Christmas Link Up

Today marks the first of four Fridays that I will be linking up with a group of very talented bloggers to share a different holiday inspired theme each week!

The really fun part is that we invite you to link up your posts that feature the weekly theme that will be shared across 30 different blogs!

This week is all about the Christmas Tree!

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DIY Pottery Barn Rebecca trunk

If you have been visiting Red Cottage Chronicles for awhile you know that I embarked on a One Room Challenge where I had planned to complete a one room reno in six weeks.  While I am way over the time limit, we are still working away on our little room and can’t wait to show you the finished space!

In the meantime I am super excited to share how we built this storage trunk to use as a coffee table when the room is finished.   Read More →


Manulife CoverMe

This time of year I always find my mind drifting back to the beginning.  The beginning of my little family way back in 1986.  I remember our first apartment like it was yesterday.  Our first Christmas as husband and wife was spent in this apartment.

I remember my idyllic Christmas tree.  It was a flocked white tree decorated all in blue and silver and coordinated perfectly with our decor.  I knew that it wasn’t Tim’s taste at all, but we were newlyweds and he certainly didn’t want to disappoint his new wife.

I also remember a moment on my wedding day, when I suddenly felt pit in my stomach.  It was slight feeling of panic that while I was so incredibly excited to marry the love of my life, I was also very aware that I was no longer just responsible for me.  Everything was about to become much bigger than me alone.  I was about to make some very big promises.  Until death do us part!  Decisions I would make would now have an impact on someone other just me. What the heck was I thinking, could I really take this on.  I was momentarily scared to death!

That moment of fear passed but the knowledge that I was now responsible for another person lingered, and thanks to my dad who was all about protecting his family, I knew what I had to do.  It was just actually doing it that took a while.

ManuLife BeCovered Insurance Application

Then, just before our first anniversary we bought a house and I knew we couldn’t put it off any longer.  The one thing that, for lack of a better term, freaked me out more than just a little bit, but should something happen to one of us, I needed to know the other one could manage the house payment and all the expenses that came with home ownership on our own.  Not to mention, we were hoping to have children soon too!

Can you guess what I was so (needlessly) freaked out about?

Life Insurance!  Yup.  The one thing that would give me piece of mind knowing that the man I pledged my life to would be okay if, God forbid, something were to ever happen to me.  It gave me a stomach ache just thinking about it.  I was sure that as soon as we bought life insurance something bad was going to happen.

Please tell me I am not the only one who thought buying life insurance meant that you would likely immediately need to use it?!

But the time had come that it was more important than ever, and we had an agent come to the house.  Our cat promptly crawled into his briefcase and refused to get off his papers.  I remember thinking it must be a sign.  Even the cat was nervous!

Well that day we officially became responsible adults.  We owned a home and life insurance!

And guess what?  Nothing bad happened!

What a complete waste of time all my worries had been.  Here we are, about to celebrate our 29th Christmas as husband and wife, completely comfortable in knowing our family is protected no matter what.

My prized white flocked Christmas tree is long gone in favor of a real tree.   Of course it’s still a very stylish tree because it is decorated with mementos and ornaments our family has collected throughout the years.  It doesn’t get much more beautiful than that!

Manulife CoverMe

Looking back, I am so glad we got our insurance policies early in our marriage.  We were able to get right down to doing all the things newly married couples dream of doing. Things like settling into our first home, maybe getting a puppy, and eventually planning our family knowing we were protected.

ManuLife BeCovered On line insurance application

Through the years we updated our policies to reflect income changes and of the course after the birth of each of our beautiful girls!

Now that our girls are in their twenties and will be branching out on their own, and some day in the not too distant future they will settle down to begin their own little families, the first piece of advice we will give them is to get their life insurance purchased ASAP.  Don’t spend even a day worrying about it. Get it done and get on with the business of life. 

Take my word for it, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of!  In fact it will it turned out to be the total opposite.  It took a big worry off my mind!

No matter what stage of life you are in, if you have someone in your life who relies on you financially the Manulife CoverMe on line application makes it fast and easy to get the coverage you need.  It literally takes just minutes and one simple step that can have you covered for up to $250,000 without a medical exam.

I challenge you to get the conversation started with your loved ones.  Be it your children just heading out with their own family or your parents who might not realize the importance of being adequately covered. It is one of the single most important conversations you will have.  Take a moment to visit ManuLife to see just how easy it is.

On Wednesday November 25th @ 9pm please join me at the #BeCovered Twitter chat and tell us your moment everything changed and what it means to you that your family is protected!

Be covered with Manulife financial insurance

This post is sponsored by 360Access on behalf of Manulife. The opinions are my own.

Caramel, crispy bits and peanuts

For some reason I find it really funny that we share a border with the United States and we travel pretty freely between each others countries,  but there are over 10 kinds of chocolate bars we can only get in Canada!  In fact we call them chocolate bars and in the US they call them candy bars!  And did you know that we have one Italian chocolate confection here in Canada called Kinder Surprise Egg that is actually illegal to bring into the US?!  I wouldn’t dare try to smuggle one across the border!

(I know, it is puzzling what goes through my mind sometimes!)

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Christmas Gift Guide Kitchen Editino

Almost everyone I know has someone on their gift list that spends a lot of time in the kitchen.  And some are just like me and do so on purpose!!

Now, in the days before I really started to pay attention to my passion for baking, if Tim had bought me a French rolling pin for Christmas I likely would have beat him over the head with it.

My how things have changed!  Each and every year there will be at least one thing on my list that I want for the kitchen.

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Slow cooker macaroni and cheese

Welcome to another edition of  Taste of Home Tuesday!  I can’t believe it has been 6 weeks since I posted the first edition featuring these Caramel Pecan Shortbread.

For those of you who might be new to Red Cottage Chronicles, as a volunteer Food Editor for Taste of Home Magazine one of my “duties” is not only submit new recipes to Taste of Home, but to try out and review recipes found at Taste of Home!

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Renovating a 1980's ranch home

Sometimes finding your dream house means some serious home renovation!

My sister and her husband have been talking about moving for quiet a while now.  Not far, but into the “country” a little bit.   They have seen a few houses in their target area, but they were just not meant to be.

I believe everything happens for a reason!  If they had bought one of the other houses they never would have got this one!  Before the deal closed I got to go through it when the realtor was holding an open house (just in in case the deal fell through).  It just felt like a home from the minute I walked in.  Even completely unfurnished, and the 1980’s décor!

Grab a coffee and settle in for a “before” tour.

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Pecan Sandies recipe

You know what I love about baking.  Ingredients can be extremely interchangeable!  When you really want to bake but are missing an ingredient chances are you can substitute something else instead.

Take these Pecan Sandies for example.  The recipe I set out to make was from a really old cookbook I have called  “Chocolate”, and were supposed to be Chocolate Chip Sandies.  I had never made them before but they looked really good.

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Christmas Countdown Activities Printable

One of the things that I love the most about the Christmas season is the traditions.  Many of which have been passed down from when I was growing up.  Some Tim and I started when our girls were little.

One of those traditions that are non-negotiable is the Countdown to Christmas Activity Calendar!  Even though our girls are now well into their twenties, they don’t let us forget about this tradition.

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Taste of Home Tuesday - Citrus Apple Cider

I have to admit I have been feeling a bit annoyed at the weather these days.  Most people would crack me over the head for saying that, given it was 20+ (Celsius) a few days last week.

Please tell me I am not the only one who wants to see a bit of snow in the forecast.  I don’t ski, ice fish, or snowshoe.  I just want it to snow.

I live in Canada for goodness sake!

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