Making Food Fun · Mom Life · Real Talk

Countdown to Back to School: My Tips To Get Ready and Be Prepared

Summer 2023 has flown by, and we are knocking on the doorstep of the next school year yet again. This isn’t a post to convince you of all the fancy new things you need to buy, because truth be told, none of it really matters. This is meant to show you all the ways that you can prepare you, your child, and your child’s teacher for success this year and beyond. Please note the following suggestions come from my experience as a parent of neurotypical children, and may not be realistic or applicable to neurodivergent children with more complex needs. Consider this a starting off point to build on.

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Home and Design · Real Talk · Review

Product Review – Coulee Outdoor

This Spring, Mr Bows and Bentos and I were discussing landscaping ideas for our yard. We knew we wanted more planter boxes, some trees, gravel & paving stones down one side of our house – and he also pitched the idea of a fire pit. He grew up in the country surrounded by space and animals and a relax by the campfire at night was something he was accustomed to. Me? I’m a city girl and admittedly, I wasn’t interested at all.

  • I hate the smell of campfire smoke (which permeates every hair and piece of clothing on your body and means constant laundry on my to-do list)
  • Fire pits can be expensive and take up so much space in your yard (we live in an urban area and our yard isn’t huge by any means)
  • I didn’t want to commit to one spot for a fire pit (a firepit is usually permanent and it is so windy here, how can we know we picked the right spot)?
  • Obtaining and storing firewood is one salty pain in the arse (I don’t even know where to buy firewood, embarrassingly enough).

I suggested potentially looking into a natural gas firepit (you know, once of those Costco ones you can put on your deck?) – my husband told me those are ridiculous and not even real fires so he’d rather not even have one, than have one of those. The logic of a country boy….you know. We agreed to shelve the idea for a bit and think about it while we assessed the budget and considered if we wanted to make this work.

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Christmas · Gift Guide · Holiday Shopping · Holiday Traditions

BIGGEST Black Friday Sales You Need To Know About

Mini history lesson before I get started. Did you know that the term “Black Friday” has for years been synonymous with mayhem at stores, and its origin story has roots in turbulence?

Black Friday began in Philadelphia in the 1960’s. Tourists would descend on the city on the day between Thanksgiving and the annual Army-Navy football game held on Saturday. Historians say the Philadelphia police took to calling the day Black Friday because officers had to work long hours and deal with terrible traffic, bad weather and other crowd-related miseries.

Local retailers wanted to draw in shoppers that day. But they disliked the term because of the connotation of the word “black” in front of a day of the week, which historically has been used to mark unpleasant events. One was Black Tuesday, the day of the stock market crash of 1929, and another, Black Monday, the day in 1987 when the market lost more, on a percentage basis, than on any day in 1929. Retailers tried to rebrand the holiday “Big Friday” but were unsuccessful. Businesses later reclaimed the name Black Friday, saying that the day was when stores’ books went from red ink to black.

Retailers have tried more recently to spread the shopping frenzy across multiple days after a succession of injuries and even deaths as shoppers surged into stores in a blind rush for the day’s bargains. And because the holiday shopping season has become so important to retailers’ bottom lines, there is now Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving that is being marketed as a day for online shopping, and Small Business Saturday, which encourages people to shop at local businesses.

Now, let’s be honest – Black Friday is now more like a whole season than a single day. Countless brands compete for your attention with flashy offers and extended deals. To help you navigate the consumerist free-for-all, I’ve compiled some of the biggest Black Friday deals from major brands in Canada.

Note that this information is subject to change as stocks deplete and offers expire. In some cases, brands are staying tight-lipped about the extent of their Black Friday sales and, at the time of writing, are only offering sneak peeks and previews. So these deals could become more extensive, too. Check back for updates.

This blog uses affiliate links; when you click a link and make a purchase, I may earn commission. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Here’s what I’ve found so far:
  • Chapters Indigo – Save big (30-60% off) across almost all categories! Stocking stuffers, books, holiday decor, the hottest toys of the season, and more! 
  • Gap Canada (and) Gap USA – 60% off the *entire* website. Holiday outfits, stocking stuffers, or even the basics. Great time to stock up!
  • Amazon Canada – I have curated all the top categories into handy lists, and am updating in real time. New deals drop every hour so check back often
  • Amazon USA – I have curated all the top categories into handy lists, and am updating in real time. New deals drop every hour so check back often

  • Ruggable – All the rugs in my home are Ruggable, and I love that I can wash them. We can surely expect a big sale from them, so keep your eyes peeled. I bought this Christmas rug in a 5×7 for my front entry and I LOVE it!
  • – One of my FAVE online stores. They carry everything from fashion, to medications, to the HOTTEST toys of the season, to children’s shoes, and so much more. Their Black Friday sales went live this morning and items are marked down up to 75% and priced to sell!
  • Sephora Canada and Sephora USA – The makeup/beauty/fragrance giant we all know and love has dropped their cyber week sales and there are over 1,000 items marked down. Great time to take a peek.
  • Coulee Outdoor – Coulee Outdoor has created the most versatile smokeless fire pits, right here in Alberta, made to last a lifetime. With the unique ability to burn wood pellets along with traditional firewood, these smokeless fire pits are a must for every backyard, campsite, and cabin. Some HOT bundles deals live now and code BOWS20 saves you an additional 20% off your order.

  • Columbia Sportswear Canada (and) USA – One of the biggest outerwear sales of the entire year. The store is 25% off at least, with most jackets marked down at least 50% off. Growing kiddos and cold temperatures are my current reality, so this is really timely. 
  • Torrid – Featuring fashion for women size 10-30, this is one of my favourite shops at the moment. Best part is they currently have 60% off the entire store!!!
  • Lululemon – In preparation for the busy holiday season, Lululemon has marked down a TON of their inventory. Starting at just $9, there is something for everyone on your list (or just yourself, because you’re also a gift).


I’m going to be keeping this Black Friday blog updated with all the best prices and deals as they go live, so keep checking back to see what’s new.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting me and my family xo

Amazon Prime Day · Christmas · Gift Guide · Holiday Shopping

*HOT* Prime Early Access Sale + My Top Picks

Amazon Prime Day is back….sort of.

        While traditionally Amazon’s biggest shopping day lands in the middle of July, this year they introduced a second one slated for October 11 + 12th (tomorrow!) for folks to get a head start on holiday shopping and save big on the season’s hottest items. I suspect this is also to alleviate some of the shipping delays and supply chain issues we’ve seen recently. It can be really tricky to discern what is actually a good deal these days, so I wanted to share with you my best tips for ensuring you don’t overpay. Make a list, check it twice, then dive in below to see what I’ve curated as the best prices of the season.

Are Prime Early Access Deals Only for Prime Members?

Officially, yes. You must be an Amazon Prime member to shop Amazon’s Prime Day and Prime Early Access deals. There is a free 30-day trial available for new accounts. The trial will let you get in on the sale—just remember to cancel your membership before the month end to avoid any subsequent renewal charges. The best deals are reserved for Prime members, so taking advantage of the free trial is absolutely worth it.

Please note: as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. This allows me to maintain my ad-free website and dedicate most of my time to showcasing small businesses across North America.

From home, to fashion, to baby items, to toys and tech – there are HUGE price drops live now and so much more coming. I’ll be updating in real time as the sales go live, so check back to these links often! 

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Digital Files · Making Food Fun

Introducing: bento box planners, lunchbox notes, and more!

Hey, friends. Thanks so much for signing up for my email list – you’ll get the news first! I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been asked to create a bento box planner, or lunchbox notes, or the dozen other ideas I now have running through my brain. Finally this summer, I asked my best friend Jess (@theoakvillage) to collaborate with me to create some really functional printables for you. Jess is a kindergarten teacher and a digital artist, and with four kids between the two of us, we have packed a few lunch boxes and written a few lunch notes in our time and wanted to combine our skills to bring you these back to school printables. NOW LIVE!

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Real Talk · Review

An Expensive Mistake and a Storybook Ending – Our Exterior Lighting Journey

Beautiful LED exterior lighting done by Gemstone Lights

This is a story about an expensive mistake, the guilt of being crushed by a “first world problem”, the incredible service of a local company, and a storybook ending for me. This is NOT a thinly veiled attempt at getting you to invest in what I did – it’s a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson so no one else makes the same mistake I did. This blog is exactly what I needed a few years ago and couldn’t find, so while this may be long-winded, I’ve truly written this so anyone else who finds themselves in the position I did is empowered to ask the questions I didn’t and feel informed moving forward.

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Making Food Fun

Fresh *New* Recipes


Good morning my fine feathered friends on this little corner of the internet ! The world is more than a little heavy right now, isn’t it? I truly just wanted to thank you all for being here with me. Following along, cheering on my sweet little family, and sharing in our lives. I wanted to send along quick little update (now that we are all generally healthy and back to school, work, and normal life) and that includes new recipes!

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Health and Wellness · Review

The REAL Truth – My Laser Hair Removal Experience

Let me just start off this blog post by saying if body hair, buttholes, or reading about getting one’s labia zapped offends you, this is your best opportunity to exit stage left and not read what I am about to share. I’m going to assume you found this blog because you are also interested in getting laser hair removal and in order to make an informed decision, you need to know it ALL – and that’s what I’ve got for you.

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Health and Wellness · Mom Life · Real Talk · Review

Product Review: Só Luxury

If you’ve been here for a hot minute, you’ll know just how much I love Só Luxury products. Not only are they a female owned local small company, but their products legitimately work. Living in the Prairies, the dry air is a sensitive skinned person’s nightmare and Só Luxury is one of the only brands that I can use without reacting to. My daughters also have dry skin and patches of eczema and this is all I use on them too. I thought it would be helpful to share what Só Luxury products we use the most around here, how they work, why I love them, and why you should love them too. Please note all opinions are honest and my own.

Read to the end of this blog post for an exclusive coupon code!

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Gift Guide · Holiday Traditions

My Easter 2021 Gift Guide

If you have found yourself in a pinch while mindfully choosing your Easter Basket gifts this year and don’t want to add one more chocolate Easter bunny to your household, you’ve come to the right place. Here, I’m going to share the absolute best Easter gifts for kids (and adults!) — gifts they’ll actually love and use all year – and the focus will be predominately on small Canadian shops. My roundup includes everything from cute craft ideas, to outdoor fun, to bigger-ticket, splurge-worthy items. Kids and toddlers alike will love each of our picks! Lastly, I’ll share some great ideas for adults if you have one to gift to this year (you count too!)

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