Month: May 2016

Summer Fashion To Fall in Love with from Giant Tiger #ShareTheSecret

Update Your Summer Fashion with Giant Tiger

With the warm weather here, it is time to freshen and lighten up our wardrobes. I love this time of the year as we can brighten up our clothes with splashes of colour, floral prints and cute shoes. Not that we can’t do that in the winter but fashion takes on a whole new meaning in the summer.

My favourite go to store for fashion is Giant Tiger. I have found the quality and price of their clothes can not be beat especially with women’s fashion. At our local GT Boutique that is the first section you walk into and you can become lost in there with the variety and styles of clothes and shoes. On one side you have the MyStyle line which is more casual, fresh and perfect for the beach, going out on the weekends and just relaxing. Then on the other side you have the Lily Morgan line which is a fantastic line of clothes that can take you from work to a night out in style. You also have everything in between from athletic wear to scrub wear for work and shoes.

Summer Fashion You Will Fall in Love with from Giant Tiger

I desperately needed to freshen up my wardrobe and on top of that I have recently lost close to fifty pounds so none of my older clothes fit me at all or if they did they were baggy and not suited to my body at all. Which made this shopping experience twice as exciting for me. I set out to find tops that I could wear to both work and out for social events, pants that I could interchange with multiple tops, casual wear for around the house and a new pair of cute summer shoes.

So here are my summer fashion finds, which I would love to point out that with the sales that were on this all came up to $100 – this was one of the best parts for me. Where else can you pick up quality and quantity like this at such amazing prices?

Summer Fashion You Will Fall in Love with from Giant Tiger

Those are all the clothes that I came home with from Giant Tiger and the picture below is a few of those above items with me rocking them. My favourite piece is the Lily Morgan black and white tank, it has this gorgeous lacy back that I wore to my son’s soccer tournament this past weekend.

Summer Fashion You Will Fall in Love with from Giant Tiger

What I loved the most (besides the quality and price) was how versatile the items were. I could add the tops to different clothes combinations and it would change the look and feel and the same went for the shoes! Which is what I love and need. I found I was hiding behind clothes and my Mom status and I didn’t want to do that anymore. I am proud of who I am as a women and wanted to show it off. Which is exactly how I feel in my new finds: proud, beautiful and smart. Not to mention this is the first time I have worn shorts in over fifteen years – now that was one proud moment for me!

You can find the complete women’s line online to get a shopping list prepared in your mind before heading into the store or just head in store for shopping fun with a best friend. I loved every minute I spent in store finding new tops and trying them on (and taking selfies to send the husband which I am sure he thought I was nuts for!!).

Make sure you follow Giant Tiger on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with new fashion items, sales and more.

Disclosure: I received a Giant Tiger gift card in order to make purchases of women’s clothing in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Celebrating Graduation Milestones with #WishYouMore and Raincoast Books

Raincoast Books

Graduation is a special time of the year where as parents we can reflect on how much our child has grown both physically and mentally over the last couple of years and as the student it marks an important milestone in their life. Whether it is a kindergarten, elementary, high school, college or university – a graduation marks an important stepping stone in a person’s life and should be celebrated as such.

Many of us want to buy the graduate in our lives a special gift to mark this time. Something that offers wisdom, advice but still keeps it light and fun. I have always found that books are the best way to say the words that sometimes are hard for us to be able to get out. Raincoast Books has a fantastic collection of books that will help you to #WishYouMore to your special graduate during the upcoming graduation season.

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

Advice from My 80 Year Old Self

What advice would your 80-year-old self give you? That is the question artist Susan O’Malley, who was herself to die far too young, asked more than a hundred ordinary people of every age, from every walk of life. She then transformed their responses into vibrant text-based images. From a prompt to do things that matter to your heart, to a reminder that it’s okay to have sugar in your tea, these are calls to action and words to live by-heartfelt, sometimes humorous, and always fiercely compassionate. This stirring celebration of our collective humanity unveils the wisdom we hold inside ourselves right now.

Susan O’Malley (1976-2015) was an internationally exhibited artist and curator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. As curator and print center director at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, she worked with hundreds of artists and organized more than fifty exhibitions and public programs. As an artist, she made work that brings a sense of interconnectedness into our lives, from conversations with strangers to installations in public places. The impact of her work has traveled far and wide. O’Malley’s artwork has been exhibited in public projects across the United States-San Francisco, New York, Nashville-and around the globe in the United Kingdom, Poland, and Denmark. She exhibited at alternative spaces and cultural institutions including, in California, the Montalvo Art Center, Kala Art Institute, and Palo Alto Art Center, as well as the Contemporary Art Museum (Houston, TX), and the Parthenon Museum (Nashville, TN). Her participatory installation Finding Your Center , a collaboration with Leah Rosenberg, was recently featured in Bay Area Now 7 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and her project A Healing Walk is permanently installed at Villa Montalvo. The powerful optimism of her work lives on.

I fell in love with Advice From My 80 Year Old Self the moment I opened it. It is a wonderful collection of short quotes and sayings from a broad age and both gender groups. They are honest, they are real, some make you laugh and some make you cry. Most of all they bring home the reality that most of us don’t live in the moment. We so easily find ourselves caught up in work, social media that we miss those special moments that are around us everyday. I know that I am guilty of this and it has reminded me to put away my phone, put away my work and to be present in every moment and put away my to do list. This was an honest and heart warming book that held so much meaning for me. It is one to open up when you are unsure of yourself, when you need that motivation and to even copy that one quote that inspires you every time. It is bright, bold and unique. Reading the afterword, I was saddened to read that such a talented artist and visionary had passed suddenly at such a young age before her book was published. Her work is an inspiration to all and is especially important for youth and adults alike. I wouldn’t even wait for a graduation to give this as a gift but to give it as a gift to all youth to know that they are not alone, to have faith, to be present and to be inspired. It is a message we all need to know and understand and this book is done in such a way that all age groups will love and appreciate its meaning.

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

Keep Curious and Carry a Banana

For more than seventy-five years, the world of Curious George has delighted readers with its playful charm and deceptively simple wisdom. Fans of the Keep Calm and Carry On craze will find comfort in this Georgified version of the popular book format. Each inspiration is humorously accompanied by an illustration from the original works of H. A. Rey’s Curious George books.
Sure to make readers chuckle as only George can, this book is packed with inspiration and humor. It’s the perfect gift for all the curious people in your life!

I love Curious George ever since I was a young girl, so I could not wait to see what this book held. In Keep Curious and Carry a Banana, George uses his wit and humour to see the light in every situation. Your favourite childhood character comes alive on the pages with some of the best quotes and sayings. This book stayed true to the original Curious George in illustration, colours and humour. It is a fun book but full of wisdom that will suit youth of all ages (even adults definitely need a healthy dose of George!).

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone

No matter how hard they try, parents never have time to teach their children everything they need to know before they leave home. Luckily, Becky Blades has compiled the best tidbits of advice into one thought-provoking, conversation-starting book. Covering everything from posture to finances, with a hint of motherly sass, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone is the perfect gift for leaving-the-nest kids, or anyone in your life who could use a little bit of coming-of-age common sense.

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

Letters to Me, When I Grow Up

This kids’ version of the bestselling Letters to My Future Self brings young writers a fun new way to capture their childhood. Twelve prompted letters bound into a keepsake book invite kids to share stories, draw, or make lists reflecting on what they know now, and what they imagine for their future. When they’re grown, this paper time capsule becomes a cherished-and likely hilarious-look back on who they once were and who they have become.

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

The Big Trip

This comprehensive companion, now in its third edition, provides essential pretrip planning advice, regional overviews with maps and itineraries, and practical resources for finding work abroad. Now in full colour packed with inspirational images.

Celebrate Graduation with Raincoast Books

I Wish You More

A New York Times bestseller!

Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes. Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.

Inspire, motivate and show your love to a child in any stage of their life with these inspirational books from Raincoast Books. You can use them to guide, to educate and to start a conversation. The important part is in the meaning of the words. Whether a graduation or another important milestone in a child’s life, celebrate with meaning.

One lucky winner will win their choice of three of the above six books. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received Advice From My 80 Year Old Self and Keep Curious and Carry a Banana in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Happy 55th Birthday Sophie la Girafe

Happy 55th Birthday Sophie la Girafe!

The iconic Sophie la Girafe will turn fifty five on May 25th this year. Sophie is a simple giraffe who was born on May 25th, 1961 in France on Saint Sophie’s Day. She has taken the world by storm with her simplicity and gender neutrality and has become a much desired item on baby shower lists around the world.

Who is Sophie la Girafe?

Sophie was first introduced to the world in France as a teething toy at a time when most baby toys consisted of farm animals and pets. Sophie looks exactly the same today as she first did when she was introduced to the world fifty five years ago. Her fame quickly spread across Europe and eventually to North America as she is made from 100% natural rubber from the sap of the Hevea tree and she contains natural materials and toxic free paints making her an ideal teething toy for infants (SophieLaGirafe.Co.UK).

Oh How Sophie la Girafe Has Grown!!

As Sophie’s fame has grown, with over fifty million teethers sold, she has expanded into the world of books with her loveable friends. She now proudly adorns many books geared towards infants and toddlers that will quickly become a cherished family favourite. DK Canada has a large selection of Sophie la Girafe books that can be found in their boutique. From first words and numbers to peekaboos and  touch and feel, the boutique has a wealth of books that cover all the important firsts for your baby.

Happy Birthday Sophie: Pop Up Peekaboo

Happy 55th Birthday Sophie la Girafe

This book stars Sophie and her friends in adorable party scenes, each featuring flaps to flip and lots of colorful surprises.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Sophie and Friends: Touch and Feel

Happy 55th Birthday Sophie La Girafe

In this book, infants and toddlers are introduced to the world of Sophie and her five special friends. They are invited to touch the soft, shiny and bumpy textures and share in all the fun at Sophie’s house.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Both of these books are perfect gifts for parents to be and for young infants and toddlers. If your child loves Sophie la Girafe they will be delighted to see her and her friends come to life in these hard cover books. In Sophie and Friends touch and feel, you can begin to teach your child about textures as they learn to spot and feel the differences. In Pop up Peekaboo, your child will be inspired with the imaginative play as you turn each page. Each page holds a new exciting surprise for your child as they lift the flap. Make reading fun for your little one and watch as they grow with these adorable books featuring one of their favourite characters. I love how the books are in soft, pastel, gender neutral colours that stay true to Sophie la Girafe. The entire book collection will be an important part of your child’s first library. With simple sentences that allow the focus to be on you and your child, both of you will love reading time!

Help celebrate Sophie la Girafe’s birthday online with DK Canada by following the #sophielagirafebirthday hashtag on Twitter.

Disclosure: I received the above books free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas: Summer Living with DK Canada

Summer Living with DK Canada

Summer is just about here, we are finally getting warmer weather and the May long weekend has just passed by. Now what does this typically bring? If you are like our family it means lots of time spent outdoors, cooking on the grill and get togethers with friends. But sometimes you need to spice things up on the grill to keep it fresh and unique. If you are looking for new unique foods to cook on the grill, then Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas is for you. This book is full of recipes, ideas, suggestions and more just in time for the outdoor summer season.

Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas

About Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas

Chef Craig Priebe’s culinary creativity comes to life through his innovative Italian dishes. Focusing on his award-winning pizzas and piadinas, he uses a variety of ingredient combinations to deliver delectable meals right into the home cook’s kitchen.

Mouth-watering recipes for grilled pizza with meat, chicken, seafood, and vegetables comprise the first part of this book, followed by chapters on crispy grilled piadinas, fresh salads, and grilled desserts. A typical recipe of Priebe’s calls for smoky, thin, and crispy crusts and vibrant combinations of toppings such as grilled figs, Gorgonzola, and prosciutto.

Through quick and easy instructions for 75 recipes, full-color photographs, step-by-step techniques, and party menus, a beginner cook or a seasoned chef will be inspired to fire up the grill.

My Thoughts

We love grilling in the summer months, especially when you combine this with family and the pool. Out of habit sometimes the foods we grill can be routine and the same over and over. Sometimes I blame my husbands love of steak and chicken (he literally can eat this every day) but other times its just a lack of knowing what I can cook on the grill and not being adventurous enough to try new things.

Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas takes the guess work out of the way for you. The book contains 187 pages of party planning advice, recipes and all the gadgets you will need to become the boss of the grill. They spend about eight pages going over grills, grill care and maintenance, indoor grills, basic grilling tools and kitchen tools that you will need to make your pizzas. They also give advice on their preferred tools and even how to properly measures pantry items.

The recipes start with a basic grilled pizza dough with an alternative for a thicker crust variation that will be the base for every recipe that follows. Step by step instructions help guide you through the process of making the dough, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. I have made pizza dough a couple of times and sometimes it can come out too doughy or just not quite tasting right. This recipe makes a delicious pizza crust that your whole family will love.

The book also teaches you how to cook a pizza on a grill, which may seem obvious but honestly it wasn’t until I read this. They gave tips on how to figure out if your grill is too hot and what to do to avoid this. I have scorched pita breads on the grill in the past so it is helpful to know where and what to do if this happens.

The recipes are divided in sections by pizzas with meat/chicken/seafood/vegetables, piadinas, salads and desserts. Each recipe is easy to follow with simple instructions, ingredient list and with an introduction to the individual recipe with large, bold photographs following each recipe. My personal favourite recipe? The Verduran – mixed vegetables with olives and basil, yum yum!

If you are looking for new, fresh and exciting recipes to impress your guests – this book is the perfect recipe book for you. You will find plenty of new healthy ideas to suit a variety of dietary needs. You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Sarah Sundin’s ‘Anchor in the Storm’ All Hands on Deck Giveaway

In a time of sacrifice, what price can one put on true love? Pharmacist Lillian Avery and Ensign Archer Vandenberg are about to find out in Sarah Sundin’s new book, Anchor in the Storm. During the darkest days of the war, Arch’s destroyer hunts German U-boats in vain as the submarines sink dozens of merchant ships along the East Coast. Still shaken by battles at sea, Arch notices his men also struggle with their nerves—and with drowsiness. Could there be a link to the large prescriptions Lillian has been filling? As the danger rises on both land and sea, the two must work together to answer that question. But can Arch ever earn Lillian’s trust and affection?

Celebrate the release of Sarah’s Anchor in the Storm by entering to win her All Hands on Deck Prize Pack!

anchor in the storm - 400

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A signed copy of Anchor in the Storm
  • Nautical tote bag lined with anchor fabric
  • Anchor necklace made from copper reclaimed from the USS Constitution in Boston during restoration
  • 365 Devotions for Hope by Karen Whiting
  • Shine: Nautical Inspirational Adult Coloring Book
  • “Hope Anchors the Soul” journal
  • Set of two nautical tea towels
LF AIS full group 2

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 8th. The winner will be announced June 9th on Sarah’s blog.

anchor in the storm - banner
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