A Long Weekend Blog: Flannel Sheets, Colombian Treats and Christmas Shopping.

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it; the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”

It’s a long weekend here in Canada. Commemorating Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the USA) which also means 5 days off for me.

My sister Jacqueline hosts an afternoon of Colombian treats every November. Sadly this year she’s been struggling with back problems, in and out of the hospital and bed ridden so her husband stepped up and made it happen anyway!. The entire family gathered at 2pm at her townhome for Arepas (grilled corn patties dressed with butter, fresh homemade cheese and ham) and traditional Colombian hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.   We use this date to choose our Secret Santa names and this way buy only 1 gift for a family member.

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December is approaching quickly, we’re less than a month away from the wedding, then it will be Christmas and New Years Eve.  We decided to take 1 week less for our Honeymoon in June and instead go to Mexico in January for a week to get out of the cold.  I’ve never been to the caribbean side of Mexico and look forward to seeing the temples and crystal blue waters of Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

A year ago today we were celebrating our engagement with a party at my mother in laws home.  I like that Facebook reminds you of these things. It’s fun to see what you were doing a year or two or even 5 ago  Time is flying by.

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I took the extended time off to start my Christmas shopping.  I walked up to the shops close to my home Monday morning and sipped a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha while browsing the aisles for festive stocking stuffers.  Seth needed a dress coat to go over his wedding suit since it will be quite cold up in Whistler in December.   The winter coats at the shop where he bought his suit were quite expensive so we made the drive to the Outlet Mall in Tsawwassen and found a lovely Harry Rosen coat for  1/4 of the price than those in the store.  We spent the afternoon strolling the mall. I made a cheeky purchase at Michael Kors  of two party dresses but to be fair there are many social engagements coming up with the holiday’s so I will put them to good use.

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Something I love to do in the Winter is purchase a nice set of flannel sheets.  There is nothing as comfy as sleeping in a bed with warm flannel sheets and I look forward to making the bed with them at this time of the year.  One of the shops we visited had these adorable winter themed ones so we bought them, printed with skiers and snowboarders. We also picked up a new duvet cover in a birch forest theme with a woodpecker embroidered on it.  After I’d made up the bed I lit a new Fresh Balsam candle on the bedside table and the room was instantly filled with the scent of Christmas tree. And of course in good cat fashion, Salem and Merlin took a long winter’s nap on the new bedding “we bought for them”.

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Tomorrow I’m back to work and I thought it would be nice to make a nice dinner that’s easy to pack for lunch the next day.  My chilli is one of Seth’s favourite recipes of mine. As soon as the onions and garlic and chilli powder hit the pan, the house fills with the anticipation of a warm bowl of chilli garnished with a dollop of  sour cream, fresh cilantro and chives.  Such a perfect meal on a cold November evening…and with a good chunk of garlic-y toast. I served it straight out of the pot too for an extra casual winter cabin vibe.

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When it’s Seth’s turn to cook he turns to really simple and quick (quick being the key word) recipes; BBQ grilled Chicken, steamed veggies.  For me, meals that takes time to lovingly prepare are the most satisfying. Peeling, chopping, caramelizing, making a homemade glaze or vinaigrette, a roast in the slow cooker that takes 8 hours. That’s my style.  One of my favourite chefs is Nigella Lawson and in the spirit of the season, I put on one of her Christmas Specials while I took a short rest in bed after the day of shopping. From the fairy lights to the beautiful ambiance she creates for a dinner party, this was exactly what I needed to get into the season.  There are 4 more of her specials on Youtube but I’ll share this one that I watched today because it’s such a pleasure.

Thank you for joining me on this long weekend blog.

Until next time.

Love,

Jennifer

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