Happiness is Baking + Win a copy!

Hachette Book Group Canada sent me Happiness is Baking in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

“Years ago I heard a doctor talking on television about the dangers of stress. It can kill you. It can cause a heart attack or a stroke. The doctor listed ways of coping with stress. Exercise. Diet. Do Yoga. Take a walk. I yelled, ‘Bake cookies.’ I often talk to the television. I yelled it again and again. The doctor went on with his list of 12 ways to reduce stress…and he never once mentioned my surefire treatment. Baking is a great escape. It’s happiness. It’s creative. It’s good for your heath. It reduces stress.” — Maida Heatter, Happiness is Baking Happiness is Baking + Win a copy!

The Big Book of Less: Finding Joy in Living Lighter + Win a copy!

Thomas Allen & Son sent me The Big Book of Less in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Hey everybody! I hope you’re having a great week. I’ve got a crappy cold and haven’t been able to write here as much as I’d like but I’ve been dying to tell you about this book. It’s the new one (out just last week) from the editors of Flow magazine, The Big Book of Less: Finding Joy in Living LighterIt’s a book of articles and activities about living with less (less stuff, less information, less control, and more) and learning less-ons along the way. #seewhatididthere The Big Book of Less: Finding Joy in Living Lighter + Win a copy!

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals + Win a copy!

Penguin Random House sent me The Home Edit in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I was trying to remember the last time our house felt organized, and I think we reached peak domestic efficiency just before baby. A rainbow of impossibly tiny outfits ordered by size and colour hung in the closet. Neat rows of diapers stood at attention in a cloth-lined wicker basket on the change table. Receiving blankets went in another basket; lotions and potions huddled together on a tray. There was a place for everything and everything in its place. It was a thing of beauty. The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals + Win a copy!

No blender, no problem: Evive Smoothie Cubes + A giveaway!

Evive Smoothie sent me the products in this post for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

They say the smoothie was invented when Chuck Norris interrogated a banana. But who has time to karate chop a bunch of fruits and vegetables when time is short and the need for something quick and healthy is big? Enter Evive Smoothie. The Montreal co. created frozen cubes of organic fruit, veggies and plant protein that you pop into a jar or a bottle, cover with liquid (water, almond milk, whatever you prefer) let sit for a few minutes and then shake up to make creamy, nutritious smoothies in a jiffy. No blender required! Evive Smoothie sent me their eight flavours to try. Let’s check them out. No blender, no problem: Evive Smoothie Cubes + A giveaway!

New York in Bloom by Georgianna Lane + Win a copy!

ABRAMS Books sent me New York in Bloom in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Happy book birthday to New York in Bloom! Told mostly in photographs, it’s Georgianna Lane’s love letter to the city’s parks and gardens, floral studios and displays, and market blooms, and it’s out today. The book is a companion to 2017’s Paris in Bloom (also lovely) and a third book, London in Bloom, is on the way. New York in Bloom by Georgianna Lane + Win a copy!

Little People, BIG DREAMS + A giveaway!

Quarto Publishing Group sent me the books in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

After reviewing a number of subscription boxes over the past few weeks, I’m turning to something a little different today: books! (But I do have one more box to share with you before the month is out. And I think you’re really going to like it.) Today I want to share some of our favourites from a highly collectible series for young readers, Little People, BIG DREAMS. They’re whimsically illustrated picture books aimed at kids aged 4 to 7 that tell the stories of people who pursued their dreams to achieve incredible things, despite some difficult beginnings and/or hardships along the way. Quarto sent me advance copies of the newest additions to the series — Stephen Hawking and Muhammad Ali, both published earlier this month — and the Women in Art Gift Set featuring Audrey Hepburn, Frida Kahlo and Coco Chanel.

Little People, BIG DREAMS + A giveaway!

Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone + Win a copy!

Running Press sent me Fantastical Cakes in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think. 

You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.’ — Jerry Seinfeld  I’ve loved baking and decorating cakes since I was a kid but I can’t remember any that were spectacular to look at or eat. (Well none except the Strawberry Shortcake one I had for my 10th birthday, but that was store-bought.) It’s only since having my own kids (and a few years later, starting this blog) that I’ve learned a little about the hows and whys of baking and decorating and experimented with a few different techniques. If I could turn back time (🎵 If I could find a way🎵) I would have read Gesine Bullock-Prado’s Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone YEARS AGO because it taught me so many things I wish I’d known before. Unfortunately the book only came out in November and before that Gesine was busy running her Vermont baking school and writing five other books and tending to two dogs, two cats, a flock of chickens and the other animals on her farm. (She’s still got the baking school and the farm. And probably another book already started.)  Fantastical Cakes: Incredible Creations for the Baker in Anyone + Win a copy!

Two new cookbooks from Canadian Living + A giveaway!

Simon and Schuster Canada sent me both Canadian Living cookbooks in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what I think.

Hello from Florida! I’m writing from my aunt’s kitchen table in Zephyrhills, looking at the the palm trees swaying in the breeze outside the window. It’s sunny but cool — in the day we wear pants and a sweater and in the night we put the heat on. But I’m not complaining! Not knowing how miserably cold it’s been back home. Speaking of home, before I left I tried a few recipes from two new Canadian Living cookbooks, Quick 400-Calorie Favourites: 90+ Tested-til-Perfect Recipes from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen and One Dish Favourites: 90+ All-in-One Meals from the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. Maybe you remember seeing them on Instagram?
Two new cookbooks from Canadian Living + A giveaway!

Trimming my Christmas plant + A giveaway!

Well we’re a week out from Christmas and I don’t feel ready, but I think it’s more that I’ve got blog posts I want to write and share before the holidays than anything else. We cleaned and decorated before Lily’s Christmas party on the weekend (the kids loved the tree-shaped brownies and the Christmas bingo) and most of the shopping is done. The wrapping and groceries I can do in a few days when my mom comes up to visit and help out. The only big thing left to do — besides writing Christmas cards and mailing a few packages, which are both gnawing at me — is get the tree. Trimming my Christmas plant + A giveaway!

Missed these? New books for cooks, creatives and more to gift + A giveaway!

I received the books in this post for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

I love giving books any time of the year, but Christmas can be especially fun because the crop of new books that come out in the fall is always so, so good. Today I’ve got some ones you might not have seen that would make great gifts for the fashionista, the interior design and decor lover, the entrepreneur (especially those in creative fields) and the cook in your life. Missed these? New books for cooks, creatives and more to gift + A giveaway!

Keep the kids busy over the holidays with Spray Art and Photo Pearls + A giveaway!

I received Spray Art and Photo Pearls for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own (with some chiming in from my kids). 

None of us wants to see the gifts we give sitting unused and collecting dust. If you’re shopping for kids who like arts and crafts, I think Spray Art (ages 6+) and Photo Pearls (ages 7+) will get their share of play time. The first is a no-mess airbrushing kit and the second a craft that allows you to make pixelated art using any image you like. I’ll walk you through them here with a little help from my nine-year-old and (bonus!) if you’re reading from Canada or the US you’ll have the chance to win both. Keep the kids busy over the holidays with Spray Art and Photo Pearls + A giveaway!

THIS is the family board game you’ll want to gift (and three other faves) + A giveaway!

Goliath Games US/Pressman Toy sent us the games in this post to try. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

OF COURSE my kids love their screen time. (Does blood not run through their veins?) But suggest a board game that we all play together and nine times out of ten they’re keen to give it a go. Goliath Games US/Pressman Toy just sent us some games to try and ‘tho my 9- and 11-year-old really enjoyed Sequence, Mastermind and Wordsearch (all great for their ages and entertaining enough to keep us adults off our phones), they’re OBSESSED with Googly Eyes. Like spin their heads 360 degrees obsessed. (Or maybe that’s POSSESSED. Ah whatever.) If you’re looking for something to put under the tree for kids 7 and up, THIS is the game you want to buy. THIS is the family board game you’ll want to gift (and three other faves) + A giveaway!