Mini Cheer

Time for another edition of Mini Cheer with things to enjoy during winter!


Nothing brightens up the stark white days of winter as much as indoor blooms! Bulbs and houseplants are the perfect way to add some colour to our homes.

Hot Chocolate…

Calgary hosts YYC Hot Chocolate Fest throughout the month of February to raise money for Meals on Wheels. What a great “pick me up” and fun activity to find new cafes and taste unusual hot chocolate combinations. They even have an app that shows which cafes are participating, what they are offering, and a map with all the locations marked. In the summer they will run a similar one called “YYC Summer Scoop Fest” for ice cream.

Here is the cutest one we sampled – a gingerbread one from the Lazy Loaf and Kettle.

Let There Be Light…!

My daughter and I made candles with spare cups and I quite like how they turned out! They take only a few minutes to make and turn unused vessels into décor that makes me smile with the memory of the day we made them. Hopefully the set she made does the same for her.


I like perusing antique shops, and a trip to Iron Crow is like walking back in time, several times over. They have beautifully crafted furniture of all types and sizes. I am a sucker for the writing desks with a myriad of small drawers and cupboards! Alas, none of them followed me home. Along with art and china, they have more utilitarian items such as butter churns, pots, irons, glassware, tins, tools, uniforms, school desks, ship’s wheels and apple baskets. I like to imagine the stories the items could tell, who used them and when. I found this shop to be as much fun a visiting a garden centre in May. (If you know me, that says quite a lot!)


Books add enjoyment to any season. These are my favourites of the the novels I have read in the last couple months. Jeeves and The Darling Buds are re-reads from long ago, and read back to back, illustrate wildly different lifestyles for a dose of total escapism and humour.

“Eleanor Oliphant” is the most original book I have read in a long time and is funny, heartbreaking and uplifting all in one go. I will definitely re-read this one in a couple years.

“The House in the Cerulean Sea” is a fantasy about magical children in orphanages regulated by the government, and the case worker who comes to evaluate them. It is essentially about kindness and seeing people for who there are, not what you fear.

Any book from Louise Penny is going to be on my to-read list. I am not usually a fan of books that jump around in time, but “A World of Curiosities” won me around about half way through, as expected. The whole town of Three Pines was involved in solving the mystery of a painting in a long-hidden room.

“The Last Garden in England” follows four women in different eras, all connected to a particular garden. I enjoyed the stories of the women and the descriptions of the design of the garden.


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