Filling the advent calendar… and not just with chocolate

IMG_0265In our family, as far as I can remember, we always had an advent calendar and were impatiently waiting for it, day after day,  year after year. With my kids, my mother started this tradition with Loic when he was about 3 years old ( old enough to eat chocolate and that she knew that I wouldn’t complaint to much haha ) and kept buying the these chocolate advent calendars.

This year, for the first time, ( yes she still bought that advent calendar ) but I wanted to make change, make it different and especially, more creative. So I wanted to share with you the way I will fill this advent calendar, and not only with chocolate but with some fun, different ideas that won’t always give your kids that sugar rush that we’re not always looking for. Also, what I kind of really like about that kind of calendar is that you can use it year after it, filling it with different little cute items that will grow with the kids. It can also be the one that our kids will use when they’ll be parents themselves.

The advent calendar for counting down to Christmas I chose is a fun and still minimalist, that of course needs to fit with my home style ( not to many colours but still festive with a holiday theme. I like it’s simplicity, not to busy pattern, I love it. Totally me. Here’s the link.

Boutique Clement: https://www.clement.ca/en/home.aspx

So here are some of my favorite ideas on how to fill the advent calendar, and of course depending on how big or small each pocket or little box is for each day, since filling them can definitely be a challenge, especially if you don’t want like me to just add yet chocolate, but have a fun alternative for the young ones. I am doing this year a multiple themed advent calendar but you could definitely do a 1 BIG THEME for the whole 25 days of Christmas countdown with these ideas:

1.Lego/Playmobile figurines : There is the official LEGO advent calendars out there but it’s a cheaper and more fun way of doing it your self. You can then choose the collection of figurines you want to get them, depending of what they like or already have.

2.Wodden trains: Complete a play set. So my kids, per example have the Thomas the train wooden trail and trains, so It could be a fun idea of adding one more to their collection. Or if you would like to go with the big themed version, you could get them a complete new set and divide the pieces into the 25 days of the calendar.

3.Mini Cars: Since I have 3 boys, favorites toys are usually anything that includes cars, trains and tractors. So buying small cars in bulk and then you can easily spread them into the calendar on different days.

4.Money: It might not be for everyone since giving money for Christmas might just not be quite in the spirit but having them save all the money that they will get in that calendar and they can even buy themselves a bigger toy after 25 days, save it for later or even get a present to the person of their choice. I already know which one of my kid will save and which one will get a gift for someone else… haha!

5.Tattoos: Get them a tattoos  of maybe Christmas related tattoos or with their favorite character. What we are doing is have 5 tattoos on a day so everyone in the family will have one, even us, and the kids will have to place it for us.

6.Free activity coupon. It’s filling your calendar part of things but also part with fun activities,  experiences, that will bring into making memories with them. Like going to the park, baking cookies, going to see Santa, making a snowman, creating more tree decorations…

7.Permission coupon. Another way of filling the advent calendar but not with just items, is giving them a special permission on that day, per example: tonight, you decide at what time you go to bed ( of course I will consult my agenda to make sure it’s a weekend ), or tonight you can sleep in mommy and daddy bed, or have a movie in mommy’s and daddy’s bed, or we can have diner in the living room, sitting on floor pillows or any other fun permissive activity that they are not used to.

8.Chocolate: I still think the advent calendar needs chocolate, but not everyday, so we got them some Bueno kinder surprises and Hershey kisses. I won’t mind the chocolate high that night, and we might join them with the extra we have…

9.Gift certificate: Gift certificates could be from anywhere. Here are some of my favorite ideas: Subway, iTune, favorite toy store, candy store…

10.Movie passes: We are getting the movie passes so the day they choose, they get to CHOOSE the movie they want to see.

11.Lip gloss. They are perfect during this colder season, are small, easy to buy and they come in so may flavours and themes. And yes, my boys like lip gloss, especially during winter of for our beach vacations too.

12.Stickers. My boys love to play with stickers. So getting them rolls or stripe will fit well in the calendar pocket and of course you can get them either a holiday theme to make this period more magical or with the favorite characters too.

13.Erasers. I like to get them fun erasers so when it comes to making their homework at home at night, it adds a little more fun to this more educational time. Again, cute holiday ones are fun to have.

14.Glowsticks. They are fun, small and the kids love them. That night, they can even take their bath with it which will make this time a little more fun and add some magic to it.

15.Christmas movie. That night, the kids get to watch a Christmas movie of their choice, with all that comes with it, hot coco, popcorn, chunky throws and warm socks, and by the fireplace. ( I will do that on the 23rd…)

And here are some DIY favorite advent calendars inspirations. ( from Pinterest )

Pyjamas: https://www.clement.ca/fr/boutique-fetes.aspx

Dolls: https://www.cuddleandkind.com/shop/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAgNrQBRC0ARIsAE-m-1yHJA7Bc_GB-RXpzeS2VybjeVseUsom8sH9balGxVY6K1vOnBaOPxAaAhIYEALw_wcB

Carpet: https://www.boutiquelemechantloup.com/fr/tapis-nuage-rose-peche-copy.html

 

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JOY in EVERY CUP

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I had the chance to attend an exclusive event last week for the new Nespresso Holiday limited collection, in collaboration with renowned designers Craig & Karl who created a line of capsules and accessories that brings out everyone’s playful side, which totally works with all of the festive and bright aspects we are looking for with the holidays.

This years Nespresso Holiday collection was inspired by different types of candies. The new CONFETTO VARIATIONS collection includes 6 new capsules: Banana, Peppermint Candy Cane and Cherry for the VertuoLine, Snow Ball, Orangette and Black Liquorice for the OriginalLine.

So, I tasted, tested and enjoyed, you better believe I did it all! These 6 new flavours are more delicious than the next. I sincerely believe that this collection allows everyone to find their preference because the flavours are really different, pleasant in the mouth and not too sweet or too pronounced.

My favourite flavour is SnowBall for OriginalLine, which I like to make as a cappuccino with coconut milk. The SnowBall capsule tastes like coconut with a touch of vanilla, reminiscent of a baked delight. If you like coconut, you need to try this option, fair warning you’ll probably become addicted just like I am!

My second favourite capsule from this collection is Confetto Peppermint Candy Cane – I love this  as a cappuccino. The peppermint flavour comes to life with a distinctive candy-sweet note, characteristic of  a peppermint candy cane.

I was really impressed with the accessories of this new holiday collection because of the clean lines.  Nespresso always knows how to impress us but this time they nailed it with really bright, fun and bold colours. Being a monochrome lover myself, a lot of the accessories that you will find in my house follow this pattern. I fell in love with the VERTUO TRAVEL MUG CRAIG & KARL LIMITED EDITION and the TOUCH LUNGO CUPS CRAIG & KARL LIMITED EDITION. So if you’re on the go often, just like me, this travel mug will be your new best friend.

The new Nespresso Holiday limited collection makes the perfect gift for the holidays whether you need something for your loved ones your children’s teachers, hostess gifts or even gift exchanges at work. Every piece of this collection is just so festive, even the cups! Enjoy

Shop them here:

Limited edition Vertuo travel mug

https://www.nespresso.com/ca/en/order/accessories/original/limited-edition-vertuo-travel-mug-2017

Limited edition festive Lungo Touch cups

https://www.nespresso.com/ca/en/order/accessories/original/limited-edition-touch-lungo-cups

Limited edition Nespresso cups ( my favorite flavour SnowBall – coconut )

https://www.nespresso.com/ca/en/order/capsules/original/variations-confetto-snowball-coffee-capsule

WHY CRAIG & KARL?

Craig Redman and Karl Maier, university friends turned creative collaborators, have built a partnership rooted in a shared affinity for bold graphics and Internet culture. Their simple, yet bold designs allowed them to collaborate with renowned brands like Colette, Sephora, LVMH, Nike, Apple, Kate Spade, British Vogue, The New York Times and now…Nespresso. Craig & Karl’s colorful and playful style perfectly fit the Variations Confetto universe. In this year’s Limited Editions, you are invited to revive childhood memories and enjoy its unforgettable tastes, inspired by candies.

I’m pretty sure that you will find some favourites in this new Nespresso Holiday collection, and please, let me know what flavour is your favourite!

Enjoy xx

A PERSONAL ASSISTANT?! YES PLEASE! 

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When you talk about a personal assistant I automatically think about an assistant working exclusively for one particular person. I secretly always dreamed about having one in my life, fantasizing about all I could accomplish in a day, in a week, in a year! Because time is so precious and limited, we are always trying to find ways of saving time so we can use it for more important life stuff, like the kids.
We finally installed our Google home this weekend, and oh I should’ve installed it waaaay before! It’s so easy to setup!
First of all it was so quick and we are all addicted already! Like a LOT. Even Axel babbles « where is google ?  And calls it « GOOGA »
The kids borrow it ( without asking of course ) and want it in their own room! I guess we’re all dreaming about the PERSONAL ASSISTANT! Well Google home is!
Here is what we’ve asked Google and found so practical and that actually is saving time since we do not need to do it manually!
OK GOOGLE:
What time is it? ( so we don’t get late for school in the morning)
What’s the weather today? ( so I know if I need to dress the kids with one more layer )
Please play some music ( we can listen music via Google Play, Pandora, Spotify or TuneIn. )
What makes 2+2 ( so Liam can auto-correct his homeworks )
Can you set my alarm to 6am tomorrow
if you’re on the way out the door, you can ask it about traffic conditions or check the distance to your destination.
It can also check on your calendar if you have appointments ( it can’t yet add any )
If you have any smart home gadgets, the Google Home might be able to control them
with Philips Hue bulbs, which it can dim and color-change…
So we’re really happy to have a new friend in the house! I love it’s design and clean lo