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So how are you holding up under the holiday pressure? Is it getting to you yet? Can you tick off indoor and outdoor holiday decorating yet? How about that shopping? Maybe you’ve got a leg up on party prep?

Hmm, I suspect you need a glass of inspiration to get you going (from whattodrink.com)…

FROSTY NOGGIN 

Tis the season for Eggnog!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz Rum
  • 3/4 oz Creme de Cacao
  • 3 oz Eggnog
  • 3 cups Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Green Creme de Menthe

Directions:

Blend ingredients until smooth. Pour into parfait glass.  Top with whipped cream, decorated with a few drops of green crème de menthe. Garnish with a rolled cookie.

NOW,

Time to go down to work. Check back in the archives of this blog for some decorating ideas. I’ve got some here and here. That should get you started at least and maybe you will be able to convince someone to help you if you promise them their own glass of Frosty Noggin.

So how about that shopping? You are in luck as there is another Christmas craft sale that runs all weekend at the Western Fair Progress Building (900 King St E). The 34th Annual Christmas Craft Festival runs from December 5th – 8th. Admission is $6, but if you visit their website, they have a $1 off coupon for you to print off. Hours are as follows.

Thurs. Dec 5, – 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Fri. Dec 6, – 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 7, – 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Sun. Dec. 8, – 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You will find plenty of Christmas decorations and gift giving ideas. It is London’s largest Craft Show and Sale with over 150 artisans participating over the four-days. No excuse not to grab a few gifts (or all of them) at this sale!

I can even help you out with some of your party prep. Will you be carving a gigantic turkey, ham or roast beast of some sort this Christmas? If so, you will need to have a carving knife on hand. In case you didn’t know, a sharp knife makes that job easier. No monster muscles required when your blade is sharp, as it will slide through whatever you have to slice like butter. If you are inept when it comes to that, head down to Covent Garden Market on Saturday, December 7th between 8 am and 1 pm. Sharp my Knife is there every 1st Saturday of the month to sharpen knives and scissors.

In case you’ve got too many to carry, they also offer a mobile service where they come to your home and sharpen everything from knives, lawn mowers, garden tools, axes (think about that for your Christmas tree hunt!), chainsaws, food processor blades, paper shredders and more.

All I can do is give you ideas. The rest is up to you. So get out there and make the season bright! And if you get enough done, maybe you can join in on the Salvation Army Santa Shuffle Fun Run and Elf Walk at The Raceway at the Western Fair District on December 7th. It raises money for families in need during Christmas and throughout the year. Registration opens at 8:30 am, race begins at 10 am, and overall fun and good tidings will last until noon.

Have a great weekend!

Remember when I mentioned the other day that it was time to clear out your home of its excess stuff (Garage Sale time, let’s purge)? Well, now is the time to restock your home with new finds. Garage Sale season has officially started and I know of at least two large sales going on this weekend!

 

First off, let’s look at a local group of women who are reaching out via their Home and School Association at Tecumseh Public School. Enter the Mum To Mum Sale! From 9am-2pm on Saturday May 5th at Tecumseh Public School (401 Tecumseh Ave E), you can help this group raise money to purchase new playground equipment. I hear tell they are going to have over 30 tables set up, with everything from Avon products to sparkle tattoos and tonnes of kid stuff in between (ie, gently used clothes, toys, furniture and other gear). They would really appreciate it if you could stop by and support their efforts, plus you might just get the steal of the season, especially if you are in the market for bracelets, headbands, hair clips or handmade cards from Hailey’s Helping Hands (Hailey is a 6 yr-old girl raising money for sick kids, through the sale of her handmade products).

 

Head to Ilderton this weekend for their annual town-wide garage sale!

Maybe you aren’t in the market for kid paraphernalia anymore though or want more variety to choose from? Well, I know of another place where you have the pick of the town (literally) as far as garage sales go. Just minutes from London is the community of Ilderton and they are having their annual town-wide garage sale this Saturday (May 5th) from 8am-1pm. The event is rain or shine, so get out early for the best choices. In previous years, there have been over 100 participants, so make sure that you leave lots of space in your vehicle for all the potential finds you might come across. Not to be outdone by Tecumseh PS, donations will also be accepted in Ilderton at participating vendors, with money raised going towards Mission Peru. I bet you can’t stop at just one sale!

 

If you would rather get your hands dirty in the ground versus from other people’s old junk, then how about heading over to one of the City of London’s locations for Compost Value Day? You can go to Amway (375 Exeter Rd. at White Oak Rd.), Masonville Place (Fanshawe & Richmond) or Try Recycling (enter off Medway Rd., East of Clarke Rd., between 8am-2pm and purchase 30 litres of compost for a mere $3! If you forget to bring your own container, add $1 to the cost, but that’s still a steal for any of you avid gardeners who want to get out there gardening this weekend! The proceeds go to London & Area Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club, St. Leonard’s Society, Thames Region Ecological Association, London Composts and Community Garden Project (depending upon volunteers present that day) – all worthy organizations. Plus, as an added bonus at the Amway and Eco Park locations, there will be native tree sales in support of the Million Tree Challenge. For $5 get a 2′-3′ tree and $18 will get you a 4′-6′ specimen. So you can pick up some compost, tuck in a tree and spend the rest of the weekend greening up your property! What’s not to like?!

 

And, as it is also going to be Cinco de Mayo (celebration of all things Mexican) on Saturday, why not stop to pick up some tequila (for Mexican margaritas), and a whole mess of burritos or enchiladas to reward yourself for all your hard work shopping and/or gardening this weekend. Here is a margarita recipe from Thirsty Girl that should whet your whistle.

 

Tequila Don Julio Reposado Margarita

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Reposado
3/4 ounce agave nectar
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
Nutmeg for garnish, fresh grated on top for effect


Directions:

Combine Tequila Don Julio Reposado, agave nectar and fresh lime juice into a Boston Shaker with ice.  Shake well. Strain contents over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a pinch of nutmeg.

 

Finally time to sit back and relax. Cheers to you this weekend!

The motorcycles have revved out-of-town for now, but the RVs are rumbling in. If you are looking to escape the up and down nature of the weather this weekend, then how about escaping to the 39th Annual RV show at the Western Fair from February 17th-20th. Doors open on the 17th from 10am-9pm, on the 18th from 10am-7pm and 10am-5pm on the 19th-20th. If summer still seems so far off, as to not be able to remember it, then do a little dreaming by wandering through a double-wide or two at the Agriplex building this weekend. Here’s a little taste of what you have in store at Southwestern Ontario’s largest RV show if you go;

 

If hooking up the fifth wheel just doesn’t sound like good times to you, then how about organizing a closet or two? I bet I have your interest now! Or not, but every once in a while it is worth your time to peek into the storage spaces in your home. If you live in fear of being buried under an avalanche of stuff every time you open the closet door, then now is definitely the time to attack this project. Your first step is to throw open that door and jump back to make sure that you aren’t swept away by the debris that falls out. Once the dust has settled, then it is time to put on your hard hat and move in. Time to PURGE! Be ruthless. If you haven’t worn it since the 90s or you can’t remember what the original colour was, because it has faded so much, then toss it. At the end of the day you will feel lighter and happier for your efforts. Plus, you just might find that you have some items that you haven’t been able to get at in a while, so it could be just like Christmas all over again.

 

Your next step is to put your remaining items back into the closet, but before you do, now is the perfect time to organize your closet to maximize the space that you have. Take stock of what items you will be putting back into your closet and re-think how you can store them. Perhaps rods hung at different heights would make more sense to accommodate everything from long dresses to folded pants. This also allows for more space for shelves for items like sweaters or blankets. Shoes can be stored in canvas shoe shelves to make for a cleaner floor space. Wire baskets or clear boxes allow you to be able to see more than just the top item available. And it might also be the perfect time to upgrade from the wire hangers that seem to breed in closets. Sturdy wood, padded or plastic hangers work much better at keeping the shape for your clothes. If you have spent all that money on the clothes, it only makes sense to take care of them so that they last.

 

After all that work re-organizing, why not stack up a drink to celebrate your newly organized closet with this layered shot. Aptly named the Mind Eraser, it will help ease the stress of purging, planning and getting it done. what other excuse do you need?

MIND ERASER

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur (such as Kahlua®)
  • 1/4 cup lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite®)
  • 1/4 cup vodka

Directions:

Grab a shot glass. Pour in your coffee-flavoured liquor. Gently pour the lemon-lime soda over it. With a steady hand, layer the vodka on top. Voila! Now shoot it back!

If you would prefer to have this in a cocktail glass, add lots of ice and suck it through a straw. You can adjust your levels to 1 1/4 oz coffee liquor, 3/4 oz  vodka and a splash of soda.

Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend folks!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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