Author Archives: MARIA

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season Two #NetflixCanada #StreamTeam

14th April 2016

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidt-sliceFINALLY!!!!

Season TWO IS HERE!!!! It premieres TONIGHT just after midnight and I can’t wait! I found season one hilarious although I could have definitely done with less Jon Hamm. I don’t get the Jon Hamm thing. WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE JON HAMM??? WHY IS HE EVERYWHERE?????

Colin Firth, I get. Jon Hamm…..not at all.

Season two of the Emmy-nominated series picks up shortly after season 1 and finds Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) looking for a new job, Titus (Tituss Burgess) forced to face his past with the appearance of his ex-wife and Jacqueline (Jane Krakowski) rediscovering her roots, while landlady Lillian (Carol Kane) finds a surprising romance.

The series was created by Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Robert Carlock (30 Rock), who serve as executive producers with Jeff Richmond (30 Rock) and David Miner (30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a production of Universal Television, Little Stranger Inc., 3 Arts Entertainment and Bevel Gears for Netflix.

Normally, I would bingewatch a Netflix show over a weekend but my kids LOVED the first season so I promised them that we would watch it together, so it’s anyone’s guess how long it will take me to see all 13 episodes. Have you seen the official trailer for season two yet? Check it out below!
 

Penguin Drop Caps Series

27th February 2016

penguin-drop-caps

The Penguin Drop Caps Series is a GORGEOUS series of 26 special edition classics in hardcover, that would make any booklover weak in the knees. Their covers feature an illustrated letter of the alphabet by type designer Jessica Hische, and create a lovely rainbow when displayed as a set.

I can’t believe it took me this long to discover these – they are so pretty and a great way to discover some reads you may not have considered otherwise. Penguin has so many great collections but this just might be my new favourite!

I bought myself the first five with a gift card I received for Valentine’s Day and ordered G, H, I, P, and X online which I know seems random but they’re the hardest to find evidently, so I grabbed them when I could. I’m still waiting for those to arrive, and dreaming of the other 16 I still need to get.

Are you in love with the series too? Have some of the books and need a few more to complete the set or want to buy the entire thing in one shot?? I’ve discovered an amazing online shop that will allow you to do just that. In fact if you love gorgeous books, you must check them out. JUNIPER BOOKS is based in Boulder, Colorado but they will ship internationally. If you’re a booklover, do yourself a favour and check out their book shop. Not only will you see so many of the beloved classics and series that we love to collect, but also some incredibly unique and beautiful custom book sets as well. Prepare to fall in love. Seriously.

Check out the full listing below!

penguin drop caps

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  3. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
  4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  5. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  6. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  8. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  9. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
  10. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  11. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  12. Native Speaker by Chang-rae Lee
  13. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale by Herman Melville
  14. Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
  15. Butterfield 8 by John O’Hara
  16. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  17. The Greek Coffin Mystery by Ellery Queen
  18. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
  19. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
  20. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  21. Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath by Sigrid Undset
  22. Candide by Voltaire
  23. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  24. Sky Burial by Xinran
  25. When You Are Old: Early Poems and Fairy Tales by W.B. Yeats
  26. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Penguin English Library

25th February 2016

penguin-english-library
I LOVE books. Love love love.

I read every single day and more often than not, you’ll find me at home reading a good book. I am a party animal.

The last year or so, I read most of my books as ebooks, and read very few books in hand. I think many of us had an ebook moment. For me, that moment has mostly past. I am back to reading (and buying) actual books and I love it.

I’ve also discovered the book community on Instagram (bookstagrammers) recently, and am mildly obsessed. Honestly, I have no idea how it works or how one gets thousands of followers and likes, but that’s not really why I’m trying it out. I love it because I’ve discovered so many great books and collections by following the #bookstagram hashtag. One of these collections is the PENGUIN ENGLISH LIBRARY.

The Penguin English Library is a collection of 100 beloved classics, with book covers designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. They are lovely and in paperback format,  so they are very affordable. And their spines are dreamy, as you can see above, especially when displayed as a collection.

Aren’t they dreamy?? Check out 60 of the 100 below.

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

penguin-english-library

You can find these beauties in stores and online, although you might have to get resourceful if you’re after the entire set. I sadly don’t have any of these just yet, but they’re on the official husband-buy-me-these list for when he needs gift ideas (which is always). I’m partial to Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters so I’m starting with those.

Do you own any of these Penguin English Library editions?? Check out the full list below:

  1. Emma by Jane Austen
  2. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  4. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  7. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
  8. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
  9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  10. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  11. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  12. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  13. Evelina by Fanny Burney
  14. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
  15. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland andThrough the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  16. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
  17. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  18. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  20. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  21. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
  22. The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
  23. The Five Orange Pips and Other Cases by Arthur Conan Doyle
  24. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  25. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  26. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  27. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  28. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
  29. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  30. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  31. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
  32. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  33. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  34. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
  35. Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
  36. The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
  37. Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens
  38. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
  39. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  40. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  41. The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  42. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
  43. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  44. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  45. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  46. Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
  47. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  48. Howards End by E.M. Forster
  49. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  50. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
  51. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  52. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
  53. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  54. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  55. New Grub Street by George R. Gissing
  56. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  57. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  58. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
  59. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  60. Tess of D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
  61. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
  62. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  63. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  64. The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
  65. Daisy Miller and the Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  66. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  67. Washington Square by Henry James
  68. The Wings of a Dove by Henry James
  69. Dubliners by James Joyce
  70. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  71. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  72. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
  73. Melmuth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
  74. The Confidence Man and Billy Budd, Sailer by Herman Melville
  75. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  76. The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allen Poe
  77. Pamela by Samuel Richardson
  78. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  79. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  80. Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett
  81. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne
  82. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  83. Treasure Island and The Ebb-Tide by Robert Louis Stevenson
  84. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  85. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  86. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
  87. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  88. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope
  89. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
  90. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
  91. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
  92. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  93. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  94. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  95. The Island of Dr Moreau by H.G. Wells
  96. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  97. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  98. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  99. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  100. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

New Kid’s Book – The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? and a GIVEAWAY! #TheHueys

12th January 2016

the-hueys

I remember when I first discovered an Oliver Jeffers book was when I was in the bookstore with my then toddler son looking for something funny for his bedtime story that night. I just happened to find The Incredible Book Eating Boy on the shelf, and immediately adored the illustrations. And then I read it and fell in love with it’s story and just how funny it was. It became one of our absolute favourite family reads and led to our love of all things Oliver Jeffers. If you haven’t yet read anything written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, you are missing out. They’re creative, hilarious and will amuse your kids, regardless of their age.

the-hueys

Today is the release date of Oliver Jeffers’ newest book called The Hueys in What’s The Opposite? This is his latest book in The Hueys series, which explores the funny world of opposites. The Hueys are a quirky little bunch that will delight your children. The book is available in hardcover picture book and in board book formats today as well, so even your littlest one can enjoy this delightful book.

I’d love to share my love for Oliver Jeffers’ books with a giveaway today. This prize will include:

  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE? (hardcover picture book)
  • The Hueys in WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE (board book)
  • The Hueys in THE NEW SWEATER (board book)
  • The Hueys in IT WASN’T ME (board book)
  • The Hueys in NONE THE NUMBER (board book)

hueys

This giveaway is open to Canadian AND U.S residents and will run until January 21, 2016.

Good Luck!
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Countdown to New Year’s with Netflix and a Giveaway!

31st December 2015

NYE_CareBears

Netflix is genius.

Do you have little kids who desperately want to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year, whereas you’re thinking, “NOPE?” Thanks to Netflix, you can trick them into thinking it’s midnight, at anytime you like tonight!

Netflix is launching six on-demand countdown specials that parents can use to ring in the new year anytime! They can choose when it’s time to say goodnight and the kids choose how to celebrate with their favourite characters including: Puffin Rock, Care Bears & Cousins, Inspector Gadget, King Julien, and favorites from DreamWorks Animation like Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Project Mc2.

Netflix surveyed parents in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Mexico recently and found that 55% would love to be able to ring in the New Year with their kids early, using a special countdown. With 95% of Canadian parents spending this special night with their kids, Netflix’s early countdown options are a brilliant idea. I wish I had had this option when my kids were younger. Sadly, they’re too old to trick at this point so I am REALLY looking forward to dealing with exhausted tweens tonight.

Their poll also found these interesting stats about Canadian families and how they’ll be celebrating this New Year’s Eve:

  • More than a third of Canadian parents would use a special New Year’s Eve countdown as a way to get their kids to bed early (34 per cent)
  • 51 per cent of parents feel that having an on-demand New Year’s Eve countdown will allow them to celebrate as a family
  • Over 70 per cent of parents would start their special countdown before 11 p.m., with one in five parents choosing 9 p.m. as the ideal time to ring in those famous 10 seconds (20 per cent)
  • 65 per cent of parents plan to spend time with their significant other after putting their kids to bed before midnight

To ring in the New Year, I’d love to give away a little Netflix love to one lucky winner. Enter below to win a 6-month membership to Netflix Canada!!! This is open to Canadian residents only and will run until January 7, 2016!! GOOD LUCK and a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR to you and yours!!

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Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: DVDs

15th December 2015

My Holiday 2015 Gift Guide for last minute shoppers like myself continues with MOVIE DVDs! (I blogged about some great kid’s picture books yesterday.) I think DVDs are a great gift to give or add to a stocking, again without a huge investment. There is SO much to choose from right now but I’m focusing on newer releases for those movie fans on your list. Here are some that are sure to please!

holiday gift guide movies

  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E
  • Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

holiday gift guide movies

  • He Named Me Malala
  • Pan
  • Amy

holiday gift guide movies

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Trainwreck
  • Minions

holiday gift guide dvds

  • Ted 2
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  • Vacation

HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

Mattel’s #ListToppers and a Giveaway

15th December 2015

Christmas is around the corner and if you’re like me, you’re not even close to done with shopping for everyone on your list. I see scrambling for last minute gifts two days before Christmas in my future.

Do you have any little ones on your list? Mattel’s annual #ListToppers Toy List features 12 great toys this year, including:

  • Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
  • Barbie 2015 Holiday Doll
  • Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Turbo Flip Thomas
  • Fisher-Price Smart Toy-Bear
  • Barbie Rock ‘n Royal Lead Doll/Co-Lead Doll
  • Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Feature Horse
  • Monster High Boo York, Boo York Floatation Station Astranova Doll & Accessory
  • Monster High Gooliope Jellington
  • Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
  • Matchbox Treasure Truck
  • Mega Bloks First Builders Block Scooping Wagon

And our favourite….Ever After High Way Too Wonderland Dolls!

ever after dolls

In my house, my nine-year-old loves the Ever After High line and the dolls featured in this year’s #ListToppers were no exception. The Way Too Wonderful dolls include Kitty Cheshire, Madeline Hatter, Apple White and Lizzie Hearts. Their outfits are fantastic and come with pocket watches that open, fun accessories and doll stands. These will be a hit under the tree this year.

Would you like one? I’m giving away an Ever After High Way Too Wonderland Doll just in time for Christmas. You get to pick your favourite from the four dolls shown above as well. Being so close to Christmas, I’d love to get this to you in time (although I can’t guarantee it), so this will be a quick giveaway, ending THIS FRIDAY at midnight!! Enter below – it is open to Canadian residents only! GOOD LUCK!

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Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: Picture Books

14th December 2015

I’m going to be sharing my Holiday Gift Ideas all this week for those late shoppers like me who are still looking for great gift ideas. None of my lists are sponsored in any way – you’ll be seeing products I actually like, endorse, WANT and not because I’m paid or asked to do so.

First up, some fantastic children’s picture books for your little (and big) book lovers. These are all fun and special in their own way. I think they would make wonderful gifts and they’re a great way to bring joy without a huge investment. Books make the BEST gifts!!
Childrens Picture Books

childrens picture books

childrens picture books

12 Days of Picture Books – ROBO-SAUCE

9th December 2015

This might just be the absolute coolest, most ingenious picture book I’ve seen in a very long time.

robo-sacue

I must warn you however, because ROBO-SAUCE by Adam Rubin, is actually two books in one. This awesome picture book turns into a ROBO-BOOK! Seriously. My kids and I were so impressed by how unique this picture book is. The illustrations by Daniel Salmieri are perfectly matched with this delightful story of how a boy who discovers how to turn himself into a robot.

Flash! Bang! Boom! You need to gift this cool book to your favourite little people this holiday season. I promise you they will love the twist at the end!! I shared it with a girlfriend at our local bookstore, and she immediately bought it for her boys.

robo-sauce

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of SIX copies of ROBO-SAUCE, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY and TOMORROW!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/10/15. GOOD LUCK!

12 Days of Picture Books – Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

8th December 2015

I crazy love this book so much.

mitford at the fashion zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is written and illustrated by the incredibly talented and creative artist Donald Robertson. If you’re not following him on Instagram, you are missing out. I refer to him as the Canadian Warhol – the man has talent!

This lovely picture book is the story of Mitford the Giraffe who desperately wants to work for the fashion magazine Cover. If you know anything about fashion or fashion designers, you will delight in how creative this book is. You’ll encounter the talented Zap Possum, Shark Jacobs, and Mikael Boars just to name a few. The real star of this picture book is the illustrations – they are as Rachel Zoe would say, “Bananas.” Truly incredible.

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo

Mitford at the Fashion Zoo is a fun story that kids will love as much as any adult. This is a winner under the tree this year for sure!

Want to win a copy? Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books for their 12 Days of Picture Books giveaway promotion, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of FIVE copies of Mitford at the Fashion Zoo, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/09/15. GOOD LUCK!

12DaysofPB_blog tour

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