Category: SWOON

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What’s inside Mapleblume’s December box #luxurybeauty

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

What did Daisy Duck say when she bought lipstick? “Put it on my bill.” (ba-dum-bum-chuh) Oh you’re lucky I don’t review beauty boxes more often, ha ha. Today for something different I’m talking about Mapleblume. It’s a bi-monthly subscription box of luxury cosmetics and skincare. Each box contains at least five full-size or deluxe sample-size products. Shipping to Canada (it’s Canada-based) and the US is free which I like, because you know what a buzz kill shipping can be. Sometimes it’ll put me off the box altogether. (I think more subscription box services would be smart to build it into the price.) 

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What’s inside October’s Sweet Reads Box

I received October’s Sweet Reads Box for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The other night I started the novel in this month’s Sweet Reads Box and I’m super stressed about how it’s going to end. Thrillers don’t typically tie things up in a bow but I really don’t want to be haunted by this one. It’s called Three Days Missing and it’s about two mothers who become unlikely allies when one of their sons (the same age as mine!) vanishes on a school camping trip. 

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Friday I’m in love: Foxy Originals’ fall/winter collection + a giveaway!

Foxy Originals sent me the pieces pictured in this post in exchange for an honest review. And honestly I love them! 

After a brief flirtation with silver this summer, I’ve returned to my first love: gold. Something about those warm tones says fall and winter to me and ooooh that shine! Pretty as a pie supper. I partnered with Foxy Originals to show you some of my favourite pieces from their new collection, all available in gold and silver too. Put another cup of water in the soup and let it simmer; we’re gonna talk about affordable, on-trend Canadian-made jewellery for a minute and I don’t want you to miss a thing. 

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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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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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What’s inside June’s Sweet Reads Box

I received the June Sweet Reads Box free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

Summer is the season for adventure and June’s Sweet Reads Box celebrates that with a story revolving around one fateful camping trip and a selection of outdoorsy goodies that us indoor cats can still enjoy without putting a foot outside. If you’re new to Sweet Reads Box, it’s a Canadian book subscription box service that comes with a contemporary novel and five or six treats related to the story. I’ve been reviewing them here since they first launched last fall and this month’s box is one of my faves. (And not just because of the cute mug, but that definitely tipped the scale.) 

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Staycation vibes: Playing ladies of leisure at the Alt Hotel Ottawa

Lily and I enjoyed a complimentary one-night stay the Alt Hotel Ottawa in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

A girlfriend just told me she heard someone say that 80% of the time you spend with your kids happens when they’re under 10. Which totally makes sense, but still shocked me to hear. My kids are already 9 and 11! Time is marching on way too fast. So I’m so glad Lily and I spent some quality time together with a wee staycation at Alt Hotel Ottawa earlier this month. We haven’t travelled much so staying in a hotel still feels like a treat, and the staff made both me and my tween feel right at home. Here’s a few (okay 22) photos from our stay and some notes about the property. 

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Tour my new home-away-from-home: Indigo Innes + A giveaway!

I partnered with Indigo for this sponsored post. All opinions are my own and from the heart.

“It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but a good amount of it actually is.” — Adam J. Kurtz

I think I could move into an Indigo tomorrow and be quite happy. Thousands of books to read, dozens of cozy pillows and throws to curl up with, and so many mugs for tea that I’d never have to wash a dish. I could roll out a yoga mat in front of the store’s soaring windows (not that I do yoga but you know, I love all the cute gear), track my steps from one department to another on my Fitbit, and get my eight glasses a day refilling my S’well and bkr water bottles (because naturally they have all those too). So when Indigo invited me to preview their newest location, I packed a bag. I was out to the store last Friday for a tour and back the next morning for the ribbon cutting that kicked off the grand opening. (Me and more than 400 others who lined up to be the first through those beautiful indigo blue doors.) Here’s a look inside the 20,000+ square foot location at 2025 Mer-Bleue Road in Orleans. And trust me when I say it’s even better in person.