A tisket, a tasket: Five things for your tween’s Easter basket

Easter is almost here and THANK GOODNESS! I’m ready to bite the ears off chocolate bunnies and see fuzzy newborn chicks and set the table in pretty pastels for a special dinner celebrating our favourite Spring holiday. But I think I have the most fun (next to decorating eggs) building Easter baskets for my kids. Usually a few little treats tucked around a special chocolate bunny — smaller treats when the kids were smaller, and now a little more substantial. Mainly because I find so many cute things they’d like and I CANNOT RESIST. But also because I want them to really value what they get and enjoy it for a while. Today I’ve got some ideas for an Easter basket I made with my tween in mind but older and younger kids might like them just as much too.  A tisket, a tasket: Five things for your tween’s Easter basket

Five things

I don’t have the patience to shop WINNERS for clothes but when it comes to stand-out accessories, well I’ve got all the time in the world. This sweet bag said take me home when I spied it in store last weekend for $9.99 (regular price!). But before you run out to try to snag one of your own, here’s four other things from this week.  Five things

Leaf it to Minted for botanical style

From fashion to home decor and everything in between, botanicals are bigger than ever. It’s one of my favourite trends for spring/summer, so naturally I looked to nature to freshen up our gallery wall for the new season. Leaf it to Minted to have botanical prints for every style under the sun, whether vintage, boho or (my favourite) tropical greens. I spent a contented couple of hours last month tilling the site for a selection of plantastic prints to complement the ones we already had. Who says blue and green should never be seen? You’ll see plenty here and I think it’s fab!  Leaf it to Minted for botanical style

Five things

I don’t know how you can say you overindulged over the holidays because I’m pretty sure I ate all the treats. Sometimes because they were there, sometimes because they were just too good, and sometimes because I was stressed out (I’m a terrible stress-eater!). But there are plenty of other things that aren’t brownies that are really good too, and much healthier all-round. This week I loaded up on fruits and veggies to try some of the recipes in Julie Daniluk’s three-day hot detox and three-day reboot cleanse.

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I’m not following either to the letter (see last night’s tacos) but I’m loving the recipes I’ve tried. The berry boost smoothie is a surprisingly delicious and energizing blend of mood-boosting spinach, fruit, coconut beverage, hemp hearts and a few other things, and the broccoli blender soup is also tasty and satisfying.

broccoli soup

Have you ever tried a detox or a cleanse? How did it go?

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A shout-out to 1Milk2Sugars PR for their speedy delivery of the Clarisonic prize package I won from My Fash Avenue just before the holidays. It arrived this week in this beautiful box full of items (including a Clarisonic Aria — woot!) to make my skin clean, clear and younger-looking. Have you joined the #sonicrevolution?

ikea grey

Yesterday we went to IKEA for the first time in a couple of months and look what’s arrived since our last go-round! The IKEA Paper Shop! It took everything in me not to load a cart with all the pretty decorations, stationary, wrapping paper and washi tape.

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And speaking of stationary, look for a giveaway this week for your chance to win this More Is More notebook from The Red Bow and some my other faves from Chapters and Target.

Have a good week everybody!

Five things

Last week was exciting, mes amis! Starting with the grand opening of Ottawa’s first American Girl boutique in one of our favourite stores, Chapters! The Rideau Street location is one of just four specialty boutiques across Canada.

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My daughter’s pored over the dolls and their accessories in the American Girl catalogues countless times, so she was enchanted to see and touch them in person. And bonus, a goodie bag for every visitor on opening day! Lily has been playing with her doll dining kit all week. (It was in the bag, along with a doll-sized t-shirt Lily put on another doll as soon as we got home.)

bowling 9 all knocked down

We completed another DIY for So Fawned, this DIY pumpkin bowling using toilet paper for pins and mini pumpkins and gourds for the bowling balls. Check out the easy how-to!

Steves birthday cake

Somebody couldn’t keep her fingers out of her dad’s birthday cake. Those are Malteasers around the outside (aka Whoppers in the US).

you wonderful thing you for blog

Sunday the kids were at a playdate for most of the day, so I took some time to write some snail mail. Isn’t it so nice to get a letter in the mail?

gourd table setting

And remember my gourd tea light holders? Last week they were featured on Urban Barn’s blog! I know, what? Hop on over and take a look! (Love Urban Barn!)

Hope you have a great week ahead, everybody.

(Mine aren’t normally this exciting but you know, we try to make our own fun.)

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!

Five things

How were your first few days of Fall, everybody? Do you welcome the season in your decor? I spend most of my time in the kitchen, so I love to pile a bunch of gourds on a cake plate and admire them throughout the day.

gourds square

Aren’t they gourd-geous? If you hop on over to So Fawned, you’ll see what I did with these babies.

gourd soup

Here’s a little peek. (I couldn’t resist!)

you are nice dad

You know I love a good kitchen gadget. This week we made some special personalized cookies using these cool cookie cutters. (On clearance at Winners for $5! Woot!)

cactus at market

Cactus at the farmer’s market yesterday morning. Maybe my favourite thing all season!

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Do you crush on pretty stationary too? I am loving my Kate Spade planner and notecards from Chapters. Almost too pretty to use!

And only three more days ’til Blissdom! Woot! What are you up to this week?

Winner! Winner!

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

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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.