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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…

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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 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….

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In shopping/ Sponsored

Halloween Party Prep

No. 1 Blood Bag Reusable Drink Containers  /No. 2 Skull /No. 3 Smoke Machine  /No. 4 60″ Skeleton Cutout  / No. 5 Inflatable Spider / No. 6  Rubber Bats / No. 7 Candy! /

Fall was in the air in Toronto and now it’s back to feeling like Summer again. Which is terribly lovely –  as before we know it the temperature will drop, the winds will pick up and the weather starts becoming less and less pleasant (not to mention darker, and darker earlier and earlier in the days). One of our favourite holidays growing up was Halloween as my little brother Peter adored it – and still does. I’m loving it watching it through Oscar, and he’s asked that we host a Halloween party this year. I’m not sure if I’m up to it, but I started to look on for Halloween goodies and found some of these that have made their way into my cart. The smoke machine would be brilliant for on our porch or, in our garden should we host the party. The Rubber bats remind me of some similar ones I had as a child – and my beloved bat would hang out with my Barbies. So they are obviously in my shopping cart too. Do you host any Halloween Parties? Any suggestions? One Halloween party I recall my Mother gave us all toilet paper rolls and told us to make our teams into “Mummies”. It was hilarious and fun – so if (and that’s a strong “if”) we host a party, I’d for sure do the toilet paper. 😉

Here are some ideas gathered for hosting / celebrating Halloween! 

I’m a member of’s affiliate program. Affiliate links have been used in this post. 

In shopping

Fall Accents from H&M

I’m browsing H&M for some Fall clothes, and am always drawn to their Home Department. Their Fall collection is out and above are some items I’ve fallen for. I sense a huge trend in Acorns this year – it started to pop up last year but I think it will continue to be something we see in decor,as well as pinecones – maybe it’s their organic shapes being brought into the home that are away of bringing in some mod outdoorsy looks.

I’m particularly drawn to the price points at H&M, which makes the infusion of some new fresh accessories not a huge hit on the bank. Even with all my window shopping I’m holding back on adding much new to my home, as I’ve been feeling the need to purge and pair down. But a few of those black accents may be calling my name…

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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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. 


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
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 Gift Guides/ shopping

A few awesome holiday finds


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

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Urban Outfitters
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