It’s in the Bag!

Here are some things that are going along with us on our travels this summer.  Things to keep us happy, safe, and sane!

You guys, I get so many compliments on these shoes.  I love them.  They are not only fun and funky, they are really comfortable and practical.  I have walked all over the city in them, and the support and comfort cannot be beaten.  They are also light, making it a no-brainer to throw them in the suitcase.  I was sent this orange pair, but now I am tempted to buy them in every colour of the rainbow.  Check them out for yourself at Uneek by Keen.

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I find it tricky to pack for kids when we are travelling: how to combine comfort, fun and respectability?!  I found an answer at The Children’s Place, where I stocked up on some new threads for summer.  Your money goes a long way at The Children’s Place, and with clothes so reasonably priced, it’s easy to find the kids something new and special for a trip.  I bought Youngest this Skylanders shirt, which he wore non-stop in the last weeks of school.  The shirts I bought have held up well through many washes, and he got so many compliments, I even picked up extras as gifts for his friends.

 

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Keeping kids occupied on flights and drives is one of the hardest parts of travel, and this deck of cards has been doing the trick.  Personalogy is a situation card game that encourages discussion and imaginative thinking.  It comes in two editions: one for adults and one for the whole family.  I got a sample pack of the family edition, and I used it on a subway ride with seven ten-year-old boys heading to a movie.  They loved it, and it kept them busy while we got from A-B.  If anything, they were so eager that they rushed to get through the questions, eager to get to the next question rather than answer the “why” part of the question fully.  Next time, we’ll have to reinforce the why component.

 

Staying sun safe has never been so important, but what do you do if you are super-sensitive to sunscreens?  I have had the hardest time finding a sun screen for Middlest, who reacts with a rash to every single one.  I think I have finally found an answer for my kid’s unhappy reactions to sunscreen with Aveeno’s Sensitive Skin line.  We’ve tried it several times, and so far, so good!  Peace of mind, finally, under the hot sun.

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And speaking of hot, I am seriously in love with Consonant’s brand new dealkalizing deodorant.  I was given a free trial with the purchase of their skincare products.  As a lifetime user of anti-perspirant, I was really, really skeptical about switching to deodorant, but I tell you, this stuff works.  I’m amazed at its odor-busting abilities, and I really haven’t felt like I’ve given up on anything with the switch.  Seriously–magic in a stick.

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Throw it all into a bag from Tom’s, and you will be doing good while looking good.  Tom’s has an extensive charitable aspect to the business, and you can give the gift of maternal health and safe births with every bag purchased.

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Finally Get Healthy Beautiful Skin With Consonant + Giveaway!

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“What goes on your body goes in your body” is Consonant Skincare’s motto and never have words from a company permeated my psyche quite like these.

I first met Bill, CEO and creator of Consonant Skincare, this past summer at a holiday preview party. It might be unoriginal to say that it was his skin that I first noticed, but it’s true. His skin glows! His skin does what every clichéd beauty infomercial promises to do and I, someone who is always chasing after a perfect complexion, had to introduce myself.

Bill Baker didn’t always have aspirations to be Canada’s next skincare trailblazer, but we have a handicrafting co-worker to thank for his passionate foray into the beauty industry, arguably one of the most challenging fields to eke out a foothold.

For years Bill tried to remedy his skin issues with pricey products that promised relief only to find that said products exacerbated his skin issues and left him in search of new, pricey products. Bill continued to run on this hamster wheel until one day when he reached for a bar of his luxe soap and found his supply gone with the exception of a single bar of organic soap made by a co-worker, bought by Bill to be courteous. Little did he know that transaction would improve his skin and change the trajectory of his life.  8003776491_48b12c6e0b_z

Marrying his newfound interest in organic skincare with his years of experience in advertising, Bill knew that for him to make it in the competitive beauty market his product had to standout.

“It can’t just be natural and organic. It has to work.” Bill didn’t want to put out another ho-hum moisturizer that promised the world but became bathroom counter clutter within a few months.

First off, Bill educated himself about skincare and was appalled at what passes for acceptable beauty standards in our country. Furthermore, he was disheartened that some big-name, flashy brands were not being completely transparent about their company’s practices and organic/natural/healthy claims. Bill knew that he needed to do whatever he could to change the marketplace, through education and affordable, high-quality products that are natural and deliver results.

Bill’s commitment to finding just the right formulation resulted in success.

6289156202_c883f0b1f7_oThe Natural Foaming Face Wash ($9-$18) and Ultra Moisturizing Organic Face Cream ($54) have usurped my previous go-to brand, free from parabens, phthalates, sulphates and more*. The Perfect Sunscreen ($45) really is just that. I have searched for years for a natural sunscreen that blends well without leaving a chalky residue. I have tried department store brands, drug store brands, and independents and nothing comes close to this. But perhaps my favourite product, that has a cult-like following, is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012 Canadian Beauty Innovation Awards, HydrExtreme® ($72). It provides hydration and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles – Amen!

Bill generously gave me some samples of Consonant products but I returned with a re-fill list and I crossed several names off my holiday gift list by purchasing their skin care kits including one for my mother and expectant sister-in-law.

Consonant recently launched their Healthy Baby line touting 100% natural and free from all harsh, irritating and toxic ingredients. In an effort to be as gentle as possible the products contain no artificial scent or essentials oils.

Consonant is the real deal and I want you know what I am raving about. Bill and his team have generously donated Healthy Baby Hair and Body Wash and Healthy Baby Body Lotion, a combine value of $45 to giveaway to a lucky reader. The contest opens today and ends Friday at 6 pm. Sorry friends, but only Canadian readers for this one.

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Enter to win by liking our Facebook page, following us on Twitter or Instagram and if you already do, simply leave a comment. A random winner will be contacted Saturday to arrange delivery.

To find out where you can buy Canadian-made Consonant products or to order on-line visit their website by clicking here. *Parabens, phthalates, sulphates, petroleum,/PEG, BHT, artificial colours, TEA, DEA, propylene glycol and diazolidinyl UREA. For more information visit: www.icareaboutcosmetics.com

To be clear:  I was not paid to review Consonant Skincare.  Bill gave me some samples to try, I enjoy them and want to spread the word.  All of the opinions expressed are my own.  

Gifts for Her

Here’s what we are crushing on and hoping to see under the tree!

From Nathalie

I’m all about books and one of a kind crafts.  And anything with images of houses.  Especially these.  Made by Stoneware Studio.  Again, all I did was enter “houses” into the search box at Etsy.  It’s a playground out there, I tell you.

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If there is a woman on your list who loves her nails done right and likes a little sass with her spa, check out this new line of nail polishes from Trust Fund Beauty.  With shades like What’s a Budget?, this package has humour and good looks.  This is Kiss Kiss Darling.  Perfect for the holidays.

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I think manicured nails look wonderful wrapped around a tumbler of scotch, and I don’t think that the guys should get all the booze.  I’ve grown to love a really peaty scotch.  (Check out this website that tells you how to pronounce the names of various types of scotch.  So funny.)

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I also don’t think that the guys and the kids should get all the gadgets.

Beth-Anne and I had a tour of the new Blacks store at Yonge and Eglinton today, and we got a demonstration of this super-fun printer.  The Fuji Instax Printer ($199) allows up to eight people to wirelessly send photos to print, and out pops a little photo that develops in front of your eyes.  So much fun for a party, shower, or family gathering.

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After meeting Avery Swartz from Camp Tech, who helped us with some issues with our blog, I’m feeling a lot more empowered to experiment, play and learn with and about my devices.  The folks at Staples very kindly sent us this Samsung Galaxy Tab.  I am very excited to have gadget of my own!  I have big plans for this baby.  I do all of my blog posts at my desk and from my computer, because my phone is way, way, way too small for my aging eyes the vast scope of my creativity.  This should help a lot!

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From Beth-Anne:

I never seem to have enough totes and this sequin and linen maple leaf design from Indigo appeals to my Canadian spirit.  Indigo, $49.50.

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I love this mug so, so, so much because reading is sexy! Maybe someone ought to pass the message along to some of today’s pop-starlets that booties are out and bookmarks are in! Indigo, $10.00.

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I have been following Carrie Synder’s blog for years and loved her critically acclaimed book The Juliet Stories so when Girl Runner came out, I was anxious to get my hands on a copy.   Nominated for awards and praised by her fans this book is the perfect read on a snow-stormy day.  Need more convincing?  Read Nathalie’s review here.  Indigo, $19.76.

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Not everyone is a fluffy slipper kinda gal, so if you prefer a more glam look, these Ruby & Ed velvet bow ballerina slippers in dusty plum do the trick.  Town Shoes, Ron White and Shop Vincent, $70.

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Coffee table books can add an element of decor to your home, but if they are not absolutely enchanting, what’s the point?  Vogue and The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute: Parties, Exhibitions, People is full of glamorous celebrities, trendy fashionistas, stylemakers and icons.  Eye candy and inspiration! Indigo, $37.95.

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Personalized stamps appeal to anyone who loves stationery and/or organizing.  For the baker, the book collector and the monogrammed obsessed these personalized stamps go far beyond the standard return address stamp.  Available in a variety of styles, colours and fonts.  Pretty In Ink, pricing varies.

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Canadian jewelry designer Jenny Bird has caught my eye.  Her designs are reminiscent of ancient times and reference powerful goddesses and rulers, and a departure from the dainty pieces and glittery statement necklaces that dominate the boutiques.  Wear a Jenny Bird and feel bold, feminine and graceful. Jenny Bird, a variety of styles and prices.

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Bill Baker, the creator of Consonant , truly cares about what we’re putting on our skin.  His passion and commitment to creating safe and effective skin care is evident in his un-ending desire to learn more and improve upon his award winning formulas.  Start the new year off right and remember Consonant’s philosophy: what goes on your body, goes in your body.  Consonant’s Healthy Skin Detox For Face, $99.00. 

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The Mophie, a mobile battery pack to extend the daily life of your smart phone is the ideal gift for the social media junkie.  Available in a variety of colours but it’s this champagne colour that has made my wish list.  Mophie, Prices vary.

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A great gift for the cottager or the city dweller.  These hand-made vintage style map prints on pillows with 100% down-filled inserts are available with maps of Muskoka, Prince Edward County, Georgian Bay, Toronto and more.  County Cupboard $69.99.

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Don’t forget to stuff her stocking with all sorts of baubles and treasures.  Be sure to add Make Up Forever Artist liner.  The colour palate covers the range from basic black to deep plum.  Sephora, $24

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