Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sparkling Apple Cider +Soda Stream Giveaway {Canada Only}

Coming from a famous apple-growing region in Nova Scotia, we love all things apple. And part of our Fall is apple tasty and refreshing!
Recently,  we have been making a wonderful twist on this favourite apple beverage...sparkling apple cider.

This is such a great drink to serve on a warm Fall afternoon. My son likes this as a treat when he gets home from school sometimes.
And to make this, only 3 ingredients are cider, sparkling water and apples.
To make this drink:

Sparkling Apple Cider

-favourite apple cider
-sparkling water
-small apple slices for garnish

1. Add ice to a mug. Fill mug 2/3 full of sparkling water.
2. Add apple cider to top of glass. Garnish with small apple slices and a straw.
3. Serve.
This is such a pretty drink for Fall, yes?
 It would be so perfect for a Fall birthday party or get together.
If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you might remember that last year , we got a Soda Stream and we can make our own sparkling water and soda at home. We love our Soda Stream and we use it every week!
What else is great about the Soda Stream you ask?

It is so easy to make sparkling water...just fill a Soda Stream bottle with water from your tap or fridge, use the machine to add carbonation and that's it! 

I love that we can make our own drinks at home using our own water.

You can make your own sparkling water and flavour it with a little juice of any kind, or buy one of the Soda Stream flavours to make pop.

No more lugging heavy soda bottles home from the grocery store.

And most importantly, it gets our family directly involved in helping to divert over
360 billion bottles and cans from the landfill each year.

It reduces our carbon footprint by making our sodas at home in re-usable bottles and not using sodas that are trucked hundreds or thousands of km to the grocery store.

AND, as a Mom, I also LOVE that I can make ginger ale any time someone has an upset tummy without having to run to the grocery store, especially at 3 am when someone wakes up feeling ill.

Now here's a special something for all of my amazing readers who keep this blog alive!
Canadian Tire has provided one Soda Stream Jet Titan Kit Starter Kit as a giveaway for one of my lucky readers!
Worth a value of $89.99, it includes one machine, one bottle and one 60 L carbonating cylinder.

To Enter:
1. You must live in Canada and be 18 years of age.
2. Please leave me a comment telling me what drink you would like to make with a Soda Stream.
3. One entry per person. Please make sure your comment includes a valid email address.
4. Giveaway open until midnight PST Time on Monday, October 14, 2013 

Good Luck!

Special thanks to Canadian Tire for generously providing this Soda Stream Starter Kit as a giveaway for one reader. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.
For a great choice in home, automotive and garden needs, please be sure to visit Canadian Tire.

This post is linked to:
Chef-In-Training, Homestories A to Z, Time To Sparkle, Gingersnap Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, The DIY Dreamer, Someday Crafts, I Gotta Create, StoneGable, Transformation Thursday, Inspiration  Gallery, Crafty & Chic Party, Tidy Mom, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Inspire Me Please,  Someday Crafts, Pity Party, Party Palooza, The Sunday Showcase, Uncommon Designs, Block Party,  Gingersnap Crafts, The 36th Avenue, The Great Halloween Linkup, Sharing Your Creativity, Super Saturday Show & Tell,  The Sunday Showcase,

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Teen Girl Bedroom Makeover

So while many families spend Labour Day weekend camping, playing in sports tournaments or having a last hur-rah before school starts, our family does room makeovers!
Yup. You can find us wielding paint brushes, straddling ladders, eating sandwiches on drop cloths and having a blast. And oh how we love our Benjamin Moore paint! It is our  'must-have' paint for any room makeover.
Our daughter had been planning this bedroom makeover for awhile now. She wanted a fresh look for her senior year of High School.  But before we get to the nitty gritty, let's back up a bit and have a look at how this room has transformed over the years.
Let's chat 2005. It was a pink room for an 8 year old who had just moved with her family 3000 miles across the country. She chose this pink girly look along with adorable pink and green patchwork bedding. It was so sweet and cozy!
And then we hit 2009. Our junior high girl wanted a more sophisticated looks, so we treated the walls with Benjamin Moore's 'Whisper of Gray' for a light lavender look, complete with new bedding.
This time our daughter wanted to paint her room herself, so we gave her 'carte blanche' to do as she wished. She chose Benjamin Moore's Blue Bonnet and set to work to take her room to a new look for 2013. One of the reasons we love Benjamin Moore paint is because of it's excellent quality which is also perfect for beginning's goes on beautifully with very little splatter! The paint that we used for this project was Benjamin Moore's Aura Paint. It delivers amazing coverage, incredible durability and beautiful deep colour that makes any room look stunning. I have used Benjamin Moore  for over 15 years and I don't ever plan to use any other brand!

After a day and two coats of Aura paint, we had a brand new fresh room! 
Would you like to take a peek?
The room became the fresh, calming oasis that my daughter was after! The walls in Blue Bonnet set the stage for everything!
With a few colourful pillows and fresh white bedding,  the room really came alive.
{Pillow sources: blue chevron pillow, yellow weave pillow, HomeSense. 
Flowerpillow: Trendy Home. Bedding: Target $79.99}
We also invested in a few small pieces like a small Ikea bedside table and basket weave lamp from HomeSense.
And my daughter wished for very sheer, white curtains and I found a very inexpensive pair at HomeSense on clearance for $15.00!
And then we shopped the house for a few accessories like a this tray,vase and white box.
 And my daughter created this study area for herself with a new study surface and wall lamps from Ikea. She really loves clean, no clutter surfaces!
I love this room so much! But I keep getting kicked out! How about that?
My daughter loves her 'new' room. And I loved that she was able to tackle this painting project herself with the help of Benjamin Moore!
I think it looks fabulous!

Stay tuned for another room makeover coming up soon...our son's room.

We would like to thank Benjamin Moore Canada for very generously supplying the paint for this  beautiful room makeover. To learn more about using Benjamin Moore paints for your next painting project, you can visit their website HERE.

To see some of my other recent makeover projects:

This post is linked to:
Metamorphosis MondayInspire Me Please, Tidy Mom, The Inspiration Gallery,  The Frugal Girls, Whipperberry, Link Party Palooza,  Funky Junk Interiors, The DIY Showoff, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase, Block Party, Craft-O-Maniac, Uncommon Designs, Aalderberry Hill, Chef-In-Training, Homestories A to Z,I Heart Organizing, Time To Sparkle, Thrifty Decor Chick, Gingersnap Crafts, Savvy Southern Style, The DIY Dreamer, Someday Crafts, I Gotta Create, StoneGable, Transformation Thursday, Inspiration Gallery,  Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Inspire Me Please,Remodelaholic, Pity Party, Party PaloozaBlock Party, The 36th Avenue, Sharing Your Creativity, Super Saturday Show & Tell, The Sunday Showcase, 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Painted Mason Jar Lanterns-Craft Project

I love crafting with things that are just hanging around the these old mason jars. And painting them is such a fun way to create some decor for Halloween. It would be a great kids' craft project too!
Let me show you how I created these fun painted mason jar lanterns!
Here are the supplies needed for this project:

Mason jars or any other similar size jars
Martha Stewart Stencils
Martha Stewart Foam Pouncers
Martha Stewart Craft Paint in Beetle Black & Carrot
Craft Tape
Step 1. Wrap craft tape around clean jar in a spiral pattern as shown.
 Step 2. Using foam pouncer, paint the jar in black beetle paint. Let dry until tacky. 
 Step 3. Remove crafting tape to reveal a fun black striped jar.
Step 4.Tape pumpkin part of Martha Stewart stencil to a  clean jar.
 Step 5. Using foam pouncer, paint  over stencil pattern with carrot paint.
 Step 6. When paint is still slightly tacky, carefully remove stencil to see the jack o'lantern lantern.
Once completely dry, fill mason jars with a filler like candy corn or any other non-flammable filler. 
 Insert a tea light into each jar and light. {Using a set of tongs is a great way to set the tea light into the jar more easily!}
 This is such a fun project and almost any design can be painted on the could even free hand a design for to make each jar unique!
Here are some of my other Fall projects:
For more wonderful ideas for Halloween, be sure to check out this board on Pinterest:

Wishing you a fabulous day and thank you so much for visiting! 

This post is linked to:
The Lettered Cottage, Tidy Mom, Inspiration Gallery, Inspire Me Please, The Frugal Girls, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons,  Whipperberry, Link Party Palooza, Funky Junk Interior, DIY Showoff, Inspiration Monday, The Sunday Showcase, Block Party, Craft-O-Maniac, Uncommon Designs, Aalderberry Hill, Chef-In-Training, Homestories A to Z, Time TO Sparkle, Gingersnap Crafts, The DIY Dreamer, Someday Crafts, I Gotta Create, StoneGable, Transformation Thursday, Someday Craft,  Pity Party, The 36th Avenue, The Great Halloween Linkup, Share Your Creativity, Super Saturday Show & Tell,

3 Blogging Tips And A Tetley Tea Party At Blissdom Canada #SocialBliss

{This post is part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias, and I will be attending the Collective Bias Suite and the Social Etiquette Workshop at Blissdom Canada for Tetley Tea/Pure Via Sweetener .  #cbias #SocialBliss}

I am so excited to share this news with you! For the very first time, I will be attending the major blogging conference in Canada...Blissdom 2013 in Toronto AND taking part in visiting the Collective Bias Suite and attending the Social Etiquette Workshop. Blissdom will be 3 full days of learning, networking and making new friends. I am so looking forward to this new experience and meeting other bloggers from all across Canada! I have been wanting to attend this fabulous conference for Canadian bloggers for 2 years now, so I finally made the commitment and bought my ticket a few months ago. A week from today I will be flying to Toronto to begin the Blissdom journey.
As part of this experience,  I was super excited to be invited by Collective Bias and Tetley Tea/Pure Via Sweetener to be a part of the Social Etiquette High Tea Workshop Event which takes place on Friday, October 4 on the Blissdom Stage at 3:30 pm. This Tetley Tea/Pure Via Sweetner-sponsored session will feature an impressive panel of guests who will be speaking on the topic of 'Social  Etiquette' online, or, to put it simply,  how to behave online....whether it be blogging, or interacting in other social media channels. This is an important topic because social media is a such a powerful tool and it is so important to be aware of the impact social media behavior has on other people. And as part of the invitation, I will also be visiting the Collective Bias suite at Blissdom where Tetley Tea/Pure Via Sweetener will be treating attendees to tea. I can hardly wait to share a cup of Tetley Tea with new blogging friends at Blissdom!
As Fall arrives, and I settle back into a regular blogging routine while the kids are at school, one thing I do enjoy in the late morning is a cup of Tetley Tea sweetened with Pure Via while I check emails and read up on some of my favourite blogs. There is nothing more comforting that a hot cup of tea while reading blog is a little habit that I thoroughly enjoy! After I drop the kids off at school in the morning, I often stop at Superstore on the way home to pick up a few items and I can always find Tetley Tea on the shelf so I never have to miss my morning cup of tea.
As many of you know, I have been blogging for a number of years, and whenever people ask, I am always happy to share a few tips about blogging. Here are 3 little tips from me.

1. Love What You Do!
You blog because you love it right? Make sure that you blog about the things that make you happy and not what you think others might like. I struggled for a long time with blogging because I thought that I had to box myself into a blogging niche. But once I decided to blog about what I felt passionate about, I felt so much happier.

2. Schedule.
I know that this is easier said than done. And sometimes schedules fall apart completely, but try to schedule regular times for blogging and regular times for blogging-related activities. You can find me at my laptop, sipping tea, usually between 9 am and 12 noon everyday. I use this time to edit photos, write posts, check emails, catch up on social media, etc. I find that with committing to regular hours for blogging 'work' that I feel much less stressed about working towards my blogging goals and seeing progress. Which brings me to tip #3.

3. Set Goals.
It really helps if you have a focus for your blog....whether big or small. Goals can be aimed at learning, like attending a blogging conference such as Blissdom, or simply committing to writing so many posts per week.
Goals also provide a path to follow and lessen the tendency to go off track and forget what direction you were travelling in.

And don't worry! I will be sharing my full Blissdom Canada and Tetley Tea/Pure Via  #SocialBliss experience in a post or two, so I can share all of the wonderful things that made up Blissdom Canada 2013 with my online blogging friends!

If you would like to learn more about Tetley Tea or  Pure Via Sweetener and upcoming events, promotions or recipes, be sure to visit these pages:

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Easy Spiced Pumpkin Butter

 I just love Fall with all of the flavours it brings! Pumpkin, apple, squash and root vegetables...they are all delicious!. Lately I  have been treating myself in the afternoon to a biscuit with  this fabulously easy and delicious Spiced Pumpkin Butter! It was inspired by another favourite in this house...strawberry butter. And with just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of time to create such an decadent will leave you cackling in the kitchen like a witch! {Winks}. I love easy. Do you love easy? Good. I thought you would! This pumpkin butter is wonderful on not only biscuits, but muffins, loaves,  scones and as a dip with fruit like apples slices.
And since I created this myself, allow me to call it
Angie's Spiced Pumpkin Butter
{Make approx. 1 1/2 cups}

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin, canned or fresh
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

1. In mixing bowl, add pumpkin and butter and mix until creamy.
2. Gradually add 1 cup icing sugar beating until mixture is smooth. If a firmer texture is desired,  add more icing sugar.
3. Add pumpkin pie spice. Beat well. Taste and adjust spice if necessary by adding more if you like.
4. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Bring to room temperature to serve with biscuits, muffins, scones, etc.
This would also make a wonderful gift for a friend or neighbor. Package with some biscuits or muffins and you have a wonderful fall treat!
Here are some amazing things from the Life Made Delicious  that you could pair with this this yummy butter:
Maple-Nut-Raisin Muffins
Cranberry-Walnut Scones
Big-Batch Corn Muffins
And you can find many more recipes to celebrate the wonderful flavours of Fall at Life Made Delicious

September has been a great month for General Mills with the release of a brand  new fabulous Greek yogurt called "Yopa" in a collection of delicious flavours. I just tried Yopa Opa for myself and it was so good!

Wishing you a fabulous Fall day!

Disclosure: I am a part of the Life Made Delicious Blogger Program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.}

This post is linked to:
Work It Wednesday, Wildly Original Linky Party, StoneGable, Tidy Mom, Inspiration Gallery, Inspire Me Please, The Frugal Girls, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Whipperberry, Link Party Palooza, Funk Junk Interiors, The DIY Showoff, Inspiration Monday, Block Party, Craft-0-Maniac, Uncommon Designs, Aalderberry Hill, Chef-In-Training, Time To Sparkle, Gingersnap Crafts,Savvy Southern Style, The DIY Dreamer, Someday Crafts, I Gotta Create, StoneGable, Transformation Thursday, Pity Party, The 36th Avenue, Share Your Creativity, Super Saturday Show & Tell,
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