Things I Love Thursday: Chicken Biryani and Lucite

Thursday, March 28, 2013
* cleaning, purging, and rearranging my apartment * finishing a beauty product bottle/tub * wunderlist (thanks to galadarling's iphone app post) * ploughing my way through Anna Karenina on my free time * catching Life of Pi & eating incredibly delicious Indian food with S (see above). It was my first time at an Indian restaurant and I'm officially obsessed; hoping to go there with The Boy sometime soon. * sticking to my goddamn exercise schedule * painting my nails in Essie's Fiji * new books in my mailbox * watching Casino Royale & Memoirs of a Geisha all wrapped up in a blanket with tea... I'm lying, I was exercising the whole time, and they were the best distractions ever! * running * finally getting my box of dead people back - WHAT!? Haha, it's just my anatomy bone box... with REAL HUMAN BONES! Muahahahaa... * 

images: taken with my iPhone

Recipes That Worked: Cooking My Way Through The Internet

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Hola lovelies,

I realized I've been collecting oodles of pictures of food, and not sharing them! Some of the homemade dishes The Boy and I have made turned out to be incredibly scrumptious. It would be criminal not to pass on the recipes we've found online. If my memory continues to serve me well, I will do food updates with personal images, and also a link to the special recipe that caused a mouth party. Enjoy!

Recipe we used: Linzer Tart by DessertFirstGirl
Comment: This tart involved three separate activities; making the crust, making raspberry jam, and making the chocolate ganache. I suggest you buy a ton of raspberries and store some leftover jam for toast & any breakfast goodies the next morning. I was obsessed with how easy and delicious it was to make my own jam from scratch. This dessert was incredibly yummy, especially if you love chocolate!

Recipe we used: Penna alla Vodka
Comment: You don't need to use bacon if you don't want to, but it adds a delicious taste. For a healthier version drain the bacon grease before adding the sauce to the skillet, or eliminate the bacon all together and also use whole wheat penne. If I was told I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would be this dish. It turned out exactly like my favorite pasta at John's Italian Café in Toronto. Also, we substituted the vodka with zinfandel, and it worked beautifully.

Link me up with some of your favorite recipes so I can test them out!


Spring 2013 Bags: Pastels & Neons

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hey everyone,
I've been (unfortunately) spending too much time online window-shopping this past week. I think it's because the days are lighter for longer, and spring is just around the corner. I have spent most of my mornings wishing for the warm weather to arrive sooner! I went running outside yesterday (in the freezing cold) for the first time...ever. It was brutal, but I'm going again this week, since this running business appears to be my new hobby. I am absolutely terrible at it! Baby steps for the newbie!! Anywho, I'm trying to justify purchasing more designer handbags for the spring, but I can't settle on any of these. For my UK readers, I have started adding more links to online stores in the UK so you can all avoid exorbitant shipping and customs fees. I spent half an hour perusing Harrods last night, and came to the conclusion that it contains many of the pieces you can find on ShopBop in the USA, so you should definitely bookmark it before purchasing anything from an American site (you can find the shipping fees here). As a Canadian, I feel your pain. (I get all my stuff shipped to me while I'm at school in Chicago. Such a godsend!)

Which one is your favey-fave?

P.S. Don't forget to enter my Zinio digital magazine subscription give-away! They have Vogue Paris, Officiel, Cosmo, Elle, and a ton more. Yay!

images: shopbop

Giveaway: Zinio Magazine Subscription (Vogue, Elle, Officiel!)

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Hiya everybody,

I have a few one-year subscriptions to giveaway for Zinio (online magazine service) - I have 9 giveaways in total. I have taken a magazine subscription for myself, because Vogue Paris. Come on. I've added a few examples below of the goodies you can possibly win, and if you're interested in signing up for Zinio yourself they have some great deals (Here's a 2-for-1 subscription offer for you environmentally conscious magazine hoarders). They have a huge selection of foreign magazines, which I think you should peruse. Anyone can enter, and I'm keeping the contest open for 1 week. All you have to do is comment with your first & last name, e-mail address, and favorite magazine on Zinio. Easy peasy, nice and breezy! Hope you're all doing well!

Things I Love Thursday + Outfits + Links

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Skull tote (etsy - check out the floral skull one. LOOVE) - Mavi skinnies (similar) - Zara moccassins (similar 1 & 2) - gifted knit (Ami dans la rue) - Lanvin perfume 

Going to Toronto for less than 70 hours, and being able to celebrate my mother's birthday * Watching movies with my dad - we are movie addicts! * Painting my nails neon pink * Watching "Menace II Society" with The Boy; I needed to get my 90's fix. * Vegetarian homemade pizza with The Boy * Talking for hours with old friends * Orange candles * The new color of my house * Getting an international medical credit approved for Portugal * Planning summer eurotrips with my european friends - who I haven't seen in years and really miss! * Lugging the Beyonce issue of Vogue to my apartment, because it's full of powerful women. * White home decor * I picked up Pink Lemonade flavoured cupcake mix & frosting; it was in the Easter section at Target. I cannot wait to try them. [Food Squeal] * Going to Portillo's for the first time & loving it * Burgers * Having my medical school sweater & t-shirt arrive; each year designs their own pieces so you can tell apart those who graduate in 2015, 2016, etc. * Denim shirts * The smell of fresh laundry *
Mint tank (T by Alexander Wang gifted) - Skinnies (7 for all mankind) - Chanel smokey eye compact - Rebecca Minkoff clutch/passport wallet (similar here) - Studded booties (Similar herehere & here) - Quartz Necklace (similar here

Link Lovin'
+ How to change your life by zenhabits
+ Coffitivity - background cafe noise while you work. So cute!
+ Black Toywatches with chunky silver arm candy (TheWayWeAre) - I wish my wrists weren't infant size, sometimes.
+ Why not find your 'Je Ne Sais Quoi"? by Simply Luxurious Life
+ Finding the next BryanBoy 
+ 10 iPhone apps that will improve your life by Gala Darling
+ The best link to watch if you had to pick one: Cory Kennedy. She is so honest and vulnerable in this clip, mentioning how she checked herself into rehab last year for alcoholism (she just turned 21, and she has been on the scene since she was a young teen). It's a "harsh-reality" interview; talking about media pressure, moving to a different country for a guy, weak friends, the amount of drinking that happens fashion parties & and her struggles with staying sober. Not what I was expecting when I clicked her style profile video. Worth it. So worth it.


P.S. Don't forget to follow me on bloglovin' before July 1st!

Academic Toolbox #4: Organizing Your Study Space

Saturday, March 16, 2013
Hi everybody,

Today I'm bringing you another Academic Toolbox (past ones here) to help you get those A's you've been coveting! This set of information is all about personal study spaces, and how to make them more conducive to learning. This will be a blend of office areas, and "on-the-go" work spaces (ie/ when you hit the library or decide to write an essay at Starbucks). Hope you find some new tricks!

Home Office 
- Keep the area clean and stocked with everything you need
- In your drawers organize frequently used items, a stack of lined paper, extra pens, a calculator, and your glasses if you need them to see up close. I have a clear pull out with all my sticky notes, paper clips, and miscellaneous stationary bits. This has helped me find anything I need in a heart beat.
- Print out a simple calendar and paste it above your desk. I had 4 at a time at the beginning of the year so I could plan ahead for exams, weekend trips, and flights. In addition, we learned that good habits are more retained if they are tracked. So if you want to exercise 4x a week (aka my goal for the past two months- still working on it!) marking the days you do it keeps everything on track, and it feels nice at the end of the month to see all those X's.
- A fluorescent table lamp. Proper lighting is really important for eye strain, so even if you're on your your laptop & think you have sufficient lighting, still turn on the lamp. Your eyes will thank you later!
- Have a chair that provides good back support, I've been suffering with intermittent neck pain since November, and my doctor said it's due to improper posture from studying in the same position for 6 hours straight.
- Have a yoga mat nearby for stretches, that helps too!
- I mentioned in a previous post that I had a "study trigger" when I was in undergrad. I'd light a candle every day right before cracking down on the books. It was a fantastic trick!
- Keep sanitizing spray or wipes nearby and give the desk and laptop a good wipe down every couple days.
- Most importantly, make it a space you're excited to be in! I love white, so both my desks in Toronto and Chicago are white, and full of bright desktop accessories!
"On-The-Go" Study Space
- Find a table that provides ample space for your study style. I tend to grab a whole 4 person table to myself if the library is super empty. I don't like when people do that during exam period. You should be considerate of others who want to use the study areas on campus. They paid for it, too.
- Bring your favorite pens, highlighters, pencils, notepads. Anything that makes your notes cheery and fun.
- Chargers for electronics
- Pack a couple containers of freshly cut fruits, berries and veggies. They keep your energy up for longer. Also have a heavy, healthy smoothie with you in order to keep you "full". I have a hard time studying on an empty stomach, and sometimes it's hard to find healthy options near the library, or you're too stressed for time to go out and eat. Or maybe you just nailed your favorite spot, and don't want to give it up. Don't deny it, we all have one.
- I couldn't exactly bring a candle to Starbucks or the library, so sometimes my trigger would be finding a friend who was very studious and had a strong work ethic. Trust me, it inspires you to keep up and be like them! If you can't find a non-distracting person to be with, then pull up the bios of people who you look up to, especially if they're in the path you are pursuing, and make it your web browser's homepage. You'll feel guilty when you wander off to the Internet world! Double wammy!
- Headphones and a motivating playlist to drown out sounds. Particularly if you're one of those people that needs a focused mental environment
- A sweater and warm socks, in case the AC is too high or the heating too low.
Here are a few gems for you stationary/organization freaks like me. I've bought from Poppin before and can 100% vouch for their products. I just absolutely love their bright colors, minimalistic design, and affordable price points.



Things I Love Thursday: Leather and Elegance

Thursday, March 14, 2013
* Leather jackets and nice-fitting jeans * Flirt by Essie * Packing for my flight tomorrow - quality time in Toronto for all of 2 days. * So excited to get my hair done, finally. * Strawberry, banana, raspberry smoothies * Signing up with RewardStyles - I can now have a products bar with pictures underneath my posts, instead of just linking the products via text. Yay for visuals!! [If you're interested, I'll shoot you an invite.] *  My new ASOS heels - getting some insoles for them this weekend. * Hello Kitty Marshmallows * Discovering FLUFF - Why did I not know about the existence of spreadable marshmallows? AHHHH * Spring cleaning my closet - Time to donate & sell. * Reggaeton music during my study breaks... Oh yeahh *
I'm in love with the picture below, and the young lady's outfit. Everything is so elegant and classy.
And look, warm weather.... [sigh]
Sources: Mariannan, tumblr, Kenza, tumblr.


UPDATE: GOOGLE READER is closing July 1st, if you are following me through Google please sign up for a Bloglovin' account and follow Belle Chantelle. 

Goodman Theatre - Other Desert Cities

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Hola everybody,

A couple weeks ago I caught a great production here in Chicago. Other Desert Cities was so unlike any of the pieces I'm used to seeing in live theatre. There was no fancy costumes, crazy light shows, loud music or funky dance routines - none of that. This was bare bones acting at its finest, and the twist it took in the second half was such a killer. I LOVED IT! If this production gets picked up by your local theatre, please invest in a ticket and go experience it. It deals with family drama & secrets. Vert intriguing.
Hope you're all doing well & loving the extra hour of sunlight!


outfit: vintage scarf (similar here)
leather pants from Zara (similar)
Club Monaco top (similar)
Black suede wedges (similar)

That's a Wrap: Florida Edition (Set 3)

Sunday, March 10, 2013
Heya lovelies!

The weather is slowly warming up, and I can feel Spring at my back. Until its time arrives, I'm still wishing I was strolling through the streets of Miami & West Palm Beach. Yesterday's physical exam test went well; I had a fantastic standardized patient who taught me some cool tricks afterwards. Yay, learning! Thanks to those of you who checked up on me - I got all your good luck vibes. Here's the last batch of images from our little family's romp through Miami's Design district & a couple seaside towns. Enjoy!


Things I Love Thursdays & Pastels

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Image by: David Higgs

Hey everyone!

The week has been slowly trudging away. I'm a few days closer to my physical exam test & super nervous I'll forget everything once I walk into the room and see the standardized patient. sigh. I keep reminding myself that in 4 years I'll be laughing at my current state, and wishing life was as "easy" as it is now. Doesn't everyone always do that? Anyway, here are some things I loved this week & links I've accrued for your viewing pleasure!

Things I Love Thursday
*Wearing multiple necklaces *Snow day* New Chai tea * Studying in Wicker Park & eating at Filter and Lillie's Q *  little skull magnets from H, which are holding up lists & photobooth pics on my fridge* Bluey by Butter London * Buying my mom's b-day present: a beautiful "90's Versace"-looking dress from ASOS * Shoes* Bringing back my favourite bag in the world: Alexander Wang Rockie (Here's my review if you're interested - it's still one of my most viewed weekly posts!) * Making Portuguese cozido for the first time.. all by my self #proudmoment * Finding a blog I really like and reading back years worth of posts* As for the images: pastels and spring awakenings! 

Quirky storage tips & wonderful patterns (tumblr)

New collection by gorjana - I'm loving this gold ring. Wishlisted! 

+ Time's article on Sheryl Sandberg, her new book & organization, and how to get women to harness their ambition & work their way up. Confidence!
+ Rookie Mag: Actual Size. Dealing with your body, and how to accept it. Here's an excerpt I really liked:
"this was my first real encounter with the Fantasy of Being Thin, which is the idea that life will magically improve once you reach your “goal weight,” and it’s something that so many people buy into." 
The media really does glamourize this illusion that being thin will solve all your problems, but we're not focusing on the real issue: self esteem. The dilemma that women don't love themselves enough is emphasized in this age of social media and comparisons. I'm all for losing weight on a healthy diet with exercise you enjoy, especially if you want a better quality of life. But telling these women that  dropping the pounds will get them everything they've dreamed of is garbage. When you don't fix the issue of how a woman perceives herself in relation to others, then once she hits her goal weight she'll just focus on another part of herself that she hates. Self-Love is so important, and it provides a great confidence boost, a quality Sheryl Sandberg harps as the catalyst for pursuing your dreams and hitting your goals. 
+ Are you still sticking to your New Years resolutions? Have you completed some already and want to add a few more? Here's a great graphic with a few creative ideas on how to improve your life: rethinkcanada. I like their "no screens in bed, less videos more films, and start a recipe journal". 
+ Withlovegabrielle's How to Pack a Carry-On: I've been paying hundreds of dollars over the past year in extra fees for my full-size luggage, so I've decided to buy a carry-on for short trips home.
+ Rookie Mag's All In Your Head. It's about the paralyzing fear you get when assuming others are talking about you, dislike/hate you, think you're stupid, etc. Such a great piece, especially for those of you who overthink!
+ Do you guys like the Vivienne Westwood for Melissa collaboration? I'd love to have some feedback on how comfortable those shoes are, because Karl Lagerfeld just designed his own capsule collection for Melissa! Hit a sista up! That ice cream heel is just too adorable! 


Florida Set 2: Ancient Spanish Monastery & South Beach Miami

Monday, March 04, 2013
Hiya everybody!
Here are a few more pictures from my trip down south. My family and I (all 3 of us -_-) had an absolutely marvelous time in Florida, and a couple great adventures exploring different areas along the coast. I'm sorry I overloaded the blog with photos, but I just had to share. Many a times the images I take just sit on my hardrive doing nothing, seeing nobody, and being nowhere. Sad, sad fate. It's one of the reasons old school cameras have a slight advantage. They make you develop your photos!

Tell me what you were up to this weekend, and any fun plans for St. Patty's day. I'll be flying back home to celebrate my momma's birthday, so I'm pretty excited. Until then, I've been practicing physical exams on The Boy, because I have my test this Saturday. Poor guy. Pretty sure he hates my reflex hammer.

Cloisters of St. Bernard - Built in 1133 AD (Spain), moved to the USA in 1925. Great history behind this building! 
Driving to South Beach via the Miami bridge. Such pretty colors. 
Lincoln Path- South Beach, Miami
After the weather, my favourite aspect of Miami is the pastel colored art deco buildings. I was in love!