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Five things + Win Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Hi guys! How have you been? I’m sorry it’s been so quiet here on the blog — I was sick for about a week there (maybe food poisoning, ‘tho it really hung on so I’m not sure what it was) and busy this past week making up for lost time by taking extra classes at a fitness studio I’ve been doing a challenge with over the past month. Today I’m checking in with a few highlights from the past couple of weeks and a chance to win a book I’m just getting into and really loving, Beartown by A Man Called Ove author Fredrik Backman. (Thanks for the copy, Simon & Schuster Canada!) It’s not out ’til April 25, but you can get a first look here. 

Five things April 14

1. Yesterday was the last day of the 30-day blogger challenge I’ve been doing with The Dailey Method. It was my first time trying barre classes (a mixture of yoga, pilates and orthopedic exercises) and my second trying spin, ‘tho I enjoyed this time around so much more than the first time I tried it a few years ago at a gym. I’ll be telling you more about my experience in the next week or so (The Dailey Method gave all the bloggers a free month in exchange for our posts) and why the classes are great workout for everyone, no matter where you’re at.

2. From time to time FoodiePages sends me its latest tasting box, filled with four to five small-batch food and drink products from Canadian makers. I’ve been trying to eat more protein, so I was happy to see the beef jerky from Toronto’s Carne Boys. It’s made with grass-fed beef and no preservatives, nitrates or GMOs.

3. I love decorating Easter eggs to look like other foods, like the strawberries we made last year from a DIY in Canadian Living. For the link to that and a few other ideas, check out my post, Four fun ways to decorate Easter eggs.

4. Also coming up, a review and giveaway of The Greenhouse Cookbook: Plant-Based Eating and DIY Juicing. Penguin Canada sent me the book exchange for an honest review. I’ve tried a couple of recipes now and I’ll be sharing one of my favourites, a Spring-y soup I think you’re going to love.

5. Like I said, I’ve only just started Beartown but it had me hooked from the first couple of pages (you can read them here). It’s about the drama that ensues when a small town pins its hope for the future on its junior hockey team, which is about to compete in the national semi-finals. According to book’s description, “The match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.” I’m not a huge hockey fan, but I do appreciate a good drama and strong character development, and both are there from the start. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Beartown A Novel by Fredrik Backman (cover)


For a chance to win a copy of Beartown, tell me where you grew up (you don’t have to tell me the name of the place, just whether it was a small town, a mid-sized city, a large city, etc. and the province) and what was central to that place at the time (a sport? A particular industry?) in the comments below. This entry is mandatory.

For an additional entry, follow try small things on Facebook and share this post, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below.

For a third entry, follow try small things on Instagram, like this picture and tell me your Instagram handle in the comments below.

And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.

“A Man Called Ove” author Fredrik Backman is back with “Beartown”. #Win a copy from @trysmallthings http://bit.ly/beartown CAN 4/25

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents 18+ and ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on April 25, 2017. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another will be selected.

Update April 26, 2017: Congratulations Janette! 

Simon & Schuster Canada sent me a copy of Beartown in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Comments (



  1. Pam

  2. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  3. SarahJ

    Followed on instagram @sarahjferg

  4. SarahJ

    I grew up on a farm near a small prairie town in Alberta. Farming was the main income for people.

  5. jan

  6. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  7. Pam

  8. jan

  9. Melanie Borhi

    I was born and raised in canada london ont its a medium sized town filled with tourism. Alot of oil refineries were happening.

  10. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  11. photomum

    I grew up in a suburb of Sydney Australia where we had Koala Bears.

  12. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  13. jan

  14. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  15. Wanda Bee

    I follow try small things on Twitter and I tweeted: https://twitter.com/wandabee004/status/854011608552615937

  16. Wanda Bee

    I follow try small things on Facebook and shared the post. ( Wanda Bee )

  17. Wanda Bee

    I follow try small things on Instagram and liked the picture. ( @wandabee004 )

  18. Wanda Bee

    I grew up in a teeny tiny town that most people haven’t heard of in Manitoba. No sports or industries. Everyone who lives there commutes to nearby towns for work and activities to be involved with.

  19. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  20. Pam

  21. jan

  22. Calvin F.

    I have tweeted:

  23. Calvin F.

    I grew up in metro Vancouver, BC. The city I am from mainly had lots of farm land.

  24. krysta d

    I grew up in a small mountain/ lake town in BC. About 4,000 people, and this # increases exponentially in the summer months. It’s number 1 industry is definitely tourism. Its a beautiful place that I have come to greatly appreciate!

  25. intensev5

    I liked the Facebook page (Enelram L)

  26. intensev5

    I grew up in Calgary, AB, Canada. Alberta has always been known for it’s oil industry and beef!

  27. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  28. Linda

    I grew up in a mid-sized city in BC. It got very big in the space of decades.

  29. jan

  30. jan

    follow try small things on Facebook and shared

  31. jan

    I grew up in the country, and mostly farming was what happened in our area, with others commuting into the city 25 minutes away to work.

  32. corkrose

    I follow on Facebook @kay

  33. corkrose

    I grew up in a small town in Ireland

  34. Liza Plaisted

    follow on fb

  35. Liza Plaisted

    i lived in hampton nh

  36. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  37. Phyllis Anderson

    Ever heard of the Blue Water Bridge?…. a land mark of where I grew up……good old
    Sarnia Ontario.
    Love that ballet stretch you have going on there, always great photo’s and hope
    that I get to read the book.
    Read a great book about hockey a few years ago, was on the
    Canada Reads list and the story took place in Ottawa – not into hockey either but into a great read. ENJOY

  38. Pam

  39. Pam

    I grew up in a mid size city in Southwestern Ontario. Local hockey has always been big as well as the farmer’s markets.

  40. AlwaysARedhead

    I grew up in the same city I still reside in , and as a youngster playing with the neighbourhood friends was central. I am still friends with two of them , friendship that has lasted I we 40 yrs.

    I follow you on Facebook (liked and shared), on Instagram, plus I tweeted. https://twitter.com/AlwaysARedhead/status/853108786508255232

  41. Jennifer M

    My tweet!

  42. Jennifer M

    Liked your Instagram photo – jennifermorse74

  43. Jennifer M

    I shared on Facebook as Jennifer Alger Morse

  44. Jennifer M

    I grew up in North Bay, ON. Hockey was (and is!) big there.

  45. joanne darrell

    I grew up in Oromocto New Brunswick.It is a town with mostly military families.

  46. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

  47. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

    sorry to hear you have been sick! I am boring, and grew up just south of the city of Ottawa (Leitrim, then near Metcalfe) – I was a country girl, and grew up on a farm.

  48. Book Obsession

    I was born and currently live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. We are located in Queensland of the southeast coast of the country. We are close to the beach and just a short drive south is Byron Bay. Brisbane is a town of heat so it is a beautiful place to live until it gets a bit unbearable! But there is no other place I’d rather life. It’s hot, sunny, relaxing and beautiful. Nothing beats kookaburras as the sun sets or rosellas in a bottle brush. Love my city!

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