Monday, 26 January 2015

Christmas in Canada...FINALLY!!!

I know I'm now a month late, but I want to write an itsy bitsy Christmas post-never itsy bitsy in reality. I will try though! It's mostly pictures, but I think that's what most readers like ;)

My first Christmas home in two years was, sadly, green. However, that didn't prevent me from baking up a storm or getting into the Christmas spirit! I didn't bake a lot, but I LOVED what I baked:

I've mentioned these all before, but I made Italian genettis, kaka cookies and my waistline killer shortbread (my absolute favourite!). Baking this year was a bit sad as my mustard-coloured, handheld mixer (35 years old and a wedding gift to my parents), broke. The plastic, where the beaters are inserted, cracked, so that one of the beaters could, potentially, fly out of the socket :(  It was a tough moment because we all know that today electronics aren't built to last and this was a small representation of my parents' marriage. That mixer has made countless cheesecakes, birthday cakes, cookies and even some creamy mashed potatoes! I reluctantly put it away, not ready to actually throw it in the garbage.

Genettis: I would like to state that my mother's recipe is...Interesting. I found her original copy and it made me laugh so hard that I cried! Afterwards, I didn't know whether I was crying because it was that funny or it just made me miss her that much more. Read the line which starts, "small or you'll end up with cookies..."

The original recipe I found in my mom's own writing :)
The batter: all sticky!
 Fresh out of the oven! These have a hard outer covering and soft, flaky insides!
 Pastel blue frosting for this batch (I make blue, green and pink).
 This batch of icing was much thicker. The pink batch going into one of my grandmother's Christmas tins. I was channeling my mother's family that day!

Kaka cookies:

 These drop cookies are SO EASY to make and they're always a hit!
Not even a THIRD of what I made overall, hehehe!

With the exception of the shortbread in the pan just prior to baking it, I'm lacking pictures of the finished product-a thousand apologies :(

The before shot. The after is golden brown and makes your WHOLE home smell like sweet, buttery goodness!!!

Now our Christmas tree was my mother's pride and joy. When we could finally afford an artificial tree that looked real, my mother decided that it was also time to give it a Martha-Stewart-inspired look. Choosing wine, gold and cream as her colours the palette (which barely won over blue, silver and white), this is what our tree traditionally looks like:

 We think that from the battle of Christmas tree vs. our cats (who have since passed away); Christmas tree vs. our dog (who has since passed away); and lastly Christmas tree vs. kids (who always seem to play with it or run into it or something, lol!), our tree has survived, but leans a bit, hahaha!
A shot from of the side when I hadn't yet put the vacuum cleaner away OR cleaned up the cords :S
My sister on Christmas morning with the gifts :) I'm not trying to show off or boast. We actually have a budget that we established and must stick to for EVERYONE in our family. We are quite conservative, and actually these are presents for our ENTIRE family (nine people) from me, my sister and father (this does not include their gifts to us).

The AMOUNT of presents, as I mentioned, is quite minimal. Our budget is small because we don't EVER want to go in debt in order to splurge on things we don't even really need. Funny enough, most of the time we buy the most practical gifts, or gifts that we really want, but can't imagine spending money on ourselves. Now I LOVE to wrap presents and my grandmother, mother and even one of my uncles are INCREDIBLE gift wrappers! I took the time to enjoy wrapping each and every gift I gave this year. I threw on Christmas movies (which maybe included A Christmas Story, Meet Me in St. Louis, Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas...The animated version, and so on), and took over our dining room:

 I'm just a little obsessed with popcorn, so please excuse my "breakfast" on the table there!
Forgive my carpets! I was making a mess!!!

Now, I spend a lot of time wrapping and decorating gifts and even making homemade tags, so this is a tame version of my presents:

A sample of something I wrapped for the Irish chef ;)

My sister, on the other hand, wasn't feeling the Christmas spirit (not having snow made a lot of people not feel the Christmas spirit *sighs*), and she's been in charge of doing the wrapping for the past two years, so her gifts looked a little less...Done up and perhaps looked a bit uniform:

Papa-san is our nickname for our father.
Look familiar?
Notice a theme???

Some of the presents I got (from immediate and extended family):

 Some wine from my uncle J and my friend Jessie J (my friend's alias, not the singer)!
 My sister bought me this CHI straightener at Winners, but there was a problem with the cord, so I had to return it, but look at that design!
 NO Winners in London had ANY CHI straighteners (I was given a full refund), and so I just popped into a hair salon (beside Target) in Masonville Mall and found this CHI (GOT AN AMAZING DEAL: $120CAD).
 Another uncle gave me a gift certificate to a consignment store here that I LOVE (Style 360 on Springbank Drive: ), and they had this Stella & Dot ring that I've been eyeing for awhile!!!
The scarf I'm wearing was a gift from my aunt and it's GORGEOUS! [P.S. I'm related to that kiddle in the foreground of the shot; she's my cousin who once asked her mother (my mother's younger sister) how she was Japanese when she was four or five! How cute!!!]
SO GORGEOUS that I actually may have stolen the one my aunt gave to my sister :S

Gifts I gave: obviously this is NOT everything I got for my family. However, I LOVE giving books as gifts and this one I purchased for my male, 15-year old cousin who has a hilarious, odd and even a bit twisted sense of humor:

 This kinda thing is awesomely hilarious AND practical!
 I think if he ever becomes a stunt man then this manoeuvre will come in handy :) 
 For those times when you never know.
 The most likely "worst-case-scenario"?
I bought this for my 19-year old female cousin (above). This made me laugh out loud IN Chapters (Indigo, bookstore). I promptly bought it and even read it quite a bit before wrapping it up, BAD MIKI! My favourite? Pickup lines for women to use on men which included, "Hi," "Hello," and "Excuse me." Hilarious.

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas full of love and laughter!!! I'm so sorry that I didn't manage shots of our Christmas dinner (turkey and the works) OR our Boxing Day dinner (a national holiday in Canada and the UK, I think?!? Although I feel like it's a holiday in former British colonies...I'm not sure. Sorry! It's on December 26th). Our Boxing day dinner is a Japanese sushi dinner with miso soup, gyoza and Japanese-style egg rolls. P.S. My uncle J and I perfected spicy mayo a few years back, so spicy salmon with tempura bits is ALWAYS on the menu now!


  1. Hey! You've got awesome taste in gifts! Haha, loved the pickup lines that women can use. Men are so simple ay? :-) Hope you're doing well! I love seeing posts with so many pics. Oh, and I have to add, yes, that scarf is gorgeous!

    1. Layla!
      So nice to hear from you!!! I hope all is well with you! :D
      Thank you! I wish I'd had more shots of gifts I'd purchased :( My aunt got jewellery from Stella & Dot and I bought my female cousin the best cosmetics from the drugstore (last year I splurged a bit, from Kuwait, and placed an order at Sephora for her, my aunt and sister!). Most of my family wants gift certificates-not so fun to take photos of :(
      Thank you for the feedback about the scarf, and yes, for men, sometimes it's just that simple, hahahaha! How was your Christmas???