Happy Canada Day! – My Favourite Local Businesses

Happy Canada Day!

Since today celebrates all things Canada, I thought I’d share a few of my favourite local/Canadian businesses.  In my opinion, it’s hugely important for businesses to be on Instagram these days, so I’m going to share their instagram accounts! If you like what you see, you should follow them :)

1. Tiny Feast    

 

 

Tiny Feast is a cool shop in the exchange district that mostly sells stationary and greeting cards.  So basically, it’s my dream store.  They sell a lot of really adorable stuff, and they support Canadian companies as well.  It’s really great and I love going there so much.  The only catch is, I don’t have lots and lots of money to spend there, because if I could I would buy everything.
Instagram: tinyfeast

 2. Hush & Shout

This is a set of two clothing stores in Osborne Village.  I LOVE shopping there.  The prices are pretty good, and everything is really pretty.  They also do brides maids dresses!  I think that 3/4 of my brides maids got their dresses from here.  So much fun to shop there, and I definitely need to go back again soon!
Instagram: hushandshout

 3. Jenna Rae Cakes

This is one of the most popular new bakeries in the city.  They constantly have line ups out the door and it’s because the things they sell are amazing.  I wish they were closer to my house so I could go more often.  They have a really pretty Instagram feed, too.  Definitely worth following.
Instagram: jennaraecakes

Hope you have a great Canada Day!
What are your favourite local shops on Instagram?

xoxo,
Alysa

Books of 2015: June

June Books

This month I read a lot more books than last month!  It really helped that I spent a week at Victoria Beach with no wifi and no tv.  ;)

11. Daddy Hugs by Nancy Tafuri
This was a cute little book.  For this month, I wanted to get books for Andrew to read to Autumn, so I picked mostly “Daddy” books.  This one was really cute.  There are little animal noises and it was super cute when Andrew would read those parts, too.

12. The Newlywed Cookbook by Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss
Lately, I’ve been borrowing cookbooks from the library to find new recipes! Pinterest is great, but I love being able to go through a book to pick things out.  This book had a lot of really fun ideas and I can’t wait to start making them.

13. Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos
I LOVED this book! Nia Vardalos is absolutely hilarious, and I love reading her writing.  She talks about how she got My Big Fat Greek Wedding made into a movie, and how she got her start in comedy, which I loved reading about.  The main topic of the book was about her struggles with infertility, and how they adopted a 3 1/2 year old girl.  Such an amazing story.  I recommend this book highly!

14. Veronica Mars: Mr Kiss & Tell by Rob Thomas
The next installment in the Veronica Mars story, this book was even better than the last one, imo.  Mostly because Logan is actually IN the book.  With the last one, I had been disappointed that he wasn’t in it.  I love Logan.  I read this one fairly quickly.  It’s a real page turner :) I enjoyed it!

June Books

 

15. A to Z of Wedding Style by Kate Bethune
This was a pretty interesting read.  Fun to read, too.  I read it cover to cover, as you would with a novel.. and I eventually skimmed and just read the things that I was interested in.  I liked the history in it, and the quotes from different people.  It was fun!

16. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Eh.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this honestly.  Mostly because I didn’t really like the main character.  I like John Green as a writer, this just wasn’t my favourite of his.

17. A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
This was so much fun to read!  I love how positive Kristin is, and her writing style is great.  I really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely read it again.  Plus, it had recipes in it, too that I can’t wait to try.

18. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
This book was also eh.  I don’t know what it is… but it wasn’t really that enjoyable of a read.

19. Looking for Alaska by John Green
I’m on a bit of a John Green kick right now.  I like this one.  It was a sad story though. I wasn’t expecting it to be sad, and then it was :( well written though!

What have you been reading this month?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

summer

 

summer

 

It’s already summer, and this is looking like it’s going to be a pretty hectic one.  We have 5 weddings to go to this summer (three of which are on the same weekend), and we’re going to be spending time at the lake, and travelling.. it’s so much!  But I love it.

PLUS! Summer means summer tv.  Which means Big Brother!  I also love that! This year I’m watching it by myself, because my husband just isn’t interested… so if you want to talk about it with someone, tweet me @Alysalovely ;)

I’m also looking forward to heading to the splash pad with Autumn, and to the park, and to the beach.  It’ll be really fun showing her all the things that I love about summer.

What are your plans for this summer?

xoxo,
Alysa

 

 

 

 

Things to get SOMEONE ELSE to do on your wedding day

5 things to get someone else to do on your wedding day

Planning a wedding can be hard, and there is a lot to do when you’re the bride or groom!  There are also lots of people around (namely, your family and your wedding party) who are there to do things for you and for your wedding.  It will make your life easier, especially on the day of your wedding, if you delegate the following tasks to someone else so you can focus on your beloved and on having a great day.

1. Dealing with your gifts
Chances are, loved as you are, you will receive a fair amount of wedding gifts.  Get someone else to take care of bringing them out of the church or venue.  It’ll be a weight off of your mind and shoulders to get someone else to take care of this.  We had one of our groomsmen take care of the envelopes for us, and one of our parents took care of the gifts!  It was great we didn’t have to think about it.

2. Figuring out food for your wedding party
If you have lots of pictures to take between the ceremony and the reception.  You, and your wedding party, will probably get hungry.  The last thing you want is to have to scrounge around to find food for everyone.  And you want nice pictures, so you don’t want your wedding party to be starving!  Get someone else to put together a cooler of food and drinks for your day.  That way, you won’t have to worry about it, and no one will starve.

3. Picking up the flowers
This is something that can be done first thing in the morning, when you’re getting your hair and makeup done.. or when you’re eating your breakfast.  Getting someone else to do this means that the job is definitely getting done, and you don’t have to rush through any of the above things to do it yourself.  You can relax and enjoy the morning of your wedding.  It’s a win-win!

4. Decorating the venue
If you’re able to decorate the venue the day before, you can do that.. but if you’re not able to get into it the day before because of another event, get someone else to do this for you!  For the same reason as number 3.  If you also have to decorate the venue, your morning will be so rushed and you won’t be able to enjoy yourself.  This is your day!  Delegate this task to others and let them take care of these things.

5. Cleaning up after
A lot of couples these days will stay right to the end of their reception.. but don’t feel like you need to help clean up.  That is part of the deal when it comes to being in the wedding party.  You go spend time with your new husband/wife!! Cleaning up is the last thing you should be doing that night ;)

What are other wedding tasks that can be delegated to others?

xoxo,
Alysa

Happy Day!

How was your weekend?  We had a lovely time at the cottage together.  It was Autumn’s first time at the cottage, and her first time at the beach.  The weekend was filled with other firsts as well.  It’s so much fun to be able to do so many great things with her.

Here are some other things making me happy this week:

1. My church is having a party
You should come!  It’ll be a great time.  It was pretty big last year, with lots of different things to do, and this year will be even bigger and better!  We’ll be there, too ;)

2. Bad news turned into good news: It’s not the end of Degrassi after all
Bonus is that my sister wrote that!

3. Fun new Frappuccino flavours
I can’t wait to try them all.

Hope your week is fantastic!

xoxo,
Alysa

7 Months!

7 months!

 

Zip! Another month went by!  This year is going by way too fast.  On Sunday, it was a very busy day!  It was my husband’s birthday, and Autumn was 7 months old.  The rest of the week has been pretty busy like that, too.. so I haven’t really gotten a chance to sit down to write this.

At 7 months old, Autumn loves the rattle that I used when I was a baby.  She loves any and all stuffed animals (or buddies), and she still loves pulling off my glasses and playing with them.

Autumn’s favourite foods are muffins and pizza (mostly homemade), she also really enjoys cheese.  So far, there hasn’t really been anything she doesn’t like to eat.  Probably because it’s all so new.  She loves peaches, and bananas.  It’s so much fun to be able to watch her feed herself, too!  She is very good at feeding herself!

Autumn likes seeing either of us walk into a room, but doesn’t like when I walk away from her.  She loves cuddling, tickling, “flying”, and getting high fives.  Autumn sleeps most nights from 8pm until 8am.  She has a few naps during the day.

Autumn can roll both ways, though she often chooses one direction to go and keeps rolling that way until she gets stuck.  She can sit up on her own and she can remove blankets from over her face.  She loves playing peek-a-boo with blankets.

I’m so looking forward to seeing what this month brings <3

xoxo,
Alysa

Zakia’s Moroccan Ghassoul Clay Powder Mask Review


Zakia's Moroccan Clay Powder

For the longest time, one of my friends and I had a weekly tradition of watching a tv show (at the time it was The O.C., and we’re on Gilmore Girls now), and at some point during the day, we would both do face masks!  It was so much fun to be able to do something like that together.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to do that (it’s kind of hard to put on a face mask while holding a squirming baby ;) ), and I’ve really missed my weekly masks as well.

I was recently able to test an all natural clay mask made by Zakia’s, and I am so excited to be able to share about it here with you!

My skin beforeMoroccan clay mask

my skin during:

Moroccan clay mask

my skin after:

Moroccan clay mask

The Verdict?
I really enjoyed using it!  It was easy to make. I like that it came in a powder so that I could make as much as I wanted.  Though, the “recipe” that came with it made way more than I needed.. so next time I’ll share with a friend and we’ll be able to use it all up.  It was unfortunate that I had to waste some.

I like how easy it was to put on.  It also came off really easy.

Overall, I really liked it, and I am excited to use it again in a week!

Find out more about it here!
If you’d like to win some of your own, check out the giveaway here!
Or, if you’re interested in getting some for sure, Zakia’s Morocco is offering a 20% discount to my readers!  Just use the code “ZMBLOG-84″ when you check out on their website.  :)

xoxo,
Alysa

This post is powered by Brandbacker.  I received this product as a sample to review it and all the opinions above are my own.

early spring garden

spring

DSC_0089

spring

spring

spring

 

These were taken a few weeks ago.

Last year, it was fun to see what kinds of things came up in our garden.  We didn’t really add too much to it, but instead just watched what kind of things showed up! It was really fun to be surprised by our garden.  This year, we’re adding to it, so in addition to being surprised by what lived over the winter, we have some for sures.  So excited to see what we get this year!

xoxo,
Alysa

Baby Cereal Muffins

baby cereal muffins baby cereal muffins

Before we decided on doing baby-led weaning for Autumn’s solids, we bought some baby cereal on sale at Target.  We gave the cereal to Autumn a few times before ultimately deciding that finger foods were better to give her.  I’m not really a fan about giving food to Autumn that I wouldn’t eat, and the baby cereal definitely fell under that category.  So, I needed to find something to do with all the leftover cereal.  A friend of mine suggested that I make muffins out of it, which I thought was an amazing idea!

I didn’t have an easy time finding a recipe that I liked.  There were a lot on Pinterest, but they all called for a lot of apple sauce/baby food, which I don’t have in the house right now.  I eventually found this recipe and the following recipe is an adaptation of that.

Baby Cereal Muffins

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup infant cereal, any variety
1/2 cup breast milk or water
2 Tbsp oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and infant cereal together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in breast milk (or water), oil, eggs, and vanilla one at a time and mix until smooth.
  4. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined mini muffin cups. Approximately one teaspoon per cup.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Yields: Approximately 24 mini muffins

baby cereal muffins

 

Autumn loves them, too! :)

xoxo,
Alysa

 

 

Happy June!

This year is seriously going by way too fast.  The other day, my husband and I were chatting about things we’re going to be doing in the upcoming months, and it feels like all of these things are going to be here in a blink.  He’s been on parental leave for three months, which means his leave is halfway over!! It was really sad to think about it in that way.

Autumn’s first year is going by wayy too fast, too.  In a week she’ll be 7 months old (how?? she’s a newborn!)

On the bright side, it’s June now, which basically means that it’s already summer.  The weather has been super great around here, and we’ve loved going for walks in the evening.  What can I say, when it’s nice out I actually WANT to be outside.

Here are a few other things making me happy this week:

1. My convocation!
It was awesome, and long, and great, and so many other things!  I had a great time, and I’m going to probably give this it’s own blog post. But it was wonderful and I’m so happy I graduated!!

2. This Blogger Booty Challenge!
3000 squats total or 100 squats per day.  I am so in.

3.

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a little while now.

Have a great week!

xoxo,
Alysa