Holiday Fun, Baking and… Scam Artists?


Hey Guys! Happy Christmas Week!!

I hope the start of your holidays is very merry and bright. And with lots of festive spirit, too!  (Peppermint mochas, wine or eggnog anyone?).

Although this is generally a busy travel season for many, I don’t tend to travel at Christmas very often at all. I sometimes get outta dodge shortly after Christmas, as work is generally slow, but I rarely travel for the holidays. My family always stayed home for the holidays, with the exception of a few years ago when we went to Florida for Christmas. It was a nice change but we felt like we’d missed Christmas completely that year. Plus it was only 8 degrees in Orlando when we got there, so not much warmer than Ottawa at all. (kinda defeats the point of going south in the winter).

The few weeks leading up to Christmas is generally my busiest time of year, so I’m happy to stick close to home anyway. I bake LOTS of fun treats for clients, friends and orders, too. So I spent an insane amount of time in my kitchen baking up a storm (which I love).

12346601_10156397188320601_3539639752166695695_n

I like to bake a few extra batches of cookies for the soup kitchen at the church in my ‘hood during the holidays, too. Many of the regulars who pop in for a hot coffee and a nice bowl of soup really appreciate homemade treats when they can get them. Particularly at this time of year when Christmas goodies (for them) are, sadly, few and far between.

I’m doing a couple of craft shows this year, too, which I’m really enjoying. I haven’t done any in a lonnnnnng time, so I’d forgotten how much I like doing them.

When it’s at a pet-friendly venue, I bring my guard dog with me. Just in case someone wants to buy something from me (ha ha).

DSCN0948

So, let me tell you about the Christmas Craft Sale I was supposed to do this past weekend (yep, the last Saturday before Christmas). I saw an Ad on Kijiji (you can probably guess where this is going) and although I’m usually very paranoid/suspicious about paying for anything online (I don’t even do online-banking), I ended up sending an e-transfer to a craft sale ‘organizer’ for an event which turned out to be a fake.

Don’t worry, I’m only out $25 so it was cheap–at the very least. There were a couple of red flags right from the start (no advertising for the event, no website or Facebook page etc) but I wasn’t overly worried since the cost was so low (another red flag in itself, really).

I wanted to do more research but I felt a bit pressured into signing up quickly because the organizer was holding ‘the last spot’ for me (wonder how many other people fell for that one?). I went into the community centre first to see if I could pay in person but I was told that I had to pay the organizer directly. Because they didn’t look surprised when I mentioned the upcoming craft sale, nor did they look at their event listing to see what I was talking about, I figured they must have recognized it as one of their events. Big mistake. I definitely should have verified the event while I was there. Stupid move on my part.

As the weekend grew closer, I was thinking of skipping the event actually (regardless of the cost), but mostly because my emails with questions to the organizer went unanswered. Two nights before the craft sale, I was browsing online and noticed a post from someone who said they got scammed by an organizer of a Craft sale that was supposed to take place that weekend. The next morning I called the community centre and sure enough, they didn’t have anything booked at all.

I actually felt more bad for the other vendors, as many whom I’d talked to said they’d booked a table for the entire weekend ($50)…whereas I just chose the Saturday. And at least I could use some of my treats for Christmas orders. Some of these folks said they’d spent quite a bit on booth supplies, ingredients and/or materials.

Who scams craft vendors? Really? Although I’m a bit of a skeptic, it just seemed like such a non-worthwhile scam to even bother to set up. Particularly because of the low costs (but probably easier to get lot of people which adds up…now I’m realizing). Oh well, lesson learned. Next time I’m paying in person for any of these events. And I’m going back to my usual skeptic/paranoia-self. (comes in handy).

On a positive note, I had less baking to do over the weekend (ha ha) so I got to spend more time socializing with friends. And, I got to see a movie that I’ve been waiting decades to see! (betcha can’t guess?).

1934119_10156445096205601_3701384773582402838_n

I was absolutely blown away by this movie. Even more than I thought I would have. With Princess Leia, Han Solo, C3PO and R2 reunited in it, too, it brought back so many memories of seeing it in my youth. The nostalgic space reunion was really a nice touch. I guess you’ve figured out that I’m a big Star Wars fan, hey?

If not, you might start to think so by this photo. Taken in 1999 for the opening of Star Wars: A new Hope.

danastorms

 

Don’t even get me started about Star Trek. I may or may not be a Trekkie….(*nerd alert*).

I also got together with a few of my high school friends recently for dinner.  We had loads of fun, and there were some pretty sore ribs happening afterward. 

This is Kathryn, one of my best friends. Every time we get together it’s like we’re 15 all over again (so, five years ago or so. Yeahhhhh, that’s it).

12235088_10156353909740601_2570330469658952745_n

12249730_10156353911110601_7777994540980881412_n

My friend Darrel was also recently in town from Vancouver so we went out for a nice dinner and caught up over a couple of drinks. We had a blast!

12313510_10156369017415601_8669287660555218581_n

12390898_10156432149760601_2427407924674004780_n

I also got to see a couple of friends I hadn’t seen in a while. They invited me to their  Christmas party so it was nice to reconnect with them. As soon as I got there, it was like I’d just seen them last week.  Their Christmas shindig is always tons of fun.

1910497_10156432114370601_963925824939288174_n

 My friend Al’s mom was also in town last week, from Whitehorse. So we took her to see the Christmas lights (& show) at Parliament Hill. It was so strange to see all the beautiful Christmas lights without snow. (but, rest assured, I’m not complaining AT ALL) YAY Green Christmas! 😀

12346311_10156412569015601_2733077980799166775_n

12316139_10156412568485601_5123466397714781126_n

I hope you’re all having a nice Christmas week! I’ll be back with another post tomorrow or Thursday as work is finally starting to slow down. I’m a bit behind in my emails the last few days so if you sent me a message recently,  I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m slowly catching up. But hopefully I’ll get to see many of you during the holidays or early in the New year.

Loads of Christmas hugs and smiles!  

Dana xo

 

Advertisements

I'd love to hear from you! Comments are always appreciated

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s