25 April 2020

Mother’s Day gift ideas

Mother’s Day is coming, and with social distancing still very much in effect, we’re having to be more prepared than ever this year with gifts . While ordering flowers as Mother’s Day gifts is still a popular option, ordering windows will need to be bigger, and you’ll need to place that order much earlier this year. Curb side pick up, deliveries and porch drops will be the most popular ways to get Mom her gift, so I’m giving you ample notice and tons of ideas for the perfect gifts for Mother’s Day.

8 Perfect Gifts for Mother’s Day
1. Give her the gift of glowing skin
The NEW Beautycounter Vitamin C serum is already a cult favourite. After just one week of use I saw immense improvement in the look of my skin. I can’t think of a better Mother’s Day gift, than the gift of glowing skin. Gift Mom this Vitamin C serum, and add some extra goodies (see #6 below!). Shop the NEW Vitamin C serum here. I recommend ordering by April 30 for arrival in time for Mother’s Day.
2. Send her cookies in lieu of flowers
You know that local bakery in town? They’re probably struggling right now given foot traffic is at 0. Place an order for curb side pick-up for a dozen cookies, or some fresh baked goodies. No one can resist fresh baked local fare, plus she’ll be proud you’re supporting local businesses. In the Newmarket area, Nutmeg is taking curb side pick-up orders on their website now and their cruffins are AMAZING!
3. Pick out her post-quarantine handbag
Tory Burch has some of the most amazing spring styles out right now, and you can order online and have it delivered right to her door (or yours! This one’s for the hubby’s!) I am obsessed with the Ella mini tote, I have it in 2 colours and am drooling over the Summer 2020 options. Mom will love it too!
4. Personalized books from the little ones
Wonderbly has some really cute personalized book options, and my favourite pick for Mother’s Day is “NAME loves Mommy This Much”. If she’s a new mom, even better. This will really pull at her heart strings. Shop this book here.
5. MAMA sweatshirt
Brunette the Label makes these adorable “mama” sweaters, with matching crew necks for your little one. I love matching sets, so obviously I had to suggest this as a gift idea. Plus, Brunette the Label is a Canadian brand (from Vancouver!) and I always give preference to local brands. Shop the mama sweatshirts here.
6. The perfect pout
If I didn’t sell these, this would be my favourite gift. Three amazing pout perfecting goodies in one box. The better balm and lip scrub are two of my FAVOURITE Beautycounter products, and the clear gloss is perfect on its own or layered over her favourite lipstick. This was and will probably remain my favourite Beautycounter gift pack to date. Get it while you still can, here.
7. When in doubt, jewellery
I am not a huge jewellery fan to be honest, but I think most women are. I have been loving the simple, timeless designs by Muizee lately. One of my favourite things I own is my “s” necklace from Muizee, which was a gift from my sister-in-law. I love that you can personalize Muizee jewellery by adding letter charms, etc. Check out Muizee’s online shop here.
8. Flowers are always a good idea
Again, not a flower person. But, lately I have been craving flowers in the house, probably because I have never spent more time inside the house. I imagine most people are feeling the same, so do her a favour and get her flowers! Support a local shop in your area, or try pistil.ca because their arrangements are stunning. If you’re in the Bolton / Nobleton region, check out Flower Workshop for some of the most stunning arrangements.
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16 April 2020

How to make money from home


Making money from home, and having multiple streams of income, is becoming increasingly important.

On March 1st, I declared March a “no-spend” month. Little did I know how important it was going to be to start saving more money. At that point we knew there was a virus going around but we didn’t know it would become the global pandemic it is now. By March 14th, when we returned from vacation, self-isolation was recommended, and it’s been nothing but negative news since. Businesses are closed, many of my friends and family members are being laid off and the markets are DOWN.

I’ve always been motivated by money. Maybe because I have expensive taste. I started working when I was 15 and while I was in university I worked three jobs. I’ve also always had a side hustle — whether it be teaching yoga, or selling skincare.
I think more than one form of income is always a good idea. You never know what life is going to throw at you, (AMEN! Worldwide pandemic!) so why not have more than one stream of income so that if you ever lose your job, you have something to fall back on.

Here are four ways to make money from home, and a sneak peek at my vanity turned temporary home office!


+ Join an MLM
By now you all know I’m a Beautycounter consultant. I decided to join Beautycounter over two years ago because I LOVE the products, they work incredibly well, and as a consultant I earn a discount. Now I can say I make money by posting my favourite skincare products to Instagram and Facebook. I DO NOT actively seek out recruits, or try to sell people anything. I’m very honest about the products, and have earned a following by being authentic and open about my own skin struggles. I use my Instagram platform as a way to educate on clean beauty (something I am very passionate about) and share my favourite products. If you want to learn more about Beautycounter, click here. PS - It’s FREE to join as a consultant right now!
And, if skincare isn’t your thing, but you think another MLM might be better suited to your personal brand, ask me for suggestions!)


+ Poshmark
Poshmark has finally launched in Canada! I have my own “closet” on Poshmark where I sell lightly used clothing. A lot of what I sell on there doesn’t fit anymore, or isn’t part of my new “timeless” wardrobe. I love setting goals for myself on Poshmark before cashing out my earnings, for example I never cash out less than $100. Since joining Poshmark I have earned over $600 selling clothing, accessories and home accent pieces. If you want to join Poshmark and start selling your stuff, click here, and enter the code “simply_sera” on sign up to get $15 deposited into your account.


+ LIKEtoKNOW.it
Reward Style is another way to earn money sharing links to products that you use, wear and love. If you post to Instagram and Pinterest a lot, you can start making money by tagging @LIKEtoKNOWit and linking your outfit, beauty products or home accent pieces in the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Apply to be a Reward Style influencer here.


+ Sell yourself
I’ve been copywriting for years now, charging per word for blog posts, instagram posts and website content. It’s a great side hustle that I can do from my phone, iPad or computer — literally anywhere in the world. Maybe copywriting isn’t YOUR thing, but think of something that is. Maybe you bake amazing pies, or you’re a great painter. Don’t underestimate your talents and the things you’re good at. There will always someone who doesn’t want to paint their house, can’t bake, can’t write, etc... who will pay you to do it! Start sharing what you’re good at, put a price tag on it, and offer up your services. Eventually word of mouth alone will get you some side cash.You can also start an Instagram  or Facebook page to market your services! If you’re in communications like me, there are websites such as Freelancer and Upwork which can help connect you with businesses looking to hire freelancers.
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11 April 2020

My favourite recipes for “lockdown” baking

It’s no surprise, since going into lockdown everyone’s been at home baking. I know this because flour, yeast and most other baking supplies are sold out pretty much everywhere. I’ve been baking to the point where I’m starting to get concerned about fitting back into my pre-lockdown clothes, but that’s okay ... let’s just focus on keeping busy, staying healthy and staying sane!

I’ve also been spending way too much time in the kitchen, that I’m starting to think of budget ways I can update my kitchen and have spent way too much time on Pinterest. I’m sharing some of my fav kitchen designs from Pinterest below. You can see all of my kitchen renovation inspiration pins on Pinterest here!

Here’s what I’ve been baking lately:

Bless This Mess Sourdough Bread
I’ve wanted to start a sourdough for so long, but time was never on my side. Being home every day I was able to start and feed a sourdough to the point where I have already gotten two amazing loaves of bread from it. Unfortunately now I am out of all-purpose flour, so until the next time I can find some, our carb overload will need to be on hold. But, I absolutely love the way Bless This Mess explains how to make your own starter at home (read that here), and her video for simple sourdough was so helpful for someone who has literally never baked bread before. Check it out here!

Nourish with Jass Refined Sugar-free Cookies
I love her recipes because they are always really healthy but really delicious. I used this recipe but swapped the chocolate chips with mini eggs for Easter Sunday, and yum — they were delicious!

Blissful Basil Vegan Almond Butter Squares
This is my new favourite recipe for a healthy snack. They’re rich in flavour but packed with fibre and are refined sugar-free. I’ve made this recipe twice already and will probably have to make more this week - they’re definitely a favourite around here.

Live Simply Almond Flour Banana Bread
There’s a big joke about everyone baking banana bread during lockdown, well this banana bread is a regular staple in our house. Tyler loves to enjoy it with his morning coffee, and I love it because it’s a great way to get rid of the half-rotten bananas that I never seem to get through during the week. This recipe is completely gluten-free, refined sugar-free and very moist. So moist I recommend storing it in the fridge! I also recommend adding walnuts or chocolate chips to make it even better.

Against All Grain Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Unfortunately for this one you’ll need a cookbook, but honestly it’s worth it. Danielle Walker’s Meals Made Simple cookbook is one of my favourites, and this recipe for Carrot Cake Cupcakes can be found inside. I make this cupcake recipe often (rotating between banana bread and this!) since carrot cake it my favourite, and this is a healthy substitution. If you want to make it, you can shop the cookbook here, and the recipe can be found on page 286. Tip: Skip the icing for a muffin-like recipe, and for special occasions add the icing to sweeten it up!








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