Announcing TRISCUIT, the official #FlyDIY party sponsor!

You know you love them...the salty crunch of woven yummy when topped with a variety of cheese, proteins and other delicious goodies.

Well folks, Triscuit has come on board as the official sponsor of FlyDIY!!

What will you find at the party this Friday at the Sheraton Chicago? A lovely spread of Triscuit canapes including these delicious pepper jack corn salsa ones!

And these ones. But you best be staying away from them, because I.Want.Them.All!

Make sure you stop by the Triscuit station before getting crafty!


Steppin' Jockey

Thank goodness for date night! After the holidays and the hustle and bustle, it was certainly nice to step out for a progressive dinner with my husband.

First, we went to Besa Grill for an appetizer. My oh my was my proseco fancy with a blackberry and strawberry! It was the perfect start to date night, and I felt comfy and pulled together in my Jockey P2P uncut bootcut cords.

Next, we went to dinner at Flamestone and just enjoyed a couple of hours of chitty chat...and more proseco. Again, my cords didn't fail me. They moved with me, rather than feeling constricting like so many other pants out there, and my husband kept complimenting how slimming and figure flattering they were.

What made our date night even sweeter was that since we were doing things progressively, we actually didn't spend a tonne of money! And little did hubs know, but the pants that he was so fond of...60% off!

The bootcut cords from Jockey are fantastic, and I would highly recommend them to anyone. They're easily dressed up or down, paired with heels or flats, and are just SO soft! And they hug your curves like a good pant should! My booty looked great in them and I definitely was turning heads! What a confidence booster!

Step Out in your own pair of uncut bootleg cords {also available in slim leg!} by contacting the wonderful Christine today! They're 60% off right now, so don't delay!

*Disclaimer: I was provided the uncut bootleg cords by Jockey P2P rep, Christine, for the purposes of this review. All views expressed are my own.


October Sponsor Love

Building Our Story started out is a little turtle, named Jude, and has recently grown to include little Teagan - born October 20th! Written by mama Censie, this fantastic blog captures what life is like for a working mama of two, Daddy Jeremy who is a fabulous artist and has the biggest of hearts. Censie often features amazing brands to make your life with a toddler and baby easier, such a Rockabye Baby and Daddy Scrubs!

Rebecca Nash Photography specializes is capturing your intimate moments and turning them into works of art. Rebecca, located in London, Ontario, believes that photography is more than just a job; it's a passion and a way of life. As a writer, Rebecca is able to share tips and tricks for putting your freshest face forward - everything from how to dress yourself for a seasonal shoot, to what colours pull together to create a stunning image.

Delightful Diction is written by teacher, wife, writer and proud Auntie Randi. Her blog is all about developing new passions, one word at a time, and it is beautifully written. She's a Modern Mom contributor, has bad her travel posts published and have been featured in SheLoves Magazine! Randi is a stunning woman with a beautiful outlook on life; definitely worth a read or two with a warm cup of tea!

Easy Halloween Ideas from The Original Factory Shop

Halloween ideas:

Halloween is nearly upon us – the night of ghosts, ghouls, and good candy! If you’re stuck for ideas on what to do with the kids, you can find a few of my favourites below:

Hand-made Halloween themed cards: These can be made in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and will be a fun family activity to encourage creativity. You could use photographs, collage, drawing, painting, or any other arts and crafts technique you and your family enjoy (like these craft kits from The Original Factory Shop, for example).

Trick or treating: Fairly traditional, but always fun nonetheless! Dressing up with the kids in spooky costumes and hitting the streets for some light hearted candy-seeking is the most famous Halloween pastime. Deciding what to dress up as and making the costumes is a great way to extend the fun, too. This year I’ll be going for the same costume as the last few years:

Host a Halloween quiz: Unusual, but this could be a fun idea! Why not have a few family and friends over for a Halloween pop quiz. Divide attendees into teams, and quiz them about Halloween’s history and hijinks. Prizes could be awarded to the best team, and games could be played between rounds to increase the fun. I whipped up an example quiz below to hopefully inspire you:

This post, and it's content, was sponsored by Search Labratory Limited on behalf of The Original Factory Shop.


Introducing my BlogHer'13 Team!

It seems like just yesterday that I was packing my bags and boarding the plane for New York City to attend BlogHer'12. In reality, it was just over two months ago and I have learned so very much from going to the largest international blogging conference out there.

I'm already lining up sponsors for BlogHer'13 in Chicago, and am so happy to announce that TPH Canada, Tina Dean Designs, Kristine Cook Designs and Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian are back on board with me!

Kristine Cook Designs created three stunning outfits for me for BlogHer'12, and I am thrilled to get the chance to showcase Kristine's ready-to-wear line in Chicago. Having seen her design book over dinner a few weeks ago, I know that they will be pieces that will be flattering on every body type and make you feel like you want to get out of your pj's in the morning. Kristine's work is amazing and she pays particular attention to detail with ruffles, buttons and other feminine touches that make her work one of a kind and truly unique.

Working with Tina Dean Designs this past year has been a dream come true. Tina has been working hard to become an expert in textile design, and boy does it show!  I'm really excited to be able to showcase Tina's amazing eco-chic designs in Chicago, and she's even collaborating with Kristine to make sure that my look is coordinated head-to-toe; amazing, eh?! I see some fabulous fused clutches in my future, and you can bet your bottom dollar that my messenger bag will make a reprise as my carry-on and Expo Hall bag!
Remember those incredible media cards that TPH printed for me a few months ago? Remember how they were absolutely incredible to work with, offered eco-options and funky shapes of business cards? Well they're joining up with me for my media cards that I'll be handing out to brands and bloggers in Chicago! Their printing services are absolutely amazing; high quality, digital printing at its finest. I cannot wait to share more information about this fantastic brand with you in monthly features!

I felt every bit the belle of the ball at BlogHer with my sparkly earrings, bracelet and amazing long necklace from Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian, so I was thrilled when Amber emailed me to express interest in styling my accessories for BlogHer'13. Amber's designs are truly inspired and she uses only the best raw materials, from recycled metals to big sparkly druzies. I cannot wait to share Amber's new work with you and talk about the inspiration behind her designs.

More sponsors will be announced as the month's unfold, but I just could not wait to share this news with you all!


October Call For Sponsors!

Happy October!! There's a lovely chill in the air, and the scents of cinnamon, pumpkin and apple cider are wafting through the stores.

Celebrate October with me by purchasing ad space right here on Sweet Stella's!

For the month of October, use promo code DRAGON {in honour of my son's halloween costume} to take 50% off ALL ad sizes!

What do you get for sponsoring Sweet Stella's?

- blog post written around the 20th of the month featuring your logo, brand and a write up about your company or blog
- prime advertising space on my side bar
- social media mentions

Since going to BlogHer, my stats have increased so incredibly much!
Twitter: +370 followers
Facebook: +82 fans
Monthly Pageviews: +400
Blog Subscribers: +23
and still growing!! 

And to sweeten the deal, I am also giving away 3 FREE small ad spaces this month! First come, first served!! Use promo code FREEBIE


MaryKay Ultimate Mascara

I received so many wonderful compliments on my makeup, specifically my lashes, while in NYC for BlogHer last month.

My secret? Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara

While my lashes are naturally long and dark, this mascara enhances their beauty.

Now, I'm not a big mascara wearer; I never have been. I find them thick, gunky and, since I wear contacts, they sting my eyes.

That was until I tried the Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara. It goes on so light and smooth, but packs such a punch! With just one layer, my lashes were dark and defined...and light. It didn't bother my contacts at all, and I didn't feel like I was wear a thick layer of gunk on my eyes.

This exclusive, all-in-one formula delivers the benefits you love most - long, thick, voluminous lashes. And it comes with new Smart Wiper™ technology that delivers the exact amount of mascara you need for maximum plumping - without the clumping.

See that? Smart Wiper technology! No more clumps, no more mess!  No more pumping and pumping the mascara tube to get your brush covered {which, by the way, leads to bacteria build up and can cause eye infections! yikes!}

At $21  tube, this fantastic mascara is a steal. So many others that are $8-$12, I find, are the ones that I don't like. It's definitely worth the extra few dollars to know that I am getting a high quality product, that won't sting my eyes and that will leave my lashes lovely and full!

BlogHer Sponsor Love

If you haven't checked them out just yet, be sure that you do!! They made my trip to BlogHer12 possible, and I am so incredibly thankful for them!


 Kristine Cook Designs is located in London, Ontario and is simply one inspired fashion designer! She created two dresses and one fabulous jacket for me to wear at BlogHer12 and I got so many compliments on them...I was even stopped by a young woman on our walk over to Bar Americain who complimented me on my peplum dress!

Michele from Mary Kay provided all of my makeup, skincare and beauty tips for my journey to BlogHer. I am so thankful, because I'm typically too on the go to spend much time on myself but these amazing products, and her gentle guidance and encouragement, allowed me to see what confidence I have in myself. Be it a smokey eye for my peplum dress, a fresh dewey look for my brunch with GMC or the bold red lips for a retro look - Michele helped me create them all!

Without EKSIT Strategies assistance and guidance, my BlogHer dreams would have remained just that...dreams. They helped make them a reality, and helped to guide me in making some decisions about my business and my blog. As true business strategists, they helped me to see the value in my knowledge, the worth in myself and encouraged me to take myself seriously as both an artist and a blogger.

August Sponsor Love

Giving a great big shout out to those that support this little artsy-farsty nook in the Blogosphere!

Love Me Knott - Bilton Creations is a gemstone, glass beads and customized jewelry shop on Etsy, run by Amanda Knott. Her creations are absolutely fantastic, whimsical, fun...with a little bit of boho every now and then! She also creates fun children's jewelry, keychains, bracelets and anklets!

Banners on the Cheap is a great resource for all of your banner needs, and as this posts right now I am using mine for the very first time at Art in the Park! Their high quality vinyl banners are amazing and come with brass grommets in the corners to make hanging from your tent, table or wall a breeze! From order to delivery, every part of the process is easy as pie! And the banners aren't just for businesses...get them for parties, birthday's, schools and weddings too!!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Mary Kay

One of the products that Michele, my lovely Mary Kay sponsor for BlogHer12, provided me with was a full line of the Time Wise skin care. I had used these products back in 2008 when I got married {as Michele did my makeup for the big day} and have found that my skin has really changed since then, very likely due to having a baby.

 For my trip to NYC, Michele provided me with the TimeWise Trial Miracle Set {bonus that they are all airplace complaint and travel size!}. This wonderful little set features enough product to get you through 30 days of daily use:

  • TimeWise® 3-in-1 Cleanser (normal- to-dry), 57 g
  • TimeWise® Age-Fighting Moisturizer (normal-to-dry), 21 g
  • TimeWise® Day Solution Sunscreen SPF 35, 11 g
  • TimeWise® Night Solution, 11 g
My favourite product in the entire set is the Night Solution.

After a night of galavanting and dancing, typically coming back to our hotel room at around midnight, it felt so nice to take off my makeup, wash my face with something mild and gentle, then put on the Night Solution.

In the morning, I would wake up and my skin felt...smooth. It was as if the Nutribeads worked magic while I slept and tiny little pixies danced on my skin; leaving it feeling soft and leaving me looking refreshed in the morning.

For a mama to a toddler {eek, now a preschooler!} who does her best work at night after he's gone to bed, knowing that I'll be able to put the Night Solution on and that I'll wake up and not look insanely tired is amazing. If there's one thing to put into your skin care regimen, it's the Night Solution!

TPH printing savior

So last thursday, late in the evening, I sat up on the couch and gasped.

I forgot my email address and twitter handle on my BlogHer media cards.

Who does that?!

Certainly not someone who claims to be overly organized, have her ducks in a row and be so on top of everything that it's not funny.

But did happen. And yes, I did freak out

Cover Art...before
After crying for a little while, and my sweet husband trying to reassure me that no matter the cost, we would get the proper cards printed, I went off to email TPH Canada and see about replacement cards and what that cost would be.

I woke up the next morning the the sweetest and most reassuring email from Cynthia - saying not to worry, that it happens, just to get them the artwork and they would have the card printed asap.
Cover art...after

Their kindness {oh queue the water works again!! That's how much I love them!} and reassurance is exactly why I love working with them. They are incredible, and I will be working with them for an extremely long time.

Thank you, TPH! You deserve a medal!

Getting Guest Ready with Kleenex Hand Towels

Have guests coming?

I have had a constant flow of guests over the last month between my son's brithday party, hosting my mom's wedding luncheon and now straight onto my bff's baby shower next month!

How do I get ready?

I get crafty!

This is an easy peasy, step-by-step craft that literally everyone can do (and better yet, the kiddos can help with!)

 Step 1: gather your materials
- wire coat hanger
- embellishments (or leave plain and make it even easier on yourself!)

Step 2: bend hanger into a rectangle

 Step 3: bend hanger to create a shelf

Step 4: embellish!! I chose to get shabby-chic with my bad self and whip up a little burlap bow to glue onto the front, off centred

 Step 5: fill it with Kleenex Hand Towels, books, magazines and more!

Just a simple little touch to make your guests smile!

Join the 14 million people who have already joined the Clean Hands campaign by using Kleenex Hand Towels, and click here for savings and more!

I was selected for participation in this campaign as a member of Clever Girls Collective.

Let Their Confidence Shine

Setting your kiddos up for success at school {and at home} is something that is oh so important for our toddler to learn. From doing crafts with Mama and discovering our artsy side, to playing ball with Daddy and using up some physical energy...whatever the case, it always is reinforced with high-fives and lots of love.

One thing that we've learned, is to stay consistent and positive with him. We started Owen (now 2years old, but really this is so important at every age!) at The Little Gym in January, and we have learned oh-so-much.

First and foremost, lots of praise can go a very long way. We are always praising Owen with lots of clapping, high-fives (or five-fives as he calls them) and great big hugs. We definitely have found that when he gets a high-five, he's more inclined to exhibit that positive, confident and healthy habit over and over again!

Secondly, thanking them for exhibiting that positive behavior. The teachers at The Little Gym always encourage us to thank our little ones for coming back to the red mat...and boy oh boy, does it ever work!! Owen seems to run to me for a great big hug and I always thank him for coming back to the big red mat, and he gives me the biggest smiles! Now, 6 months into the program, he rarely strays.

Also, encouraging them to be who they are and embracing them when they might not be cooperating is something that is really important in building their confidence. Recently, Owen's had some issues with the big's high, intimidating and climbing those stairs can be a tricky thing. But...with gentle encouragement, and not pushing him until he's comfortable....he's right up there with the bigger kiddo's now, and totally dominating it!

How will this all translate to pre-school? Well...he knows limits and is respectful of other peoples limits. He knows that when he's not comfortable with something, to ask for help, and is confident in seeking a grown up to get that assistance. He knows to keep trying new things, even if they're scary...which means interacting with new kiddos, saying new words, and meeting new teachers along  the way.

Knowing that he's confident, and that we instilled that confidence in him with gentle encouragement, lots of positive praise, and modelling that positive behaviour is kind of like a little pat on the back for a parenting job well done!

As a member of Clever Girls Collective, I was selected to participate in the Healthy Habits program sponsored by Kimberly-Clark and Colgate-Palmolive. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own. #healthyhabits #cgc