DIY

Gift Guide Day 4: A Very “Mary” Christmas

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Today’s gift is a fun collaboration between Roots and Mary Maxim: the Mary Maxim Scarf Knit Kit.  Inside is everything you need to make your very own Roots infinity scarf (yarn, needles, pattern and instructions, as well as a cute cotton tote!).  What I love about this as a gift for someone, is that you’re giving them an experience, whether it’s learning something new, or doing something they already enjoy.  I also love that the outcome is a modern, trendy scarf, similar to those in Roots Cabin collection.  Pair it with a cute mug, some hot chocolate, and a scented candle, and you’re giving someone the perfect winter-night in.

Check out the first 3 days of the Gift Guide here:

Day 1 (+ Giveaway!)

Day 2

Day 3

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Gift Guide Day 2: The Perfect (Pink) Coffee Table Book

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For me, books have always been fascinating.  They are read and enjoyed, perhaps one day past along to someone new, and come to have not only their own story to tell (the one between the pages), but also those of the lives it has touched along the way (deep, I know).  In fact, it fascinates me so much, that I have my own personal collection of old books with strangers’ signatures and well-wishes on the inside covers.  So much history and so much mystery: I love it.

So naturally, I’ve chosen to add a book to the gift guide this year, and it’s one that’s perfect for your girlfriends, mother, sister, and beyond (it’s also a perfect housewarming present!).  All in Good Taste from Kate Spade New York is a gorgeous pink hardcover book (yes, that wine stain is intentional!) that shares fun recipes, how-to’s, personal essays, and more.  Topics covered include: how to shuck an oyster, the proper way to set the table, how to write the perfect thank-you note to the party hostess, what to have on-hand for your at-home bar, and Instagram etiquette at dinner.  This book is fun to read, but is also a great conversation piece to have on your coffee table or bookshelf.  Just write a cute note on the inside, place a bow on the outside, and gift!

Missed Day 1 of the Gift Guide? Check it out here (and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!).

This Counts: Shopping with a Purpose (+Giveaway!)

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A running joke with my boyfriend is that I “fake online shop”: I sometimes browse a website, put all of my wishlist items in my cart, and then walk away because the shipping charges are outrageous. So, one of the things I instantly loved when introduced to a Canadian e-commerce retail site, This Counts, was that they offer free shipping on all items (AND all listed prices include taxes!). What I love even more than the free shipping, is what the site stands for: giving back. A portion of the sale of every single item goes to a charity supported by the retailer: with every purchase you make, you’re changing and saving lives around the world.  And, if you’re curious to see which charity the retailer supports, just click on the item to find out!

On the This Counts site, you can easily share items, and create boards to keep track of your wishlists (which you’ll want to do, as the site continues to grow everyday!).  You can shop by store, by item, or by collection.  There’s something to be found for everyone: from electronics, to men’s and women’s clothing and accessories, to home decor.  They have a wide variety of pieces ranging from classic to super unique, and their prices are extremely reasonable.  Curious to know what’s on my wishlist?  I thought you’d never ask (keep reading for a giveaway and promo code!).

Let’s be honest, sometimes navigating the inside of our purses can seem….puzzling.  How awesome is this Rubiks Cube Purse (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)!? 

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I’ve mentioned before that I’m in love with anything palm-trees or flamingos.  These Dessert Palm Earrings (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada) are no exception! 

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Is there anyone who doesn’t love Ryan Gosling (who just happens to be from my hometown)? I’m picturing this “Run for Ryan Gosling Tee” (supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities) paired with a chic statement necklace (or some cozy sweats). 

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We’ve all seen the stereotypical heart-shaped ring, but how about this amazing “Lifeline Heartbeat Ring” (supporting the Breakfast Club of Canada)?! My heart races just looking at it.  

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad, but sometimes I just want to read a good old-fashioned hard copy book.  This “Once Upon a Time” bookmark set ensures you won’t lose your page, and is a gorgeous conversation piece.   

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But wait, there’s more!

This Counts has generously offered to provide all WhatDidSheFind readers with 15% off sitewide! Just use promo codeSHEFOUND15″.

And if you’re feeling lucky, why not enter to win a $50.00 credit to turn your wishlist into a reality!? This giveaway is open to Canadian residents only, and will close on July 5, 2015.

 Click to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

 

Festive White Chocolate Matcha Cookies!

White Chocolate Matcha Cookies

Until recently, the occasional store-bought latte was the only “recipe” for Matcha (green tea powder) I knew of.  It turns out there are a large number of ways to use this product, and an even larger number of benefits of using it.  After receiving my Kiss Me Organics Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder (sold exclusively on Amazon: US, Canada, and UK), I did two things: 1. Made a delicious (homemade) Matcha Latte, and 2. conducted a Google search to find a fun, festive recipe (I decided on this recipe from Just One Cookbook; they were simple to make and they taste delicious).  I especially love how the Matcha powder gives the cookies a festive green hue, perfect for this time of year! But what’s even better, are the awesome benefits that the Matcha powder in these cookies has to offer (with just a simple daily dose of 1/2-1 tsp!):

-Boost metabolism

-Increase energy level

-Increase ability to concentrate/focus

-Improve skin health (you can also create a face mask: simply add a few drops of water to 1 tsp of Matcha powder, leave on you face for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water!)

-Burn more calories

-Anti-aging benefits

-Because Matcha powder uses the entire tea leaf, it has up to 137X the antioxidants of brewed green tea.

What I especially like about the Kiss Me Organics powder (aside from the fact that it is very highly rated, and is a #1 best seller on Amazon), is that it is Certified Organic: the product comes right from a United Nations recognized farm in Japan!  The product blended perfectly in both recipes I used (the cookies and the latte), and I especially love that it comes in a resealable package to keep the powder fresh and protect the potency.  For $29.00 CND, you’ll receive a 6-week supply, an electronic guide with recipes, and free shipping.  And, if you’re like me, you’ll also receive the urge to add Matcha powder to nearly everything you eat: next up on my list of recipes to try? Matcha cupcakes and Matcha ice cream!

FTC: This post is sponsored by Kiss Me Organics, however all opinions are my own.

 

Personalize Chargers Using Duct Tape!

Duct Tape Charger

I’ve shared my love of Duct Tape DIY’s previously, (Duct Tape Earrings), but this time I used my chevron and lime green tapes to personalize something that I already own: my phone charger! The benefits of this project are twofold: 1. it adds a personal (and fun) touch to something you probably use almost every day, and 2. wrapping tape around the base of the cord actually reinforces it and prevents (or stops) splitting.  All you’ll need is some duct tape, scissors, and you’re good to go.  One warning: it’s highly addictive!

DIY: Crayon Lipstick

DIY Crayon Lipstick

These cute crayon lipsticks take less than 10 minutes to make, can be sheer or opaque depending on your preference, and smell delicious!  With just a couple simple ingredients and kitchen items, they are simple, inexpensive, and a lot of fun to create.  They are also completely safe as crayons are non-toxic.  Let’s get started!

You’ll Need:

Crayon1

Crayons (I chose Carnation Pink, Violet Red, and Violet, but have fun trying other colours too!)

Coconut Oil

A Small pot

A Small glass dish

1 Cup of Water

A small container with a lid (I purchased mine from the dollar store)

Step #1

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Place 1 cup of water in a small pot.  Place the small glass dish inside the pot to create a double-boiler.  This is necessary as the crayons will not melt properly in direct heat.  Turn the stove on low-medium, and add your desired amount of coconut oil (1/2 tsp for a sheer finish, slightly less for opaque).

Step #2:

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While the coconut oil is melting, cut a 1-inch piece of crayon and remove the paper.

Step #3:

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Once the coconut oil has fully melted, place the piece of crayon in the glass bowl.  You can use a toothpick or small spoon to stir as it melts.

Step #4:

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Once fully melted, carefully (it’s hot!) remove the glass jar and quickly pour the liquid into your small container.  Cool with the lid off, approximately 30 minutes.

Step #5:

Colours

Repeat and experiment with new colours! A certain crayon too dark for you? Try adding a small piece of white crayon to lighten (or black crayon to darken).

What colours are you going to try?  Let me know, below!

“Think, Travel, Celebrate, Charm, Decorate, Dress, Live – Colorfully” ~Kate Spade

DIY: Duct Tape Flower Earrings

Duct Tape Earrings

You use duct tape for household repairs and school projects, and so I  know what you’re thinking: “there’s nothing glamorous about duct tape”.  But this fun craft proves otherwise.  In fact, there are a variety of adorable (and grown-up) duct tape crafts that you can find instructions for in books, or on the internet.  Everything from jewelry, to tote bags, to ipad covers, and more! This project is fun, simple, and took me less than half an hour to complete.  You can use these instructions to make earrings, like I did, or make a cute ring instead!  For inspiration, and to check out all the fun patterns and colours of duct tape available, visit the Duck brand website, here.

Materials:

Materials

-A self-repairing cutting mat

-A precision cutter (X-acto knife)

-Flat-post earrings

-Metal barrel earring backs

-Approximately 1 foot of decorative duct-tape (I used the leopard pattern)

Note : I purchased all materials from Michaels craft store

Step 1

Place approximately 1 foot of duct tape on the cutting mat (make sure you line the duct tape up with the measurement guide at the bottom).   Begin by cutting the duct tape in half length-wise, so that you have 2 long strips.  Then begin cutting into 1 inch squares.  You may also find it helpful to use a ruler for this part. Duct Tape

Step 2

Fold over one corner of each square (do not fold entirely in half; you want there to be excess around the edge of the triangle). Duct Tape 2

Step 3

Fold over another corner so that you have a point on the top, and a section of “sticky tape” along the bottom. These are your petals. For each earring, I used about 10-12 petals (around 20-24 in total). Duct Tape 3

Step 4

Begin by rolling one petal into a tube.  This will act as the base to start adding other petals. Duct Tape 4

Step 5

Continue adding petals until you reach your desired “fullness” for your flower. Duct Tape 5

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Step 6

Once all your petals have been added, you may want to use scissors and cut the base of your flower down (so that it’s easier to stick to your earring base).  Take an additional 1 inch square and poke the earring base through the center (with the stick of the earring poking out of the patterned side of the duct tape).  Wrap the sticky side of the duct tape around the base of the flower, lining up the earring with the centre.  (If you choose to make a ring instead, simply attach the flower to a plain ring, or make your own using rolled duct tape). Duct Tape 7

Step 7

Pair your earrings with a cute outfit, and get to making extras (for all the requests you’ll receive from friends)!

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“I just want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares” ~Saul Bass

New Year, New You (and some fun new products, too!)

2014

2014 has arrived, and by now, your new year’s resolutions are likely in full swing.  Whether it be to stop biting your nails, or to shed a few extra pounds, we all seem to have something we say we’ll do this year (whether we actually do it is another thing altogether).  In the same way that new workout clothes somehow make you actually want to go to the gym, I thought I’d put together a list of a few fun products and items (some of which were Christmas gifts, thanks Santa!), that will hopefully help you get motivated about your goals for 2014.

Resolution: Get Fit!

Jawbone UP

Jawbone Up!

I think this is probably in everyone’s top 5 resolutions, and truth be told, it’s not really a fun one.  I mean, be honest, it is for the first 10 days or so, but then Haagen Dazs, yoga pants, and your living room couch all start to seem like better options than the gym.  Need some motivation?  The Jawbone UP band is a fun way to track your fitness goals, levels, caloric intake, sleep patterns, and more!  The band itself does not have a screen, so you are required to link to your smartphone (Android/IOS) using the UP app.  The bands come in a variety of colours and multiple sizes, ensuring a perfect fit for anyone.  Not only is it fun to see how much (or little) sleep you got the night before, it also motivates you to get up (no pun intended) and reach your fitness goals.  Whether it be walking the recommended 10,000 steps a day, or exercising for 30 minutes, this band is a fun, innovative way of tracking and analyzing your lifestyle.  Want one? Get yours at the Apple store, or Best Buy.

Zumba Fitness World Party (Various Wii and Xbox Consoles)

Zumba Fitness World PartyI’ve never been one for typical gym equipment.  Five minutes on the treadmill and I’m already staring at the clock, counting down the minutes until I can get off.  To stay engaged and motivated, I find classes to be the best method of exercise for me.  A couple years ago, I started collecting the Zumba Fitness games for Wii, and most recently, I purchased the latest game “Zumba Fitness World Party“.  Love it.  Not only can you track your score, as you can with mostly any video game, you can also track your fitness goals, weight, and how many calories you’ve burned.  There are pre-set classes ranging in length and fitness level, so you’ll always have something that suits you.  No need to hold a controller, as the game comes with a belt that allows you to play hands-free.  The songs are fun, new, and familiar, and the dances range in style, so you’ll never get bored.  And, if you don’t think a video game can give you a real workout, I challenge you to try this, and watch how fast you need a towel!

Resolution: Eat Healthier!

Yonanas

YonanasIf you know me, you know that dessert is close to my heart.  But, let’s face it, dessert doesn’t really mesh well with the resolution above…or does it?  My latest purchase was a Yonanas machine.  This fun invention takes frozen bananas (or other fruit) and turns them into a delicious, ice-cream style treat.  Seriously, you don’t even add milk, or any liquid for that matter!  The other day, I made banana, Skor, peanut butter ice cream that tasted better than any store-bought version! And plus, don’t they say that bananas are a healthy post-workout snack? Don’t you just love when a plan comes together…

Resolution: Set Time Aside for Yourself

Sally Hansen Salon Insta-Gel Strips Starter KitSally Hansen

Fun, beautiful, salon quality nails that don’t chip after day one.  Sound too good to be true?  It’s not!  The new starter kit from Sally Hansen includes everything you need to create your own gel manicure at home.  I’ve blogged about my love of their fun-patterned nail polish strips before, but now they offer awesome designs in the gel version too!  You first purchase the starter kit (a choice of 3 different colours), and then purchase just the strips separately. Each kit contains gel polish strips, a gel polish top coat, file/buffer/cuticle stick, cleansing pads, and a UV light to set the polish and ensure long wear (and long love!).  It’s incredibly affordable and would definitely add some fun to your next girls night in!

Resolution: Enjoy Life More

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Happiness ProjectNot only is this a great feel-good read, it also has a lot of interesting facts and philosophical quotes about what makes up a truly happy person.  In this book, author Gretchen Rubin takes on a new challenge each month in order to achieve “happiness”, while also uncovering what her own personal definition of that is (meanwhile encouraging you to really take time to focus on your own).  Even though there are portions of this novel that describe life events I haven’t reached yet (marriage, children, and so on), I still found these sections to be surprisingly relatable and interesting.  What’s even cooler about this book? The journal that goes with it, below.

The Happiness Project One-Sentence Journal by Gretchen RubinHappiness Project Journal

One of the activities Gretchen explains in her novel, is that of keeping a journal.  Now, if you’re anything like me, you have about 10 different journals you’ve started over the years, each with about 5 days worth of entries before you lost interest. This journal however, is different.  All you need to do is write once sentence a day.  Write about something that made you happy, or simply what you did that day.  Keep this journal, and in the end, you’ll have 5 years worth of 1-sentence entries to look back on.  Pretty cool, right?

Resolution: Learn Something New

The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld

Cant Cook BookConfession: up until last week, I’d never made pancakes.  For some reason, I’ve always thought they were really complicated.  How do you flip them without them falling apart?  What happens if I burn them?  I was feeling brave, so I chose the “Lemon Ricotta Pancakes” recipe from  Jessica Seinfeld’s new cookbook.  And…they were delicious, perfectly cooked, and actually looked just like the picture (does that ever happen?).  Jessica ensures that anyone (yep, anyone) can create delicious, healthy snacks and meals.  The items in this cookbook will please nearly any diet, and even the most picky of eaters (me).

Try a Fun DIY Project 

Ready? Shameless blog promotion.  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be posting a few fun, beauty and fashion DIY projects using unexpected household items.  Check out some hints below and get excited!

Crafts

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right ~Oprah Winfrey