First Day of School Traditions

The first day of school is a time of excitement, stress and tons of new experiences. It’s a time full of high emotions, but also a time for making memories! In our opinion, the best memories usually revolve around family traditions.

We collected 5 of our favourite ‘First Day of School’ traditions from around the web, to give you some ideas for this year!

1. Photo on the first day of a new school year

Perhaps one of the most popular First Day of School Traditions – taking a photo of your child on the first day! We love the idea of putting all the photos into a scrapbook as a keepsake for when they are older. These cute year-by-year printables from DesignsByNicolina are not only adorable, they help you keep each year photo organized and in order.

First Day of School Traditions 1

http://designsbynicolina.blogspot.ca/2013/08/free-first-day-of-school-download.html

Find the year-by-year printables at DesignsByNicolina.

2. Shop for ‘Study Buddies’

We love this idea for the little ones! What makes homework more fun? Having a partner to work with, of course! One fun idea is to bring each child on a shopping trip to buy a new stuffed animal ‘Study Buddy’. Not only is homework more fun with your study buddy, it adds a feeling of comfort to children during times of transition and change.

First Day of School Traditions 22

3. First day of School Interview Page

School is all about growth and change, but sometimes we blink and the change and growth happens far too fast! A great way to document changes is to start with this Free School Interview Page printable. Get your child to fill it out every year, and then put them all together or in a time capsule. Keep those memories forever!

First Day of School Traditions 3

Find the Free School Interview Page printable at Giggles Galore.

4. A Sweet Treat

A long hard day of school deserves a sweet treat after school! Surprise them with some Christy’s Crunch, and a pun-ny tag – “Let the Number CRUNCHing Begin”!

First Day of School Traditions 4

5. Fashion Show

Everyone knows that one of the best parts about Back to School is getting a couple new outfits for the year! On ‘School Year’s Eve’, why not have a kids fashion show? Roll out the red carpet and let them show off their new outfits. What a confidence booster for the first day!

Do you have any First Day of School Traditions? Please share them with us in the comments below!

 

A Spooky Halloween Party

BOO!

Are you excited for Halloween? We know we are! We get super excited this time of year because we know immediately following Halloween our “Chocolate Season” begins!!

This year we decided to play around with the idea of planning our own Halloween party.

We chose to do a Halloween party that was family-friendly… something the kids would have fun at, but the parents would appreciate and enjoy.

Here are some of our Spooky Halloween Party ideas:

Decor:

It’s entirely up to you how you would like to theme your decor. If you want to do a brighter, livelier decor for the kids, stick with colours like orange, greens, purples etc. For a more adult-theme, a rustic-spooky and woodsy decor style is what you could aim for.

- Balloons with Jack o Lantern Faces

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 1 Jack o Lanterns

Retrieved from http://www.marthastewart.com/273329/pumpkin-balloons?czone=holiday%2Fhalloween-center%2Fhalloween-center-decor&gallery=275513&slide=273329&center=276965

- Spooky Lush Halloween Decor

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 2 Spooky Lush Decor

Retrieved from http://www.cocokelley.com/

- For a Backyard Halloween Party try Paper Lanterns in your colour theme.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 3 Paper Lanterns

Retrieved from http://www.ontobaby.com/

Food:

For the kids: have fun with the food! That’s what Halloween is all about. Make regular food a bit creepy or funny, such as the apple mouths below. For the adults, stick with something that embodies the harvest season, such as our *Limited Time* Pumpkin Spice Craft Beer Brittle

- Christy’s Gourmet Gifts’ Pumpkin Spice Craft Beer Brittle

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 4 Pumpkin Spice Beer Brittle- Scary Apple Mouths (Apples, Marshmallows and Peanut Butter)

Cover one side of an apple slice with a light coating of peanut butter, line up mini marshmallows on top of the peanut butter, top with another apple slice covered in peanut butter (face down).

Christy’s Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 12 Apple Marshmallow Mouths

Retrieved from Family.go.com

Favours

Christy’s has you covered on the party favours! Why not try our Chocolated-dipped Oreos or Fudgeos? We also offer a “Mummy Marshmallow” which is spooky (and tasty!) in the best sort of way.

- Christy’s Gourmet Gifts’ Chocolate Dipped Oreos and Fudgeos

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 7 Oreo Cookie Dipped- Christy’s Gourmet Gifts’ Mummy Marshmallows

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 8 Marshmallow MummyExtras

What makes a party a great one? A great party is created when you plan all of those little details before-hand. That’s the stuff that people remember! Try these “extras” to make your party a hit with your guests.

- Ghostly frozen hand in the punch

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 9 Frozen Hand

Retrieved from http://www.vitamin-ha.com/halloween-party-food-16-pics/halloween-party-food-14/

- Skeletal inspired milk bottle with sign “Good for the Bones”:

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 10 Good For the Bones

Retrieved from http://www.loraleelewis.com/blog/?p=17443

- Pumpkin bowl for an ice bucket

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | Halloween Party Theme Blog | Pic 11 Pumpkin Bowl Ice Bucket

Retrieved from http://www.vitamin-ha.com/halloween-party-food-16-pics/halloween-party-food-04/

And that’s it! The Halloween party planning is complete and the guests are in for a great time.

Happy Halloween!  Do you have plans for Halloween? What will you dress up as?

A Classy (but Fun!) Vineyard Wedding

Since we had so much fun with our previous blog post ‘A Craft Beer Themed Wedding’, we were inspired to plan a Vineyard (Wine Inspired) Wedding!

Location:

You can’t have a vineyard wedding without what?… A vineyard, of course! In Burlington, Ontario we are so lucky to have a plethora of amazing vineyards right in our backyard. Niagara-on-the-Lake, Vineland, Beamsville, Prince Edward County… there are so many to choose from and many different styles of vineyards! Why not visit some of the wineries on a tasting tour and get a feel for them? That way to can best decide which vineyard fits your needs.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Location Prince Edward County Winery LavendarDecor:

Hay bales, white draping, twinkle lights -

With a vineyard wedding you still want a rustic, country feel but with a classy twist to it. Adding hay bale seating or decor to your wedding will give that rustic, country feel… and with the addition of white draping and twinkle lights your event will be classy and elegant.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Decor Prince Edward County WineryWe love the idea of the addition of chalkboard signs. To us, nothing has a more D.I.Y., country feel than a handwritten chalkboard sign. To “pretty up” your chalkboard sign you can even purchase a vintage frame at a second-hand shop or flea market. Cut a piece of wood to the size of the picture, and paint with chalkboard paint – then add it to the frame. Use regular chalk for a rustic look or liquid chalk for a neater presentation.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Decor Chalkboard Sign Prince Edward County WineryFood:

Together, wine and cheese are a match made in heaven! An amazing idea for your wedding would be to create a cheese bar, buffet style or have an artisanal cheese tray for each table. Choose a few different types of interesting cheese at your local cheese shop or deli. People love variety!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Food Cheese Tray Prince Edward County Winery

Retrieved from http://media-cache-ec3.pinimg.com/originals/df/2e/6b/df2e6b7715f8235ccd25577c0e58ee9a.jpg

Alternative cake toppers are a great feature at a vineyard wedding. This type of wedding should not be uptight, but relaxed, and this is the perfect venue to have a little fun! After all, a wedding should be the biggest party of your life and what’s a party if you don’t have a little fun?

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Alternative Cake Topper

Retrieved from http://lover.ly/image/66419

Favours:

Christy’s Gourmet Gifts has just unveiled a brand new product… a “Wine Infused Chocolate Toffee”. This product is a butter toffee base infused with a local chardonnay wine. The toffee is then drizzled in milk and dark Belgian chocolate. The product would be amazing presented in a vintage wine barrel (help yourself style) or wrapped up in small kraft packages and placed at each seat.

Contact us to help you with custom favours. We love customization!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Wine Infused Chocolate Toffee Product Kraft Packaging FavoursChristy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Wine Infused Chocolate Toffee Product  FavoursPhotography:

This couple featured the vineyard name stamped on a cork in their wedding photography. This would serve as a great reminder years down the road.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Wedding Photography Cork Label Ring Picture

Retrieved from http://www.perfectweddingguide.com/wedding-blog/index.php/2012/07/05/real-virginia-wedding-reception-chelsea-nick/

Make sure to get some photos that really capture the essence of your vineyard wedding i.e. The bride and groom in a landscape shot with the vineyard behind them, with their handmade signs in the photo, or in front of some wine barrels sitting on hay bales. Be creative, but make sure you have every bit of your wedding recorded so you can enjoy it time and again!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Wedding | Wedding Photography Handmade Signs

Retrieved from http://www.vineimages.ca/

Extras:

A wild flower bouquet is simple and elegant. Wrap burlap and lace around the stems and fasten with hot glue (clean and hidden) or a vintage brooch for a little sparkle. Maybe your grandmother has a brooch that would work! Something borrow after all is a good luck charm. Local wildflowers can be purchased from many floral shops as well as online.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts | A Vineyard Themed Wedding | Wildflower bouquet with burlap, lace and a brooch

Retrieved from http://styleunveiled.com/

As we said with ‘A Craft Beer Themed Wedding’ the most important detail at your wedding is to do what you think is right for you! Every wedding is a personal affair and you should plan elements that show off both of your personalities.

Happy planning!

A Craft-Beer Themed Wedding

It’s wedding season! You know what that means… lots of creative ideas for wedding themes all over Pinterest and the web. Pinterest is such a great inspiration for creativity – but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. Our friend is just in the midst of planning her wedding and she had a great idea for a theme – a craft beer themed wedding! We loved her idea so much that we decided we would help her plan. Here are our thoughts on the theme:

Invites/Save-the-Dates:

The first way to get your guests into the spirit is with your invitations and save-the-date cards! Stick to the theme with your invites, and get creative. Why not try this cute idea and turn your save-the-dates in the coasters for your guests? For the invitation designs, think kraft – burlap – anything rustic that will get your guests into the country, craft-beer spirit.

Save the Date Coaster -

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Coasters

Retrieved from http://media-cache-ec3.pinimg.com/originals/f2/ae/29/f2ae29f0cbfdb91e263d52f23b2f6026.jpg

Invites with Craft Beer Elements (like Hops!) -

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Invitation Idea with Hops elements

Retrieved from http://www.milehighbride.com/craft-beer-inspired-styled-session

Location:

If you’re planning a summer or warm-weather wedding, we love the idea of a tent or barn wedding.  If you don’t have the space, another option we love, is the distillery district in Toronto http://www.thedistillerydistrict.com/.  Perhaps your local community has a distillery which holds events.  These locations help set the mood for the urban craft beer themed wedding.

A Farm, Barn or Country Setting–

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Country Barn Style

Retrieved from alixannlooslephotography.blogspot.ca/2012/11/nikki-mike-wedding.html

Distillery District -

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Distillery District

Retrieved from http://newvintagemedia.blogspot.ca/2013/02/wedding-photography-laura-nathan.html

Décor:

In our opinion, Craft Beer weddings should always include hand-written chalkboard signs for menus/etc., and ice buckets full of cold drinks for the guests.  Both of these décor elements just scream craft beer country wedding.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Cold Beer Ice Bucket Beer Chalkboard Decor

www.christysgourmetgifts.com

Food:

Keep it Casual!

You wouldn’t want to ruin the relaxed feel of your craft beer wedding by serving a frou-frou meal. Make your guests feel comfortable and serve them something they will enjoy. Think: sliders, snow-cones, and picnic lunches packed for each guest – a retro classic comfort feel is perfect for your menu.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Food, Sliders and Picnic Baskets

Retrieved from http://pinterest.com/pin/26388347788843435/

Favours:

Fun favours that go with your wedding theme will be a big hit with guests! You could try something they could keep using time-after-time to remember your big day, like these great “To Have and To Hold” beer cozies.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - To Have and To Hold Beer Cozy Favour

Retrieved from https://p.twimg.com/Ak8nNG4CIAAqJ9x.jpg:large

Or if you’re looking for some yummy sweets or goodies to give out as a favour, our Craft Beer Brittle is an excellent option! Guests will love this buttery toffee with almonds and will definitely continue talking about it, long after your special day has ended.

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Craft Beer Brittle Favours

www.christysgourmetgifts.com

Extra Additions:

Extra details that you put into an event are always the ones that keep people talking. We love these creative ideas to add to your special day:

Hops and Burlap Boutonniere for the Groom-

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Burlap and Hops Boutonierre

Retrieved from http://www.onewed.com/photo-and-video/gallery/something-old-something-new-something-special-for-your-groom

Customized Craft Beer Labels-

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Customized Beer Labels

Retrieved from http://www.kegworks.com/blog/2011/05/09/homebrewed-wedding-favors-are-all-the-rage/#sthash.ZD8TW8wb.dpbs

Creative  Photography-

Christy's Gourmet Gifts - Craft Beer Themed Wedding - Ring Photography

Retrieved from http://floridianweddings.com/2013/06/craft-beer-wedding-danielle-alex-in-marco-island/

And the most important detail of all – do what you think is right for you! Every wedding is a personal affair and you should plan elements that really show your (and your groom’s) personality.

Cinco de Mayo Countdown – Day 3

Everyday leading up to Cinco de Mayo (the 5thof May) we will have a special party tip, to make your themed party a blast! Stay tuned for recipes, décor tips and lots more.

Today’s Party Tip: 3. Party Décor!

You can’t have a themed party without some themed décor! Get your guests into the Cinco de Mayo spirit the moment they walk into the door by using some of these easy décor tips:

 *String up some paper garlands*

Purchase paper garlands or easily create them yourself using tissue paper.  

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Paper Garland for Cinco de Mayo Party DIY Do it Yourself

How to create them yourself:

  1. Take two different coloured, large pieces of tissue paper. Cut the tissue paper into four lengthwise pieces.
  2. Lay them out flat on a large surface (or the ground), alternating between colours. Cut a long piece of ribbon to cover all pieces and have extra ribbon on each end.
  3. Lay the ribbon flat over all the pieces of tissue paper, slightly below the center line of the tissue paper.Christy's Gourmet Gifts Paper Garland Cinco de Mayo DIY
  4. Fold each piece of tissue paper over the ribbon. Staple the tissue paper onto the ribbon at the top center. Now all your tissue paper garlands are in place.
  5. Cut each tissue paper into slices, about ¾ of the way up.
  6. Take your extra ribbon ends and pin or attach to a table or wall. And there you have it – a beautiful piece of décor for your party!

*Bright Colours*

Cover tables in brightly-coloured tablecloths or fabrics. Use fabric napkins for the centerpiece and cover with brightly-coloured bowls, cake plates or vintage tins. Fill the bowls, plates or tins with candies or sweets in fun colours.

ruffledblog.com Cinco de Mayo Party - Bright Colours - Centerpieces

ruffledblog.com

*Paper Lanterns*

Paper Lanterns can be purchased at party stores or can sometimes be found at a reduced cost at the dollar store.  They bring a pop of colour to plain rooms and also add a sense of fun and whimsy. Perfect for the party spirit!

celebrateexpress.com Cinco de Mayo Party Paper Lanterns

celebrateexpress.com

*Margarita Mason Jars*

Keep your guests’ thirst at bay! Prepare margaritas ahead of time with a plain margarita mix. Pour the prepared drinks into mason jars and put them into a container full of ice for your guests to pick up when they come in your door. They’re perfect for moving around a party, especially with a straw, and won’t spill when you place them in the ice bucket.

livinglocurto.com Cinco de Mayo party Margarita Mason Jars

livinglocurto.com

*Embroidered Fabrics or Patterned Fabrics & Fresh Flowers*

Be sure to have fresh bright-coloured flowers throughout your party area, as well as some embroidered patterned fabrics . Think fresh and bright!

ruffledblog.com Cinco de Mayo Party fresh flowers and embroidered fabrics

ruffledblog.com

Stay tuned for party tip number 4 tomorrow!

Cinco de Mayo Countdown

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Christy’s Gourmet Gifts style!

Though Cinco de Mayo originally began as a celebration over a battle (yikes!) more info here..  it is now widely recognized as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.  But, you can find many people internationally celebrating this day, regardless of heritage! Take a look at Martha Stewart’s ideas  and the Food Network Cinco de Mayo party menu. Cinco de Mayo definitely looks like a celebration that we want to be a part of! 

Everyday leading up to Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) we will have a special party tip, to make your themed party a blast! Stay tuned for recipes, décor tips and lots more.

Today’s Party Tips:

1.Cinco de Mayo party favours!

Christy's Gourmet Gifts Cinco De Mayo Party Theme - Party Favours

Christy’s Gourmet Gifts is famous for our Christy’s Crunch so why not share our famous goodie with your friends and family at your party?! We put together a favour for our Cinco de Mayo party and we can do the same for you. If you can dream it, we can do it. (Not just for Cinco de Mayo either, we can help with all of your themed – or un-themed! – party favour needs.)

For the favour design, we spruced up a plain white gift box with some bright colours and patterns, added a bow and filled it up with some famous Christy’s Crunch. Yum! Guests will definitely be in the party spirit after receiving these little guys.

2.  Mexican Lime Pie Recipe!

What’s a party without some yummy desserts?! Bring some fresh citrus flavouring into your festivities, while giving your guests their sweets fix. You can whip up this easy Mexican Lime Pie in no time (really, anyone can make this recipe). Enjoy!

 Cinco De Mayo Themed Party - Mexican Lime Pie Recipe

What you will need:

  • 15 graham crackers
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 4 large eggs, yolks only
  • 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 12     key limes, juiced or ½ cup fresh lime juice (3 to 4 regular limes)
  • 2 tsp lime zest (+ a bit extra for garnish)

 How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Crush the graham crackers and mix together with sugar and butter. Take a rectangular baking dish (or a 9” pie dish for a more traditional look) and press the mixture into the bottom of it, in an even layer. Bake until the mixture is golden, about 12 minutes.
  • While the pie shell is in the oven, beat the egg yolks with an electric mixture, until they lighten and thicken. Stir in ½ of the lime juice and the condensed milk. Whisk the egg mixture until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the remaining ½ of the lime juice, and the lime zest.
  • Fill your baked pie shell with the lime mixture. Bake for 12 minutes at 350F.
  • Take your key lime pie out of the oven and cool. Serve each pie piece with a dollop of whipped cream and a bit of lime zest.

Delicious and so easy!

Stay tuned for party tip number 3 tomorrow!