Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Pop! Events Toy Sale in Toronto


Christmas shopping for kids can be a lot of work - there are lists to be made, budgets to consider, stores to be visited, wrapping to be done and then there's the challenge of hiding the gifts until it's time for Santa to make an appearance. If you live in the Greater Toronto Area, I've got a suggestion that can make your shopping experience easier.

Once again this year, Pop! Events Group is holding their Toronto Toy Sale. Pop! Events Group provides toys for corporate holiday parties. All of the toys that don't get used for these corporate parties end up at the Christmas toy sale at significantly reduced prices (up to 90 percent off). The sale runs until Christmas Eve and new toys are added regularly. You'll find toys and craft kits for kids ages infant to about 12 years.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Vegan Chocolate Pie With Cookie Crumbles (Gluten-Free) + A Sweets from the Earth Bakery Giveaway

This luscious vegan and gluten-free chocolate pie has a cashew cookie crust and a chocolate tofu pudding filling. Serve it right out of the freezer for the creamy taste of a chocolate ice pop!

With the holidays coming up, no doubt you are expecting guests or looking forward to parties with friends and family. Whether you're preparing a dessert to serve after Christmas dinner or bringing a dish along to a potluck party, it's nice to make sure everyone feels included. This luscious chocolate pie is the right amount of delicious and decadent for a holiday dessert. It's also vegan and gluten-free so it's a great offering for vegan or gluten-free friends and family.

An Easy DIY 3D Cricut Christmas Tree Ornament + Giveaway of a Cricut Explore Air 2!

Easy DIY 3D Christmas Tree Ornament (cut with the Cricut Explore Air) - a quick, fun craft project for your Christmas tree

Everyone seems to be getting into the Christmas spirit early this year, don't you find? I think maybe a lot of us are craving the sense of beauty and togetherness that comes with the holidays. My daughter wanted to do all the Christmas decorating this past weekend, but we just didn't have the time - what with a basketball tournament and our continued foyer renovations.

I did manage to find some time this weekend to make these cute DIY Christmas tree ornaments. A deadline always helps to motivate me, and today is deadline day, as I'm joining a group of other bloggers to not only share our Christmas ornament DIYs, but also to give away a new mint green Cricut Explore Air™ 2 machine! I know there are lots of you who would love to get a Cricut for Christmas, so read on to enter below.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide For Foodies (And a Philips Giveaway!)



There was a time when I might have said a gift based on cooking wasn't exactly a gift. Kind of like giving somebody a vacuum for Christmas. I've since discovered that adults often like to cook, bake and, best of all, eat! In fact, baking is now one of my very own favourite things to do. (And a good vacuum is worth its weight in gold!)

DIY Linocut Print Kraft Paper Christmas Gift Wrap #12monthsofdiy


The fact that this is the eleventh month of #12monthsofdiy makes me feel like this year has flown right on by! Do you feel just the same way - like Christmas 2016 felt like such a looong way off, not so very long ago? The holidays will be here before we know it!

In that spirit, I have another little holiday-type craft to share for November. Our material of the month (for all 12 bloggers participating in the challenge) is paper. A few of us ended up choosing to do wrapping paper, because I suppose we have all things holiday on the brain(s). With our foyer makeover in full swing, I keep envisioning how I'll have a fresh, clean space to decorate for Christmas. Because the foyer colour scheme is black, white, grey and teal, I thought I'd incorporate black into my gift wrapping. Also, I intend for our new foyer space to be more simple, with less furnishings and hopefully less clutter. So I felt that the clean look of kraft paper would be suitable for our gift wrapping.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Simple Vegan Pumpkin Loaf

This Simple Vegan Pumpkin Loaf requires few ingredients and is easy to whip together. Makes a delicious brunch addition or a weekday work snack.

Halloween is over. The jack-o'-lanterns have been tossed into the compost pile. But let's not turn our backs on the glorious pumpkin. Yes, there will be pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving (if you're in the U.S.) and possibly after Christmas dinner. In the meantime, get the antioxidant health benefits of pumpkin in a delicious warm loaf, perfect for a Sunday brunch or a snack to enjoy on a mid-morning work break.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What I Ate Wednesday (in a post-election haze)


How many of you stayed up late to watch U.S. election results? I finally went to bed about 12:20, hoping I'd wake up in the morning to find the results were only a bad dream. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I didn't want Trump to win. Seeing as I'm Canadian, I don't think that comes as a surprise.

As this article shows, 80 per cent of Canadians polled said a Trump victory would be bad for our country. Not that Hillary is our top pick - 34 per cent felt she'd be bad for Canada. But, if we're talking the lesser of two evils here, come on people. You know who is our top pick? First Lady Michelle Obama! I don't even know if she wants the job, but how awesome is she? Sixty-one per cent of Canadians want her to run for president. The fact that she would be the first female president, as well as being African American, is kind of just a bonus, considering she is intelligent, caring, ethical and well-informed. (I don't think you could apply any of those adjectives to Trump.) Too bad we don't have a say.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

10 Cleaning & Organizing Tips From Lifestyle and Decor Bloggers + A Mrs. Meyer's Giveaway


When we flip that calendar page to November, many of us switch to full holiday planning mode. Although I tend to be a rather last-minute Christmas shopper, I do like to think about the state of my house as soon as possible. Because it's not always pretty around here. In fact, if you were to swing by unannounced, there's a strong likelihood you'd note our general lack of housekeeping skills.

Just in case you are hopelessly overwhelmed in the housekeeping arena (ie. with too little time and all too much to do), I offer up some inspiration. I have gathered helpful homecaring tips from knowledgeable Canadian lifestyle and home decor bloggers who probably have cleaner homes than mine. But maybe not. I think most of us are just doing the best we can.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How To Make An Easy Fall Pennant Banner With Your Cricut (with a free design)


I've had my Cricut Explore Air™ for not yet two months, but I have used it many times already. In fact, I've even had the audacity to offer a couple of tutorials - for my gold foil laundry jar labels and my gift tag ribbon garland made with old Christmas cards. I figure there are many other people out there who are new to the Cricut experience too. Hopefully those of you who are will enjoy learning along with me.

With that in mind, I am offering another fun and easy Cricut tutorial - for a simple yet pretty fall (or autumn) banner. I like to create my own free design whenever possible, and that's what I'm sharing here. For more sophisticated designs, you can also sign up for Cricut Access™ and get unlimited access to images, fonts and projects.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Arugula and Mixed Greens Salad With Avocado, Pumpkin Seeds & Roasted Beets

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



If you're like me, you love beets but you don't often prepare them. They can be messy right!? They turn your hands red. They stain your cutting board and maybe even your clothes. And the thought of storing them in a normal storage container brings visions of a plastic container forever lined with beet markings. But I think we need to give beets a second chance. The pigments that give beets that rich colour are antioxidants that may provide health benefits. Beets are especially great in winter. They are energizing for your body and they're high in immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as fibre, manganese and potassium.

I'm going to tell you how to roast and peel beets with minimal mess. We'll put them on top of a healthy mixed greens salad with other beneficial ingredients like avocado and pumpkin seeds. (Pumpkin seeds provide you with zinc to help you ward off colds this season!) And we'll store our salad in Rubbermaid Brilliance storage containers, which are stain resistant and therefore not afraid of no beets!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Old Antiques Magazines & Vintage Bliss Tuesdays Linky Party #102


Pretty much every time I visit my parents, Mom and I deliver a few things to the thrift shop. Or she gives me things - mostly dishes and other household items. She is trying to de-clutter (as are most of us I think). But last time I visited, she wanted me to toss a bunch of old magazines in recycling. And I couldn't do it. I put them in our van instead. Which isn't ideal, because I really need to de-clutter too. The magazines are mostly old editions of The Antiques Journal from the seventies and eighties.

I have a weakness for magazines. (I recycled over 300 in the past year and it was hard because usually I read them before tossing them - I had to let that go quite a bit.) And these old antiques magazines are so cool. The subjects are fascinating. Since it was Halloween last night, I thought I'd share a bit of the October 1974 edition of The Antiques Journal, with a section devoted to witchcraft antiques or "antiques of the occult."

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