Thursday, 27 April 2017

From The Archives: Bedtime Stories Baby Shower

A number of years ago, I hosted a baby shower for a co-worker/friend. The theme was Bedtime Stories. As an event planner, I get to host, design, consult, plan, etc on tons of events throughout the year. This baby shower was one of my favourite events that I worked on. 

Since it's been so long since this baby shower took place, and because a number of my friends have either just had babies or are pregnant, I thought I would go into the Dreams and Colour Archives and share the posts related to the Bedtime Stories Baby Shower!
 
Theme & Invite
Decorations
Food & Drink
Games
Book Recommendations & Gift Ideas
A Special Keepsake

This is a really fun, classic, gender neutral baby shower theme...I would love to host another shower with these theme!!

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Book Club: The Debutante

Book The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: The Debutante
Author: Kathleen Tessaro

Cate, an exile from New York, is sent to help value the contents of a once-grand Georgian house on the southwest coast of England. Cataloguing its contents with Jack -- a man with his own dark past -- she comes across a hidden shoebox containing an exquisite pair of dancing shoes, along with a mysterious collection of objects from the 1930s: a photograph, a dance card and a Tiffany bracelet.
Returning to London rather than face the questions lingering in her own life, Cate immerses herself in piecing together the clues contained in the box. In doing so, she uncovers the story of Irene Blythe and her sister Diana, known as “Baby” -- two of the most famous debutantes of their generation.
The tale that unfolds is one of addictive love, and it leads Cate to address secrets of her own. Can the dark events of Baby Blythe’s past change Cate’s own ability to live and love again?

What I Have To Say:
Where to begin? My copy of the book has a different design then the one above, which is what originally made me pick up this book. The description on the back of the book sounded appealing. The price ($5.00) was right. I bought the book. I was able to get into the book fairly quickly and I wanted to know what happened to Baby Blythe! Letters from Baby are sprinkled throughout the book and reveal what the items in the shoebox mean. Cate's journey to uncover the meanings of the items was also enjoyable. The main plot was original and engaging.

Not enjoyable? All the secondary plot lines. Cate's backstory as to why she is in London, I would say, is necessary to the overall plot. The back story of her parents, her aunt, and Jack? Not so much. There was a lot going on and it was hard to follow. I struggled with keeping characters and their story straight, Even Cate's own back story...bouncing back between her life in New York and life in England was hard to remember at times.

At the end of the book, you know the meaning behind all of the items in the shoebox, but you still don't know what happens to Baby. I like the author's note at the end of the book, which discusses her writing process, some historical information on England during the time the Blythe Sisters story was set, and even provided some insight on what could have happened to Baby, without actually clarifying.

Final Verdict:
The different plots were too much for me, but I did enjoy the Blythe Sisters plot, so I will likely re-read this book, but only the parts related to the sisters- and skip the rest- just to make sure that I full understood this story. While it was well written, all of the 'extra' plots and the filler and confusion they caused makes me not want to recommend this book. Give it a pass.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hey, It's Ok!

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To be super happy that the New York Rangers have advanced to the next round!! They will face Ottawa...but the Rangers will win the series!!

That I think I have a sinus infection. I have been havign sinus issues- extreme pain- for the past few weeks. I am trying to get in to see my doctor. In the mean time, I am trying everything Google and friends can suggest have sinus relief. 

To be a bit disappointed that I didn't get to try the Unicorn frap from Starbucks. I know there were mixed reviews on this drink, but I still wanted to try it for myself. Sadly, all the Starbucks within a half an hour of me sold out of the drink on the first day.

That I still haven't seen Beauty and the Beast. We always make plans to go see it, but then something happens. I will be seeing The Circle with my Book Club on Saturday...it was our book pick for November. 

To be spending so much more time near the lake. It's a lot of walking along the beach, boardwalk, and pier at the moment...but we are getting closer and closer to beach weather!!

That I want a pet flamingo. I love flamingos. And I think it would be fun.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Make With Me: No Bake Cheesecake

I love cheesecake and I am always on the hunt for delicious cheesecake, as well as easy cheesecake recipes. The recipe I am sharing today is a combination of a recipe that I got from my friend Kristin, a co-worker, and a few that I found online. It is super easy, no bake, and can be prepared in minutes!

Ingredients:
  • 1package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 cups Oreo crumb crust
  • Butter (for the crust)
  • 1 box chocolate pudding mix

To Make:
  • Make crust according to instructions on the box (Note: you'll need roughly 1 and 1/3 cups of the crumbs for the crust)
  • Press crust mixture into pan
  • Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with whisk or mixer until well blended
  • Stir in Cool Whip to the cream cheese mixture
  • Stir in package of chocolate pudding mix and 1/2 cup of Oreo crust crumbs
  • Spoon mixture into crust
  • Sprinkle remaining Oreo crust crumbs on top of cheesecake
  • Refrigerate for 3 hours
  • Enjoy!

Notes:
  1. Instead of Oreo crust, you can use graham cracker crust instead.
  2. Chocolate pudding mix can be substituted for any flavour pudding mix. I personally really like butterscotch.
  3. Can use chocolate chips or chocolate shavings as a topping instead of Oreo crumbs.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Put A Bow On It April Deluxe Review

Up until recently, Put a Bow On It offered two monthly boxes- Premium ($64.95 plus shipping) and Deluxe ($36 plus shipping). Both boxes have a different theme each month, and different items related to "lifestyle". Both boxes contain 4-5 items, and the Premium box is said to have higher value items. Personally, I prefer the Deluxe box. I think the items are just as good (if not better) as the items in the Premium box and I feel that the value of the items are more inline with what I pay for the box.

Sadly, in March, Put A Bow On It announced they would no longer be offering the Deluxe box. This was disappointing as I had recently decided that I liked the Deluxe box a lot more than the Premium box and that I would continue subscribing to the Deluxe box. At this time, I have no intention of re-subscribing to the Premium box.
The theme for the April Deluxe box is "April Showers". I'm not sure what the suggested retail value for the box is, as the printing of my product card was cut off mid-way through the last listed item. Put a Bow On It does not list individual product prices, just the overall value of the box.

Here is what was included in the April Deluxe box:
  •  Umbrella a practical item for an "April Showers" themed box. Would have been fun to have an umbrella in a colour other than black or with a fun print on it.
  • Kocostar Hair Mask in Hair Therapy This is a deep conditioning hair mask. Cute that they took the "April Showers" theme to mean rain or in-home showers.
  • EOS Lotion I am a fan of EOS lip balm and had no idea that they also did lotion! I'm excited to give this a try.
  • Relaxing Therapy Colouring Book I feel that the adult colour book, while still on trend and popular, is kind of dated and has been done by subscription boxes last year. 
  • Colour Pencils I like that colour pencils were included to go along with the colouring book. 
I think this was a cute box and the items fit the theme. I always feel that Put A Bow On It is sending items that were 'last season' or were included in other subscription boxes but months ago. This subscription comes across, at least to me, as a bit amateur. I am sad to see the Deluxe box come to an end. With this being their last Deluxe box, I has hoped they would go out with a bit of a 'bang'. Instead it felt like they went to the Dollar Store to pick up items and shopped the clearance section of a bookstore.

While I wasn't overly impressed with this months box, I thought it was good.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hey, It's Ok

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I filled out an NHL Playoff Bracket. Obviously I picked the New York Rangers to win 

To have had a great weekend...spent a lot of time with my dad, grandma, and uncle, saw another uncle and come cousins-including my cousin from Alberta, went to the beach, and spent an afternoon reading in the hammock.

That I will finally (hopefully) be seeing Beauty and the Beast this week!! I am excited to see this movie and spend some time with friends. 

To be picking the May selection for my Book Club! I am excited to introduce my friends and fellow Book Clubbers to one of my favourite authors!!

That I do not have a green thumb. I have successfully failed to keep a couple of plants alive, but my lemon tree is still going and doing well.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Little Life Box April 2017

I am an avid follower of A Year Of Boxes, which is a blog that reviews all kinds of subscription boxes- and it's Canadian! Sarah and her team do a great job of reviewing well known, niche, and up and coming boxes. I have been introduced to a number of boxes- some I have liked, some I have not, and some I am keeping an eye on so I can try them if/when they start to ship to Canada. 

Sarah is a fan of Little Life Box and shared a 50% off code, so I thought I would give them a try. April 2017, is the first box I received and I loved it! Before I show you what was in the box, let's cover the basics: Little Life Box is a monthly, Canadian box that features 8-12 health items- food, beauty, vitamins, and other lifestyle products- for $23, plus $5 shipping. 

Here's what was in the April 2017 box:

  • Camino Chocolate Bunny This is fair-trade, nut-free, and organic dark chocolate. Appropriate because Easter is in April this year. Plus, dark chocolate is pretty good for you.
  • Liquid Honey this is 100% Quebec honey, and it also says "wild flowers", does this mean the honey was produced from wild flowers? I have no idea! But I love this! I actually use honey in my morning smoothies to add a bit of sweetness. 
  • Kind Bars in Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate I am a fan of Kind bars, and I love a peanut butter & chocolate flavour combination. I'm thinking I'm going to keep these at work for the odd morning that I skip breakfast,
  • Caboo Tree Free Travel Wipes these wipes are made from sustainable bamboo- which I love! I will be doing some traveling this summer, and these will be great to have in my bag
  • Neocell Beauty Bursts in Fresh Mint Chocolate I'm not 100% sure what this is...it syays choclate, but it also says "Gourmet Collagen Soft Chew" and "Dietary Supplement". The back of the package indicates that the ingredients have beauty benefits- skin rebuilder, skin hydration, collagen enhancer
  • Sinuspax I am actually interested in this product! We had some extreme weather changes about a month ago, which lead to a lot of sinus pain for me. With Spring, I am anticipating some (hopefully minor) sinus issues, This product offers relief of nasal congestion, inflammation, and sinus pain.
  • Ingenium Naturals Wellness Blend Tea in Digestion and Energizing These are loose leaf teas, which I like, and I like that they both have specific benefits. I'm looking forward to trying them both, 
  • Hemp Protein & Fibre Powder in Berry and Vanilla Flavours Another product that I add to my morning smoothie! I make mixed berry smoothies, so both flaours will pair well.
  • Puressential Respitore Spray This product offers relief to sore throats. On the advise of a doctor, I have tried a similar product in the past and did not like it- anything the spray touched (ex my tongue) became numb. I will give this product a try and see if it's any different...but I am a little leery about trying it.
  • Bounce Protein Energy Ball in Cacao Orange I've actually tried this product before- but not this flavour- and really liked it! This is something else I might bring to work and keep in my desk for days that I need a little energy boost. 
  • Elan Banana Chips My aunt and uncle opened a health food store when I was about 9 or 10, and banana chips were one of the first things my mom bought from their store. I have been eating these for years and love them!
The only thing I didn't like about this box is that they did not provide a product card, which I really wish they had. Overall, I LOVE this box! While this box had a variety of products, most of them were food and beverage based products, which I really don't mind- they are all items I will use. I like to have snacks around my condo to throw in my bag or to bring to work, and I feel the amount of snacks will last all month, if not longer. 
 
Even though I had a 50% off code, I like the price point- about $30 including tax and shipping- and I feel that the value of the box is at least this much. The fact that I love everything (except the throat spray) and that the items are things that I will personally use- no gifting any items to family and friends- adds additional value for me. Another 'value added' is that this box is unlike any other subscription box I have seen. A lot of things to like!
 
I'm excited to see what the May box includes, and from there I will decide if I want to keep subscribing.    

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Hey, It's Ok

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

To slowly be decorating my condo...I have finally reached out to a couple of friends to commission some artwork, and have decided on how to finalize my little reading nook. I still have a ton of work to do, decisions to make, and items to source...but at least, finally, I have started the process!

That I am counting down the days until the Kentucky Derby! I love everything about the Derby, and one year I will be organized enough and host a Kentucky Derby Party. But not this year. 

To be thrilled that New York Rangers have made the playoffs!! Go Rangers!!

That, while going through super old emails- from over 10 years ago- I found the outline of a collection of short stories I wanted to write, including a really good start to the first short story. I got excited about the idea and would love to actually flesh out the outline and start writing. The goal is there...let's see if I make the time. 

To be super excited for two trips I am taking- Ottawa in June and Quebec City in July. I am looking forward to exploring and experiencing both cities during summer months. I confirmed my travel and accommodations on the weekend, and now I get to plan how I am going to spend my days...can't wait!!

Friday, 7 April 2017

Fashion Friday- Sunday Brunch

I must admit, one of my favourite things in the world is Sunday brunch with my grilfriends followed by an afternoon of shopping. There are so many things I like about this- breakfast food, sunny afternoons walking around, spending time with my best girls. 

Another thing I love is that there are so many outfit choices when it comes to brunch- anything goes! 

Cardigan // Dress // Purse // Watch // Necklace // Shoes
With the warm, Spring weather I am living in dresses! I love the colour of this dress from Old Navy! I know that people tend to lean towards pastel colours in the Spring, but I am all about this bold blue! 
 
I love the colour combination of blue and yellow, and this yellow cropped sweater from The Bay is not only perfect for those Spring days that have a bit of a chill, but it looks amazing with this shade of blue!

Because the dress and cardigan are such bold colours, I opted to keep the accessories more subtle. Wedges are the perfect Spring shoe...they give you the height of heels with the flat sole of flats so you're not sinking into the fresh Spring ground. I love these wedges from Payless- they keep this look casual. 

The straw from this Kate Spade purse goes well with the wedges, and how adorable is that bow detail?! This watch, also Kate Spade, is great for Spring because nothing is more Spring than flowers. Finally, I added this gorgeous flower necklace from AU Rate. I love how beautiful and classic this necklace is. It could almost be a Sunday Brunch outfit staple, as it would go with everything!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Curretnly- April Edition

Another month, another 'Currently' post!

Watching
Image Via
Big Brother is my guilty pleasure and one of my favourite shows! So glad that BBCan is currently on. I may or may not be planning my social schedule about episode airings...
 
Reading
Image Via
 I picked this book up months ago and am finally reading it- love it so far! Cate is in England hiding from something- a relationship I think- and while in England has taken it upon herself to find out what happened to 'Baby" Blythe, a former Debutante. 
 
Listening
Image Via
I have known about Sam Hunt for a few years and have always liked his music, but recently I have been LOVING everything Sam Hunt. I am listening to his albums on repeat all day, every. 
 
 Drinking
Image Via
The warm weather calls for iced lattes- iced chai tea lattes to be exact!
 
Eating
Image Via
 A couple of co-workers and I have been going for tacos every week. I always get chicken tacos...so good!
 
Wanting
Image Via
 A week on Necker Island...Richard Branson's private island. It looks amazing, indulgent, and super relaxing. 
 
Loving
Image Via
 Warm Spring weather and all of the spring flowers that are now in bloom!
 
 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Book Club: My Not So Perfect Life

Book My Not So Perfect Life: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella
Image Via Chapters Indigo
Book: My Not So Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

What I Have To Say:
This was the March pick for my Book Club, which I was super happy about- I am a Sophie Kinsella fan and this book was on my personal reading list! This book stays true to Kinsella's style- well developed characters, humour, light and quick read, etc. Unlike other Kinsella books, the "relationship" this book focused on was an employee/employer relationship, instead of a romantic relationship; there was a romantic storyline, but it wasn't the focal point of this book, which was so refreshing. The story was relateable, as we have ALL had that nightmare of a boss and we have ALL gone through a period where we have tried to reinvent ourselves, be somewhere we are not, and/or overly curate our online presence. This book is also a good reminder that people and situations are not always what they seem. 

Final Verdict:
If you are a fan of chic lit and/or Sophie Kinsella, give this book a read! If you're not, give it a pass...you really need to be a fan of the genre to get into and like this book. 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Hey, It's Ok!

http://www.airingmylaundry.com/
With Amber from Airing My Dirty Laundry

That I am totally crushing on Sam Hunt recently!! I don't know what it is...but I am now following his social media, listening to his music on repeat, and maybe even doing some googling... Loved his ACMs performance too!!

To be considering signing up for a yoga class. I have taken yoga classes from time to time and I have done yoga in the privacy of my home, but I have not committed to a weekly yoga practice. I think I'm going to do it...or at least go to the first week.

That I am desperately looking for a no-bake cheesecake recipe a friend gave me years ago. It was delicious and so easy to make, I want to make it again and post the recipe on my blog...here's hoping I find it soon!

To be excited that Niagara won the bid to host the 2021 Canada Summer Games!! I know how hard they worked on the bid and I am super excited to welcome Canada to Niagara.

That I am not all that interested that yesterday was opening day for baseball. I know a lot of people were really excited about that...but I'm just...meh. Go Blue Jays.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Inspire Me- Amazing

When I post my Monday blogs, I like to have a little preamble or story to go with the quote I chose for the week. This week, I don't have either. But this is a quote worth sharing...because everyone needs to be reminded/told this on a regular basis.