Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Deals & Giving Back at the Body Shop

I love a good deal, I love giving back, I love giving people and hand-up and I love the Body Shop.

On Black Friday (that's this Friday), stop by your local Body Shop and pick up The Body Shop's tote bag filled with 8 customer favourites for only $30 (worth $120).  

The Tote contains:
  • The Body Shop Shea Body Butter
  • Strawberry Shower Gel
  • Vitamin E Moisture Cream
  • Camomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
  • Satsuma Body Polish
  • Satsuma Body Sorbet
  • Hemp Hand Protector 
  • A Bath Lily
What is great about this is that you can keep the tote or give it as a gift.  You can keep some of the products or group a few together for a great teacher or hostess gift.  This saves you money but it does something even better!

What makes this an extra awesome purchase is that The Body Shop Community Fair Trade partner, Teddy Exports, in India has produced the tote bags this year. Teddy Exports employs 70% female workers and provides them with a safe and friendly work environment. They also provide childcare and education for their children. Pretty awesome!

The Black Friday tote being made in India with the help of 2 employees from The Body Shop. 

Hurry in though. The tote bag is only available while supplies last. Race you there!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

#Win a Family Pass to "It's a Wonderful Life" at #Cineplex

It IS a wonderful life and it is wonderful to be able to share this classic film with your family.  I love watching old holiday classics.  This is a tradition with my dad.  So whether your family is you, a spouse and your kids, or you and 3 of your closest friends it doesn't matter.  The holidays are about spending time with those you love.

I have 2 sets of 4-passes to see a screening of "It's a Wonderful Life" at any Cineplex theatre across Canada.  The movie is playing December 20th, 22nd, and 24th.  You can pick which date to attend.

Go back in time with Donna Reed, Henry Travers, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell as they light up this film.  Enjoy remembering the first time you saw this angel help the compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.  A true holiday classic!

Enter below for your chance to win these tickets courtesy of Cineplex Front Row Centre Events.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to Holiday Shop & Spend No Money!

December is an expensive month in our house. Not only do we have Christmas but we also have my daughter's birthday. What does she want more than anything in the world this year? An American Girl doll. Now, I almost choke at the price but I also know that kids are growing up fast these days and the years are numbered before she's asking for a phone or the keys to the car so I'm holding onto this time tightly and relishing the fact that my baby girl (turning 10) wants a doll. That being said, as a savvy shopper, a frugal momma and someone who LOVES a great deal - I'm getting my daughter's American Girl doll for free! Yes, you read that correctly, FREE.

The best thing is, I didn't win it, I wasn't gifted it for the blog, it is something that anyone who is an RBC Rewards member can do too. This year I planned for the holidays by shopping for the things we needed all year long and putting them all on our RBC Visa card. This allowed me to accumulate RBC Rewards points. Now I'm taking advantage of my RBC Rewards points that I earned, to ease the financial burden of my holiday shopping.

Not only will I be able to get my daughter's birthday gift, I can get the teacher's gifts, hostess gifts, some holiday decorating done too and not spend a dime.  Here's a breakdown of my plan.

Teacher's Gifts: 

  • $25 Starbucks Gift Card  - 3000 points
  • $25 Indigo Gift Card - 3000 points

Hostess Gifts:

  • $25 Bath & BodyWorks Gift Card to purchase nice candles and soaps - 3000 points
  • $5 Me to We "Thank You" Cards - 6500 points

Babysitter's Gift:

  • $25 iTunes Gift Card - 3000 points

Daughter's Gift:

  • $120 American Girl Beforever Samantha Doll & Book - 17,000 points

Holiday Decorating:

  • $50 Homesense Card -  6000 points

Holiday Shopping Value = $275  vs. Money Spent = $0

Okay, so the iMac Retina (on my wish list) is not quite within my grasp yet but I can start growing my points now and maybe later this year I'll be able to log back into RBC Rewards and get it. 

Also, with over 100,000 items from Best Buy and Future Shop, as well as gift cards for over 40 popular retailers and access to merchandise from top brands and designers such as KitchenAid, Miele, Michael Kors, Pandora, Melissa & Doug, LEGO, Taylor Made and Calloway, I know I can find something for everyone on my list. Better yet, I can do it in my jammies in the evening after the kids have gone to bed which trust me, makes keeping the magic of "Santa" a lot easier as the kids get older. I love that I even earn bonus RBC Rewards points when I shop online through the RBC Rewards eMall (see, I’m building up for my iMac).

So savvy shoppers, here are some key things to remember to help you save money and create your holidays "on a dime":

Make Your List:

Check out the The RBC Rewards Holiday site to see their offers, special features and gift ideas.

Shop Early & Save:

Many of the retailers are offering early holiday shopping deals. This means that you redeem less points for these items which leaves you more points for other items on your wish list!

Take advantage of Black Friday:

Starting Black Friday (November 28) to Cyber Monday (December 1) the majority of retailers at the RBC Rewards eMall will be offering bonus points. This is key in allowing you to earn points faster which means more shopping later!

RBC Rewards Giveaway:

Throughout the holiday season RBC will be running a Not-So-Secret Santa Giveaway on Facebook. Comment on their post and tag a friend who would like the featured item for a chance to win. 3 people will be selected to win each item, plus the nominator of the winner will receive 5000 bonus RBC Rewards points!

Giveaway Dates & Items:
  • November 21 - KitchenAid Mixer
  • December 5 – DeWalt Drill & Saw
  • December 9 – GoPro4 bundle

As you all know, I love saving money and saving money at the holidays is even more exciting and important. RBC Rewards is MY holiday shopping destination, make it yours too!

This post was brought to you by RBC Rewards, but the opinions are my own.
For more information, please visit

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Candy Crush - Christmas Edition

I have a candy crush and it is especially rampant at this time of year. In my mind there is nothing better than a good old fashioned candy cane! They signal the start of the holiday season, family gatherings, and some delicious eating.

When I was little my family would hang candy canes on the tree. Of course my brother and I would always sneak a few throughout the season but at the when New Years came around and the tree was taken down there were always a few left.

Not being one who likes throwing out perfectly good food (you can ask my kids about that), I thought I'd put together a gallery of ideas for using or reusing these delightful holiday candies. Some use new Candy canes, some can use old leftover ones. All of them look fantastic! Link through under the photos for instructions.

Peppermint Mocha:

Mmmmm...the holidays are all about peppermint and chocolate, aren't they? Okay - in my mind I guess. This is the perfect drink to whip up when you come in from the cold. Got kids and don't want them drinking coffee, just omit it and make theirs a peppermint hot chocolate!

Image & Idea: A Night Owl Blog

Peppermint Reindeer:

These will put smiles on the faces of everyone who receives them. I love the built in antlers that the hooks on the candy canes create. Rudolph never looked so good!

Image & Idea: By Stephanie Lynn

Holiday Bark:

It doesn't get much easier than this! This is perfect for those broken canes that you inevitably end up with. They taste just as good and the finished product is perfect to give as a hostess or teacher gift.

Image & Idea: The Frugal Girls

I ️ Xmas Lollipops:

These look impressive and are great for a bake sale at the church or to stick onto a gift. Won't the kids love them at their next holiday party too! Show people your candy crush with these adorable lollipops!

Starbucks Inspired Peppermint Brownie Pops:

I know I'm not the only one who looks at Starbucks goodies and drools. Here's a way to use your leftover candy canes and make a dessert that is sure to wow any crowd. is really easy!

Image & Idea: &Sweet

Peppermint Candy Cane Milkshakes:

I live in the coldest place on earth (okay, not really but I hate the cold so it feels like that to me) but not everyone has cold Christmases. These peppermint milkshakes might be the perfect alternative to a cup of hot chocolate for those seeking refuge from the warmth (I'm so jealous).

Candy Cane Vases:

By adhering Candy canes to the outside of a low vase you create something bright, colourful and festive! A little red ribbon tied around the candy canes takes it from great to amazing!

Image & Idea: Ecopolitan Bride

This amazing version uses candy cane sticks and sandwiches them between the outer beautiful, decorative bowl and an inner bowl (doesn't have to be beautiful) so that it looks like the flowers are actually in with the candy canes but in reality your candy canes are safe from the effects of water.

Image & Idea: Pinky Girl

Holiday Name Holders:

You've made the perfect meal and set a beautiful table. You don't want to leave dinner conversation up to fate. Put together these adorable name holders and let the seating arrangements begin!

Image & Idea: Fun Holiday Crafts

Peppermint Pretzel Wands:

This is an amazing treat. Sweet and Salty!!!! YUM!!! It really couldn't be any simpler and if you have pretzel sticks on hand you can whip up a batch in minutes. Don't have pretzel sticks, substitute pretzels, Oreos, shortbread or biscotti. Mmmm...I'm getting hungry.

Peppermint Vodka:

Well, it just wouldn't be Christmas without a little Christmas cheer would it? Super simple and very festive. You'll be the most popular bartender in town with this concoction. Dress up the jar and you could even take this as your hostess gift to one of the many holiday parties you'll be invited to.

Image & Idea: The Speckled Palate

So don't throw out those old candy canes, in fact, stock up on more this year and try out some of these festive ideas. Happy Holidays!

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