***GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED*** Holiday Entertaining - Coffee Table Styling Tips & A Delicious Giveaway!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hey friends!  I hope you're enjoying a lovely week so far and that you're ready for my first holiday entertaining post!

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago,  I'm determined to be the hostess with the mostess this year!  I love the idea of entertaining friends and family over the holidays and this year, I want to make it happen more often than not!  Today,  I'm sharing tips on how to style your coffee table for the holidays with entertaining in mind and with some help from Ferrero Rocher!

Your dining room table is set and ready for your guests, but you don't want to overlook your coffee table!  Once dinner is over, invite your guests into your living room (or family room) to chat and continue the fun!  I love the idea of placing treats on the table for guests to help themselves.

It's a great idea to prep everything a day or two before your party, one less thing to think about, but be sure to select decorative items that can be set out early!  When it comes to styling your coffee table, you'll definitely want to add seasonal elements.  Do this by including touches of greenery and of course, ornaments are a quick and easy way to add colour, and not to mention inexpensive!  Chocolates are such a great choice because they can be set out a few days in advance (and well, the wrapping of these heavenly treats make them decorative!).

Ambiance is created with the help of some glittery candles and I made them the centerpiece by placing them on a few stacked books (that coordinate with the colour scheme), which gives them height.  A tray decorated with greenery and ornaments is a great place for beverages.

Once I had the accessories in place, it was time to add the treats!  Place them in various places on the coffee table and around the room so that your guests can easily help themselves no matter where they are sitting in the room.  Tip!  By adding some ornaments to your tiered stand, once the treats are all gone (which I guarantee, they will be) the stand doesn't sit empty and bare!

Ribbon is such a great way to add texture, a touch of sparkle and a dose of colour!  Wind it around and over your decor pieces.

Ferrero Rocher has always been a staple in our home during the holidays.  The taste, the wrappers, they most definitely make me think of Christmas!  With an assortment of packaging options (the tiered stand and the jewel box are stunning and perfect as is for displaying or gifting), they are a great go-to for entertaining and gifting!

I love the idea of sending your guests home with a beautifully boxed treat.  Place them on a tray near the front door so that you can easily access and offer them to your guests as they depart (and of course, that way, they will also look pretty while they sit and wait to be taken to their new home)!

Ferrero Rocher Canada just recently kicked off their holiday campaign and I simply love it!  You have to watch their holiday campaign video!  Of course, Ferrero Rocher Canada didn't want me to have all of the delicious fun (don't you just love the holidays?!)!  They want to help one lucky reader create their very own #FerreroMoment by giving away a jeweled box of 16 Ferrero Chocolates!  To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me what you're looking forward to the most this holiday season!  Open only to Canadian residents.  Contest closes Dec 3, 2014 at 9pm EST.  Good luck!

Be sure to document and share your #FerreroMoment by using the hashtag on Instagram & Twitter!  And follow Ferrero Rocher Canada on Facebook for a chance to receive a special Ferrero Rocher holiday gift (seperate from this giveaway).


This post was written in partnership with Ferrero Canada, but all opinions are my very own and have not been swayed in any which way. 

Chocolate & Candy Cane Dipped Marshmallows!

Monday, November 24, 2014

It's that time of the year, when the kids go outside to play in the snow and by the time they come back in, they are craving a cup of warm hot chocolate.  I kind of love this little tradition that has come to be.

Last week we had our first snowfall and of course, the kids wasted not time in going outside to make snow angels, snowmen, snowballs and such!  I warmed up the water in prep for their return and guaranteed request for some hot chocolate.  It got me thinking though, that I'd like to surprise them with something a little different every now and then.  They absolutely love to add marshmallows to their hot chocolate so I thought why not jazz up those delicious treats by dipping them in chocolate and adding bits of candy cane to them!

I have to admit, crushing the candy canes is a messy job, they are so so so sticky, but it's well worth it!  I break up the candy canes a bit, throw them into a ziplock bag and then use a rolling pin to break them into small pieces (I place the bag on a cutting board).  This is still pretty messy, but it does do the trick.  I've used a mini food proceessor before and it does the job well, but again, it's a sticky and mess job.

After you've crushed your candy canes, you'll want to melt some chocolate.  We had some semi-sweet chocolate chips on hand, so I melted them on the stove (I prefer melting the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl on the stove by placing it in a pot of water, like this).

Then it's just a matter of dipping your marshmallows into the bowl of melted chocolate (really give them a good dip to cover them generously), next you dip them into the bowl of crushed candy canes.  

Once they are nicely covered, place them right side up on a plate and put them in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened or until you are ready to enjoy them!

You are then left with a treat that can be eaten on it's own (perfect for parties!) or thrown into your favourite cup of hot chocolate.  I couldn't believe how much the kids enjoyed these!  They gobbled the leftovers up so quickly!

Let me know if you give this a try!

Have a lovely day!


First Snow Fall & Canon Giveaway Winner

Thursday, November 20, 2014

First up!  Thank you to everyone who entered the Canon giveaway!  The lucky winner is....

Congrats!  Look for an email shortly.  You guys must check out the Baby Moments app!  They've just (as in yesterday!) added some additional features to the app!  The new features include birth announcements & adorable magazine cover pages that you can create using your own photos!  Just click over to the Baby Moments page and on the left hand side, choose the feature you wish to use!

In other news, we welcomed our first snow fall this past week!  I adore the first snowfall, each and every year, it's always so exciting.

Also, I am currently obsessed with the coats at Old Navy!  I mentioned the one above in a previous post and then I just picked this blue one up last week, it was 50% off!  I didn't have any coats to wear around this time of year, when the temps are too cold for fall coats but still a touch too warm for my North Face parka.  I'm happy to have found these and that they were so affordable.

The holiday decorating continues!  I've chosen to switch out the red ribbon that I usually use to tie the swag to the banister for this stunning turquoise ribbon.  Can't wait to finish it!

Have a fabulous Thursday, friends!


Look Ma, No More Training Wheels & Baseball Wrap Up!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The other week I wrote about the fantastic photography app, Baby Moments.  Incase you missed it, Baby Moments is an app that Canon Canada and photographer Stephanie Robin created to help parents capture the wonderful milestones in their children's first year.  I adore everything about the app.  It's a brilliant source of inspiration and it encourages you to move past the automatic setting on your camera!

After taking a peek at the app, I realized that I too could benefit from the photos highlighted even though my kids are well over the age of 1.  You're really being taught how to use the camera in various situations that apply to so many different scenarios!

I used the steps from the "Supported Standing" to take baseball photos of kiddo two, whose team came in first place this season!  Definitely a moment to be remembered.

For this shoot I used my Canon Rebel SL1 with a 40mm lens and as suggested in the Baby Moments app, I selected the portrait setting, which as you'll see, perfectly blurs the background.

You guys, I am SO happy with how they turned out!

These photos put such a big smile on my face!  Next year, I will do the same shoot, but with all three kids together for a group photo, an option that isn't available when their team photos are taken since all three kids are on different teams.   It's so reassuring to know that we have the ability to take high quality photos with such ease!

Then it was little J's turn.  You see, this year was a pretty big year for him because he ditched his training wheels!  Yay for finally being able to keep up with his older brothers!  This is when the "Walking Outside" photo came to mind!

The app suggests using the sports mode and having your little one walk towards you.  I thought we could totally use these steps to capture little J on his big bike sans training wheels!  Have you used the sports mode setting before?  For some reason I always shied away from it and wouldn't have ever thought to use it as suggested on the app!  Brilliant!  The rate at which the camera captures photos is absolutely unreal!

Little J's smile says it all!

I love how the camera not only captured little J's awesome bike riding skills, but that it also captured the gorgeous pink sky behind him!

I can't say enough about this camera.  I'm constantly amazed by how easy the SL1 is to use and by how unbelievably well it captures photos.  I am looking forward to trying the seasonal theme photos found in the Baby Moments app next month when the tree is up!

Also!  There is still time to enter the giveaway for a Canon Selphy CP910 printer!

So amazing!  Just hop on over to this post and leave a comment telling me which photo you love the most from the Baby Moments app!  Contest is open to Canadian and US residents and closes tomorrow, November 19th!

You can find the Baby Moments app here and be sure to take a peek at the Canon Canada Pinterest & Facebook page for more photography inspiration!

This post was created in partnership with Canon, however all opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any which way.

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