BLOGMAS | I Made A Christmas Baking Notebook

 

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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One of my favourite things about the holidays is knowing that for a few days before Christmas, the house is going to smell amazing. My mother-in-law and I would bake lots of treats not only to serve on Christmas Eve and/or Day, but also to give out as presents for our friends and family. It always gets a bit hectic especially when you have a long list to bake and with only two people to make them. Top that with trying to finish, cool, and store them before they get eaten. We started a little late this year so were taking advantage of every spare time we can. It also doesn’t help that  were pretty much running out of freezer space.

What I noticed this year is there are certain treats we make every year. It’s not even a question of if we’re making them, it’s more of when. My mother-in-law have her recipes written out on index cards, while I don’t have anything. Some of the holiday treats I make is online so I just look it up whenever I needed to make them. This, I found out, is a terrible idea. I had to skim through at least 6 Food For The Gods recipes before I found the right one. So I decided this year, I will make myself a baking notebook containing treats we usually always make during the holidays to spare us the time of going through all the cookbooks, magazines, and online recipes. I have a spare traveller’s notebook insert so why not, right?

So far, I only have four recipes in it: my mother-in-law’s Sugar Cookies and Shortbread Refrigerator Cookies; and a Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie and Food For The Gods which I found online. I can already tell it will be a growing list.

As I’m writing this we still have about 4 or 5 treats to make. If you’re also doing some holiday baking this time of the year, good luck and have fun. 🙂

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BLOGMAS | 3 Tips To Survive Boxing Day

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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Have you ever tried shopping on Boxing Day? Have you ever walked out of the store exhausted with 10 extra things in your cart that you didn’t necessarily need but bought anyways because they were on sale? Yeah, Boxing Day does that and sometimes the outcome is not pretty. Today, I have 3 tips for you to hopefully help you survive Boxing Day.

  • Know what you need or want. Boxing Day is one of those days where you’ll definitely need a list of what you need or want to get. Frantically walking around the store trying to figure out what you need to purchase can lead to overspending and forgetting things. Plus, on busy days like this one, some people prefer to be in and out of a store and having a list will help with that.
  • Take advantage of boxing week. Stores these days extend their Boxing Day deals to a week. Store flyers will have their opening hours and product information on wether or not certain items will be of limited quantities. This means you don’t have to stand in line waiting for your favourite store to open unless you absolutely have to.
  • Shop online. Some online shops will also have boxing day / week  deals. Great thing about shopping online is you don’t have to deal with the crowd of people, long check-out lines, and you can all do it in the comfort of your Christmas pyjamas.

There you have it. Hopefully this helps you out this coming boxing day / week. Do you go out shopping on Dec. 26 itself? What do you do to make the trip less stressful?

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BLOGMAS | How To Save Money This Holiday Season

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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Have you ever looked at your bank account after the holidays and said to yourself, “Holy crap! I spent how much???” I said that to myself last year. Although to be fair, I had to buy myself a new computer because my old one was broken beyond repair.

This year, I came up with a list of ideas on how to save money during the holiday season and they are helping me quite a bit on my holiday shopping.

  • Set a budget early on in the year. Having a budget early in the year will make it easier to save up for it for when the holidays come. It will also help prevent overspending.
  • Have a list. Believe me when I say it’s easy to get carried away when it comes to buying presents for your loved ones. You always want to make sure they get just the right present and this can sometimes lead to spending too much. Having a list allows you to brainstorm present ideas which are within our budget. Add to that the added convenience of taking something off of the list when you know someone else is already  buying the same present you are.
  • Let them make their own list. There is no harm in plainly asking them what they would like for Christmas. However, be honest and tell them about your budget as well so they won’t include something in their list that’ll make your wallet or bank account cry.
  • Use Ebates.ca. This is not sponsored. I just happen to love Ebates. Ebates helps you generate cash back when you shop online as long as the store is listed on their website. You won’t always get a lot of money back, but it’s still money back.
  • Start shopping early. You don’t always have to start your holiday shopping at the beginning of the season. Once in a while you’ll find the perfect present way ahead into the year, and that’s ok.
  • Give out homemade / DIY presents. It is cliche, but sometimes it’s the thought that counts. Yes it’s going to cost a bit at first but when you think about it, buying materials in bulk then turning it into a homemade present will still be cheaper. You will not only have saved money in the process, but you’ll also have leftover materials to use for other projects thus eliminating the need to spend more money.

What about you? What do you do to spend money during the holidays?

 

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BLOGMAS | 3 Things I Miss About Christmas In The Philippines

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What is Blogmas? Blogmas or Vlogmas is when bloggers / vloggers upload a post or video everyday counting down to Christmas. I’m participating in Blogmas this year. However, instead of posting everyday until Christmas I will be posting for 12 days which will be spread out in 24 days counting up to Christmas. 

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I have not been one for Christmas since I moved here in Canada, and once in a while I miss it. Don’t get me wrong the holiday season here is amazing! There’s snow, Santa Clause activities, holiday movies every night. However, there are certain things I miss about spending Christmas in the Philippines that pop in my mind overtime the holiday season starts.

  • Spending the season with my family. I grew up with the tradition of meeting with my father’s side of the family every Christmas day. Sometimes the venue changes, sometimes it doesn’t. We don’t always attend though when the location is a bit of a drive. But when we do get together, it’s crazy. Presents everywhere, tons of food, little cousins running and playing around, aunts and uncles catching up with everyone, and there are games for the little kids (and the big kids too). It gets pretty chaotic throughout the day but what is Christmas without a bit of craziness?
  • The ham. It’s a bit weird, yes, but I can’t seem to find the perfect ham that mimics the taste of what we have back home. The closest thing I can find is bacon from work.
  • The carollers / going carolling. When I was old enough, my parents let me go carolling with my friends. We can’t stay out too long though so we’d hit up as many houses as we can. I remember bringing kiddie toy instruments with us, avoiding a house because so-and-so lives there, avoiding a street because they have far too many terrifying dogs. We’d have a bucket where we collect our money in, and by the end of the night we’d divide up all the change we got and come home with extra cash in our pockets.

There are other things I miss about spending the holidays in the Philippines. Hopefully I get to go home in the future so my kids can experience them.

Have you even missed a holiday celebration back home? What was the holidays like from where you live?

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5 Things I Love About Fall

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  • The cold weather. I’m not a big fan of summer because of the heat. I look forward to fall because it’s the start of cold weather for a good chunk of the calendar year. Yes, it gets crazy cold here in Saskatoon but I don’t mind it.
  • Pumpkin Spice Season. Pumpkin spice / pumpkin flavoured things pop up everywhere: oreos, cupcakes, muffins, coffee. Consuming an unexplainable amount of pumpkin spice latte this season is a normal occurrence for me.
  • Thanksgiving. I grew up in the Philippines and Thanksgiving isn’t something we usually celebrate. However, I love being able to gather around good food with family and friends and celebrate the things we are thankful for.
  • Halloween (mostly trick or treating). Much like Thanksgiving, I didn’t grew up trip or treating. I am familiar of the concept of it because of what I have seen in the movies and TV. I started enjoying this more when my daughter is old enough to go around trick or treating. I love watching her face light up whenever someone hands her candies. Here in Saskatoon, malls participate in safe trick or treating where in certain shops participate by placing a decal on the front of their store for kids look for. This is great because the kids can still get their trick or treating fix incase it’s too cold for them to go out at night.
  • Christmas sales. I’m a big Christmas person. Go ask my husband. Christmas is the one season I find so difficult to wait for. I grew up in a country where once September hits, snippets of anything Christmas starts popping up. I satiated my longing for Christmas by buying a small Christmas tree last year to put up after Halloween. However, keeping up with my husband’s tradition as well, I try not to put anything on it until after St. Nick’s. Also, this is when Christmas sales go up in stores and that’s exciting for me.

What about you? What are the things you love about fall?

 

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