An ode to mothers + @Gelaskins Giveaway

Bursting the Bubble, Family Time, Giveaways, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures
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An ode to my mother
*clears throat*
my mother is pretty and sweet and strong
she can give you a look to ensure you do no wrong
she wiped my butt when i was a little wee one
and let me sleep in her bed when i broke up with my love
 
most days i’m like her and it scares us both
bossy and stubborn with OCD, but i love her the most
she looks out for me and worries something fierce
when i do something stupid it brings her to tears
 
she sometimes forgets that i’m all growed up 
i sometimes forget that she knows i’m naive 
she sometimes forgets that i listen to her
i sometimes forget that i am who i am because of she
 

So that definitely wasn’t my BEST attempt at poetry but you get the idea. I love my Mum and Mums everywhere. My friends at Gelaskins love Mums too which is why we’ve partnered up for another $50 Gift Code at Gelaskins.com for you OR for you to use as a gift for your Mum! Good luck! Xo

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

 
 

ecojot: my lover

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

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In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.

The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.

— Susan Sontag 

Everyone uses their journal/diary/notebook for something different. Some jot notes, some make lists, some draw, and some record their thoughts. My journal goes everywhere with me: I keep all of my thoughts, my feelings, and inspiration on hand, or close by. I’m not big on making notes or lists on my phone, I hate using apps to draw pictures, and I detest writing straight on my computer — I need to write everything out by hand first. As such I am always on the lookout for a great notebook. Something affordable, lined, cute, and inspiring. I’ve purchased ecojot notebooks at Chapters in the past and received one as a gift from Casie when we went to the AGO. Not only do they carry super cute journals (my favourite have famous quotes on them) BUT they have eco-friendly paper AND they are a company with a cause.

bc087_BCorp_Ecojot_AdThanks to their GIVE Program, which launched in 2010,  ecojot has “donated over 250,000 workbooks and 44,000 pens to children in Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Poland, Honduras, Niger, St. Lucia, Granada, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and many more”. With a portion of ecojot’s sales their mission to give children the proper tools to learn has been successful, and that is something I can stand behind.

I’ve partnered with ecojot to give away a $20 gift card to one of my readers! To enter, follow ecjot on Instagram then head over to my Instagram, give me a follow and LIKE and comment on the photo of my latest ecojot notebook purchase (below)!

Contest runs from right nowww to February 23rd at 9 A.M.

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P.S. ecojot is working on something super amazing called ecojot connect. It’ll be available in March(ish) and I cannot wait until it does! Think notebook meets tech meets awesomeness of all sorts. It’s super convenient and it’ll bring your notes/thoughts/drawings right to the palm of your hand.

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Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I contacted ecojot because I am seriously in love with their notebooks. In exchange for a post I received the opportunity to give away a $20 gift card and a $40 gift card for myself to use at ecojot. The notebook pictured in this post and on my Instagram was purchased by me with my own money.

All photos were taken from the ecojot website, except for the one I took. 

ecojot: the lover of writers (well, this writer).

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

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In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.

The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.

— Susan Sontag 

Everyone uses their journal/diary/notebook for something different. Some jot notes, some make lists, some draw, and some record their thoughts. My journal goes everywhere with me: I keep all of my thoughts, my feelings, and inspiration on hand, or close by. I’m not big on making notes or lists on my phone, I hate using apps to draw pictures, and I detest writing straight on my computer — I need to write everything out by hand first. As such I am always on the lookout for a great notebook. Something affordable, lined, cute, and inspiring. I’ve purchased ecojot notebooks at Chapters in the past and received one as a gift from Casie when we went to the AGO. Not only do they carry super cute journals (my favourite have famous quotes on them) BUT they have eco-friendly paper AND they are a company with a cause.

bc087_BCorp_Ecojot_AdThanks to their GIVE Program, which launched in 2010,  ecojot has “donated over 250,000 workbooks and 44,000 pens to children in Haiti, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Poland, Honduras, Niger, St. Lucia, Granada, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and many more”. With a portion of ecojot’s sales their mission to give children the proper tools to learn has been successful, and that is something I can stand behind.

All that being said, I’ve partnered with ecojot to give away a $20 gift card to one of my readers! To enter is head over to my Instagram, give me a follow and LIKE the photo of my latest ecojot notebook purchase! Contest runs from right nowww to February 23rd at 9 A.M.

P.S. ecojot is working on something super amazing called ecojot connect. It’ll be available in March(ish) and I cannot wait until it does! Think notebook meets tech meets awesomeness of all sorts. It’s super convenient and it’ll bring your notes/thoughts/drawings right to the palm of your hand.

ecojotconnectMarch_Jan14-1

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Disclosure: I contacted ecojot because I am seriously in love with their notebooks. In exchange for a post I received the opportunity to give away a $20 gift card and a $40 gift card for myself to use at ecojot. The notebook pictured in this post and on my Instagram was purchased by me with my own money.

All photos were taken from the ecojot website, except for the one I took. 

Tell the world how AWESOME you ARE!

Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

I feel so light, so positive, so fresh, and so squeaky-clean! I’m ready to take on the world, and I want to throw up glitter. It feels so much better than the anxious depression that’s been looming as of late. I FEEL AWESOME. Why? Part of it is due to my mentor, who always has a positive word for me (and for everyone who reads her blog), part of it is due to my family and friends and their constant support, and another part of it has to do with the beauty that is smash booking.
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On Monday my best friends and I started our own SMASH BOOKS and I am completely obsessed. I’m using mine to document 2014 because I feel like it is going to be a wonderful year and I don’t want to forget ANY of it. There’s something about cutting out things that I love from magazines, saving receipts from special days, receiving important invitations, and finding creative ways to put them on a page that makes me feel free. It makes me feel AWESOME. The word AWESOME always makes me think of my mentor. She’s constantly telling me that if she didn’t tell the world how awesome she is, no one would’ve given her the opportunities she’s gotten (and worked hard for).
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HEY WORLD, I AM
AWESOME. I WORK HARD AND I AM READY TO BE THE BEST I CAN BE! I’M
JUST LOOKING FOR A CHANCE! CHALLENGE
ACCEPTED! 

Since I’m feeling so grand, I want to spread the love to my readers. Gelaskins (skins for all of your favourite devices) has agreed to run a contest on my blog. I am in love with my two iPhone5 cases from Gelaskins, one is a cartoon of New York and the other one is this beautiful floral design.

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The best part about Gelaskins is that you can create your OWN design or choose from many beautiful pieces of artwork. My next purchase is going to be a skin for my MacBook, I would love something that has to do with the Vancouver skyline – perhaps even use one of my personal photos to make a skin, it was the best trip of my life after all!

CONTEST RULES: 

Tweet: I want to win a $50 gift code to use @Gelaskins from @VanessaGrillone or leave me a comment below letting me know what you would purchase.

Contest starts NOW and closes on Sunday January 19th — winner will be chosen with Random.org!

Talk soon and Good Luck! 

Vanessa Xo

Photo Credit: Smash Stories
Blog
Post edited by: Grammarly

Trend Trunk Mystery Gift Cards… for you!

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

I’ve recently discovered an incredible website for the fashion-forward gal! It’s called Trend Trunk and they’re a company based out of Oakville who just so happened to appear on Dragon’s Den on November 6th. So, what is Trend Trunk?

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 7.49.53 AMTrend Trunk is a social marketplace where you can buy, sell, and donate amazing new and pre-loved fashion in a fun and simple way.  Their aim is to inspire and collaborate with the fashion-minded and budget-conscious community in a trustworthy environment. They believe that one person’s lonely wardrobe is another’s true love! If you’ve got items you’re not in love with anymore, you can ‘cash in your closet’ and use those funds to shop a users’ closet whose style you love, donate those funds to your favourite charity, or get the funds deposited directly into your bank account.

Trend Trunk aims to help you:

  1. Make money by cashing in your closet of all those stylish and fashionable items you have tucked away
  2. Save money by shopping fellow members’ closets full of brand new to pre-loved styles they love
  3. And look good doing it!

The best part about this website? They take care of all the nitty-gritty for you. THEY manage the payment and shipping, so you don’t have to. A seller receives a prepaid / preaddressed shipping label in their email when a sale is made. Simply print, pack, and ship. So there’s no need to meet up with someone in a darkened alleyway to sell your clothes or have someone haggle you to lower the price (unlike other websites). You avoid all of those creepy situations and can sell your clothes, shoes, and accessories from the comfort of your home. AND if you want to feel good and look good at the same time, they’ve combined fashion and fundraising through their Closets & Causes program which allows you to donate up to 100% of your net sale proceeds to any charity in Canada.  Plus, you’ll receive a tax receipt for the donated value—so it’s a win-win. Click here to find out more about the selling and shopping process.

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 7.51.09 AMI already have my own account set up and a lust list that just keeps growing. But enough about me. How about something for YOU? I’ve partnered up with Trend Trunk for a fabulous giveaway. Here’s how it works: click the photo below or right HERE.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 4.37.43 PMThen enter your email address and could receive a gift card up to $250 to use on TREND TRUNK! Every card has a value ranging from $5, $10, $25, $50 and $250. Don’t forget to read the fine print and let me know what you buy!

Happy Holidays!

Talk soon,

Vanessa Xo

Jonathan Adler Boutique [GIVEAWAY With @Papyrus_Online]

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

You don’t have to know my well to understand that I prefer pen and paper to my cell phone, laptop, etc etc. I like being organized, I like writing down important dates or plans, I like highlighting, and I LOVE agendas. So, I approached my favourite stationery store and we’ve partnered up to get you all ready for the next school year, or simply, to get your life a little more organized!

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Phone covers, key chains, travel mugs… oh my! The Jonathan Adler boutique showcases a diverse offering of fun gifts with geometric patterns, groovy hues and modern appeal. These handpicked nifty gifties include an assortment of items for home, office or on-the-go. With a variety of Jonathan Adler gifts to choose from, why not add a little colour to your everyday?

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So, obviously I want all of the bright and wonderful products shown above but first and foremost, this blogger needs an agenda. I’m the kind of gal who likes to keep track of blog posts that are due, keep tabs on my appointments or fun events coming up, and I’ve had an agenda every year since JK (or shortly thereafter). I received this bright and beautiful Jonathan Adler 17 month agenda yesterday and literally felt giddy at the prospect of penciling things in! Best of all, I was sent a second agenda to giveaway right here on My Pen, My Voice (hence this post’s title).

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To enter you must:

TWEET : I want to start organizing my life with a Jonathan Adler Agenda from @VanessaGrillone and @Papyrus_Online

OR simply LIKE my photo on INSTAGRAM of the JA Agenda I’m giving away!

** Open to Canadian entrants only — winner will be chosen at random on August 19th, 2013**

___

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

The Red Bow Shoppe [GIVEAWAY]

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Products and Brands

Photo from The Red Bow ShoppeI love discovering new brands that have something unique to offer to their customers. I am a fanatic for dainty jewelry, versatile accessories, handbags, and notebooks, so when my cousin told me about The Red Bow Shoppe, I knew I had to check it out. The Red Bow is an online shoppe inspired by Hello Kitty and the Iconic ‘Red Bow’ for fashionable, grown-up Hello Kitty fans with luxe taste. Each piece is chosen by Karen (the owner) herself, where she hopes each customer will find a little everyday luxury to add to their style. I browsed their website and quickly fell in love with a few pieces…

I got in touch with Karen and we’ve teamed up to provide my readers and followers with a wonderful giveaway. As summer is just around the corner WE want to know what your summer plans/dreams/memories are. What can you win? A Red Ibiza Notebook — to keep track of all your summer adventures and a Red Bow Besties Bracelet.

To enter you must follow @theredbowshoppe on Twitter and like their Facebook Page

THEN

 TWEET or INSTAGRAM a picture that represents your Summer Dreams and give us a little explanation too.

Be sure to include @redbowshoppe and @VanessaGrillone in your Tweets/Instagram Pictures as well as the hashtag #RedBowSummer

 The contest is NOW OPEN — the last day to enter is June 26th at which time a winner will be chosen!

Best of LUCK!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

** This contest is open to Canadian entrants only **

Share your Dreams and Win! [Giveaway]

Giveaways, Just for Fun, Lifestyle/Personal, Products and Brands

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My crush on Dogeared Jewels and Gifts occurred suddenly a few months back when I was scouring the Chapters website  for something to purchase. I stumbled on these wonderful necklaces and thought Mama needs one of those! I headed over to the Dogeared website and poked around a bit, looking for something to add to my birthday wish-list. Which I found — but I’ll get to that in a second.

Dogeared is a family owned business (a husband and wife team, Marcia and Merlin Clarke) with its headquarters in Culver City, California. Their charms are custom-made in the design studio and made-to-order. What I love most about their product is the message that comes with each necklace. This simple card makes each piece much more personal. It says this necklace was made for you, to inspire you, right now

My favourite Dogeared collections include Make A WishWhispers, 3 Wishes, and Love. I found my favourite piece in the Make A Wish collection: lovely charms, pretty chains, and lots of positive energy. These necklaces remind you to wish without limits!

My necklace of choice: free bird.

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As a Writer I’ve always had an obsession with quills, they’ve always represented “WRITER” to me. That’s one reason I fell for this feather — the other reason is the meaning behind the charm. I want to wear this necklace as a reminder to be curious, to open my heart to all different possibilities, to be free to take chances. I want to wear it as a reminder that I am a Writer and I must follow my dreams.

I got in touch with the wonderful people at Dogeared and they have agreed to run a giveaway for this beautiful necklace on my blog — so that YOU can wear it as a reminder to follow your dreams, whatever they may be. Get this, they also sent ME my very own free bird necklace!!!!

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This necklace has quickly become my favourite everyday piece. It’s sweet, subtle, dainty, and goes with any outfit. It’s the perfect length too, not too long and not too short. It’s always visible with what I’m wearing and I’ve gotten tonnes of compliments on it.

Here’s how to win:

Step One: LIKE Dogeared Jewelry on Facebook

Step Two: Using the Hashtag #DogearedDreams, post a picture on Twitter or Instagram that represents YOUR passion/dreams.

Be creative!

Please be sure to include myself @VanessaGrillone and @DogearedJewelry in your tweet/Instagram pic.

GOOD LUCK and may all of your DogearedDreams come true! 

Love Always 

Vanessa Xo 

The contest runs from today (MARCH 28th) until midnight on APRIL 4th, 2013 (my birthday). I will announce the winner on April 5th!

I have something else for you, for the duration of the giveaway week, Dogeared Jewelry has offered my wonderful readers 10% off of their first/next purchase, just use promo code DEDREAMS10 and you’re good to go!

** OPEN TO CANADIAN and U.S. RESIDENTS **

Hey, Book Lovers! Check out this contest!

Book Reviews, Giveaways, Just for Fun, Toronto Adventures

I received an ARC of Jeanette Walls’ The Silver Star and although you’ll have to wait a bit for my review, I wanted to share a contest that Simon & Schuster Canada is hosting. You could win 1 of 10 Jeanette Walls Libraries, including The Glass Castle and Half-Broke Horses. Check it out: for full rules and regulations. The contest runs March 18 – April 8th. Good luck ya’ll and stay tuned for my review 🙂

Silver Star prize pack

Happy Sunday!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

WINNER ANNOUNCED for the @MINLINGSTUDIO Necklace

Fashion & Beauty, Giveaways, Just for Fun, Products and Brands, Toronto Adventures

Thank you to Amanda D, Amanda Rose, Melissa D, Lina F, Kate P, Tanya, Karla N, JJ Cowan, Dainty Girl, Dee C, Carol G, and Genevieve for entering my Minling necklace giveaway. As I stated in my previous post the winner has been chosen thanks to RANDOM.ORG, however the FOURTH person on the list is the winner. Why? Well, four is my favourite number and I was born April 4th! Besides, I wanted to spice things up a bit ;).

The winner of this beautiful necklace is…

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Genevieve Walker (@Hey_itsG)!

Thanks again to all those who participated, I’m just getting started with these contests so don’t worry!

Love Always

Vanessa Xo