Thursday, October 19, 2017

Our First Home: An Inexpensive Lighting Upgrade

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Since we moved into our home in 2014, we've been making upgrades to bring a house built in 1978 into the 21st century.

We don't always have the money to work on big tasks like re-doing our bathroom or completely ripping up the landscaping, so over the years we've been making small upgrades.

Here's my secret - I keep a running list of things in our home that need to be done or upgraded. Every week, I browse the flyers and surf my favourite websites for deals. I never stop. Chris and I pre-discuss exactly what we want so that when an item goes on sale, I can grab it without hesitating.

There is no particular order in which these list items need to be done/purchased. What gets done depends on what type of deals pop up.

Check out our latest upgrade below:

A few months ago, I was doing my weekly wishlist check on Amazon and an amazing deal popped up! I found this light (regularly priced around $150) for under $50.

To be exact, I paid $44.05 for this 3 light chandelier. SO crazy!

When I continued to look, I found the 5 light version of this chandelier for $49.85 - an even better deal! Obviously, I scooped up both. My order total for both of these lights was $106. Woah!

Moral of the story is to never stop looking. I searched Amazon's lighting section for months before finding this deal, but it was so worth the wait.

We have yet to install the larger chandelier, but I know it's going to look amazing.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Self Tanner Review: Tanwise Creamy Tanning Lotion and Self-Tanning Face Gel

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

This past summer I took a big step and wore shorts for the first time in at least 10 years. Although I still feel incredibly uncomfortable showing my legs, adding some colour using self tanner has helped.

I'm extremely pale (lightest shade of foundation is usually still too dark type of pale), so for years I've been partial to gradual tan builders such as Jergens Natual Glow. In July, I received a promotional email from Sally Beauty for buy 2 get 1 free self tanners, so I decided to give them a shot.


I purchased 2 Tanwise Creamy Tanning Lotions and 1 Tanwise Self-Tanning Face Gel and used them over the summer. Check out my reviews below!

What I Liked: This self tanner works the same way as my usual Jergens, by building up each time you apply it. The formula is creamy, extremely easy to apply, and smells amazing. After one or two applications, I started to notice a very natural and non-streaky glow. At under $10 a bottle, the price is great.

What I Didn't Like: I really wish the bottle was bigger. Although most other brands are about the same size, I still wish it lasted longer. I also wish it came in different colour options. For someone much darker than me, I'm not sure this would work.

Final Thoughts: The price is amazing and the product works. There are two reasons why I now choose this over Jergens Natural Glow - it smells great and moisturizes well. With other self tanners, I always felt the need to apply a moisturizer after. This tanner does both jobs.

I must warn that if you're looking for a quick colour change, this stuff is not right for you. There is a gradual build up, and the final result is not overly dark.

What I Liked: I love the gel formula of this product. It's very easy to apply and gives instant colour to the face. When I read initial reviews on this product, I saw some comments about it helping with acne...and it does! I don't know what it is, but this gel seems to keep my acne under control as well as soak up any oil. For under $10, this stuff is a huge winner.

What I Didn't Like: The bottle is tiny. To be fair, you only need a small amount daily, but still, the bottle is too small.

Final Thoughts: The formula of this product is a game changer for me. I have incorporated it into my daily skincare routine and can't imagine not using it. Not only does it give me a nice glow, it keeps my skin clear and matte. Also, it's under $10!

Left - Creamy Tanning Lotion, Right - Self-Tanning Face Gel

I did try to photograph my skin as it gradually became more tanned, but it didn't come through well in photos. I wish it did!

In the end, I adore both of these products and recommend them both, but the Self-Tanning face Gel is a total must for me. At such a great price point, I would give these a shot!

What are some of your favourite self tanning products?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Currently... October 2017

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Watching: American Horror Story: Cult and catching up on Are You The One? I also just finished Lady Gaga's Five Foot Two (so good!).

Eating: Fruity pebbles and drinking pumpkin spice coffee.

Doing: A bunch of random home tasks, including purging and selling things before Christmas.

Thinking: About Christmas plans, baking, and gifts. Luckily, I have some of my shopping done already.

Planning: A huge blog change. I'm hoping to switch from Blogger to self-hosted Wordpress very soon. I've done massive amounts of research and know this is what I need to do, I just need to find the time to do it.

p.s. October is the best month.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Just a Little Something...

Image designed using Canva

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

It's that time of year again folks. The weather is changing and the kids are getting colds!

How are you protecting your kids from getting sick?

Shop for Spooky Halloween Treats @

Thursday, October 5, 2017

5 Ways To Start Prepping for the Holidays in October

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

1. Planning: Make your plans early. Obviously, this one is a given, but having a solid plan in place can really help ease holiday stress. Who's hosting? Do I need to bring something? Do I have multiple events to attend? Keep your calendar updated and make a Facebook group to keep track of who is attending.

For our family, this tip gets tricky. We don't normally know exactly what's going on until days before Christmas, but I still do my best to make plans and stick to them.

2. Space out your purchases: This one is important for myself and my family. As much as I try to plan, there are expenses and purchases that will come up last minute (maybe you forgot to buy someone a gift! Oops!). To avoid going severely over budget in December, I purchase Christmas gifts throughout the year, and really start to hone in on sales in the Fall.

Kids tend to make this one difficult. They change their minds and update their wish lists all year. My solution is to purchase for others first - gift cards, parent gifts, etc. are far less likely to change. Also, make sure you keep all receipts organized in case you need to make a return.

3. Selling: This is the one I'm really focusing on right now. When Christmas is said and done, I'm always left with nowhere to store new items. Beyond this, my kids stop playing with certain things and I'm left with an overload of stuffStart selling now!

Utilize Facebook buy & sell groups, Kijiji/Craigslist, apps,  yardsales, etc. and get rid of toys your kids are already not playing with (because after Christmas they'll be even more distracted), old clothes that have been piling up in the closet, and anything else you've been meaning to sell. On top of feeling refreshed, you'll have extra spending money for the holidays!

4. Amazon wish list: Something I recently realized is that if you create an Amazon wishlist containing items you plan to purchase, you can visit daily to see how the prices have changed. Amazon will tell you exactly how much an item has decreased or increased, and if they're going out of stock. If you notice a dramatic price drop, grab the item!

As you can see from the example above, the Q&A a Day book on my wishlist decreased in price by 30% - Now is the time to grab it. The Shark vacuum on the other hand, has only decreased by 3% - I think I'll wait. 

5. Flyers and Coupons: Seriously, check your flyers. Don't just skim, really look for sales and coupons. Download an app (I use Flipp), know your holiday grocery list, and search it weekly. This will save you from overspending on last minute essentials.

Beyond this, utilize deal accounts on social media. I follow tons of deal hunters on Instagram and Facebook. They post real-time deals and make it easy for you to know what to purchase and when.

Do you have any tips that help you ease Holiday stress? Share them with me on social media!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

DIY Pokemon Halloween Costume: Jigglypuff

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Last year, my entire family was obsessed with Pokemon Go, so when Halloween rolled around it was no surprise that they wanted to be Pokemon.

It was easy to find costumes for the kids (scroll down for links), and simple enough to make an Ash costume for my husband, but I had a little more trouble trying to come up with a good costume for myself. Obviously pink is my favourite colour, so Jigglypuff was the winner - she's just so cute and round!

Image Via

To make my Jigglypuff costume, I used inspiration from google images and some really simple supplies:

2. Craft felt in various colours - I purchased mine from Dollar Tree, but you can find it pretty much anywhere!
3. Fabric glue - I purchased this at Dollar Tree as well, but again, it's available at most big box/craft stores.
4. Pillow Fill or other stuffing - The truth is, I used old old towels and rolled them up, but pillow filing would be much easier.

Step 1: As pictured above, I started by laying my sweatshirt flat on the floor and cutting pieces of felt to match what I saw on Google images. There was a lot of guess-and-check involved in this process, but after I got the placement right, I glued down the mouth and eyes.

Step 2: The ears were a little different. After the eyes and mouth were secure, I put the sweatshirt on. I played around with pinning the ears to my shoulders, making sure they stood up. When I found the correct spot, I safety pinned the ears on, slipped the sweater off, and glued them down.

Step 3: The hair was a challenge. It took some effort to figure out how this would work, but I did it by creating a whole separate, removable piece. I cut two pieces of felt in the shape of the curl (front and back), but made sure to oversize them. I then glued all away around the edge, leaving a small hole for stuffing. I let the glue dry overnight, stuffed it full of old washcloths (get creative - anything will work!), and glued the opening shut. In the end, it looked like a little pink pillow.

Step 4: To finish off the costume, I slipped the sweatshirt on and safety pinned the hair pillow to my chest. Again, getting the positioning right took a bit of time, but it worked out great. I tossed my hair in a bun and threw on some over-the-top pink makeup to complete the look.

Step 5 (optional): This sweatshirt sat perfectly on me, but if you're on the smaller side, you could easily stuff the inside of the sweater to make the costume look more rounded.

In the end, this costume took me 2 days to make and cost around $30.

Check out the completed costume below:

Along with making my costume, I made Chris' Ash costume using thrift store finds, ribbon, and fabric glue. I used a regular old baseball hat and covered it in felt to complete the look. You can purchase an Ash Ketchum costume, but making one only cost me around $10.

This costume was such an easy DIY, but it got me so many compliments!


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Not-So-Basic Wedding Invitations with Basic Invite

This is a sponsored post for Basic Invite, but all opinions are my own.

If you read regularly, you know that over the last year I've been sharing bits and pieces of our wedding day. The last wedding related post I wrote revolved around our DIY save-the-dates and how much I enjoyed creating them. Actually, my very favourite part of the entire wedding planning process was designing and creating our stationary.

For brides like myself, there is a sense of enjoyment in handcrafting hundreds of invitations. For most brides, this is just an added stress - one that could be avoided by streamlining the whole process. I've teamed up Basic Invite to show you how they can help!

Basic Invite is a unique online stationary store that focuses on helping you design exactly what you want. They offer over 200 wedding invitation sets, all of which can be customized to fit your wedding perfectly. Once you pick and customize your invitations, you can find coordinating save the dates, enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs, name cards, and even thank you cards. 

See some gorgeous classic save the dates below.

One of my favourite features is that every little detail can be customized. With 180 different colour options and instant online previews, the possibilities are endless. If you're looking for something special to set your stationary apart, they have an amazing new clear collection, have recently added rose gold to their foil line, and have introduced foil place cards.

After you've designed your invite, there are over 40 different colours of envelopes to choose from. The best part? The envelopes are peel and seal (aka, no licking!).

Just to top it all off, Basic Invite offers the coolest free address collection service. This works by allowing you to share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing. I'm in love with this feature, as one of the most tedious tasks during wedding planning is collecting addresses.

Take a second to scroll through the sample wedding invitations below and you'll see exactly how beautiful these invites are. 

During the process of designing my own wedding invitations, I tweaked and changed elements multiple times after seeing them printed. Beyond the amazing custom options, Basic Invite offers a fantastic feature that allows you to order a printed sample of your invitation before you order them all. This is a huge deal, especially because paper quality can be so different in person than you perceive it online.

Oh, and just one more thing! Basic Invite also offers keepsake guest books. Just like all other stationary, these books are highly customizable and lay flat for a classy look. These books would be a beautiful addition to any entry table, allowing your guests to sign in and leave you their best wedding wishes.

Don't forget, Basic Invite offers much more than beautiful wedding stationary. There's an invitation for every event, as well as business stationary, and even printables! The website seriously make me want to plan a party!

Visit Basic Invite on social media:

All photos provided by Basic Invite

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall To do List

The leaves are changing, yesterday I got my Starbucks birthday reward (pumpkin spice frap!), and soon it will be cooling off. I always look forward to this time of year - it feels like a new beginning, even more so than the new year.

Here are some things I plan to do this Fall:

1. Make homemade soup - lots of it

2. Put together another awesome family Halloween costume

3. Go on walks

4. Repaint our lower living space

5. Get the majority of my Christmas shopping done

What's on your Fall to do list?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Amazon Find: An Effective Ear Thermometer for only $35!

**Update - It looks like this thermometer is currently unavailable on Amazon, so hopefully it comes back in stock soon! Until then, this one looks amazing too!**

This post may contain affiliate links or banners, but all opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure statement here.

Every time my kids got sick, I found myself scrambling to try and get an accurate temperature out of a regular thermometer. With little ones, this can be a huge struggle, but I always made it work.

A few months ago, the batteries in our traditional thermometer died and I was shocked to learn that replacing the battery was the same cost as buying a whole new thermometer! I knew I wanted an ear thermometer, but the prices blew my away.

I did some hunting on Amazon, and came across this Hylogy Digital Ear Thermometer.

What I Liked: I love the design of this thermometer. It's lightweight, comes with a stand and a storage bag, and is very easy to read. It works very quickly and seems to be accurate. I've tested it multiple times and the temperate variation seems minimal. The screen lights up in colour to inform you if a fever is present, and how intense it is. The batteries also last forever!

What I Didn't Like: Some of the functions on this thermometer are hard to use. It took me forever to figure out how to switch from F to C. Other than that, there isn't much to complain about. I do wish that there wasn't a variation between readings, but I know most home thermometers are the same way.

Final Thoughts: I'm extremely happy that I took a chance and purchased this thermometer. I purchased it for $34.99 CAD (plus 2% cash back on ebates) and to me, it was worth every penny. I haven't had a single problem with this product.

Have an awesome Amazon find? Share it with me in the comments!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Currently... September 2017

Backpack and lunch bag from Justice

Hey there! It's me, Kerri. It's been over a month since I posted and I hope you can forgive me. As we all know, late August and September are the craziest months ever and due to this, my blog was neglected. Sorry!

Watching: American Horror Story: Cult started last night. I'm also watching RHOC, Siesta Key, and Younger.

Eating: Way too much pasta, as per usual.

Doing: Basically the last month has consisted of back-to-school prep (lots of shopping), and small home improvements.

Thinking: About Halloween costumes. It's going to come so fast.

Planning: Blog posts!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Holly Muffin has a Newsletter!

Holly Muffin finally has a newsletter! If you don't want to miss new post updates, you can now sign up to receive them straight to your inbox!

Sign up using the pop-up or click below.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

On Swimsuit Shopping (and my Swimsuit Find!)

Like many women, swimsuit shopping has always been hard for me. I have always felt uncomfortable in them and had trouble finding a proper fit.

Serious question - why do so many swimsuits (especially plus size swimsuits) not have underwire support?! It just doesn't make sense to me.

I went on the hunt and ended up finding a swimsuit top that I absolutely adore, and I need to share!

I've gotten so many compliments on this swim top! The support is amazing, the back and shoulders are adjustable, it's super easy to find bottoms to match, the design and colour are gorgeous, and it comes in a huge range of sizes.

Have you ever found a "game changer" swimsuit? Tell me about it!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Currently... July 2017

Watching: The Challenge: Dirty 30 started on Tuesday! I also just finished Riverdale and just started Big Little Lies (both so good).

Eating: Cream cheese filled banana bread. This recipe is amazing.

Doing: Enjoying our new car! My 2002 Cavalier kicked the bucket 2 weeks ago, so we purchased a 2016 Ford Fiesta (and finally have working air conditioning).

Thinking: Of a way to kick my summer blues and reminiscing about my amazing girls trip to Niagara Falls.

Planning: A trip up north to visit my family next week. It will be CJ's (now 2.5 years old) first time there. Summer is crazy!
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