New Year, New Rituals.

January 4, 2015

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only. 

I can’t believe I pulled it off. I did it! I actually unplugged for almost two whole weeks. No blogging, no social (okay, a little social) and most of all, no obsessive email checking. I was officially off the grid for 10 days! Did you miss me?

At first, it felt a bit strange… especially if you consider that it’s been almost six years since I’ve had a real holiday. No seriously! The trips I take – they’re press trips, which means that I’m actually working non-stop. Even when my workplace is the Caribbean or a Disney park. But this… this was a bona fide staycation that I needed oh so much!

So what did I do? I shopped online. I shopped in-store. I re-organized my closet. I decluttered and purged. I slept in, read chick lit and mystery novels, and ate a lot of food. I joined Weight Watchers. I took time every single day to savour a few moments for myself. I made posh coffee house drinks in my Hamilton Beach Cappuccino & Espresso Maker.
DSC_0319And most importantly, I made a promise to myself to continue these rituals in 2015. Because a few uninterrupted moments of bliss, every day, does a mind, body and spirit good. Love the way I think? Then we need to get a Hamilton Beach Cappuccino & Espresso Maker in your home, too.  (more…)

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Old Habits Die Hard.

December 31, 2014

Shopaholic habits, that is.

I truly am a reformed character. I pay my Visa on time, every time, and rarely react to the words “sample sale”. I’ve decluttered my closet (twice), purged my stash of accessories, and sent bags of footwear to charity. I’ve evaluated every purchase I’ve made for the last seven years, carefully weighing the pros and cons.

And if there’s one thing I’ve learned to do, it’s wait for a sale. 

So you just know I had to purchase this Carousel Necklace from Pink Lovebird Boutique. After coveting it for months (thank you Ella Pretty Blog), I found it for 50% off with code “cheer50″, which makes it a steal at just $24.00 (plus FREE shipping). I have exactly six white tops that are begging to be paired with this gorgeous piece. This is what happiness looks like.
pink lovebird 2I could have stopped there. I *should* have stopped there. Except that I texted the sale to my girlfriend, who then proceeded to purchase this stunning Moonlight Serenade Necklace. I conceded that I had considered that piece as well… but for some reason, did not place it in my shopping cart. Why didn’t I place it in my shopping cart?   (more…)

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Did Canadian Tire Save Christmas?

December 25, 2014

Psst… I received a very strange email in the wee hours of the morning – containing a few photos and a copy of a hush-hush video – and it was simply too good not to share.

I admit I’m a little nervous about posting this on my site, as it involves a certain celebrity, a stealth paparazzi, and likely a situation that a jolly ol’ PR team would like to keep under wraps. Here’s some photographic evidence of what went down last night:
IMG_9958 (1)If you’re thinking, “Gee, that looks like Santa!”… you’d be correct. And wouldn’t you know it, I spy his trusted reindeer, look less than impressed. Confused? Yeah me too. (more…)

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Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2014

Christmas 2014bDear Friends,

May the holidays refresh your spirit and bring you new inspiration and happiness. May the splendor of the season fill your heart with peace. Wishing you the joy of family, the happiness of friends, and the love of Christmas!

Today, I’m unofficially setting up an “Out of Office Alert”. Over the next several days I’ll be enjoying food, family and the festivities of the season – and hope you’ll be doing the same. (Of course, I may not be able to stay away long. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be back sooner than later.)

I also hope you’ll partake in a Christmas carol, cookie and cocktail! After all, ’tis the season! My recommendations – O Holy Night, Shortbread and a Peppermint Martini.

Have a wonderful week, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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My PIKA for Winter Fashion: SHOEme

December 22, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

It’s a time-honoured recipe for success: Great Prices + Great Customer Service = Happy Customers.

And, happy customers are repeat customers.

You’ve probably heard of SHOEme – Canada’s online shoe store, offering over 180 brands and growing. But you may not know why it’s so awesome – or why it’s now my favourite place to shop online for footwear. And today, I really want to tell you.
DSC_0217I can break down my love affair with SHOEme into three distinct categories: Selection, Service, and their Star Attraction – PIKA. In fact, I’ve been lollygagging around town in my brand new PIKA Teya Button boots, and have been pretty damn pleased with myself. Congratulations on discovering your go-to boot for the season, Lena. Yes, I am congratulating myself, because I consider discovering SHOEme and these gorgeous boots a job well done.
DSC_0227But first, selection. It’s hard to find an online shoe destination with choice. And when I say choice, I’m referring to a wide array of premium brands, budget picks, and everything in between. Often, an online shoe retailer tends to sway in one direction or the other. Not the case with SHOEme.  (more…)

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Top 5 Gifts for College Kids from Hamilton Beach

December 20, 2014

It’s no secret; college kids are the toughest demographic to shop for.

First, forget about electronics. Chances are, they’ve already got the latest gadgets… and frankly, you can’t afford the ones they really want. Clothing? Ha. Try keeping on top of the trends… like, are they still wearing skinny jeans, or have boyfriend jeans made a comeback? And I suppose you *could* get them a gift card, but really – isn’t that just what everyone does?

Do college kids really need another Starbucks gift card?

This year, get them something super thoughtful that will make their life easier. From my friends at Hamilton Beach Canada, I’ve found five small appliances that are dorm-friendly, suitable for the domestically-challenged, and of course, won’t break the bank!

41k95x3vh2LStay or Go Blender. College kids like smoothies. They don’t always like to pay $5.95 at their local juice and smoothie bar. The Stay or Go Blender is powerful enough to handle all of their blending needs whether at home or on the go. Combining the practicality of a full-size blender with the convenience of a single-serve, the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Blender fits the busy lifestyle of college kids. With four containers included, this blender is the perfect size for every job. The 32 oz. jar is large enough to serve a study group, and two 16 oz. travel cups with drinking lids are just the right size for smoothies on the go.

All of the included containers are made of shatterproof Tritan that is crystal clear, lightweight, dishwasher safe, and BPA-free. Add ingredients while blending using the removable filler cap on the 32 oz. jar, and use the pulse button for greater control.

Once this multi-tasking blender is in your college kid’s kitchen, it will quickly become their go-to appliance for preparing many different things. MSRP: $39.99

k2-_d599f735-d27f-4496-a6f7-b44269c0bff7.v12-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker. Quite possibly my favourite coffee maker on the planet; it’s perfect for college kids everywhere. Brew a pot for all-nighters during exam week, or pop in a K-Cup coffee pod for single serve java goodness. With a FlexBrew Coffeemaker in their dorm room, they’ll enjoy maximum brewing flexibility.

And just how much caffeine will they serve up? Brew up to 14 oz. of coffee with a single-serve pack, or brew 12 cups with the coffee pot. And of course, the coffeemaker has a programmable timer with 2 hour automatic shutoff, so they’ll never be late for class waiting on that perfect cup.

Of course, pre-packaged coffee isn’t for everyone or every palate. The 2-Way FlexBrew Coffeemaker caters to coffee aficionados by featuring a single-serve permanent filter brew basket that holds a variety of fresh-tasting ground coffee. (Brands such as Folgers, Maxwell House and Starbucks are recommended.) MSRP: $104.99  (more…)

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Sanity Savers 101: Redbox Canada

December 20, 2014

It’s the holidays. And the kids are home… ALL THE TIME. For two weeks. Yikes!

You know what that means – yep, it’s time to pull out every trick in the book. Activities, games, distractions galore. Anything to keep them entertained for the next half month! And at the top of my list this year… movie rentals from Redbox Canada.

From blockbusters like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to family favourites – Planes: Fire & Rescue and The Lego Movie – there are literally hours and hours of prime entertainment value. Simply find a location online and select your disc (DVD or Blu-ray) and reserve it – starting at just $1.50! Then, go to the box, touch “pick up”, swipe your card and grab your disc. (Enjoy the show.) And the best part? You can return your disc to ANY Redbox location in Canada.

RBXca_KIOSK_LFT2_v2So, what are my picks for the holidays? Here’s are a few easy-peasy lists for you to follow!

Holiday Favourites: Arthur Christmas, Happy Christmas, Kung Fu Panda Holiday and A Merry Friggin Christmas (RIP Robin Williams), The Smurfs’ Christmas Carol and Christmas in Conway.

Action: Guardians of the Galaxy, The November Man, The Expendables 3, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Into the Storm, A Million Ways to Die in the West and X-Men: Days of Futures Past.

Comedy: Tammy, 22 Jump Street, Sex Tape, Blended and The Other Women.

Family: Maleficent, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Frozen, Rio 2, Muppets Most Wanted, The Nut Job and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

This holiday season, keep the kiddos happy (and entertained!) with Redbox Canada.

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Holiday Secrets Exposed! Share Yours to WIN!

December 19, 2014

It happened over 10 Christmases ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had just started dating a fellow university student, and he invited me over for Christmas dinner. As we had only been dating for three months, it was *slightly* awkward to spend the holidays with him, but it was even more awkward to turn down the invitation. So, I accepted.

At the dinner? Just his mom and brother, an uncle and “two ladies from church”. Okay, I got this. Asking what I should bring, the then 21-year old said, “Whatever, they like everything.” Hmm… everything? Well that certainly narrowed it down. I asked if there was anything I should know, to which my ex replied, “Nope, you’re good!”

WHY did I trust the word of a 21-year old?

So, I brought a bottle of wine for the uncle… who was a recovering alcoholic. I baked an eggnog cheesecake to present to his mom… who was lactose intolerant. And the handmade truffles I made for his brother? Turns out I added *a little* too much rum to them, and he proceeded to get sloshed. Problem is, the ex never mentioned his brother was only 11 years old.

At least the church ladies liked their candles.

Do you have a holiday gaffe? It’s okay – we’ve all had them! And while we’d normally never admit to a faux pas in the kitchen… like the time I added two tablespoons of dried sage instead of fresh sage to my stuffing (NOT the same thing!!)… Campbell’s Canada wants you to celebrate them! It’s our #HolidaySecretsExposed!

Campbells Holiday Secrets Logo (2)From burning the turkey to dropping the dessert, nearly everyone has a holiday gaffe to confess. Campbell’s is encouraging Canadians to spill the beans (or the wine, as the case may be!) at www.campbellsholidaysecrets.ca. In return for sharing your holiday flub(s), you’ll have a chance to win one of 100 pre-paid credit cards valued at $100 each. They’re sure to come in handy for last-minute purchases to help you survive the chaos of the season!

Visit Campbell’s Holiday Secrets Exposed now and click “Confess Here” to get started. And if you’re looking to feel a bit better about your own disaster, browse the other confessions – trust me, some are downright hilarious!

(As for that sage incident? Let’s just say I now have “Sage Advice” for others – yup, I confessed here!(more…)

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DIY: Quick Holiday Showpiece

December 16, 2014

When it comes to holiday decor, I’ve always been a believer that “more is more”.

Oh sure, simple and streamlined works for everyday life, but Christmas only comes once a year! Hence, I revel in the splendour of the season, and that includes holiday touches at every turn.

This year, I wanted to create a simple showpiece for the fireplace mantle that could double as a table centerpiece or side table decor. And thanks to my friends at The Home Depot, I was able to find everything I needed to make a stunning display. It’s not too late to find everything you need for the holidays in-store and online at www.homedepot.ca.

First, I hung up my brand new wreath – a Home Accents 32 inch Holiday Wreath With Silver Balls. I love that it’s incredibly large with a full, thick appearance. It fills the wall over my mantle in proportion to the allotted space, making it a great investment for corner fireplaces.
DSC_0052However, that’s not the DIY – just the inspiration behind it. You see, I’ve been playing around with mixed metals – wearing a gold watch with my platinum rings, coordinating a rosegold clutch with a bronze belt. And for the most part, I am loving the look. So it’s only natural that I channeled the same inspiration for my decor, and decided to a mashup of brown, copper, silver and gold.  (more…)

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This Holiday Season, Send Your #WellWishes

December 16, 2014

We do Christmas a little differently around here.

You see, for years, my boys have been spoiled – the fringe benefits of having a mom who works in social media. Toys, games – even trips to exotic locations – they show up on the doorstep, and in my inbox, with regularity. And while I won’t apologize for working hard to earn these opportunities, I am sensitive about how they impact my boys’ egos, lifestyle perceptions, and sense of entitlement.

So, during the holidays, I impress on them that it’s a chance to give back for all the wonderful products and experiences they’ve received throughout the year. And they rise to the occasion – they select items to gift and donate, have a generous heart and are happy to spread the joy of the season. I truly could not be more proud.

But what makes our Christmas different? Santa actually bypasses our chimney so he’s able to gift the toys to other boys and girls who are in need. Ryder and Reid understand this, and as such, expect only simple presents from immediately family – pajamas, socks and *maybe* a small LEGO set. I love that they don’t anticipate a mountain of toys; instead, they look for ways they can give back.

This year, I’ve found the perfect way to celebrate the season – we’re sending #WellWishes to children in hospitals, in support of Children’s Miracle Network.
Logo (2)Here’s how you can participate:

1) Kraft Canada will donate $1.00 (up to a maximum of $50,000) to Children’s Miracle Network with your purchase of any Kraft product from Walmart Canada. Or,

2) Send your #WellWishes to children in hospitals on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, remembering to use the hashtag. For every social mention, Kraft Canada will also donate $1.00.  (more…)

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This Holiday Season, Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

December 15, 2014

Be honest: How often do you say thank you to the special people in your life?

The truth is, it’s quite easy to take people for granted, especially the ones we depend on from day-to-day. Fortunately, there are always simple ways to show gratitude, including (my favourite)… the gift of chocolate! And no one knows this better than HERSHEY’S.

Just in time for the holidays, HERSHEY’S has created the Thank You Store. Located at 473 Queen St. West (Queen & Spadina) in Toronto, the store will be open from December 19th – 21st and will give away FREE chocolate to store visitors. The only ask: gift the chocolate to a special person who deserves a sweet “Thank You!” And for those thoughtful enough to pop by, you can indulge in complimentary hot chocolate (and a break from the cold winter air).

Not in the Greater Toronto Area? HERSHEY’S hasn’t forgotten about you! HERSHEY’S wants to help you say “Thank You” – with the #HersheysThankYou Twitter Party!
Hersheys graphic v2Join us this Thursday, December 18th at 1PM EST as we thank those special people who have made our 2014 a little brighter. Of course, a fabulous Twitter Party celebrating friends, loved ones and all things chocolate wouldn’t be complete without fantastic prizes! Up for grabs, six (6) prizes valued at $50.00, and a Grand Prize valued at $250.00!

RSVP below to join the fun, and see you on Thursday afternoon!  (more…)

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Flipp for the Holidays!

December 14, 2014

I have a theory. It hasn’t been verified or anything like that, so please don’t hold me to it. However, after years of testing it out for myself, I’m a firm believer. So here it is –

When shopping, all things the same, 9 out of 10 times, Walmart Canada will have the lowest price.

Simply put, that means you can’t lose shopping at Walmart – on staples goods, brand names, groceries and gear, you can shop in confidence knowing that the prices are not only competitive, but in some cases, a downright steal.

And who doesn’t love a steal?

I must admit; I’d been so spoiled by Walmart’s fabulous prices, I stopped looking at flyers. And for a smart and savvy shopaholic. that was no bueno. But the hassle! The frustration of sorting through mounds of paper (often damp from being left on my doorstep), and the endless coupon clipping… list making… price checking.

Then, I was introduced to Flipp. Flipp is the easiest way to browse flyers and save money. Quickly browse the brands you love, clip items straight to your shopping list, and highlight top deals across flyers. It really is that simple! And, it allows me to organize my shopping lists, so I stay within budget, and don’t overspend.

On average, flyer readers save 40% more on their weekly shopping.

So here’s the deal – the amazing everyday prices at Walmart allowed me to go easy on my flyer reading. But why not save MORE money? Why not be aware of fabulous savings, limited time offers and exciting promotions?

This weekend, I had one major shopping goal: purchase a few toys for the children at a battered women’s shelter that I donate to every Christmas. Normally, I’d just swing by Walmart and pick up a few items, but this time, I decided to read the flyer via the Flipp app.
Flipp 1I am so glad I did! Instantly, I found amazing savings on some of the hottest toys of the season – plus great deals on a few stocking stuffers that I wanted to include.  (more…)

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Maple Stuffed Turkey Breast with Roasted Carrots

December 14, 2014

Note: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Ah, holiday entertaining. It usually involves a great feast, a large gathering… and a fridge full of leftovers. But what about those one-offs? The times when friends or family stop by to celebrate the season? In our family, it’s usually the week between Christmas and New Year’s… when everyone decides that they just have to see each other again. So an invitation is offered, a small group is summoned, and we do Christmas part two. Or three.

While I love being surrounded by loved ones, I don’t love trying to think of meal ideas. That’s why I love this recipe for Maple Stuffed Turkey Breast with Roasted Carrots from Maple Leaf Prime; it’s a tribute to the season on a much smaller scale, and it’s perfect for entertaining over the holidays.
Maple Leaf PrimeSays Maple Leaf: “This mouth-watering Maple Stuffing will leave your guests wanted more! A perfect dish to serve at during the holiday season.” Find this recipe, and more, at Appehtite. Appehtite is a community of people who love to cook, share recipes and celebrate how food brings us together.

This holiday season, we want you feel good about the food you serve to your family and friends. You can trust that Maple Leaf Prime Turkey is Canadian farm raised. In fact, whether fresh or frozen, all of their poultry products are raised here at home, in Canada. Maple Leaf Prime chickens and turkeys are ‘free roam’, which means they’re raised in open concept barns, not cages. They don’t get any growth hormones, either.  (more…)

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Step into Reality. Or, a Reality Show. Welcome to Laguna Beach.

December 14, 2014

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I love a good teen drama.

It all started back in the 90’s, with Beverly Hills, 90210. Yes, I’m talking about the original series – you know, the one with Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty – not the blasphemous facelift they aired from 2008-2013. The series where tween and teen girls everywhere wanted to be Brenda Walsh, not for her mousy brown hair or mom jeans, but for her uncanny ability to secure at least one lip-lock with Dylan per episode.

Until he, you know, got busy with her best friend while she was in Paris.

The particular drama spurred a worldwide interest in Californian teens and college kids, especially when it came to following their (often alcohol-infused) antics. Years later, when reality shows became all the rage, one particular MTV gem roped me in just as surely as the students of West Beverly High.

The show? Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.

The series, however – serving up just three seasons of guilty pleasure – was about more than just love triangles, bon fires on the beach and girl drama. (Although, they seemed to be the crux of the show.) To us older folks – you know, the 20-somethings who lounged in our condos, reveling in the throwback to our youth – it was a chance to live a different life; a life on the beach, in a gorgeous Californian town, surrounded by opulence and luxury. The kind of life that was far-removed from reality – served up on Tuesday nights.
laguna beachAnd during those reality tv binges, I promised myself that one day, I’d visit Laguna Beach; walking in the same sand as Kristen, shopping along the same streets as Lauren.

OMG. Shopping along the same streets as Lauren!

This past summer, as part of our #DisneyVacayCA, my family was afforded to opportunity to spend a day touring the beaches of Orange County. Included in our agenda was a stop in Laguna Beach – and it’s like years of MTV fandom suddenly became a reality. Located midway between Los Angeles and San Diego, this seven-mile stretch of sand and surf offers a year-round retreat for art lovers, nature enthusiasts and beachgoers. (And, anyone who ever spent an hour on Tuesday nights following its most famous inhabitants.)

Welcome to Laguna Beach.  (more…)

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Movies, Memories and More…

December 13, 2014

It’s the holidays… and that means, my home is about to get noisy. Like, really noisy.

With the kids home for two whole weeks – and likely, high on a sugar rush from all the Christmas cookies – I’m already planning for ways to keep them entertained, busy…. OCCUPIED.

Thank goodness for Redbox Canada.

I can find our favourite Christmas movies, the most watched DVD and Blu-ray titles, and of course, NEW releases! I can’t tell you how amazing it is to grab the latest movies my boys have been eager to watch (or watch again). Renting through Redbox is an affordable and convenient way to keep kids entertained over the holidays.

And you can have it all for just $1.50 (plus tax) a day.

You’ve likely seen a Redbox kiosk at a big-box retailer, grocery or convenience store near you. Redbox is Canada’s largest DVD “rentailer” with more than 1,350 automated kiosks across all 10 provinces, and if you’ve ever used the service, you’ll know it’s as easy as pie.

Simply find a location online and select your disc (DVD or Blu-ray) and reserve it. Go to the box, touch “pick up”, swipe your card and grab your disc. And the best part? You can return your disc to ANY Redbox location in Canada.

So, how will you keep your kiddos entertained over the Christmas holidays? We’re gearing up for a fun-filled movie chat at the #RedboxCanada Twitter Party! 
redbox graphicJoin us on Wednesday, December 17th at 8:00PM EST as we chat holiday favourites, traditions, movie night must-haves. And to make your holidays even brighter, we’ve got some amazing prizes up for grabs! 10 tweeters will walk away with 10 free movie rentals, and 3 lucky tweets will win a Blu-ray player plus 5 free rentals!

RSVP below to join the fun, and see you on Wednesday night!  (more…)

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Pür Minerals 5-Piece Holiday Perfection Collection

December 12, 2014

Presenting the Pür Minerals 5-Piece Holiday Perfection CollectionFor 24 hours only – beginning at 10:00pm EST on Friday, December 12th and concluding at 9:59pm EST on Saturday, December 13th, The Shopping Channel will be offering this set for just $47.95 (a $132 value).
DSC_0199
4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Foundation: The newly enhanced formula has everything you love—and more!—about the original 4-in-1. It offers the same great coverage and same lightweight feel. It is the same no-mess mineral makeup, but now with new built-in skincare ingredients. This powder foundation can help correct, prevent and interrupt your skin concerns while helping smooth away the look of lines and wrinkles. It helps plump, lift and firm the skin’s appearance and also helps balance uneven skin tone.  (more…)

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RT to WIN with The Shopping Channel and Pür Minerals

December 12, 2014

Ladies, here’s a deal that you won’t be able to pass up. Heck; I don’t want you to pass it up! I want you to visit www.tsc.ca today at 10:00pm EST, find today’s very special showstopper, and take advantage of the makeup deal of the century.

Presenting the Pür Minerals 5-Piece Holiday Perfection Collection. A beautiful collection from customer-favourite brand Pür Minerals, this exclusive set helps you define or create the perfect look for the holidays and beyond! Included is the 4-in-1 Pressed Foundation, which includes skincare benefits that help make your skin look beautiful from the inside-out, and Pür’s chisel brush for application. You’ll also receive the brand’s new Soul Mattes Palette, which features eight beautiful matte eye shadows for that stunning holiday look. The Hello Bright Eyes eye pencil helps make the eyes pop to perfection, and lastly, to complete your wonderful look, a lip gloss in Tickled.

The value, if purchased separately, is 132.00. TSC normally retails this collection for $79.99.

Impressed? Oh, you just wait.

For 24 hours only – beginning at 10:00pm EST on Friday, December 12th and concluding at 9:59pm EST on Saturday, December 13th, The Shopping Channel will be offering this set for just $47.95!

The collections are offered in eight (8) different hues to match each complexion, and trust me ladies – they WILL sell out. The quality of the product, the reputation of the brand and the stellar Showstopper price makes the Pür Minerals 5-Piece Holiday Perfection Collection my pick for beauty junkies on your holiday list!

And if you LOVE what you see – I’ve got a special treat for my Twitter followers! Today only, RT for a chance to WIN before it goes on sale! From 8:00am to 9:59pm EST on Friday, December 12th, simply click on the photo below, retweet the tweet, and you’ll automatically be entered to win.
pur mineralsTo summarize, the collection includes: 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15(8g); Soul Matte Eyeshadow Palette (1.5g each); Chisel Brush; Tickled Lip Gloss (3g); and Hello Bright Eyes Eye Pencil with Smudger (.28g).

Good luck everyone! And, if you don’t win, be sure to grab your own collection for just $47.95. It’s a steal of a Showstopper, just in time for Christmas!

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Bucket List, Check: Turning My Home into a Toy Showroom

December 11, 2014

It’s not every day that I am afforded the opportunity to turn my home into a baby toy and gear showroom, so when I am… oh yeah, I go for it.
fpshowroomThis past weekend, joined by blogger friends from all over Ontario (some travelling in from London, St. Mary’s and even Ottawa), in addition to local moms of babies and toddlers, we celebrated the season with good wine, good food and of course, good cheer.

And, great toys, courtesy of Fisher-Price.

In fact, you could say that we were privy to the hottest toys of 2014! If you have a baby or toddler to shop for this Christmas, scrutinize the photos on this post – because, trust me, they’re the only shopping list you’ll need this season.
fpshowroomThe evening started (even before the festivities began) with the team at Spider Marketing Solutions putting together the toys for the showroom. It’s not exactly how I normally kick off my holiday parties, but hey, I’m not going to say no to a living room filled with the most sought-after baby gear.  (more…)

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Express Your Kitchen with Countertop Gems

December 9, 2014

NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.

Thinking back to my wedding registry, I can divide the items I selected into three distinct categories: items I needed, items I wanted, and items that I totally, absolutely, positively lusted after.

Included in the third category? Denby Tableware.

Established in 1809, Denby has been making pottery in the heart of the English countryside for over two hundred years.

Says Denby: “We take our locally sourced clay and the expertise of our craftsmen here at Denby, and set about making some truly wonderful dishes. But we’ve not stopped there. Our design team have created some beautiful porcelain and china patterns too, working with specially selected partners, and carefully sourcing materials that are every bit as hardworking as our stoneware. And now they’ve taken their know-how from the dining room to the kitchen with our exciting cookware, glass and accessories collections.”
Denby CanadaDenby’s new Monsoon collection is filled with great pieces to bring life to your kitchen.The collection allows you to play up what your kitchen pattern says about you – with a variety of different patterns and pieces to select from, turn a drab kitchen into an eclectic masterpiece. This new collection is also the perfect hostess gift and keepsake.

The Antalya style (pictured above and below) is bright and fresh in shades of aqua and dark blue. Along with the colour scheme, the collection uses a total of four different graphic patterns called Antalya, Cadiz Turquoise, Granada, and Tangier. If you really like your shades of blue, these are the patterns to start with. Keep things traditional and simple by working in one or two patterns in simple accent pieces to a solid white collection.
Denby CanadaAlso included is a range of different materials used in each design such as ceramics, tins, textiles, glass and cork mats, bringing further options to the table.  (more…)

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Holiday Fashion with Style&co.

December 9, 2014

*BUMPING* Coupon expires December 11th! Use SnCoHoliday at www.thebay.com for $20 off purchases of $75 or more of regular, sale or clearance-priced Style & Co merchandise!

If there’s ever a time to double-duty fashion, it’s the holiday season.

How often to you find yourself juggling get togethers, office parties, family obligations, shopping dates, coffee with friends… honestly! The list goes on and on. And the last thing you need is to spend precious time worrying about what to wear.
DSC_0128My best tip? Find one or two key pieces, and then build your holiday wardrobe around them. And for stylish, on-trend fashions that are super affordable, I always look to Style&co. Exclusive to Hudson’s Bay in Canada, they offer authentic day-to-night ensembles that are perfect for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.

This season, I’m quite fond of this Style&co. Printed Sparkle Blouse with Draped Neck. Metallic glitter accents on the front of this blouse create a glamorous look, and the three-quarter sleeves and an elegant draped neckline finish this piece, making it perfect for both casual and dressed-up ensembles.

The blouse is ideal for layering under blazers (think boardroom) and leather jackets (think bar) alike. Plus, the stretchy fabric is super comfortable and forgiving, especially when you’ve had a gingerbread martini (or three).

However, the most impressive aspect of this gorgeous blouse? The PRICE! Currently on sale for just $20.40, here’s an example of chic, contemporary and sought-after fashion that won’t break the bank.

(In fact, ALL of Style&Co’s pieces are incredibly affordable, and most are on sale as we speak!)  (more…)

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