Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy

Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy

Moorea Seal has a lot going on. The 31-year-old author of the guided journals The 52 Lists Project and 52 Lists for Happiness runs a Seattle-based retail and online lifestyle store, curates a Pinterest account with nearly 1 million followers, and frequently entertains friends in the tidy, welcoming and Instagram-worthy home she shares with her husband and sister. In her new book, Make Yourself At Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Selfshe teaches readers how to design spaces for comfort and creative expression through thoughtful personal essays, stunning photography, accessible DIYs and inspiring profiles of creatives and entrepreneurs like Erin Perez Hagstrom of calivintage, Laura Gummerman of A Beautiful Mess and Diana La Counte from Our City Lights. Going room by room, Moorea (pronounced MOO-RAY-UH) examines how each space serves us and how to feel more at home there. Included are practical lessons on colour theory and psychology, a brief guide to the defining traits of the styles featured in the book (folk, rustic, midcentury modern, etc.), and pages for your own notes. You’ll want this one, mes amies. Here’s a peek inside. (Thanks to Sasquatch Books for the copy.)  Continue reading “Make Yourself at Home: Design Your Space to Discover Your True Self + Win a copy”

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy

When you hear one of your favourite magazines is putting out a book you get excited. So I couldn’t wait to see what the co-founders of Flow dreamed up for A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness, released earlier this month. Just like the magazine, the book (printed on similar thick matte paper ahhh!) contains articles, activities and paper goodies to pull out, fill in and post up to remind you to slow down and appreciate the little things. It’s organized in six chapters — time to breathe, time to learn, time to create, time to reflect, time to let go, and time to be kind — with essays, poems and exercises designed to encourage mindful exploration. “Life is so much better when you enjoy living in the now, when you focus more on the beautiful moments, and when you don’t expect so much of yourself all the time,” say authors Irene Smit and Astrid van der Hulst. “We hope that our book will help you worry less, feel more at peace, and change your perspective.” Here’s a look inside. (Thanks for the copy, Thomas Allen & Son.) Continue reading “A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness + Win a copy”

Five travel essentials + A giveaway!

Five travel essentials + A giveaway!

Even for a few days away I tend to way overpack but my travel essentials really don’t take up much room. Here are the must-haves I brought to Wasaga Beach for a girls’ weekend last month at Lakes of Wasaga Cottage and RV Resort. (Full disclosure: All of the products I’m talking about in this post were provided free of charge, but I wouldn’t share them with you if I didn’t love them and think you might too.)  Continue reading “Five travel essentials + A giveaway!”

Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!

Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!

I want to say it’s been a real sheetstorm cooking from Raquel Pelzel’s new Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless: 100 Surprising Vegetarian Meals Straight From the Oven but it’s actually been a breeze and delicious too. From soups to pastas, beans, breakfasts, breads and dessert, these one-pan wonders are packed with all of the nutritious goodness you get in dishes with veggies in a starring role and offer plenty of variety for our vegan and gluten-free friends. I tried three recipes and have one to share here with you, plus a copy for one lucky winner. (Thanks to Thomas Allen & Son, who sent me a copy to review.)  Continue reading “Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless + Win a copy!”

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!”

Green & Black’s chocolate pumpkin brownies recipe + A giveaway!

Green & Black’s chocolate pumpkin brownies recipe + A giveaway!

I know it’s like 1,000 degrees outside and the last thing a lot of us want to do is turn the oven on and bake, but bookmark this recipe to make when the heat wave breaks because you’re going to want to eat these chocolate pumpkin brownies all Fall. Developed by natural foodie Regina Braun of LeeLalicious for Green & Black’s chocolate, they’re a fudgey, not overly sweet treat, easy to make for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving or whenever. Green & Black’s sent me some bars to give it a try, plus a selection for one lucky reader.  Continue reading “Green & Black’s chocolate pumpkin brownies recipe + A giveaway!”

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!”