December 08, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: Happiness Is Inc. #giftguide


By now everyone knows that I try and support local, and support Canadian, as much as I can. And I love finding new and interesting items that are uniquely Canadian that aren't maple syrup or a hockey puck.

And we have Happiness Is Inc.

Happiness Is Inc. is the brainchild of 95-year-old Gordon Carton: a former MPP, World War 2 veteran and entrepreneur. Gord believes that happiness is all around him; his moments of happiness are about being Canadian and he's on a mission to inspire all Canucks to join him in celebrating their happy moments. Hence the reason why, at 95, he founded this company.

Happiness Is Inc. makes ultra soft tees and hoodies (all Made in Canada btw). The tees often feature a little bit of Canadiana -- a leaf, a canoe, a tree, or simply, the word Canada.

And if that wasn't cool enough, 10% of the net proceeds of the company's sales go back to Canadian non-profits. Happiness Is Inc. is currently a supporter of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Ordering can be done online, with Free Shipping over $99. And I'm so happy to share a special code for Simply Suppa readers. Enter SIMPLYSUP15 to receive 15% off your order. Valid until Dec 31, 2016.

What's your Canadian Happiness moment?

December 06, 2016

One of the Hottest Toys this Holiday Season -- The Furby Connect #giftguide #playlikehasbro

Have your kids written their letters to Santa? Checked their lists twice? Chances are, some little boys and girls might have a Furby Connect on their list. It's one of the hottest toys on the market this holiday season. And I totally know why. 


Ok -- so, full disclosure -- prior to this review, the Furby kind of freaked me out. Is it an owl...a gremlin? But when my friends at Hasbro suggested I give the new Furby Connect a shot, I couldn't refuse.

Furby Connect is soft and cuddly and actually quite endearing. When you power him/her on, Furby speaks its own language but also dances, moves, lights up and allows you to put your finger in its mouth to feed. What's extra cool about this new Furby is its technological power. Press on Furby's antenna to connect to the Furby App which is an entire land of virtual fun.


You start by naming your Furby and then you can play with the video game while simultaneously handling the stuffed creature. Hatch baby Furblings and guide them through various activities to make them grow and give them power.




The suggested age for Furby Connect is 6+ yet I had to pry my phone and Furby out of my 4 year old (and 2 year olds!) hands. Seriously. If you are giving Furby Connect to a child younger than 6, know that you'll have to read the instructions on the app in order for them to play. Not a big deal. 

Isabelle had a blast pulling Furby out of the box and playing with her. (Our Furby is a girl, naturally) 

Check out our little video!


Warning: Furby does talk a lot and make some strange noises (they speak their own Furbish language), so parents will be happy to know that Furby goes to sleep really quickly when you put its sleep mask on. Don't. Lose. the. Sleep. Mask. 


All kidding aside, Furby is funny and quite smart. Donny and I were totally impressed and that doesn't happen with too many toys these days. The connectivity feature is a real selling point for me -- this toy is totally different from anything I had as a kid!


I've heard through the grapevine that it may be tough to find Furby Connect -- although you can check most big box toy stores; it may be a hunt. A worthwhile hunt! :) 

Lucky for Simply Suppa readers, I have one to give away! I know! So Furbylicious!!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Thanks to Hasbro for the generous giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 05, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide: Give the Gift of Toronto #giftguide

I'm a proud Canadian.  I also try to support Canadian products and companies on the whole. And I'm a sucker for hyper local anything -- if the product tells a story about Toronto or the GTA (or somewhere nearby), I'm pretty well hooked.

That's why when I learned about Nadia Lloyd just this year, I needed to know more. Nadia is a Toronto-based artist who admits to only picking up a paintbrush for the first time in 2010. In 2012, she launched her first cushion collection, and in the spring of 2016, launched her fashion collection. Every single piece in her repertoire tells a story of Toronto. And it's gorg. Like totally, unexpectedly beautiful and unique. 

Of course, those of you who know me and my blog know I'm pillow obsessed. It's a thing. In fact, it was Nadia's cushions that first caught my eye and attention on Instagram. Many of them are abstract, almost graffiti like, and depict a blend of scenes or feelings you might get while in Toronto. I went to university downtown Toronto, so some of her designs really bring me back to my days as a student, slugging my books through the subways and nearby streets. 

She also has a specific "Toronto" Collection, featuring Black and White designs with the famous Toronto landscape, available in cushions, accessories, tees and scarves.  



This pillow (centre) is appropriately named "Loving the 6ix". And it's totally perfect for the Torontonian, the hipster, the artist, the dreamer, AND the pillow lover! It's 18" x 18" and is made of a blend of cotton and polyester and would make an excellent gift under the tree. And it's so unbelievably unique, it's sure to be a conservation starter. 



Price point: $50, but it's currently on sale! Also, ships locally and FAST! Available online and at a few boutiques in TO. And since you're on Nadia's website, why not take a look at her luxurious scarf collection. 

Remember when I said I was pillow obsessed? Well, pillows are a close second to scarves. Silk, eternity, cable knit, pashmina -- I must have hundreds of scarves in my collection.  

But I didn't have a Nadia Lloyd. 

I do now. 



Just like her cushion collection, every scarf tells a story and you can kind of guess what it is, based on their individual names. The six scarves in the collection each hold a name of a TTC stop, and are reflective of that particular community or area in the city. Summerhill is bright and breezy, while Museum is very eclectic and urban. 


My scarf? It's Osgoode. Bright and cheerful, but also quite professional, too. 

Each design is abstract in design and easy to wear. And let me tell you about the fabric. It's a silk scarf, that much I expected. But it's actually 100% silk chiffon that is so lusciously soft and silky, I don't ever want to take it off. 

At $69, these scarves are perfect for the scarf aficionado like me, but also someone who loves a unique piece to add to their wardrobe. They are statement pieces and worth every penny, imo. The scarves are also available online, but you can visit the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg (and a few downtown shops) to see them -- and touch them! -- in person.  

I am so unbelievably excited to share that Nadia Lloyd is generously giving away one of her beautiful pillows in time for the holidays. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Thanks for supporting local, Canadian artists!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 04, 2016

Super Stocking Stuffer: Glamtastic Nails #contest


We are officially less than 3 weeks away from Christmas so I plan on devoting the next few weeks to fantastic gift ideas that are affordable, accessible and really awesome. Today, it's a super stocking stuffer, and it comes right from my friends at Glama Gal Tween Spa.

Last year, the brains behind Glama Gals -- Laura and Josie -- came out with a Glamspiration and Co. spa collection, featuring an entire nail shine collection. The nail shine is free of toxins and chemicals and perfect for little hands, especially ones that go into little mouths. 

There are 8 colours in the regular collection with $1.00 from each bottle sold going directly to Because I'm a Girl Canada. It's a no brainer. I'm sold on this product.

But leave it to Laura and Josie for making it even better for the holidays.


Introducing the 10 Piece Polish Party Kit! Featuring 10 mini bottles of nail shine, this combo set would be an excellent feature item in a stocking, great for kris kringle or gift exchange. And the best part? At $24.95, this polish party kit has an excellent price point, too. 
Like the original formula, this polish is water based and peels off, so you don't need polish remover. And while the suggested ages are 3+, I've put this nail shine on my 2 year old many times and she just adores it!

As you can see in the photo above, there are a variety of colours, from soft pinks and purples to a bolder blue and green and tropical oranges and yellows, too.





Both Isabelle and Maddie will get their own Nail Shine Kit in their stockings this year and I know they will be a huge hit.

The Glamspiration & Co Nail Set is available at any Glama Gal Tween Spa location or online.

Visit Simply Suppa on Instagram to find out how you can win a Nail Polish Party Kit before the holidays!

December 01, 2016

Elevate Your Appys with Summer Fresh #FreshAPPYS

December is here. Cue the sparkle, cue the music! Cue the parties.

Entertaining is a BIG part of the holidays and I typically like to bring a little something when I'm invited over someone's home, or if I'm entertaining, I like to have a nice spread of yummies for everyone to enjoy. And when it comes to pot luck, somehow, someway, I always get appetizers.

I kind of love appetizers. I could eat appetizers as a meal, and I have. Many times. Tapas? I'm in. I like small morsels of goodness, bitesize bursts of flavour, a variety of gourmet goodies. And while I'm a fan of a hot appetizer, it's not always ideal to serve a hot appy, especially if you need to transport it or make it in advance. And let's face it, an appetizer that's supposed to be served hot, tastes best when it's hot. Obviously.

So I'm going to give you not one, not two, but FOUR easy appetizers that you can serve that will wow guests  -- they taste great cold.

Psst.....a little secret. There's nothing to make, either. These elevated appetizers are simple and require just a few ingredients -- one of which is not a secret at all: Summer Fresh.


Bruschetta: Who doesn't love bruschetta? Full of juicy tomatoes, flavours of garlic and onion. Using the Traditional Summer Fresh Bruschetta, I topped a very basic Baguette Style cracker. You could use bread, too. ELEVATE: To elevate your bruschetta, drizzle a balsamic glaze in a zig zag pattern. Serve on a crystal dish and we're now blingy bruschetta! 


Charcuterie Boards: Charcuterie Boards are all the rage right now, and they're so simple to put together. Really, there are no rules. I usually have some sort of preserved meat, whether it's prosciutto or salami, speck or capicollo. Then, add some bread and of course, at least one cheese. Fruit or compote makes an excellent pairing, and my Summer Fresh add on -- hummus. This is my new favourite Hummus -- Kalamata Olive hummus! The saltiness from the Kalamata olive perfectly complements the breads and the prosciutto. Plus it's good for you. Who knew you were so hipster?! ELEVATE: This is already a complex platter, but you can easily elevate with some great nuts or a special cheese. Who are we kidding? This is already pretty special.


Middle-Eastern Medley: Baba Ghanouj is a beautiful eggplant spread that goes really well with pita or soft bread. On it's own, it's pretty fabulous. But let's jazz it up. I love pomegranate, especially this time of year. OK, they're a pain to cut and clean, but once you get in, they're so satisfying. ELEVATE: Ready for this one? Drizzle some pomegranate seeds into your Baba Ghanouj for little bursts of fruity goodness. Oh, we're fancy now.



Easy Endive: Endive is a lettuce that is so easy to work with. It presents beautifully, has a fresh crunch and has a bit of a crisp and bitter taste. So it brings out some flavours really well. This one is so easy. Take SummerFresh Tzatziki and smear it into some Endive leaves like little boats. ELEVATE: Top with chopped dill, chive or fennel shoots. TaDa! Look at you.

Entertaining and appetizer preparation doesn't have to be stressful, or time consuming, or even expensive. Use these simple tips to come up with your own elevated appetizers using a few simple ingredients and a little bit of creativity!

Be sure to visit @simplysuppa on Instagram for your chance to win a Summer Fresh prize!

November 29, 2016

Giving Tuesday: Habitat Gingerbread Build #HabitatSweetHomes

In honour of Giving Tuesday (today), I wanted to remind everyone that the holidays are also a time to give back -- whether it's through financial contributions, volunteering or fundraising.


There are many local charities organizing fundraisers, family activities and even offering gifting suggestions that you can purchase for someone less fortunate (in lieu of a gift under your own tree). I try and participate in at least one "give back" initiative each Christmas season, whether personally or with a group.


If you're looking for a great family give back, here you go: Habitat for Humanity GTA is holding its 14th annual holiday Gingerbread Build this weekend --Saturday, December 3 and Sunday, December 4-- to raise funds for families in need of safe, decent and affordable housing. Donny and I participated in a Habitat for Humanity build many years ago, and I continue to support the organization through the year.

To participate in the Gingerbread Build, pre-order and purchase a gourmet gingerbread kit and book a build shift online at www.gingerbreadbuild.com. All building will happen in the Rotunda at Toronto City Hall.

If you can't make it to City Hall this weekend, you can still order and purchase a kit to make at home, at the office or at school. Each kit contains an assembled or unassembled gingerbread house, cookies and a toolbox full of candy. Kits are $50 each and all proceeds from the sale of the kits go to support home building at Habitat for Humanity.

November 23, 2016

Jasmine is a Free Spirit #DreamBigPrincess

It's that time of the month, ladies. OK, not that time of the month. But it's time to meet another Hasbro Disney Princess!


This month's Featured Princess is Princess Jasmine. Jasmine is a Free Spirit, adventurous and curious. Quite stubborn and brave, Jasmine goes against her family's wishes and chooses to marry for love.

The Hasbro Disney Jasmine is stunning. In a glittery metallic blue jumpsuit, Jasmine's long black hair glistens and she is adorned with large hoop earrings and necklace.

Jasmine is exotic and beautiful, with dark brown, captivating eyes.

Also part of the Jasmine Disney Hasbro collection is Isabelle's favourite, the little Kingdom. Jasmine's Golden Vanity set comes with a tiny Jasmine (with lots of removable pieces), vanity, Abu the monkey and her bird and bird cage. Of course, the magic lamp is there, ready for wishes!












Jasmine's Golden Vanity Set comes in a handy carrying case, perfect for storage and keeping the little Snap on pieces safe from baby hands and dogs! 

Simply Suppa readers have the chance to win a Jasmine prize pack - just in time for the holidays!

Jasmine will make the perfect addition to any Princess lover's collection and is a great stocking stuffer, too!

To win, fill out the Rafflecopter below.

And thanks to my friends at Hasbro for another great Princess! Stay tuned for LOTS more from Hasbro this month including some wicked cool prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway





Disclaimer: I'm a Hasbro Disney Ambassador and receive special perks as part of my affiliation. As always, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own.