GIVEAWAY: SPRUSE ESSENTIALS STARTER KIT

With an interest in natural health and beauty products on the rise, it’s no surprise that room diffusers and essential oils have become very popular as of late. I had been toying with the idea buying a diffuser for my home, and once my best friend raved about hers and how great her room smelled, I stopped hesitating, headed over to Amazon, and grabbed one for myself (okay okay, I grabbed two!). I did quite a bit of research on what diffuser unit would work best for me and my room sizes, and from there I narrowed it down by price and aesthetic. To accompany my diffuser, I also searched Amazon for the perfect essential oil starter set – I knew I wanted a set that included lavender to help with restful sleep, and orange/citrus because it’s one of my favourite scents. Oh, and it couldn’t contain tea tree oil – my arch enemy of essential oils (yes, I’m being a bit dramatic, but it’s one of my least favourite scents…ever). Surprisingly, it was difficult to find a set that met my criteria, until I finally I stumbled on one from a company called Spruse Essentials.

Not only did this starter set come with the scents I was searching for, but the products are Canadian made by a family run company, cruelty-free, 100% all natural, and reasonably priced at under $30.00CDN. Supporting Canadian made products is something I value, so I instantly knew I’d be adding their Essential Oils Starter Kit to my shopping cart.

The starter kit comes in a sleek, black box with six 10ml bottles of oil in lavender, mandarin, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus. Lavender has definitely been my go-to when it’s time to unwind at night, but thanks to the paring suggestion card that came with the oils, I have discovered a favourite new daytime combo: peppermint and mandarin – the perfect pick-me-up! For a newbie essential oil user like myself, I loved that the owners of Spruse had taken the time to help guide me through using their scents and how to get the most out of their product. After professing my love for my new oils on Spruse Essential’s Instagram page, Desmond and Celeste, the lovely owners of the company, reached out to me via email and offered to give away one of their starter kits to a lucky reader. I jumped at the opportunity to share their fantastic oils with you, my lovely peaches. If you’d like to win this set for yourself, head over to my Instagram page now for full contest details. Or if you want to grab a Starter Kit for yourself now, you can use code ROCKFORD to get 10% off here, until the end of April.

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ROCKFORD READS: ESTHER THE WONDER PIG

Happy New Year, my lovely Peaches! This year, I am all about resolutions that bring me joy, happiness, peace, and make me feel great. No more resolutions that are a setup for failure – it’s time to focus on me! So I’ve decided that I would like to start reading more books. There are few things I find more relaxing than curling up with a good book, a warm cup of tea, and transporting into another world for a few hours.

On the first of every month, I will share a new book title with you and why I am excited to read it. If it strikes you as interesting, grab a copy for yourself, get comfy, and read along with me! At the end of the month, I will share my review (in the comments below) and give you my thoughts about the read – what I loved, what the book taught me, and anything else I want to mention. From there, I encourage you to leave your comments and thoughts about the book, your reading experience, or anything you feel like sharing, and we can have a fun conversation together. Think of it as a modern day book club where we all meet on this blog, and by the end of the year we will all have read 12 new books. Now…on to the choice for January!

Many people don’t know that a few years ago I cut meat out of my diet, starting with pigs and cows. It was something that I had always had a desire to do, and one day decided to make the change, cold turkey (no pun intended). My love for animals has grown exponentially since then, extending to my everyday life with the addition of Killer (aka Mr. Fishy, aka Fishy, aka David S Pumpkins) to my pet family. As I was sharing some pics of Killer with my coworkers, we naturally began talking about our favourite pets and animals and that’s when I learned about about a local pig “celebrity” named Esther. She was a rescue pig who now lived at a sanctuary about 30 minutes from where I live. I checked out her Instagram account (yes, she has an Instagram account) and was immediately smitten with her, so imagine my delight when I discovered there was a book written about her life. Better yet, the book I came across was signed by the authors AND Esther herself.

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Esther The Wonder Pig: Changing The World One Heart At A Time

“In the summer of 2012, Steve Jenkins was contacted by an old friend about adopting a micro piglet. Though he knew his partner, Derek, wouldn’t be enthusiastic, he agreed to take the adorable little pig anyway, thinking he could care for her himself. Little did he know, that decision would change his and Derek’s life forever.
It turned out there was nothing “micro” about Esther, and Steve and Derek had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, tiny Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds. After some real growing pains and a lot of pig-sized messes, it became clear that Esther needed much more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: They bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, here they could care for Esther and other animals in need. 
Funny, heartwarming, and utterly charming, Esther The Wonder Pig follows Steve and Derek’s adventure – from reluctant pig parents to farm-owning advocates for animals.”

I can’t wait dive into the life of this adorable pig, so if you don’t mind, I’m off to find a comfy chair and get started on this book. I look forward to chatting about it with you all at the end of the month!

Find the book here: Website | Amazon | Indigo & Chapters

FROM THE KITCHEN: WHAT I ATE IN A WEEK, THE VEGAN EDITION

It’s been a while since I shared a new recipe or cooking related post, but it’s because I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen, trying new and delicious things. One big change in my life has been my recent shift into a vegetarian diet, which was prefaced by tons of research and food testing. But wait! Before you close this post thinking I’m about to preach to you about why you should eat vegetarian, you can relax. This is simply a fun little entry to let you know what’s been going on in my life, and if you read until the very end, there’s even a yummy cookie recipe waiting for you!

I haven’t eaten red meat in over a year now, and I decided it was time to make the jump and cut out chicken and fish, too. My love of animals, plus my long-time dislike of most meat products (my mom’s meatloaf never stood a chance) made this an easy choice. So to jumpstart this change, I challenged myself and my fella to go vegan for a week. It was a great way to prep my pantry for this healthy change, and get me to think outside of the box when it came to meal prep. I even ventured into the city to check out a local vegan food festival and tried THE most delicious vegan Big Mac – don’t ask me how they make it, but it was amazing! It has been a great change thus far, and I thought I’d share a glimpse into what I ate for my vegan challenge. Hopefully this video whets your appetite and inspires you to try something new!

As promised, click here for my favourite recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies from Oh She Glows. I’ve made them a handful of times now and they are delicious! Let me know in the comments if you end up making them, and if you love them, too!