Christmastime

I love Christmas every year that it rolls around, but there’s one particular Christmas that stands out from the rest.

 

Back in 2005 (hard to believe that’s over ten years ago), my family and I celebrated Christmas and New Years in Greece. It was a chance to spend some time with all of our relatives there, and also to see Greece at a very different time of year. When you hear of Greece, most people think of islands, or beaches, world famous sunsets, or ancient ruins. Souvlaki may also come to mind. But life is different during the winter months. At least, it felt that way to me after only having seen it in the summer months when the aforementioned are most prevalent.

It was like we were part of the country’s regular programming; where citizens were out and about getting ready for Christmas, rushing from one gathering or party to the next. The traditions we preserve and practice here at home were visible and alive everywhere, surrounding us like the richest chocolate around a hazelnut. The most memorable and meaningful part was that we got to experience Christmas the way my dad did growing up as a kid.  It was, without sounding childish or cliche, magical.

In amongst all of these lovely, festive moments, there were also some eye-opening parts of the trip. Like the fact that homes aren’t heated in the same way during the winter like our Canadian homes are. Let’s just say that when the firewood has been used up and it’s the middle of the night, you layer with every sweater and blanket in site! Or when we were driving up a narrow, village road that was covered in ice, we had to accept the fact that our little rental car couldn’t hack it (it seriously couldn’t; we spun out multiple times, and even lost control as we headed towards the roadside…with no guardrail!) But, my uncle’s old, Toyota pick-up truck could! Strap some chains around the tires and away you go, is how it’s done over there.

It was a trip to remember, in spite of the differences. The true gift in all of this was experiencing something so rich, and so cool with my parents and sisters, and with relatives that are so far away. Now that I have a family of my own, I can’t wait to experience something like this and create our own version of this in the future.

greece-december-16-2005-to-january-7-2006-013

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a holiday season full of love, laughter and lots of restful family time. See you in 2017!

xo! Kassey

//Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences \\

2016 So Far

A couple of weeks into the new year, and I’m just now getting around to this post! I hope the holidays were full of family and good food, and that you’re all feeling recharged, rejuvenated, and ready to take on another great year.

I am still one week away from my due date, so anxious and excited would be the biggest understatements to describe how we’re feeling about the impending arrival of our fourth family member! I, especially, am feeling beyond ready to welcome this little bundle of a girl into our lives, because if I’m being honest – pregnant and toddler wrangling on the daily is plain … hard. I just continue to remind myself that I physically can’t be pregnant forever, and before long, we will all be getting acquainted and getting to know the latest and cutest addition to our family.

With so much excitement (and adjustment, no doubt) awaiting us in 2016, I am looking forward to taking it all in in somewhat of a scaled back way. I will probably be a little quieter on this space for the next couple of months, for no reason other than to just focus on us as a new family of four. Stick with me, though, as I will remain active on Instagram and Twitter. and of course try my best to get back on here with updates and photos when I can. I’m also looking forward to sharing some of the plans I’ve been working on for the work side of my life. But you’ll have to wait until spring/summer for that one 🙂

Here are a few photos from the last little while. Enjoy, and hope you’re having a great week!

 

We celebrated Thea turning two with a Minnie Mouse themed day!

|| Cake by Jacqueline at Cake Affair & topper designed by Justine Ma ||

This cookie decorating station was a hit, and super simple to whip up.

She was really into decorating this year, and surprisingly wasn’t too interested in dismantling any of the tree after the fact – thank goodness!

On Christmas Eve, we decided to head down to the Legislature Grounds, and we’re so glad we did. You can’t really tell from these photos, but it was an exceptionally cold evening. It was a short-lived visit, but the beauty sure made up for it!

Our last Christmas as a family of three! Something tells me that the exact picture of this time next year is going to look a whole lot different!!

xo,

Kassey

// Posts are not sponsored and are my own opinions and experiences \\

Summer!

Summer is officially here, and living in such a northern urban centre has reminded me of how longingly we await these summer days and nights. These next few months translate to patio time, enjoying our beautiful parks, and a general appreciation for all things that take us outside to soak in the Vitamin D.


Photo: Paradise Hotel, Alonissos, Greece

While we won’t be travelling to the dreamy destination above, we do have a short little vacation down to Phoenix planned for next month. We’re really excited to be taking our first vacation as a family of three, and of course, to see little Thea in her myriad of cute little bathing suits.

Whether your summer plans are taking you to faraway, exotic places or allowing you to explore and become tourists in your own city, I’d love to hear about them!

Also…a while ago, I wrote a brief post on the up-and-coming Edmonton boutique, Harlow. I recently had the opportunity to learn more about this modern gift shop, and you can too by checking out my detailed post over at City and Dale Continue reading

Christmas & New Year’s

I have confidently come to admit that I am a bit of a child at Christmastime. It is my absolute favourite time of the year – carols on the radio, made-for-TV Christmas movies, Starbucks Christmas cups, sweets and treats (baking, giving and receiving!), family time, and that overall cheery feeling that seems to touch just about everyone. It also allows for me to watch Home Alone 1 & 2 totally guilt free (I actually tend to watch these two all year round, not just at Christmas).

This year was obviously extra special since we celebrated as an official family of three. We really enjoyed spending time with our parents and siblings and keeping things a little lower key.

We rang in the New Year here at home, with family, food, a good game of Taboo and a Skype date with my sister in Dubai. In between turns at Taboo, we tuned into the New Year’s Eve specials on TV, which were a nice touch. Our night wasn’t fancy or over-the-top, but I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable New Years celebrations we have had. Just what we needed as we adjust and adapt to our newest little family member.

Pappou love

Pappou love

I felt it totally appropriate to catch up on my Vanity Fair and Bazaar in between Taboo matches

I felt it totally appropriate to catch up on my Vanity Fair and Bazaar in between Taboo matches

Thank goodness for Skype!

Thank goodness for Skype!

Our fancy, alcohol-free drinks. Cheers!

Our fancy, alcohol-free drinks. Cheers!

We were so blessed throughout 2013 and we can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store. From our family to yours, we wish you a wonderful year ahead! May it bring you every joy and happiness.

xo