Holiday Sweets & Treats

By December 16, 2014 Breakfast Television, Eat, Holiday Gifts

Tis the season of Holiday Sweets & Treats!

And for a short time, a limited edition of sugary confections will be available on the market.

Here (in no particular order) are my top 5 local shops & bakeries who have created something truly delicious this holiday season!

1. Fiasco Gelato

This season, Fiasco’s been at it again in their test kitchen… Tirelessly working to bring us a seasonally unique collection.

For a limited time, 4 new holiday flavours will be available: Dark Chocolate Orange Gelato, Sticky Toffee Putting Gelato, Classic Eggnog Gelato and for those dairy free fans, Cranberry Pear Sorbetto.

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$35 for 4 or $9 each

Also available are homemade mint holiday marshmallows for $6.

And the most perfect host/hostess gift:

Drinking Hot Chocolate Kit for 2 for $8

(Available in store or by delivery www.fiascogelatoshop.com)

2. Ollia Macarons & Tea

Just in time for the holidays, Ollia has opened to Calgarians offering the perfect gluten free desserts.

In a charming shop, nestled just off the popular 17th Ave in Calgary, Ollia’s Parisian chef has been busy creating a delicate collection of sweet and savoury Macarons.

This season, they have designed 3 holiday flavours to make your holidays even more festive:

Gingerbread, Eggnog, and a swirly Candy Cane macaron! $2 each.

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(Available in store and online at www.byollia.com)

3. Jelly Modern Doughnuts

Nobody does doughnuts like Jelly Modern. Since it first appeared on the market in 2012, customers have deliciously approved of their creative custom offerings.

Now with stores in Calgary & Toronto, doughnut aficionados can take home their own holiday ‘doughboys’ to decorate!

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2 fresh doughboys with all the fixings available by order for $9.95.

Not the creative type? Leave the decorating to the professionals! They also offer a colourful mix of holiday decorated and inspired flavoured doughnuts.

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Mini doughnuts in holiday flavours: 16 for $39.95.

(Preorder at www.jellymoderndoughnuts.com)

4. Holt Renfrew Holiday Sundries

This is the only time throughout the year that Holt Renfrew carries sundries. Thanks to their sister stores Selfridges & Brown Thomas in London, England, a variety of delicately crafted cookies, sugared pecans and boozey cherries are available for purchase.

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Holiday jams and confections are also available.

Varied costs $8-$60

(Available in store only www.holtrenfrew.com)

5. Crave Cookies & Cupcakes

Crave, who’s cupcakes are in fact THE BEST I’ve ever eaten, have really upped their holiday collection this year.

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In addition to their festive cupcake flavours of Gingerbread and Eggnog ($1.90 per mini , $3.50 per full-size) they’ve really included something sweet for everyone!

Holiday Cheer Box

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A hand selected assortment of Gluten Free Friendly holiday baking, perfectly gift wrapped in a blue baking box. This assortment includes Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bar, GFF Magic Cookie Bar and GFF Hazelnut Bar. $30.75 (18 pieces).

And for the first time, Crave has offered a special take home package which lets you play cookie creator!

Gingerbread Boy & Girl Cookie Decorating Kit

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These fresh baked gingerbread boys and girls have everything you need to decorate them at home. Kit includes: 8 cookies, 3 containers of their signature vanilla buttercream, 4 containers of assorted candies and sprinkles… Along with sprinkling spoons, 3 decorating tips, 4 decorating bags and decorating ideas. Pre orders recommended, $29.95.

And then there’s THIS!

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Gingerbread Loaf.
So insanely delicious, I couldn’t even sleep knowing this loaf was chilling in my refrigerator!

This loaf is so good, I would re-mortgage my home if I needed to, just to buy it!

(Available in store, www.cravecupcakes.ca)

So no matter what your sweet tooth calls out for this holiday season, I’m certain my favourite bakeries and shops will have everything to satisfy you and yours this December.

Time to snack!

Mr. Fab sweets & treats

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Bonus Christmas DIY Crafts

By December 15, 2014 DIY, Home Depot, M. Fab

Congratulations to M.Fab who’s EAST LOOK took 1st place in Home Depot Tablescape Challenge.
And although her table was finished, her creativity wasn’t: she just kept going! Here’s how she ended up spending that energy!..

I got so carried away with our Fab  Christmas Craft Challenge that I couldn’t stop, and created three additional crafts that were so easy, fun and fast to do.

1) My Joy Stick (teehee)

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Using some of the leftover wood from my large wood slab I purchase at Home Depot, I got a small section cut to form a 2” x 12” stick. I sanded, then spray painted this silver. Using fun stick-on letters found in the outdoor sign aisle, I chose the letters, J, O and Y to spell “Joy”… But there is every letter of the alphabet available, so you could try NOEL, or MERRY etc.

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Once the paint dried, I stuck on the letters and had a small, seasonal element that would complement my overall tablescape.

2) Festive Platter

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Using the leftover wood from my wood chargers, I thought this rectangle shape was the perfect serving platter (or cheese plate) size. To prep the cut wood, I sanded, dusted, then stained it using a neutral wood colour to complement my overall table.

Instead of using a cutlery stencil, this time I created a simple Christmas tree stencil and sprayed over it using the glittery gold spray-paint. To ensure it doesn’t damage your table, try sticking these perfect ‘heavy duty felt pads’ to the bottom.

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Your cheese will never look finer.

3) Ornament Art

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Using ornaments from the Home Depot’s Christmas collection, I wanted to create some visual interest on my table – I didn’t want everything to be low-lying, I wanted to create more dimension and height.

Using my trusty glue gun, I stuck the ornaments together in interesting ways.

These ball clusters look great on a table, but would also look lovely on a mantle, underneath your tree or on a countertop.

Hope you enjoyed these three simple ideas and are inspired to create your own DIY Christmas this year.

M Fab Christmas DIY Addict

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Tis’ The Season for Men’s Gift Guides

By December 12, 2014 Holiday Gifts, Holidays with Chinook Centre

Last week one of my favourite TV Hosts, Erin Strate, rang me up looking to pick my brain for gift ideas for her husband.

Instead of rambling ideas off over the phone, I told her to meet me at Chinook Centre and let me SHOW her 10 items I thought would make perfect gifts for her man!

Want in on the chatter?

Here are my 10 Top Picks I shared with her.

And here are the remaining 5!

I hope you’re having a fun, festive holiday season thus far!

Mr. Fab for men

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Tablescape DIY Challenge

By December 10, 2014 DIY, Home Depot, M. Fab

Today’s the reveal of a crafty competition where East (Toronto) challenges West (Calgary) to an unconventional Home Depot DIY Holiday Tablescape showdown!

The challenge:

Shop the aisles of Home Depot in search of transformational hardware supplies that can be be re-purposed into a festive and delicate holiday tablescape.

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Over the last two days we’ve we teased you with a few of our DIY projects that will adorn the table, and today: The Final Looks!

First Up…

Mr. Fab’s WEST look

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Transforming rough and raw wooden stakes into tiny houses, I created an quaint village down the centre of my table. I used metallic and glittery spray paints to help the table sparkle.

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To continue the reflective theme, I used 12 x 12 mirror squares for chargers underneath my simplistic white plates and finished off the base by adding a dual layer table runner, crafted from shelf liner.

Then it was time to add the perfect tea light holders.

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Using a product found on the bottom shelf of the Home Depot aisles, I re-purposed these ‘Leaf Strainer with Outlets’ into a delicately caged wire candle holder.

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Finishing my the look off with my self painted napkin rings, which were former plumbing couplets, a few mini live cedar trees and holiday bells, and my festive tablescape was complete!

I hope you enjoy its creative modern look as much as I do.

AND now for:

M. Fab’s EAST look

I absolutely loved the Home Depot Christmas Challenge and think you’ll like my final tablescape.

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Now, here’s what I did to make it all come together.

Incorporating my DIYs with the lovely Home Depot Christmas collection items, I ensured the adorable Nutcracker was prominent while being surrounded by my votives and place settings.

Using a red and green runner to anchor the table really helped tie everything together.

My fun and chic wooden chargers with gold-stenciled cutlery play nicely against the gold of the ornaments wrapped around my lighting fixture turned textured votive.

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I highlighted the table with more pops of classic Christmas colour by using Home Depot Christmas ornaments in fun, creative ways.

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But we want to know what YOU think.

Chime in and tell us which tablescape puts you in the holiday mood most.

Is it the tradition colors of the holidays or the shivery winter palate.


And feel free to leave us a comment below too, we’d love to know what your favourite holiday colours are!

We hope your December will be full of festive memories, friends, family and loved ones.

Mr & M. Fab

 

 

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M. FAB’s Holiday DIY Challenge

By December 9, 2014 DIY, Home Depot, M. Fab

Christmas brings out the need to craft in me. So when Mr. Fabulous asked me to try my hand at a Home Depot Christmas Challenge, I immediately put my game face on.

The challenge was to create the Ultimate Christmas Tablescape. A table of dreams your friends and family would talk about for years to come.

The rules were: you had to craft two unique DIY projects using elements from The Home Depot’s gorgeous Christmas Collection paired with items from The Home Depot you wouldn’t normally associated with Christmas.

I WAS BORN FOR THIS! The craft duel to end all craft duels.
Time to hit up my neighbourhood Home Depot.

To set up my overall colour scheme, I first selected some wonderfully festive pieces from The Home Depot’s ‘Timeless Traditional’ Christmas collection. An adorable Nutcracker, a thatched green and red table runner and a tube of green, red, and gold ornaments. Now that I had that nailed down, it was time to get creative!

I think Christmas tablescapes look their loveliest when illuminated by candles. Plus, who doesn’t look extra gorgeous by the soft glow of a burning flame? Votives it is!

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To create these little beauties, I first searched for glass vessels: something to hold the candle in. The lighting aisle was where I found these perfect (and super affordable) clear glass jam-jar style light fixtures.

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Creating some texture and visual interest was next. I meandered around until I found the line, twine and rope aisle. Using the thin, Everbilt ‘medium sisal twine’, I wrapped the fixtures, securing the end of the twine with hot glue.

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To add some more pizazz, I simply affixed some small, golden ornaments, then placed a candle in the bottom.

For my second DIY, I was inspired by the perfect place setting. Having a charger under even the simplest of plates brings your entire table to life. Chargers it is!

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Finding myself in the wood aisle, I chose a 16” wide plank to have cut into six, 14 x 14 squares. I made them large enough so my 11” plates had some room to breathe. The associates at the Home Depot are incredibly helpful and did the cutting for me… Though how fun would it have been to use this saw?!

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I then found a neutral wood stain colour to complement my colour scheme, some sand paper and sponge-tipped paint brushes for application, glittery gold spray-paint and went on my way.

At home I first sanded down each 14 x 14 square. With a damp sponge, I then ran it over each piece of wood, ensuring no wood dust remained. Using my sponge-tipped brush, I carefully stained each piece of wood. This took two days as I let one side dry over night before coating the other side and edges.

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When it comes time for a fancy dinner, I never know where to put the forks and what side the knife goes on. So I thought it would be fun to create a ‘cutlery map’ stencil and fill it in using my glittery spray-paint. This way your chargers are not only good looking, but also practical!

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For a final touch, gussy up the wine glasses and tie a colour-scheme appropriate bow around them. Ta da!

Stay tuned tomorrow for Mr Fab’s Christmas Challenge and find out how the Home Depot and The Fab Fam are helping youth homelessness this holiday season.

M Fab Craftycrafterson

Later this week, see how I made three other DIY Christmas crafts using Home Depot supplies. I just couldn’t stop crafting!!

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