In Organizing

Recent Purchases / Cleaning Machines

I’m obsession with cleaning gadgets. Vacuums, steam cleaners, and more vacuums. Here are some of my recent purchases that I love.

No. 1 Hoover Power Scrub / Buy Here
I used to own another carpet cleaner but it started to fail on me. I switched brands to a Hoover, and I’m in LOVE. With two cats in the house, a 7 year old and his friends trecking through and even Aubrey occasionally walking over carpets in his outdoor shoes, I find that on a few occasions during the year, my carpets benefit from a nice wash. This machine regularly goes between my Mom’s house and mine, as we have pets that choose to barf and pee in the most awkward of spots. This machine is SO much fun so you can see the dirty water when you’re done cleaning your rugs,

No. 2 UltraSonic Cleaner / Buy Here
I’m in love with  most recent gadget purchase is my UltraSonic Cleaner to clean my jewelry. I posted it to Instgram stories when it came, and immediately went to town cleaning things. It is SO MUCH FUN. I don’t totally get what it’s doing, and how it works, but Ultrasonic cleaners are THE BEST. My jewelry is all shiny, I even cleaned a bunch of other random things like my glasses, my electric tooth brush head. I use regular dish detergent and BAM! It cleans my stuff with a magic light and some vibrations.

No. 3 Bissel Spray / Buy Here
I am a devotee to this spray. MakMak our cat likes to occasionally barf on our carpets and a quick spray of this on anything and you watch the stain dissappear. It’s AMAZING.

No. 4 Dyson Vacuum / Buy Here
I purchased this bad boy after our last vacuum bit the dust (get it, dust? Hardy har har) and it’s AMAZING. Truthfully, any Dyson would be amazing but I love this one. I vacuum just to see what it picks up (and it picks up a LOT)

Ps., Check out the before and after of when I wash my watch with my ultra sonic cleaner. 

Putting my watch in the clean water


In Business

Business growth – reorganizing, updates, and a new company

Happy Friday. Oscar is at school, I’m finding time to write this entry from the gym so I’m not distracted by house chores or other work. Where to begin? I feel like when you haven’t seen a friend in forever you forget where you left off, and what stories you’ve shared. So forgive me if I’m repeating myself. Ok, so — let’s jump in. The business is growing!

Over the last 2 years I’ve purposefully changed the direction of The Penny Paper Co. (we celebrated 13 years!) to be wholesale and retail.  As the direction of the business changed and we’ve been working through highs and lows, I’ve been having a clearer vision of my company, how we operate, what we do, and how it should be organized.

In order to have better focus for the business I realized I needed to cut some things that weren’t helping, or growing the business. Sometimes business can get disorganized, and it’s necessary to evaluate what is and isn’t working, whether it be services, products or even people to grow.

One of the services that kind of hung around in the background, that people found via my Penny Paper Co. was reaching out for custom product. Company X would reach out and need custom product and we’d make it for them to either give to their staff, clients or sell as a private label. I never really advertised it. But it was a strong enough part of the business that when I was organizing the business, I knew that it needed to be cut because it didn’t fit The Penny Paper Co. brand because it wasn’t helping the retail side. But – instead of cutting it as a service, I wholeheartedly believed that it needed to live elsewhere, as a different company. Which is The MOQ Agency* A custom product provider. It’s awesome. And it has a great team behind it. I’m behind there, picking product to showcase, but it’s people behind the scenes helping clients and there are plans to bring on more to help. It’s so exciting!

The MOq Agency is run separate from The Penny Paper Co., it has different people running it but I’m still involved creatively, picking product to offer. It pulls from my knowledge and obsession with marrying amazing products with great design. Well curated, well branded, and well designed.

From totes, journals, to hoodies. It’s amazing. I’m obsessed that we get to play around with some of the coolest products on the market. The company has been growing on it’s own, better than it would have been hidden in The Penny Paper Co. brand. The site is still being tweaked, but it’s surviving and doing great.

SO! Reach out to my team if you’re ever looking for custom products just like you see me offering on The Penny Paper Co. They can help you out (and I’ll even pop in and help too). We can custom design something for you, or put your logo on awesome stuff.  Like our Gold Mugs? We can make those for you. Like our Totes? We can make those for you too.

So pop over to to see all of the custom products that they can customize for you, whether it’s client gifts, staff appreciation gifts, or even for your own private label for your store /brand.

*What’s the name mean? What does MOQ stand for? Well, if you’re getting a product made, say, mugs, you ask “What’s the MOQ on this”. Meaning, what’s the minimum order quantity. That’s the amount of product you need to order from a supplier, to be able to buy. In custom products, you’re typically buying 50 -100 items. The more you order, the less expensive it is. 


In shopping

What to buy when you get a new puppy…

We have a new addition to the Stephenson family. My Mom has a new puppy at her house, an Italian Spinone pup named Fergus. Ugh. He’s so cute. And also trouble. But so cute. While Mom has been training him to sleep in his crate, I realized that the same worries she was having – was he getting into mischief, was he crying because he was in distress, she could find assurances in, if only she only had a baby monitor. She was worried about checking on him, for fear of rusing him if he was fine, and almost asleep (do you recall doing the ninja moves to get in and out of the nursery?)

Oscar and I were staying over one night, to babysit Fergus while Mom was out for an evening, and I realized that a baby monitor would be most helpful. So that night, on my app I went onto Amazon and searched a ton of monitor options. I’ve come to realize that baby monitors are the easy term to search for on Amazon, but some sellers have clued into the fact that people, like myself, are buying them for pets so if you type in “puppy monitor” you get some good options too.  I’ve also come to realize that the prices on these monitors are WAY better than when Oscar was a babe. Here are some I was interested in buying…

1  /  2  /  3  /  4

I ended up picking The ATWIN Indoor Surveillance Monitor With Pan/Tilt, Night Vision, Two-Way Audio, Motion Detection. Technology has come such a long way that I felt like I didn’t need to invest in a brand name monitor like I did years ago (especially for a puppy). So how did I decide? Without a brand name to rely upon, I relied a lot on the reviews on Amazon. I liked all of the reviews and the price, at $75 seemed amazing.

It allows my Mom to watch a certain area of the kitchen, where Fergus sleeps (and has gates, protecting him from wandering the house while she’s out).

And unlike my baby monitor while Oscar was a babe, this doesn’t have a baby monitor, but instead, is an app on your phone. So while Mom is out, she can click on the app and instantly see what’s going on. We’ve been at lunch before and she’s pulled out her phone, clicked on the app image and instantly we’re connected to her kitchen watching Fergus sleep, or in this example, Fergis chasing Oscar.

The monitor itself also pans, and tilts, all with you moving your finger on the screen, on your phone. AMAZING. There is a slight delay / lag, but nothing that makes me frustrated. So if you’re looking for a puppy monitor like I was, as a baby shower gift, this one may be right for you. 😉

Purchase: Night Vision Baby Monitor by YATWIN

*This post contains affiliate links

In Halloween

Last Minute Halloween Decor

Spiders / Bats / Bat Mobile / Candles/ Skeleton Bones

I’m way behind on decorating, except for this item I grabbed, and accidentally scared Aubrey with. (oops). I have grand plans on hosting a Halloween party in our studio for Oscar one year, and here are some items I’ve bookmarked from Amazon, for potential contenders for next year (as I’m failing at this year, apparently). We’re not HUGE Halloween decorators – one neighbour has a full out castle built on their lawn, which terrifies even me. Edit. Add this item to my shopping list too. 

Ps., Speaking of Halloween…. Stranger Things comes out FRIDAY!!!

*This post contains affiliate links. 


In Business/ Sponsored

October 21st is #SmallBizSaturday

This past Summer our little family took a not so little road trip across Canada and through the USA for a 14 day (or maybe it was more?) adventure. I lost count it was so lovely being on a road trip with my boys. On our way home, on the last day of our journey, truthfully tired and a little cranky, we stopped in Cooperstown, USA and I experienced what could be only described as magic. A little toy shop nestled on the busy street was filled with sounds of toys whirling and purring. Behind the counter was a shopkeeper, a man who people write about in storybooks, or at least authors base fairy tales on, and he surely had magic dust floating out of his pockets.

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In Decorating/ shopping/ Shopping Guides

Project 62 at Target

I’m dying. D-Y-I-N-G. Target has launched a line called Project 62 and it’s glorious. Drop dead gorgeous / glorious / fantastic. I don’t even know why I tease myself going onto their site, to see what I can’t have. It’s torture.

I’m seriously considering a drive down to the US or just having it shipped to me via Cross Border Pickups. I’m obsessed with these in particular….