“Create your life as your design” — Gems from Tiffany Pratt + A giveaway

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Ah, those Tiffany Pratt hugs. If you’ve been lucky enough to get one like Jessica Levasseur here (snapped by Laura Benn of LLB Creative at this month’s BlogPodium conference in Toronto), you know how warm and soul-lifting they are. The rainbow-tressed stylist, designer, HGTV star and author (her first book, This Can Be Beautiful: Simple DIY Projects to Style Your Home and Redesign Your Life, comes out October 11) shared all kinds of inspiration (and love!) as BlogPodium’s keynote speaker, and had me writing furiously to get some of it down to share with you. Well, to share with you and the Twitterverse, since there were 20 copies of Tiffany’s book to win for anyone who tweeted highlights of her talk and you know I was all over that. “Everything I do, I do with love,” Tiffany says. “Whatever I’m thrown into, I just think, ‘make it work’. I like to hustle hard, find solutions, and be totally happy doing it all.” How does she do it? Maybe by following her own advice.  Continue reading ““Create your life as your design” — Gems from Tiffany Pratt + A giveaway”

Some days are golden + A giveaway

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I’m a city girl at heart but you know, you get out in the country on a gorgeous afternoon and it’s easy to see its charms. We got back to nature yesterday to pick apples at a sweet little farm just 20 minutes out of the city, taking in giant whiffs of fresh country air under a brilliant blue sky. Some days are golden. Yesterday was one of them.  Continue reading “Some days are golden + A giveaway”

The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well by Ayesha Curry + Win a copy!

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The best recipes are made with a whole lot of love, and you can tell Ayesha Curry puts her heart into everything she makes. In her first cookbook, The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well (released just this week), the 27-year-old self-taught cook of Jamaican-Chinese-Polish-African American heritage shares family favourites from her childhood in Toronto and North Carolina, along with new dishes inspired by restaurants in California where she and hubby NBA MVP Stephen Curry now live with their two young children. “Everything warm, everything delightful, and everything that is loved in my life somehow involves (and revolves around) food,” Ayesha writes. “I light up every time I get the blend of favours in a recipe just right, or when I achieve a perfect sear on a steak, or smell a batch of cookies baking. I always enjoy watching the faces of family and friends as they take that first bite.” I took a bite out of her book and mes amis, it was delicious!  Continue reading “The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well by Ayesha Curry + Win a copy!”

What to get the hostess with the mostest + A giveaway

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My mom is a social butterfly who loves to entertain, whether that’s having a handful of friends over to play Bridge or the entire cast and crew of the latest play she’s stage-managed or produced. There’s always cheese and olives in the fridge and crackers in the cupboard for impromptu guests and extra pillows and blankets if you want to crash on the pull-out couch. (It’ll break your back, but you’re welcome to it.) I stayed with her this weekend when I was in Toronto for a conference and wanted to give her a little something to thank her for having me. What do you give the hostess with the mostest? I knew just the thing! Maybe it’ll be just your thing too. Continue reading “What to get the hostess with the mostest + A giveaway”

Purely Pumpkin by Allison Day + A giveaway!

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I’m not exactly a hard sell when it comes to all things pumpkin, so I was delighted when I heard Allison Day was working on a pumpkin-packed follow-up to her wonderful first cookbook, Whole BowlsPurely Pumpkin: More Than 100 Seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen came out last week and it’s the most gorgeous ode to one versatile and nutritious fruit. There’s sweet and savoury pumpkin breakfasts, desserts and everything in between — think sharp cheddar, pumpkin, and pecan scones; vegan pumpkin, onion, and spinach lasagna with white bean ricotta; gingerbread pumpkin cheesecake with pecan oat crust; classic pumpkin pie (naturally!); and several better-for-you takes on the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Read on to learn a little more about the book, get Allison’s ah-MAZE-ing recipe for morning glory pumpkin muffins and enter for your chance to win a copy of the book.  Continue reading “Purely Pumpkin by Allison Day + A giveaway!”

Help us beat the bell + A Skechers giveaway

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Why is getting out the door for school always such a scramble? No seriously, why? WHYYYYYYYY? I feel like we do all the right things — set out our clothes the night before, wake up at a decent time, and make sure the kids have their backpacks all packed and ready to go before they sneak in a cartoon (they’re loving Beat Bugs) or do anything else, and it’s still a mad dash to get there on time. And we live three blocks away! How do you do it? I could really use some advice.  Continue reading “Help us beat the bell + A Skechers giveaway”

The I Heart Naptime Cookbook by Jamielyn Nye + A giveaway

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My kids may be well past the napping stage, but until we send them off with a suitcase and a bus ticket on their 18th birthdays, I’ll be relishing those pockets of time when they’re busy doing something on their own so I can get things done. Like get supper on the table. (Preferably something everyone will like.) Enter my new go-to: The I Heart Naptime Cookbook: More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Make in Less Than One Hour by Jamielyn Nye. It just came out this week but I received an advance copy to try and every recipe I’ve made has been such a hit! I think you’re going to love it.  Continue reading “The I Heart Naptime Cookbook by Jamielyn Nye + A giveaway”