Get Your Christmas Shopping Done Early at My Favourite 6 Canadian Etsy Shops

Yep, it’s the day after Halloween and I’m encouraging you to get your Christmas shopping done online, and before holiday party season chaos ensues. And to make it easy, I’ve curated a list of fun, affordable, and unique gift ideas from my favourite Canadian Etsy shops and who said items would be appreciated by. Bonus: There’s also a few couple #GetThrifty promo codes and some shopping advice from the shop owners!)

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Why I’ll Never Have a Capsule Wardrobe, But Why It’s the Perfect Way to Pack

Capsule wardrobe

Since recently finishing paying off all my debt, one the of the things I have been enjoying is updating my wardrobe – to do a much-needed refresh without completely affecting my budget. (And not always feeling like I had to #getthrifty – though I still do! – and buy everything on sale.) I like to shop with purpose and a capsule wardrobe has always intrigued me, so my friends at Vancouver’s Orb Clothing challenged me to get back to basics and do just that with some staples from their fall/winter collection.

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Three Gift Ideas to Make the Last Minute Christmas Gift Dash Easier

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Three more sleeps until Christmas! Which means… The last minute Christmas shopping dash! So fun. Not. But it happens to all of us, whether by circumstance or habit. I’m lucky this year because I did most of my shopping online. So my inevitable dashing will involve clicking a couple buttons for something that I can print, an evening of baking, and buying a couple bottles of wine.

But, if you’ve missed the online shipping deadlines (or don’t think you’ll get to clicking on time) or are feeling a bit overwhelmed, here are three failsafe options:

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Driving Chronicles reboot and cherry pie

So, Mother Nature decided that the Lower Mainland is now allowed to have summer weather. We are in the mid 20‘s and not a cloud in the sky. It was a gorgeous day. I was finally able to make use of my wonderful Banana Republic wide-brimmed straw hat that I got on sale last month, and it was hot enough for one of my many sundresses to be worn. I actually ended up switching dresses midway through the day because I was in MEC and found a really lovely sundress called the Twirl and I liked it so much that I wanted to wear it out the door. So they scanned the tag on me, cut it, and out I went.

Not only was today a big day because of the weather and the subsequent wardrobe happiness it provided me. Today was also a big day as I am now allowed to learn to drive again – thank you, ICBC. The Driving Chronicles go back to me at age 16 and are a long story for another post(s), but I feel the need to share that I have re-obtained my learner’s permit because I am very proud and very determined to get my “N”, or rather, the first license in BC’s graduated licensing program before the end of the year. Sharing this is my way of holding myself accountable.

On to cherry pie. Or almost. I am sitting at our friend Geoff’s beautiful new wood dining room table with a lovely glass of 2007 Ste. Michelle (Washington) Cabernet Sauvignon thinking that I should have had Sean bring the rest of said cherry pie – it turned out quite good. But that means more for us at home.

Sean just arrived and Geoff is running around cleaning as he is having us and some others over for a belated mini-housewarming. I am relaxed. Hear my sigh of contentment. Okay, now on to cherry pie.

A couple weeks ago, a recipe for cherry pie landed in my inbox from one of my favourite blogs, Not Without Salt. I capital L-O-V-E cherries so this was very exciting for me. I filed it away for when I happened upon some cherries worthy of a pie. It’s cherry season so I didn’t have to wait long. Last week, Whole Foods had some lovely Okanagan cherries.

I grabbed a couple of bags and the next evening, I started pitting cherries while Sean made dinner. If you’ve ever pitted cherries, you may have a cherry pitter (which is now on my list of things to buy), but apparently even that’s almost as messy as doing it by hand with a butter knife and my fingers – like I did. (My fingernails and the surrounding skin are only now starting not to look like I did a poor job of cleaning up after committing mass murder.) Either way it’s time consuming, but oddly satisfying.

Those cherries didn’t stand a chance!

Next time I make this cherry filling – which was really, really, good – I will make the pastry recipe that was posted with it. It’s a bit more complex and I didn’t have all the time, so I went with what I knew (from Kraft.ca – makes the BEST apple pie EVER) but baked for the time on the NWS recipe.

Not my best pastry lattice work but by that point, it was getting late. The pie was good, so that’s really what maters. 🙂

And now, time to have some red snapper with the guys. Happy Sunny Saturday, everyone!