Holiday Gift Guide: For Him!

Happy Monday everyone 🙂 Last week I shared my Holiday Gift Guide for Her.  Today I have rounded up a bunch of great gifts for the men in your life!  As always, I have tried to limit my list to some more budget friendly suggestions.  I hope you had a chance to take advantage of all the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, they were pretty amazing!  I definitely checked gifts for a lot of people off my list.  Happy shopping and I hope that I can be of some help with those often hard to buy for guys!

 

Holiday Gift Guide For Him

 

One. Flat Cap // Two. Weekend Bag // Three. Rubberized Shave Set // Four. Skull & Crossbone Bow Tie // Five. Kiehl’s Essentials Collection // Six. Half Zip Pullover // Seven. Flannel Scarf // Eight. Quilted Gloves // Nine. Copper Mule Mug // Ten. North Face Beanie // Eleven. Patterned Socks // Twelve. Bose Bluetooth Speaker // Thirteen. Brewquet Craft Beer Bouquet // Fourteen. Steel-Mesh Watch // Fifteen. Corkcicle Canteen // Sixteen.  12-in-1 Multi-Tool // Seventeen. Faux Shearling Slippers

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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Holiday Gift Guide: For Her!

I cannot believe that it is practically December!  I absolutely love this time of year and always get ridiculously excited for Christmas.  I find it so much fun trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone of my list.  I am going to kick off my Holiday Gift Guides with some ideas for the ladies in your life.  I have limited this list to gifts that are all under $100.00.  A few of the things I actually own myself and a couple more of them are on my wish list!  Hope you love them all as much as I do 🙂

 

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One. Fringe Earrings // Two. Paperback Book // Three. Bow Scarf // Four. Floral Kimono Robe // Five. Stemless Wine Glass // Six. Pom Pom Slippers // Seven. Thermal Travel Mug // Eight. Soy Wax Candle // Nine. Monogram Mug // Ten. Rose Gold Lanterns // Eleven. Alpha Pendant // Twelve. Pom Pom Toque // Thirteen. Rose Gold Flatware // Fourteen. Tart Fave Colour Gift Set // Fifteen. Cable Knit Mittens

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Flowers are Cliché, Send a Brewquet

One of the big reasons I started my blog was because I wanted to share products, clothing and places that I love!  Whenever possible, I try to shop local and support small businesses.  This is why I am beyond excited to be teaming up with Brewquet!  If you haven’t heard of them before, Brewquet is a Vancouver, B.C. company who offers unique gift baskets featuring a selection of craft beers and yummy local goods.  On staff is a cicerone (essentially a sommelier for beer!) who curates all of the beer selection to ensure that only the best seasonal and local offering are always chosen!  Brewquet is currently serving areas within three hours of Vancouver and free delivery is offered to Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Richmond and New Westminster.  For other areas, you can contact them directly for a quote.

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I’m not sure about you, but I have a handful of people in my life who are always a challenge to buy for!  Who wouldn’t love a bucket full of cold ones?!  Such a unique alternative to sending a bouquet of flowers!  As their website states “Be clear, say it with beer!”  A perfect gift for the upcoming Holidays, Birthdays, a big thank you, or really any occasion you just feel like giving someone a fun, delicious and creative gift!

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Another feature that I appreciate, is that 90% of offerings are earth friendly in that they are either recyclable or biodegradable.  The shipping boxes are recyclable, the paper crinkles found in the ice buckets are made from recycled paper and the burlap wrap is biodegradable.

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Featured above, the Kitsilano which includes:

  • 6 local craft beers (you can choose from IPA’s, Pale Ales, Lagers or a variety pack)
  • 6 Non Alcoholic Craft Sodas are also an option
  • Jerky Baron’s Mount Pleasant beef jerky
  • The Nut Merchant’s Maple Siracha Pecans
  • The Brewquet stainless steel ice bucket & signature bottle opener

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I can already think of a few people who I will be giving a Brewquet to!

As an added bonus, Brewquet is offering my readers 10% off of their purchase… just enter code SSF10 during checkout 🙂

 

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Moraine Lake

My husband and I did a quick road trip to Calgary, A.B. at the beginning of September for one of my best friends weddings.  We decided to spend the first night in Banff on the way.  On the top of my must see list was Moraine Lake.  It is a glacially filled lake situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks and the water is the most breathtaking shade of turquoise blue.  You can’t tell from these pictures, but I was far from the only person with this brilliant idea!  It was so busy the day we went, we almost didn’t get to see it as on our way towards the lake, the access road was closed!  Thankfully by the time we drove up the road to turn back around, they let a few cars (including us!) through.  The parking was a zoo but we thankfully managed to find a spot.  Unfortunately the day we visited was during the B.C wildfires (actually our entire drive to Alberta was pretty smokey) so the sky was far from clear, but the view was still spectacular!  The water was the most gorgeous shades of blue and green and so beautiful!  It was definitely worth the visit!  My only recommendation would be to get there early to try to beat some of the crowd 🙂

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Where are your favourite spots in Alberta to visit?  I would love any recommendations for our next road trip 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch!

I absolutely love taking our kids to the Pumpkin Patch!  We  probably go at least 5 or 6 times every year.  Our first trip this year was to the Port Kells Nursery.  This is one of my favourite patches to visit, as there is so much for the kids to do there besides just picking out their pumpkins.  Another great part is that it is totally free to go to, with the exception of taking a hayride.  The charge for this is $5.00 (under 3 years is free) which the nursery will redeem towards the purchase of a pumpkin or plants.  We easily spend a couple of hours each time we visit.  A bonus feature of this particular nursery is that a few of the attractions are inside, because lets face it, Fall in B.C. usually involves a decent amount of rain… lol!  I only discovered this nursery a couple of years ago, so I wanted to share it in case you live in the area and are looking for somewhere new and fun to try 🙂

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My sweet boys in the adorable pumpkin toques my talented mom made them 🙂

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Choosing pumpkins from the patch

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The Indoor Hay Maze

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Feeding the chickens!

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Indoor Sandbox

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Lots of diggers and shovels to play with! (Behind him is the bunnies & goats.)

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Entrance to the little (also indoor) Haunted House

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Indoor Ball Toss

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Pumpkin Patch

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My eldest son’s favourite part… a bunch of tractors for him to climb on and “drive” 😉

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Outfit Details: My marl shawl cardigan is sold out at H&M but I’ve linked a cozy one HERE & HERE & HERE  //  my striped turtleneck is from last year but I have linked a similar one HERE  & HERE  //  Jeans  //  Boots

There is also an outdoor corn maze, pig pen, little café inside to grab a snack at and I have seen face painting on the weekends!  No shortage of things to keep the kids entertained 🙂  What are your favourite family friendly activities for Fall?  I am always welcoming suggestions!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Happy Thanksgiving! (& the Best Friends and Family Sales)

This weekend we celebrate Thanksgiving here in Canada.  With everything going on in our world right now, I am feeling extra thankful for the health and safety of my loved ones.  For me personally, it makes me feel awful that it often takes a tragic event for me to appreciate how truly fortunate I am.  This weekend I will be spending quality time with my sweet family.  I will remind myself not to sweat the small stuff and to feel grateful for those little things I tend to take for granted!  I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of lots of love and laughter!

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On a lighter note, long weekends also mean great shopping!  I wanted to share some of the best sales happening right now :

LOFT– 40% off with code FALLFEST

OLD NAVY– Until October 7/17 save 25% your order with code: BONUS

LORD & TAYLOR– Until October 9/17 get up to 40% off shoes & boots and up to 50% off clothing with code COLUMBUS

MACY’SUntil October 9/17 take 20% off with code STYLE

BLOOMIGDALE’S– Until October 9/ 17 25% off select items using code FRIENDS

SAKSUntil October 8/ 17 Up to 25% off

NORDSTROM RACK– Now until October 9/17 take an extra 25% off clearance!

REBECCA TAYLOR– Until October 11/17 take 25% off your purchase with code 25FAMILY

FOREVER 21– 21% off a $50+ purchase with code F21FRIENDS

URBAN OUTFITTERS– Take an extra 30% off sale items

ANTHROPOLOGIE– Take an extra 40% off sale items

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

Baby E’s 1st Birthday Party

We threw my son’s 1st Birthday party a few weeks before he actually turned one.  I promised my husband I would keep it simple this year… (Apparently I have a tendency to go overboard… lol!)  Both my boys are summer babies which is fantastic because it makes it easy to have a pool or beach party and keep the chaos outside!  This post is for the parents like myself that cannot necessarily afford to purchase lavish cakes, decorations and catering for their parties.  Absolutely no offence to anyone who does, it is just not in my budget!  Trust me, I love reading about and seeing pictures of the extravagant parties!  I just wanted to share some pictures from his birthday to show that you can throw a cute Do It Yourself party without spending a fortune.  The kids had a blast which is really the most important part right?!

We call him our little Beast, so I decided to go with a Monster theme this year:

Monster Cake

Disclaimer: this wasn’t how I originally planned the cake to look, however icing the cake in 30 degree weather proved a little difficult and it started to melt a bit… lol!

Monster crafts

Crafts for the kids… Build a monster!  Free printable from somewhat simple.

Rice Krispie monsters
Rice Krispie monsters edible eyes & dipped in coloured white chocolate… yummy!

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Photo booth props that I ordered from Etsy (also used these to decorate the monster punch & anything else that needed eyes or a scary mouth!

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Mini monster jello.  Plastic cups & eye stickers from the Dollar Store

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I made this Monster ONE sign with some crafts from the Dollar Store & Michaels

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Monster Punch

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Monster water bottle labels I ordered from Etsy

 

How did we ever have parties before Etsy & Pinterest?! 😉  It makes it so easy to have a fun and simple DIY themed birthday!

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

Tie-Dyeing!

My step daughter is hilarious.  She is constantly asking me if we can make things that she has heard about from friends or seen demonstrated in a You Tube Video.  One week she will be begging me to make homemade slime, the next it will be flip-flops out of hot glue or sponge bombs?!

I feel like I am constantly saying no because the list of ingredients needed is so ridiculous.  She came home from Art Camp this summer and had made a tie-dye pillowcase.  She loved it!  I decided this was one experiment I could get behind so off to Michaels we went to purchase a kit.

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I am notoriously bad for not following instructions… if it is too complicated sometimes I just cannot be bothered.  (Do not ever ask me to assemble IKEA furniture! My brain would explode… lol!)  This project was thankfully super simple and she could basically do it by herself without me having to do it all for her 🙂

  1. Wash the T-shirt before you begin (we decided to apply while the shirt was still wet)
  2. Add water to the marked line on the bottle and shake well
  3. Choose which pattern you wish to do from the instruction sheet provided (or the internet), place rubber bands where indicated for your pattern & apply the dye being careful not to oversaturate or the colours will run together
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap for at least 6 hours
  5. Rinse well & wash separately in the washing machine
  6. Start rocking your sweet 70’s style T-shirt!!!
Our tie-dye colour palette!
Our tie-dye colour palette!
The pattern she chose suggested wrapping around an object
The pattern she chose suggested wrapping around a round(ish) object
Wrapped in plastic, letting the colours soak in
Wrapped in plastic, letting the colours soak in
The finished product!
The finished product!

 

Of course she wanted me to make one as well.  I think they turned out great and she loves it!  She actually gets a ton of compliments when she wears her tie-dyed shirts (she has a few different ones now!)  This was a relatively inexpensive and easy craft to do if you are looking for something fun to do with your kids 🙂  I see a collection of tie-dyed bags, shirts and whatever she can get her hands on in my future…. lol!  I also have a sneaking suspicion what we will be giving out as Christmas gifts this year 😉

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

 

 

Apple Picking!

I love summer so much but one of the things I enjoy about the beginning of Fall is taking the kids apple picking 🙂  We are lucky enough to have a couple local farms to choose from.  Our first trip this year was to Willow View Farms.  We actually managed to get there on opening day for apples and plums.  It is such a fun place to visit.  There is the cutest little general store where you can get delicious apple cider slushies, pies, syrups, fresh corn, potatoes, adorable crocheted toques and so on!  Later into the fall there is a petting zoo,  hayrides and a pumpkin patch that opens so you can guarantee this won’t be our last trip of the season.  We usually visit quite a few times as the kids love running around, picking their own fruit (and later choosing their pumpkins), feeding the chickens and petting all the animals!  It is a great place for a family outing, you can easily make a day of it.  There is a covered picnic area where you can bring lunch and a big climb on play area for kids.  I love this farm because it is family run and you do not have to pay any sore of admission to get in, you just pay for the fruit you pick.

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My strong boy, pulling the wagon out to the U-Pick field
My strong boy, pulling the wagon out to the U-Pick field

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The U-Pick Apple Field
The U-Pick Apple Field
Riding the tractor.. his favourite!
Riding the tractor… his favourite!
Enjoying an Apple Cider Slushie!
Enjoying an Apple Cider Slushie!

 

*Update: Since I wrote this post, Willow View Farms actually had a devastating fire that destroyed their country store and cooler building!! They have managed to reopen for U-pick, but if you are thinking about visiting I would recommend checking out their website for updates!  Wishing them a speedy rebuild!  They can probably use local support now more than ever 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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My Maui Recap Part 2: Kihei

On Monday I wrote a post about my personal travel guide for Kaanapali.  Today I am going to summarize the second two weeks of our month long Maui trip which we spent in Kihei.  As I mentioned in my previous Maui post, there are an abundance of beautiful beaches, delicious restaurants and tons of activities to do.  This summary is simply from my personal experience of what we got up to during this particular holiday with our children.  If you are heading on a kid free vacation to Maui, I could give you a boatload of different suggestions!!  These are my family friendly recommendations for the Kihei area:

Staring up at the palm trees.. so relaxing!
Staring up at the palm trees.. so relaxing!

Restaurants:

When I am eating at a restaurant in Maui, one of the most important thing to me (besides tasty food!)  is being outside with a view!

Kihei Cafe– This was our go to breakfast restaurant!  It is a total local spot, super casual with delicious food!  Nothing fancy which makes it perfect for eating with kids.  Just huge portions of homemade yumminess!  I would say my favourite menu item is tied between the pineapple coconut french toast and the banana macadamia nut pancakes!

S&Q’s Shaved Ice & Coffee– A little walk up spot next to the Rainbow Mall.  It seriously has the BEST Acai bowls!  I would grab one as a quick-lunch and then take it down to the beach to eat on the sand… almost daily!

Fred’s Mexican Cafe– This restaurant is so fun, the food is delicious and they have a fantastic happy hour- (cheap & strong margaritas!)  There isn’t necessarily a patio to sit on, but it is open air dining right across from the ocean- pretty awesome!

Paia Fish Market– We ordered the shrimp & chips and fish tacos.  The fish was Mahi Mahi, perfectly seasoned and delicious.  It isn’t fancy, just tasty food and good-sized portions.  We loved the outdoor seating- covered picnic tables with a breeze off the ocean, which was right across the street.

Cafe Des Amis– This restaurant is in Paia town.  (We visited here during our stay in Kihei, hence why I am including it in this section).  It is one of my must go to’s!  I am obsessed with their shrimp and coconut rice curry wrap.  It is seriously to die for!  They have the cutest little patio to sit on.  If you make a trip to Paia I can’t say enough about the yummy food here! (If you end up making a trip to Paia Town, The Flatbread Company is super tasty as well with delicious, organic and local ingredients on their pizzas!)

Roadside Patio at the Kihei Cafe
Roadside Patio at the Kihei Cafe
Acai Bowls- I could eat these everyday!
Acai Bowls- I could eat these every day! (and almost did…)
Local Boys- Our favourite stop for Shave Ice
Local Boys- Our favourite stop for Shave Ice
Breakfast at the Kihei Cafe
Breakfast at the Kihei Cafe
S&Q for Acai bowls
S&Q for Acai bowls- I tried them all

Beaches:

Charley Young– This was the beach we spent the most of our two weeks at.  It was walking distance from our condo and the ocean was picturesque so we really didn’t feel the need to venture far from it! It was more of a local beach so it didn’t seem as busy as some of the others.  Essentially along South Kihei Road there is a long stretch of sand which is divided into Kama’ole Beaches I, II and III, with Charley Young at the North end of Kama’ole I.

Kama’ole I, Kama’ole II, Kama’ole III– We spent a day at each of these beaches.  They are all beautiful.  As I mentioned above, they are one long stretch of sand divided by rocky points.  You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Makena (Big Beach)– This beach is beautiful and we enjoyed playing in the sand, but the waves were way too big to play in with my boys and the current was crazy strong.  So from a scenic point of view it is worth a visit, the stretch of sand is huge.  We got a kick out of watching the boogie boarders, but I personally wouldn’t recommend swimming at this beach.  Not during the time we visited anyways.

Playing at Kama'ole Beach with my littlest babe
Playing at Kama’ole Beach with my littlest babe
Can't get enough of the gorgeous Maui sunsets!
Can’t get enough of the gorgeous Maui sunsets!
Running from the waves at Charley Young beach
Running from the waves at Charley Young beach
Turtles swimming by to say hello!
Turtles swimming by to say hello!
Juggling my babes at the beach!
Juggling my babes at the beach!

Activities:

Paia Town– A really colourful, cool little surf town with lots of interesting shops, restaurants and galleries to wander through.  On our way to Paia, we stopped at Ho’okipa Beach Park to watch the surfers, windsurfers and to check out all of the turtles resting up on the sand.

Road to Hana– (this isn’t an activity to do in Kihei, just an adventure my husband and I took during this time).  Plan an entire day if you want to do this drive.  The drive has many curves (over 600) and many are hairpin.  The one lane bridges are a little nerve-racking, but the scenery is absolutely stunning.  We grabbed coffees and my favourite curry wraps from Cafe Des Amis (as mentioned above) for the drive.  If swimming in picturesque waterfalls is something you like to do then I definitely recommend this trip!

Mahina– Go shopping! This is my favourite little boutique in Maui.  There are four locations: Paia, Lahaina, Wailea and lucky for me, walking distance from our condo in Kihei (and half a block from Starbucks.. yet another bonus.. lol!) I actually visited all the locations on this trip and came home with so many cute things.  They have the most affordable, stylish fun clothing and accessories!

Paia surfboard wall
Paia surfboard wall
Turtles resting on the sand at Ho'okipa Beach Park
Turtles resting on the sand at Ho’okipa Beach Park
Swimming at Ching's Pond on the Road to Hana
Swimming at Ching’s Pond on the Road to Hana
Driving the Road to Hana
Driving the Road to Hana
And of course my favourite thing to do in Maui is play in the sand & ocean with my boys!
And of course my favourite thing to do in Maui is play in the sand & ocean with my boys!

I am already planning our next trip back to Maui!  It is honestly one of my favourite places to visit and a wonderful destination to vacation with children!  My boys both loved playing in the sand and ocean and I loved seeing the sheer joy on their faces, and how they would squeal with delight as we ran away from the waves. Travelling with kids is a lot of work, but in my opinion totally worth the effort!  I love experiencing new things through their eyes!  If you have any recommendations for me for future trips, I would love to hear them in the comments below 🙂

Thank you for reading!

Shannon xx

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