Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gift Ideas for Your Man-Boy

I don't know about you but I always find that men are incredibly difficult to shop for. My poor Dad always ended up with nuts, licorice or slippers because what else were we gonna give him? Thankfully, my husband is a little easier to shop for because deep down he is still a twelve year old boy who would play with Lego and talk about Star Wars all day if he didn't have all his other obligations. So the following are gift ideas that I think would work for any man who doesn't take himself too seriously. :)

I love the justice leage vs. dc villains ones.

Lego Tower Bridge <-- This site also has a lego star wars advent calendar!!

As far as shopping for Dads goes, if you find it challenging you may want to consider a tradition my Dad and I started: A most ridiculous gift war. It began when he gave me an eraser shaped like a gorilla and I retaliated with a decorative toilet brush. Happy shopping, and don't forget manly wrapping paper!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Santa...

It's that time of year again. That time when you start getting texts/phone calls from family members asking you what you and your husband want for Christmas this year and you're all like "I haven't thought about it yet, I haven't even finshed classes for the semester!? Besides if I tell you then it won't be a surprise! Don't you have telepathic abilities that allow you to delve into the deepest depths of my mind and extract my unmade Christmas list?"

I understand though. They have Shopper's Block, a very serious consumer condition known to strike during the early winter months. The only known cure is 10cc's of X-mas List. So, for their sake and their sake alone I have conducted an exhaustive search of the interwebs (and my heart) and assembled here several items that would make me squeal with childish joy to unwrap. However, shoppers should note that I would also be happy with hugs and underwear.

Avalon Organics daily facial moisturizer. I love this stuff but it can be hard to find. Health stores and London Drugs are the most reliable.

Pretty little whale ornament, I've seen them at anthropologie and Urban Barn.

Ikea Gaspa Queen Size Sheet Set.

Harmony King Size Duvet (Cover) Set from nood. We buy our duvets a size bigger than our bed so that we don't have trouble sharing.

Ikea ALĂ„NG Table lamp, so we can see our pretty new bed spread.
PLASTIS Dishwashing brush, also from Ikea. I love these little guys but the suction cup always breaks off. :(

A Very She and Him Christmas C.D., I've seen it online at


Hunter Wellies, Black, tall, glossy, practical. (ohhi monsoon season)

These thermal p.j.s from Victoria's Secrect are really cute, and if I can't pull off the whole long john thing it's ok because no one (except poor Andrew) will have to see me in them!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Europe Part 1: South of France

I am finally getting around to my Europe posts. Lots of photos!

In August Andrew and I went to Europe. We planned and saved for about 6 months, went way over budget and had a great time. Some of the sites we used were Travel Cuts for booking our flights, Eurail for train passes, VRBO for our rental in France, and for our hotel and hostel bookings.

We were gone for 23 days. We left Vancouver Airport early in the morning on August 7th, the day after my mom's post-wedding open house. Our first 5 days were spent staying at a rented apartment in a small city, named Menton, in the South of France, right on the ocean, right on the border of France and Italy. We flew Vancouver-Calgary, Calgary-Frankfurt and Frankfurt-Nice. From Nice we took a 90 minute bus ride to downtown Menton, where we go onto a city bus that took us closer to the apartment which we then walked 3 minutes to.

image via

We stayed in the eastern-most part on the city, it was a 5 minute walk to the Italian border from the apartment we rented.

We spent our days eating on our patio with an unobstructed view of the Mediterranean Sea, wandering around the old town, swimming, drinking our morning espresso, going on quick day trips to Monaco and St. Agnes, and even going for an afternoon walk to Italy (it was so hot out we didn't make it very far in.) I would highly recommend Menton, it's known as Nice's quieter cousin and is much cheaper to stay in. However, if you are going to stay there I recommend a dark tan, sparkly accessories and a tiny dog as must haves for fitting in.... Also, if French isn't your thing then learn some Italian as there were just as many Italian people/places as there were French.

On to the photos...

At YVR really, really early in the morning

Andrew and some beer at the Calgary airport.

Flying over Greenland

Andrew feeling like crap at the Frankfurt airport

My delightful snack on Lufthansa Air, my new fav. airline!

First Morning in Menton, looking towards Italy just after sunrise

breakfast on our deck

view from a cemetary at the top of the city


The old town

Beach in Ventimiglia (northern Italy)
looking out over Menton

Beach in Monaco

Espresso and Pain au Chocolat at Amie du Pain, next to our apartment
one of the many creepy/beautiful alleys in old town

lots and lots of dogs in Menton
morning swim in the sea
emerging from the mediterranean sea just like ariel when triton made her human...

just for comparison, leathery tanned old man and my pale ginger husband


getting lunch

looking out towards old town at dusk

The school and city hall in St. Agnes and nearby mountain village, sooo pretty!

at the train station in menton, on our way to ROME!
Next up: Europe Part 2: Rome

New Blog Banner and Button

so pretty la la laaa.....

Jess from IROCKSOWHAT designed my awesome new blog banner and this shmantastical button! Get your very own banner designed by her here, she also does stationary/invitations/etc. :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like....mid-late November.

Jack on Christmas last year

I just finished a rough week with two exams, a quiz and one of these awful class exercises we do in Stats where we have to work in a group with almost no time and we are all frantically trying to finish within our groups while ignoring the dull roar created by all the other groups who are frantically trying to finish... Anyways now that the week is essentially over for me I have time to day dream about the impending Christmas season! Planning gifts that I will (hopefully) make, deciding what day we will get our tree (December 8th, immediately after my Stats final in finished) and picking out the movie we'll watch with Andrew's family (a tradition.) I found a Christmas meme on IROCKSOWHAT and decided to waste some delicious time filling it out and sharing it with you and generally "gettin' all up" in the Christmas spirit!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate (just not Starbucks H.C., that stuff is chalky)
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapping is one of my favourite holiday activities, I have a great time deciding what the theme will be each year.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Sometime in the 1st week of December. I think it's important the November stays a bit somber and comtemplative with Remembrance Day and all...
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Stew and Pancakes! (Another Gillott family tradition)
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? The annual Christmas party we had with some close friends of the family and their kids. We didn't have a lot of family in B.C. growing up so we made our own with these people.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I forget when, but I'll be you anything I employed inductive reasoning and established a strong, cogent argument to present to my mother and get her to admit the truth.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Our Christmas Pajamas! (Yet another Gillott family tradition)
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Mine and Andrew's is red and white with some home-made pine cone ornaments, some wood textured ornaments and his ever growing collection of musical insturment ornaments. (He gets one from my mom each year.) Andrew's parents tree is all sentimental ornaments and my Mom's tree in a million feet tall and looks like something from a fancy mall display.
Andrews Parents house last year
My Mom's last year
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I LOVE snow! I saw two flakes yesterday. It was great!
12. Can you ice skate? I'm pretty decent
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I don't think I could pick an all time favourite but one of the best was for our first Christmas Andrew wrote and recorded a song for me and gave me the c.d.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family and traditions.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pumpkin Cheesecake...
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love them all but pajamas are especially important: Getting them on Christmas Eve, putting them on and not taking them off until it's time for dinner on Christmas Day.
17. What tops your tree? A homemade snowflake last year, hopefully I'll find something I like this year, I am being picky because the tree topper is an important tradition to me. My dad and I used to put it on together every year.
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving! It means I get to shop and not feel guilty about it!
19. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? Meh
20. Favorite Christmas movie/show? The Family Stone, because I love the idea of big crazy Christmases with a big family.
21. Saddest Christmas Song? Silent Night, but Sufjan Stevens does a really pretty/sad one called Sister Winter.
22. What is your favorite Christmas song? Fairytale of New York