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Ten Habits To Check Off To A Better You!

I am a list maker.  I am not sure if it is the ‘act’ of the list making that I like, or whether it is the checking off of each item that gets me all worked up;  but, you will find me sorting my to-do’s by list daily.  This year I have decided to make myself a list that is more about me, and the ten habits I think I (and you) should take up more often this year.



1 – Continue to Learn! Take a new course and keep the brain active! Ie; Photography, Italian

2 – Wake Up Early. That saying, “The early bird catches the worm” is actually true.

3 – Do something that is out of your comfort zone.  Consistently challenge yourself by taking it one step further.
Ie; Take up Public Speaking with Toastmasters or Meet a new friend!

4 – Learn from people who inspire you.

5 – Start a journal.  Get to know yourself better.

6 – Show kindness to those around you… but, this goes without saying, right?

7 – Avoid negative people.  Nuff said.

8 – Acknowledge your flaws.  Acceptance is the first step in loving yourself.

9 – Let go of the past.  Live and love for today and tomorrow!

10 – Ask for feedback/help. Often.  We don’t always need to do it all.

Some of these things I am already doing,
but it is always good to have a reminder.


What 10 habits would you write down for yourself?





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Budgeting Gets You What You Want! #NewYear #BeOrganized

We often find it is time to reflect on the past, with the turning of the calendar at New Years.  What would we do differently?  What are some upcoming goals?  Some people choose to be healthier, to pay off debts or to even, save some money.  It is one thing to ‘talk the talk’, but to ‘walk the walk’ you MUST write it down!

Set Realistic Goals:

Making a plan that is too strict on paper isn’t going to help you in the long run.  It is nice to be frugal, but you do have to enjoy living just a bit.  Not setting realistic goals will only lead you to not sticking to the budget you’ve set.

The Small Stuff:

Do you pop into Starbucks for a Caramel Macchiato daily?  Even three times a week?  Do you eat lunch out every day?  These costs may seem tiny, but a tiny bit over a week times four weeks really adds up!  Bringing your own tea bags to work, making coffee at home and packing a lunch are sure fire ways to cut back on the expenses.

Go Old School:

Why is money so much harder to keep track of these days?  Likely, the cashless society we now live in.  Having chequing accounts with overdraft, access to credit and loans makes it hard for even adults to control themselves.  Teaching children about money these days is extra hard — “Just take the plastic card out of your wallet Mommy and pay for the groceries!”  If only things were that easy!

Since we may need to use cash only to teach our kids the value of a dollar, there is no reason why us adults cannot convert our spending dollars to the cash format.  Take this opportunity to help your children understand money, and leave yourself no chance to overspend.  For best organization, divvy cash up into jars with labels. When the money is done, it is done.

Buy In Bulk:

Anything that you use a lot of that can be bought in bulk (canned items, household supplies, boxed items, toiletries) without spoiling, always works out to be better in price than buying individually.

Auto Save: 

We all mean to save… we get some extra money from our pay cheque and yep, savings do not always happen. The best way to plan for saving and your future is to have automatic withdrawals.  This way, saving becomes something that happens without much thought;  however, you can always change it or cancel it for a period of time where you need more money.



Don’t look at budgeting as a way of limiting yourself,

look at it as an opportunity to save!





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4 Recipes to Get ‘er done right with Christmas this year!

Want an easy way to reduce stress this Christmas?

Combine your baking with gifting!

With my easy to follow steps, you can get your baking AND your Christmas giving done in just a few days! Plus you can add some serious FUN and deliciousness into your life as a family, no matter what your family looks like!


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Click here to download the pdf of this file for your printing enjoyment!

Christmas Baking Recipes and Grocery List

Only want the grocery list, click here to download.

Christmas Grocery List

Let’s do this!


Step 1. Print the grocery list and recipe’s. Look through your home and determine what you have now that is on the grocery list. (cross off those ones from your list-one less thing!)

Step 2. Plan shopping and baking day(s), write on calendar; commit and do.

Step 3. Get your groceries.

Step 4. Do your baking, like you said you would in step 2.

Step 5. Package your baking according to “eat immediately”,” giving as gift”, “freezing”, etc.


Tina’s Christmas Baking

Warning! 2 nutty recipes in this batch. Almonds and cashews. I’ll start working on a nut free one, but still try the gingerbread and the Peppermint Bark.

Recipes you’ll be making:

  • Gingerbread Dough-Men / Houses
  • Rosemary Cashews
  • Almond Bark
  • Peppermint Bark

Gingerbread Dough (For Men and Houses)

**(Make this recipe first, let dough sit in fridge wrapped until baking day)**

An “O’Connor family” tradition, this recipe makes the most delicious, soft gingerbread. Pairs well with M&M’s, but feel free to ice the Gingy-men also. Excellent for making gingerbread houses! This recipe makes A TON of cookies (6 to 8 dozen), depending what sizes you make, but we always end up making at least 2 to batches. These are a hit with most people, so good choice for bringing no matter where you go. Kids can do a lot to help, and have lots of fun with gingerbread, and so can you! Rolling, cutting, shaping, decorating, once you try this, you’ll be making it part of your tradition too!


1 Cup                     Melted Shortening

1 Cup                     White Sugar

2 Cup                     Molasses, Table

2                              Eggs, beaten

1 Cup                     Milk

7 Cups                   Flour

1 ½ Tbsp               Baking Soda

1 tsp each            Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Salt

In a large bowl, mix together shortening, sugar, molasses and eggs.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking soda and spices.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar blend, alternating in small amounts with small amounts of milk. Mix and form a ball of dough. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 325 or 350 F. (Just see how your first few batches cook at 325, then decide…you’ll know).
Roll out on a floured surface to ¼” thick. Cut with cookie cutters, trace with gingerbread stencils and use a knife, or make your own shapes with your hands or other tools! Decorate with M&M’s (if desired, plus it is recommended!) and then bake firm but not too brown. Recipe always said 10 to 12 minutes, but I start checking at 8 minutes, and then decide. They get crunchier the longer they are cooked, so enjoy either way!dividerRosemary Cashews

Inspired by my Aunty Shelley, who gave me these, along with the recipe, one Christmas.  This ridiculously simple recipe is so delicious, and passes off as a very debonair appetizer.  Add the recipe on a card and wrap in a cute package, and you’ve got a classy gift.

1 lb                         Unsalted Cashews

2 tbsp                    Fresh Rosemary Leaves, minced

½ tsp                     Cayenne Pepper

2 tsp                      Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp                   Kosher Salt

1 Tbsp                   Butter, melted

Preheat oven to  350 F. Spread cashews on a baking sheet and toast in oven until warm, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and butter. Thoroughly toss the warm cashews with the spiced butter and serve!
Almond Bark- Need I say more.  Roasted almonds and Chocolate…together, plus it’s so easy.  Seriously easy. Although it is hard to keep around because it tastes so good!


2 Cups Almonds natural
2 Boxes  Baking Chocolate Squares (or chips), Dark, Milk, Semi, or White


Spread almonds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in 350 F oven for 5 minutes.


Melt chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, use any pot and find a metal or ceramic bowl that will fit nicely in the top of the pot you are using. Works like a charm. **Time Saver. If you are also making the peppermint bark, melt your chocolates from both recipes at the same time, and just divide in half between almonds.**


Pour melted chocolate over the thin layer of almonds on the cookie sheet. You can marble / swirl the dark and white by alternating each as you pour on the almonds.  Smooth the chocolate over so all the almonds are hiding!


Chill in fridge (or porch if you are in Canada at Christmas!) for 2 hours. Break into “bark-like” pieces and enjoy!


Peppermint Bark-Crushed up peppermint candy canes mixed into delectable chocolate. Just 10 minutes to whip up, this is an easy one to have around for hostess gifts, or as a nice after dinner offering with coffee and tea. Or just whenever you feel like a pick-me up.


1 Box Peppermint Candy Canes, crushed (unwrap, put into plastic bag and bang with rolling pin…so fun!)
2 Boxes  Baking Chocolate Squares (or chips), Dark, Milk, Semi, or White


Spread peppermints on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a thin layer.Melt chocolate in a double boiler. **Time Saver. If you are also making the peppermint bark, melt your chocolates from both recipes at the same time, and just divide in half between almonds.**


If you don’t have a double boiler, use any pot and find a metal or ceramic bowl that will fit nicely in the top of the pot you are using. Works like a charm. (**don’t use plastic**)


Pour melted chocolate over the thin layer of peppermints on the cookie sheet. You can marble / swirl the dark and white by alternating each as you pour over the mints.


Smooth the chocolate over so all the peppermints are covered.Chill in fridge for 2 hours. Break into “bark-like” pieces and enjoy!


Shopping List:

Printable Christmas Grocery List!


Fresh Rosemary Leaves (2 Tbsp)



Butter (1 Tbsp )

Eggs (2)

Milk (1 cup)



Parchment Paper

If following my gifting ideas, you will also need:

Blank Recipe Cards

Gingerbread house instructions or template

Baking Packaging-different sized boxes, clear bags,

Cookie Cutters (as gift)


Pantry / Baking Supplies

Cookie Cutters

2 Cups Almonds (unsalted)

4 Boxes Baking Chocolate, White and/or Dark or Milk (squares or chips, 16 oz)

1 lb (500 g) Unsalted Cashews

Candy Canes, box of 12

M & M’s chocolate

Decorations for Gingerbread men and houses (optional)-icing, jelly beans, marshmallows, pretzels, ju jubes

Cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp)

Brown Sugar (2 tsp)

Kosher Salt (1 Tbsp)

Shortening (1 cup)

Sugar (1 cup)

Molasses (2 Cups)

Flour (7Cups)

Baking Soda (1 ½ Tbsp)

Ginger (1 tsp)

Cloves (1 tsp)

Cinnamon (1 tsp)

Salt (1tsp)


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Happy ‘Stress Free’ Holiday!


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My Calgary Moment Launching ‘Be That Mom’

‘Be That Mom’ launched at Steinway Pianos in Calgary in November of 2013. The setting for the evening was an extraordinary way to celebrate the new book and I was able to be surrounded by my family and friends. Other stops along this tour were filled with very memorable people, but truly being in my home town celebrating was a surreal feeling.

I have been trying to find the words for the evening…

I had fun.

I am thankful for those supporting me on this venture.

I am appreciative of love and advice.

Looking around the room at the beauty that is my circle (and a room full of glorious pianos!), I was speechless — and I mean, when am I ever speechless?  I felt completely blessed to be sharing in this moment with my family and friends.

I have poured over photos from the evening and poured over them some more.  The smiles are what I see first.




Thank you all so much for joining me on this adventure.  I have learned a lot and the one thing I know for certain, is that I absolutely love making women feel empowered!  We’re all cut from the same cloth and we need to stick together.

I have one last ‘Release Your Inner Girl’ stop coming up on Thursday, January 30th from 4 pm to 7 pm at My Filosophy in Edmonton.  Tickets are free, but you do need to register for the event.  I’ll even be doing a workshop on ‘Dressing for Success!’, ‘How to Walk the Walk’ and ‘Getting More of What You Want.’   I would love it if you joined us!

To register, click the button below.

Eventbrite - Release Your Inner Girl Party - Edmonton




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Tell US What YOU Think!

We’d love to hear your feedback on the ‘Be That Girl’ and ‘Be That Mom’ series.  We think these books are pretty awesome and will help you get to where you want to be in no time.  But it doesn’t really matter if we think these books rock, we want to know what YOU have to say!





Please do not think we are asking for you to say only what is GREAT about these books, we want you to be completely honest.  Give it to us – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

When you make your review on Goodreads or Amazon and come back here to tell us about it, we’ll send you a journal to help you start getting organized.


To review ‘Be That Girl’ Goodreads – click HERE.

To review ‘Be That Girl’ on Amazon – click HERE.

To review ‘Be That Mom’ on Goodreads – click HERE.

To review ‘Be That Mom’ on Amazon – click HERE.



Thank you in advance!

~ Team ‘Be That Books’


Spa Day with Calixica Holistic Spa Boutique #Vancouver #BeThatMom

One of my favourite parts about being an author and CEO of a publishing company, is my ability to set up cool contests that are win-win… I get what I want and I get to give away stuff that other people want and need.

Being on tour as an author and publisher may seem glamorous; the travelling to exotic places (like Regina and Ottawa), tv appearances, radio spots, newspaper articles and book signings, and it really can be exciting and action packed! But it is also physically exhausting and a bit draining on even the most driven, sane person. Travelling alone, by plane and by car, is time consuming and can be boring if you don’t plan to occupy yourself accordingly. The traffic in places like Toronto is enough to break anyone (and when your car breaks down on the way to a television spot, it can really throw you for a loop…if you let it!). Early morning tv, late night book signings in heels for 4 hours, sleeping in a different hotel by yourself every night, mixed with the pressure of getting your pictures from the day up on your social media sites is a different kind of physical strain than a 9 to 5 job!

I knew that after 2 months of touring with ‘Be That Mom’, I would need a little relax and rejuvenation to recharge my soul,  so I planned an amazing spa day on the last leg of my tour in Vancouver. The spa I chose was Calixica Holistic Spa Boutique located on Robson Street in a very trendy area of downtown Vancouver.  There are a lot of spas to choose from in Vancouver, but Calixica really stood out as the one for me. Their focus on “embracing green practices” is a clear fit with my way of thinking. Founder of Calixica, Andrea Pierce, “only allows products into the spa that are safe for clients, colleagues and the environment.”  We need to take charge of our own health, and we have the ability to choose what we are exposed to!  I choose to go natural!

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While I was excited to hit the spa on my own, I am also the kind of person that likes to share the love and goodness… so I created a contest as a way to “earn” some company for my spa day. (Admittedly, I pay to make new friends sometimes…what’s wrong with that?) As women in North America, we are stressed to the max with stuff to do… groceries, meals, work, cleaning, laundry, friend and family maintenance, personal care, running kids to and from all of the activities that they NEED to do, and add time with your husband to that list — suddenly your personal recharge time becomes even more precious and even harder to get! That’s why I was so excited to reward a few lucky ladies with a day at the spa… gosh darn it,  they deserved it!

It was a beautiful rainy Sunday in Vancouver when my niece Brooke and I drove to the spa. Contrary to the snowy -20 degrees Celsius weather in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, everything was still green and spring-like in Vancouver– even in November! Glorious!

Parking was easily found behind Calixica; a bonus considering it was downtown prime Vancouver real estate. Brooke and I walked leisurely past the Starbucks and found ourselves outside of our oasis, Calixica. We met up with my two contest winners, Nicky and Caroline, and then “The Fantastic Four” was ready for our day in the sun (or rain, or spa…).

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Inside, the spa was elegant and cosy, with 4 chairs set up in a circle with large bowls on the floor in front of each one. I could tell right away that this was not going to be a traditional spa experience. Greeted by Tia and Linda, we were served a delicious selection of breakfast pastries, warm, invigorating tea and celebratory Mimosas. We took our shoes and socks off and got settled in while Tia and Linda filled our bowls with pure, boiled water. Tia explained that our bowls were filled with pink Himalayan salts, river rocks, and rose, and that by soaking our feet in this blend, we could successfully transfer toxins out of our feet and into the water. Gravity combined with the flow of blood makes the feet an easy target for toxins to get stuck and the goal is to get those toxins out! Tia educated us on the healing properties of each item in our foot bowl. Rose, for example, levels out the energy in your feet, and it’s the salt that’s the real secret to removing toxins from your body. The browner your water turns by the end of the session, the more toxins you let go of, so it was a true dirty water contest!

Each of us in turn was treated to a mini-facial while our feet soaked. Warm water was consistently added to our bowls, and we always had fresh tea and snacks. While I knew I was hosting a girls spa day, I found myself getting increasingly quiet. There to enjoy some serious relax time, I found myself breathing more slowly and easily.  I closed my eyes and enjoyed the feeling of someone taking care of me. I loved the facial and really did not want it to end. ~sigh~ It began with some aromatherapy where I selected the scent that I preferred (a perfect example of how your body intuitively knows what you need). I loved the smell and feel of the Benedetta products used for the facial and Linda truly knew where to touch me to induce healing in my body. A hot facecloth combined with a caring touch is all I need!

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We were then treated to manicures and this is where we learned all about the chemicals used in mainstream nail care products.   It it not okay to keep using stuff with chemicals just because you are not aware! We must take charge, ladies, and seek knowledge to keep ourselves and our families be as healthy as possible! I was introduced to an incredible line of water based nail care products called Aquarella, available at Calixica, that is non-toxic and quick drying (best of both world’s, I say!).  I will never put chemicals on my nails again and I will take it upon myself to educate my children about this too! This is important. We poison ourselves with beauty products that contain detrimental chemicals everyday, and the companies that make those products are NOT thinking about our health.  I loved the manicure, and found it especially interesting that Tia gave us each a “message” while she was working on our hands. Her connection to the Universe is clear and strong, and her messages were relevant and personal for each of us (a bonus you won’t find at your traditional spa). The Isun Rose Quartz Body Oil used for our hand massages is a must have in any woman’s purse and vanity; the smell will have people stopping you to ask what it is, and the way it feels is incredible!

Our final treatment was a fabulous foot treatment that included a delectable foot and leg rub. Not sure what it is, but when another person touches me with such devotion, care and attention, I can really feel them transferring their amazing energy and vibration to me. I always close my eyes and enjoy the moment, all the while praying that they will never stop. I love to be touched and rubbed, and my body always feels rejuvenated afterwards. My feet were overjoyed to have this kind of down time after the amount of book signings I had made them work through!

There were some really nasty looking brown bowls left behind when the girls and I left the spa… proof that we unloaded some of our unwanted toxins! We also left behind a lot of worry, stress and cares. We made time for us. We cared for and healed, our bodies. We nurtured each other, built friendships and broke bread together. The Universe was smiling on us all that day, and we were all creating a better future for ourselves, together.

At Calixica, you can recharge, heal and beautify yourself naturally. By putting the focus on the natural beauty that exists within each of us, and adding pure, natural elements to your routine, you can unveil your amazing true self.

I love the idea of nurturing ourselves holistically and focusing on sustaining and encouraging natural beauty, rather than disguising ourselves behind masks of products that may, in the end, actually destroy our beauty and health.

What a way to end a tour!  Thanks Calixica…you made my day, and helped me create a better future 🙂

Hugs and Sunshine,



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Release Your Inner Girl with Tina and the Two of Hearts Boutique #Vancouver #BeThatMom

On Thursday November 14, 2013, I had the pleasure of hosting a ‘night out’ at the fabulous Two of Hearts Boutique on West 4th in Vancouver, BC. Owned by two amazing ladies, Tabitha and Jenny (both of whom are clothing designers themselves),  the boutique is absolutely incredible inside, filled with beautiful garments, hats, and jewellery.  Their personally designed clothing line, CiCi, is displayed throughout the store, and you can tell that these girls know what they are doing when it comes to dressing us ladies for success!

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The Two of Hearts Boutique specializes in carrying Canadian-Made and Locally designed apparel, and the walls of the store are hung with local artwork. I ended up falling in love with a gorgeous hat made by the Canadian Hat Company… my hat fetish is getting worse (or better, depending if it’s me or my husband Ryan talking!). We had over 40 ladies attend this event (and 1 smart gentleman, I might add…good place to meet ladies!), and we had a blast!

Our guests were treated to a selection of wines and an assortment of delectable finger foods. We mingled, networked, and socialized and then we really had some fun! I put on a mini-workshop for our guests, inspiring and educating them on how to ‘Release their Inner Girls’. We learned how to walk the walk, strut our stuff, smile and be more confident! I loved watching the ladies giggle as they “strutted” across the floor. It’s amazing what putting a little sass into one’s walk can do for the self esteem (and the booty!). Shoulders back, girls out, tuck that tummy, and look where you want to go with intention. (Works great in the bedroom too, ladies!)

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The Two of Hearts Ladies then walked us through how to dress yourself based on your shape, rather than looking at the numbers on the clothing. It has become increasingly popular over the years for designers to “small size” their clothing, so what used to be considered a size 6 for example, is now being labelled as a 2! This “relabelling” is meant to increase women’s confidence in themselves and in their bodies (don’t we all want to wear a smaller size!), but it is causing some concerns. (There are now double and triple zero sizes for those very petite ladies). The moral of the story is to stop looking at the size and start looking at style! We learned how to accentuate our positives, and (almost) eliminate our negatives by choosing styles that worked for our bodies. There is no one style that will fit EVERY BODY, so be particular about what you wear and how you wear it.

Tabitha really stressed to us to “just pick things off the shelf that you think might fit rather than looking at size” and to use your clothing boutiques for the expertise of their staff. When you shop mainstream stores at the mall, the staff are not nearly as helpful or knowledgeable. Shopping boutiques gives you the personal attention you deserve, and the staff have seen almost every shape and size, so they know what works and what doesn’t and can recommend things you may never have dreamed of picking up! Boutiques know how to make you feel like a goddess!

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“Who cares what they’re wearing on Main Street of Saville Row….It’s what you wear from ear to ear, and not from head to toe…that matters…You’re never fully dressed without a smile!”  –From the Musical, Annie


We gave away a tonne of door prizes at this event – 2 sets of tickets to the Vancouver Fashion Week, a few Be That Mom and Be That Girl Book Packages (including books, journals, tote bags and t-shirts), a $100 gift certificate to Two of Hearts, and a Spa Day with Tina at Calixica (you can read all about it soon)!  I met some pretty amazing people at this event that I know will become lifelong friends, and it is always fun to inspire women to get their ‘girl on’ to create change in their lives. Hanging out with a group of positive ladies while shopping, noshing, educating and inspiring ourselves is an amazing way to increase self confidence, reduce stress, build self esteem, and most of all, have fun.

One last thing… I would like to personally thank each and every attendee for their generous contributions to Blessings in A Backpack. This organization helps support and feed our own Canadian children and it is a cause I am so passionate to be working with.

Until next time,

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A New Product to ‘Be That Books’ – Welcome ToboToys! #Giveaway




^^This is exactly what I like in a toy.  Recycled and/or made with natural material.

This is the Tobo Track!  Not only is this track compatible with other toys (Hot Wheels, Thomas the Train etc), but there is so much to be learned from playing with this toy!

  • Fitting the pieces together builds spatial awareness, manual dexterity, and shape/pattern recognition.
  • Since each piece has six possible orientations, deciding how and where to place track pieces builds creativity and problem solving.
  • The numbers on the edge of the track can be used to incorporate numeracy and simple mathematics into the playing experience.
  • Tobo Track encourages group play since there are multiple pieces that can be joined on any side. Its easy to collaborate on building a track.




ToboToys is a new toy company, founded on three principles: Healthy play, Sustainable production and Educational Value. The Tobo Track is the first toy in the line;  however, ToboToys plans to extend the line in the future.  For more information about ToboToys, visit their site HERE.

Giveaway – Be That Books is proud to offer this new line of toys, and as such, we are giving away one set of Tobo Track (ARV $59.95)! Follow the linky below to enter for your chance to win one of these amazing sets!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Giveaway is open to Canadian or U.S.A residents over the age of 18 yrs.

Ends Friday, November 29th, 2013 at 12:01 M.S.T**

Good Luck!

Can’t wait to win? Buy your own Tobo Track Now and get it delivered in time for Christmas!





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Release your Inner Girl with Tina and Second Sensation Boutique #BeThatMom #Winnipeg

On October 23, 2013, I had the pleasure of hosting a “Girls Night Out” at a beautiful store in Winnipeg, Manitoba called Second Sensation Boutique. As soon as I arrived at this store, I  knew I was in trouble! High end, fabulous, brand name fashion for women at deep consignment store discounts… EEEEEPPP! Yippee! Hooray!

Midge, the owner of the store, is an absolutely amazing lady!  Her outgoing personality, charisma and style are reflected in her store and the amazing products she prides herself on carrying. When shopping at this store (or bringing in consignment), expect personalized, one-on-one treatment from Midge and her fabulous assistant. I was immediately distracted when I walked into the store by the huge selection of shoes, purses, scarves, handbags and jewellery and I hadn’t even seen the back area where a lot more clothing was kept yet! But… with an event to host, I had to be on top of my game!

When the guests began to arrive, we were served glasses of sparkling wine, delectable deserts and Starbucks coffee. Then we were set free into the store to shop like princesses do! That night… we got to have our cake and eat it too!


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It was exciting to see the ladies perusing the shop and trying things on. Midge was extremely attentive to all of the ladies, helping find the perfect boot to match a skirt, or pair the right scarf, purse or a necklace with the perfect dress. If you want top-notch boutique service, Second Sensation is the place to shop in Winnipeg! Midge will remember you after just one time shopping in her store, and she’ll even hold pieces for you as they come in once she knows what you like!  (This is key to getting the goods ladies!)

Sometimes when you shop consignment, you inevitably fall in love with an item that does not exactly fit. While this may seem like a problem, Second Sensation has got you covered! Midge offers alterations… an amazing customer service addition that you are not likely to find at other consignment stores. If the shoe doesn’t fit…fix it so it does!

I must admit that shopping is not my favourite thing. Let me rephrase that so it doesn’t sound like a swear… “mall shopping” is not my favourite thing. But consignment store shopping at the right store is like a piece of paradise for me. When you are shopping consignment, you can focus on looking for one-of-a-kind treasures and pieces that you LOVE because you LOVE them, not because everyone is wearing them this season. With consignment, I feel like you are given a license to exercise your own style, rather than being swayed by the “IN” stuff. Don’t get me wrong– I like the IN stuff too.  But “That Girl” likes to stand out in a crowd.

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My favourite part of the night was doing a little re-con shopping of my own. I spied a gorgeous hat behind the counter and just had to try it on. All I can say is that it was love at first wear! The best part was that the hat was from Holt Renfrew and they had the HAT BOX to go with it! Now that is what I call a classy consignment store. I won’t even tell you the price of the hat, but I feel like I stole it (and that’s what I’m telling my husband, Ryan!).

I wore that amazing hat to my CTV Morning Live Saskatoon appearance a few days later, and I just know that hat and I were meant to be together. Things happen for a reason, I always say.

This event was also a fundraiser for a charity that I actively support called Blessings in a Backpack. I am so grateful to Midge at Second Sensation, as well as all of the ladies that attended, for their support of this amazing organization! We raised an incredible amount of money that night, ladies!

If I lived in Winnipeg, I would be broke because of this store. So many fun things stashed inside! No wait– I wouldn’t go broke… Midge would help me consign my clothes and accessories so I could always have new stuff to wear!  #WINWIN

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My final thought is that I really, really wish the purple shoes with the sparkly heel had been my size. No Cinderella moment for me this time.  😉

See you next year  Second Sensation, and until then, happy shopping ladies!




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#WIN a Day at the Spa with Tina O’Connor #Vancouver !


There is pretty much nothing better than a day spent relaxing at the Spa.  This kid-free, agenda-free time is spent purely focusing on you (we don’t do nearly enough of that, do we?), rejuvenating your inner girl. We all need this time in our lives to be able to be the best Mommy, Wife, Sister, Friend etc. that we can be!

Tina O’Connor would like to invite you to enjoy a day at the spa with her in Vancouver!

Calixica Holistic Day Spa on Robson will offer up a body, mind and soul experience, using products and methods that are sustainable and planet-friendly.

All you have to do is this…



Leave a comment below telling us why YOU think you need a day at the Spa!

That’s it!




Contest Ends Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 @ 12:01am M.S.T

*Winner must live in Vancouver, British Columbia or have the ability to get to/from the Spa Day on their own. Lodging not provided.  Must be 19 years of age or older to enter.   Winner will be contacted by email and has 48 hour to respond or another winner will be chosen.  Spa date November 17th/13 (Subject to change)*

Good Luck!



*** A Winner has been notified***

(Thank you to all who entered!)

Signature for BTG