WHAT GOES IN OUR EASTER BASKETS

It’s March and for us, that signals the start of ‘birthday season’, a time of year that launches Spring and always reminds me to get ready for Easter!

Last year, I shared a roundup of Easter gifts for kids and this year I thought it would be fun to share the EXACT items that are going into our Easter baskets!

While we do an egg hunt on the day, and are starting a tradition of drawing on a wooden egg each per year, I always like to leave a little basket of treats on their placemats at the breakfast table on Easter morning as a surprise and this is what is going in them this year.

Contents of an Easter basket for kids

01. // Easter basket; 02. // Bunny planter (for the twins’ room); 03. // Easter lego set; 04. // Mini Jellycat softie; 05. // The Country Bunny book; 06. // Mini eggs; 07. // Chocolate bunny; 08. // Bunny pjs; 09. // Striped pjs.







HOW TO DECORATE YOUR ENTRY FOR CHRISTMAS

Outdoor front door christmas entry

If your kids are anything like mine, they have been begging to hang up the wreath and decorate the house for Christmas since the day after Halloween! While we’ve fought this a little bit over the last few years, their excitement won us over this year and we are decorating extra early. I love the holiday season, mainly more catch ups with friends and seeing the magic of it all on the faces of the kids. To create space to enjoy this special time with them, I try to get as many things done before December, such as decorating the front entry and ordering Christmas cards so they can be written and sent in the first week of December. Last year’s cards were so cute and I can’t wait for this year’s to arrive! Even though we are the first family on our street to have a wreath up, it feels great to be ready when guests arrive. It really is just three simple steps to make your entry extra special.

STEP 1: HANG A WREATH

christmas wreath and bells
faux cedar and eucalyptus wreath

WHY NOT ADD SOME BELLS TO MAKE YOUR WREATH FEEL EXTRA FESTIVE?!

gold bells for front door wreath

I chose a fresh wreath this year but if your climate doesn’t allow for that, this faux cedar and eucalyptus wreath is by far the prettiest I’ve found. Use a sturdy door hanger to hang it. I like to match the colour of the hanger to the door so that it is as inconspicuous as possible.

STEP 2: ADD A FESTIVE DOORMAT

Merry Christmas doormat and entry rug

Buy a fun and festive doormat wherever you can find one. Hardware stores often stock seasonal mats and this doormat is on its’ second year at our house. If you are ready to splurge on a gorgeous mat, this Merry + Bright doormat is modern and pretty much perfect. Where size permits, I love to add an extra rug as a base layer to an outdoor entry. Use a 3’ x 5’ rug suitable for the outdoors as a pretty underlay for the doormat and why not take this chance to add a pretty pattern or some colour. This indoor outdoor rug is THE BEST and we have owned it for over a year with three kids tromping over it daily and IT STILL LOOKS NEW!

STEP 3: ADD ACCESSORIES

Use this moment to have fun adding decorative features! Get the kids to help (cute buckets are a perfect place for them to add sticks or pinecones that they collect on walks). Display a small tree like this 3’ one in a wicker basket if your entry is under a covered area and add festive bins for added fun.

black outdoor ceiling light

CHOOSE A LIGHT THAT ALLOWS THE LIGHTBULB TO BE CHANGED EASILY - I LIKE OPEN BOTTOM PENDANT LIGHTS OUTDOORS FOR THIS REASON

USE A BASKET FOR A SMALL TREE, FIREWOOD OR EVEN PINECONES! THE TEXTURE ADDS A LAYER OF WARMTH + INTEREST

PIN the image below to save the full look of a jolly, festive and bright entry for the holiday season below.

outdoor entry decor for christmas and holiday
 

 

YOU MAY LIKE THESE HOLIDAY POSTS TOO…

CHRISTMAS BOOKS FOR KIDS

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE (ETSY)

KIDS HOLIDAY PLAYHOUSE

SUBSCRIPTIONS AS GIFTS {FOR THE KIDS}

Little Passports subscription box
The Story Box subscription for kids

When you live in Vancouver (the world's most expensive city real estate wise), parents are living in smaller and smaller spaces with their kids. You'll see many of my room designs are small spaces, given I have clients that live in condos or parts of houses with their kids. We are fortunate to live in a house right in the city, but it is still small so we have had to work at helping steer grandparents and friends to keep gifts for the kids small...or better yet, a subscription!

Subscription based gifts are one of my favourite because the gift continues long past the holidays and it makes you think of the person who gave it to you each month it arrives. Kaia and Noelle were given a magazine subscription for their last year and it has been so much fun thinking of our friends when the magazine comes through the door each month.

So...if you are looking for a gift that is a little different or something for kids who live in a small space OR you just want to make sure you are remembered each month (ha!), here are some fun subscription based gifts for the kids.

1. Little Passports: Little Passports is a service that sends a monthly box to your kids filled with items to explore the world. I wrote an entire post on this subscription service earlier in the year and to this day, I still recommend it to friends. It is the subscription that got our kids the most excited each time it arrived and they just loved learning about different parts of the world and I loved sharing stories about where we've traveled. We chose the Early Explorers box and it was perfect for our kids aged between 3-5 years. Right now they have a sale for 15% off with code JOLLY15.

2. Green Kid Crafts: A subscription of 'discovery boxes', Green Kid Crafts is designed by teachers and Moms to provide fun and learning into convenient packages. There is a big selection of boxes to choose from covering animals, crafts and science. This one is sure to be a hit and give you some time on Christmas Day to actually relax. Order by December 7th to ensure your box will arrive by Christmas!

3. The Story Box: Anyone who knows me as a Mom knows how passionate I am about reading to kids. We have more books than I should probably disclose and our kids all LOVE reading them. The Story Box subscription is another one that we've tried (and loved!) and I give it two thumbs up for a gift idea. Still only shipping to US, this one delivers monthly books to kids in a wonderful way. The books are carefully selected by a speech pathologist, who is also a Mom. It comes with a parent guide to give parents ideas while reading the books with their kids as well as a little activity to try that again ties back to the book. Use code READ for $5 off your first order. 

4. Pipsticks: What could be more fun than a delivery of stickers every month!? Starting at $9.95 a month, Pipsticks is a monthly subscription of stickers that you can have delivered anywhere in the United States (free shipping) or nearly anywhere in the world (shipping charges apply)! Super cute concept started by a sticker-obsessed Mom. Use code OMG10 for 10% off first month of any subscription.

5. Bramble Box: Bramble Boxes are themed kits that encourage kids to investigate, create, discover and imagine through science, math, art and more! Declared to provide hours of fun, the boxes provide hands-on, open-ended materials to provoke thought, discussion and inspire imagination and role play. Shipping in US is free and to Canada only $8.95!

I'd love to know what you think. Have you tried any of these? Any other key subscriptions for kids that I've missed? 

Have you visited our 'Holiday Shop' yet? Click here to go straight there!

 

HOLIDAY FUN WITH KIDS: A GINGERBREAD HOUSE PARTY!

Chocolate, fondue and gingerbread houses? Yes please! Kind of screams a childhood holiday tradition to remember, doesn't it? When Chocolats Favoris reached out and asked if I would be interested in working with them to create a special and memorable experience for our kids using their chocolate, I couldn't resist dreaming up this super sweet (literally!) gingerbread house decorating party.

gingerbread house decorating with chocolate bars
gingerbread house party for kids

We invited a little friend over to join in the fun and I told the kids we would be doing this the night before the party and they were so excited they could hardly sleep. Between the Maple White Chocolate hazelnuts (Kaia's favourite) and the Milk Chocolate fondue (Noelle's favourite), you can see that they not only enjoyed the process, but devoured all of the goodies too!

maple white chocolate hazelnuts from chocolats favoris
toddler smiles with gingerbread house
girls smiles with gingerbread houses
kids hands decorating gingerbread house

I used a little paint palette to separate the candy into separate colours and this gave the kids easy access to the goodies without sticky fingers going into bigger bowls. I also made a few mini gingerbread men and trees so that the kids could dip the cookie into the fondue and try it while saving the actual houses for eating later. It worked out really well to have separate gingerbread houses for each kid and also icing bags and candy. The fondue was perfect to use as glue for the decorations although not a lot of the fondue ended up on the houses as the kids kept using the wooden sticks as spoons and devoured it! 

Maple vanilla chocolate bar by Chocolats Favoris
icing the gingerbread house
dark fondue by chocolats favoris with kids decorating gingerbread houses
kids gingerbread house

We played Christmas music, the kids iced the houses, added candy, licked fondue, nibbled on chocolate and generally had the best time. They are already asking if we can do it all again next year. For a huge selection of holiday goodies, head to Chocolats Favoris' newest location in Victoria, BC or shop online. With a range of delicious chocolates from covered nuts and chocolate bars, to fondues and the cutest advent calendar, they have you covered for those chocolaty gifts. 

*This post was created with Chocolats Favoris. All words, photos and ideas are my own.

HOW TO GET YOUR CHRISTMAS CARDS DONE EARLY!

WINTER DAISY blog christmas cards with mixbook

I know, I know...a little early, right? Christmas cards in November??!! Trust me when I tell you how great it feels having these done and dusted (SO great!). I always love receiving Christmas cards from our friends and family all over the world but I am definitely terrible at getting our own Christmas cards written and sent. Big thanks to Mixbook, this year is different! It can be for you too!!!

WINTER DAISY Christmas card photo 2016

The process was SUPER simple and therefore completely doable (even with three toddlers!). Here is how we did it: I chose a simple backdrop of a window in our house, added some gold stars from Pearl & Jane and snapped away. As you all know, once kids are involved in photos, getting the ‘perfect’ shot gets a little harder and instead of creating a stressful moment, I wanted this to be fun. We put on Christmas music, I gave the kids some little gold ornaments to decorate the tree with and also handfuls of pretend snow. They LOVED the fun and I got some cute shots!!

kids throwing snow
little girl blowing snow
xavier cute smile
kids

I then looked at all the Christmas Cards (I chose from hundreds of professionally designed card themes that you can personalize in any way you like) on the Mixbook site and selected these super pretty and festive gold foil Merry and Bright ones! Aren't they sweet? Simple and so easy to customize to fit any photo that you have taken. I love how they turned out!

As you're choosing your holiday card, there are so many other products available to peruse while you're at it. From custom calendars to canvas prints and photo books similar to the summer one I showed earlier in the year, they have you covered!

WINTER DAISY 2016 Christmas Cards with Mixbook 

Shipping was quick and I was really happy with the thickness of the premium paper and quality of the cards. Next up is actually writing them! I recommend making a coffee (or pouring a glass of wine!) and just doing it. Such a great way to get ahead for the holiday season and make a nice big tick next to 'christmas cards' on the list.

Vancouver children's interior designer Melissa Barling's office

Good luck friends!!

Mixbook is kindly offering 10 free flat cards. Use code FREE10 to redeem.

*This holiday post was created in partnership with Mixbook.