Author: try small things

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Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits + Win a copy!

Simon & Schuster Canada sent me a copy of Whiskey in a Teacup in exchange for a sincere review. All opinions are my own and true as the day is long. 

Well paint me green and call me a cucumber! I’ve been all atwitter for Reese Witherspoon’s new book, so I was pleased as punch the other week when an advance copy arrived in the mail. (Bless your heart, @simonschusterca!) It’s Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits, a guide to bringing Southern charm to your everyday life through family recipes (from Reese’s Corn Bread Chili Pie to her grandmother Dorothea’s Tea Punch), tips on entertaining and decorating, hair and beauty secrets and even how to speak like you come from the South. (If you’re wonderin’, it’s pronounced I shore doo lack the look of the them there jumbo shramp.

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What’s Inside September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

I received September’s Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the ❤️. 

It’s here! September’s Sweet Reads Box arrived this week and it’s their one-year anniversary so we are going to PAR-TAY. And by that I mean stay home and read books. Which is a good thing since I have very little to offer you in terms of snackages apart from the highly disappointing Skinny Pop popcorn mini cakes I’m munching on that are apparently sharp cheddar flavour but I am getting none of that. Also we’re out of Diet Pepsi. So yes I would make a very bad host. But let’s move along. In honour of this very special occasion, and to thank all of you who’ve followed along since I first started reviewing the boxes last September, I’m giving away a September 2018 box out of my own pocket to one lucky reader. Let’s see what’s inside already! (Alsoooooooo, if this is the first time you’re hearing of Sweet Reads Box it’s a Canadian book subscription box that comes with a novel, something sweet to eat, a beverage and a few other bookish treats related to the story. Fun, right?) 

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“I don’t want to get organized” said no one ever + A giveaway!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me my favourites from the Pipsticks X Workman Publishing collab in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine and from the heart. 

“SUMMER IS ALMOST OVER WHICH MEANS SOON U GET TO HIDE INSIDE NOT TALKING TO ANYONE WITHOUT FEELING WEIRD ABOUT IT.” — Orlando Soria

I love September for all of the usual reasons, but even more so this year because I’m starting it with a super fun planner that’s going to help me get a grip on all of the things I’ve let slide and crush my goals. The vast majority of which will not require leaving the house. #killingit #pajamasarelife I know, now you’re over there all TELL ME MORE and as luck would have it, I’m over here (in my pj’s) all OKAY I WILL. 

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Books for a long weekend: Five favourites for middle grade readers

Penguin Random House Canada sent me the following books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

This summer’s been hotter than pearls in a pawn shop and I can’t say I’m sad it’s nearly over. I’m all for fall and cozy sweaters and piles of books to read without that annoying voice in my head telling me I should be outside enjoying the sun. (It burns! It burns! LOL.) Today I want to catch you up on some recent and recent(ish) releases your kids might want to tuck into this long weekend, five books for middle grade readers that made the grade with us. First, a mega cute tale out earlier this month, Anna Humphrey’s Megabat.

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What’s inside August’s Sweet Reads Box

I received the August Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Next month marks the one-year anniversary of one of my favourite subscription boxes and I feel like we should do something to celebrate, yes? I think I’ve got just the thing. I’ve ordered one of September’s Sweet Reads Boxes to share in a giveaway with one of you, the readers who support me month after month and make it possible for me to blog about it in the first place. (Thank you thank you!) In the meantime, let’s look at what’s inside the August box. 

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She likes long, romantic walks down the beauty aisle: Update your skincare and makeup for summer with TSC + A giveaway!

I received the products mentioned in this post for free from TSC in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and not those of Rogers.

Of course there’s worse things than using makeup past its expiry date (like going to the dump and bringing back more than you took or making change in the church collection plate) but I’d bet dollars to doughnuts you’ve got more than a few products that should have been pitched way back. (Me too!) I know it can be expensive to replace and risky to put your money on something new and never tried, and that’s why I love TSC’s summer beauty tote and cosmetic bag. They’re packed with makeup and skin care basics and nice-to-haves in full and trial sizes, together valued at more than $480 for just $75. So you can let some of those old lipsticks, eyeshadows and moisturizers go without feeling like you broke the bank. My mom (who likes long, romantic walks down the beauty aisle) was visiting a few weeks ago when this year’s tote and bag arrived and she kindly agreed to help me show you what’s inside. (I’ve included links where available; a few aren’t yet online but coming soon.) 

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She: Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines by Kate Spade New York

Abrams Books sent me a copy of She in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

I keep thinking about a blog post I read about Kate Spade shortly after she died. “It is important to not only celebrate her life,” wrote Kate Arends, “but to try and understand her death in a way that changes the dialogue around what it means to create a persona and be a person.” The stark contrast between Spade’s public persona and private pain does not make her brand any less authentic, Arends says. “I can only assume that so much of the Kate Spade brand … came from a deep understanding of what it means to be human,” Arends says. “The highs, the lows, the beauty, the darkness.” It’s a great post and I could quote it all day (you should read it) but what I’m getting to here are two things: 1) that Kate Spade herself belongs in the pages of the brand’s fourth book, She: Muses, Visionaries and Madcap Heroines; and 2) that the women celebrated in the book — even those larger than life — each experience (or experienced) struggles that informed who they are: whole, fallible, three-dimensional people who can inspire us by their words and actions, regardless of how much of their inner lives they choose to let us see. 

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Five things

Hey everybody! How’s July treating you? I’m writing from the train home to Ottawa after a few days visiting family in Barrie and Toronto. I hadn’t seen my brother-in-law and his hubby in ages and my own brother and nephew in even longer so a trip down was well overdue. I’d planned to write a few book reviews while I was away but felt soooooo lazy (maybe from the constant eating? you know how one meal blends into another when you’re on vacation) so that didn’t happen.