12.18.2012

a christmas tradition...

Each year my Mother and I try to attend the local Nutcracker Ballet. It's one of my favourite things about the season, and even though it's a small production, it's just as magical. This year, I got her tickets to The Nutcracker performed by the National Ballet of Canada, at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. I am beyond excited.

While the NBofC didn't premiere The Nutcracker until 1952, this year actually marks the 120th anniversary of the ballet itself, since its very first performance in 1892, in St. Petersburg, Russia. It's a timeless classic that I hope to enjoy for years to come. I love the music, the costumes, and the elegance of each dancer, and can't wait to witness it all again this year.

Have you gone to see The Nutcracker Ballet? I'd love to see all the different performance around the world!

(Photo: The National Ballet of Canada)

12.17.2012

the perfect cup of tea...

Twinings tea might be a staple for some, but I only just recently noticed it on the shelf after reading this book. I've been a Tetley girl most of my life, but i'm really loving Twinings English Breakfast blend lately (shhh... don't tell my Scottish Granny).

Did you know that Twinings has been the official supplier of tea to the royal household since 1837? With a history that long, you can only expect a great cup of tea. At home I use a teacup and saucer, which somehow seems to make all the difference (even if i'm not dining with the Queen), and I've been experimenting with all kinds of recipes for hosting afternoon tea. There's so many classic treats and savoury bites to accompany a little break in the day... I almost feel like baking my way through the whole book Julie & Julia style.

What is your favourite kind of tea?

12.16.2012

the classics...

When it comes to Christmas music, i'm an avid listener come the first sign of snowy flakes. I prefer the classics though, from likes of Bing Crosby or Dean Martin. There's something about those old recordings that just bring out the tradition in Christmas and feelings of familiarity. Winter is suddenly a little more cozier.

I've been listening non-stop this December to 40's on 4, a channel on Sirius XM playing only classic Christmas tunes – practically holiday perfection. Above are just a few of my favourites, but worth listening to if you're in the mood for something a little more nostalgic. Enjoy!

12.11.2012

lately...

Lately there's been a lot of festiveness happening around our house. I've been trying my best to make it as cozy as possible, creating what I hope will be holiday traditions along the way. This past Sunday Rick and I headed out to Will's Christmas Tree Farm where we were wagoned out to a field of 8000 trees to have our pick! We both have never had a real tree at Christmas before so it was pretty exciting cutting down our first one (well, Rick did the cutting). We made it home with a beautiful Fraser Fir strapped to the roof of the car, where it cleared just a mere 6 inches from the ceiling of our livingroom. The scent of fresh pine is amazing, and somehow, it feels more like a "traditional" Christmas (whatever that is in my head). We decked it out in pretty white lights, popcorn strings, and glass ornaments in red, green and white, with a wooden star up top. Now i'm just keeping my eye out for vintage wooden ornaments to add each year – classic items that can hopefully be used for years to come.

Along with the tree there's been baking (shortbread and scones), extra tree limbs arching over windows, nutcrackers set out to keep watch, silver bells tied to doors, stockings hung, hot chocolate and marshmallows, Christmas movies with champagne in hand, roasted chestnuts, presents ready to wrap, and planning for Christmas Day (which will be at our house!).

I'd say December is shaping up pretty well. How have you been?