Sweet Reads Box: The Limited Edition Spring Thriller Box + A giveaway!

I received the Spring Thriller Box in exchange for an honest review. This post also appears on A Year of Boxes.

“It’s as much fun to scare as be scared.” — Vincent Price

The snow on our back deck disappeared in the rain last week but there’s still a chill in the air. I’m wearing my cozy cat slippers, sipping a mug of hot tea and tempted to get a blanket but that might put me to sleep. Thank you for taking a few minutes to join me. I hope this finds you cozy wherever you are. As promised, today’s post is a look at the latest limited edition from Sweet Reads Box, the Spring Thriller Box. Like the monthly boxes, this one offered a new novel, something to eat and drink and some bookish treats tied to the story — in this case a thriller, perfect for a chilly day.
Continue reading Sweet Reads Box: The Limited Edition Spring Thriller Box + A giveaway!

Nana + Livy handmade vegan bath treats + A giveaway!

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

Amelia So’s house must smell amazing. When she’s not taking care of her two young daughters, the Burnaby, BC entrepreneur makes vegan, food-based bath treats in her home studio. Real orange peels go into the orange soap blocks; rosemary and tea tree oil scent shampoo bars; and rose petals and rosebuds mingle with Himalayan pink salts and mild Kaolin clay in the rose bath tea. It’s all about feeding the skin with nutritious ingredients — a hobby Amelia started on her maternity leave in 2017 and turned into a business a year later. She called it Nana + Livy after her two young daughters, Natalia and Olivianne, and somehow found the time recently to answer a few questions about the biz.  Continue reading Nana + Livy handmade vegan bath treats + A giveaway!

Mental health, Foxy Originals’ new fall/winter collection + A giveaway!

I received the pieces in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It’s World Mental Health Day and I’m frustrated. I’ve been in treatment for anxiety and depression for 20 years and for all that work, I’m still struggling. I’ve made some gains for sure (exhibit A: the fact that I’m talking about it here or anywhere) but I regularly beat myself up for getting worked up about things that I think most people wouldn’t give a second thought. For example, I’ve got two events coming up in the next month that I should be looking forward to — book-related events I’ve paid to attend — but the closer they get, the more dread I feel. It’s this downward spiral of “I’m not smart enough/funny enough/entertaining enough to be there” combined with “I need to lose 10 to 15 pounds by then or people are going to think I’ve totally let myself go and I’m going to hate every picture.” (My heart is pounding just writing this.) How does any of this relate to Foxy Originals‘ new collection? I’m getting to it. Continue reading Mental health, Foxy Originals’ new fall/winter collection + A giveaway!

Meet the Maker: Northern Ontario artist Julieanne Murphy-Steedman of Heirloom Island + A giveaway!

Julieanne created a custom map for me in exchange for this post.

Today’s post has been a few months in the making, so I’m really excited to finally be able to introduce you to a wonderful map maker and visual artist, Julieanne Murphy-Steedman of Heirloom Island. Julieanne and I have been following each other on Instagram since our friend Christine of Life on Manitoulin connected us a few years ago (it may be longer or shorter than that — my long-term memory is pretty crap and my short-term one’s not much better, ha ha) but it wasn’t until this spring that Julieanne reached out about collaborating. I love her work — her new series of maps of Ontario towns and cities fantastic! — so it’s been a pleasure to get to know her a little bit by email and share this interview with you. Julieanne mentions a couple of venues where you can meet her at the end of the post, but I’d love to flag the Ottawa one here again. You can catch her at Etsy Made in Canada at Carleton University’s Fieldhouse from September 27 to 29. Now to the Q&A!  Continue reading Meet the Maker: Northern Ontario artist Julieanne Murphy-Steedman of Heirloom Island + A giveaway!