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It’s Monday. Let’s do a giveaway shall we? Today: A Dorset Cereals Extravaganza!


So, you might recall that I have a habit of buying expensive, lovely-packaged cereals when I hit the grocery store. Well, a gorgeous box of Dorset Cereals is definitely something I've been known to come home with, while managing to forget to buy other staples. I can't be blamed really ... how does one resist such an attractively designed package? I just love a yummy muesli! Why? I don't know ... there is just something so comforting about … [Read more...]

Impractical Purchasing: The Bicycle Edition (Part 2 of 2)

"Julie's Bicycle," by Andrew King

Okay, so where were we? Ah, yes, I had rudely let the season three finale of Glee interrupt my story about my (lack of) bicycle. And since then I also let two children with fevers, a work project, and countless other errands get in the way too. Geez - where are my priorities?? Let's get back at this, shall we? I had walked away from the oh-so-cute retro bike with custom painting so that I could choose something more practical that fit … [Read more...]

Impractical Purchasing: The Bicycle Edition

I can stick to a budget, sure. But what I choose to spend my money on? Well, sometimes it ends up with me coming home with a bag of cereal that cost more than $10 bucks, while other times it has resulted in more than $100 spent on blue suede boots. Not so practical, I know. In this edition, however, the stakes are higher. I had a budget for a bicycle. This was last autumn. As the cold weather approached, Hubby and I figured that the stores … [Read more...]

Pillow Talk


source Okay, I want to talk pillows. (What, did you think I was talking about something else?? No, I really mean pillows! This is not a book review for Fifty Shades of Grey ... sorry to disappoint.) Like most things related to "home decor," I have never taken an interest until we moved into a new family home last June. Whereas before I was addicted to stalking the MLS Guide for my favourite neighbourhoods, now I am addicted to stalking home … [Read more...]

Spring Fever!


Spring fever is real. SO real for us Canucks! The weather was so gorgeous this past weekend that all the neighbours were out front of their houses washing cars, kids riding bikes, and big smiles all around. One big way that spring fever hits me is my wardrobe. I look at it and think -- it needs a complete overhaul! But, alas, I looked at my budget and thought -- nope, not gonna happen! However, I did pop over into our local Superstore and … [Read more...]

Dear Grammys: What message are you sending?


Dear Grammys, I'm not sure what message you're trying to send. But I can tell you what message I received from your show last night. For all the young and impressionable young people watching the Grammy's yesterday, one thing was made clear: If you can dance and sing, we're willing to turn a blind eye. Well, at least if you're a man. Dancing and singing trumps all, people. Chris Brown, who in 2009, was brought in on criminal charges (and … [Read more...]

Holy Crap! Impractical Purchasing, a Grocery Store edition


In the post "Impractical Purchasing, NYC edition, part 1," I had intimated that Hubby did not like it (at all!) when I went grocery shopping. However, the other day we were in need of some milk and bread and he asked if I could pick that up on my way home from the office . Naturally, I said "Oh course, sweetheart," because I am a perfect and lovely wife. Then I rubbed my hands together in glee because who knew what slickly-packaged, over-priced … [Read more...]

4 Cats Arts Studio Masterpiece: Final Reveal


Remember this big ol' mess that my girlfriends and I made at 4 Cats Hintonburg to celebrate my 40th birthday? It was my party, and I just wanted to wear sweatpants and have a few laughs with my girlfriends. But, believe it or not, in the photo above we were actually creating a special masterpiece just for me, the birthday girl! After it was all said and done, I had our creation stretched onto canvas by 4 Cats ($75 fee). I am so happy I … [Read more...]

Impractical Purchasing, NYC edition, part 2


Back in October for Month of Me, I celebrated my 40th by hitching a ride with Kerry to Brooklyn. We didn't actually know each other, more than a few emails here and there, but that didn't stop us! We spent a great few days wandering together and then parted ways when my mom arrived into the Big Apple so we could jointly celebrate our birthdays. While in New York, I only bought a handful of things. But what I bought seems to indicate that I am … [Read more...]

My Bedside Table Books: January 2011

A while back, Stella (my nine-year-old daughter) and I added Amazon widgets to the sidebar of this blog -- take a gander over on the right-hand sidebar of the blog's homepage. We didn't have any ambitions of getting rich off of our 4%, but rather to share what's on our respective bedside tables as fellow bookworms. I don't know about you, but I just love poking around people's bookshelves and knowing what people have cracked open and set their … [Read more...]

The Homemade Gift


Us busy folks just love a homemade anything, don't we? Marketers, of course, know this and like to use the word to advertise their wares any chance they get. But the truly homemade gift is a special thing indeed. Some of the most cherished homemade gifts I've received include a quilt from my mother-in-law for each bed in the house, a quilt from my special Aussie girlfriend Nat, and a scrapbooked collage from my mom. As for gifts from Hubby, I … [Read more...]

Ottawa’s New Ikea: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

People go on and on about how much they hate Walmart and how evil it is. But you rarely hear the same people talk about Ikea with the same vehemence. I even checked: Google results for "I hate Ikea" are 13 million, where as "I hate Walmart" delivers more than 58 million results. And we all know that Google knows everything. After making my first visit to the largest Ikea in Canada, I find this rather perplexing since I would much rather shop … [Read more...]

The largest Ikea store in Canada


If you don't live in Ottawa, you might have missed the breaking news: we have a new Ikea store. Not just any Ikea store, mind you, but the biggest in Canada (for now). 427,000 square feet. There was quite a bit of real excitement in Ottawa about this new store, as well as some manufactured excitement (like the press release warnings that traffic on the Queensway would be slow due to opening day, but in actual fact, numbers for the store … [Read more...]

Christmas Gift Wrapping


I never would have thought of using paper doilies for anything except snowflakes (remember making those as a kid?). But I happened to have seen Guilia's wrapping and then happened to see red doilies in the dollar store. So here is how I've wrapped Stella's teachers' gifts this year. I love how they turned out! If you want to try it, you'll need: Brown paper bags (Michaels) Paper doilies (The Dollar Store) Glue for sticking the … [Read more...]

10 Grand Gifts for Kids: $30 or Less!

We all know Christmas spending can easily get out of control. But really, most young kids like a $20 gift as much as a $200 gift -- they don't know the value of money, it's just about having some fun! So, in that spirit, I thought I'd share some gift ideas that I think are "winners" under the $30 price range. Some are products that were sent to me to review and some are simply things I've come across on my own. 1. Walrooz sleds: These … [Read more...]

A Latte for $2. Need I say more? Okay, I will … you know I will …

I like me my Tim Horton's Coffee. I used to be a Large Double Double, girl. Now I've managed to wean myself to 2 Cream, 1 Sugar. I know, my self-discipline is amazing. A-MAZE-ING. One day I will move to milk and no sugar, but I could be really, really old by then. Like, maybe when I'm really old and have completely lost all my faculties so that I know longer can remember how much better coffee is with cream than milk. Then. But only then, I … [Read more...]

Impractical Purchasing, NYC edition, part 1

Trying to do my best sexy librarian look.

As of late, it has come to my attention that I am an impractical girl. I have been stubbornly resisting this label. I like to consider myself a practical person -- getting what needs to get done done, leaving the rest; buying sensible, well-priced things; leaving the rest. Sadly, I think this might have been a case of living in suspended disbelief. My first hint should have been the fact that Hubby does not let me do the grocery shopping. His … [Read more...]

Beautiful Book Stores: Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers, NY

I can remember my father telling me that when he was young he dreamed of having a house full of books and art. I can also remember the look of contentedness he had on his face as he sat in his own home telling this to me. You see, I can never remember us living in a home that wasn't full of books and art. Granted, there were always far more books than art. Much of the artwork that we had on the walls when I was a kid was of his own creation. … [Read more...]

And, now back to you! (Mark’s $50 Giveaway)

You've had just about enough "Month of Me" by now, I'm sure. So, let's turn it back to you! I have a treat for one of you: A $50 gift certificate from my BFF (aka Mark's, remember?) ... and just in time for the season change! (Yes, because I do still need to convince myself that I don't hate winter. Cozy, cute winter clothes will help, right?) I love online shopping (here's a list of my favourite spots for getting errands done) and clothes … [Read more...]

“Month of Me” post #004: Photo Recap of the Fun Stuff from Day One of the She’s Connected Conference


Howdy everyone! So yesterday started off very bright and early (actually, why is it "bright" and early because, really, it's "dark" when you need to get up early, isn't it?)! Me and my bloggy buddy Andrea (otherwise known as @missfish and she is AWESOME  and she totally didn't lock the keys in her car) drove to Toronto to attend the first day of the She's So Connected Conference. We had planned to arrive just in time to hear the opening … [Read more...]

Breaking up is never easy: Bye-bye Canadian Business magazine

sept issue - cdn business

When trying to choose between two equivalent products, I will buy Canadian. It just seems like the loyal thing to do. This also applies to magazines. I like to buy Canadian parenting, travel, and business magazines. So I've been a regular reader of Canadian Business magazine for a while now. In fact, I currently have an annual subscription. I read through each issue, and then I bring them in to my office and leave them in a communal reading … [Read more...]