Friday, May 7, 2010 Review and GIVEAWAY!

***This giveaway is closed. ***
Winner: Casey Aubut (confirmed)

Sometimes I just get lucky. And, hey, I'm not talking about that - I mean, once in a while I win a really sweet contest. A little while ago I won a giveaway over at Trying to Stay Calm for an Athletica gift certificate.

Remember how I recently signed up for a gym membership with my husband? I definitely needed some new yoga clothing, as all of mine was several years old, with faded colours and saggy knees. Shameful! I spent a long time shopping and ultimately decided on the awesome Classic Pant (Gym and Yoga Pants) in Stone Grey.

And I am really pleased with them. They are snug, but flexible enough for yoga and pilates. The fabric is smooth and comfy, a supplex-lycra-spandex mix that is breathable enough when you're really working, but not too cool during cool-down and meditation.

I also like the length - I'm an average height, I guess, at 5'6", but sometimes I find pants are too long so I trip over them. These have a nice length, just like in the picture on the Athletica website - they hit the floor at the back in bare feet, but aren't so long that they drag when I have shoes on. Here's me on the way to yoga. I know, grover arms! I'm working on it! -->

They have a hidden drawstring at the waist which I LOVE, since all the forward folds in yoga means pants with unstructured waistbands end up showing a little more at the back than I want to. I've worn them to yoga several times already, and never had an overshare at the back.

Of course, has a lot more than yoga pants (although there is a large selection of them). They have fitness and lounge wear for women and men, as well as casual clothing (check out the Camisole Flounce Dress - *love*). The selection of women's sportswear is particularly good. There's actually a big sale on right now - check it out for deals like the Lily Lotus pant for only $24.95 and the capri for only $19.95! If you do much shopping for quality fitness wear, you will know these are really good deals.

ps, the dog was desperate to be in the picture with me. He ended up walking through a whole pile of pictures before we finally got one without him. Okay, it was pretty cute (until the 5th or 6th time...!) I know it's because he's eager to be 'famous' on my blog! Here's an outtake!

ANYway, here is the fantastic news: Athletica has generously offered a gift certificate to one of my readers! One lucky winner will be able to spend it any way they like on this great website.

The giveaway: A $75 gift certificate to Athletica!

How to enter: Head over to Athletica and let me know what you'd put this towards, OR one thing that you learned there. Make sure I've got a way to contact you if you're the winner!

Extra entries (please leave an extra comment for each. If you already do any of these things, leave the comment - you do get the entry for it!):
  • Subscribe via email to the Athletica newsletter (bottom right of their website) - 2 entries
  • Follow me on Twitter (leave your Twitter name!)
  • Tweet about this giveaway for ONE entry, this is not a daily! You can use this if you like:
    Win a $75 GC to at Emily's Latest. Yoga, casual & sportswear! @emilyisland US/CAN 5/23
  • Follow my blog (publicly) – 2 entries, leave 2 comments
  • Add my blog button to your blog– 2 entries, leave 2 comments (please leave a link to your blog)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post and to Athletica – 2 entries, leave 2 comments and please include a link to your post
I will be verifying comments so please actually do the things you say you do ☺

Please be sure to include your email address if it’s not public in your blogger profile! Anonymous comments without a way to contact you will be rejected. Canadian or US mailing addresses only, please. Giveaway ends May 23rd at 11:59 EST. A winner will be drawn the next day, announced here, in a separate post and emailed!

Prize will be shipped by sponsor. Note for Canadian entrants: Athletica is not responsible for customs or duties that Canada may charge. For what it's worth, I was not charged any additional fees at the border on my order.


I got in a little heated discussion this morning on Facebook. About rats.
Some people - sheesh. So much 'opinion' is based on misinformation and ignorance!

This is the comment that kind of got me into the fray:
"The only people who would throw a rat some praise, are the ones who own one! Let's face it, these people are usually weird...or a tad offside anyway..."

For the record:

I had rats as pets for years. Love them. They're cute, affectionate (they love to be petted and are mood sensitive in the way that dogs are), friendly, playful, and lots of fun to watch get into trouble. I have had rats that loved nothing more than to snooze in my lap and cuddle. They can be easily trained to come when called and will happily do tricks for treats. Each has its own personality. They are less work than a dog, and less aloof than a cat. I don't particularly consider myself 'weird'. Try 'open-minded' or 'informed'.

Another bewildering comment:
"They are genetically altered MICE."

Um, no. Not even close. Rats (Rattus norvegicus is the domestic rat) are a completely different genus than mice (for example, Mus musculus is the house mouse - Peromyscus maniculatus is the deer mouse - both of which I have also had as pets!). They are related within the Rodentia order in the way humans are related to oh, say, the ring-tailed lemur in the Primates family. As in, not that closely. And definitely not 'genetically altered' unless you consider selective breeding a genetic modification
(fancy rat breeders breed for temperament and looks the same way dog and cat breeders do) .

One more that boggles my mind: "
rats typically live amongst garbage, sewers, trenches, etc...They've been known to launch themselves at people, and even eat people!!"

I mean, seriously? You're stating that as fact? Let's put just a little more thought into it.

Any animal - including humans - will do desperate things in desperate times. Rats, like most other animals, would much rather run than fight - but if they are cornered, sure they'll defend themselves. Same goes for cats, dogs, birds, humans, etc.

When you need food and there's no-one to feed you, a garbage bin can be a lifesaver. When you're injured, sick, or protecting your young, you defend. When there's danger in open areas and a sewer is safe, where do you hang out? :)
There's a vast difference between feral and domesticated. But any animal, any of us, can be desperate.

The pictures throughout are just some of my pet rats of the past... The white & grey one was Asha, a hooded rat, and the brown one was Marta, a 'rex' (meaning she had curly fur and whiskers) above. Asha was sweet and timid, very gentle, and shy until she knew you. Marta was the brave one - a bundle of hoppy, excited energy, who would try anything once and loved being scratched behind the ears. Here are the two girls enjoying naps in their hammock:

Lest you think they spent their lives caged, these pets actually spent a lot of time hanging out with me on the couch or running around a pet-safe room, exploring and playing. Their cage was quite large and contained a solid running wheel, hammocks, platforms, and something new to examine and discover every day - whether that was a food treat, a new box, nesting material, chew toys, etcetera.

When life is good for any of us, we're sweet-natured and fun. That goes for people and it goes for animals.

I miss my rats - Popper and Boo, Ratticus, Ruby, Marta and Asha. I hope one day I will welcome some more little furballs into my life :)
pssst, get excited.... the giveaway will be posted soon! Saturday, if I can (we are pretty busy on Saturday) or Sunday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

EcoMom Winner!

Time to draw the lucky winner of the prettiest non-toxic nailpolish I've ever seen, and a bar of my husband's new favourite soap from EcoMom!

And the winner is....- a long time follower and all around lovely person! You can (and should) visit her blog, by the way, for thoughtful, well-written posts about life with her family.

A big thank you to EcoMom, who was sweet to sponsor this giveaway. If you were intrigued by the goodness at the EcoMom website, remember they also gave us a coupon code to use while shopping there: use SBBL220 to get 15% off until May 31st!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Last day

Today's the LAST DAY to enter my giveaway sponsored by EcoMom for gorgeous Priti nailpolish that is non-toxic, but definitely luxe and sparkly AND a bar of organic Pangea soap. By the way, my husband says this is the BEST soap he has ever used. He loves the scent (and so do I!). Worth every penny of the $6.50 OR you can win a free bar... just go enter already!

Also you can enter to win a $60 GC to CSN Stores over at Teczcape, ends May 6th. :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's chaos at our place.

On the weekend, we went to a vow renewal ceremony for my husband's parents - 30 years of marriage and still going strong. The ceremony was lovely and it was nice to see the extended family again.

Then yesterday the big day arrived at our place - after nearly two years in our new house, things are finally happening in the back yard. Our big plans for two pergolas (one for a patio set, one for the gorgeous hammock we picked up on our weddingmoon in Mexico) are starting to take shape.

The hammock looks something like this (with the pretty lace at the sides) - minus the beach/ocean view and adobe, sadly!

This week, we have contractors in building us a patio and a retaining wall. My husband has bought all the wood and started to do the cuts for the pergolas, which we will build on the patio. We've also got everything to build a shed, since our garage is such a tight squeeze with two cars.

I'm so thankful that my husband is not only a planner, but very good with building things, from designing to construction, even electrical. I'm pretty handy myself, but he has really taken the reins on this one and designed two beautiful pergolas and the shed, made shopping lists for materials, and made a really good head start on getting the wood cut and ready to build.

Right now, the garage is full of wood and other building supplies. The backyard is full of big machinery, some hard-working guys, and soon - stone! There was a mountain of earth that they removed on the road, which has just been taken away. Our big stones for the retaining wall are parked on the road, ready to go in today.

We are so excited about the whole project!