May 07, 2017

Mother's Day Craft #mothersday

So, Mother's Day is in a week and if you're looking for an easy, yet impressive, Mother's Day gift to surprise the mother of your children, or the grandmothers, or if you want to get your kids to make YOU something, here's what I made with the kids last year.


Pretty awesome, huh?!

Here's what you need:
  • Clay Pots (Dollar Store or Walmart, Garden Centre) and base trays
  • Chalkboard Paint. I found these colourful paints at DollarTime last year.
  • Soil and some herbs
  • Chalk or Chalk Crayon
  • Foam brush
Step 1: Paint the pots. While Chalkboard paint dries very quickly, it's a good idea to do this at least one day before. You may need a couple coats. If you don't like the bright pots, go for one colour, or even black. 

After the pots and the bases are dry, it's time to write on them. Step 2. I found great chalk crayons at the Dollar Store; the colour adheres, unlike traditional chalk, and they write like a wax crayon. You can even get them in different colours. Coloured Sharpies could work here, too. You'll want to write on the pots before there's soil in them -- makes it easier to tilt. Of course, if your child can print, this is the best part of this craft. I love seeing Isabelle's little letters on the pots. Even if some are backwards!

Once the pots are labelled, fill with a potting soil, or vegetable soil. Decide if you'd like to fill the pots with herbs or flowers. I went with herbs, and customized the trio depending on the mom. My mom likes oregano, while my mother-in-law likes thyme. 

Water them, put them in the sun and most of all, keep them alive until Mother's Day!

My mom had her set on the deck all summer long and used the herbs for most of the season!


Enjoy!

April 27, 2017

Happy Birthday, KODA NIVOLI!

I have some pretty talented friends. Like, out-of-this-world creative, whizzy, entrepreneurial friends. Why am I telling you this? Because I believe in supporting others and when someone you know is doing something pretty cool, you tell other people. 

I first met Ksenija Dias at a local networking event where she introduced me to her fashion handbag and accessories line, KODA NIVOLI. Fast forward to a year later and coincidentally, our daughters happen to be in the same class at school and dear little friends. Funny how that happens, huh? Also a year later and KODA NIVOLI is celebrating their first birthday. 

And they're doing so in a big way.


Founded by Ksenija, the name KODA NIVOLI was formed by combining letters from Ksenija's and her daughters Olivia and Anivia's names. Her designs are bright and bold, fashion forward and unique. And best of all, the handbags are made with luxurious leather from Italy and Spain, which is also ethically sourced.  When I first learned of the brand, I thought she carried and sold purses -- I didn't know she was the DESIGNER! Ksenija designs the bags in her collection, with an undoubtedly talented team, too. 

While the company is celebrating its first birthday, Ksenija admits wanting to start her business almost two decades ago, but never did. In that time, her focus to create a kids' and small purse collection has morphed into the luxury ladies handbag line it is today. 
My favourites in the collection? The Annie Clutch, of course. It comes in a bunch of different colours, has a unique shape, and with a price point of $149, it's not too bad on the wallet, either. I love the coral leather. Or the grey suede. 


And the Steffi. This handbag is not only beautiful in soft blush pink leather, but a portion of every sale will go to the Canadian Cancer Society. Don't fall instantly in love, though; the Steffi needs a few weeks to order. Perfect for the summer!


Recently, KODA NIVOLI has been featured at Toronto Fashion Week and on some fancy red carpets in the arms of celebs. Not too shabby. And I wish them, and my friend Ksenija, nothing but the best as this line grows and grows.

See? I told you I had some pretty cool, talented friends. You know what else is cool? KODA NIVOLI is giving all Simply Suppa readers 10% off plus free shipping. When you're checking out, enter promo code: SIMPLY10. Expires: August 31, 2017. 

KODA NIVOLI bags and accessories are available for purchase online

April 11, 2017

Product Review: Angel's Newest Sweetness

I've been wearing Thierry Mugler's signature scent, Angel, for about 20 years now. No joke. It's my all-time favourite scent; I adore the sweet offerings, the tickle of vanilla and soft powder. Angel is not overpowering, yet distinct; it's become a recognizable favourite for many worldwide.

I've attempted to try other fragrances -- they just don't do it for me. They either give me a headache or are too robust to be wearing to work. I prefer a hint of gentle fragrance.


This winter I was fortunate to be able to try Thierry Mugler's 2016 Limited Edition Angel Eau Sucrée. Based on its name, I assumed a sugary sweet fragrance; I wasn't sure I would like it.

I was wrong. I love it.

In comparison to Classic Angel, the two are similar, but not identical. Eau Sucrée is sweet, yet seductive. And while some people have said Angel is strong, I find Eau Sucrée is lighter and less formal -- like a warm spring day. I love to wear Original Angel to weddings and sophisticated evenings out, and Eau Sucrée is slightly more playful, like a garden tea party, if you will.

I'm thrilled to be adding this new fragrance as a sidekick to my loyal favourite. It's become my new daytime go-to scent.

You can get Angel Eau Sucrée at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutique and The Bay, among other retailers.

March 27, 2017

What's for Dinner: Deconstructed Chicken Burrito

Like many parents, family dinner time is very important; healthy meals are paramount.

And like many working parents, getting a healthy meal on the table that doesn't take an eternity to prepare and cook is the key.


I don't know about your kids, but if the clock strikes 6 p.m., my girls are chewing at the drywall. Rushing around after work and trying to figure out what to eat is always stressful, so I came up with another solution to save my own sanity and still get a hot dinner on the table. And it all comes down to planning. Of course.

Meal planning is not a new phenomenon. Take a pop over to good ol' Instagram and you'll see lots of people are doing it. While I don't prep all my veggies days in advance, I do set aside a few hours every weekend to get myself ahead for the week. My freezer is full of meals like frozen meatballs, homemade soups and breaded chicken that still require cooking or heating, but the hard part is done.

Monday nights are a breeze, cause I always make Monday night's dinner on Sunday.

Today we tried a new dinner that wowed everyone -- kids included.


Deconstructed Chicken Burrito

I got my inspiration from some Insta posts from The Basil Box and Burrito Boyz -- those burrito bowls are so good and always make wonderful leftovers.

The Plan Ahead: (You can do this the day before)

After sautéing some chopped onion in EVOO, brown 4-5 chicken breasts and cover with low sodium chicken broth. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Feel free to add pepper flakes or cayenne. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 1-2 hours. Low and slow. You can use a slow cooker too, but I was too lazy to pull mine out. Stovetop works just fine. After a couple of hours, shred the chicken with two forks and keep all the juices in tact. You can transfer to a container or do what I do -- put the entire pot in the fridge (after it's cooled).

The Dinner:

When you get home from work, take that pot of shredded chicken and re-heat. Meanwhile, boil a couple of cups of brown rice, a can of corn, and a can of black beans in separate pots. I kept everything separate, but there's no reason why you can't immediately add the corn and the beans to the chicken. To add more colour, interest and raw veg, shred some Monterey Jack cheese or sharp cheddar, slice an avocado and some tomatoes.

When the rice is cooked, drizzle with EVOO and add a few tbsps. of lime juice. If you have -- or like -- cilantro, that would make a nice touch, too. I also added some olive oil and lime juice to the black beans.

15 minutes. Done.
Serve with tortilla, if you want.

Healthy, fast, affordable and delicious. It's also gluten free, and can be dairy free if you don't include the cheese. The kids got a kick of serving themselves with the different options and making a very colourful dish.

Lots of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, too!

Meal planning doesn't have to be super stressful, and neither do healthy dinners.

Enjoy.


March 13, 2017

Party fit for a Princess at Petite & Posh





Planning a birthday party can be a lot of work, and a lot of stress. I generally get a kick out of planning parties -- from the theme to the loot bags, the food and the decor. I've hosted parties at home, at a rental facility, a playground -- each location has its own challenges and its own planning. But I'm a planner, so it's not an issue, right?! Wrong.

With our increasingly busy schedules, party planning has become a bit more difficult. And when it came time to thinking of Isabelle's 5th Birthday this February (I started thinking of it in November!), I was exhausted. I wanted something simple, yet memorable. I wanted someone else to do the work. I wanted to enjoy the party. 

The Birthday girl, who has now been to her share of parties, had big dreams for her Birthday: friends, a Princess visit, a dance party, costumes and make up. Seemed doable. But I didn't want to tackle it all on my own, and in my own home, to boot. So off I went to find a place that could accommodate both our needs and I found it in Petite & Posh in Vaughan.

Petite & Posh is an event venue that specializes in everything from dress-up parties, to tea parties and everything in between. They do makeup and nails, dance parties, doll parties, crafts and snacks and song and rhyme. Their location is not only beautiful, but it houses all of these elements of the party in a private party setting.


There are various party packages available, and the owners are willing to customize a package to suit your party's needs. And with a capacity of 15+ children, there's an opportunity to invite lots of boys and girls to celebrate the special day. 

And what a special day it was.

Isabelle, aka Princess Rapunzel, greeted all her guests with a tea party and indulged in some sweet treats, followed by a visit by the "real" Princess Rapunzel and then Birthday cake. Then it was off to the Dress Up Boutique where every honoured guest was able to select a costume to wear for the duration of the party. 
Every Knight and Princess needs some pampering, so make up, nail polish and glitter tattoos were a must. And then it was time for creative play. Between painting tea cups and creating their own perfume and cologne, our guests were busy, entertained and interested. And their creations doubled as their loot bags, which they each proudly carried home. Adults were treated to an adorable fashion parade, and the kids busted a move with a mini dance party before heading home. 



And do you want to know the best part? Besides bringing a cake and some candles, I didn't have to do anything but show up. Zilch. Nada. I got to enjoy my daughter's party and chat with her new friends and their parents without running around, cleaning, organizing and stressing. My only task was to take photos. 

And it was incredible. A definite selling feature, if you ask me. 

Most importantly, Isabelle was thrilled and it looked like she and her friends had a great time. 
I highly recommend Petite & Posh to friends and family and look forward to visiting again soon for an upcoming event.



Petite & Posh is offering Simply Suppa readers two passes to an upcoming Tea Event (Mother's Day excluded). To enter the contest, fill out the Rafflecopter below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


February 27, 2017

Win a Beauty and the Beast Prize Pack #dreambigprincess

Disney is kind of a big deal at my house. Between the costumes and the movies, the princesses and toys, we could play for hours and hours. And don't even get me started on Star Wars. (That's all Donny, by the way)

When I was a kid, we collected every Disney movie on VHS and a full generation later, we're starting a Blu-Ray collection for our girls. To this day, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King are in my ranking for best on-stage musical. 

To say I was excited about the newest Beauty & the Beast live action film would be an understatement. Likely more invested than the children. For now. (I'm sure it'll be a bit scary, too)

This timeless tale comes back to the small screen on March 17, with Emma Watson starring as Belle. 



And of course, with a new film release comes new toys and this brand new collection of Beauty & the Beast Live Action toys is made by Hasbro. 

In addition to the Enchanted Friends Collection and Belle and Beast Rose Scene (pictured above), the live action collection includes Belle & Beast Fashion Duo Dolls (they come together), and a solo Belle Fashion Doll, which of course, looks like Emma Watson.














And to celebrate the release of the film, Disney, Hasbro and Toys R Us are teaming up and inviting kids of all ages to their Play Date Event. 

On Sunday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., visit a Toys R Us and kids can make and take home a PlayDoh enchanted rose and enter to win great prizes. 

And since Beauty & the Beast is such a classic love story, I want to share the love!

From now until April 30, 2017, Simply Suppa readers can take advantage of 15% OFF all Beauty & the Beast LIVE ACTION Products at Toys R Us! 

This offer is on regular priced items only and pertains to Live Action Movie Items only. It does not include any animation items. 

To claim your 15% OFF discount, the promo code is JuliaS.

And that's not all!

How would you like to WIN a huge Beauty & the Beast Prize Pack INCLUDING two free passes to watch the new live action film? Of course you do! To enter my contest, please fill out the form below and Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



"You do not lose hope, love. If you do, you lose everything."
















February 15, 2017

Free Kids Colouring Book from Wayfair.ca

FREE STUFF!! Who doesn't love free stuff?! Especially free kids stuff?! 


I don't know about your kids, but mine love to colour. They can colour every day, and most days, they do. This weekend is Family Day in Canada and I wanted to share the The WayZoo Colouring Book -- a free, 10-page colouring book from Wayfair.ca.

You can download your book, print it out and colour away. Each page features cute animals having fun around their home. What's more: as part of this launch, Wayfair will be offering 5 lucky contestants the chance to win an art supply prize pack -- including an easel, chalk, markers and paint. To enter, submit your art online -- make sure you include the artist's first and last initial, city and province. The 5 winners will be selected randomly on February 27, 2017. 



For more information, visit the webpage. Happy Colouring!