November 26, 2015

MagneTree Under the Christmas Tree #holidaygiftguide #contest

By now, everyone knows how much I like to support local business. I always try for Canadian. It's a bonus if the company is from Toronto and I'm ecstatic when I find a local, York Region entrepreneur. Well, here you have it.

I first met Josie Elfassy at the Fall BabyTime Show in Toronto. She was showcasing her company -- based in Richmond Hill -- called MagneTree Books.

MagneTree is a customizable story that puts you, your child, your family directly into the story -- using magnets. When you purchase your MagneTree book (available in Boy or Girl options), your story includes 9 customizable magnets. Using the link provided to you, you upload 9 photos and within days, your book and your magnets are delivered to your home. Then, you have fun building the story.

Meet Me in an adorable tale of adventures that could happen in your slumber.  Move the magnets around to tell a completely different story each and every time. It's great for the imagination, and once your photos are in the book, you literally become the characters in the story. 

When Isabelle opened the magnets out of the mail, she was instantly intrigued. In fact, we read the story 5 different ways (by moving the magnets) within the first hour of receiving the book. She loved it right away and giggled when she saw her family members in her book. If you'd like to add more characters to your story, you can also add a second set of magnets to your order. And uploading is easy! You can use cell phone pics, Facebook pics or professional shots. You don't need the highest resolution -- find photos that are natural. You do want to make sure that the person/people in the photograph are centred, though. That will ensure the magnet is proportioned. 

I think this book would make an excellent Christmas gift -- in fact, I already bought one for two special boys on my list. And because you're uploading 9 photos to the story, you could essentially buy the book as a gift for an entire family and they can have lots of fun reading and re-reading for years to come.

Each book is $34 (Canadian funds) and includes the 9 customizable magnets. Taxes and shipping charges will apply.

Get your orders in by December 5 to ensure delivery for the holidays!

MagneTree has generously given one Simply Suppa reader a chance to WIN a free MagneTree book. All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received one book for review purposes. All opinions expressed on the blog are my own.

November 25, 2015

Perfect Stocking Stuffers with Stella + Dot #holidaygiftguide

You can never go wrong with jewellery. 
I repeat: you can never go wrong with jewellery.

Regardless of how many necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings your wife, sister, girlfriend or mom has, you can never go wrong with jewellery.

Luckily, not all jewellery purchases need to do serious damage on your wallet or credit card. There are lots of brands that offer inexpensive and stylish jewellery for just about every lady on your list. Stella + Dot is one of these companies.

Stella + Dot is not available in a mall or retail store, so you'll need to connect with a stylist in order to purchase. But you can search through their entire catalogue online

This holiday season, there are hundreds of items that fall under $40 -- my favourites are these wishing bracelets. They're perfect for teacher gifts, kris kringle or stocking stuffers. 

And here's the best part - everything comes in gift-ready packaging and can be at your door within 3-6 days of ordering. That means no frantic mall parking lots or the stress of last minute shopping. Easy peasy. 

If you get your order in before Dec. 15th not only will your packages arrive in time for Christmas but you will also earn DOT DOLLARS.  The biggest promotion of the year, for every $50 spent, you get $25 Dot Dollars that can be redeemed between Dec. 29th - Jan. 9th on a minimum purchase of $50.  So essentially your shopping now will get you half price shopping later! 

So if this isn't enticing the guys, I know it's enticing the ladies! Maybe do a little Christmas shopping for yourself? 

To order or book a Stella + Dot party, click here.

November 24, 2015

Holistic Holiday Gift Ideas #holidaygiftguide #SajeWellness

Saje Wellness is a company founded in British Columbia that helps connect people to the healing power of plants through natural remedies and 100% natural products. They recently opened their shop at Vaughan Mills among other locations nationwide. Their products are environmentally friendly, healthy and supportive of the body's healing functions. 

For the holidays, Saje has come out with a line of holiday goodness for the holistic healers on your list -- and we all have at least one :)

The "You're Awesome" Yoga Kit is perfect for the yogi on your list -- beginner or otherwise. The package is made out of recycled yoga mats, and inside, 3 little treasures. The Antibacterial Mat Spray is ideal for after your practice and with notes of fresh pine and lavender, your mat will be left smelling clean, without smelling clinical. The Transition Mist is to be used prior to class and the Peppermint Halo headache remedy roll-on will leave you level headed. Use the Peppermint roll-on in conjunction with a carrier oil. (Instructions provided) $22.95 at Saje stores or online.

If someone on your list is travelling this holiday season, this next gift is one of a kind, and something I've never come across. It's the Travel Safe Kit, and unlike your typical travel kit that may contain band-aids and tensor bands, this pack is designed to minimize the side effects of exhausting travel. The Arrive Revived mist and roll on combines essential oils to reduce the symptoms of travel on the mind and body so you arrive fresh, clear and inspired. The Eater's Digest roll on helps soothe upset stomach and ease digestion, and the Restoral Skin Ointment is designed to help relieve rashes and itch. Lastly, the Safe Hands sanitizing lotion disinfects and moisturizes and is 100% vegan. All the ointments and roll ons in this kit have wonderful aromas, from fresh eucalyptus to warm lavender and  clean lemon. They are also perfectly sized for carry-on luggage. $44.95 at Saje stores on online.

For more great ideas for the person on your list who loves all natural goodness, visit Saje's website. 

November 23, 2015

High Definition Make Up #review

I have a thing for make up. I love it. I probably own hundreds of eyeshadows, dozens of blushes and don't even ask me how many lip sticks, lip slicks, lip glosses, lip glasses and lip stains I own. It's a problem. That said, I HATE foundation. Maybe I have flashbacks to caking my face on while dancing at our year-end performances, but I loathe the stuff. It feels like a mask, gets on everything and is so hard to match to your skin.

In fact, even when I'm on air, I wait until the last possible second to put on my "face" and take it off almost immediately afterward.

Until now.

I've been actively testing Make Up For Ever's new Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation for weeks. I wear it to work, on air, out and about. What's interesting is no one ever comments that I'm wearing a lot of make up.  That's because it doesn't look like I am. The Invisible Cover Stick is a godsend. It's so silky and smooth -- I draw 5 lines on my face and blend with a foundation brush. That's it. Then I do my eyes and cheeks, finish with some powder and voila. The liquid foundation is a bit thicker, but great for on-camera. It doesn't feel as heavy as other liquids I've worn, although I do prefer the stick to the liquid.

As for matching the shade, I left that one to the pros. I went into Sephora and instead of doing what I usually do (picking what I THINK matches and hoping for the best), I had an artist select the shade and it was bang on.

And there you have it -- I'll admit, while I do have my camera face "on" in all these photos and the lighting is fabulous, there is no filter on these photos. I think the Ultra HD gives a nice glow without looking too heavy or made up.

In other words, if I HAVE to wear foundation, this is the one I'm picking!

Disclaimer: I received these products in order to write this review. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own.

November 22, 2015

Jenga XL -- the fun won't stop #holidaygiftguide #playlikehasbro

You take a block from the bottom and you put it on top, 
You take a block from the middle and you put it on top;
And it teeters and it totters as you build it all up, 
It wheebles and it wobbles but you just can't stop!

If you're looking for a great gift for kids on your list that does not require batteries, technology, a screen, tiny pieces, doesn't beep, buzz or make noise and is a LOT of fun -- I've got you covered. Oh, and it's less than $30 to boot.

Show of hands: who loved Jenga as a kid? I did, I did, and I can still hear those commercials in my head 20 plus years later. Well, now Jenga's been supersized -- in a great way.

Jenga XL is a jumbo version of the classic block-stacking game, using foldable cardboard blocks.  These blocks are great for little hands and the tower quickly builds up to about 3 feet tall. When you first open the game, you'll notice you need to assemble all the boxes, but then, it's time to play. 

Isabelle quickly got the hang of stacking the blocks and sneaking them out of position and building up the tower. When the tower came crashing down, it was time to pick up the pieces and start again. This building game teaches kids all about stability and balance, taking risks and concentration. It's a very strategic game that even my 3 year old was able to conquer. 

And while I AM a huge lover of technology, it's refreshing to have an activity that didn't require any additional materials or screens. Isabelle also quickly memorized the song and used it as her instructions -- you take a block from the bottom, and you put it on top.

Jenga XL is available at most department and toy stores and retails for $29.99. 

This one is Kid Approved and Simply Suppa Approved.

Disclaimer: I received a Jenga XL to test in order to write this review. As always, all opinions expressed on this blog are my own.

November 19, 2015

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chocolate! #holidaygiftguide

Hostess Gift. Check.
Kris Kringle. Check.
Visitors dropping by. Check.
The baker. Check.
The person who absolutely has everything but loves chocolate? CHECK.

I'm a fan of edible gifts -- regardless of the occasion. They're simple, generally inexpensive, and useful! 

Green & Black's Organic Chocolate is a great holiday gift idea. It may sound silly -- chocolate for Christmas? To that I say, why NOT chocolate for Christmas? G&B is yummy, it's organic and comes in a variety of really cool flavours. Add a bar to an existing gift or package up a bunch -- believe me, this will be a hit.

The newest flavour this season is mint -- it's a perfect, winter-fresh treat, with 60% cocoa chocolate and mint flavour. I bet it would be a nice addition to holiday cookies, or even melted down as Mint Hot Chocolate!? My absolute fave flavour is Sea Salt, and I think it's obvious why. Combining rich and velvety chocolate with hints of sea salt is simply divine. 

G&B Organic Chocolate is available at most health food stores and specialty grocery store. Think outside the "gift" box this year and celebrate over some cocoa!

November 18, 2015

Love these Leggings #holidaygiftguide #contest

When I was a kid, I lived in leggings. Like, every single day. I had leggings in every different colour and wore them with my favourite long tunics and that little plastic circle doodad that you looped your shirt into. You know what I mean, '80s child. Flash forward 20+ years later and while leggings are back "in", my body has changed, more than slightly. Plus, the WAY we're supposed to wear leggings has changed, too.
Here are my legging rules:
  • Leggings are not pants, so don't expose your butt;
  • Make sure your leggings are not see-through (this is especially important if you break rule #1)
  • Leggings need to be taut, but not too tight
A few months ago, I met Antonella, who runs My Legwear Shop. She assured me she could find the PERFECT leggings for me (I was explicit with my height and muscular leg concerns -- HA! -- finding flattering leggings is not an easy feat.) 

My Legwear Shop has so many different styles and fabrics, patterns and prints -- all available for purchase online. The shop also sells pantyhose and children's leggings, in adorable patterns. Some kids' styles even match the adult ones -- I LOVE THIS. Twinning!

Antonella hooked me up with a pair of Lonnie leggings, made by Slymwear. These leggings are a beautiful dark black that doesn't fade -- they are made with a blend of nylon and spandex jersey. You can wear them out and about, or to the gym, or both. They're stretchy and smooth and hug the body in all the right places. My favourite -- they're made in Canada. 

At $72.00, they are not the cheapest, but the quality is there -- you won't be buying many pairs of thin, see-through pairs only to replace them a few washes later when they fall apart. I literally wear these pants as soon as they come out of the laundry every single week. So, I played it safe with the black, but seeing as these are my new favourite leggings, I think it's time to branch out of my comfort zone and try a more bold look?

These Lonnie pants would make an excellent gift for the woman on your list who enjoys a little comfort, but still likes to look good and put together. Wearing leggings doesn't mean you need to look like a slob! Of course, there are many other options, too. High waisted, bamboo, jegging and more. 

Luckily, Simply Suppa readers have a chance to WIN a pair, just in time for the holidays! 

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below and cross your leg(gings)!

Disclaimer: I received leggings to try in order to write this review. As always, opinions expressed on this blog are my own.