In Business/ Lindsay

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year!

This season was W-E-I-R-D.I was hit with an awful flu about a week before Oscar was let out for school – and it was a weird cloud that was in my head throughout the holidays. I couldn’t shake it, it started as a fever for a few days (and I just slept all. day) and then it was just sneezing and snot. I’ll take that over a stomach bug ANY day but it isn’t until now that I’m actually feeling better. I have only blown my nose once today. An improvement! I totally need to take better care of myself, I feel that lack of sleep, poor nutrition and everything just made it hard to shake.   Oscar goes back to school tomorrow, and for the first time, he said “I’m excited to go back to school.” Halleluja! Once we get back into a routine with school I’m hoping I can get my own routine of taking it a bit easier on myself to build up some health regimes.

Business wise there are big changes – we’ve incorporated the company (it was previously a sole proprietorship) so my head is in a tizzy as it’s all figured out (well, as Aubrey figures it out and he tries explaining it to me). The company has grown and, is continuing to grow, so organization is key in making sure it all works seamlessly. (You can read more about the company overall here.)

The Penny Paper Co. is ridiculously fun because from idea to product completion is a rather quick turnaround – whereas my work on licensed art is TOTALLY different where somethings take a year (or more) from idea to seeing them in the store. The fact that I get to do both is amazing. And I’m hoping to reveal a new product line that you’ll see in stores like HomeSense hopefully in the Spring.

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Anyhow, a little update as I clean up my office and get back into work mode! Ps., You can check out the Valentine’s Day collection for The Penny Paper Co. here!

In Gift Guides/ shopping/ Sponsored

What to get Mom for Christmas … The Breville Tea Maker

There are a few brands that are consistently amazing no matter what they do or create, and Breville is one of them. My Mother introduced me to the line awhile ago - she's purchased their kettle, milk frother and I'm sure a few other items I can't think of off the top of he head. It's the brand that is on her counter at home, and is always gorgeous and fits into her beautifully styled kitchen. The other week she called me up and told me about a new toy she had found while out doing some Christmas shopping - A Breville automatic tea brewer. (I'll get to what that exactly means shortly) She was captivated by the concept and was debating the purchase. She was like most of us would be - is it really worth it to spend a few hundred dollars on a tea maker? Well. I'll spoil the surprise. Yes. It IS worth it. 

I hadn't heard her so excited over something in awhile (other than when she sees me, obviously) so I reached out to Breville to see if Mom and I could review the tea maker. And, we got to! So if you have a Mom like I do, that loves tea and entertains her lady friends, you HAVE to get this. I'm not kidding. You'll think I'm being ridiculous (I mean, I initially thought the concept of an automatic tea brewer was ridiculous) but it's NOT. It's a game changer. I now want one for myself, when I went into it thinking it was just a gadget for the kitchen. Nope. It's not. Ok, so first things first. This is how it looks... This is Mom opening it when it arrived!

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The design is beautiful, from the glass handle to the shape and design of the kettle portion.  Now to make tea. Mom poured the water (cold water, but she's using her kettle as a dispenser here) into the pot.

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If you're making tea you're not to go over 1200 as shown below.

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Next is the tea portion. You put looseleaf tea into the little canister "bucket" that will go into the water shortly. Breville provides you with a sweet little measuring spoon.

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Pop on the lid and place it into the pot, on the rod that is in there. You're not "steeping" the tea yet. The tea is still sitting out of the water.

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You're now going to select the type of tea, black, green, herbal, White, Oolomng or custom - and, the tea strengh and then press the tea button. All of these options determines the optimal water temperature and, how long the tea should steep for. It's serious about making the perfect cup of tea.

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So now the water is reaching it's optimal temperature...

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And when it reaches the temp it needs, it starts to lower the tea basket.

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And you will have an audience, because it's ridiculously fun to watch. 

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After the tea has brewed, the tea leaves raise again so they aren't sitting IN the water anymore and, you have the PERFECT cup of tea. I kid you not. It's perfect.

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So why is it perfect? Once you have one, you suddenly get it. First of all, it brews a tea at what they've researched to be the perfect temperature to brew and, perfect length of time. And how often do we stick a bunch of tea bags in a pot, only to let it sit too long or serve one cup and the the rest are uber strong (and lukewarm) The Breville Tea Maker solves all of that awkwardness because after brewing the perfect pot, it removes the tea, so it doesn't get too strong AND it keeps the tea warm, with a warming sensor. It also tells you how long the tea has been sitting there, since it brewed. This is PERFECT for when your Mama has guests over because she brews the tea, it beeps at her when it's done, and she can serve the tea and then place it back on the warmer - without worrying about it getting cold or, steeping too long.

Where to Buy

Now I'm just going to save up MY pennies because my tea from a regular tea bag dunking ritual doesn't have the same effect. Totally, 100% recommend this and get it for your Mom if she likes tea. xo
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Disclaimer, As mentioned in the post, my Mom was given a Breville Tea Maker for review.
All photographs and opinions are that of my own, and of my Mom. 

In Family Life

winter song

img_6567We went to Oscar’s school concert last night and came out to a winter wonderland. It was a perfect scene to walk out to after hearing the sweet voices of children sing Winter Song. (which I recommend you listen to while viewing the photos below, to get the idea of how magical it was all last night) Continue Reading →

In Family Life

Around the house

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The house smells of gingerbread and pine tree, and Oscar lost his two front teeth so we’ve been singing and listening “All I want for Christmas Are my Two Front Teeth” on repeat. Somehow, losing those two front teeth for Christmas is what is making it the perfect Christmas for me, as Oscar LOVES that song, so it’s just ridiculously perfect. We’ve been baking, reading Christmas stories and today is his Christmas concert at school and I’m going early to try to get the front row. I hope all of your homes are filled with the smell of baking and the sounds of laughter. xo

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In Family Life

the perfect tree

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We found the perfect tree over the weekend at the Loblaw’s garden centre in our neighbourhood. Not too tall. Not short. Not too skinny but not too fat. 😉  Oscar was home ALL week sick with this awful fever and cough, but was feeling well enough to get out. So excited that the house is now filled with the trees pine aroma!

In Technology

Tech Review / Stop Motion App

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A little APP recommendation for you, should you be looking for something for the kids to do this Winter. I downloaded the Stop Motion App awhile ago, thinking it may be fun to show Oscar. The other day Oscar was home sick and so we decided to just play around with the app on my iphone. Together we did a test one, and I showed him the basics behind stop motion movies. I left Oscar alone and came back to this one video. I was shocked! It was good! He totally got the hang of it.

Tip: Set the iphone on a stand so that it stays in one place, and keep the background solid so the kids can see the movements easier.

Ps., And yes, That’s a minion, sitting on a photocopier, scanning his rear end, and walking away with it. 🙂
P.p.s, Oscar is 6 and a half, so hopefully that helps gauge it for your family!

In Gift Guides/ shopping

A few awesome holiday finds

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I do a loooooot of online browsing – part in search of inspiration, part obsession, part retail therapy. If you’re looking for out of the box ornaments this year, Urban Outfitters has a ton of awesome ones (I’m going to go out and get that rainbow one!) and so does Anthro and Indigo has an awesome collection of ornaments too. xo


Anthropologie


Indigo


Urban Outfitters


 

In Crafts/ DIY/ Sponsored

Sharpie® Boho Inspired Clutch

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Yesterday I showed you the new line of Sharpie’s that are out – a set of 24 awesome permanent markers with 19 classic colours and 5 limited edition pops of colour. I wanted to show you how you could make some DIY gifts this season, and decided to go the route of fabric, and show you how you could make your own boho inspired clutch. This is totally something I would have loved doing as a teen (and as an adult) but how fun would this be to get a table full of vibrant Sharpie pens, blank canvas pouches, some pony beads and string, to create unique, one of a kind items to either keep for yourself, or, for a teen to give as a gift.

Step 1 / Collect your tools.

1.Sharpie Color Burst Markers

I used the Fine vs. the Ultra Fine for this project, as it was easier to use on the fabric that had a lot of fibers.

2. Cotton Pouches
Find at your local craft store or, various Etsy sellers sell them too

3. Pony Beads / Gold Washers from the Hardware Store 
Sold at your local craft store but also online (see the craft collection on Etsy I’ve curated to help inspire you for this project)

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I started out sketching some ideas on a tester pouch that you can see in the background below. This was good because I wanted to see how the pens reacted to the fabric – there was zero bleeding.  Once you’re ready to go, just start doodling. I did a variety of patterns on a few pouches to show you some ideas.

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To get the boho look on the pink clutch I simply cut off the fabric piece that came with the pouch when I purchased it, and replaced it with some basic string.

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Where to buy // The new, limited edition Sharpie® Color Burst Permanent Markers are available at Walmart, Staples, Loblaws, Deserres, Michaels and Amazon.ca and retail (MSRP) for $5.99 (5 pack) and $28.99 (24 pack)

Follow Sharpie online // Facebook / Twitter / Instagram /

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Sharpie®. All thoughts and ideas remain my own.

In Sponsored

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When the holidays roll around, I’m eyeing the ornaments for the season not only for my tree, but as accents for my holiday wrapping. It’s an easy (and affordable) way to get a designer-worthy wrapped gift.  This type of gift wrapping makes such a gorgeous statement when you give it to the recipient, and shows that you took time in preparing a lovely gift – which in itself, is what is what the Holidays are about, right? Showing people we love and are thinking of them.

Lowe’s has come out with gorgeous collections in store, and I fell for the snowflake ornaments from the Deck The Halls collection. 

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First, start with a classic white wrapped gift. I used white kraft paper that my son Oscar uses for painting.

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Next, find a ribbon that you’re going to work with. Satin ribbons are glorious to work with, and if you go with a white kraft paper, the options are endless! Wrap the parcel with the ribbon and tie it with a knot, before you do the “bow” part.

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Take your snowflake ornament from Lowe’s and unhook the red velvet ribbon that comes with the ornament from the brass wire. You can also cut it off, but you’re going to be bending the wire in the next step anyways to get in the new ribbon.

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With your hands, gently bend the hook open wide, and slip it around the ribbon on the gift. It’s pretty pliable, and once on, gently close it shut. If you were using a thinner ribbon, you should be able to easily slide the ribbon through the hook. But this ribbon I’m using proved to be too wide, and so I just had to gently bend the metal.

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Then, all you do is finish off the bow! The bow will hide the hook and it now just hangs from the gift ….

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With a change of a ribbon colour you get different looks, but that snowflake is still the star of the show!

I also worked with Lowe’s for my 6 Christmas Decoration Ideas for your Table Setting– be sure to take a look!

Follow Lowe’s on social media / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest

*This post has been sponsored by Lowe’s Canada