Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy

Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy

Moorea Seal has a lot going on. The 31-year-old author of the guided journals The 52 Lists Project and 52 Lists for Happiness runs a Seattle-based retail and online lifestyle store, curates a Pinterest account with nearly 1 million followers, and frequently entertains friends in the tidy, welcoming and Instagram-worthy home she shares with her husband and sister. In her new book, Make Yourself At Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Selfshe teaches readers how to design spaces for comfort and creative expression through thoughtful personal essays, stunning photography, accessible DIYs and inspiring profiles of creatives and entrepreneurs like Erin Perez Hagstrom of calivintage, Laura Gummerman of A Beautiful Mess and Diana La Counte from Our City Lights. Going room by room, Moorea (pronounced MOO-RAY-UH) examines how each space serves us and how to feel more at home there. Included are practical lessons on colour theory and psychology, a brief guide to the defining traits of the styles featured in the book (folk, rustic, midcentury modern, etc.), and pages for your own notes. You’ll want this one, mes amies. Here’s a peek inside. (Thanks to Sasquatch Books for the copy.)  Continue reading “Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy”

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy

When you hear one of your favourite magazines is putting out a book you get excited. So I couldn’t wait to see what the co-founders of Flow dreamed up for A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness, released earlier this month. Just like the magazine, the book (printed on similar thick matte paper ahhh!) contains articles, activities and paper goodies to pull out, fill in and post up to remind you to slow down and appreciate the little things. It’s organized in six chapters — time to breathe, time to learn, time to create, time to reflect, time to let go, and time to be kind — with essays, poems and exercises designed to encourage mindful exploration. “Life is so much better when you enjoy living in the now, when you focus more on the beautiful moments, and when you don’t expect so much of yourself all the time,” say authors Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst. “We hope that our book will help you worry less, feel more at peace, and change your perspective.” Here’s a look inside. (Thanks for the copy, Thomas Allen & Son.) Continue reading “A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy”

It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

If you’ve been dying to see what’s inside October’s Sweet Reads Box, wait no more! I just wanted to give everyone who’d ordered one the chance to open it up and be surprised but since they shipped from Ontario last Monday (they go out on the 15th of every month), I think it’s safe to do an unboxing. If you missed last month’s post, Sweet Reads Box is a new Canadian subscription service for book lovers that includes a new novel and some treats connected to the story. Co-founders Kerrie and Mark sent me the October box free of charge to share with you here. So let’s get to it!  Continue reading “It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box”

Five travel essentials + A giveaway!

Five travel essentials + A giveaway!

Even for a few days away I tend to way overpack but my travel essentials really don’t take up much room. Here are the must-haves I brought to Wasaga Beach for a girls’ weekend last month at Lakes of Wasaga Cottage and RV Resort. (Full disclosure: All of the products I’m talking about in this post were provided free of charge, but I wouldn’t share them with you if I didn’t love them and think you might too.)  Continue reading “Five travel essentials + A giveaway!”

Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!

Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!

I want to say it’s been a real sheetstorm cooking from Raquel Pelzel’s new Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight From the Oven but it’s actually been a breeze and delicious too. From soups to pastas, beans, breakfasts, breads and dessert, these one-pan wonders are packed with all of the nutritious goodness you get in dishes with veggies in a starring role and offer plenty of variety for our vegan and gluten-free friends. I tried three recipes and have one to share here with you, plus a copy for one lucky winner. (Thanks to Thomas Allen & Son, who sent me a copy to review.)  Continue reading “Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!”

It’s the little things: Two easy ways to make your kids’ birthdays feel special

It’s the little things: Two easy ways to make your kids’ birthdays feel special

Whether you splash out on a big party with all of the bells and whistles or celebrate with a small family gathering at home, most of just want our kids’ birthdays to feel special. Today I’ve got two easy ways to do just that. (No baking required!)  Continue reading “It’s the little things: Two easy ways to make your kids’ birthdays feel special”

A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

I remember driving to a party years ago for my hubby’s colleagues and stressing about who I could talk to and what on earth could we have in common. While most of the guests congregated in the kitchen, I spent the first hour or so (or maybe it was a half hour, but it felt like forever) alone in the front room petting the dog. And ‘tho he was pretty good company, I felt pretty lame. Eventually a few people wandered in and stopped talking shop and instead launched into a spirited debate about the merits of different fonts. Reader, I don’t think I’d ever felt so relieved. Finally a conversation I could get in on! I put a tentative toe into the water with a comment or two, and soon found myself in the warm bosom (ha!) of a few kindred spirits. Unfortunately they tired of the topic before me and we couldn’t seem to connect on anything else so it was back to the dog but it was good for a while there — really good! Of course I still overanalyzed everything for the next couple of days (honestly it’s years later and I still worry what they must have thought of me), but I lived to go to other parties and even managed to find a few more kindred spirits. I’m telling you this because I know there’s a lot of you out there who hate small talk and large groups (and maybe even leaving the house, lol) and yet really want to connect. Finding kindred spirits in some of you has been one of the best things that has come from try small things. I feel like I found my people! And since a lot of my people are book people, I know you’re going to love the wonderful surprise that came in the mail for me this week, and could for you too.  Continue reading “A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!”

The Scandinavian Home: Interiors Inspired by Light by Niki Brantmark

The Scandinavian Home: Interiors Inspired by Light by Niki Brantmark

Borta bra men hemma bäst. (Swedish for “Away is good but home is best.”) • Fans of the pared-back, practical style typically warmed up with wood and other natural elements that is true of so many dwellings in Northern Europe will love Niki Brantmark’s new book, The Scandinavian Home: Interiors Inspired by Light. Niki is the creator of the award-winning interior design blog, My Scandinavian Home, and author of Modern Pastoral: Bring the Tranquility of Nature Into Your Home. Her second book takes readers into 10 swoon-worthy city, country and rural homes in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, all of which speak to the tenets of Scandinavian living. “It’s a mindful, uncluttered lifestyle, and one that aligns well with modern thinking about sustainability,” Niki writes. “In many homes … you will find only a few beautifully crafted, high-quality iconic design pieces, antiques and flea-market finds made from natural, sustainable resources. All are pieces that stand the test of time.” Here are some of my favourite spaces from the the book. (Thanks for the copy, Thomas Allen & Son.)  Continue reading “The Scandinavian Home: Interiors Inspired by Light by Niki Brantmark”