The greatest gift…

Mid November, myself and a number of bloggers gathered at a friend’s home for an epic morning of cooking, crafting and togetherness.

Blogging has provided many, many opportunities for me over the last few years that I’d never have dreamt of. Along with a career…I’ve also attended events, visited fabulous shops and restaurants, met incredibly interesting people, travelled to fabulous locations…and become friends with the most amazing group of women I would not otherwise have met.

So…before I share with you the cooking and crafting part of our day…I’d like to introduce you to my friends. Follow their blogs and join them on social media. They truly are awesome!

My Blogger Friends:

Lori Byrne of Farm Fresh Style – Lori is an absolutely beautiful person inside and out. She lives with her husband and two daughters on the North Shore of Nova Scotia. Lori is a wonderful interior decorator and an amazing photographer who sees things with a creative light…everything she touches glows! Visit her Blog, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Laura Snow of My Life in the Sun – There are days and projects I’m not sure how I’d get through without Laura! Laura and I run East Coast Mom Media and together have become awesome travelling companions this year! Laura is a busy mom of two teenaged daughters who keep her hopping. Laura also sells Monat…and is an absolute rockstar with great hair! Visit her Blog and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Laura Churchill of Valley Family Fun – The room lights up when Laura enters. She absolutely knows how to have fun and is all too happy to share her ideas with you as she’s been exploring some of the greatest places in Atlantic Canada with her husband and two boys. Next month, Laura and her family embark on a five month trip to Wales. Follow along on the adventure on her Blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Laureen MacDonald Farnam of Tempered with Kindness – If you spend any time on Twitter, you will know Laureen by the name of @Peady. Laureen lives and breathes a positive lifestyle and is a huge support to absolutely every blogger she takes under her wing. Laureen shares her life with her husband (her IT department) and two lovely children she refers to as The Things. Recently, Laureen and her family were selected as We Family Ambassadors! Follow her Blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where you’ll find a whole lot of goodness and an equal amount of coffee!

Heather Nolan of Mmm is for Mommy – If something goes wrong on my blog, I message Heather. If something goes wrong in my life…same thing. Heather is a wealth of information and wit who can turn a few ingredients into an amazing meal and a few problems into a solution! She’s a pro in the kitchen, an amazing friend and a kick ass mom! Visit her Blog and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Katja Presnal of Skimbaco Lifestyle – And last, but far from least, is Katja. I’m in awe…every day…by this amazing woman. Katja is a brilliant writer who has travelled all over the world and spoken at several blogging conferences. She runs an online magazine, Skimbaco Lifestyle, that has a huge following all over the world. Katja is currently living in Halifax as her family was relocated with her husband’s work…but the family will return to their native Finland in the next few years. Katja’s children are as creative as she is and while they are travelling the world and living a minimalistic lifestyle that goes along with it…they are gathering friends in every corner along the way. Visit her Blog and follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

So, on this chilly day in November, we arrived at Katja’s home where we were immediately greeted with warmth and comfort…along with coffee, cake, treats and a fantastic cheese board. Once we embraced and caught up on one another’s lives and the news of the day…we headed to the kitchen to make one of the best treats EVER…Toblerone Puff Pastry!

Toblerone Puff Pastry (or fruit…but, CHOCOLATE!)

It was EASY PEASY to make especially when you had seven cooks in the kitchen, a few photographers, someone taking notes and someone else serving tea!


  • Toblerone Bar or Jam (or both…just not together!)
  • Frozen Puffed Pasty (we used President’s Choice Butter Puff Pastry.)
  • Egg
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Icing Sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread out a piece of puffed pastry and let it thaw at room temperature for a few minutes.
  3. Cut into squares.
  4. Place a “hunk” of Toblerone in the center and fold into a triangle.
  5. Brush with egg then sprinkle with almonds.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove and sprinkle with icing sugar!

For the Fruit Pinwheels, we added a spoonful of jam rather than chocolate and cut the squares into pinwheels which may or may not involve complicated math and possibly me needing to YouTube “how to cut pinwheels” if I were to ever make them again!!!


These were DELICIOUS, EASY, and made us all look like we went to school to become pastry chefs!!

Home Made Gifts

Following our stint in the kitchen, we did a little crafting with essential oils, paper labels, bath salts and sugar rubs! Again, EASY PEASY gifts to make for ANYONE!

I’ve chatted about making Bath Salts on the blog before as I truly enjoy relaxing in a tub that revitalizes you and makes your skin feel absolutely fantastic. Katja had us making bath salts, sugar rubs, room spray, key chains, wrist bracelets, holiday decor…it was so awesome to be among friends…creating.

For full instructions on the home-made gifts we created, visit Katja’s AMAZING online magazine Skimbaco Lifestyle. The magazine is filled with fabulous ideas, holiday traditions, wonderful stories, beautiful photography, simple living…it really is a treat to read and worth pouring a cup of tea and perusing through the pages.

skimbaco15skimbaco12skimbaco13skimbaco14  skimbaco3 skimbaco4 skimbaco5

The Greatest Gift:

We had a great day but oddly, it was a day after we’d all heard a bit of news that shook us a little…made us question the world around us. The timing was impeccable. We left feeling re-freshed and re-energized…a little more comfortable about life than how we’d all felt when we’d woken up that morning.

We baked, created, cut, pasted, ate, laughed, hugged, relaxed…we spent a bit of time together sharing ideas and listening to one another’s stories…getting to know one another a little better than before.

This holiday season, take a little time with friends to enjoy one of the most amazing gifts of all.

The gift of friendship.


Visit my friends on social media…Lori, Laura2, Heather and Laureen…and make sure to check out Katja’s absolutely wonderful magazine when you have a moment to put your feet up over the next few days.

I am grateful, to have these particular bloggers, along with many others, in my life.

I am incredibly lucky, to call them my friends.

Happy Holidays to all.

4 Replies to “The greatest gift…”

  1. I loved our party so much!!! And you all are really the best gift I ever expected from moving here. We need to get together after the Holidays again!!!