Christmas Eve! ~ Christmas Fun, Brian's Birthday & The Toronto Christmas Market

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!! :D

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I hope you're all finding some time to relax, enjoy some good food and company. I always loved Christmas Eve growing up! A lot of the times, even more than Christmas Day itself. It was all about the anticipation and excitement that led up to the big day; the surprises that awaited you! To me, that was always truly exciting.

This past week has been nothing short of hectic! I've literally always had something every night that needed to get done or somewhere I needed to be. It's been a lot of fun but as you can imagine, also very tiring! Here are some pictures from my past week.

It has felt way more like early spring outside than winter. I always hope we have a bit of a white Christmas every year but sadly, it doesn't look like it'll happen. But I took advantage of the warmer weather last week and went for a walk.

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I felt like I was in the Twilight movies!

Later that night, Somya and I completed the last of our Christmas shopping at Square One and I couldn't resist snapping a picture of this beautiful tree inside the mall:

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Somya is such a character, and later that night as we were swapping gifts, I had to laugh when I saw the front of my envelope with an arrow and a caption reading "Giftcard" (as if I wouldn't have known!).

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:D

Work was very festive this week too! My coworkers had done a great job decorating the main receptionist desk.

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One of the girls had picked up this beautiful, simple garland at the dollar store adding a nice finishing touch to the desk:

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I love anything that sparkles! Like this gold bow.

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And these Christmas trees!

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Some subtle, frosted garland hung among the staircase.

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And while digging through the decorations box, I found this jolly, snappy-looking apron!:

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For a third or fourth failed time, Brian and I were unable to make it to the Christmas Market last week! Once again, it was due to the weather, but this time, it was because it was raining. In December.

We just couldn't win! So instead, we grabbed some warm beverages from Starbucks and went on a little neighbourhood walk to see some of the nicer houses decorated in lights.

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It wasn't exactly the same as the Christmas Market, but once I got over my frustration of another failed attempt, we had a nice evening just the same.

The next evening, we headed to our friend Courtney's place for a little Christmas gathering. Brian had met Courtney in his comedy writing class at Second City and have since kept in touch and become great friends. She is a great comedy writer and one of the funniest people you will ever meet!

The lobby of her building was looking very joyous among the palm trees.

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Regularly, her apartment looks like this; how lovely!

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She had it decorated a bit for the holiday season, including this awesome silver tray that came with a faux glittery pinecone and a turquoise vase holding a sweet, scented candle.

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Last year, Courtney had experimented and made this delicious festive drink, which was basically a holiday punch mixed with white, sparkling wine. A final touch is a cinnamon stick and it feels like you're drinking a fun, carbonated pop as opposed to an alcoholic beverage (which could be a good thing, or bad thing!). You can find plenty of ideas on Pinterest!

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Yum!

More yum also includes her clock, which may not exactly scream Christmas, but it's always time for mealtime!

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She has one of the most friendliest, fluffiest cats ever named Ella!

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Last weekend was Brian's birthday! His mom had invited a few of us over to in the morning to celebrate before he went off to work that night. There was plenty of food, coffee, and cake! Here you see Brian's younger cousin, Antonio helping to set the candles.

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And then we all embarrassed him by singing Happy Birthday!

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He really wasn't impressed...

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Isn't that a nice birthday glare?

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That night, I finally made it to the Toronto Christmas Market down at the Distillery District! Our friend Christina, who we met while working part-time in the grocery store, came with us. She's currently working in England now as a teacher and is back for the Christmas break. (Thankfully her contract is up in June so she'll soon be back permanently!)

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The tree was gorgeous!

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So many lights...!

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It was the second last night it was open so it was pretty packed! But we were thankful the weather wasn't too cold and there was no chilly, icy wind. We kept warm with some yummy mulled wine and sausages. I highly recommend going if you've never been before! It's worth checking out.

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The next day, we finally got around to decorating our tree!

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Some family had come over that evening, including our cousins Rebecca and Christina. We had such a nice, relaxing evening. Perhaps too relaxing; my mom had gone out on a limb and ordered an excess amount of food.

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There was pizza included too!

These boneless chicken fingers served with plum sauce are by far, the best. We serve them every year at Christmas parties and birthdays and they are the main hit. My mom gets them from a lovely little Italian bakery called La Rose Bakery.

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It seemed like we had all waited so long for dinner that by the time it was ready, we gobbled it up so fast and landed ourselves in a food coma.

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But the parents, surprisingly, seemed okay.

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Just when we thought we couldn't eat anymore, next came dessert.

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This strawberry cheesecake was to die for!

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Which then landed ourselves all in a dessert coma.

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This time, the parents were in on it as well ;)

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We spent the rest of our evening sipping on coffee and peppermint tea and I put on a little "musical concert" by playing some songs on the piano and electric guitar for the family.

Cartney was really enjoying the company -- and the Christmas tree, too!

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As well as Ringa hiding among the lights.

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A few days ago after work, I met my university friends: Daniel, Ross and Arica downtown for some all-you-can-eat sushi. It was sort of our "meet up" before Christmas, and before Ross headed off to Mexico for two weeks (he is a globe trotter). We went to a place called Masa Sushi in downtown Toronto and once again, I stuffed my face with food! Tis the season, right?

I had to laugh when I ordered myself a "fruit salad" and this is what was returned to me:

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With stomachs full and faces stuffed, we headed out and noticed these cute "Christmas boots" on display just outside the restaurant:

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Very artsy and festive!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve whatever your celebrations might be!! :)

"Santa's coming, tonight, tonight!" 

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