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!”

DIY valentine soap + A giveaway!

DIY valentine soap + A giveaway!

Thursday Plantation Canada sent me some samples to try free of charge, but all opinions are still my own. 

I’ve been reading a lot about self-care in the blogosphere over the past week or so and feel like I’m getting better about identifying (and maybe even embracing) what fills my cup (as uber cheesy as that sounds). Making something tangible with my own hands is huge for me. (This poster = TRUTH.) When I leave the camera or the kitchen or the blog for more than a few days it nags at me; I feel listless and ghost-like, like if I don’t make some sort of impression, something solid, then I don’t exist. Is that weird? Maybe as a lead-in for a fun and easy DIY. Maybe a little dark for this happy valentine soap. But it is what it is, and I have to tell you I was elated by how well these turned out and how much I enjoyed the process. If you’re a maker or think you might be one, show yourself some love with a sweet DIY you can keep for yourself or gift to family and friends. Valentine’s Day may be a few weeks away yet, but love is in the air with this super cute and good-smelling soap.    Continue reading “DIY valentine soap + A giveaway!”

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”

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”

Cute Christmas Cookies: Adorable and Delicious Festive Treats + Win a copy!

Cute Christmas Cookies: Adorable and Delicious Festive Treats + Win a copy!

I wish I had more people to bake for because I’d love to try all 25 recipes in Cute Christmas Cookies: Adorable and Delicious Festive Treats by Hannah Miles. I made the iced mitten and frosted pinecone cookies this weekend in my jammies (which I highly recommend for extra baking cozyness) and they are indeed both adorable and delicious. And there’s much more where that came from! Cookies to warm the heart (snowman faces and polar bear snow globes), cookies to decorate the tree (garland cookies and candy cane cookies), cookies to gift (mini gingerbread houses and peppermint bark), and cookies to stir up some seasonal magic (coconut snowballs and clementine linzer cookies). All in a beautifully photographed book with both American and British measurements for friends across the pond. Thomas Allen & Son sent me a copy to help us get into the holiday spirit and they’ve got one for one of you too. It’s the most, won-der-ful tiiiiiiiiime, of the year!  Continue reading “Cute Christmas Cookies: Adorable and Delicious Festive Treats + Win a copy!”

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!”