a peek inside the fishbowl

10 Dec, 2012

Family Advent Days 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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

I secretly fear that one day I’m going to be asked to appear on a witness stand and a lawyer is going to ask me what I was doing the night of the 16th and I’m going to have to say: “I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last week. How can I remember where I was doing on any particular day?” And then I’ll break down and cry. And then I’ll be shipped off to prison and only get to see my family on weekends.

All this to say, my memory is crap. I blame the kids. When they left my body they took a whole bunch of my brain cells with them.

ANYWAY, that is neither here nor there, but I will say that I’m glad I have photographic evidence of our advent activities because had you asked me what we’ve been up to it would be a real struggle to remember.

Day 4 – Chocolate-covered marshmallows

They were so easy, and so good. All you do is spear a big marshmallow with a small candy cane, dip it in melted chocolate, THEN follow it up with crushed candy canes or other seasonal sprinkles of your choosing. Let them harden in the fridge for about 30 minutes and they are done.

For what it’s worth, they’re very good in hot chocolate but I prefer eating them AS IS:

December 4 #familyadvent was pretty sweet

Day 5 – Borax crystal snowflakes

This was a bit of a Pinterest fail. We followed the instructions exactly but there was uneven crystallization. Hmph. Oh well. The crystals that ARE there are pretty cool. (Here’s where I got the idea from if you want to have a look.)

Family Advent day 6

Day 6 – Mini tree!

I wanted to buy the girls a Charlie Brown Christmas tree to decorate but quickly learned that small trees cost just as much as big trees so I bought a small fake tree at Ikea. Most fake trees I see in the stores are pretty darn ugly – I think it comes from the fact they have too many branches and they’re a little TOO perfectly arranged – but the Ikea tree was pretty nice. It’s not too full, and the branches look quite realistic. I set it up late the night before, right outside their bedrooms. Amazingly, Sarah walked right past it and didn’t see it until later. Ha! Here is a super closeup I took after the girls decorated it.

Today's #familyadvent is about decorating the mini tree

Day 7 – Dessert before dinner. This is perhaps the easiest activity, and one of the most popular. :)

Family advent day 7

Day 8 – More tree decorating! This time it was grandma and grandpa’s tree.

#FamilyAdvent day 8: decorating grandma and grandpa's tree

Day 9 – We walked to Westboro village to do some window shopping and enjoy some hot candy cane chocolate WITH whipped cream thankyouverymuch…

Family advent day 9

…which was later followed up by a special pizza and game night with friends. Pictured here is S’quarrels, which we brought at Tag Along Toys a few years ago. It’s one of our favourite games!

Pizza and game night with friends

And today is December 10th. I can hardly believe it. There is still so much left to do!

This post is part of our 2012 Family Advent, a.k.a. 25 Days of Christmas. You can read more about that here. Looking for some Christmas-related activities to try out yourself? Check out my Pinterest board.

Print this post Print this post

2 Responses to "Family Advent Days 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9"

1 | Kerry Gogush Cule

December 10th, 2012 at 12:37 pm


We had a great result with the Borax ornaments. Wonder what happened? #chemistmindswanttoknow

2 | Javamom

December 10th, 2012 at 4:45 pm


The marshmallow idea is one of the best I’ve seen. (no I rarely go to pinterest, I’d rather come to the fishbowl…:)

comment form:


NAC Ottawa events

Christmas ideas from Saunders Farm!

Frogs - a Chorus of Colours - at the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa

Funhaven - Ottawa's destination for birthday parties and fun

terra20 Ottawa celebrates Earth Month

Ottawa Gymnastics Centre - Westboro

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

Mrs Tiggywinkle's - the best toy store in Ottawa

IMAX 3D - Journey to the South Pacific

Click me!


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects



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

  • andrea tomkins: Laurel - I did not mean to suggest that everyone has to buy a hybrid, rather, that that the automotive industry is heading that way and I'm happy we d
  • Laurel: I appreciate that you write a lot about being kind to the world and being aware re recycling and more. It's one of the things that draws me to your bl
  • A good stink.: Composting is a joy. Good for my garden and my soul. I compost all year round although winter can be a challenge. Squirrels will gnaw through your
  • andrea tomkins: You make a good point lacoop, we are definitely not alone on this planet! Easing our dependence on cars is a good idea for many reasons. I do wish the
  • lacoop: We also made the decision to be a one-car family. We also make a point of biking and walking where ever possible: cheaper, better for the planet, an
  • andrea tomkins: Me too! It's really inspiring!
  • Lisa from Iroquois: Love the Yellowberry story.

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 (14) and Sarah (12). I am the Editor of the Kitchissippi Times as well as Capital Parent Newspaper. I'm also 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!


Connect with me at these places too!

The #dailylunches project – 660 and counting!

Every day I eat lunch and take a picture. Here's my 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.


A year before

Got kids in Ottawa? These posts might be worth a click too:

All hail the mighty Twitter

Follow the Fishbowl’s companion page on Facebook

Let's stick a pin in that

Miz Mooz Women's Car

Mock "sushi" for Apr

Oh my, love this lig

More Pins