Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pin of the Week - December 29th, 2011

Did you notice something? My apologies for forgetting this last week. Today's Pin comes to us from, a DIY bath mat! Enjoy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday Treasures - December 26th, 2011

Good morning!

A wonderful Boxing Day to you. Are you going to take advantage of some of the Boxing Day sales?

Following last week's colour-themed Monday Treasures, today's colour is Orange. Now, I got lots of feedback after last week's post saying to "Please not take away the written part of the posts", and they they're "the best part of the post". So... the text is back. Enjoy!

1. Dahlia Flower Art Print by AldariArt

When I was looking up items to feature this week, this print jumped out at me immediately. Perhaps because of its ultramodern lines and perhaps because of its simplicity and vivaciousness, but I new that I loved this one. If I could remodel the house that I live in, I would definitely theme my living room around this print. Now interestingly, AldariArt has provided a color palette for you to chose from - you may have one of 20 different colours. You can also choose whether you would like the flower to be in colour and the background white (as shown here), or inversely, the background shown in colour and the flower white. This beautiful piece sells for a bargain - $18 USD per print.

The AldariArt shop belongs to Alejandra Rivera, who is originally from Mexico and now resides in Victoria, BC. The way she came up with her shop name and signature, Aldari, is very interesting. She says, "~Aldari~ is formed with the first two letters of my name and last names (Alejandra Danel Rivera) I've been signing my work this way since I was 15."

2. Super Hero Monkey Cloth Doll by murdockdesign

This uber-cute doll is perfect for children of any age, or a fun-loving adult in your life. The details are astounding, from the embroidered mouth to the twinkle stitched into its eyes. The adorable cape adds just the perfect bit of extra whimsy to make any mother or children-at-heart swoon. I was especially drawn to this little monkey because of its unusual use of patterns and colours - it reminds me of a certain stuffed elephant I featured a long time ago. This dashing little guy sells for $38 USD.

This little monkey is made by murdockdesign, which is run by Anne Murdock out of Northampton, Western Massachussetts. She features several whimsical designs in her shop, including other-specied friends to our monkey here, jewelry, and buttons among many other things. Crafting is a side-hobby for her, and she spends the majority of her time working on graphic design. She has been crafting for about three years, and credits her mother for her skill and talent in selecting 'just the right' fabric for each project.

3. Upcycled Necktie Wristlet Case by TearfulTouch

What a great way to use all of those amazing ties that can be found at Value Village and other thrift stores! This little wristlet has pockets to hold your phone or iPod, as well as room for some credit or debit cards... great for a trip downtown when you don't want to carry a whole big suitcase around with you. TearfulTouch offers this in several different fabrics (several different ties!), and even offers the ability for you to send a cherished tie to be converted. The wristlets sell for $20 USD.

TearfulTouch is a shop by Tonya, out of Southern California. Tonya has a real passion for what she does, and finds sewing very satisfying and rewarding. She has a subscription link available for anyone who wants to know what new items are being added to her shop on a day-by-day basis, and states that "new items are always blossoming".

4. Handmade Leather Journal by TheOrangeWindmill

I love the idea of sitting under a tree with this notebook, writing down my thoughts, drawing, painting, whatever comes to mind. I can almost feel the paper under my fingers looking at this, and the smooth supple leather. The lambskin leather covers enclose 96 sheets of natural wausau 65 lb cardstock, acid and lingin free. This journal sells for $35.95 CAD.

TheOrangeWindmill is owned by Shirley Lynne of Hamilton, Ontario. She states "I am a dutch girl who loves all things homemade!" TheOrangeWindmill sells journals of different colours and sizes. Shirley makes each journal from scratch, individually tearing each sheet of paper and then creating a permanent leather binding to the leather spine. Shirley states that she enjoys the process of making each journal, as it provides some silence from her 3 and 1 year-old children.

5. Orange Trees Clutch by gracefulcrafts

This cute little clutch would provide the perfect amount of punch paired with a burnt orange belt and your little black dress. This clutch is just big enough to fit your credit/debit cards, some change, and maybe a few sticks of gum and your keys. It sells for $15 USD.

Gracefulcrafts hails from Hong Kong. The shop features several different clutches of different fabrics, shapes and sizes. The shop owner also has another shop, GracefulBanquet, which features more specialized clutches and clutch sets, for weddings and special events.

6. Noveau Print Silk Scarf by scarveswithattitude

The base of this scarf is 100% silk, with an overlay of rayon. It is 13" wide, and 70" long. Each scarf is handmade, and none are quite the same. This scarf would look beautiful with almost any outfit. The particular shape of this scarf allows for an incredible amount of versatility. The scarves are being sold for $26  USD.

Scarveswithattitude is owned by a woman named Sarah, who lives with her dog Buddy, on a ranch near the Colorado River. She dyes all of her scarves by hand. Sarah also enjoys gardening, sewing, and making art (aside from scarves, photography, graphite, and charcoal are her favorite mediums.)

7. Tangerine Cluster Earrings by AnnalisJewelry

These cute earrings are hand-wrapped with 14k gold-filled wire. Each earring is 1.2 inches long, and consists of several "deep orange carnelian" beads, and one "grey labradorite teardrop briolette". I love how versatile this piece is. It could be worn as part of your office attire, with a formal dress, or with jeans and a sweater. It sells for $46 USD, and AnnalisJewelry also offers a matching necklace for $42 USD.

AnnalisJewelry is run by Annali and Limor Rafaeli, out of Tel Aviv, Israel. Annali's previous employment strikes a wide range, including Sport Therapist, Hydro Therapist, and Yoga Instructor. She now creates her jewelry full time. Limor Rafaeli is a jeweller who uses a special method in his jewellery so that it looks like it has been worn before. He says "Thanks to this technique, time betters and intensifies the look and presence of the jewelry, and gives it a unique quality, like good wine that improves with time."

8. Dark Orange Dress by JulyS

I absolutely love this dress. When I get to my goal weight, this is exactly the type of thing that I would buy or make to celebrate. It is the kind of dress that flatters a thin frame perfectly. It is made of knitted cotton, and has a full zipper closure in the back. The dress is offered in several different sizes, and customer orders (different colours/sizes) are available as well. It sells for $59 USD.

JulyS is owned by "J". It is run by three different women, a general designer/seamstress, a leather designer, and the shop manager. They create several different pieces from dresses to jackets, pants, skirts, and so on.

9. Orange Vinyl 1960's Chair by BethsBeauties

This great chair heralds straight from the 1960's, and would look great in any vintage-inspired room. It is in great condition, and in the words of the shop owner, "has an amazing ability to withstand any marks or dirt as everything wipes off with an effortless touch!" Yesterday's leather. This chair sells for approximately $56 USD.

BethsBeauties is run by Beth Rawson, out of Derby, England. Her shop is full of vintage items. She sells items from "the 1940's onwards... with a heavy emphasis on the 1960's and 70's."

10. Red Orange Lilies Photograph by SomethingtoExpress

I'm not sure what it is about lilies, but every time I see them I feel myself instantly begin to relax. This beautiful print certainly does the flowers justice - I can feel myself relaxing just writing this! I can easily see this in a chunky white frame, perched on the windowsill in my kitchen. Then, even if the wind is howling outside and the weather is dreadful, I can simply close the blinds and find serenity while looking at this wonderful picture. This particular print is 8 x 10", and sells for $20 USD. It is also available in an 11 x 14" print.

SomethingToExpress is run by Eileen Healey, out of Elmhurst, Pennsylvania. Eileen specializes in photography, painting, ceramics, and mixed media. She has over 25 years of experience teaching art, and is currently including nature photographs, photo notecards, and watercolour paintings in her shop. On the picture featured here she says "My quest as a photographer is to capture the unnoticed and unappreciated fleeting moments in time." She has definitely done a great job in doing so.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 1

It's Christmas Eve! What are you doing reading my blog! :D

If you haven't sent out your Christmas cards yet, you still have a chance with e-Cards. I've already shown you JibJab for videos, but did you know that they have great e-Cards too?

Here are some great sites for Christmas e-Cards:

1. Jib Jab (humorous)

2. punchbowl (classic style)

3. Blue Mountain (varied)

4. Ojolie (classic style)

5. Hallmark (varied)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 2

Still need to buy some last minute Christmas presents? Get on it!

I'm not going to lecture you though, because this is an opportunity for me to promote one of my favorite sites -

Etsy has the capability to sort it's offerings by locale - so if you need a present lickety split, you can choose one that is in your area or the area of the recipient, and then contact the seller. Often they are more than willing to accomodate, sometimes even wrapping the gift for you!

See what's available in your area by clicking here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 3

Can you feel the anticipation in the air? I am just about to leave to head home to my family, so I am definitely excited.

One thing that can be guaranteed though during the holidays - the roads are far less safe than they are nearly any other time of year. Even if you are lucky enough to get great driving weather, the road will be filled with people who are just as anxious to arrive at their destinations as you are - and may not be as cautious.

To make matters worse, whether you are an offender or not, you can almost be guaranteed to encounter someone who is driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol this season. So take care on the road.

In related news, all of Canada has been afire lately as to whether it is appropriate to tweet locations of road blocks and radars to "help" other travelers. Saskatoon Police have sided with the tweeters, but many other locations say it has to go... read more here.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 4

Four more days! Wow. Do you know what you are serving for snacks on Christmas Eve yet? Kraft Canada has some excellent suggestions...

(Click on photo to view recipes)
Pin It

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - December 20th, 2011

I have a feeling that today's Ten on Tuesday is going to be a reality check for some people - after all, Christmas Eve is on Saturday! Today's Subject? 10 Things You Have to Do Before Christmas/Hannukah/The Weekend.

Luckily, I'm mostly done getting ready. Mostly.

Here we go!

1. Finish wrapping gifts.
2. Take down the Christmas tree (I know, I know. But we're going to be gone over the holidays and I'm nervous that in our absence, our lovable cat will pull the entire tree down on top of our 'do not touch the screen' LED TV)
3. Divide Christmas baking, put it in festive dishes.
4. Make list of things to remember to bring during the holiday season
5. Make list for friend who is taking care of the cat
6. Finish washing/drying laundry
7. Pack!
8. Get DH's things ready for when he leaves for school
9. Clean out Vehicle
10. Oh yeah and... lose a couple more pounds :P

Christmas Countdown - 5

Have you thought about what you will be doing with your kids before you put them to bed on Christmas night yet? Here's an idea. Take a look at The website "tracks" Santa as he flies throughout the world, as well as lets you meet some of his reindeer and elves, among other activities to keep your child entertained.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Treasures - December 19th, 2011

Etsy has a great feature that I decided to try out - Shop by Colour. As a result of my experimenting with this feature, you'll be greated with a different colour each week for the next little while... I just couldn't help myself!

This week is brought to you by the colour red. ROY G BIV right? (Of course I'll add some more colours at the end...)

(Due to the amount of time necessary to put together Monday Treasures every week, I've decided to try a 'Roundup' style, linking to the products and the information for each. Please let me know your thoughts!)

1. Oxytocin - I Love You - Chemistry Nerd Greeting Card - Red

$3.50 USD, by QueInteresante

2. Red Leg Warmers

$49 USD, by LeshasWorkshop.

3. Red Tote 

$38.25 USD, by nottoc

$14.40 USD, by ParisienneGirl

$25 USD, by LuzDesigns

$40 USD, by christinemarieford

$12 USD, by downgirl

$295 USD, by NathalieVan

$40 USD, by RobotsAreAwesome

$8.50 USD, by LilacGifts

Christmas Countdown - 6

Let's face it. It's the holiday season and we're all worried about gaining weight and getting a bit too... jolly. That's why today I've decided to share another holiday tip to help prevent you from losing weight (and I've tested and tried this one... it works!)'s Stephen Cabral shares the following tips with us:

4 Big Holiday Dieting Tips to Shrink Your Stomach

I want to share with you 4 of my fast and easy tips you can use to have no fear this holiday season when it comes to eating your favorite foods.

With Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas/New Year's in sight, I wanted to make sure you didn't start to fall into the holiday weight gain slump this year... did you know the average holiday weight gain is between 6-10 lbs?

That's a lot of extra weight that you don't want to tack on top of the additional body fat you're already trying to burn off.

So here are a few tips you can use to prepare for the big feast that awaits you:

#1. Don't go all day without eating in anticipation of filling your belly with pounds of ham, turkey, gravy, potatoes, pies, stuffing... it will only cause you to overeat and bloat your belly.

#2. Make sure to enjoy all your favorite dishes, but only go for the ones you want the most first. You may find you get full after the first round.

#3. Try to front load your meal with a salad or fresh veggies to reduce your appetite when it comes to eating the heavy foods. If you can't do this, then at least eat slowly and wait a few minutes before courses so that your body has enough time to signal your brain that you're full... it typically takes 20 minutes, so take your time and put your fork down between bites!

#4. Desserts... what to do? It is the holidays and a time to enjoy yourself, but that doesn't mean you should set yourself back by eating a thousand calories worth of sweets. Instead, share a slice of your favorite pie with someone or opt for a bowl of fresh fruit. You'll feel more energetic and less "sluggish" if you don't set your body up to crash with all that sugar.

Bonus Tip: If you can get in one of my 20-30 minute interval workout routines that morning before you start your day you will be able to better utilize all those calories and you will be far less likely to pack on body fat from the holiday feasts.

If you'd like detailed plans on exactly how to flatten your stomach and transform your body using scientifically proven fat loss exercises and nutrition just click the link below for more information:

>>> Learn How to Burn Fat & Flatten Your Stomach! 

Committed to your success

Stephen Cabral, CSCS, CPT, NS
Author of Lose5in7 & Founder of Trim, Tone & Tighten
Health Consultant for MTV, NutritionData,, Gather

Christmas Countdown - 7

Thanks to for today's countdown topic.

The Holiday Season is upon us, and with such festivities brings lots of treats, goodies, and let's face it - lot's of temptations. As long as you are responsible about it, you don't have to deprive yourself of every treat that passes by you - just try some of these fun, calorie-burning exercises to make up for your *cough* indiscretion.

(Verbiage borrowed from HungryGirl's newsletter. Sign up here.)

HG Special Report: Holiday Calorie Burners 
Here's the lowdown on a few common activities for this time of year and how many calories you can burn doing 'em! (Averages based on a 160-lb. person.)

Holiday Shopping - Two hours of shopping will burn about 334 calories. Congrats! You just burned off nearly a full cup of homemade stuffing -- which is good because your mom's recipe is hard to resist.

Cooking a Feast - Making a big meal? You'll burn around 145 calories per hour spent hustling around the kitchen. If you're the type who spends all day cooking, that could turn into a serious workout! An hour's work will take care of the calories in a glass of wine or sparkling cider, so reward yourself.

Shoveling Snow - Sure, 45 minutes spent shoveling the cold white stuff is a serious chore, but it will burn almost 330 calories. That'll nearly cancel out a slice of real pumpkin pie, so don't stress if you've gotta have it.

Cleaning Up After a Holiday Party - So your house is trashed after your big holiday party. On the bright side, an hour spent cleaning up will burn about 218 calories. After an hour and a half's work, you'll have earned yourself one or two of those sugar cookies your sister always brings.

To calculate dozens of activities based on your specific weight,click here! Then get movin' and chewin'...

Christmas Countdown - 8

Christmas can be a stressful time for your four-legged friends, whether you are going out of town and leaving them to be babysat (hence less attention), or whether you are having all of your loved ones over. 

This great article from Cats gives a great list of Do's and Dont's for the holiday season to keep your little friends safe and out of trouble. A point that is not on this list that must be mentioned - Don't put your poinsettia somewhere where your cat can get at it! The milk in the leaves is mildly toxic to your little guy - meaning if he just takes a nibble he should be okay, but what cat sticks to that?

(Click on picture to view article)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Technical Difficulties

Due to some technical difficulties I will be unable to post until Monday (posting from my iPhone just isn't that convenient yet). But don't worry, all of the posts will be made available on Monday!

Thanks for your patience.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 9

One of the most fun Christmas pastimes is looking at all of the Christmas light displays. While you probably won't find these in your neighbourhood's display this year, here are some of my favorites from around the internet...

Carson Williams - Mason Ohio, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 10

10 days! I can hardly fathom it. And that is to Christmas Day, not to Christmas Eve. Wow! Hopefully all of you have finished up your Christmas shopping and are getting ready to wrap all the exciting gifts... right?

Style At Home has written a great article this year to help you out: 5 fun and easy Christmas gift wrapping ideas. There are some great ideas in there, that also help get you thinking about your own ways to personalize your gifts. Best of all, these ideas are very easy and inexpensive!

Pin of the Week - December 15th, 2011

As Christmas approaches, I'm starting to think about how I will style my hair and make-up Christmas Eve. This is a very natural look that would look good with anything. Ironically the site is not in English, but it is easy to tell what they are doing as they have pictures for every step of this look.

(Click on photo to view site)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 11

As Christmas looms closer and closer it begins to look ominous for our waistlines - especially those of us who have a hard time controlling our eating habits regularly, not to mention when there are so many snacks around!

Homemakers magazine decided to help us keep one area of Christmas low-calorie at least - with their article 10 Healthy Stocking Stuffers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Countdown - 12

Yesterday I featured a great collection of Christmas meal recipes from Better Recipes. However, there are a lot of people who cannot eat the traditional Christmas meal due to food allergies. Today I would like to feature a site that helps you understand food allergies, and provides some recipe suggestions that avoid a variety of food allergens. Allergic Living provides a host of great recipes, including the pictured pumpkin pie recipe.

(Click on image to view site)

Ten on Tuesday - December 13th, 2011

Today's Ten on Tuesday subject is 10 Hostess Gift Ideas.... enjoy!

1. A nice bottle of wine - this is a standby, but it is almost always appreciated. This is even better when you know whether your hostess has a preference toward red or white wine, or any favorite brands.

2. A cute dessert - this doesn't necessarily have to be one that will be eaten that night, but something small that she can savour later once the house is quiet again.

3. Homemade jam - maybe it is the country girl in me, but I always smile when I see someone bring a jar of homemade jam as a hostess gift - and then make a mental to-do list of jams I want to make the following year.

4. Specialty coffee - especially one with a really cute package.

5. Novelty game - something like 'Table Talk', that can be used to spice up the evening if need be

6. Wine glass charms - or beer bottle charms if you prefer - one can never have too many charms for guests to choose from.

7. Fancy tea - if your hostess is a known tea drinker, try some fancy tea from a specialty shop in your area... there are thousands of types of tea to try, so chances are you'll get something she hasn't tried yet and will be thrilled at the opportunity.

8. Flowers - but only if you are bringing them pre-trimmed and in a vase - a busy hostess doesn't want to slow down to prep some flowers.

9. A night out - a movie voucher or a gift certificate to her favorite spa - something to say thanks and that you appreciate her effort.

10. Music - if you know their favorite artist, try to find a band that is similar that they might like. A good resource is - search an artist and then switch to radio mode - it will play similar artists and let you find one you like.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Treasures - December 12, 2011

This week for Monday Treasures I'd like to feature some of my favorite Christmas baking recipes.

I'm a big advocate of finding recipes online, because then not only can you find a version of the recipe you like using the ingredients you have, but you can see what countless visitor before you have to think about the recipe. Often there are comments written such as "would halve the salt next time" or "loved this recipe. I added this sauce, found here..." It's like having hundreds of cooks offering suggestions just for you.

1. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

While the actual recipe I use is not available online, this one is very similar... and very delicious.

2. Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

3. CrockPot Chocolate Peanut Clusters

4. Chocolate Truffles

5. Fantasy Fudge

November 30th, 2011 - Present

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Weight Loss Tools

2009 - Present My Weight Ticker