Tuesday, January 29, 2013

valentine red

Beauty review is in. Joe Fresh's $4 nail polish is worth buying. I am somewhat of a self proclaimed polish connoisseur. I constantly have my tips painted, and I'm always looking for fun new colors and brands to try. Joe Fresh is always on point with colors, following trends closely. And at $4 each or 3 for $10,  you can afford to buy into trends and join the nail party. The polish covers well and dries quickly - you must go and give it a try!

a better snooze

D and I have been on our yoga kick for about two weeks now and we're really enjoying it. It's been more physically straining than I expected, but am totally on board with and it's just such a relaxing way to unwind regardless of the time of day. We recently did a honey flow class and I so enjoyed the "honey" part of the class, where we spent 30 minutes falling into a deep state of relaxation, learning to 'let go'.
That being said, last night as I was hitting the sheets, my mind was whirling with anxiety about a job interview coming up. I went to bed and was unable to unwind and ended up barely catching any Z's. I was excited to come across these yoga poses you can do in bed. Will definitely have to try these the next time I'm trying to relax and reach that deep sleep.

Do you have trouble sleeping? Any secret tips or trusted methods that help you fall into a deep sleep?

Monday, January 28, 2013


{ images 1, 2, 3, 4 }

Ikea is one of those stores that I love to hate. The hate part applies in that I like being original and creative and finding one of a kind pieces and Ikea is the epitome is superstore unoriginal. The love part applies in that they design and make such darn awesome stuff and sell if for so little! The love definitely outweighs the hate, and the love is ever expanding after seeing some of their new products. I adore the desk - clean lines, with a functional yet stylish utility. And both the outdoor dining sets make me want to pop the cork and invite friendlies over for a drink. I don't know if I'm on board for blue nightstands, but good 'ol Ikea pulling through with color options - the structural lines, space saving size and simple white color would be a perfect bedside table.  Whether I like it or not, when it comes to filling a new home, an Ikea visit (or two...) is inevitably needed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

interview jitters

We all get a little anxious when a job interview is nearing. The fear of the unknown and not knowing what to expect - it can be intimidating. In the job search, I've had some interviews recently, and have one coming up next week and am always open to tips on how to best present myself and make a good impression. I thought I would share some interview stories, advice and inspirations that have been helping me along...

What 13 different ladies wore to their interviews with Anna Wintour.

Thank you Damsel for your interview styling tips.

For next weeks interview I'm looking to these gals for some inspiration... Aimee Song's edgy attitude, the Courtin-Clarins Girls for their classic sassy grace and lastly - some Canadian love with Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner.

My personal tips for an interview.
1. Wear something you're comfortable in. The nerves are bad enough, you don't want to be re-adjusting your skirt or worrying about falling over in too-high heels.
2. Be yourself. Let your clothes tell your interviewer something about you. Maybe a necklace that's a family heirloom or a bag you got while on vacation.
3. Dress professionally. Deep cleavage or a short skirt just aren't gunna cut it! Keep it classy and win your employers over with a charming smile and your wonderful conversation skills.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

new found favorites

As I was packing up for yoga, I reached into the back of my closet for something to carry my things in and came across these two bags. I got the backpack in San Sebastian and adore it's authentic feel and the fun memories it brings back. The colorful knit bag came from Montreal when I visited during Osheaga. I found it at a small boutique and love the easy-going vibe it gives off. Both bags had fallen off my radar and I was happy to re-cover them and fall back in love with both of them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

what's in my bag

I feel what a lady carries in her purse is a secret not usually shared. I thought I would break the mold and show you what I'm carrying in my bag these days..... 

{ I carry the book I'm reading, Normal Gets You Nowhere for spare moments that allow for some catching up. As shared previously, my One Line A Day book lets me jot down special memories from my daily routine to be remembered for years to come }

{ 2013 meant it was time for a new agenda and I chose a Moleskine this year and am so pleased with my choice. The red color is bright and cheerful and it keeps me stylishly up to date and organized. The pen is a precious gift D gave me made by a carpenter at camp. }

{ Tools for staying connected. My iphone and ipad are never far away. I keep both protected in cases. }

{ Adding to my tech tools. My point in shoot camera comes in handy when my iphone isn't cutting it. I haven't transfered my music to my iphone, so my ipod is around when I want some tunes. I keep a usb key, and my ipad photo kit for times I need to transfer photos or info. And while it might seem strange, I keep two pairs of headphones, the green pair are comfy for watching shows on my ipad and the white pair are useful for when I need to take calls on the move }

{ I keep my beauty supplies pretty limited. Three lipglosses - one tinted slightly pink for when I want some color. Some ties, barrettes and twists for when I want my hair out of my face (I've never been someone who can wear their hair down all the time). And oil blotting sheets for long days away from home and a scented travel cream of my signature scent to freshen up. }


{ In my opinion, the essentials, ... sunnies, gum and Tide-To-Go }

{ I keep my beauty bits, techy tools and essentials in my American Apparel clutch. A buttery soft leather pouch that can easily double as a clutch to go out with should I need it. }

{ Finally, my bag that I carry everything around in! A French Connection tote bag I picked up in December that blends function and form quite stylishly. And I fell in love with it because of the gold zipper details that run down both sides. } 

I'm curious, do you carry a big purse? a little purse? Do you carry a purse or bag? Are you all about fashion or tend to lean towards utility?

Monday, January 21, 2013

a song for your monday

Stubborn Love by The Lumineers. LISTEN HERE.

sweaty betty

{ My Sweaty Betty gear that kept me comfy and warm throughout our trip }

When D and I were in Europe, we experienced much colder weather than expected during the beginning of our trip. Other than leggings, I didn't pack any type of lounge wear; cue a "mandatory" trip to Harrods. I ended up buying a long sleeve shirt and lounge pants from a line called Sweaty Betty. I've been a fan of Nike goods for working out but Sweaty Betty is the best when it comes to loungewear. It's honestly the softest and coziest "comfy clothes" I've ever had. They're based out of the UK and we can only order online here in Canada but they have a wonderful interactive website that I found really inspiring to go and get active. Check the website out and shop their goods HERE.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

today was a good day

This morning D and I got up early and headed down to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to support a friends hard work at the Remax Kick Start 2013 event. Todays line-up included eight different speakers including an economic forecaster, a real estate lawyer and the Wealthy Barber (from Dragons Den)! We're both on the job hunt and today was just the type of motivation we needed. I wanted to share some things that really resonated with me.

  • Jon Cheplak told us that "commitment is measured by results". This really inspired me to work on holding myself more accountable. I set goals at the beginning of 2013 and I need to commit myself and my energies to work towards accomplishing them. One of my goals was to begin practicing yoga, and I'm happy to say that I have some results to share. D and I signed up for a 30 days for $30 trial at a yoga studio in the Annex and we have challenged each other to give it a go. We enjoyed our first class, Yoga 101 tonight and I'm really looking forward to seeing how my love of yoga evolves over the next thirty days.
  • Dave Chilton (aka the Wealthy Barber) was a hilariously entertaining speaker, and yet was able to communicate so clearly and concisely in such an effective way. Dave highlighted the fact of how society almost always measures "success" with relation to money and "stuff". He reminded us of all the other ways in which success can and should be measured. While I am unemployed right now, so I don't have much money, but I really appreciated his encouragement to reflect on the reasons why I am successful. I am a university graduate, I have visited 16 countries, I have wonderful and caring friends, I have a loving and supportive family, I live in Canada, I am an able and healthy human being. 
I left the conference today feeling very inspired and educated. I gained knowledge that I feel will help me moving forward. After hearing Dave Chilton speak at the end of the day, I also felt incredibly blessed. He reminded us how lucky we are to live in a country like Canada and that "these are the 'good 'ol days'!" 

I challenge you to be the most positive, happy, cheerful person you can be. Don't sweat the small stuff and focus on the big picture!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

( a version of ) strawberry shortcake

We stopped by an Italian butcher/grocer last weekend and sort of went crazy buying all sorts of Italian foods and meats. And of course, I couldn't leave without some sort of treat, so we ended up with some Pizzelle. Last week I was craving something sweet after dinner and put this together with what we had in the fridge. It was so tasty and light and ended up looking quite pretty as well. All I did was combine fresh whipped cream, cut up strawberries and vanilla Pizzelle in a shortcake-like tower. D and I agreed it could be a lovely finish to a dinner party with friends. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

cous cous

Couscous was one of those ingredients that I somewhat avoided because I didn't really know what to do with it. We had it when we visited friends in Europe and it tasted so amazing that we decided we had to give it a go on our own. As it turns out, cous cous is super simple to prepare and was a welcome change to rice or pasta. I prefer couscous over quinoa given it's a smaller grain and I find it to have a less gritty texture, but you could definitely use it in this dish if you prefer. 

{ Diced pinapple, green pepper, jalepeno, parsley }

{ Shrimp cooked in butter, lemon juice and garlic }

{ Combine the diced fruit/veg, prepared cous cous and cooked shrimp in a large bowl. 
Pour in the melted butter that the shrimp cooked in. 
We also made a dressing by combining roasted garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper }

Monday, January 14, 2013

potato latkes

One of my most favorite childhood memories is going to Leafs games with my Dad and him taking me for potato rosti before. It's a relatively simple dish but I associate it with such happy nostalgia. I found this recipe and was excited to try to recreate the memories with the start of the Leafs season quickly approaching. It took a little bit of prep, peeling and grating the potatoes, but the crispy deliciousness of the final product was totally worth it. I substituted the grated onion for green onion and didn't use quite as much oil as suggested. And I personally enjoy the latkes with ketchup and sour cream! Enjoy!

{ Draining the potatoes is probably the most important step of the recipe. It's unbelievable how much water D squeezed out! We used a j-cloth to drain the shredded potatoes! }

{ Once you've drained the potatoes and added in the egg and flour, the mixture should be relatively thick and dry }

Friday, January 11, 2013

have a great weekend

{ Ending off 2012 with fireworks on the lake }

I was back at the job hunt this week and while it's tough I'm excited at the thought of starting a new job and getting into a routine again. It's a hard process but I know staying positive is the best way to approach it. We're having fondue (aka "fun"due) tonight for dinner and plan to relax and finally kick a holiday cough/cold that's been lingering. Looking forward to next week and some yummy food posts! Tune in Monday and have yourself a wonderful weekend. xo

PS. Always a shopaholic at heart, check out the sale at Shopbop - there are some great buys!

{ Starting off 2013 on a beautiful note }

christmas secrets

{ The beautiful water and rocks in San Sebastian }

{ The garden gate at the villa we stayed at in St. Tropez }

{ The golden fence at Palais de Versailles }

I was dying to share the gift I made for D for Christmas but I had to keep it top secret - which by the way, I did manage to do (I'm horrible at surprises!). Anyways, I wanted to show them off! I picked out four photos from our trip to Europe, bought some frames from Ikea and had some custom mats cut. I printed the trio in 8 by 10, and the large print is actually called an engineering blueprint - it's massive and only cost $5 to print! The final results turned out wonderfully and D was so pleasantly surprised on Christmas morning. We can't wait to hang them when we get our own place and be constantly reminded of our amazing adventure together! We took all the photos ourselves too :)

{ Sailboats moored off an island in the South of France }

 { Just had to share this photo from Christmas morning with our family friends and the doggy Friday sporting his new Jonathan Adler scarf! Christmas brunch is my most favorite holiday tradition :) }

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

roasted garlic fusilli

Have you ever tried roasting garlic? It's super simple and absolutely transforms the taste of raw garlic. I had never tried it before and was so pleased with the amazing flavor boost it added to our easy-peasy pasta dish last night. This is a quick and delicious dish, sure to impress everyone. The best part is, it'll take you about 10 minutes to put together!

Roasted Garlic:
To start, cut the top of a large bunch of garlic, put it on a pan, drizzle with olive oil and salt, and pop it in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Once done, squeeze the garlic out of the little pockets, it should be a mushy, creamy consistency after being roasted.  

I chose to use fusilli so that the flavors would get trapped and absorbed in the noodles' spirals.

Prep everything after you put your water onto boil. I chopped up some feta and spicy salami, used jarred sun-dried tomatoes and fresh spinach.

When you put your pasta in, it's time to start the sauce. Add your roasted garlic to a generous amount of olive oil (note: the roasted garlic doesn't have the same potency as raw garlic, so feel free to use lots!).
Let this heat up over medium heat, then add in the sun-dried tomatoes and salami. 

Next add in your spinach, be very generous as it cooks down to barely anything and it's the healthiest part of this dish. Finally, add in your pasta and feta cheese to the same large pan. Stir it all around to heat up the cheese. Serve & Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


D and I are expecting to move out in the coming months and we're going to be on a budget. So I was excited when this DIY project worked so well. The vases were a trio from Ikea for only $15, and the vanilla candles are my go-to favorite, also from Ikea. If you're needing something for a mantle or side table, this cheap and easy project will add a natural glow to any room. 

I taped off where the candle sat in the vase so that the rope would cover it.

Started off by glueing the rope to the vase right under the tape. 

Then I continued wrapping the rope around, adding small beads of glue to hold everything in place. 

Finished off by securing the rope at the base.

I have to admit that I was a little overzealous with the glue and it didn't end up looking too great inside. I would suggest using the hot glue sparingly and trying to put beads in the same spot each time around.

Then the camp kid came along and straight up outcrafted me! Without glue, he managed the exact same look that I had just spent twenty minutes trying to achieve. Google "how to wrap a paddle" and you'll get steps on how to achieve it sans glue too.

Regardless of the method, the final product gives a warm earthly look for our imaginary "to be" home.