September 30, 2014

Fall Beauty Basics

Even though Mother Nature is gracing us with a little slice of summer right now, last week we were facing some serious change of temperatures. I know it's to be expected, but 5 degrees in Septmeber?! Just no. Anyways, my skin reacted right away, which forced me to seek out remedies to help adjust my skin to the change of season. All of these products below I have become obsessed with. Read on to find out why.

1. Lush Let The Good Times Roll Facial Cleanser- I am so happy my bestie introduced this cleanser to me because now I can't go a few days without it.  The newly revamped Lush is seriously becoming my go to place for skincare! The ingredients are natural and the cleanser leaves you soft, glowing (and ready for the best part), smelling like cookies. Seriously, I want to eat it. I even have been using it as a body cleanser and it's just as good all over. 
2. JOIE Folle de Joie Eau de Parfume- This scent is citrus-ey sweet with lovely woodys undertones. Perfect fall scent.
3. Lush Roots Hair Treatment - I already have problems with my scalp, so the minty cool sensation this hair treatment provides is not only refreshing but necessary for me. 
4. Lush Butterball Bath Bomb- Get to Lush, people!! Try any of their bath bombs, and take a trip to the spa in your own bathtub. 
5. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick -My lips are in constant need of hydration this time of year and this little stick is so worth the 9 dollar splurge! 
6. Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil- I have been using coconut oil for everything lately. As a make-up remover, as an under-the-eye serum at night, body moisturizer, and yes... to cook with. It's so gentle, and absorbs into the skin in a non-greasy way. It's pure magic. Just be sure to buy organic, virgin and not refined coconut oil . 
7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel - I recently received a sample of this brow gel and now I am wondering how I ever went without it. It keeps my eyebrows in place and still looking natural. 
8. MAC Vegas Volt-This is my go-to fall colour. It works perfectly with all the black/white, and beige/neutral ensembles I have been sporting. Coral mixes with the red for a subtle, not too over-powering shade.
9. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer- This concealer has become a life-saver for early mornings. It goes on so creamy and completely covers all signs of distress. 

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September 24, 2014

Fall Themed Brunch


Remember how I told you I have become obsessed with pumpkin? Well... the craze continues. Before I left for New York B and I had a full out "fall" themed brunch, with chocolate chip-pumpkin protein pancakes as the main event. I don't even love pancakes but I loved these. And talk about healthy/easy. We snacked on almond butter-banana bites, and maple glazed turkey bacon, sipped on pumpkin pie lattes and really just enjoyed the beginning of a lovely season. I hope this inspires you to revel in a delicious brunch this weekend, and after reading below I'm sure all you'll want to do is stay in your comfiest pjs and enjoy a lazy, but perfect, Sunday morning indoors (the delicious pumpkin/cinnamon scent that will fill the kitchen is an added bonus). Here's how to do it: 

The main: Chocolate Chip Protein Pancakes
makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients:
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons chocolate chips of choice
1 heaping scoop of vanilla protein powder
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Directions:

  1. In a bowl combine all ingredients in order listed above
  2. Spray skillet and heat on medium 
  3. Pour batter and cook on medium/low heat
  4. Flip when necessary
  5. *Heat oven to 200 degrees and put cooked pancakes in oven to keep warm while finishing the batch/preparing the rest of the brunch 
  6. Serve with maple syrup, agave, or honey and a sprinkle of icing sugar 

The extras: Banana-Almond Butter Bites

  1. Slice up 1 banana 
  2. Drop a teaspoon of almond butter on top of each banana slice
  3. Sprinkle chia seeds 

Maple Glazed Turkey Bacon (found in Gwyneth Paltrow's "It's All Good" Cookbook)

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees, or put on broiler
  2. Wisk together 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon mustard (amount for 6 slices, double measurements for more bacon)
  3. Lay turkey bacon on foil lined cookie sheet and brush half the glaze onto turkey slices
  4. Broil for 2-4 minutes, flip turkey and glaze other side
  5. Broil for another 2 minutes, and serve immediately

A side of fresh berries and a greek yogurt parfait compliments any brunch. And, don't forget these Pumpkin Cookies and Pumpkin Pie Latte . Enjoy!









Ideas for a Valentine's Day themed brunch can be found here
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September 18, 2014

City Reflections


I can say with certain that my beloved NYC has seen many different sides of me. She's seen me gaze up in awe as a little girl on family vacations, and she's seen me holding hands walking through Central Park with my love. She's also seen me brunch and shop till I drop on mother/daughter getaways, and she's most definitely seen me stumble out of some grungy bars on Rivington with my best friend. I kind of have a love affair with New York City, and it keeps me coming back year after year. There is hardly ever enough time to accomplish all that I set out to do in one weekend, so for that I can easily justify returning. This weekend is my annual mother/daughter weekend and I could not be more excited. Since the fall seemed to arrive extra early this year I am seriously in need of a pick me up. This year we have some exciting activities planned, as well as eating our faces off attending the San Gennaro Festival.  Follow along for more updates and feel free to check out last year's recaps of our weekend getaway.  









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September 16, 2014

Fall Favourites

Fall fashion has been subject to many style and colour revivals as of late. We've seen camouflage make a comeback and have witnessed an oxblood takeover. But even with the influx of navy and army green my wardrobe has been revolving around classic neutrals- black, beige, and white. There is something so crisp and simple about pairing these colours together and they actually have me embracing the seasonal change. If there is one thing I can't wait to rock, it's the wool hat.  Not only are they perfect for a messy hair day, but they totally complete any look. Not to mention the protection from the cold or rain that is an added bonus. Here are my fall favourites. 


1. Bucket Bag- Mansur Gavriel
2. Tyra Skirt- Wilfred Free
3. Cedric Sweater- Babaton
4. Floppy Wool Fedora Hat- Topshop
5. Trivial- Steve Madden
6. Scalloped Metro- Kate Spade
7. Cauchy Pant- Wilfred
8. Tracecraft Bangle Bracelet- Madewell
9. Congo Sweater- Motel
10. Trefle Dress- Wilfred
11. Ashbury Leather Ankle Boots- Michael Kors 
12. Mika Ear Crawlers- Gorjana 

You can see last fall's favourites here
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September 15, 2014

Pumpkin Cookies

It all started when I went into work the other day confessing my addition to the new pumpkin chai tea from David's Tea. This, by the way, is completely strange for me since I have never been a fan of anything pumpkin. Candle? I'll choose vanilla. Dessert? I'd rather have apple. Crazy. I know. My colleague then proceeded to give me her grandmother's recipe for pumpkin cookies and I couldn't get home fast enough to make them. I was a little skeptical after reading the ingredients, but who was I to question Heidi's sweet grandmother. I made them that evening and was surprised by the results. They are so chewy, so soft and are the perfect mix of sweet and spice! These cookies are absolutely cakey, which is 100% different from what I expected, but still so good! I decided to pair them with a homemade pumpkin pie latte (I've also never tried a PSL if you must know!) and it seems as though I have a new favourite flavour for fall. 

Pumpkin Cookies
Ingredients:
{makes: 24 cookies}
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puré
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • optional extras: white chocolate chunks, raisins, nuts

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl beat the sugar and butter until smooth. Add in the eggs on at a time. Proceed to add in the pumpkin purée until incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth. 
  5. Blend in optional extras. 
  6. Chill dough for at least 2 hours (this is so important because the dough is very sticky)!
  7. Roll into balls and bake for 12-14 minutes.  If you find the dough is sticking more so to your hands than actually rolling into balls, wet hands with cold water throughout the rolling process. 

Pumpkin Pie Latte
1. Microwave 2 spoonfuls of leftover pumpkin purée in coffee cup until warm. 
2. Add 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee, or 2 capsules of espresso (I use a Nespresso machine).
3. Add a dash of each cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger into coffee and stir (you can add sugar or sweetener at this point if you would like a sweeter latte). 
4. Froth 1/3 cup of milk of choice and add to coffee (warm milk will do if you are not using a machine). Spoon foam on top.
5. Sprinkle cinnamon or add a cinnamon stick on the side. 

Enjoy together for the perfect fall treat! 


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September 13, 2014

Bygone Summer

Even though it's only the second week of September, summer seems entirely out of reach. The skies are grey, the air is cool and the drizzle has made the transition to boots a necessity. How was it that only two weeks ago I was in full pastel force, eating ice cream sandwiches like it was my day job- and I sure as heck ain't giving up either! I am certainly holding on to some of my favourite moments from summer's final days before I embrace the seasonal change. Some of these moments include visiting the CNE, and indulging in some Toronto favourites such as The Red Bench and Glory Hole Doughnuts.  I'd love to know- have you already made the seasonal switch? 

For more photos like these you can follow along on Instagram

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September 11, 2014

Annual Aspirations



I know most people choose New Year's Eve as a time to reflect on goals and aspirations, but I find that birthdays are an even better occasion to look back on the past year and determine how much personal growth has occurred. After all, unlike December 31st, this day is all about you. Well… unless December 31st is your birthday. But, the point is that it's important to not only make wishes with your cake, but to also acknowledge your dreams and see how far you've come. This birthday (and yes, don't hate me- it was practically a month ago!) I set a few goals for myself. Nothing major. Just a few personal objectives and some career oriented targets, but I am excited to see where I'll be next year at this time. I really couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend- and when it's one that revolves around cupcakes, champagne and macarons, how could you really?

{birthday outfit: Necessary Clothing romper (now on sale!), vintage clutch, Louboutin heels} 
{macarons and Marie Antoinette pastry from Nadège Patisserie}



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September 04, 2014

Impending Shift

Soaking up the final days of summer means that I will be parading around town in true pastels and pastries fashion- floral on floral on ballerina slipper pink on mint. Some of these pieces will stick around for the summer-fall transition, others I will sadly be saying à bientôt to for this year. Does parting with some of your most-loved summer pieces seem like an impossibility right now? 



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