What’s inside January’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

What’s inside January’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

I received January’s Sweet Reads Box for free to review but all opinions are still my own. 

I know I gush a lot about Sweet Reads Box (if it’s the first you’re hearing of it, it’s a Canadian subscription box for book lovers that includes a novel and a few treats tied to the story) but when January’s arrived this week, I was so happy with it (it’s so me!) that I was like, “Is it my birthday?” As it so happens, today is my birthday and lucky me, I get to share one of my favourite things with you! Thanks to Kerrie and Mark at Sweet Reads Box, one try small things reader is going to win a January box of their own! Let’s see what’s inside.  Continue reading “What’s inside January’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!”

What’s inside December’s Sweet Reads Box

What’s inside December’s Sweet Reads Box

I received November’s Sweet Reads Box free of charge to review. All opinions are my own. 

Don’t pack up the decorations just yet — we have one more box to open before the holidays are out, and it’s a good one. Here’s what’s inside December’s Sweet Reads Box, the Canadian subscription box service for book lovers featuring a contemporary novel and related treats.  Continue reading “What’s inside December’s Sweet Reads Box”

And someone’s going to win this too! A look at The KitchenAid stand mixer Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment

And someone’s going to win this too! A look at The KitchenAid stand mixer Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment

TSC sent me the KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment and the Artisan Mini stand mixer to try free of charge. The opinions in this post are mine, and not Rogers’. 

I’m so excited for tomorrow! One of you lucky readers is going to win a gorgeous KitchenAid Artisan Mini stand mixer plus the slicer/shredder attachment I’m going to quickly show you here. (If you haven’t yet entered, don’t miss your chance!) I’m not exactly known for my knifing skills and have regular run-ins with the grater so the slicer/shredder attachment is one of those things I should have picked up years ago. It’s easy to use, even easier to clean (which is important) and does the job much quicker (and smarter) than I do. You’re going to love it!  Continue reading “And someone’s going to win this too! A look at The KitchenAid stand mixer Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Attachment”

What’s inside November’s Sweet Reads Box

What’s inside November’s Sweet Reads Box

I received November’s Sweet Reads Box free of charge to review. All opinions are my own. 

If you follow me here or on social media, you know that the Sweet Reads Box is only one of my favourite subscription boxes ever (and I’ve tried quite a few). It’s a Canadian subscription service for book lovers that includes a new novel and some treats connected to the story. November’s box came just before my road trip with Cathy to see Cityline so I’m a bit delayed in showing you what’s inside but I’ve got the full reveal for you today so let’s get to it.  Continue reading “What’s inside November’s Sweet Reads Box”

Big gingerbread boys with KitchenAid’s Artisan Mini #shoptsc • A merry little #recipe and #review #gingerbreadforthewin

Big gingerbread boys with KitchenAid’s Artisan Mini #shoptsc • A merry little #recipe and #review #gingerbreadforthewin

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

With less than a week to go, polling shows gingerbread has a decisive lead in the festive treats race. (Check out my last post for cute cookie ideas, a giveaway and up-to-the-minute poling results.) Today I’ve put a few new twists on an old family favourite. It’s a gingerbread boys recipe I think you’ll enjoy. (Of course you can make them girls or stars or whatever else you fancy.) My friend Cathy’s mother-in-law used to make them for her sons and grandsons when they were little (actually she still does). Their giant size thrilled the kids and their heft made them easy to handle and not so easy to break, which is essential when shipping them by post. On those years the grandkids couldn’t make it to see Nonna at Christmas time, she would package the gingerbread boys in popcorn to protect them on their journey, along with all the decorating essentials. I know. So sweet, eh? And isn’t it sweet that while I had visions of sugar plums dancing through my head, TSC had visions of me making cookies. To help me meet the demand for gingerbread boys they kindly sent me a KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer to review, and boy-oh-gingerbread-boy, this baby can dough go!  Continue reading “Big gingerbread boys with KitchenAid’s Artisan Mini #shoptsc • A merry little #recipe and #review #gingerbreadforthewin”

It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

If you’ve been dying to see what’s inside October’s Sweet Reads Box, wait no more! I just wanted to give everyone who’d ordered one the chance to open it up and be surprised but since they shipped from Ontario last Monday (they go out on the 15th of every month), I think it’s safe to do an unboxing. If you missed last month’s post, Sweet Reads Box is a new Canadian subscription service for book lovers that includes a new novel and some treats connected to the story. Co-founders Kerrie and Mark sent me the October box free of charge to share with you here. So let’s get to it!  Continue reading “It’s here! Inside October’s Sweet Reads Box”

A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!

I remember driving to a party years ago for my hubby’s colleagues and stressing about who I could talk to and what on earth could we have in common. While most of the guests congregated in the kitchen, I spent the first hour or so (or maybe it was a half hour, but it felt like forever) alone in the front room petting the dog. And ‘tho he was pretty good company, I felt pretty lame. Eventually a few people wandered in and stopped talking shop and instead launched into a spirited debate about the merits of different fonts. Reader, I don’t think I’d ever felt so relieved. Finally a conversation I could get in on! I put a tentative toe into the water with a comment or two, and soon found myself in the warm bosom (ha!) of a few kindred spirits. Unfortunately they tired of the topic before me and we couldn’t seem to connect on anything else so it was back to the dog but it was good for a while there — really good! Of course I still overanalyzed everything for the next couple of days (honestly it’s years later and I still worry what they must have thought of me), but I lived to go to other parties and even managed to find a few more kindred spirits. I’m telling you this because I know there’s a lot of you out there who hate small talk and large groups (and maybe even leaving the house, lol) and yet really want to connect. Finding kindred spirits in some of you has been one of the best things that has come from try small things. I feel like I found my people! And since a lot of my people are book people, I know you’re going to love the wonderful surprise that came in the mail for me this week, and could for you too.  Continue reading “A Canadian subscription box for book lovers: September’s Sweet Reads Box + A giveaway!”

Gourmet Trading stocked our pantry with Stonewall Kitchen specialty foods. Here’s how they went over.

Gourmet Trading stocked our pantry with  Stonewall Kitchen specialty foods. Here’s how they went over.

Like a lot of people trying to feed a family on a budget, we tend to stock our pantry with the same things week after week. We know what will get eaten, what probably won’t, and how long our favourite dishes will take to prepare. We shop with a list, pick up what we need, and generally ignore the rest (unless something’s on super sale, which I cannot resist). But when Toronto-based Gourmet Trading reached out to me last month, I was reminded that there’s a whole world of foods and flavours available to explore and enjoy. Gourmet Trading has been bringing that world to Canada for nearly 30 years as an importer and distributor of specialty foods. They sent me a selection of products from one of their top-selling brands, Maine’s award-winning Stonewall Kitchen, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well they went over. Will they be new pantry staples? Read on and see.  Continue reading “Gourmet Trading stocked our pantry with Stonewall Kitchen specialty foods. Here’s how they went over.”

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!”