Happy New Year, my lovelies! I wish you great accomplishments, happiness, love and successes for this New Year.
I don’t know what I will be doing for New Year’s Eve, however, I do know what I will be doing after that. Every year, I tell myself that I will not make resolutions. But this year, I will be making a list of New Year’s resolutions and planning on how to stick to them and fulfill each of them.
But for now, let’s just celebrate the ending of 2016 and welcome 2017 with open arms for all the new beginnings we will experience and chapters we’ll close.
Happy New Year’s Eve! Party hard but stay safe! Xoxo
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you’re surrounded by amazing food, tons of laughs, happiness and all of your loved ones.
Last night, I held Christmas Eve drinks and dinner for my darling brother, his girlfriend and a couple of our friends. I was quite tipsy but I think everyone enjoyed themselves and the food.
I’ll be surrounded by some of our closest friends tonight and will be preparing a feast to share with them. I’m so excited to begin cooking and setting my table. So, I’ll take your leave now. But I hope you’re all as blessed as I am to have all the necessities and then some to enjoy Christmas without much worrying.
I recently ran out of flour at home but have promised to make cookies for some of my customers and family. Going through my pantry I found a box of vanilla cake mix and decided to use that to bake some cookies. I followed a simple cookie recipe with the consideration that all my dry ingredients and flavouring was already premixed.
Needless to say, the cookies turn out amazing and I am still awestruck at how easy this recipe was. After this first recipe turning out delicious, I decided to make a second, third and fourth batch with different ingredients. I used oatmeal and dried cranberries, white chocolate chips and almonds, and a batch of peanut butter chips.
Here’s the quick and easy recipe:
- 1 box white cake mix (or chocolate)
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 cup sugar
Here’s what you do:
- Preheat oven to 350C.
- Sift cake mix into mixing bowl, mix in sugar.
- Add butter, vanilla and eggs and mix until a thick dough is created.
- Add extra ingredients (I used oatmeal & chocolate chips) and mix well.
- Make 1 inch balls and drop on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes depending on how crispy or chewy you want your cookies.
- Dust with icing sugar if desired and enjoy!
I bake my cookies for a bit longer because Dev likes well-done cookies. But once the top layer is no longer moist and bottoms golden, your cookies are ready.
The countdown begins to Christmas and although I am super excited; I am also slowly becoming stressed out. I went on a baking frenzy last weekend and baked over 150 cookies, four different types. But they seemed to have disappeared over the past few days. So, this weekend, the plan is to bake double the amount plus some new recipes.
Thankfully, I prepared my Christmas dinner menu two months ago and just need to hit the grocery store to pick up the ingredients and produce and begin cooking. But now I feel like I am about to host three Christmas get-togethers. My traditional Christmas Day breakfast and dinner, plus Christmas Eve dinner, since my brother and his girlfriend have decided to come over on Christmas Eve. Now I have to prepare a whole new menu for them. If that wasn’t enough, I am not even close to finish my Christmas shopping and wrapping.
The days have gone by far too quickly and as ready as I am, I am feeling a bit flustered and overwhelmed by the added guests and things to-do. I know everything will eventually get done and everything will be perfect but the anticipation of getting everything done the way I want it to be has me in a frenzy.
I’m also hosting Christmas Eve dinner for my brother, his girlfriend and a couple of friends. But thankfully, I’m making Indian food, so it’ll be quick and easy or so I hope.
At least all of my gifts are wrapped and ready to be opened. I’m super excited to see everyone’s face when they’re opening the gifts. Then the big dinner. I love how my family and friends are always so appreciative for the effort I put into cooking.
I’ve got to get going now. Merry Christmas to all of you and I hope you have a blessed day full of great laughs, delicious food and rooms filled with your loved ones.
On Friday night I went into Shopper’s Drug Mart to grab a Christmas present for a friend. As I was waiting to cash out, the gentleman in front of me was purchasing numerous gift sets of perfume. He seemed nice and was joking with the cashier and me as we waited for his items to be rung up. Jokingly, I said to him, “you forgot my gift set.” He laughed and said had he known I was coming he would’ve waited. I laughed and thought that was the end of the conversation. But the cashier joked back and said that maybe he would give me his Optimum points for the transaction if he didn’t want them. He smiled and said, “sure, you can have those points.”
I didn’t think much of it as I swiped my phone to collect the points. I thought maybe he gave me 2000-3000 points which isn’t a big deal. But after I finished paying for my own items and looked down at my receipt, I noticed that when I swiped my phone for his transaction there was preloaded 15x the points coupon on my account; which caused his transaction to give me 60,000 points, taking my point balance up to the $170 redemption mark. I looked at him and told him what he’d just done for me and he said, “well, Merry Christmas and if you’d like to pay it forward, give your time to the Salvation Army by volunteering.” I promised him that I would pay it forward before this holiday season was over, thanked him and walked out completely shocked and grateful for this man I’ve never met before.I mean who walks around giving people nearly $200 of points without a second thought? My husband still can’t believe it and neither can I.
Changing jobs has definitely put a slight damper on my budget this year and I am more cautious with how much I am spending on gifts and groceries. But with this generous gift from that gentleman, I can add a little extra for my family and friends or maybe even get myself a little gift this year.
To the man I’ve never seen before, who offered me his points at Shopper’s Drug Mart on Friday, I would like to say thank you and may God bless you for this simple but such kind gesture. I promise you, I will pay it forward by helping someone else that truly needs it. And I want you to know that you’ve restored a little bit faith in humanity for me and reminded me that nice people do still exist. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and all of your loved ones.
Although it’s getting cold outside and the weather will slowly turn miserable; it is my favourite time of the year. Our Christmas tree went up yesterday and garlands and lights light up the entry way to my kitchen, washroom and tv stands. There are so many little decorations all around my home and my baby girl’s face lights up with excitement every time she discovers another accessory she hasn’t seen before. I love the way my home smells of cinnamon and vanilla because of the candles and hot oils I am burning.
This time of year brings great joy to my world. Yesterday a couple of friends came over and helped put lights and a couple of decorations on our tree. And later this month a few of our friends will join us for a Christmas feast and drinks. It excites me to begin deciding and planning my menu for the big dinner and trying new recipes.
Today I plan to bake cupcakes for our employees at the restaurant and some of our regular customers. Later this week, I’ve got a new cookie recipe to try; which I’m sure Dev and Nid will love. My home will be smelling like heaven over the next few weeks and I absolutely love it!
For me the holidays are all about the decorations and baking and feeding my family and friends. What excites you most about the holidays? Leave a note!
I hope this Diwali lights up your life with happiness, love, prosperity and good health.
I hope you begin to live your dreams and succeed in everything you do this year. I hope your homes are filled with laughter, good food, great friends and the love of family.
Happy Diwali from my family to yours.