DIY, DAMMIT! A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting + Win a copy!

If DIY failures have made you think about swearing off crafting forever, Joselyn Hughes is going to make you think again. And pee laughing while you’re doing it. Just a few pages into Joselyn’s DIY, DAMMIT! A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting and I was annoying my hubby reading funny bits aloud and wanting to make all the things. There’s 35 easy, affordable and good-looking crafts for gifting, organizing, wearing, decorating and entertaining, plus a quiz to help you find out what kind of crafter you are (I love quizzes!), what to drink while crafting (ha!) and what to do when disaster strikes. And more! So what to make first? The platter with panache? Beer in a poncho? (See, the crafts even sound funny. Dammit she’s good!) DIY, DAMMIT! A Practical Guide to Curse-Free Crafting + Win a copy!

OUTSIDE THE LINES, TOO + A giveaway!

I’ve been at my wit’s end this week struggling to find ways to entertain the kids (and keep my sanity!) in the last couple of days before they’re back in school. What’s saved us is one of the most simple activities: colouring. And not just the kids, but me too. Penguin Random House sent me a copy of the adult colouring book OUTSIDE THE LINES, TOO: An Inspired and Inventive Coloring Book by Creative Masterminds curated by Souris Hong, and within minutes of putting my pencil crayons to paper I started to feel my frustrations melt away.  OUTSIDE THE LINES, TOO + A giveaway!

The Canning Kitchen blog tour + A giveaway!

If August is the Sunday of summer, it’s high time to start thinking about putting down some of the season’s bounty. And I’ve got just the book to help you do it. It’s The Canning Kitchen by Amy Bronee. Penguin Random House Canada Limited sent me and nine other lucky food bloggers a copy to review and are providing 10 additional copies to share with you! Whether you’re new to canning like me or an old pro, you’ll want to add it to your cookbook collection.  The Canning Kitchen blog tour + A giveaway!

Five things + A giveaway!

School’s out and summer’s officially here! What’s in store for the weekend, everybody? My kiddos are away visiting family for a couple of days so I’m catching up on some reading, doing a lot of cleaning (it’s really the only time I feel like I can make some headway) and going out to dinner tonight with girlfriends from the neighbourhood. Here’s a look at some of the goings-on in the past week or two. Five things + A giveaway!

The Sweetapolita Bakebook + A Giveaway!

Random House Canada sent me a complimentary copy to review, however all opinions are my own. 

If I slept with a book under my pillow like my kids, The Sweetapolita Bakebook would be the one I’d tuck under my head and dream about each night. Baker, blogger and photographer extraordinaire Rosie Alyea invites readers to a magical land where playing with your food is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Colour and paint on decadent cookies and cakes with edible paint and chalk, make your own sprinkles and candy clay, and top your cupcakes with toasted marshmallow frosting — Alyea shows you how in step-by-step instructions even the newest (and littlest!) bakers will want to try. And if you have a few flops along the way, she’s there to remind you she’s had her share of failures too. The teenager who fell in love with the world of cake and confection working at a bakery grew into a multi-talented entrepreneur, mother of two, and author of this most endearing first book where decorating takes the cake. The Sweetapolita Bakebook + A Giveaway!

Win all the notebooks!

Hey hey, it’s Friday! How ’bout a little getaway to close out the week? Today you can enter to win a collection of my favourite notebooks, perfect for recording your dreams and goals and daily to-dos. Whatever your heart desires — there’s page after page of possibility, and you can fill them all!

journal

Keep one on your nightstand, throw another in your backpack, stick one (a tiny one) in your pocket. More is More!

photo (84)

Oh Target. I’m so sad you couldn’t make it here in Canada. Your TOMS for Target collection was the best!

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For years I thought pretty notebooks like these were too good to use and scribbled my to-do’s on scrap pieces of paper. Then I bit the bullet and wrote in one and it was so… liberating! I feel much more organized having all of my thoughts and lists in one place. And who says that place can’t be pretty too?

photo (82)

Ready to win them all? Click here to enter, then make sure you come back and tell me something about yourself. (I love learning about my readers!) You must leave a comment in order to be eligible. The giveaway is open to Canada and the US and closes Sunday, February 8.

Good luck everybody!

Update February 8: A winner has been chosen — congratulations Lucy Pu

Win my Fall faves!

Ahhh, Fall. The perfect time to curl up with a good book, a hot beverage and chocolate bar. Even if that’s just 20 minutes after the kids have finally fallen asleep and the dishes are done and the email’s answered and that sticky patch is scrubbed off the floor (what was that sticky patch?) and you can barely keep your eyes open but dammit, you’re going to get some time to yourself. And then maybe finding the book so good you stay up way too late reading and the morning comes too damn early and you curse yourself for not going to sleep earlier, knowing you’ll do it all over again. Maybe tonight. Maybe with some of my Fall faves!

That’s right everybody, it’s giveaway time! One lucky reader is going to win three of my favourite Fall luxuries: maple sugar DAVIDsTEA, a bar of Camino (fair-trade! organic! kosher! gluten free!) milk chocolate and the fantastic new sequel to The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Effect.

fall faves

You don’t need to read The Rosie Project to get The Rosie Effect, ‘tho it’ll help you understand and empathize with the main characters so you might want to start with that first. I wanted each page of The Rosie Effect to be a surprise so I never read a summary, but you can read one here from Chapters (where I ordered it for 50% off). If you could see the bags under my eyes you’d know I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up late several nights to finish it and miss the characters already.

maple sugar tea final

The maple sugar tea is a recent discovery; it’s smooth and sweet (but not too sweet!) and smells divine. It goes great with the Camino milk chocolate (my all-time fave!) and the fair trade cancels out the calories, so enjoy it guilt free!

Now for the giveaway! To enter, leave a comment below telling my some of your Fall faves, then click on this link to indicate you did so and to obtain additional entries. (If I could, I’d put the form here so you wouldn’t have to click on an external link, but my blog isn’t self-hosted so I don’t have the capability.) The giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents and ends at midnight EST on October 30. Enter today, then come back and enter again!

Good luck everybody! Can’t wait to hear about some of your Fall faves!

This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share some of my favourite luxuries with you!

Winner! Winner!

Thanks for entering my first giveaway, everybody! We have a winner! Is it you?

accessories-giveaway-collage

 

Oooh, this is exciting! Click here to find out!

If you saw your name, please send me your address and I’ll pop your prize in the mail this week.

Didn’t win? I’m sorry. I wish I had something for everybody! If you hop on over to my friend Aneta’s blog, you can enter to win a $25 pre-paid Mastercard gift card. (Open worldwide, ends August 10.)

Crossing my fingers for you!

Accessorize your summer giveaway

That’s right, everybody! It’s my first giveaway! A little sumthin’ sumthin’ to thank my current followers (at least in Canada and the US) and welcome my new ones.

If you’ve been reading you know I’m just a couple of months into the blog and still feeling my way around. I’m trying to work out what and when to post (I’d love to post more often, but I really have a hard time with the writing) and how much I’d like to share about myself. Part of me feels inauthentic for not talking about some of my struggles, but I’m an introvert and a pretty private person, so I’m much more comfortable one on one. Plus I’m not sure I want to have some things on the Interwebs forever and ever, you know? For now I’m happy to connect over our shared love for cooking, crafting and style and decor. And (I hope) these fab accessories!

AEO watch

I’m starting to feel a little too old to shop at American Eagle Outfitters but they have the best jeans (unlike some similarly priced brands, they don’t have massive pockets that inch into your thighs and make you look like you have a big butt) so I suck it up and walk in. Have you seen their accessories? They have trendy, delicate necklaces, rings and earrings and a great selection of sunglasses, bags and watches like this one, often buy one, get another 50% off. This week I bought one for me and one for you. It’s the rubber link watch, regularly $32.11 CAD. Mine’s got a hot pink strap and a rose gold face, but I thought you might prefer the more classic white and stainless steel. Goes with everything, yes? Maybe something in your closet?

clutch and worn archive

The GAP is another one of my go-to’s whenever I’m downtown at the mall, ‘tho I tend to shop more frequently at the (less expensive) GAP Factory Store near me. Whether I’m pressed for time or not, I usually breeze past the new arrivals at the front and head straight for the sale items at the back. This printed leather clutch was somewhere in the middle this week, heavily discounted from the regular $44.95 CAD. I love the tropical print (wouldn’t it look great with jeans and a white t-shirt?) and the size. There’s room for a couple of small diapers and some baby wipes or a great paperback and your compact.

Now here’s the fun part: entering to win! Simply click this link – a Rafflecopter giveaway – and follow the prompts. The giveaway’s open to Canada and the US until midnight EST on Sunday, August 3, so you’ve got plenty of time to enter, and you can tweet daily for bonus entries. Tell your friends! Tell one and all! A winner will be randomly generated and announced on Monday, August 4.

Good luck, everybody! Thanks for following along, and special blog love for some of my early supporters, including Aneta of Home With Aneta, Cathy of Cathy Thinking Out Loud, Hélène of La cuisine d’Hélène and my sister-in-law Janey of Clean Fit Mom. Check out their sites and be inspired!

This is not a sponsored post. Opinions and prizes are my own.