All posts filed under: Giveaways

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. 

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 …

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 …

Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior + Win a copy!

I received Wonder Plants 2 for review purposes. All opinions are my own.  I almost brought another plant home from the grocery store today — a darling little philodendron in a simple terracotta pot — but my basket was already weighed down with milk and tomatoes and other essentials (and non-essentials) that I’d be struggling to juggle on the bus as it was. Adding a plant to the mix seemed like a recipe for a bad end so decided to leave if (or leaf it, ha ha) for another day. And now I think it’s just as well. I’d much rather save up for a giant statement-making plant that’ll add life to the living room where we spend so much of our time. Okay maybe two giant plants. Three if I’m being honest. And for that I blame Irene Schampaert & Judith Baehner. The pair wrote the book (well books) on living large with plants in Wonder Plants and Wonder Plants 2: Your Urban Jungle Interior and the 20 stunning green interiors and plant care tips inside have …

New books in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series + A giveaway!

I received the books in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.  “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe • Little People, BIG DREAMS is a series of picture books about important figures in science, art, sport — virtually every field — who overcame difficult beginnings and hardships to pursue their dreams. Aimed at ages 4 to 7, the stories are simple primers that de-mystify modern-day heroes, sharing the milestones in their upbringing and careers achieved not by magic, but by hard work and perseverance. I’ve talked about some of the earlier books in the series (Frida Kahlo, Audrey Hepburn, Stephen Hawking and others) and wanted to share a peek at some of the newest ones.