Thursday, 31 December 2015

Dramatic Winter Look

I had so much fun creating this dramatic winter look! Lets hang out and talk makeup products and application. 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Luke Lately

Its holiday time and just like you make everything in life more awesome, you made Christmas more awesome Luke!

Whenever you see Santa or something Christmassy you say HoHo.

You love doing yoga.

You love doing somersaults and you did one by yourself a few weeks ago week.

You are talking more and more everyday, trying to say everything that dad and I say.

You are very smart and we are so proud of you.

Your voice gets extra sweet when you say bubba.

Your affectionate, you will randomly come up and give me a hug. That is the best feeling in the world.

You like hockey and you yell GOAL whenever you see hockey sticks, a game on tv or anything hockey related.

One of your favourite words is 'more'.

You do this funny monkey walk that makes everyone laugh.

You love tangerines, sometimes you can eat four at a time.

Your dad is your hero, when I go in your room in the morning the first thing you say is 'dada'.

You make the everyday tasks, extraordinary.

You know how to take a selfie and you say 'cheese' while you hold the phone to face you.

Your awesome and happy and I hope you know how much you are loved and how great your worth is. You are special, created with a purpose by your Heavenly Father and your dad and I are here to help you live out that purpose.

I am excited to see what tomorrows adventure holds.

your mom

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

I Believe

My sister is a dance teacher and works with children that are at the age where they begin to question if Santa is real and over the past month she began to get the questions, “Is Santa real?” and “Do you believe in Santa?” My sister then asked me how I would respond to these questions and I told her.

I believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus. I believe in encouraging my children to let their imagination run free. I believe in excitement over something you can only see in your mind and I believe in the pure anticipation of Christmas eve and sparkling joy of Christmas morning. All of these things can only come from a belief in something you can not see.

There is a fabulous quote from one of my favourite Christmas Movies, ‘The Santa Clause’; “Seeing isn't believing, believing is seeing”. Believing in something good that I am unable to see has only ever kept the Christmas magic and my general faith in good, alive and I believe that is at the root of my inner child. 

As I get older and experience disappointment and the everyday challenges of life, I have become at times a little less willing to trust and be hopeful. At Christmas time I am reminded of the strong ability that I once had to believe in something I had never seen with unfaltering excitement. We do live in a world that can be scary and at times when people are asking where is the good, I want to respond hopefully that there is good in our world, even if we can't see it. When we believe in the magic of Christmas, the good in our world and let our minds be joyful over something we can't see, we become that joy and beacons of hope ourselves, we become the actuality of what we hope for and therefore bring hope to those around us. 

Now that our family has young children, Christmas has become about the magic again. Parents, grandparents aunts and uncles are excited to once again experience Christmas through a child’s perspective and we are taken back to our own childhood memories.  We revisit our favourite movies, traditions and memories and work on creating unique memories for the little ones in our lives. Children are happy to believe in something they can not see and that is inspiring to me. I will always come to Christmas like a child, believing in something I can not see and having faith that the magic of Christmas is real. I believe that if we have faith in the good we will be filled hope, which will breed positivity, something our world can never have enough of. 

I believe in the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus, do you?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Come As You Are With What You Have - Little Drummer Boy

We borrowed a board book from the Library with the lyrics for Little Drummer Boy that has beautiful illustrations and I have been singing the song to Luke every morning before I pull him out of bed. You know when you know the words to something, you sing them and they don't really register because you have said them or heard them so many times before, today they registered while I sang.

I am always trying to wrap my head around The Christmas Story of Jesus birth but there is so much to comprehend. God has been breaking it down for me in little pieces this year. The more I seek to learn about The Christmas Story, the more I begin to understand the many facets of this amazing event. The Little Drummer Boy song is where I learned a little lesson today.  

God loves me and you just as we are, in such an amazing way that He sent His Son to earth to save us, to teach us, to walk as one of us, understanding the hurt we experience in our sometimes scary world. God didn't have any conditions for sending His Son, He sent Jesus for me, an imperfect sinner.

The Little Drummer Boy wanted to meet Jesus but he didn't feel worthy as all he could bring was himself and a song on his drum. He went anyways, playing his song and it made the baby smile. You and I have been given so many unique gifts from God, gifts that we can use right now to be a blessing to someone. We were created with a purpose. My life mission is to find out what my purpose is and live it out, its a pretty exciting adventure even if its in the smallest of tasks. 

I use to go through phases of my life where I would mess up and then stay away from God because I felt so bad and unworthy to speak to Him and be in His presence. What I learned from The Little Drummer boy is that I can come to God and bring Him just me and whatever I have at this very moment and it will please Him because our Heavenly Father just wants us to be with Him. We are His children, don't you just want to be with your children no matter what?! Its the same with God and us.

This Christmas I invite you to be unafraid of what you have to offer our King, just come and bring what you have and maybe thats just yourself in gratitude of the amazing gift we have been given in Jesus! 

Merry Christmas

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Holiday Style Makeup Tutorial by HAL

Get ready with me as I create a dramatic and sparkly look using my new Too Faced Holiday Palette. I always enjoy doing my makeup but I especially have fun with sparkle and drama during the holiday and winter season. I used the Too Faced Holiday Palette to create this look but I would love to hear from you about what your favourite Christmassy makeup products are, please comment below.

Thank you for watching and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas Book Advent Week 2

This advent is definitely an adventure and last weekend we had a few fun filled nights that left us going right to bed when we got home. We missed a few books but on Monday we caught up on a few days and I recorded our little book time for fun.

We have opened a few books by Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman and these are my favourite so far. I love the ilustrations and their focus on Canadian treasures. "A Porcupine In a Pine Tree" is a take on the classic "12 Days of Christmas" song. Check out Tyler and I trying to sing our way though in this vlog post.

My advent books are a mix of thrifted, books from my childhood and some new books from The Book Keeper. The Book Keeper and I would love you to join in the Christmas story fun by snapping a picture of you and your family reading a Christmas book and tag The Book Keeper on Facebook. They will be running a contest from Friday December 18 to Sunday December 20 and drawing for a $50 gift card from all the people that share their Christmas story moment.

We can't wait to see your Christmas story pictures, check out The Book Keeper on their Facebook to connect and take part in the contest.

Merry Christmas

Monday, 14 December 2015

My Baking List

I love to bake and eat sweets and these are the recipes I have been working on or will be tackling this holiday season. I have been trying to get Luke in the "mix" and have him help me as much as possible, things normally get really messy but we are having fun. I am freezing most of what I am baking and then during the week of Christmas we will pull everything out, make up some mix plates and deliver them to friends and family.

Here is what I am working on:

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Balls

This was my first time making this recipe. I tasted the cream cheese mixture before rolling the balls and decided I wanted my cheesecake a little sweeter so I added 1/2 a cup of brown sugar. Other than that, the recipe was delicious and easy to make.


It was my first time making shortbread as well but I was pretty pleased as to how this recipe turned out. I like my cookies on the soft side so I did not wait for them to turn brown at the edges and they were nice and moist.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I baked these cookies with Emily and Sara and Emily found this recipe. She is not a cookie person but she loved these and said they really were the best chocolate chip cookies she had ever had.

Sugar Cookies With Royal Icing

I made these cookies last year during our Baking Day, the cookies and icing were delicious so I plan on making them this week. My designs did not turn out as beautiful as the ones in the post but I did my best!

Oreo Truffles

This has become one of my go to sweets recipes because it is so easy and is always a hit at family gatherings. Again, mine do not always look as beautiful but once you take a bite, you don't mind what they look like. Sometimes I coat all of mine with regular chocolate and drizzle with white if I am feeling fancy.

I would love to know what your favourite baking recipes are?

Friday, 11 December 2015

Gift Guide Vlog Post (Contest Closed)

I love brainstorming gift ideas for my loved ones and am excited to share some with you in my most recent blog post. Grab a coffee, tea or hot chocolate and lets talk gift giving and shopping in Sarnia Lambton.

I want to help you with your Christmas shopping so I am giving away a $100 gift card to Greg's Auto Detailing, check out the contest details and links to some amazing local businesses below.

Contest Details

Enter to win a $100 gift card to Greg's Auto Detailing. Like the following Facebook pages and share the video from my Facebook page. Contest Closes Sunday December 13 at midnight.

Facebook Pages

The Book Keeper

Joan Armstrong Silpada

Shoes 144 Front

Sticks And Strings

Greg's Auto Detailing

Heather Lapier

Thanks for watching, good luck & have fun!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Christmas Book Advent Week 1

Beginning on December 1st our family started counting down to Christmas Day by opening a Christmas book and reading it together each night. Luke is a little young for this tradition as he only sits still if he is having his evening bottle but I am still enjoying the family time, even if its just Tyler and I reading the book while Luke climbs on us or plays on the floor.

The books over the last few days have reminded me of my childhood and how I use to get so excited during December (lets face it, I still get super excited). Our story time also helped me focus on the more important things that I am grateful for this time of year. Specifically we enjoyed 'The Smallest Gift Of Christmas', a story about a little boy who wants a bigger gift but realizes his family is the best gift of all. 

I love the hustle and bustle of this time of year but it wouldn't feel the same if I didn't have people to shop for, cook for or enjoy all the festive activities with. One of the greatest Christmas gifts is simply enjoying the holidays with my family.

This post is in partnership with The Book Keeper. They will be hosting a fun contest next week and to enter you simply need to share a picture of you and or your family reading a Christmas book and tag their Facebook page. Connect with them on their Facebook page to take part. I can't wait to see the photos of you and your family enjoying story time!

P.S. What is your favourite Christmas book?

Monday, 7 December 2015

Check Myself Before I Wreck Myself

We had planned on going to Sloan's Christmas Tree farm to get our tree this year as we have done for the last 3 years but a long week prior to the weekend made us second guess the day trip and we opted to stay in Sarnia to get our tree. My inner Clark Griswold so badly wanted to push us to the limit and create the "perfect family Christmas tree memories" but I listened to my husband and my gut and we stayed home.

I suggested we go to DeGroots Nurseries because I have heard good things about their trees. When we got to Degroot's, we were happy to see they were hosting the Bluewater Health Winter Wonderland Family Fun Day. There were lots of activities for the kids including a train ride,  music and even a few of Santa's reindeer. We even ended up running into our friends while we were there so Luke got to enjoy the festivities with some of his little buddies.

When it came time to pick a Christmas tree we went for a pre wrapped tree for simplicity sake. When we brought it home and unwrapped it I started to feel a little sad that we didn't go all out for our Christmas tree day. The tree wasn't fluffing out the way I had hoped it would and I was just feeling a little lost. Its so silly that an "imperfect" tree was deflating my Christmas spirit but it was.

Luke went down for a nap and I sat on the couch alone for a minute in quiet and I checked myself hard. "Heather, get it together, Christmas is not about the tree or any other fluff that comes with the holidays, you are lucky to have a tree at all."

I really do my best to keep the birth of Christ at the centre of my Christmas festivities but it can be challenging. I love everything about Christmas but just as fast as all the glitter and gold can get me excited, it can let me down even quicker.

I find when I spend time focusing on the amazing gift of Jesus's birth, I don't get let down by unattainable holiday expectations or the January blues. I want to enjoy all my Christmas traditions like the tree, movies, baking, wrapping and gift giving all the while knowing that these things are second to the true meaning of Christmas.

How do you keep grounded while enjoying all the festivities of the holidays?


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Shop Local Sarnia - Gift Guide

A few weeks ago I shared some ideas to help you shop local in my Think Before You Shop post and now I want to offer you some specific gift giving ideas from some of my favourite Sarnia businesses.

Silpada - Joan Armstrong

Shopping from Silpada for any lady on your Christmas list is a no brainer for me for 2 reasons. 1. This line has a huge selection of jewellery offering styles for anyones taste and 2. I can shop when it is convenient for me online and have the items delivered to my door. If you like shopping online, consider the variety of direct sales companies that offer their consultants websites. Silpada  has been offering some great sales, you can sign up for their newsletter so you can take advantage of some great deals.

I have been wearing the two Silpada jewellery pieces featured in the images below a lot, dressing them up and down. I know these earrings and necklace will be at the centre of many looks I create this season. If you have any questions about Silpada, Joan would be happy to assist you with your shopping. You can send her an email from her website or get in touch with her through her Facebook page

The Book Keeper

Childrens books are an amazing gift for young families because they provide an opportunity to spend time together. I love the children's corner at The Book Keeper, you can pull up a little stool and let your inner child take over as you browse the wide selection of books they have available. They have books for anyone on your list from young to old and they even carry some books written by people from Sarnia Lambton and books about our community!

If there is a specific book that you are in search of, they can help you find it in store or order it in for you. If you would prefer to shop online, you can do that as well from their website. This store is cozy, the staff are welcoming and shopping at The Book Keeper for gifts is always an enjoyable experience.

Shoes @ 144 Front

This is one of my favourite stores in Sarnia and they don't just sell shoes. In addition to an amazing variety of footwear, they also carry funky socks, purses, bags, wallets and super stylish hats, all great gift ideas for a girlfriend, sister or mom. For all the males out there who don't know what to get their lady, a gift card to this store would be an excellent present for Christmas morning. Your lady will love the selection of beautiful items to choose from and I guarantee she will have the most pleasant shopping experience while she is there.

Specifically, I love the line of Co-Lab bags that Shoes @ 144 Front carries. This line designs everything from wallets to large totes. I have a few of their faux leather items, they are functional, quality bags that make it easy to be a stylish mom. A few months ago I shared why I loved the Co-Lab back pack in the My Diaper Bag story but most recently I have been loving this magenta over the shoulder bag (pictured below). This purse easily transforms into a clutch that I can throw into Luke's diaper bag by clipping off the shoulder strap. If you have a mom on your Christmas list that loves stylish bags, a purse that allows her to keep her fashionista identity and be prepared for everything her child may need during an outing, is a very thoughtful gift!

Greg's Auto Detailing

Tyler gave me the idea of a truck detail this year as I was having trouble thinking of something unique for him. I loved the idea of a vehicle detail for anyone who loves their ride. As you can see from the images below, this gift is not your average car clean, this is a vehicle transformation. After reviewing all the images on the Greg's Auto Detailing Facebook page I could see why Tyler would want his services as a gift. Greg's Auto Detailing doesn't just clean your vehicle, he makes it look like new. It is amazing how having my car cleaned to perfection makes me love it like a brand new vehicle all over again.

Greg's Auto Detailing has been in business for over 15 years. His work is proof that he takes pride in his business and appreciates his clientele.

Sticks and Strings

I think warm and stylish winter gear is always a great gift for us up here in the true north. I want to be able to enjoy my time outside during the winter but I want to look cute too. Within the Sticks & String line, there are many pieces that come in child and adult sizes which means Luke, Tyler and I can all match, wouldn't matching knits be a great gift for a little family! These handmade knit items will keep your loved ones warm and on trend all winter long. You can browse the variety of items from their Facebook page and if you see something you like, just send a friendly message.

The woman behind Sticks And Strings is a friend of mine whom I have known for many years. Her creativity easily flows into all of her handiwork. She also creates custom Nuns and other cool items, if you are looking for a very personal and unique gift idea.

As I learn more about my favourite local businesses there is one common thread, they are all prideful and appreciative of the community they live and raise their businesses in. For this reason they give back to our communities joyfully at Christmas and all year round. Shopping local doesn't just support the business owners and their employees, it supports our community and makes it stronger by allowing businesses to continually support the charities in Sarnia Lambton. The positive ripple that will take place when you begin to change your mindset and thoughtfully shop in our community, will reach so many of our neighbours. Have fun shopping local this Christmas Sarnia and all year long.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Connect with these businesses on their Facebook pages to keep up with all the fun stuff they have going on all year long.

Silpada - Joan-Armstrong

The Book Keeper

Shoes @ 144 Front

Greg's Auto Detailing

Sticks and Strings

Friday, 27 November 2015

Christmas Makeup Tutorial by H.A.L. Makeup Artistry

This time of year I love my makeup to really sparkle and shine. In this makeup tutorial I show you how to use a little glitter on your eyes and shimmer on your skin. 

The jewellery I am wearing in this look is from Silpada. I have been wearing these pieces so many ways and thought it was the perfect addition to a holiday look. My friend Joan is a Silpada Consultant and you can see more of their jewellery and connect with her through her Facebook page.

I love Christmas and am excited to share all of my holiday adventures with you and hope to hear about yours as well! I would love to connect with you through InstagramTwitter, and Facebook so we can share in each others Christmas memories. Not only do I love sharing my story, I really do love to read the stories of others and communicate with all of you. I believe when we share honestly, we have the opportunity to create real relationships and THAT is what I truly love about social media!

Anyways, here is the video, THANK YOU for watching.

Have a great weekend and .......... MERRY CHRISTMAS 

P.S. Luke makes an appearance at the end of this video:)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Eliminate Violence Against Women

Wednesday November 25th was the International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women and on this day I had the pleasure of sharing One Spark with a local ladies networking group. The work of One Spark is important to me so I thought I would share their story here as well. Their mission is to provide  barrier free opportunities for women experiencing violence, to generate income through entrepreneurship. One Spark wants to create a world where no woman faces financial barriers to living a life without violence.

The Executive Director of One Spark became familiar with the needs of women in transition through her work with Child Protection services, as a strategic planner. She recognized the staggering need for women fleeing violent living situations to have accessible housing and to generate or supplement an existing income quickly after deciding to leave her dangerous living situation.  Interval homes are an amazing first step in the process to living violence free but many are over capacity and are for short term use. After their time in an interval home, women are faced with job searching and in need of childcare with little external assistance. Some face living in poverty causing them to often return to living in violence. These financial barriers cause many women to have to choose between being poor or living in violence, a choice no one should ever have to make.  More specifically these are some details that demonstrate the need for the work of One Spark:
  • Half of all women in Canada have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.
  • On any given day in Canada, more than 3,300 women (and their 3,000 children) are sleeping in a shelter to escape domestic violence. Every night, more than 200 women are turned away because the shelters are full.
  • 1 in 4 Canadians say they have tried to help a friend leave a violent relationship.
  • On average, every six days a woman is killed by their intimate partner. In 2011, from the 89 police reported homicides, 76 of the victims (over 85%) were women. 
Women sometimes stay in abusive relationships because they are financially dependant on their partner. Leaving the relationship often means doing so without sustainable income or accessible housing. Interval homes serve as a short term safe house between a victim leaving the abuser and finding long term housing. During this short period of time it can be challenging for a woman to deal with all the facets of her current situation, find a job and childcare, if children are involved. 

One Spark's program works to remove the financial barriers women face when fleeing violent living situations by coming along side them to assist them in setting up a business that could provide them with income. A woman going through the One Spark program will be provided with the following: 

  • assistance creating a simple business plan
  • have her business registered for her including the costs being covered
  • provided with a laptop and basic software required for running a business
  • provided with information regarding legal compliance and government remittances
  • provided training on tracking business income and expenses
  • provided up to $2,000 in start up costs and ongoing mentorship
The time frame for going through the One Spark program varies but we want things to move efficiently for the women in our program. The start up costs are grants and repayment is not required but our hope is that one day the women that have gone through the program, will want to continue to be part of the One Spark effort as part of an advisory board, offering guidance to the other women going through the program. This program provides women with opportunities to financially support themselves and their children in a way that puts them in control of their lives. 

We are currently working with The Work Place Group in Sarnia and other similar organizations across Southwestern Ontario to connect with women in need of our services. The organization is based out of the Toronto area but we are set up to service any woman in need across Ontario. We are working to build more relationships with organizations like The Work Place Group so that we can continue to connect with more women in need of our services. 

Unfortunately, I am sure that many of us at some point in our lives have seen the need for the services of One Spark and other services working to end violence against women. In our own community we have witnessed the tragedy that can occur when a woman is living in violence. I believe in the work of One Spark because I know there are still many women that need its voice to be loud on their behalf. This organization helps to remove a woman from violence but it also provides her with tools to find her own voice once more. Entrepreneurship provides an option for financial freedom and provides women an opportunity to grow in their self confidence. Owning a business is very empowering as your skills are providing for you and you are in control of your success.  In our community, being a female business owner makes you part of an amazing group of women who work hard to support each others professional and personal endeavours.  

Sometimes it can be crippling to hear about the violence and sadness in our world, what can I really do to make a difference with the issue of violence against women. The thought of the overwhelming work that needs to be done, does exactly that, cripples my actions and sometimes I  regretfully do nothing. I do believe that we can make a difference and raising our voices can make positive change on the issues of violence against women. We can make a difference with our voices, we need to use our voices for those who are unable to speak for themselves. We need to talk about violence against women in hopes that someone in need of assistance will no longer feel they need to be silent. We need to remember those who have been lost to violence so their stories are never repeated and we need to tell the stories of survival to bring hope to those escaping violence. 

The issue of violence against women is still in need of being brought out of the darkness so that the women currently living with violence, are not afraid to take the first steps in living a life free of violence. On Dec 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women we would ask that you join One Spark in honouring the women we have lost to violence, to give hope to the women experiencing violence and to bring the issue of violence against women out of the darkness. We can create awareness and conversation by sharing our moments of remembrance on Dec 6 by lighting candles in our windows, taking a photo of them and sharing them on Facebook. Please tag One Spark (Facebook) to create awareness of our work and to show that we have hope that one day our world will be free of violence against women.