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”

Anxiety and the fitness studio: How I pushed through The Dailey Method’s 30-day challenge and not only didn’t die, but came out stronger

TDM barre April 13

I don’t talk about it much because I’m afraid how people react and worry that no one will want to be around me if they know, but I struggle with anxiety a lot, particularly social anxiety. (I’m still not sure I’m going to actually put this out there but if you’re reading this, well I guess I have.) And it’s not just new people and large groups that freak me out (‘tho they do) but even the prospect of getting together with a girlfriend I’ve known for years. I worry that I’m not smart enough, funny enough, interesting enough, thin enough (!) — just enough, period. I avoid more things than I try and fret obsessively in the lead-up to the things I’ve said yes to, and then overanalyze every little perceived misstep afterwards. (If I haven’t cancelled at the last minute. Which brings its own set of worries.) It’s exhausting. And isolating. I’m telling you all this because I know there’s got to be someone reading this post who can relate, someone who feels crippled by anxiety like I do, someone who really has to push themselves to try small things. If it’s you, I want you to know that you’re not alone, that you can do things even if you think you’re going to die. And you might come out the other side better for it. (You might still overthink things ’til you’re a wreck, but you might be proud of yourself too.) What do I know about it? Well I’ve spent the past month doing a 30-day challenge at a local barre and cycle studio, The Dailey Method, and as much as it was physically challenging, it was an exercise in mental and emotional toughness even more so. The Dailey Method comped me a free month in exchange for a post, and I want to share some of the things that helped me not only meet my goal, but exceed it, and come out feeling stronger all-round. As the instructors often reminded us, the mind is ready to quit long before the body. Here are some of the strategies I used to help me push on through. I hope they’ll help you too.  Continue reading “Anxiety and the fitness studio: How I pushed through The Dailey Method’s 30-day challenge and not only didn’t die, but came out stronger”

Strong female lead #Netflix #StreamTeam

Netflix March post 3

Kids are like sponges, picking up what we put down whether we like it or not. In honour of International Women’s Day earlier this month, Netflix asked the #StreamTeam to consider what messages our kids receive from the female Netflix characters they connect with, and what impact they’ve had. Why? Because studies have shown that gender stereotypes have an impact on girls at a young age, and that role models from the entertainment they choose can have a lasting effect. Continue reading “Strong female lead #Netflix #StreamTeam”

Exploring Ontario’s Lake Country with #LetsGoMaple

lgm the great outdoors

This time last week I was packing my bags for #LetsGoMaple, a sponsored two-day/three-night trip with 15 other Canadian bloggers to explore Ontario’s Lake Country (Orillia/Rama/Oro-Medonte and area, about a five-and-a-half-hour drive from Ottawa). As someone who struggles with anxiety (social and otherwise), I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I needn’t have been. At the risk of sounding sappy, my travel companions and hosts were as sweet and warm as the maple syrup we poured over our pancakes at Shaw’s Sugar Bush. Which made trying small things loom less large, and a lot easier. Come along and see some of the fun and delicious goodness the area has to offer.  Continue reading “Exploring Ontario’s Lake Country with #LetsGoMaple”