Woman in Real Life:The Art of the Everyday

Thursday, December 18, 2014

School Lunches Made Simple

Of all the many things that I love about Christmas vacation, not having to make school lunches is pretty high on the list. On the face of it, you wouldn't think it's such a difficult task. But when you consider picky eaters, the desire to provide healthy, portable lunches and the necessity of packing nut-free snacks, the day-to-day of it can become quite tedious.

If you have some time off work this month (or maybe a patient grandmother around to help with the kids), it might just be a good time to re-consider how you handle school lunches in the new year. In that spirit, I recently re-organized my lunch cupboard. By the way, actually having a lunch cupboard is my top tip for making lunch preparation simpler.




If you are a regular reader, you know by now how much I love my Wantable boxes. That's why I asked Wantable if they would partner with me to give away a box to one lucky reader this holiday season. If you're not familiar with Wantable, the company sells accessories, intimates or cosmetics boxes, curated just for you based on your preferences. There's also a new fitness category, currently only available in the U.S. Whatever category you choose, you get a fun surprise box of goodies in your snail mail. You can buy just one box or get a discounted price by subscribing for monthly boxes.

I think it's a great holiday gift idea for any woman on your list (including yourself) who could use a little extra pampering this winter. My December accessories collection did not disappoint. Wantable accessory boxes can hold anything from jewelry to sunglasses to scarves. This month I received a large statement necklace, two pairs of earrings and a bracelet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



My husband's birthday happens to fall just a couple of weeks before Christmas, which means I have to think of not one, but two major gifts to get for him in December. Gift number one, the birthday gift, was easy. The two of us were previously "sharing" a tablet, but he would often accuse me of hogging it. (I can't deny it - I like to read magazines at night on my tablet.) So he was thrilled to get this
8.4-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S. I have to admit it's super cool and I kinda wish I could keep it for myself. What really makes it stand out from its competitors is the crystal-clear screen and ultra-thin (only 6.6mm), lightweight design. It's very sleek and high-tech looking.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S is ideal for watching a movie, reading a magazine, browsing Instagram, reading a book or playing a game. I am not skilled in techno-speak, but apparently what makes the screen look so fab is the Super AMOLED display. It has clearer contrast, more vivid colours and resolution that is twice as good as an HDTV! That last detail is the kind of stuff that's thrilling for the male folk among us, if my husband is any indication.

What I Ate Wednesday - A Day of Eats

I knew that Christmas was coming. I really did. Yet somehow I didn't schedule all my shopping, cleaning (and blog posts) efficiently. Let's not even talk about the baking! Lots to be done all around! But I'm looking forward to a lot of rest and chilling with family and friends too. Maybe reading a couple of novels. Wouldn't that be incredible?

Anyway, my last-minute tasks mean I didn't snap many food photos at all this week, so I'm just sharing a look at everything I ate yesterday. I went to the health food store after I dropped the kids off at school in the morning. I hadn't eaten anything, and you know what they say - don't go grocery shopping while you're hungry! Needless to say, I bought lots of stuff, including Gardein breakfast sandwiches. I've been wanting to try them for a while, but they are pricey and you know how groceries add up. But I needed a quick breakfast yesterday, so there you are. The sandwich (complete with vegan patty and vegan cheese slice) was pretty great for a quick breakfast. The patty is a little more spiced than I would like though.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Housecleaning Made Easy with the Dyson Digital Slim™ DC62 Cordless Vacuum

The more children and pets you have in your home, the more mess there is to clean up. Add to that the fact that those very same children and pets require care and attention that prevents you from spending a lot of time cleaning and you've got a challenge on your hands. Are you with me? So, in between walking the dogs, taking the children to appointments and activities, work, grocery shopping and making dinner, there's some housecleaning to be done.

When I moved to this house seven years ago, I was delighted to have central vac. But it turns out that in actual fact that long vacuum tube is quite unwieldy and inconvenient - not the ideal thing to grab when the cereal gets knocked over or one thousand bracelet beads get dropped on the floor. And that big ole vacuum rarely got put away, so people were constantly tripping on the hose (or using it like a tightrope in the case of the kids). Having heard great things about Dyson products from family members and friends, I turned to them to help me with my vacuuming challenges.

Special Features & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #14

I thought I'd do things a little differently for this week's Vintage Bliss Tuesday. Instead of showing you more of my vintage, inherited and thrifty items, I am featuring a few goodies that were linked up at last week's party. There were so many great things that it was hard to choose, but I narrowed it down to these four items that really spoke to my heart.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Shopping - The Teacher Gift

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

Despite having the best of intentions, I always end up doing some last-minute Christmas shopping. To me, Christmas is about the kids most of all, and they are always at the top of my list. Then there are gifts for my husband, parents, sister and in-laws (in no particular order - ha ha). Sadly, it’s often not until the night before the last day of school that something clicks in my head and I realize I have yet to buy gifts for teachers.

Teacher gifts aren't the easiest gifts to buy, because generally you don't know that much about your children's teachers. (I think that's why I put off shopping for them and then end up grabbing gift cards at the last minute.) But teachers deserve special treats at Christmas. After all, they provide education, care and attention to our children throughout the year. And what's more important than that?