Monday, 28 January 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas guys!

I decorated my house with snowflakes
Just kidding... I know I'm over a month late ;)
I kind of dropped off the face of the earth during the Holiday season, what was I up to!?

My friend Mo visited from Montreal... this is our igloo
That's what I was up to! I made a goal at the end of November that I would do my best to hand make all of my presents, so as you could imagine, this took a while

My tiny Blue Cedar tree... it's now planted outside
Some people like giving better, some like receiving. And while, of course, I LOVE receiving, I think I prefer giving. It's like a game for me, which I always try to win... especially when it comes to my boyfriend. Every year I try to one up my last gift... and it's getting harder and harder

The view from our dock, Christmas morning
This year's gift to Alex was actually pretty easy to do.
I was all ready to make him a scrap book, but then I happened to stumble upon a post by find joy in the journey called "a year of dates". It was perfect.

What is a year of dates?
The gifter presents the giftee with 12 envelopes- one for each month of the year. Each envelope is to be opened at the beginning of each month. Within the envelope is a romantic (or not so romantic) date  for the two of you, a description of said date, and perhaps some items to go along with this date

But of course, I needed mine to be a bit different... and grander (not sure if that is a word)
So here is my version of the year of dates (sorry, there really aren't many photo's of the gifts. I was so determined to finish it on time that I forgot to take photo's along the way)

The treasure chest
The theme of this gift was adventure
Alexander loves going on adventures, and earlier in the year when I asked him to describe our relationship in a couple of words, he said an adventure
Awwwe, how sweet
So thanks to him, I had a theme to the present

For his card, I made him a treasure chest (nothing can ever be boring with me)
I had a little chest-like-box that I stained with coffee and vinegar (it smelled like a cafe after). Inside I popped in some old coins from different places I have traveled, some coral, some sea glass, some shells, a very special flower (I can tell you guys the story of the flower later), and a little rolled up map. On the map, I drew out Vancouver (the city where were have had the most adventures), and drew little red X's on all the places where have had any of our adventures (aka. dates, etc)
On top of this, I wrote him a little note

Then it was onto the tedious part
September's Date
With this treasure box came the 12 envelopes
In each envelope was a little card I made
Each card said the activity, and had a little scratchcard section at the bottom. This was a little lottery of how many times I will do any random nice thing for him. Like massages, etc
This was SO hard to do, because usually when people make heart shaped scratch cards, they have a heart punch, but I had to hand cut them
But I did it!
So I'm sure you guys are curious about what the dates were, so here they are! I hope you guys can use some of my idea's as inspiration for your dates!

♥ January Skiing and hot chocolate on my favorite mountain, Grouse
♥ February Skating... There is this beautiful open skating rink in the heart of downtown Vancouver called "Robson Skating"... and it's free!
♥ March Dinner and a movie... a classic!
♥ April Science World... science world is the coolest place in Vancouver in my opinion. It's this giant beautiful dome building aimed at every age group, and it's just a world of science. It has games, movies, exhibits, bee's, everything! And even though Alexander is a huge science nerd, my country boy has never been to Science world... so I'm pretty excited
♥ May Drive-in Movie.... Vancouver has a drive-in movie theater called the Twilight drive-in, how cute!
♥ June Haunted Tour of Downtown Victoria... Victoria is a city on Vancouver Island and it's the capital of BC. It's beautiful and old and super haunted. In the summer they have these walking tours that I have been dying to go on
♥ July Picnic... Head down to my favorite lake on a sunny day, feed the ducks, and eat!
♥ August Zoo/Aquarium... Alexander LOVES animals, so I know he would love the zoo, but I don't really support the Vancouver zoo. I don't think it's well managed, and they are constantly being sued on animal cruelty charges... but our Aquarium is awesome! Every ticket supports wildlife conservation, and we have the famous Vancouver otters... haven't seen them? LOOK THEM UP. You will die of cuteness, here is a link . So I decided I would give him a choice here of where he would want to go
♥ September Biking the Sea Wall... the sea wall is a long waterfront path in the beautiful Stanley park. And it's usually still sunny and warm in September
♥ October Stay in and relax... this will be around exam time, so I think it would be nice just to have a nice relaxing day to stay in and plan to do nothing
♥ November Board game night with Drinks and Friends.... This date is for us and our friends. I'm really looking forward for this one!
♥ December His choice... anything he wants and I can't complain... probably video games and takeout hahaha

Then it was onto the fun part

This is the part where I got a little bit crazy. For some of the months, there was a little present to go along with the date. With pretty much all of the versions of this gift I saw, most people just put little gift cards, and coupons in their envelopes, but I wanted this to be extra special, so here is a list of the presents he got with every month
The mugs for January... I wrote on our nicknames in sharpie and then baked it in the oven... I know, couple nicknames are nauseating 
♥ January Skiing and Hot Chocolate: "Apress Ski" hot chocolate, mugs, Warm roots socks
♥ February Skating: Starbucks gift card so we can warm up after skating
♥ March Movie: Movie tickets and free popcorn coupon
♥ April Science World: couldn't think of anything!
♥ May Drive-in Movie: Chocolate, jelly beans, McDonald's gift card so we can snack while we are there
♥ June Haunted Tour of Downtown Victoria: Couldn't think of anything
♥ July Picnic: Duck feed, Menu... I'm going to make cake in a jar, and then we are going to grab takeout from my favorite East African Restaurant... yum yum chicken pakora and mogo, here I come!
♥ August Zoo/Aquarium... couldn't think of anything
♥ September Biking the Sea Wall.... again... couldn't think of anything!
♥ October Stay in and relax
♥ November Board Game Night: Mini jaegermeister's and bailey's, apples to apples the board game
♥ December His choice

October's Bonus!
With some of the cards, there is a extra special bonus date!
January: The circus! This one was courtesy of my mom and dad. They got Alexander and I tickets for Amaluna by Cirque Du Soleil for Alex's early birthday present. If you have never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show, GO. It's life changing
June: Road Trip! This is way more for me than for him. I love road trips! With this I have included a mixed tape of all the crazy country songs he loves (I know I'm going to hear red solo cup about 1000 times by the end of it)
October: Nerf Wars! This is my favorite. I am SO excited for this one. As is said above, this will be around exam time, so this might be a fun way to blow off some steam! And guess what? Nerf guns were on sale the day I went shopping! I got two beautiful fully equipped nerf guns for the two of us (that's what's in the big box in the picture above)
November: Cleaning! Again, this one is more for me, but I know Alexander get stressed out when things are messy, so I thought it would be nice to set aside a time to do a complete turn over clean up day. And I have included a little intensive for this date.... homemade spider repellent. Alexander HATES spiders, and I found a recipe online, so I know he will be excited to try it out 

May's Date: Drive in Movie
Another thing that is also included in with some of the cards is a little sketch by me. I am by no means an artist, but I really did my best to illustrate some of the stuff we would be doing... I just thought it might be a nice little personal touch!

And there you have it! All of our adventures for the year!
Although I know this is going to be torture for Alexander. He loves getting presents, but he doesn't like waiting to open them!

If you guys are thinking of doing your own version of "a year of dates", than here are some links of some other people who have tried it, so maybe these can help you too!

Aside from Alexander's gift, I had some of my friends over during the holiday season to celebrate surviving our first term of University. Yay us!
So I thought it would be nice to make each of them little tile coasters
I set it up before they came over, and put them all in matching bags
On the front is another scratch card that has their initials on it. They had a lot of fun guessing who's is who's

Kennedy and I eating cake at the Rowing Nationals... annual tradition
The contents in each was identical. It was just two 4x4 pictures of me and the friend. It was just a nice reminder of all the fun times we have had over the years
If you want to learn how to make your own tile coasters, here is the link

Kennedy, Ju, and Rachel
And there you go!
Geez, that was a long post, hahaha
Do you guys have any good idea's for dates?
♥ Olivia


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