Friday, November 29, 2019

2020 Calendar, Planner and Stickers (Giveaway)

I know, I know - Christmas hasn't even come yet and I'm already talking about the 2020 calendar! But after the Christmas whirlwind is over and the New Year's Eve champagne has dried up, it will be time for reflection, resolutions and planning our goals and activities for a fresh new year.

Personally, I believe in the importance of paper calendars and planners. Sure phone and online calendars are useful - especially if you are out and about making appointments and planning meet-ups. But I keep myself organized best with two strategic tools - a wall or fridge calendar and a desktop (like actually on top of the desk) planner. Read on to see the calendars and stickers I'll be using in 2020 - and enter for a chance to win your own set of these planning tools.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Easy Christmas Table Decor Ideas and A Simple Candy Cane Chocolate Cake With Fudge Icing (vegan recipe)

Easy Christmas Table Decor Ideas

I'm always a little shocked when I hear the first Christmas songs playing over the mall sound system. It strikes me as waaay too early! But then suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Christmas is almost here and I'm not nearly as prepared as I want to be. Fortunately I've got my Christmas table decorations all set. I partnered with beloved Canadian retailer Giant Tiger to put together a beautiful, budget-friendly festive Christmas table. Read on to see how I built my table decor step by step from the tablecloth on up.

I also have a new recipe for you - it's a simple vegan chocolate cake with fudge icing and crushed candy canes on top. I like this recipe because it requires only common ingredients and it's not difficult at all to prepare. In fact, this cake is quite easy to make, and yet your friends and family - especially the kids - will be impressed by its festive appearance, thanks to the candy canes.

Friday, November 22, 2019

15 Vegan Cookies, Squares and Desserts to Make For Christmas

I'll be honest, a huge part of Christmas for me is about the cookies. And the squares. And the desserts. Every Christmas Eve, I set out my mom's vintage three-tiered cookie tray, piled high with all kinds of (what I consider) the best Christmas cookies and squares. Today I thought I'd share some of those cookie recipes and hopefully you'll make them and pile them on a platter this Christmas Eve too!

These are all vegan Christmas cookies and desserts, but don't let that deter you if you aren't vegan. The recipes are easy to make, require very common ingredients and taste delicious. These vegan Christmas cookies recipes are perfect for your vegan friends (naturally), but also for those who are allergic to dairy or eggs. Every recipe is completely free of dairy and eggs. Read on for my selection of the best Christmas cookies.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

25 Personalized DIY Holiday Gifts To Make With Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

25 Personalized DIY Holiday Gifts To Make With Cricut Maker or Explore Air 2

Over the years, my favourite Christmas gifts have been handmade gifts from my children. When they were little ones, they would come home from school with adorable holiday crafts for us - a Nativity scene made with paper characters inside a painted clementine crate, angels made with clothes pegs and paper ornaments with their school photos pasted to them. 

Now that my kids are teenagers, they use money earned at their jobs to buy me candles and chocolates and other goodies. And I love all these gifts, I really do. A parent can't help but miss the personalized, handmade gifts given from tiny hands though. Fortunately my kids are also old enough now to craft personalized holiday gifts with our Cricut Maker. So they (and I) can make a multitude of thoughtful gifts that speak to the interests and characteristics of the gift recipients.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Cricut Gift Guide: 10 Crafty Items for the Cricut Beginner

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

A guide to the 10 best crafty gift items to buy for the Cricut newbie.

Cricut Gift Guide: 10 Crafty Items for the Cricut Beginner

The holiday season is almost here and it certainly can't hurt to get some shopping done right away. We all know how horribly overwhelming it gets when you have a long list of gifts to buy and you have to head to the mall in the crazy busy days before Christmas. (For me personally, it seems that no matter how good my intentions, I end up needing at least a few gifts and stocking stuffers on Christmas Eve.)

This Cricut gift guide is intended to help the new crafter or DIY enthusiast as well as the experienced crafter who is new to Cricut machines. (Even if you are an experienced Cricut user, you might enjoy reading my list of Cricut necessities and maybe adding your own recommendations in the comments section.) This gift guide is for the person who wants to add items to their wish list for others to buy, as well as the person who plans to introduce somebody else to new crafting treasures. Cricut has the perfect gifts for the crafters, artists, makers, Etsy sellers, teachers, moms, dads and teens in your life. Please read on for my thoughts on how to get started with Cricut.

Delicious Berry Oat Jam Bars (Vegan) Recipe

Delicious Berry Oat Jam Bars (Vegan) Recipe

Now that we've seen the first (and the second) snowfall of the year, my thoughts inevitably turn to baking. How many warm scones, muffins and cookies will it take to get me through the long, snowy, cold Canadian winter? Quite a few, my friends. Quite a few.

Berries are one of my favourite foods to enjoy in summer, when they are fresh, abundantly available, affordable and sometimes even local or pick your own. That being said, I'm not prepared to leave berries behind in winter. That's when frozen berries come in handy. If you are on the hunt for easy blueberry recipes or blueberry desserts, these delicious berry oat bars might be your jam (pun intended). They are also perfect for the strawberry enthusiast and the raspberry lover. Really you can use any combination of fresh or frozen berries you desire or have available. Infusing your recipes with berries offers not only great taste, but the added bonus of healthy antioxidants.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

How To Make Personalized Gifts With Cricut Maker and Aluminum Sheets

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

There's nothing so sweet as a handmade gift during the holidays. Whether it's a hand-drawn card from a child, a set of crocheted dish cloths or a festively wrapped package of homemade cookies, a thoughtfully prepared gift beats a store-bought gift any day. Having a Cricut Maker gives you an advantage in the handmade gifts department, with endless opportunities to make cute personalized gifts that speak to the interests and characters of the recipients.

My husband is a music lover (and he's got the guitar collection to prove it). He has snagged a little room in the basement - a bit of a man cave if you will - in which to hang out with his guitars, plug in his amp and blast out some tunes. I thought I'd use Cricut's new engraving tool on an aluminum sheet to make him a personalized sign or door plaque for his little music "studio." I'm going to show you how to do it, in case you have a music lover in your family too. Of course, you can engrave any names, images or words onto the aluminum sheet, so this gift works for those who love dance, cooking, dogs or anything else!