Birthdays, Christmas & Toronto

Monday, December 23, 2013
Hi lovelies!!

It has been a whirlwind of a few days, and they were quite amazing. My birthday was last Thursday, and I was hunkered down studying for an exam the whole day. After the exam, I scrambled around my apartment packing, cleaning, and washing my hair. Afterwards, The Boy and I made our way downtown to catch a Second City production, and spent the night cuddling + watching Kitchen Nightmares (we are addicted!). Saturday morning we woke up at 6am, and drove down to the airport for my flight to Toronto. My parents had a cute surprise birthday dinner for me, and all of us got to eat my favourite Italian food and a delicious cake from Dufflet (plus a ton of other great sweets made with love). Sunday was spent in candlelight (because our power went out after the ice storm), whilst eating left overs, playing brain games, talking and laughing ... and drinking. It was such a nice break from technology that I'm wondering why we don't do it more often. At our house we are getting ready for the Christmas festivities, and it smells delicious all through the house!
Merry Christmas! 
Happy Holidays!


Recipes That Worked: Ratatouille Pasta & Chocolate Millionaire Cookies

Saturday, December 07, 2013
Ratatouille Pasta
This was a delicious dish, and I can't wait to make it again. Instead of grilling the veggies, we popped them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Everything else was done according to the recipe posted below. We picked tri-color rotini to add extra color. ----> Made By Girl guest post recipe

I really like crispy edges, so I leave it in the oven for a tad longer. 
While the veggies were cooling and the pasta was cooking, we chatted for a bit at the table. I have this cute mini Christmas tree on top of it, and it is adding quite the festive cheer during the evenings. Once the pasta was al dente, we strained it and threw in the veggies. I also added extra olive oil & garlic salt.
Let the mix sit for a couple minutes for the flavours to infuse the pasta, and serve! 
P.S. If you're a cheese fiend like me, don't forget the parmesan. =)

Chocolate Millionaire Cookies
These babies were done in 15 minutes. Why, you ask? Because it was a 'cookie in a jar' recipe, where all the contents were layered and ready to mix with milk, eggs, and vanilla extract. If you find these jars during your shopping adventures, pick one up for a friend who enjoys baking. The Boy and I had tons of fun eating these over the weekend while watching Home Alone. 

What have you all been eating lately? Any fun recipes I should try?


Gift Guide #2: Home Decor Lovers

Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Here's my second installment of quirky gifts for your friends & family. Below are my picks for the people in your life that take pride in decorating their homes. Enjoy!
1. Jonathan Alder - whale pitcher 
(this would also look great as a vase with fresh bright flowers)
2. Kate Spade New York - dinnerware
(to eat appetizers off of, or to display)
3. Jonathan Adler - salt & pepper shakers
(placed on a couch or at the foot of the bed)
5. West Elm - monogram napkins
6. Cwonder - ikat bowls
(for eating cereal/soup, or to store jewelry baubles)

What else would you add to the list?


Current Favourites

Monday, December 02, 2013
Heya everyone!
I thought I'd share a few things I've been loving lately, including two reviews of products that were sent to me.

First up, I finally tried those EOS lipbalms everyone's been harping about. I have the mint one, and it is a ball of tingly divine loveliness (although not as moisturizing as Carmex, it always takes the cake). It can be a super cute stocking stuffer, or a small self-prezzie to keep in your winter coat pocket.
Secondly, I was sent this Iconemesis iPhone 5 case to check out. I was able to choose any print I wanted, and the selection is quite fantastic. I settled on Fifi Lapin, and it was a big hit during Thanksgiving dinner. My case was a little snug and didn't click in completely, but it was pretty unnoticeable. (I had a few of my friends try to push the phone in, but to no avail. I might have just gotten a wonky case.) Unfortunately, I did end up dropping my iPhone on the concrete two days ago, and it got a little scratch on the edge that didn't get snapped in. C'est la vie! I still use it, because it's so darn cute and I already have a couple scratches from other cases as well. Pobody's Nerfect! Look at this one - droool.

This is the second and final item I was sent to review, Photo Plasma SPF 30. Let me tell you... it does something none of my other creams have done before: No Burning. Several years ago I settled on the fact that my skin is super-sensitive and reacts to everything. I have been using my Cetaphil moisturizer with SPF for years, because it burns less than Aveeno Positively Radiant. But little buggers has NO BURN. AND a higher SPF. AND it looks like pink fluffy mousse. I love it! (The team at Perricone MD also wants me to share another Cold Plasma product they have for spider veins, and their new Astaxanthine supplements to boost your skin/body diet - check here for astaxanthine side effects). Tell me what you all think! Does anyone else get that burning sensation with their skin products? I don't think anything will ever be as bad as my first few months on Epiduo (I wrote about it here), but it's still quite annoying.

I picked this little hat up at Aerie while waiting for a friend. Sparkly gems are the greatest! And I finally have something that matches perfectly with my grey cable knit snood. *happy dance*

This is not a "thing". I took this shot with the VSCO cam, an app my friend S. told me to download for my iPhone. Holy manoley it's amazing, and it's FREE. You should all get it. The control you have over shots is amazing, even their filters are super cool. Check out some of the pictures taken by photographers here.

And finally, a couple products I've had for a while and love. The Brazil Nut body butter is such a great scent for fall and winter; I also enjoy the fact that it has to melt a bit in my hand. I talked about this product before on the blog, but I just need to bring it back on here to show some love.
The Falsies by Maybelline was bought on a whim when I realized I should have thrown out my mascara a couple months ago. (Is anyone else terrible with cosmetic expiry dates?) I was pretty shocked when this hot pink tube gave me super long, thick baby doll lashes. My favourite!

What are products are you loving lately?
Has anyone found the perfect black liquid liner yet? Seriously, tell me!