May 31, 2013

S'more Tarts

When I was in NOTL a few weekends ago, we stopped for gelato after dinner, but naturally I decided to get some macarons and s'more tarts to take home. When we got back to the house and started to indulge, I found myself completely disappointed with the so called "s'more tarts". They looked beautifully made, but they were missing the graham cracker crust!? I was shocked that they even labeled them as "S'more Tarts" when they were missing a crucial ingredient! Needless to say, I've been craving a true tart every since. When I found this recipe, I knew I needed to try it right away.  Although mine didn't look as fancy, they tasted delicious! They were so good I needed to bring them to work to stop myself from eating the whole batch! Also they definitely lived up to the true S'more name! I recommend baking this summer staple for your next get-together, or just for a fun snack! 
{Next time I would save a step and use graham cracker crumbs, instead of chopping them} 

May 26, 2013

Graduation Gift Guide

Four years of countless essays, exams and all-nighters have finally come to an end, and now is the time to celebrate this incredible milestone! But, now also comes the stage of first impressions, job interviews, making connections, and unfortunately living on a budget. If you are wanting to spoil your graduate for all their hard work and help make the transition into post-graduation life a little easier, I have put together the ultimate gift guide. A few of these might be a little exorbitant...but hey this is the time where we will have to put off buying luxury items, so go on and splurge!

1)Anything monogramed is amazing.. and this iPad cover screams professional!
2)This Kate Spade notebook provides the perfect documentation space for the adventures to come. 
3)Business cards are in the near future! Don't be caught handing out dirty/crumpled cards.
4)Louboutins are the ultimate power heel, because we need to start this new phase of our lives on the right foot! 
5)Throw pillows can spruce up a drab first apartment. 
6)A power bag which just so happens to be the first Prada! That's practically the key to success. 
7)Luxurious smelling candles to help wind down after long days.  
8)Even when the closet is lacking, this bold statement necklace will up the ante in any interview. 
9)Crisp watch to ensure we're never late for important dates.
10)Bottle of bubbly. Duh- we're in celebration mode. 
11)A classic black blazer is a timeless piece.
12)Taschen Cities Collection provides the perfect motivation to save money for travelling!
13)An extravagant pen from Tiffany's perhaps? 
14)The Last Lecture-Inspirational lecture to help turn dreams into realities.

May 24, 2013

Modern Monochrome

If monochrome consists of varying tones of only one colour, why does the term evoke bold coloured suits and teased hair that was so prevalent in the 90's (think Saved by the Bell). I love the idea of wearing various shades of one colour! You can customize the hues to your liking, and it provides a fresh look. It's no surprise that blue is my go-to, so I paired my favourite mint bag with lighter jeans and a deeper coloured peplum top. For a pop of colour, and to keep the outfit from looking too put together, I threw on a pink statement necklace and some favoured bracelets. I think it's safe to say that going monochrome can be an exciting way to make a professional, crisp statement, while moving away from the all black or all white ensembles. 

{Top- Smart Set, Jeans- Material Girl, Purse- Coach, Necklace- Forever 21} 


May 20, 2013


When most people head to Niagara they are usually setting out to experience the natural beauty of the falls, the thrill of the casinos, and the wide variety of family friendly activities that are sprawled out along Clifton Hill. But, what they don't know is that there is another whole side to Niagara, one which embraces relaxation, serenity, and of course wine-making. Niagara-on-the-Lake is a quaint town (think Stars Hollow), filled with lovely boutiques and restaurants, and is completely surrounded by wineries. This long weekend I was lucky enough to get out of the city to spend a few days touring some fabulous Ontario wineries, relaxing vine-side, and of course enjoying some delicious wines with good friends. I really enjoyed seeing first hand how wine is produced, and also having a personalized tasting to discover the perfect ways to enjoy a glass of vino! Hope everyone had a wonderful Victoria Day weekend! 
{A faint Toronto skyline} 


May 12, 2013

Plenitude of Pastels

During the spring and summer months my favoured ensemble is often comprised of an abundance of pastels. Yes, I do pair pastel pieces with neutrals in fall and winter, but I seem to go pastel crazy when the warmer weather hits and the sun is shining! In contrast to the perceived ideology, pastels do not have to be faint and subdued, and I often find that wearing a combination of mint, lavender and pink can be just as bright and dazzling as your favourite neon pieces. The pairing of pastels makes me most happiest, and I hope you now understand where the "pastels" in "pastels and pastries" came from. And yes, you may remember my obsession with this Coach Mini Tanner from this post ... I caved. 
{and the fact that it matches this 1957 Cadillac is amazing.. but purely coincidental}
{Blouse & Necklace- Forever 21, Jeans- Topshop, Shoes- Shoedazzle, Purse & Wallet -Coach, Sunglasses- D&G}

May 01, 2013

One Day in Nicaragua

{amazing view from the top of La Marced bell tower}

I was up well before our alarm sounded at 4:20 am, but still found myself running around trying to pack passports and other essentials that we would need on our day trip to Granada. We made it to the lobby of our hotel just before 5:00 am and awaited the arrival of our bus that would take us on the excursion. While in Costa Rica we had planned a day trip to Nicaragua to get in as much exploring of Central America as we could in our limited time span. The Nicaraguan border is an hour and a half from where we were staying in Guanacaste, so we knew we wanted to set out early enough to beat the border traffic buildup. Unsure of how long crossing would take, we decided to stop at a local restaurant for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast, obviously including rice, beans and plantains. It was a good idea since our anticipated 20 minute crossing took over an hour. 

The border, which the locals call La Frontera, appeared out of nowhere on the highway that spans all the way from Mexico to Panama. The Costa Rica-Nicaragua border is the only one in all of Central America, so while we waited for the officials to verify our passports we listed to the friendly locals tell stories of recent attempts to pass over with hundreds of kilos of cocaine, headed north, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, headed south. On the other side of the border there were dozens of trucks parked on the highway. Apparently it is typical for transport trucks to wait at the border for 3 days- suddenly our wait time didn't feel so long! After a quick stop in the duty free we were back on the road for our first stop at Catarina's Viewpoint. 

Catarina's Viewpoint looks onto the Apoyo Lagoon. The view was break taking, so we took a seat to listen to the locals play music, and then browsed the souvenir shops.  Our next stop was visiting an artisan market in the town of Masaya. Here we sipped local coffee and shopped the open markets. 
After a bite to eat we headed for Granada, which is one of Nicaragua's most important cities, and is also known for it's colonial-era architecture and vacation homes on Lake Nicaragua. Naturally I was excited when I found out the best way to get around the city was by horse carriage. We rode into the colourful city and walked around to check out some of the oldest, most beautiful buildings and churches.

With a few cervezas in hand we next hopped on a boat to cruise around Lake Nicaragua where I was assured we would not see any sharks (apparently I missed that episode of River Monsters where we learned bull sharks can live in fresh water). We sailed past a few of the 365 islands, saw some beautiful vacation homes and even fed monkeys!
{ignore the make-shift splint and take note of the palm grasshopper that the local kids made for us}

With the Mombacho volcano behind us we headed back to Costa Rica around sunset. Although the day was a long one we had a fantastic time in Nicaragua. I hope you enjoyed these (long) posts on my brief but memorable trip to Central America. There is so much more to do and see but I'm  just glad we got to experience a few of its beauties
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