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

thimblepress shelfie

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

Panago Pizza pizza hat and pepperoni slice

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 feature image try small things

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 feature image

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!

Plant Lady

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 maple pecan cake

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!

Specter Wireless ELUX ft image

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!”

Summer-ready with SKECHERS + Win a pair!

Skechers Heart Breaker cropped

So somehow it’s May 2-4 already and yours truly is freaking out a bit because I just realized the kids are off school tomorrow and we’ve got a four-day stretch ahead. Mama needs a cocktail. (This one will do nicely.) I’ve been swanning all over town in my cute shoes with my mother for the past couple of days while she’s been visiting from Toronto, but now she’s left so we’ll have to make our own fun. I won’t be running after my guys in my SKECHERS wedges but I totally could if I needed too — they’re super comfy, light-as-air and hello! So fun! Perfect for walks up to the library and down to the dollar store and over to the corner store for popsicles (‘tho my guys have started to get those on their own, conveniently “forgetting” to bring me the change). SKECHERS sent me these and another super cute pair to help get me through the summer. And you know, I wouldn’t turn down a cocktail either. Continue reading “Summer-ready with SKECHERS + Win a pair!”

Books she’ll love for Mother’s Day + A giveaway

Mother's Day reads HBG Canada

Yes of course I want to see my kids on Mother’s Day — I’d like to see them playing outside while I curl up inside with a book. Who’s with me? Uh huh. I see a few nods out there. Any one of these four would suit me just fine, and a tea if you’re making it, maybe a couple of tarts too. (*brushes pastry crumbs off leggings* How many days have I been wearing these?) Spring brings a bounty of new releases in every genre, and today I’ve got a look at a selection in stores just in time for Mother’s Day — two for those who love to cook and bake and entertain (alone or with kids helping alongside), one for fashionistas and another for the reluctant traveller. Because every one knows a mom who just wants time to think and read, and one of these books might make the perfect companion. (My thanks to Hachette Book Group Canada, who sent me all four to review.) Continue reading “Books she’ll love for Mother’s Day + A giveaway”

It’s so YOU! It’s so HER! Foxy Originals jewelry for Mother’s Day + A giveaway

Foxy Originals Lilo ear jacket flatlay try small things

Be it resolved that there are more important things than looks (obvs), but be it also resolved that when you take a little time to put yourself together (whether that’s a shower, jeans and a ponytail or heels, nails and a blow-out) it feels pret-ty darn good. Especially if you haven’t done it in some time. (Like since last Mother’s Day. Or maybe not even then.) And the cherry on top — besides someone actually noticing; honestly sometimes I feel like wallpaper around here — a shiny accessory or two that expresses your style. Isn’t it fun to find something that feels so you? Or if you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, something that feels so her? Today I’m sharing some of my favourite, so-me accessories from Toronto’s Foxy Originals and a chance to win one to gift yourself or someone you love. Call it a little Mother’s Day TLC from Foxy Originals and me.  Continue reading “It’s so YOU! It’s so HER! Foxy Originals jewelry for Mother’s Day + A giveaway”

Make mom’s day with Green & Black’s Farmhouse Chocolate Banana Bread + A giveaway!

Green and Black's Farmhouse Chocolate Banana Bread with jam on a sliec try small things

After packing house and downsizing a couple of times over the past few years, my mom insists there’s few things she wants or needs. That’s not to say she doesn’t light up at a little sparkly somethin’ to draw attention to her impossibly delicate wrists or ample bosom (oh she does!) but usually she says “If I can’t eat it, drink it or read it, I don’t want it.” I likely won’t see her for Mother’s Day (we live 500 kms apart) but she’s planning to visit a couple weeks later and I know just what I’ll give her: a steaming cup of tea, a slice of homemade chocolate banana loaf and my undivided attention (provided the kids are outside or something — and even then they’ll be in and out the door every two minutes, you know how it goes) while we take some time to catch up. And I think she’ll be happy. Green & Black’s did a Mother’s Day survey and 57% of moms said that spending time with family and loved ones is the most valued gift, followed by 32% saying that feeling appreciated is really what they want. (Only 1% said receiving a luxurious gift was the most important.) So maybe join me in making something sweet for the special mom in your life (your mom, your neighbour, your buddy) and make the time to enjoy it together. I’ve got just the recipe — Green & Black’s Farmhouse Chocolate Banana Bread — and a little giveaway to go with.  Continue reading “Make mom’s day with Green & Black’s Farmhouse Chocolate Banana Bread + A giveaway!”