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!

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. 

December 28, 2016

Restaurant Review: Sparks Premium Grill + Bar

Imagine a restaurant that's big and bright, trendy and cool, with a menu full of appetizers, salads and sandwiches and delicious entrees. A tour around the world with International and cultural dishes that you and your party are sure to love. A restaurant that allows adults to have a real meal and kids, too, are welcome. Oh, and everything is made in house.

And it's in Vaughan.

December 22, 2016

Last Minute Picks from Hasbro #playlikehasbro

Ok -- you've waited long enough. Christmas is days away and you haven't picked up a single toy for your kids or family.

Don't worry. I've got you covered. And you can pick these up all in one store. (Major Department Store or Toy store)

Here are my family's top picks from Hasbro this holiday season. These toys are all readily available and will be a guaranteed hit with your family.