Ladies Who Drink: A Stylishly Spirited Guide to Mixed Drinks and Small Bites + Win a copy!

Ladies Who Drink: A Stylishly Spirited Guide to Mixed Drinks and Small Bites + Win a copy!

Fixing drinks has never been my domaine, but look out world, ’cause that’s about to change. Thanks to Running Press, I have everything I need to transform from a cocktail dunce to a cocktail diva in Ladies Who Drink: A Stylishly Spirited Guide to Mixed Drinks and Small Bites by Anne Keenan Higgins. Small in size but mighty in know-how, the lighthearted guide takes readers through the basics and beyond: from home bar essentials (including liquors, tools and glasses) to party-planning tips, to cocktails and nibblies for every occasion. (Think Backyard Barbecue, Ice-Skating Party, A Trip to Margaritaville, and Sunday Brunch Bloodies.) Served with a splash of mixology history and infused with charming illustrations of ladies who lunch (and sip!) looking oh-so-chic and you’ve got a practical and pretty starter for anyone new to the bar. Continue reading “Ladies Who Drink: A Stylishly Spirited Guide to Mixed Drinks and Small Bites + Win a copy!”

Thinking outside the jar with Bonne Maman + A giveaway!

Thinking outside the jar with Bonne Maman + A giveaway!

In my house, jams and jellies rarely see more than a side of toast, but last week’s inspired bites at Fauna Ottawa have me looking at our favourite jewel-toned spreads in an entirely new light. Bonne Maman invited Fauna chef Billy Khoo to think outside the jar for an exclusive tasting featuring the company’s preserves. Here’s a look at the dishes we sampled. Maybe they’ll inspire you too!  Continue reading “Thinking outside the jar with Bonne Maman + A giveaway!”

Talking top back-to-school trends with Staples + A $250 giveaway!

Talking top back-to-school trends with Staples + A $250 giveaway!

Things are looking up for back to school at casa try small things. The kids are happy with their teachers (for a change the school’s told us who they’ll have before the first day), last year’s backpacks and lunch bags are in good shape for another year and I won’t be on duty for every after-school pick-up, which saves me from making small talk every day in the yard. And AND (and it’s no small thing), Staples sent us enough school supplies to last the whole year through. Today I’m sharing a sampling of the season’s major trends — Staples has you covered! — plus a $250 Staples giveaway for one lucky reader.  Continue reading “Talking top back-to-school trends with Staples + A $250 giveaway!”

A tired corner gets a cheery refresh with Thimblepress + A giveaway

A tired corner gets a cheery refresh with Thimblepress + A giveaway

It’s reveal day! Woohoo! I’ve been wanting to give my favourite corner a refresh for what feels like forever, and Saturday I finally rolled up my sleeves and got started. I stripped the living room wallpaper, gave the walls a fresh coat of paint, and brought in some colourful accessories my friends at Thimblepress sent from their HQ in Jackson, Mississippi. I’ve loved their cheery art prints and greeting cards and confetti push-pops and pretty much everything they do for a few years now, and here I’ve incorporated some of my new and old favourites to give the space a happy vibe. (The new goodies were free of charge in exchange for this post.)  Continue reading “A tired corner gets a cheery refresh with Thimblepress + A giveaway”

Ain’t no party like a pizza party + A Panago Pizza giveaway

Ain’t no party like a pizza party + A Panago Pizza giveaway

If you’re a regular reader you’ll know large gatherings aren’t exactly my thing (who am I kidding? small gatherings aren’t my thing either 😬) but I do love planning them. And you know I can’t resist a good DIY. So today I’m all kinds of excited to share scenes from the pizza party we had last week to celebrate the start of summer holidays. Our friends at Panago Pizza supplied the food in exchange for this post, which left me more time (some might say too much time ha ha) to obsess about focus on the decor and all the rest. Try our DIYs to bring a little extra to your own pizza party this summer and let someone else take care of the pies. Continue reading “Ain’t no party like a pizza party + A Panago Pizza giveaway”

An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital + Win a copy! #Ottawa2017

An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital + Win a copy! #Ottawa2017

Ottawa is anything but boring, and An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital is the proof. Produced by a group of about 30 millennials led by multimedia co. Wingd‘s Zainab Muse, the book highlights the people, places and organizations that make the city an exciting, diverse and Instagram-worthy place to visit and live. Take a peek at the book trailer and tell me you don’t want to see more. Continue reading “An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital + Win a copy! #Ottawa2017”

Good Veg by Alice Hart + Win a copy!

Good Veg by Alice Hart + Win a copy!

I don’t know how some people don’t like vegetables (and there are plenty out there!), but I’m convinced that any number of recipes in Alice Hart’s Good Veg: Ebullient Vegetables, Global Flavors — A Modern Vegetarian Cookbook just might bring them around. The key to satisfying vegetarian cooking (and one can assume, eating!) is in the contrast, Alice says — the balance of flavours, textures and temperature will elevate any meat-free meal. The U.K. author’s careful consideration to contrast and balance is evident throughout the book, which comprises some 200 recipes for mornings, grazing and gatherings, as well as “quick”, “thrify” and “raw-ish” meals. It’s aimed at “keen and interested” home cooks who want to make the most of the fresh produce available and in turn, discover new ways with fruits, veggies and grains that they’ll want to make again and again. Think Coconut-Chia Strawberry Bowls, Corn Tortillas with Avocado and Charred Scallions, Eggplant and Sweet Potato Lasagna with Walnuts, and Vegan Chocolate Mousse with Walnut-Sesame Brittle. Hello!  Continue reading “Good Veg by Alice Hart + Win a copy!”

Five things + a Netflix giveaway for two!

Five things + a Netflix giveaway for two!

It’s sweltering hot outside and hubby has the kids at the pool, so I thought I’d pop in here for a bit and write a quick hello and how-do. AS IF it only takes me a bit to write a post. Ha! When pigs fly. But I’ll to try to make it quick. Here’s a few pics from life lately (starting with this snap my mom took when she visited last month) and a Netflix giveaway just because.  Continue reading “Five things + a Netflix giveaway for two!”

Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World + Win a copy!

Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World + Win a copy!

Remember the story of the little red hen? Everybody wants to eat the bread, but nobody wants to help bake it. That’s what it’s been like around here the past week, only everybody wants to eat the cake, but nobody wants to get off the ipad and help make it. Or do much of anything else. I asked my daughter to give me a hand with this photo and what did I get? “What was I BORN for? Helping with PHOTOS or LIVING?” Yeesh. If you’re looking for me later I’ll be over here stress-eating hunks of this maple pecan cake. It’s from Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World. Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy to review and they’ve got another one for one of you lucky ducks.  Continue reading “Lola’s: A Cake Journey Around the World + Win a copy!”

Because Dads like nice things too: Specter Wireless ELUX headphones for Father’s Day + Win a pair!

Because Dads like nice things too: Specter Wireless ELUX headphones for Father’s Day + Win a pair!

I know my hubby’s not the only dad who gets the short end of the stick for Father’s Day. But it’s partly his fault since he always insists he doesn’t want anything. Unlike me, he’s not the least bit materialistic, and (also unlike me) he’s hesitant to acquire anything new when the old and/or duct-taped will do. Which has forced us to get creative with our gifts. We’ve made personalized t-shirts with iron-on letters, videos with the kids telling him what they love about him, hand and foot prints in plaster (because you can never have too many of those, ha ha) and framed copies of pictures he’d never seen. And they were all well and good and much appreciated, but you know, dads like nice things too. (Well a lot of dads, I’m guessing.) And since his headphones finally bit the dust after years of being held together with duct tape, we’re giving him a new pair. But not just any pair — they’re the Specter Wireless ELUX (clever how that rhymes with deluxe). I received them free-of-charge to try.  Continue reading “Because Dads like nice things too: Specter Wireless ELUX headphones for Father’s Day + Win a pair!”