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Inside the Winter ’19 Wanderlust Box

I received The Wanderlust Box for free in exchange for an honest review. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes

If you’re thinking about escaping the snow to hit the beach, The Wanderlust Box could be the ticket. The quarterly box of style, travel, beauty and fitness items is curated around a beach destination and has over $250 worth of full-sized products. (And that’s USD! So about $330 Canadian.) My first one arrived last week and it’s got just about everything under the sun.

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What’s inside February’s Mapleblume box #luxbeauty

I received Mapleblume’s February subscription box for free in exchange for an honest review. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes

What did the right eye say to the left? “Something between us smells.” 😂😂 My second Mapleblume beauty box came in the mail last week and a couple of the products smell too. But really, REALLY good. 😁 If you haven’t heard of Mapleblume, it’s a quarterly (formerly bi-monthly) subscription box of luxury cosmetics and skincare with at least five full-size or deluxe sample-size products in every shipment. 

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What’s inside February’s GlobeIn Artisan Box

I received the GlobeIn Artisan Box for free for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes.

GlobeIn Artisan Box is a monthly subscription box featuring handmade, ethically sourced products from makers around the world. Each Premium Box has a theme and February’s is Masquerade. (Just in time for Carnival and Mardi Gras. 🎉🎉) 

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Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone + Win a copy!

Running Press sent me Fantastical Cakes in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.’ — Jerry Seinfeld  I’ve loved baking and decorating cakes since I was a kid but I can’t remember any that were spectacular to look at or eat. (Well none except the Strawberry Shortcake one I had for my 10th birthday, but that was store-bought.) It’s only since having my own kids (and a few years later, starting this blog) that I’ve learned a little about the hows and whys of baking and decorating and experimented with a few different techniques. If I could turn back time (🎵 If I could find a way🎵) I would have read Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone YEARS AGO because it taught me so many things I wish I’d known before. Unfortunately the book only came out in November and before that Gesine was busy running her Vermont baking school and writing five other books and tending to two dogs, two cats, a flock of chickens and the other animals on her farm. (She’s still got the baking school and the farm. And probably another book already started.) 

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What’s inside Sweet Reads Box’s first YA Box

I received the Sweet Reads Box YA Box for free in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think.

I’ll understand if you won’t be exactly sympathetic when I say it was quite the SHOCK coming home from Florida to the frozen tundra chez nous. Did it just snow for two weeks straight or what? I don’t know how the mailman didn’t break his neck going up and down our ice-crusted front steps but I was happy to see a few packages waiting for me, including the first Sweet Reads Box YA Box. (Yay!) Let’s see what’s inside. 

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Two new cookbooks from Canadian Living + A giveaway!

Simon and Schuster Canada sent me both Canadian Living cookbooks in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think.

Hello from Florida! I’m writing from my aunt’s kitchen table in Zephyrhills, looking at the the palm trees swaying in the breeze outside the window. It’s sunny but cool — in the day we wear pants and a sweater and in the night we put the heat on. But I’m not complaining! Not knowing how miserably cold it’s been back home. Speaking of home, before I left I tried a few recipes from two new Canadian Living cookbooks, Quick 400-Calorie Favourites: 90+ Tested-til-Perfect Recipes from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen and One Dish Favourites: 90+ All-in-One Meals from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Maybe you remember seeing them on Instagram?

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What’s inside January’s GlobeIn Artisan Box

I received the GlobeIn Artisan Box for free for review purposes. All opinions are my own. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes.

GlobeIn Artisan Box is a monthly subscription box featuring handmade, ethically sourced products from makers around the world. Each Premium Box is curated around a theme (so fun!) and January’s is called The Brew Box.

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Looker: A Novel by Laura Sims

Simon and Schuster Canada gave me a digital ARC of Looker: A Novel in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

Have you read your first book of 2019? Mine was Laura Sims’ new psychological thriller, Looker: A Novel. It was also the first book I’ve ever read on my phone. I’m old school — I love the smell and feel and weight and look of books! — but the digital copy was the only ARC available and I really REALLY wanted to read it so I gave it a whirl. I thought reading on my phone would bother my eyes but that wasn’t an issue. (Maybe because I’m always on it anyway.) But it DID feel weird to not have a hard copy to share and read again and have around, so I bought one. It’s SO SO GOOD!  It’s about a woman whose obsession with the actress who lives across the street turns terribly wrong. 

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January is for…

Annnnnd we’re back! And by we I mean you and me. You reading, me writing, you commenting, me replying — I like this little cha cha we’re doing here. Much more fun than just talking to myself. Which I do do and can be fun but there is a limit. (Eventually.) It’s taking everything in me not to binge watch Marie Kondo’s new show (have you seen it?) but I know just from watching the first episode that I’d end up spending the next couple of weeks sorting, folding and donating anything that isn’t nailed down (I suspect we have many, many things around here that don’t exactly spark joy) and now isn’t the best time. Not to go whole hog anyway. (Maybe half hog, if that’s a thing.) Instead, here’s what January is for.