Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Orchid~I just have to show it off!!

I do not have the greenest of thumbs though I try valiantly! I absolutely love orchids but after a orchid mishap {plant homicide} in university was terrified to grace my home with one again! Last year I decided it was silly to dwell on my past plant crimes and tried again! The result...


Monday, June 29, 2009

New Winner for Gregg's Goodies!

After much waiting I have chosen a new winner for the Gregg's Goodies Giveaway!
ilja said...
I follow you!iljaze (at) gmail (dot) com
May 29, 2009 8:04 AM
Congrats ilja! I'll email you with the details.

Plum Pudding Winner!

Pam said...
melacan at hotmail dot com
Congrats Pam! I'll contact you and send your t-shirt!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Aura Winner!

sarsosari said...
I really like the spidergirl fingerless gloves for spring!sarsosariATgmailDOTcom
June 19, 2009 12:13 PM
Congrats sarsosari! I will email you now :)

Greentainers available at EnviroBottles ~ Review and Giveaway!

As a parent of three packing snacks for school and trips is a daily chore. It can also come at a great expense. Our society has somehow evolved into one of convenience and waste! Individually, pre-packaged snacks have become a main-stay for many parents. I've tried hard over the years to avoid such snacks not only because of the added waste but also because of the nutritional issues regarding highly processed foods but I must admit I have fallen victim to convenience on several occasions. I do buy granola and protein bars which are individually packaged but I try to buy other items in bulk packages to be dished out or pack a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Greentainers are great waste-free stainless steel containers perfect for dishing out those deliciously healthy snacks I try to opt for. Traditional plastic lunch containers have been a concern lately due to the BPA scare but they are also not as long lasting as one might originally believe. I've had plastic containers melt, wear due to use and washing, stain, and even become chewed up by my dog! Stainless steel is far more clean and durable. Greentainers have a very long life but are also 100% recyclable if ever they do expire!

Environmentally conscious retailer Envirobottles carries these fabulous containers and gave me the opportunity to try them for myself. I received two small snack containers and one large two-tiered clip container. At first glance I thought the small containers were too small but after filling them with grapes I realized they are perfect for my children's snacking needs! These small containers would be ideal for dishing out yogurt, crackers, grapes, or even dry cereal. For larger snacks or even lunch items the large two-tiered greentainer is excellent. Unclip the side clips and open this container and you will find a shallow removable dish with a hidden space beneath. This division of space is great for dividing crackers and cheese or a salad and dressing, or perhaps carrots and dip! What a cool and practical idea!

Stop waste, save your money, and your health and our planet in the process! Order greentainers from Enviro-bottles using your 10% Northern Mama reader's discount!
Or win a greentainer from Enviro-Bottles here!!!
To Enter:
  • Visit Envirobottles and tell me your favourite item
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please leave your email address with your comment

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my Button
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your post

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes July 8th, 2009 10:00 pm CT. Read General Giveaway Rules for further details.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain Tee Winner!

Sorry, my parents are visiting and time has been passing me by!

Congrats Pam! You have won an Andira Rain Tee I will email you.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tiny Whales ~ Review and Discount!

Are you tired of cliched and typical apparel for young children? If clothing your kids in cutesy commercial clothing or plastering them with licensed characters like they are billboards for a broadcasting network is not for you Tiny Whales is just what you are looking for! Tiny Whales is turning clothing for young children from commercial to hip, and modern. No longer must we observe the colour boundaries of pink and blue! Tiny Whales offers a new age of alternatives for boys and girls--tee shirts with bold, and clever graphics, beautifully handcrafted footwear, hats, and hand painted leather belts.
What I love most about Tiny Whales products is their natural and simple themes. The long sleeved tee shirt I received for my daughters is a soft heather gray with these amazingly vibrant feathers. My daughter loves it and I like that it features natural elements reminiscent of aboriginal motifs and symbols in design. It suits my eldest daughter perfectly--feminine without a hint of frew-frew frilliness. Though this particular t-shirt is not organic it is made of soft cotton and is of high quality. I can already tell that this piece of clothing will hold up under wear and tear! Tiny Whales does also carry organic t-shirt options.

My little girl does not require pink, lacy dresses to feel like a princess. Give her comfort and coloured feathers and she feels like a princess naturally--just as she is! Many of the Tiny Whales graphics are inspired by nature but include a modern and fun twist like the Neo animals collection which features baby animals in vibrant and funky colours! These products reflect the essence of childhood--natural, youthful, and all about fun!
Tiny Whales gives kids a chance to express who they are from head to toe with happening wool toques, cool tees, and stylish boots. Now you and your child can break the rules of children's fashions as a Northern Mama reader by purchasing Tiny Whales apparel with a 15% discount {Valid for the next 10 days}. So hurry to Tiny Whales and express your child's hip and stylish personality while taking advantage of the savings!
To use your discount be sure before you make a purchase at Tiny Whales to use the convo box on their site and write Northern Mama Discount in the title bar then list the product you wish to purchase in the text box.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Joyful Girl Naturals ~ Review and Giveaway

They say still waters run deep but in our neck of the woods still waters also breed mosquitoes! Living in the arctic one learns during the summer months to deal with monstrous swarms of mosquitoes and other biting insects. I worked outdoors on an archaeological site several summers in the sub-arctic environment of Churchill, Manitoba and became all too familiar with the perfume of citronella and DEET. Shortly however I developed a funny immunity to mosquitoes which lasted for years. Contrary to my period of mosquito immunity my youngest daughter's exposure to mosquitoes as an infant in the arctic resulted in horrible allergic reactions. Mosquito bites became over sized lumps and swelling. My daughter no longer suffers from such severe reactions but the mosquitoes still find her delightfully delicious. Of course it was reactions like these that urge me to protect my family from the tiny vampires of the natural world but I also fear the poisonous chemicals popular in warding them off--DEET is not just the mosquitoes worst enemy! Joyful Girl Naturals has an absolutely fabulous solution! I prefer applying a natural but effective product to offend the tastes of hungry mosquitoes. Joyful Girl Naturals Insect Repellent Balm is a formulation of natural and organic ingredients including peppermint and eucalyptus. My daughter remarked, "It smells like candy canes!" as I helped her apply it. It does have a refreshing scent but more importantly it works! We calmly enjoyed one of my daughter's soccer games tonight amongst the other parents distracted by the discomfort of slapping pesky mosquitoes all evening. The best part is how easy it is to put on. Because it is in a stick you just rub it on. This product has proven its worth to my children and they love it! I love it because I no it is safe for my children and protects them from virus carrying mosquitoes!

Joyful Girl Naturals is so much more than bath and body store. Owner Shelly provides herbal remedies for all kinds of common conditions. From eczema and acne to headaches and sinus issues Joyful Girl Naturals carries natural solutions! Shelly has 20 years experience creating natural products and develops her own recipes to provide customers with afforable and affective products whicha re natural and safe. She can even customize her products to your personal skin care and physical needs.

I must admit I am a bit of a "hippy" and one of my favourite scents is patchouli. Shelly was kind enough to send me her Organic Cocoa Butter Lotion~Patchouli Sweet Orange. Summer weather is finally here and I have been spending most days working in my garden and flowerbeds. My hands are often pay for my enjoyment, left rough and dry from my outdoor ventures. Lately I have been using this Joyful Girl Naturals lotion when I come in to combat these hand conditions. Joyful Girl Naturals Organic Cocoa Butter Lotion leaves my hands soft, and smooth with a spicy scent I love! I found this lotion absorbs into the skin rather than sitting heavily on the surface and is light unlike petroleum based products. Joyful Girl Naturals also carries a product specificly for gardeners made with Organic Calendula Oil for healing, nourishing and moisturizing properties!
The final Joyful Girl Naturals product I tried was the Natural Exfoliating Face and Body Wash~Luscious Lime. As my loyal followers may recall I have often struggled with acne and I am very careful about facial products. Though I believe this is often based on individual skincare needs I found this product did not cause me any breakouts. Though this exfoliating wash is lime it is almost scentless. I love an exfoliant especially a natural exfoliant. This one leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and vibrant! I adore not having to worry about abrasive harsh chemicals stripping my skin of nourishment but still being able to exfoliate! Lime oil is a wonderful natural antiseptic and this scrub is perfect for normal, oily, and acne proned skin.
Now there is even more to be joyful about if you are a dog or cat owner! Shelly has now opened Joyful Canine. Yes, now you can use herbal fusions to sooth what ails your furry friends!
Joyful Girl Naturals and Northern Mama want to make one of you a Joyful Girl {or Boy}! One lucky winner will receive a Joyful Girl Naturals kid friendly Insect Repellent Balm!
To Enter:
  • Visit Joyful Girl Naturals and let me know what product would make you joyful! {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may enter but please leave me your email address with your comment

Extra Entries:

  • Become or be a Northern Mama follower
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link to your post
  • Purchase an item at Joyful Girl Naturals

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes July 3rd, 10:00pm CT. For further details please read General Giveaway Rules.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Roxannes Jewellery ~ The Finishing Touch, Revamped ~ Review and Giveaway

Once again I have the pleasure of introducing you to a local artisan and true designer of the highest caliber! Roxannes Jewellery is not your average homemade jewellery store filled with formula costume jewellery made from craft store beads. Roxanne's jewels are one-of-a kind and made from the highest quality glass and lampwork beads as well as semi-precious stones. Roxanne is a true artist and designer creating dazzling wearable works of art which will add the perfect finishing touch to your favourite ensembles!

Early in life Roxanne began to soak up the skills of a crafts person. She accredits this acquired wealth of knowledge to learning from her grandparents. In their workshop and sewing room she attained the skills of a crafts person but also developed her own talent as a designer who now creates contemporary yet elegant and classic pieces with the utmost care and eye for perfection. Though I am featuring Roxanne's jewellery and purses she is also involved in turning old windows, frames and furniture into beautiful decorative art. Her Revamped collection includes faux stained glass and etched glass works.

The wearable pieces I had the opportunity of donning were of the highest quality and the aesthetic they composed was exquisite. I believe my favourite of her pieces is the Spring Flower Lampwork Necklace. The centerpiece of the necklace are the delicate and eye-catching lampwork Japanese flowers created by artist Barb Svetlick. Roxanne has designed this necklace around the lampwork pieces complimenting their beauty with semi-precious beads of Korean Jade and, my favourite, the natural looking imperfection of Yellow Jasper. Swarovski crystals and Czech Glass add just a hint of sparkle! I am also wearing the matching earrings in the accompanying photograph. Delicate yet stunning I felt beautiful and sophisticated even when pairing these jewels with a simple cotton tank and yoga pants. More than a finishing touch they were truly the piece de resistance!

Another gorgeous high-style necklace is the Dramatic Midnight Sparkle Choker which I must admit is more stunning than the photo captures. It sparkles and shimmers like the northern lights apropos as the black beads have an aurora borealis finish!
From show stopping jewels such as these to the everyday wearable stained wooden bracelets and bamboo place mat handbags, Roxannes Jewels carries designs for everyone! You may wonder how a place mat can go through a metamorphosis and emerge as a delightful handbag. I can tell you it is possible in the hands of Roxanne and the result is peerless! Even the interior is perfectly detailed in lush fabric complete with inner pocket. Feast your eyes on this one in a rich teal blue, paired with Roxannes blue stained wooden bracelet. Overwhelmed with the possibilities Roxannes Jewellery could add to your wardrobe? There's more! Roxanne also creates beaded earrings and bracelets paralleling the quality of her necklaces. Unique, beautiful bobbles you cannot and should not resist--spoil yourself a little!

Roxanne from Roxannes Jewellery and Northern Mama want to spoil one of you by giving away a Luscious Red Lampwork Charm Bracelet! The creation of lampwork beads is an art in itself and Roxanne takes the best of these to compose her exquisite jewellery. The center charm of this bracelet features a lampwork bead containing precious depictions of delicate roses.

To Enter:

  • Visit Roxannes Jewellery and tell me what your favourite item is {required}
  • Non-bloggers may enter but please remember to leave your email

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my Button
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link to your post

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes June 30th, 2009 10:00pm CT. For further giveaway details read the General Giveaway Rules.

Ms. Taken Identity ~ Giveaway!!

Deja vu? You would be correct if the title Ms. Taken Identity sounds vaguely familiar!
I wrote a Ms. Taken Identity book review this past weekend letting you know about this fun and clever summer read

Now Hachette Book Group is offering three Northern Mama readers the opportunity to win a free copy of Ms. Taken Identity to toss into her/his beach bag this summer!!

To Enter:

  • Become a Northern Mama Follower and leave a comment! {It's that simple}

Open to US and Canadian residents only! Closes June 30th, 2009.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Plum Pudding ~ Review and Giveaway

Plum Pudding

At Plum Pudding Amanda believes it's okay to play with your food! In fact, it's fantastic fun and who could resist playing with the soft and whimsical needle felted vegetables and culinary delights Amanda creates? Wool felting is an art I have been eager to try for some time. The soft sculptural pieces are far more pleasant to the touch than the cold hard plastic play food you find in the stores and the natural wool fibres are an environmentally safe alternative to plastic play things. There is something about the soft, fuzzy look and feel of wool felting that appeals to ones soul and pulls at ones heartstrings! Plum Pudding offers imaginative playthings for children without the crazy "bells and whistles" of department store toys!

We received a quaint and cozy home for the magical garden friends my little ones invent! My girls are very much into fairies and magic and I find their imaginations precious and endearing. I truly want to cultivate the development of their imaginations with creative toys such as the Gnomes House from Plum Pudding. This precious little piece is needle felted Peace Fleece and corriedale wools. If you are not familiar with Peace Fleece it is a company committed to helping "historic enemies to cooperate and prosper through trade"! I love the idea of buying an environmentally responsible toy which develops young imaginations and inadvertently also helps to promote peace! Amanda of Plum Pudding creates these little treasures unique to each order and can custom make almost any felting creation you wish. If the fairies in your forest prefer a blue mushroom--or maybe pink--Amanda will custom make one to your preferences. In fact you can ask her to custom create almost any felted play piece!

Plum Pudding offers felted play food, balls, and even hair accessories but that's not all! Plum Pudding also carries lavish, colour rich play silks perfect for your child's exciting productions, dance numbers, and whatever else appears on their playbill. Every visitor will want front row tickets to your children's performances or be eager for even a small bit part!

The wool balls are not only great toys but can also be used as drier balls--the white ones are best suited for this purpose.
What other wonderful treasures could Plum Pudding possibly offer? Organic handpainted children's t-shirts of course! And what if I were to tell you one lucky Northern Mama reader will be receiving an adorable organic cotton t-shirt for a little one he/she loves? Yes, it's true!
Win a handpainted size 24 months 100% organic cotton t-shirt from Plum Pudding!
To Enter:
  • Visit Plum Pudding and let me know what item you favour! {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please remember to leave your email with your comment.

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway {please leave me the link to your post}

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes June 28th 10:00 CT. For further details read General Giveaway Rules!

Book Review ~ Ms. Taken Identity

Team a frustrated male writer with a hairdresser and her dancing friends and you will be left with a witty, and fun summer read worth donning your sunglasses for! June 22nd be prepared for a twist on chick-lit which may turn the genre on its head! Chick-lit is not just by chicks for chicks any longer and Dan Begley has proven that delving into the seemingly exclusive club of the female world can be accomplished even when peering at it through the frosted glass of the male perspective. Begley has entered the world of feminine pop-culture and survived but can his protagonist Mitch Samuels, crack the chick-lit code with as much skill as his creator?
Mitch Samuels is a university instructor and a writer whose dreams of publication are being dashed by constant manuscript rejections. Even his most precocious student appears to be overcoming him in a race to success. But when Mitch stumbles into one of those hideous bookstore chains he would normally never step foot in and inadvertently meets famous chick-lit writer, Katherine Longwell, Mitch's dream takes a bit of a detour. How hard could it be to write some frivolous, nonsensical, lightweight chick-lit novel? All it takes is a little research into the female psyche.
Mitch embarks on a little research buoyed by his best friend's suggestion to visit his hairstylist sister's dance classes. Mitch hates dancing and obsessions with hair and fashion. To avoid self-consciousness and embarrassment Mitch takes on a new identity--Jason pharmaceutical rep. Little does Mitch know the people he once scoffed at and made the butt of jokes are not as superficial as he might have imagined! It's a case of "Ms. Taken Identity": Mitch "Ms. Taken" for Jason, Mitch "Ms. Taken" for his nom du plume Bradley, females "Ms. Taken" as frivolous, and a book written by a man "Ms. Taken" as chick-lit! Many of the people Mitch thought he knew--his father, his student nemesis, his best friend--have personalities and identities far different from those he had endowed them with.

As I've written before I am a closet chick-lit fan so when I saw a man's name attached to a book emanating the chick-lit vibe I was a little doubtful! With a male protagonist it may not be chick-lit at all--"dude-lit" perhaps?! Begley did a wonderful job however of maintaining that lighthearted, "what-goes-through-your-mind" flow that is quintessential chick-lit style while adding the frivolity which can also be part of the male psyche--sex, sex, sex! Begley's creation is a great mix of pop-culture and literary references, humour, romance, and that touch of introspective sadness...oh, and perhaps a happy ending?!

Ms. Taken Identity by Dan Begley is set for publication June 22nd by 5 Spot {Grand Central Publishing}! Disguised as chick-lit or not Ms. Taken Identity is a clever novel ideal for summer vacation reading. Hit the book store this month and pack this beach bag essential for your summer excursions!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Little Aura~Review and Giveaway

My Little Aura ...Brightening your Soul...

My Little Aura--a wistfully wonderful name for a store of airy organic delights! I stumbled upon My Little Aura while perusing Etsy and immediately loved the natural and also ethnic nature of the items I saw. Owner, Barbara, is a Chilean designer whose passion for fashion is mingled with her love of the earth. The result of this mingling--original pieces made from knitted, sewn and crocheted natural fibers and recycled materials! There is something almost mystical about Barbara's pieces which induce me to imaginings of faeries and nymphs and nature at its most pure! Each piece is close to nature in both material and design.
I had the pleasure of receiving a My Little Aura cowl/headband in white with aqua edging. The headband is super soft, made of 100% organic cotton, and is extremely versatile. For those of you who love to pull your hair back but are tired of the typical ponytail, headband, or hair clip this piece provides you with a gloriously unique, funky and natural looking option. When I received the headband I was pleasantly surprised to find the headband is "pocketed"! it is sewn with a sort of pocket that could essentially be pulled over the ends of your hair to cover it's entirety for a completely different look or even for practical reasons when you wish to protect your hair of prevent it from getting in the way. I really am most impressed by how unique but unobtrusive the style is. People will notice you yet you will blend in and not stand out like a sore thumb in social situations.

Some of my absolutely favourite My Little Aura pieces would have to be the lime green shrug, lime green skirt, and the lilac wrap! I feel confident that to wear these would be like being wrapped in luxurious comfort! Tell me what you love at My Little Aura and enter to win a My Little Aura headband/cowl of your choice!

To Enter:
  • Visit My Little Aura and tell me: What is your favourite item? {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please leave your email address with your comment

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my Button
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave me a link to your post
  • Tell me which headband/cowl you would choose if you won

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes June 24, 2009 10:00pm CT. Read General Giveaway Rules for details.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I feel so Organized!

Ask anyone who knows me and they will say I am organized, ask anyone who knows me well and they will say I like being organized and I often appear to be organized but I have a deep dark secret... Hidden within the dark recesses of my home or rather my closets lies a world of chaos! Alright, I exaggerate but my home is honestly a very lived in, very family oriented house. While some people I know have non-kid rooms or at least one kid-free zone in their homes we have none of these. I like the idea that the children feel this house belongs to all of us but the frustration is they have had difficulty learning to also take responsibility for the care and consideration of said house! Thus everything I carefully organize and arrange is almost instantly demolished!
To top off this organizational issue is one other important obstacle to organization...too much stuff and not enough room! With 5 people in a household one starts to realize how much stuff is accumulated over time! We live in a three bedroom home so our daughters share a bedroom. I have never been terribly concerned about this fact. The girls don't seem to mind and I think it has become a bit of a bond between them but we've run into one issue which has been driving me to the funny farm for some time--one average sized closet for two girls' wardrobes and treasures. Now here is where I admit my girls have no shortage of clothing but you also must know that 90% of their clothing is comprised of hand-me-downs, about 9% gifts from relatives, and the last 1% actually purchased items from us {I am serious}. I am a huge believer in reused/hand-me-dawn clothing but I also have a hard time weeding things out if they still fit and are in good condition thus the girls' extensive wardrobe! This week my husband and I found a wonderful solution to the frustration of cramming clothing into overflowing dresser drawers and throwing things into a closet with a proper place for anything. We installed shelving cubicles practically to the ceiling in one half of the closet and a shoe rack on the floor in the other half. We have the hanging bar in just half the closet but plan to install a second bar half way down to move the shorter items like blouses and cardigans to. I wish I had a before picture but it never occurred to me until we were through. I know it's silly but I just had to blog about it! It's funny my daughters absolutely love it and are actually carefully to remove things without ruining the effect...at least for the time being. What I love and my 6 year old was quick to point out is you can see exactly what there is to choose from.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Becel's One Small Thing Heart Health Campaign!

It is perhaps apropos that I be invited by Tracy from the Ariad Marketing Agency to write a post about Becel's "One Small Thing" Campaign promoting heart health through small changes you can make to your everyday lifestyle! As a mentioned this week my mother has a heart condition. It is not angina or heart disease but rather an arrhythmia. My mother laughed as she related to me what a doctor at the heart clinic told her, "It's not likely to cause a heart attack so you don't need to worry about that...but it may cause a stroke!" Little consultation in that I'd say.
Needless to say heart health is no laughing matter and--contrary to the traditional idea that heart disease is a higher concern for men--heart attack and stroke are the leading cause of death in North American women! Want to know the silver lining, the bright side to this terrible fact? You can reduce your risk by 80% by making small and simple changes to your lifestyle!

Visit the Becel--One Small Thing website and register. Create a profile and pledge to do One Small thing each day to help yourself maintain a healthy heart. Then start sharing your small things so others can learn new and exciting ways to help themselves! You can also follow the journey of Julie through her webisodes and discover that from walking a dog {even someone Else's} to using the stairs you too can live a heart healthy lifestyle!

I'm sure if all of us stop to think we know of at least one friend or relative who is suffering from heart disease or has passed due to heart attack or stroke. I can list several my grandfather, my husband's grandfather, my grandmother suffered from angina and my mother now suffers from arrhythmia. Let's do what we can to shorten the list and let's do the small things daily to prevent us from becoming listed ourselves!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Review--the girl who stopped swimming

I was actually lucky enough to win a copy of this book on another blog but now that I will be reviewing books for Hachette Book Group myself and I just finished devouring this book which is published by one of Hachette Book Group's publishers, Grand Central Books, I felt compelled to share the book with you!

The book opens with the visitation of a ghost and the tragic end of a young girl, Molly who met her demise drowned in Laurel Gray-Hawthorne's backyard swimming pool! The result of an accident or something far more sinister? Laurel is intent on finding out and feels the safety of her daughter may be at stake.
This "murder mystery" cracks the seemingly serene surface of Laurel's gated, peaceful, and perfect life and it spurs her on an introspective journey through her personal history and the state of her present life and relationships. While attempting to unravel the mystery of her daughter's friend's death Laurel discovers she cannot escape her origins and that the secrets she has been keeping do not protect her family but can only serve to create fissures in her relationships.
"If she'd left pieces out, then she'd done it for her family. She'd only been buttoning shut the ugly parts. The things she'd buried were better left that way." (Jackson 2008:223)
But she comes to the harsh realization that living life with blinders on does not vanquish the terrible realities and living a life of seeming perfection without including and embracing the "ugly" is not truly living at all! Sometimes one must stop swimming and drop to the depths to gain perspective an--if ghosts cannot be appeased and sent packing--one can learn instead to co-exist with them; find them a space!
This novel by Joshilyn Jackson is a suspenseful drama wound in mystery and overflowing with the simple wisdom of being true to one's own nature. Laurel--weakened by the cracks forming in her perfect life--seeks out the antithetic, abrupt and affronting force which is embodied by her sister, Thalia. She allows Thalia to take control of not only investigating the death of Molly but also her life and all the intricacies of her relationships. That is until Laurel unearths her own hidden strength and confidence to deal with life on her own terms.

This is a wonderfully engaging and fast flowing novel with a dramatic end which you will reach far too quickly! An exciting summer read which may leave you contemplating the real nature of the many familial relationships in your life!

"the girl who stopped swimming" is written by Joshilyn Jackson and is published by Grand Central Publishing a member of the Hachette Book Group.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Life can be a chaotic blur! I've been running to the children's soccer endlessly and working on fixing things around the house. And today has been a day of disappointments. My parents were supposed to be arriving from Ontario on Wednesday. My children have literally been counting down the days as have I admittedly. We see them about once a year so it is always a much anticipated event. My mom called today to say she was having some problems with a new heart medication {she has a bit of an arrhythmia} and it will take a week to see if her new prescription is working. Such a feeling of thud after flying "on the wings of anticipation" and that nagging worry over a parent's health. My closest friend called soon after with her stories of moving headaches and travelling woes and I felt heavy thinking of all her stresses and my inability to help since I live half way across the country! After finally hanging up the phone I realized I had to pick it right back up to call around the community in search of someone to take one of my children to a soccer match while I took one of my others to his game...what a day! My kids have just settled in to bed...late! And I am exhausted. I am going to curl up with one of my books to review and hope I don`t dose off too soon!
I just finished a great read which I will review for you tomorrow night! Hoping the mail brings in some more great review items too because I`m truly starting to believe that Canada Post is holding some grudge against me...WHERE IS MY MAIL??
For the moment farewell and good night!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Excited to be Bringing you Book Reviews from Hatchette!

I am excited to be working with Hachette Book Group to bring you some wonderful book reviews starting this summer! A thrill went through my body yesterday as the puralator pulled up in from of the house with three packages filled with books for me to read. Some are not due to be publisher until later this month and in July, some were newly publisher this past month! I am just finishing a book I won on another blog that is also from Hachette so I will be reviewing it first! But stay tuned for the latest and greatest in summer readers {and hopefully a few giveaways to add a little more sunshine}!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rain Tee Review and Giveaway

Do you want to Change the World? There are so many simple ways you can effect positive change and one of those is to purchase an Andira Rain Tee! By purchasing a Rain Tee you are helping to create green job opportunities for the workers in rainforest communities, you are funding reforestation projects in Costa Rica, you are promoting the principles of Fair Trade and ecologically sound agricultural practices as well as the education of youth all while combatting the effects of Climate Change! Imagine--you can do all this just by buying a luxurious organic T-shirt!

Beth Doane co-founder of Andira International and designer of the Rain Tee Collection utilizes fashion as a means of educating the world! Global awareness regarding the importance of the rainforest and the significant negative effects its destruction has on the global environment needs to be spread. This is Rain Tee's goal! The rainforest is a place of significance to people the world over. The Amazon Rainforest provides 20% of the world's oxygen supply and one-fifth of the world's fresh water supply can be found in the Amazon Basin. Many of the western world's medications have been derived from rainforest-born plants and these are a result of the scientific study of only 1% of rainforest plants!

Rain Tee's design team is comprised of people who care and understand the power art has to affect change and broaden public awareness. As an educator and parent I appreciate the sincerity and truth children's art emotes. As seen through the untainted, innocent eyes of children, the simple truth penetrates the hardened, jaded, and biased psyche of the adults of this world. We sometimes have difficulty grasping what is most significant as we package it in our concerns for economy, our laziness, and our apathy and try desperately to hide it from ourselves. The Andira Rain Tee collection gives voice to the children who live in the midst of the endangered rainforest. Andira has donated school supplies to the children of Central and South American rainforests and had them illustrate what they see occurring in their beloved home.

I was sent the "Tree of Life" Rain Tee. The image of the leaf crying tree and the polluted water dotted with dying fish symbolizes what the illustrator--Mariela of Peru--witnesses each day as her rainforest home vanishes. This is the "Tree of Life" however because life and the rainforest can be restored by the rainforest's own children! Andira Rain Tees supports Kids Saving the Rainforest based out of Costa Rica and co-founded by 9-year-old Janine Licare in 1999. This organization gives children in Costa Rica trees to plant. The "Tree of Life" Tee is my new favourite not only because of its message but it's beautiful design, flattering fit, and sheer comfort. All Rain Tees are made from sustainable, earth-friendly fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo. I feel good wearing a product which supports an important cause not only through its graphic message but also through its means of production! Luxury can be socially responsible and you can make a difference! All they ask at Rain Tee is that you "Help save our rainforests one tee at a time!"

I encourage you to buy a Rain Tee--treat yourself, a friend, or a family member!
Here however is your chance to Win An Andira Rain Tee if you are a Northern Mama reader!
To Enter:
  • Visit Andira Rain Tee and tell me which is you favourite Rain Tee. {Required}
  • Non-bloggers may also enter but please remember to leave your email address!

Extra Entries:

  • Follow Northern Mama
  • Subscribe via email
  • Grab my button
  • Blog about this giveaway and remember to leave me the link to your post with your comment.

{Please leave a separate comment for each entry}

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents. Giveaway closes June 15, 2009 10:00pm CT. For further giveaway details read General Giveaway Rules.

Attention Winners~ "Baggy Pants" and "Kelly" :)

Yikes! My outlook has not been working and i can not get access to your email addresses!!
Can you please contact me at northern_mama@yahoo.ca ?
I hope I can get this glitch resolved. Just drop me a line so I can contact you with the details of your wins :)
Look forward to getting you your free products.

Lotus Paperie Winner!

13. Kelly said...
I follow your blog
May 18, 2009 10:25 AM

Sorry this was posted a little late. Congratulations Kelly!! I'll be in touch :)