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.

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…:)

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. 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.

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