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

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

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!

February 12, 2017

Win Tickets to the GTA Home & Reno Show

I don't know about you and your family, but Donny and I do LOTS of small reno and DIY projects around our house. From gardening and landscaping to refinishing furniture, redecorating, painting and organizing, we're kind of always tackling a new home project. While we generally avoid involving the kids in these projects, sometimes, they do like to get involved -- especially when dirt or paint is involved, of course.

This Family Day Weekend, we'll be spending some time at the GTA Home & Reno Show going on at the International Centre in Mississauga. It's the perfect opportunity to reintroduce our little ones to the garden, teaching them how to plant, identify birds and inspects. They'll also be able to enjoy some "summer" play -- testing their skills on the putting greens and in the active kids play spaces. 

Of course, while we're there, we'll be chatting with suppliers and design experts, getting advice for our latest mission: powder room and new mega fancy walk in closet. Or bathrooms. Or kitchen. Like I said, we always have a project on the go. 

The GTA Home & Reno show runs Friday, February 17 through Sunday, February 19: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. and Monday, February 20 (Family Day): 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Adults admission $15, Seniors & Youth (13-17) $13 and Kids under 12 are FREE. 

Simply Suppa is giving away a few pairs of tickets. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be notified via email and must pick up tickets at will call. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

February 09, 2017

Escape to Ste. Anne's

Last weekend, Donny and I had the fortunate opportunity to visit Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, ON. We were celebrating his 35th Birthday, an early Valentine’s getaway and we simply needed a few hours to ourselves. We were only away from home for a grand total of 30 hours and I have to tell you, it was just what we needed.

January 30, 2017

Hair Free by Summer 2017

In 2017,  I will stop buying razors.

I'm sure when you ask someone what's on their bucket list, they may respond with something like "jump of out a plane", or "visit all the Major League Baseball diamonds in the US". On my bucket list for a LONG time?

Laser. Hair. Removal.

I've had enough. Enough shaving. Enough waxing. Enough removing. Enough hair.

I've been shaving my legs since I was probably 11. I was always self-conscious about it. I begged my mom to let me start shaving. I wasn't teased or bullied but it always bothered me. And now, almost 25 years later, I'm done with the razor.

My biggest problem? I was scared.

And so, in an effort to focus on myself a bit more, I scheduled my consultation with Daniela at Freedom Medi-Spa in Woodbridge to learn all about laser hair removal.

Would it hurt? Does it work? Like really work?

Here's the thing: I've tried laser hair removal before. Years ago. And not only did it hurt, (I'm pretty wimpy in terms of pain tolerance) but I was burned. Literally. Scarred. And I still have the scar to prove it. Needless to say, I never went back.

I'd met Daniela at various events over the past few years and I disclosed my past experience and my desire, yet hesitation, to try laser hair removal again. And as we started a new year, I finally decided I wouldn't let my fear get the best of me -- or my hair -- anymore.

This week, Daniela and I met and we went through the good, the bad and the scary (her words!). She answered all of my gazillion questions, was patient and calm, and believe it or not, by the end of our chat, I was excited to get going.

What You Need to Know about Laser Hair Removal at Freedom Medi-Spa:

  • Consultations are always free. Ask lots of questions, share your fears, your motivation, your wish list.
Health background, vacation plans, worries -- I laid it all out.
  • Each consultation includes a laser test patch. Daniela says she'll be able to immediately identify if there's a reaction on lighter skin types.
We tested a section of my right underarm and lucky me, no reaction, good to proceed! And you get to hold a little squishy cube -- should you need to bare down.
  • Laser Hair removal uses an intense, pulsating beam of light to remove unwanted hair; the intense heat of the laser heats up the root of the hair, cauterizing the papilla and preventing future hair or root growth
So it's hot. Like really hot. Daniela equates it to boiling the root of your hair. "Was it going to hurt?", I asked. Daniela assured me I would be fine, although the procedure is not pain-free. It's also not painful, though, so...some silver lining. 

Here's something to note: it smells. Duh, like burnt hair. So if you can get yourself past the singe odour, you'll be fine. There's also a tool blowing cold air so it's definitely bearable. And I'm wimpy, remember?
  • While some lasers are designed to work best on clients who have fair skin and dark hair, Freedom Medi-Spa uses the Apogee Elite laser, which allows treatment on all skin types. No machine will treat hair that is lighter in colour than the skin. So it's best not to have a tan when lasering. 
I thought I had fair skin and dark hair. Hairy dark hair. Not so much, apparently. My hair is medium in colour and coarseness, and my skin is very fair. Daniela predicts my hair will react well. Woo!
I made sure to purchase an SPF 40+ that will go on my face every single morning. And if I'm in any sun whatsoever, I promised to reapply liberally throughout the day.
  • Generally, you will need 6-12 treatments for facial hair and 5-7 treatments for body hair. Treatments should follow a fairly strict schedule, and should be performed when the hair is in the growth stage. (Every 4-6 weeks for the face and 6-8 weeks for the body – dependant on your growth cycle.)
I decided to start by treating my underarms and my upper lip. These are "necessity" zones, in my opinion. So that means by the summer, no more shaving my underarms. Hallelujah!

And so, I did it. Well, I'm on my way to doing it. Following our consultation, I was a brave girl and completed my first treatments. My only question now is, when can I start on my legs??

January 26, 2017

Why Resolutions Are Like Diets #happynewyear

Happy New Year.

You haven’t heard from me in a while, and that wasn’t an accident.

I needed a little break. So a break I took. 

As many people do, I spent the first few days weeks of the new year thinking about how 2017 may be different – or better – than 2016. But before I go on and on about how I’m going to be a better person, and blah blah blah, I took some time to think and reflect on some of last year’s successes. 2016 wasn’t that bad, at least not for me.

Between sending my eldest off to JK, to celebrating the 40th wedding anniversaries of both my parents AND my in-laws (that's 80 years combined, folks!), to watching our not-so-baby-anymore learn to walk and talk. Our family took the time to play tourist in Toronto, we finished a budget reno and we enjoyed some time on the beach. I was honoured last year for my volunteer work, both through the City of Vaughan and Markham Stouffville Hospital, and I played a role in the groundbreaking of the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, too. I can honestly say that I love my job and have met hundreds of people last year, learned about new businesses and community initiatives.

It was a busy year. It was a good year. 

In a word, blessed. 

But, in fine Julia form, there’s always room for improvement.

Improvement how? What else can I possibly fit in?


I’m going to fit in me.

And this is where the resolutions come in. 

I don’t really believe in resolutions. To me, resolutions are like diets. You say you’re going to do something, you stick with it for a week or two, maybe three and then you give up. In fact, this is the week where most people have already given up on their New Year's Resolutions. I'm just starting mine.

I think in order to change anything, you need to live it and believe it. You need to change your lifestyle. Like a diet, this doesn't happen overnight. You need to make a conscious effort and promise to yourself. Re-program, if you will. 

So my non-resolution lifestyle change is to focus a bit more on myself. Take care of myself and be the best "me", so I can be the best mom, wife, producer out there. Kinda like the mask on the airplane thing. I need to put my mask on first.

Am I being selfish? Maybe. But maybe we all need to be a little bit more selfish sometimes. Especially moms.

So what's involved in this change? I’m going to sleep more, be a bit more lazy, take some time off when I need to, take care of my health, my hair, my soul. I'm going to write more, knit more, dance more, cook more and be silly more. I might even work out more. Or period. And none of it because I have to. 

But I have to. We all have to.

Happy New Year everyone.