Getting into the holiday spirit + unwrap a GIVEAWAY!

Friday, November 25, 2016

There is something about Christmas that has always made me feel like a child!  Now as a parent, I am re-living some of this excitement and holiday cheer through my son.  For this reason, I had my decor up a week before the Santa Clause Parade!  The way I see it is, why not enjoy it for two whole months?

Since it's Baby S and his cousin G's first Christmas, we have a lot planned for our little people!  

Here a glimpse into our pyjama party:

We are starting to plan their Christmas gifts, and have begun to create lists from some of our favourite catalogues. 

Baby S has really taken to the Mastermind Toys holiday guide!  In fact he prefers to explore its pages more than his other board books at the moment...  Perhaps it's the sound of the flyer or the colourful images inside.  Nonetheless, it has me thinking about items that he might be interested in.

I love how Mastermind Toys donates a portion of the proceeds from their holiday guide purchases toward local and global initiatives for children's education through the Me to We Charity.  Customers may also participate in their "tie on some goodness initiative" in partnership with Me to We by adding a gift tag or a bracelet to their package.  The money raised from these gift additions provide educational resources to communities in need.

This is something I never knew about and that I discovered while shopping and talking to their amazing staff!  

When I was in University I actually worked at Mastermind Toys (a Canadian owned and operated speciality toy store), as their book specialist.  I loved opening up all of the new boxes during the holidays, and suggesting the best titles as gifts.  Mastermind prides itself on customer service, and trained us at length on all the products available in our location.  For this reason, it was easy for me to pair up a book with a toy and suggest the perfect gift!  During the months of November and December I also helped with their complimentary gift wrapping service.  This made it a little easier for families during the busy time of year!  Now as a parent I appreciate this service and one-stop shopping experience even more...

Sometimes I look back and remember working at Mastermind Toys with great nostalgia.  I was a member of their opening team at the Richmond Hill store.  It's hard to believe that they have been around for over 30 years and are now expanding throughout many parts of Canada with 48 locations.  

Here are a few photographs of three items on our wishlist:

The little guys loved opening up the wrapped gifts and playing with them!

Mastermind Toys is giving away a $100.00 gift card to one lucky winner! 

Here is how you can win:

1) Follow @joannebabalis on instagram and @mastermindtoys.

2) Leave a comment on my instagram page with your favourite holiday traditions!

*For extra entries into the draw visit Mastermind Toys on Facebook and like their page or tag them on Instagram and Twitter with the contest picture and #SoMuchWow hashtag. 

3) The winner (open to Canadian residents only this time - sorry!) will be announced on Monday, December 5th, 2016.  They will be asked to email me with their home mailing address to provide Mastermind Toys the information before the holiday rush!

Good luck to all of you who enter the contest!

Special thank you to my sister-in-law @fice_xo for agreeing to have our fun morning shared on the blog.  And of course to our talented photographer Angela from @hello_sunshine_photography, who gave us these memories to treasure for years to come!  I love how bright and cheerful they are!

I hope that this blog post put a smile on your face and that you too might be getting into the spirit of the holiday season!

It's all in the details:

Christmas pyjamas - @hatley

Christmas baby hats and holiday dog sweater - +Walmart Canada 

Christmas slippers - +Carter's @toysrus @clairesstores 

Toys and wrapped gifts - +Mastermind Toys #SoMuchWow

Coffee - +TimHortons 

Photography - @hello_sunshine_photo

Styling - @joannebabalis

It's the most



of the year!


  1. Thanks for the chance. Entered on instagram as @kissifer19 and tweeted.

  2. this is so cool waaw really good pic s thanks for sharing and posting .

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