers
6. to have a few pieces of clothing my daughter doesn’t borrow
7. a Saturday morning listening to whatever I want instead of Dora and the Wiggles
8. my Mom to stop saying ‘you ate/did/played with it and you turned out fine’
9. my kids to know where they put their library books
10. An ipad with my own apps on it
11. invisible full-body spanx
12. to remember every second of their childhood
13. to have someone other than me put on the new roll of toilet paper
What would you add to mommy’s Christmas list?
Remember those folks who said computers wouldn’t last and cell phones were a passing fad? Snicker. Not only were the naysayers incorrect, but our tech is now so mainstream and we have so many apps for our smartphones that we need experts to tell us about the true gems. In a special interview with Amber MacArthur, co-host of APP CENTRAL, she revealed her top 5 Holiday Apps for Moms as she gears up to celebrate a spectacular milestone: APP CENTRAL’s 100th episode on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 p.m. ET on BNN and on CTV, Saturday, Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. 100 episodes! No wonder we need more storage in our phones. I was ‘appy’ as a clam as we spoke. (OK I had to say it).
Amber MacArthur’s Top 5 Holiday Apps for Moms
1. Santa’s Magic phonecall iOS – free Call Santa on demand
2. Appy Holidays – allows you to get you xmas lights on your tree to dance to xmas carols. Plug the Appy Holidays Box (Available at Canadian Tire, $59.99) into any tree and turn it into a musical light show! Download the app to your smartphone or use the remote (included) to control your tree’s tunes & make lights dance
3. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies – Holiday Baking app iOS – $1.99 A mouthwatering assortment of Martha’s favorite cookies is now available at your
fingertips! Learn from the best with this indispensable baking resource, which combines cutting-edge technology with beautiful design and a generous sprinkling of good, old-fashioned fun. With 6 recipe bundles, instructional videos, baking tips, packaging
4. Go Gift – lets you manage your gift list. iOS – $0.99
Thanks to quick reminders and gift status notifications, this is the best holiday app to manage your gift list. You can add photos of people on your list and gift pics to match.
5. Mixologist Drink Recipe App – holiday drinks and low cal drinks. iOS/Android – $0.99/$1.49
Browse and search through nearly 8,000 drink recipes and over 1,000 ingredients, including holiday and low-cal drinks.
So get downloading to make your life easier, and don’t forget to tune in to the 100th episode of APP CENTRAL as Amber speaks with James Milward, Founder and Executive Producer of Secret Location (CTV.ca’s INTERFERENCE). Milward discusses his new app, Tug of War on Drugs, which reveals the realities of the war on drugs in support of Matthew Cooke’s documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs. Plus, the APP CENTRAL team tests the latest in waterproof smartphones and phablets.