Holiday Shopping with GROUPON

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
The tree is up, the house is decorated, baking has begun, stockings are hung by the chimney with care… now we need to finish the gift shopping.

Sometimes it can be so stressful trying to find that ‘perfect’ gift, while also keeping a budget in mind. We know we can’t be alone on this. It can become frustrating (and tiresome!) walking through the mall, store after store, driving here and driving there. If you’re anything like me, I go on the hope that something will jump out at me and it will magically be that most awesome gift! That strategy barely works for me. Ever.

This year Natasha and I decided to do some searching online for different and original gift ideas. Special gifts. We came across GROUPON online (after hearing about it for years from friends and family!) and it has completely changed our life! Okay… perhaps a little extreme. It has taken the stress out of gift shopping and really has added excitement to our ultimate shopping experience this season. Plus we get giddy at the deals we got while shopping some unbelievable, unique and special finds. Seriously, seriously giddy! 

The hardest part about shopping on Groupon is you keep finding fabulous finds for yourself!! It’s hard to stay focused on the task at hand.  Must. buy. for. loved. ones. Must buy for loved ones. Must buy… 😉

Here are some of the amazing gifts we found!…

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4 pairs of Crystal Earrings by Swarovski – $19.99 (Cdn) 

pjsSupersoft Sleepshirt by Victoria’s Secret – $29.99 reg $52 (Cdn)

mkSignature Wristlet by Michael Kors – $51.09 reg $68.11 (Cdn)

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Smartphone Battery Stick by Mota – $8.99 reg $49.99 (Cdn) / Stocking stuffer!

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Whistler Snowmobile Tour – $159 reg $318 (Cdn) / Perfect gift for him!

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24K Gold Plated Playing Cards – $19.99 reg $50 (Cdn) / For that game enthusiast.

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Auto Hair Curler by Proliss – $69.99 reg $200 (Cdn)

If you are going out to do your Christmas shopping in person this year, be sure to check for some fantastic coupons/offers from Groupon Coupons. They offer coupons from hundreds of fantastic stores. Online and in store. 

Have you ever shopped with Groupon Coupons? Let us know!

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Laura & Natasha xo

 

Scrunchies Saving Animals: EZZY LYNN

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What do you get when you mix original designed scrunchies with saving animals worldwide? You get Ezzy Lynn. An amazing socially minded fashion company started last year by 3 young women entrepreneurs in Toronto, Canada. Being the huge animal lovers we are, their story and business really caught our attention.

They create their scrunchies from repurposed vegan material from local Goodwill outlets in Toronto. But the best part is when you purchase a scrunchie, a portion of the proceeds from the sale will be used to adopt an animal of your choice through the WWF-Canada Species Adoption Program. To date, Ezzy Lynn has adopted a total of 76 animals worldwide

There are so many scrunchies and animals to choose from which makes it even more difficult to make a decision, (That’s when you have to start thinking of multiple scrunchies!). Each scrunchie represents a different animal and they only make 10 of each scrunchie.

This particular scrunchie that we photographed is in support of adopting a Red Wolf. Red Wolves are in risk of extinction due to the reduction of habitat as a result of increased agricultural land.

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I had my 9 year old niece, Larissa, spend the night with us a couple of nights ago. She always wears hair goodies so I knew she would absolutely love the new scrunchie! Natasha and I took her to the park by our house to do an ‘official photo shoot’. It was the perfect hot summer day, at a great (‘happenin’) kids water park which features a huge wall, painted with a fun sea mural on it. Our perfect back drop for Natasha to work her photography magic with our pretty l’il model.

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Doesn’t her hair look absolutely adorable with the Red Wolf Scrunchie? We think so!

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Click here to visit Ezzy Lynn’s site to browse & shop all of the scrunchies & apparel sets available. Support Canadian fashion while helping to save endangered animals worldwide. 

Connect with Ezzy Lynn Online: Shop Online, FacebookTwitter, Instagram

Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura, photos by Natasha)

Introducing Mr. Gatsby

IMG_1740gWe have been dying to introduce our new baby to you guys!

We have a new addition to our family… an 8 month old fur baby kitten. His name is Gatsby. Mr Gatsby. He used to be called ‘Shadow’. We quickly changed that. Like Natasha said, if we’re the ones that are gonna be taking care of this cat for like the next 20 years or so, then we’re gonna call him what we want. Bam!

I agreed. Does he really know his name at 8 months anyway? I mean really? Does he? He’ll learn his new name soon enough cause that’s all we’ve been calling him. ‘Hey Gatsby! Mr Gats! Gatsber! Gatsby The Catsby!’ Treats work wonders. He comes every single time. He’s brilliant I tell ya.

We’ve had him since the beginning of February so we’ve all been doing the ‘bonding’ thing. You know, getting to know one another, and learning his weird ‘cat like’ behaviors. Very peculiar animals aren’t they? We have never had a cat before. Ever. Don’t think I’ve even held a cat in my life.
We lost our beloved 14 year old yorkie-poo dog, Zeusie, a year ago and we were devastated.  We knew we weren’t ready to bring home another dog.

So we talked about possibly adopting a cat… someday. Go figure. A cat. We’re totally ‘dog’ people ya know what I mean? We did a lot of talking about it yet never really making any affirmative actions to follow through. Lots of internet searching, talkin’, debating and some more searching. Repeat.

Then, this cat appears in our lives. Needs a home. Next thing you know I am driving home with this cat sitting in his carrier staring at me. We’ve adopted him.
Natasha and I were pretty freaked out when we brought him in the door for the first time. We opened his carrier door and the 3 of us stood there just looking at each other. Him frightened of us and us of him.

It’s been a adjustment for myself, Nicholas (my son) and Natasha. And for little Gatsby too no doubt. It’s been almost 3 months since the cat King has moved in with us and I have to admit, we’re all kinda loving it. We’ve totally fallen in love with this guy for real.

Cats are a strange breed for sure but we’re starting to understand his temperament and personality more and more as the days go by. It doesn’t freak us out as much anymore when he suddenly sprints across the room, jumps from table to table, flies across the window sills etc. I have long since removed the rolls upon rolls of tin foil I had taped to all of my kitchen counters and table. And the baking sheets on the kitchen sink. All the training your cat tips I read online on how to keep your cat off the counters and tables. Uhhh. It doesn’t work folks. Here’s a tip… save your tin foil for cooking.
Mr. Gatsby is like not one bit scared of the tin foil or pans. All that did was inconvenience the 3 of us humans. Now we just lift him down whenever we do see him on the counter tops. Oddly enough he has seemed to learn where he is allowed to sit/perch in order to watch us when we are in the kitchen. Like I said, I think we’re raising a genius cat. Just sayin’.

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Mr. Gatsby is full of personality. Big time. He makes us laugh, out loud, constantly. He actually plays Hide n Seek with Natasha. I’m not kidding. When he insists on play time, specifically, Hide n Seek, he will literally hide somewhere and do this most annoying whining which translates to ‘Come find meeee!’  When you find him he literally squeals like a little piggy, does a spin and runs past you encouraging you to chase him. Then if you hide, he goes into cat-like crawl mode and slinks slowly around the corners until he finds you. When he does, we yell Boo! and he can’t stand it. He jumps around like a crazy cat. It’s like the greatest thing since cat nip to him I’m sure.

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Cat in a bag.                                                                         Cat in a box

This guy loves when we get parcels. Now we leave random boxes and brown package paper scattered around the living room. It’s like a little cat amusement park in our house. We continually recycle the old worn out boxes for brand new freshly delivered ones. He can’t get enough. My house has become a cat play ground… anything for The Great Gatsby. We have become wrapped around his adorable little paws. Awwww. 

We never knew just how much fun a cat can be. Seriously. We’re shocked and more than happy we made that choice to bring him into our home and family.

We are lovin’ our new family member and totally encourage anyone considering cat/dog adoption to do so. There are so many animals out there in shelters just waiting to find a forever loving home. As much love that you can bring into the animal’s life, they give it back to you ten fold. They love you unconditionally. Sooo awesome. Added bonus, pets reduce your stress/blood pressure.

You guys have any cat tips you can share with us? Like what about bringing our cat outdoors? On a leash? We have read and talked to so many people about keeping a cat indoors, which we totally get. We want him to be safe, but we also feel guilty when we see him gazing out the windows like he’s in prison. The thought of him NEVER being allowed outside to smell fresh air and grass, well, kinda makes me sad. Any tips from other cat lovers would be sooooo welcome!!

Check out the website for British Columbia SPCA,they have so much information. Even if you can’t adopt a fur baby there are so many other ways to help. Donations, volunteering, sponsoring are just a few of the ways you can lend a hand. Even the littlest things are much appreciated.

Check out the local SPCA where you live! And remember to get your pets spayed/neutered.

Laura & Natasha xo

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Everyone!
We thought we would post some of our photos from the holidays before we get completely engulfed in the New Year. We took a little time from regular blogging during the holidays and enjoyed more time spent with family and friends. We have to say it was really great!
December is always a busy month for everyone, so much to do crammed into 30 short days. Sometimes you get so wrapped up focusing on the ‘big day’ that you forget to take in all of the special Holiday moments that are quickly whizzing by. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but that’s one of the things I’ve been learning to do more of… living in the moment and appreciating the little things in life. It’s not that easy to always do you know? Just give it a try. At the end of every day, before you go to sleep, think of one thing that day that you are grateful for. It’s great ending the day on a positive thought.

IMG_9686gWe absolutely love this Vancouver radio station, 103.5 during the holidays. It plays nothing but Christmas songs 24/7 for the whole month. Not everyone’s cup of tea but we can’t get enough of it! All of our radios/clock radios in the house (and car) are permanently set on this station for December. Funny thing is on Christmas Day we were playing board games listening to the station and at exactly 12am midnight that night and not one second past (technically Boxing day) they stopped playing Christmas songs! It was back to their regular soft rock playlist.

IMG_9660gThe stockings were hung… uh, placed by the chimney with care. Okay I couldn’t hang them, they were way too heavy. This year our family decided not to do a ‘gift’ exchange between the adults, opting to donate money to a charity instead. However, my parents are forever extremely giving to myself and my kids that I wanted to at least fill a stocking for each of them. The 2 stockings on the right are handmade stockings for both of my kids. Grown kids no less but since the ‘Big Guy in the Red Suit’ doesn’t fill them anymore, I still do. The stocking was always my favourite part of Christmas morning. So I love to carry on the tradition.  I made Nicholas’ stocking over 20 years ago and my mom made Natasha’s. We used to cross stitch a lot back then and these 2 stockings have always held many special memories of Christmas’ gone by.

IMG_9651g2Christmas morning.

decorIMG_9658gThe past couple of years I’ve decorated with a purple and gold theme. Instead of changing the whole theme this year I decided to add some new ornaments to the tree and decor. I bought these gold poinsettia beauties and sparkling gold branches from Micheal’s Craft Store. They had this crazy big sale a few weeks before Christmas and all of their Christmas decor was 50-70% off. Score!

IMG_965g7rAnd then there were deer. Loving the deer decor this year. I discovered 2 fabulous gold deer ornaments for the mantel at Winners in November and that was it. Love at first site. (Take note of the previous pics of my mantel with the deer adorning the ledge.) All it took was finding these 2 new deer for my mantel, I then became my predictable obsessed self and had to ‘hunt’ for more deer ornaments everywhere I went. Not as available as one would think! Found these adorable little gold prancing deer at Canadian Tire! For all of you non-Canadian readers, it’s a popular hardware/a little bit of everything, not just tires store! I know… sounds weird doesn’t it?

IMG_9667tFirst photo of the day… Natasha posing by the tree!

IMG_97135Here are 2 of my favourite little peeps, aka niece & nephew. This is basically how they looked most of the evening on Christmas day. Completely entranced by their new Nintendo 3DS. Kids these days hey? 

gThis little cutie is the newest addition to our family.  More specifically, my parents new puppy. Three month old Bear aka The Bear. Like how cute is he right?!  Bear loved his first Christmas with our family. Toys and treats galore for our fur babies! Ooooh, what a face.

collageThe photo above right is me with my kids… Natasha and Nicholas at my parents on Christmas day.The photo bottom right is the game Jenga. Natasha always wanted it so I got it for her. We instantly became addicts and had a Jenga marathon Christmas evening and Boxing day. I’m not so good at it and Natasha claims she’s the ‘master’. Ahh. Yeah. Right. We’ll just see about that. Bring on the next marathon! Let’s do it! Anyone know of any winning tips out there? Let me know!

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IMG_9740gThis little lady is Mindy. My parents 4 year old Chihuahua. She likes getting new toys anytime but absolutely loves opening new toys at Christmas. She particularly enjoyed her new red stocking that squeaks and quickly became very protective of it. Mindy gets exhausted guarding it from that new Yorkie, The Bear. She really believes she’s the QUEEN and she finds him so terribly annoying. Aren’t dogs the cutest? They have little personalities, it kills me.

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Mr. Bear playing with one of his new Christmas presents.
Just stop it! So cute.

photo (21)Of course we can’t make it through too many posts without including some Makeup/product pics! Above are some of our current favourite Holiday products! ^

We hope everyone had the most magical holiday season and got to spend it with the special people in your life. Here’s to a completely awesome New Year ahead. May all of your hopes, wishes and dreams come true.

Check out some of the Holiday fun we had at the Vancouver Christmas Market here and some more Holiday fun here!

Laura & Natasha xo