There is no place like home for the holidays!

Slightly stunned that Santa Claus magically appeared in our kitchen!

Family means everything to me, and I wanted to share a more personal post with all of you about some of our holiday traditions.

This will be my son's third Christmas and my daughter's second one.  No big plans this year, just us at home spending some quality time together!  

Last year we took both of our children to see Santa Claus at the mall, and I can honestly say that it was a MISSION!  For starters, by the time we got them dressed, bundled up, and out the door I was already exhausted!  Then we waited in the line and only had about two minutes to spend with the big man in red.  With three clicks of the flash, our best photo may or may not have turned out...

So, I decided I would save myself the stress this year and invited our amazing photographer @clarkylaura along with Santa Alfy to our home.  We decorated very early on this season, and I kind of went a little overboard which is typically my style!  I just love everything about this time of year!!!

I got these foil balloons on Amazon and used painters tape on the walls. 
They ended up falling, so I decided I would do without them!

Each year I try to find my children a hardcover Christmas book as a keepsake.
One that I hope that they will read and pass along to their children some day.

My children have their own kitchen that matches mine with a fridge, sink, and stove/oven.
You will notice that they are playing with some plastic ornaments as pretend food.
They sit at that small table to eat or play with the materials that I setup for them 
while I am multi-tasking with making dinner, emptying the dishwasher, etc.

I found those tiny Christmas trees at the flower-shop in the Fortinos supermarket.
The charger plate is from Wal-Mart and the mirror under, as well as the table runner is from BouClair Home.
All of the candle accessories and dessert dome is from Ikea.  Is that what you call it?

For our second visit with Santa we invited Pappou (grandpa), Yiayia (grandma),
and Lily and Sebby's first cousins (my brother's boys).


When I got engaged in 2013, we visited New York city to take our engagement photographs.  At that time we began two traditions.  We purchased children's books for our future kids during our travels, and collected ornaments that we could put on our Christmas tree each year.  On our wedding day, we had family and friends leave their advice or messages on ceramic ornaments. 

I have used a mixture of these hand made ornaments with some of our original wedding decorations.  We got married at Christmas time, and had a winter wonderland themed Great Gatsby inspired celebration.  I felt bad to get rid of all of the silver and white, so I just decided to add some gold to balance it out with the rest of our home's colour scheme.

This is Santa Alfy and his real life wife who is dressed as Mrs. Claus.  They make the sweetest couple!

This fresh flower arrangement by @derosedesigns worked beautifully within our rustic modern space.  You can see it has fresh greenery, along with some wood, and gold sprayed florals.  I also added some plants by our window sill and a wreath on top of the stove.  In the future I would love to add some green garlands.  

Sebby and Lily had more fun eating the candies and cookies than actually decorating them!

Santa Alfy was a very good reader.  I look back on this moment and think how wonderful a memory
it will be to share with my children someday!


Sebastian Dean (my son) asked Santa where he goes on Christmas.  He also wondered about the advent calendars that I had bought and when Rudolph flies in the sky.  And who better to explain than Jolly Old St. Nick?  I also love how Sebby switched to eating a healthy apple after his initial sugar rush!

The centrepiece for the children has some small world play mixed in with their love of toy cars.

I had to admit that I bought the pre-assembled gingerbread house from the Fortinos supermarket.  It was just easier for me, as I find when I attempt this myself it always collapses in the middle of the night!

Sebby and Lily spent lots of time with Santa Claus this year!  They got to listen to him read Christmas stories, sing carols, decorate gingerbread, and even learn about how an advent calendar works.

The best part about this photo experience is that we got to take our time and I was able to invite my extended family.

Sometimes people wonder, how we manage to do everything in our day to day studio offerings.  The real reason, is because of all of the help and support that I am lucky to have behind the scenes...  Each week my mom, dad, and mother in law come to be with my children so that I can setup, plan, clean up, etc.  They are my LIFE LINE!

It quite honestly, takes a village to raise the child!

From the left: Grandma Andrea (my husband's mom) with Lily, Myself with Sebby in front of my, Santa Alfy, my Mom Yiayia Marianne with my brother's son Lukey (and my Godson), and finally my Dad Pappou Costa with our youngest cousin Mikey (my brother's second child).

My Dad often wears plaid, so we decided to plan our photoshoot with something that everyone might have in their closet.  It was nice not to have to go out and coordinate something with this many people!



We have two advent calendars and neither of them have chocolates inside!  The first one we use every morning has magnets on a wooden tree (see above on the children's table), and the second one is made out of felt where you move the candy cane to the day of the month.  I found both of these on Amazon.  Last year we also enjoyed the playdough advent calendar.

Fun Fact: On our "Milk and Cookies with Santa" event, Santa and his wife were planning to teach us how to make a special Christmas pudding.  After a really long day none of the children were cooperating!  Look at Lily with her tongue out, Sebby with his Silly face, and Mrs. Claus not looking so impressed!  We therefore listened to our children's cues and saved our in the kitchen experience with Santa for another day.  It was wonderful though getting to know @bijuleni and her sister.
For more from our first photoshoot please click here.

Sebby loved to offer Santa his candies.  Santa Alfy didn't like the gumballs very much though...  He preferred the cookies!

In case you might be interested in interior design...

I want to give a small shoutout to some amazing companies who made our house feel more like a home.  When we began renovating last year, we encountered some amazing trades/services and others, who, well, let's just say they didn't even finish their job!  In case your personal space in need of some updating, though this is not a sponsored post, I thought that I would share who I trust and stand by...  You can also email me if you have any specific questions.

Every year we decorate for Christmas with my parents, even though I have moved out and this is my house! 
My mom has a special way with how she recreates our wedding look on the staircase.
She always does it better than I ever could!

I'll be home

for Christmas

you can count 

on [that]!

You don't see it in this photo, but I got more eucalyptus and a sage green and white
 pom pom garland to add to the mantle.  And it only took us two years, but we finally have our family stockings up thanks to @twolittlelegends!

Our oversized island is often where we like to prepare meals or eat
when we don't want to be as formal.

I love to add YouTube videos of Christmas music,
especially with a wood burning fireplace.  I often did this in the classroom and it was
such a peaceful and beautiful feeling in the room.

Everything you see on our stairs is from BouClair Home or WalMart.

Probably my most favourite feature in our home are the floors!
They are called Acacia I think...

Our wedding stockings have found a new place within our coffee and drinks built in shelf unit.
I am so in love with the mugs.  We collected some on our trips, but the oversized Christmas ones are from Wal-Mart.

This bench is ideal for small children.  It can also fit a lot of people!
I wish my "Merry Christmas" balloons stayed up for more than a day, but
now in looking back it was a little over the top and borderline tacky!

In case you are interested in our home renovations or some of our decor details I would like to personally recommend the following:

@caliberbuilds - Contractor and team who helped us with taking down supporting walls and our overall project

@woodbridgekitchenandbath - entire kitchen and cabinetry   

@canaromatoronto - bathrooms, tiles, kitchen sink, and all brass accessories including the mirror on our mantle  

@pvdtile - Stone work on our fireplace

@twolittlegends - custom ornaments and stockings

@derosedesigns - flower arrangement on our counter

@joannebabalis - overall interior design, planning and holiday decor 

@clarkylaura - photography - Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus

My family even though Lilianna Grace doesn't look too impressed! I think that she prefers to be with her Daddy! 
She calls him "Dadou" and it's just the sweetest! 

I am looking forward to doing some baking this coming week and hosting Christmas Eve dinner with our family.  My mother in law makes some amazing seafood dishes and I can hardly wait to eat!!!

Maybe at some point I can even relax a little if that's possible!!!

How cute are they? No caption needed!

Huge thank you to @stageentertainment for having the best Santa Claus in town!  He surely made this a Christmas for my children and I to remember for years and YEARS to come!

To read our first post with Santa Alfy at the "Milk and Cookies" event in the TransformEd Creative Studio and Learning Centre click here.

Hope that you take the time to enjoy some of your family traditions and make it home for the holidays!  And wherever in the world you might be, may you feel the absolute magic of this season!!!

At Christmas,

all roads



-Unknown author

Share your thoughts :

  1. Sarkari Results Please tell us about