a peek inside the fishbowl

15 Dec, 2011

Advent activity #5 – sappy things and sweet things

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy

I will spare you the gory details of how we obtained our Christmas tree. We went to a cut-your-own tree farm and had a rather mediocre experience. As Mark pointed out, it would have been much nicer had it been a snowy wonderland instead of a slog through muddy fields. Or perhaps my expectations were a little too high?

At least Piper had a good time. She is a pretty happy dog, no matter what.

Santa pup

Anyway, yes, we got a tree, and it’s a pretty little tree, despite all the trouble we went through to to get it.

Our advent activity was to set it up, and as a bonus, it was followed by cupcakes from The Cupcake Lounge that we enjoyed by the “fire.”


I chose vanilla, and it was pretty darn good, but I secretly regret not trying the gingerbread.

Apparently Chocolate Chocolate was a good choice:

ready to eat

This year I was more than happy to sit with a Bailey’s and watch the girls decorate. And it turned out quite well.

Also worthy of note, Emma doesn’t need a stepstool to reach the top.

Tree decorating

Note to self:

  • Buy more lights for the tree, and make sure they’re pretty and warm, not blindness-inducing LEDs. (Who decided that orange was a Christmas colour anyway??)
  • Next time, cupcakes should be accompanied by a good cider or nog! :)

This post is part of my 25 days of Christmas advent activities (although I’m actually doing only 12 this year). You can read more about the countdown calendar idea here.

4 Responses to "Advent activity #5 – sappy things and sweet things"

1 | Valerie

December 15th, 2011 at 10:57 am


we’ll be going tree hunting this weekend. Do you think the weather was the problem or did you not like where you went? I wasn’t thrilled with our last year’s choice so would like to try somewhere new.

2 | andrea

December 15th, 2011 at 11:05 am


I think the weather was a big part of it. And as much as I enjoy supporting the local economy I found it a bit on the pricey side for what it was…

3 | Nadine

December 15th, 2011 at 12:15 pm


Your tree is so beautiful !
As cliche as this might sound, I think that size really doesn’t matter , sometimes the smaller trees hold the greatest treasures !
We also got ours from a cut-your-own-tree farm but thankfully the weather last week was not as yucky as it is now !
I think that next year we’ll get a smaller tree so our daughter (who is no where near 7ft ) will also be able to reach the top. She has been begging to help decorate for a number of years now but this is a “task” that I have selfishly been keeping to myself… I’m sure that a bit of Baileys in a hot beverage will persuade me to relegate my functions as tree decorator !

4 | Tiana

December 15th, 2011 at 9:31 pm


We bought ‘warm’ led’s this year and they are actually very nice. We still have some old lights kicking around and they are not as warm as those, but they don’t give off that icy blue office light that they did a few years ago.

comment form:


Have a great summer at Saunders Farm!

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

terra20 Ottawa

National Arts Centre Ottawa

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • sidneybou090103: Hi, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here to go back the favor?.I am trying to to find issues to improve my site!I assume its ade
  • Marielle Quinton: I have a beautiful doormat made of recycled tires that I keep outside our front door and after 8 years it still looks beautiful.
  • Claudette: My daughter's new school is next to the Campbell soup factory. Like literally across the street. So she says every day at recess the kids can smell ho
  • Shannan: Pretty nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I'll be subscr
  • andrea tomkins: It gives you a head start on a recipe that you might not normally undertake on your own! Also, I love Thai seasonings and flavours. I'm not sure if my
  • joy: i have tried these before, and like them a lot !
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Head start to home made? Sign me up. - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] juice and coconut milk. I had some powdered coconut milk in the pantry, which I had bought after a recent Indian food demo. (I had no idea

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (17) and Sarah (15). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

The #dailylunches project – 1000 lunches and counting

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's the latest:

Created with flickr badge.

Click the photo for details: what it is, where I ate it (if it's worth a mention!) and how to cook it (if there happens to be a recipe). You can also read more about this project right here.


On the nightstand

On this date in the archives

All hail the mighty Twitter