Advent Calendars 2016 – Beauty Edition

Hey folks, I couldn’t believe how many Advent Calendars I found when I started doing the post so I had to break it into two posts.

First off is the only non-beauty one I could find, the David’s Tea 24 Days of Tea. This one is also super popular and usually sells out within a couple of days of being release but was still available on the website at publishing time so act fast if you want one.

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Image courtesy of David’sTea.com

If you do happen to miss this one, they do some samplers of six-to-twelve teas in fun holiday-shaped boxes that would make a good substitute. Check out the selection here.

Hudson’s Bay has a few beauty advent calendars available. They are all gorgeous with deluxe-sized samples of products from each brand:

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Lancome 24 Beauty Wishes Advent Calendar, $199 CAD, Image courtesy of TheBay.com

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L’Occitane Limited Edition Advent Calendar, $59 CAD, Image courtesy of TheBay.com 

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Estee Lauder Holiday Countdown Cosmetic set, $310 CAD, Image courtesy of TheBay.com 

The Body Shop has two Advent Calendars this year. Each has 24 products so I’m assuming the price difference has to do with a combination of quality/quantity of product in the higher-priced calendar. Since I was too lazy to read the contents and compare them (I also don’t know that much about The Body Shop product range as I don’t shop there), you can click the links below and compare for yourself. 🙂

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The Beauty Advent Calendar, $99 CAD, Image courtesy of TheBodyShop.ca

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The Ultimate Beauty Advent Calendar, $169 CAD, Image courtesy of TheBodyShop.ca

To finish this round up, Shoppers Drug Mart also has two Advent Calendars:

 

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ArtDeco Advent Calendar, $86 CAD, Image courtesy of BeautyBoutique.ca (out of stock online but I’ve seen them in a couple of different SDMs around Winnipeg)

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NYX Wanderlust Advent Calendar, $75 CAD, Image courtesy of NYXCosmetics.ca

Sephora had a tons of gift sets but I didn’t feature any as they weren’t specifically Advent Calendars. There is lots of beautiful stuff, so feel free to peruse here.

I’m sure I’ve missed some so feel free to let me know what other, non-chocolate advent calendars you’ve found in the comments. Happy Shopping!

Totally Random Friday – Nov 6

Hey folks! Sorry for the lack of Fashion Friday again this week but it’s been raining for almost two weeks straight which is unheard of here in the Prairies. Everywhere you go someone is commenting on how we’re having Vancouver weather, all rainy and gray. I’m still working out how I’m going to do Fashion Fridays in the winter as -30 isn’t exactly conducive to wearing cute outfits but I’ll figure something out.

So, a couple of fun things this week:

It seems to be some kind of toy sale conspiracy this weekend here in Winnipeg. Mastermind Toys is opening their first Winnipeg location on Kenaston and mailed out a 25% off coupon for any purchases made this weekend. The Disney Store is also having a 25% off sale this weekend. Print this coupon or show it to the cashier on your mobile device. Chapters is having 25% off Friends and Family event (instore only and it looks like you must print the coupon). Toys R Us has launched their Big Holiday Toy Book with many top Christmas toys discounted. Even Sears has offered a large selection of toys from 15 – 40% off. Retailers know that parents are starting to look at buying Christmas presents and are eager to get a piece of that action.

My niece came to Bring Your Kid to Work Day this week. Of course i wanted her to get the full experience of what it’s like to work, so we went to Starbucks at lunch and got our red cups.

 

Both Teavana and David’s Tea unveiled their holiday collections. I picked up Snow Day and Mulled Wine in cute 50g tins from David’s Tea.

 

And lots of Joy tea from Teavana in this beautiful limited edition holiday tin.

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Inside Out was released this week. If you haven’t seen this latest Pixar movie, you should definitely put it on your list. While it was a little above my toddler’s head, she enjoyed it and there were so many jokes aimed at adults, I can guarantee you’ll chuckle at least a few times. I bought one copy for our house and one for another niece having a birthday soon.

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What did you get up to this week? I’d love to hear about it. Happy Shopping!

2015 Advent Calendars

Hey folks! How was your Halloween? Ours was so great. Since Daughter is now 3, she actually understands what trick-or-treating is all about. We went out with another mom and daughter. The other toddler was 2 and kept trying to eat the candy while we were walking around. Needless to say, they were both adorable.

November seems to signal the beginning of the Christmas season. Decorations have been lurking in the corners of stores for a week or two already, hidden slightly behind the Halloween decorations. Now they are front and centre or were being unpacked by staff. I went shopping yesterday and was surprised/impressed by the quick change over that stores were making into the biggest holiday season of the year.

I have been debating getting Daughter an advent calendar over the last couple of years. It seems fun to have something she would be able to open each day to count down to Christmas. However, being that she is still small, I haven’t been crazy about feeding her a chocolate every day. Yesterday I found several non-chocolate advent calendars and thought I would share them with you.

  1. First of all is the coveted Lego advent calendars. I saw both the Lego City and Lego Friends calendars and Google assures me there is also a Lego Star Wars one out there too although I haven’t seen it with my own eyes. (ToysRUs.ca, $39.99 for Friends and City, $49.99 for Star Wars)LegoFriendsAC LegoCityAD
  2.  Playmobil advent calendars seem to be as equally popular and hard to find as the Lego ones once the season gets underway. Toys R Us has five sets: Christmas Room; Santa’s Workshop; Fire Rescue Operation: Unicorn Fairyland; and Playmobil 1.2.3 Advent Calendar. (ToysRUs.ca, $29.99)PlaymobilGirlACPlaymobilAD
  3. I had no idea that Play-Doh did advent calendars until I found this one yesterday. It comes with five small cans of Play-Doh and several stampers and cutters and lots of other small items needed to make Christmas cookie-like shapes and patterns. Super cute! (ToysRUs.ca, $21.99)PlayDohAC
  4. Not to be out-done, Mega Bloks makes an advent calendar as well. This year, the theme is Minions/Despicable Me. It doesn’t seem to be based on one particular movie or theme but just randomly mixing Minions and Christmas. Which I’m sure will be fine for the Minion-maniac in your house. (ToysRUs.ca, $39.99)DespicableMeAD
  5. The last toy one, the Little People advent calendar, was the one I was most interested in for Daughter. It seems to be the only one specifically geared towards toddlers. And while it is super cute, it doesn’t seem to coordinate with any of the other sets that you can buy regularly, which is a bummer in my opinion. (ToysRUs.ca, $49.99)LittlePeopleAC
  6. If you aren’t interested in giving your kids a bunch of stuff to countdown to the holidays, you might like this one by Melissa and Doug. The sturdy wood Christmas cutout allows you place the ornament of your choice on each day until you have a fully decorated tree on Christmas. (Chapters, $24.99)MelissaandDougAC
  7. And no Advent Calendar list would be complete without mentioning the David’s Tea advent calendar. This 24 piece tea gift has cute, gold tins hidden behind each door. Each tin holds enough tea for 2 cups and includes both seasonal and everyday teas such as Snow Day, Hot Chocolate, Cardamom French Toast, Mulled Wine, Sweet Almond Green, Santa’s Secret, Sleigh Ride, and Gingerbread Cookie. This one does sell out quickly so if you are thinking about buying it, I would get your hands on one soon. (DavidsTea.ca, $40)DavidsTeaAC

Those are the ones I felt were worth mentioning here. I know there are also some makeup ones but there either wasn’t enough information on them at this point or you couldn’t buy them in Canada yet. (Head over to see Julie’s sneak peeks of some at Swatch and Review). Starbucks has one (and it is gorgeous) but it’s filled with just chocolate, so I didn’t include it.

Any other that I missed? Leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

Totally Random Friday – Jan 9th

Hi! Did you miss me? I missed you. Had a great Christmas but now on the other side, it really hits me how truly crazy the season is. Shopping, wrapping, preparing food, remembering other people you should have added to your list, shopping again, wrapping more, eating food, shopping again, even more wrapping and attending parties. So much fun but I’m glad it’s only once per year!

January is one of my favourite months since it’s my birthday month! I am definitely one of those people who celebrate their birthdays for about a week or so. This year, I am super excited because my husband and I are headed (with my SIL and her husband) to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!! I am so pumped! It’s supposedly to celebrate my husband’s birthday (he’s turning 35 and never been on a hot vacation) but we leave the day after my birthday so…. it’s really my our birthday present. Well, on to the randomness!

1. David’s Tea has launched a new line for the new year and I’m really excited to try a bunch of the flavours.

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I’m all about black teas (except Earl Grey – bleh!) and fruity teas so this collection definitely speaks to me.

2. Courtney from La Belle Sirene shared on her Instagram that Target is having a spring collab with Lilly Pulitzer.

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Lilly Pulitzer founded her namesake line in sunny Palm Beach, Fla., in 1959, introducing a new genre of fashion – American resort wear – that to this day celebrates bold individuality and encourages women everywhere to embrace colour and fearlessness in every area of their lives.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target features 15 lively and modern prints inspired by archival artwork across 250 items, including apparel, shoes and accessories for women and girls, home goods and cosmetics. The collection ranges in price from $2-$150, and will be available exclusively at all Target stores in the U.S. and Canada beginning April 19.

Looking forward to the sneak peeks of what I’m sure will be a very interesting collection!

3. Banana Republic has come out with a new line of denim for 2015:

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The four different fits come in a variety of washes and colours with the Skinny Ankle, Skinny and Legging styles in mid-rise and the Boyfriend style in low-rise. They range in price from $110 – 124. I’ll probably try these on next time I’m in BR but they don’t seem earth shattering enough for me to run-down-there-this-instance. I’ll let you know what I think.

4. And finally, I want to leave you with some pics from my Instagram (in case you don’t follow me) 

 

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How was your Christmas? Happy Shopping!

Starbucks verismo milk frother review

So, as you may recall from my Top 5 post, I really wanted the Starbucks Verismo milk frother for Christmas. At $69 plus taxes it seems a little pricey for something that does nothing but heat milk. Let me tell you, if you froth milk or drink lattes on any sort of regular basis, you need this gadget. I love mine!

20140107-142553.jpgFirst of all, it is super easy to use. There’s a min line and two max lines, depending on whether you are using the frother tool or not. The min line is about 4ozs of milk, the max frother tool line is about 6ozs and the max fill line for without the frother tool is about 8ozs.

I’ll show you how I make a tea latte, exactly like the one at Starbucks.

 

20140107-142543.jpgFirst, boil water and add tea bag to your cup and add sugar to taste. I add just under a teaspoon but milk takes a bit to sweeten so you may need to add more. Add boiling water to mug, just under half full. Let this steep while you froth the milk. Yes, you could do the steps simultaneously but the tea doesn’t steep as well once the milk is added so I like to let it steep for awhile just in the water.

 

 

 

20140107-142602.jpgNext, pour milk into the frother to the max frother tool line, put the lid on, put on the base and press the button. It’s really that simple. I don’t like a lot of foam so I don’t put the frother tool on. There would be a lot more foam if you did.

 

 

 

 

It takes just over two mins to heat – when the red light goes off the milk is ready and then you can pour the milk right into the mug. Ta-da! Delicious tea lattes so easy to make and no trip to Starbucks needed.

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Since Christmas Eve I have probably used the machine at least twice per day and it has worked great every time. And after each use, I just rinse it out and leave it upside down to dry. Sometimes I have to use a scrub brush to get it completely clean. Be sure not to immerse it in water.

What’s your favourite drink at Starbucks? Would you be able to use the frother at home to make it? Leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!