Monday, 30 May 2016

Cozy Reader Club Box Review - May 2016


Outdoor reading weather has arrived, so when my Cozy Reader Club box arrived I took it outside and unboxed it on our back deck.


Cozy Reader Club is a monthly subscription box aimed at providing women with everything they need to relax when they are able to steal away a few moments to themselves. Each box will include a newly released hardcover book, a gourmet beverage, handcrafted treats, and handmade items from local vendors.

The cost is $64.95/month (+ shipping for international orders). You can used the code READCOZY to get $5 off your first box.

Here's what was in the May box.


Book - Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ($28) - A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice! "This version of the Bennet family - and Mr. Darcy - is one that you have and haven't met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help - and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray." This sounds like such a great summer read. I'm looking forward to reading it.




Stoneware Travel Mug from the Etsy Shop Sarah Welch Pottery ($34). This travel mug includes a silicone lid and sleeve and holds 24oz.

Herkimer Coffee ($9) 8oz of whole bean coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, but this is always good to have on hand. Or I know lots of people at work that would enjoy it!


Cocomels in Sea Salt ($4.99) Caramel and sea salt? Be still my heart. This combination is my all time favourite, so these caramels won't last long in our house. Plus they are made with coconut milk, so they are dairy free.

Mug Cozy from the Etsy shop YarnLovin ($10.95) This is pretty adorable and quite appropriate with a heart mug appliqué on it!

I'm pleased with the contents of this month's Cozy Reader Club. I love finding out about new vendors and Etsy stores. Also, the fact that a hardcover book is included adds an extra touch of receiving something special. The value for all of the items included is nearly $87, so that's pretty good for the cost of the box. This is a pricier box compared to other book subscription boxes, so it's not for everyone, but I really think that this box is like two boxes in one. You get a fantastic book, plus a number of other lifestyle items.

Visit the Cozy Reader Club website to order one, and remember to use the code READCOZY for $5 off.

xo
Jenn

Disclaimer - Cozy Reader Club was kind enough to send me a box for review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

PS - Be sure to check out the current giveaway for a copy of the book Rebel Sisters here

Friday, 27 May 2016

Rebel Sisters - Book Review + Giveaway



My favourite genre of books is historical fiction, and Rebel Sisters by Marita Conlon-McKenna is exactly the reason why. While it is a novel, Rebel Sisters tells the very true and real story of the Gifford family, specifically three of the Gifford sisters: Muriel, Grace, and Nellie. Set in Ireland between 1901 and 1916, we follow the sisters as they come of age, each in their own, unique way.

During this time, there were four major conflicts happening simultaneously. Ireland was dealing with women’s suffrage, the industrial movement, the nationalist movement, and World War One. Muriel, Grace, and Nellie all became involved in these conflicts themselves and through the men with whom they fell in love. 

I learned so much about Ireland’s history and especially their fight for independence while reading this book. The Giffords are a real family, and their tragic stories are still recounted in Ireland today. Rebel Sisters offers insight into the private lives of some of the key leaders of the rebellion. 2016 is especially significant as the year of publication for this book because it marks the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising

I was a little unsure why the author was spending so much time early on giving a detailed history of each of the three sisters, but as I started googling more about Irish independence while I was reading, I learned that these women actually existed. I do wish she had captured the intensity and excitement of the time period a little better, but overall the fact that these events, and places, and people were real, had me so invested in learning their stories. 

Rebel Sisters is also a great book for fans of Downton Abbey. There are elements from the love story of Sybil and Branson here, and we learn about the ideologies for which Branson is always so passionate.

If you're interested in learning more about Ireland and its history, absolutely pick up this book.

Thanks to Marita Conlon-McKenna, TLC Book Tours, and Transworld Publishers, I have a copy of Rebel Sisters to giveaway. It's open worldwide, so woot woot! See the Rafflecopter widget below.

xo

Disclaimer – I received a copy of Rebel Sisters from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. To check out what other bloggers had to say about Rebel Sisters, here is the full book tourEnjoy!

Monday, 23 May 2016

We Brought Him Home



We brought him home.

I remember walking out of the hospital. My husband lifted our son into the car. I remember the short drive home. We opened the car door, gingerly lifting his car seat out. I remember we shut the door and then walked towards our house. The storm door opened and then the wooden door after that. We walked inside and slowly placed the carseat with our son still in it on the floor beside the couch.

We brought him home.

I remember the sun shining brightly in through our bay windows. It was spring. The perfect time for new babies.

I remember his newborn smell. That subtle, yet intoxicating and delicious smell that new babies carry with them. I remember our cat coming to investigate. She could smell it too.

I remember the smell of the hospital was gone. That smell of sick and medicine. I had been nesting for weeks and our house felt so clean and fresh.

Everyone was quiet.

We brought him home.

I remember holding him. The weight of him felt so wonderful. He fit perfectly in my arms. I remember thinking that this small little baby was about to add so much life to our home.

I remember the feeling of his terrycloth sleeper. It was yellow and had little animals on it. He was quiet and sleeping. I remember taking him upstairs and bringing him to his room for the very first time. I remember placing him on his diaper pad. The sound of the buckle that snapped him in place because we were still very cautious as new parents. It was probably the only time we ever used that buckle.

We stared at him. Silently hoping and praying that he'd be happy here with us.

We brought him home.

I remember his skin was so smooth. His newborn hair was so soft. Everything smelled light and clean.  Everything was still. It was a happy stillness. A beautiful calm.

I remember he nursed easily, and I thought so far we were doing okay.

I remember it felt like we were moving in slow motion. Everyone else in the world, everyone else outside our home, was going about their lives. We were taking everything slowly. Every step was careful. Each one calculated. We had no idea what we were doing, and we wanted to get it right.

We brought him home.

I remember sitting gently on our couch, still store from the delivery. I remember hearing the click of the kettle as my mom boiled water for us and made us tea. Just a little bit sweet with some milk. Tea always settles my nerves. Even if they are happy nerves.

We brought him home.

And I remember knowing things would never be the same.

xo
Jenn

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Getting Organized with StickerKid

The organizational side of parenting is not small. Babies tear through their clothing sizes at lightening speed, and toddlers are forever dropping their toys and snack containers wherever they happen to roam. We're in the daycare stage, so we also label every piece of clothing that our son wears, lest it get forgotten or dropped somewhere.


Enter StickerKid. StickerKid is a children's label company that makes adorable labels for kids' clothing, toys, shoes, waterbottles, or any other belongings that come along with having little ones.

StickerKid labels are water resistant, dishwasher safe, microwave safe, fridge/freezer friendly, and washer/dryer safe. They will also hold up to sun and sand. These labels are built to last.


I like using the large circle ones for boots and shoes.

And the iron-on labels were easy to use and are very soft.



There are so many cute designs, fonts, and colours to choose from when creating your labels, and I feel like their prices are comparable to other companies that offer similar products. There are even a variety of stickers for allergy awareness that I imagine could be quite useful for any child with a food allergy.

Sebastian got pretty excited when he saw all the stickers with his name on them, so he decided that he needed to label his most prized possessions, his I Spy books.


So, check out StickerKid if you are looking for help getting organized and keeping track of your children's stuff. Seb is heading to JK in the fall, so we're getting our Monica Geller on and labelling everything to keep it from getting lost!

xo
Jenn

Disclaimer - I was sent some labels from StickerKid for review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

Monday, 16 May 2016

My Favourite Maternity Photos



One of my favourite things I did while I was pregnant was take a pregnancy photo shoot. I love these pictures because they remind me that while my body is currently not (and probably never will be) the same as it was pre-baby, the result is so worth it.

I was our baby's home.

I was his safe place.

There is just no other way to get a little baby here other than growing him inside ourselves. These are more than just baby bump pictures. They are images of strength and love.

xo
Jenn















All photos via Life Photography. 


Monday, 9 May 2016

6 Thoughts I've Had While Getting a Bikini Wax



In an effort to try and feel a bit put together, I recently went for a bikini wax. There's a place not far from my house that I like to go (although you'll see in a moment, apparently not often enough). My appointment wasn't long, but in the short time it took to take care of business, here's what went through my mind:

1. Why are they playing jazz music? Are they assuming I'm relaxed right now? A bikini wax is not relaxing. Playing Nora Jones doesn't make it relaxing. Let's just call a spade a spade and play something with a bit more punch. Taylor Swift's Shake it Off could work.

2. When was the last time I was here? The aesthetician tells me, "It's been awhile..." Uh...Thanks. I know. But, really, it hasn't been thaaaat long. A few months maybe, but we're not talking years or anything here, and that itself deserves a medal.

3. Would I rather be having a pap smear? Would I be more or less uncomfortable if I was dealing with a plastic speculum right now? I'm still not sure.

4. How much is she taking off down there? I said bikini...not Brazilian right?? Did she just remove everything? Should I look?

5. Well, this is a yoga position I've never tried before. "Move your leg over here." "A little bit more." "Try to relax." It sounds like a yoga class in here. Maybe next time I'll just do that instead. At least the soothing jazz music would be a better fit.

6. My husband better appreciate this. 

xo
Jenn


Monday, 2 May 2016

Sebastian: 4 Years Old: 20 Questions

Sebastian turned 4 yesterday! #wheredoesthetimego?? We had Pawsitively Pets bring 8 fun animals for the party, complete with a chinchilla pretending to be a hat!


Afterwards we did our little birthday interview with him!

1. What is your favorite color? pink, white, orange, yellow
2. What is your favorite toy? all my toy friends (all of his stuffed animals)
3. What is your favorite fruit? lemon (?!?!)
4. What is your favorite tv show? Play Doh surprise videos and Dora
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? grilled cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? underwear and soft pants
7. What is your favorite game? books
8. What is your favorite snack?  surprise snack (when we pick a snack and give it to him so he doesn't have to decide)
9. What is your favorite animal? a cat 
10. What is your favorite song? Peppa Pig Song
11. What is your favorite book? I Spy books
12. Who is your best friend? Mr Dinosaur
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go outside. Where do you like going? Book places.
15. What is your favorite drink? milk
16. What is your favorite holiday?  Easter, Thanksgiving, and winter.
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Sebastian monster
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? cereal
19. What do you want for dinner? Kraft Dinner
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Do computer work. But when I'm super duper big, I'll make books.

xo
Jenn  

Check out Sebastian's answers to all of these questions from last year.

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