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A Few Festieve Things

3 Dec

Hello, as with every season I like to round up some things I’m excited to use. Today I am sharing a few festive items.

Body cream- I have heard literally every other beauty blogger recommend this cream. I was sick of hearing about how great it was and how delicious it smells. I finally bought the bullet and got a travel size tub. I love it! This cream truly delivers moisture which is essential for when it is cooler and dryer. And yes, it does smell really good!

Body mist- A Thousand Wishes is a popular recurring holiday fragrance from BBW. It smells like sparkles and champagne and a shimmery gold lame dress! 

Candle I couldn’t talk about my favourite things without including a candle. This is a repeat purchase: Marshmallow Fireside from White Barn/BBW. This one has a woodsy yet sweet smell. 

Body wash- Snow Angel by Philosophy,  one of my favourite bath and body companies has a crisp slighlty warm sugary smell. I got this in a mini size because I only plan on using it during the festive season. Philosophy products always have a strong yet not overpowering scent and they give a good lather leaving your skin clean and moisturiser.

Eyeshadow palette- This palette, Prism by Anastasia Beverley Hills is their holiday edition. I love the glittery jewel and metallic tones but I am also super intrigued by the bright matter. ABH ‘s formula is generally very pigmented and smooth and this palette is no different. I think it’s awesome for the holiday season but definitely great year round.

Tea- Over the past year I have become very fond of tea. My preference is a fruit or even floral tea but this Chai spice tea is flavourful, spicy and very festive. It’s great warm with some milk but I actually like my tea (and coffe) cold and sans milk.
Those are a few of my favourite festive things. Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

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A Few Autumnal Things

8 Oct

Happy Autumn! Whether you spend this time of year raking up fallen leaves and dressing warmly or you just enjoy the trendy aspects like PSLs and BBW candles.

I fall into the latter category (although I’m not a huge PSL fan) and today I’m sharing a few things that I will be using this autumn.

Bag

This year, I have become quite enamored with mini structured bags. This one, in a russet/chestnut shade by GUESS makes going about hands free easy and autumnal.

Makeup

Eyeshadow Palette 

Naked Heat by Urban Decay- If this isn’t autumn in an eyeshadow palette I don’t know what is. There is a great mixture of browns, coppers and reds that allow for a variety of warm eye looks as the weather cools down.

Just Peachy Matte by Too Faced– If this isn’t autumn in an eyeshadow palette I don’t… wait I said that already… but ditto! This palette is a fantastic mix of all the matte warm shadows you could need. There are peachy and deep red shades that compliment all skin tones.
Highlighter

Trippin Stick Highlighter by Fenty Beauty– Got that Fenty Beauty booty! This highlight stick gives an orange hued golden effect on my deep skin. I particularly like using it on my nose. It gives me Autum-glam vibes.
Lipstick

Matte Tease by Milan- Autumn lips are all about the plums and wines. This is a deep burnt brownish plum shade that adds the perfect touch to any makeup look.

Body Scents 

Perfume

Black Opium by YSL/Saint Laurent- I love this fragrance. It’s deep with some musk and a touch of sweetness. Fantastic for cooler weather. I initially tried this scent in a mini and loved it so much that it made it’s way onto this year’s birthday wishlist. Thank you to my beautiful friend Tanya for fulfilling that wish.

Body Mist


Warm Vanilla Sugar by BBW-
This year I’ve gotten back into layering fragrances. It creates a unique scent (in a good way) and if your overlying scent wears off you still smell great. This summer I used a Coconut body mist as my base scent but now I’m ready for this warm sweet vanilla scent that goes beautifully with this time of year.


Home Scents


Bourbon Butterscotch candle from White Barn/BBW-
This candle smells just like you would imagine, a little sweet, a bit dark and very warm. Perfect!


Pomegranate Noir travel candle by Jo Malone-
This is my very first Jo Malone candle (or anything for that matter) I have been lusting after these products for actual year’s and I finally bit the bullet. I opted for a travel candle which is really a mini so it was cheaper and I can see if this brand is for me. The fragrance is a deep fruity mixed with woodsy one. It’s great for cooler months especially but I think I would love it year round.


Book

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake- Last but by no means least is my autumnal reading. I actually began this book a few weeks ago but only got a few chapters in, not because the book isn’t awesome, just because I’m not awesome. Anyhow this story takes place in what seems to be someplace in Europe around the middle ages and involves three sisters separated at birth all vying for the same crown in a rather unique way. The setting is dark and chilly with lots of woods and feasts. A perfect autumnal read.

Thanks for reading and have an awesome autumn!

Easter Brunch

14 Apr

I love Easter. It always makes me think of new beginnings, a fresh start and of course, Cadbury creme eggs (lots of them).

Today I bring an Easter Brunch inspiration. I think brunch is a fantastic meal to have at Easter time. Everyone has time to go to church or sleep in late and then afterwards a no hassle relaxed brunch. For brunch there are usually lots of options; pastries, omlettes, cakes, cheese boards…the works. I chose three recipes I think would add a great touch to a brunch menu. They are all simple and affordable. I also laid out an Easter/Spring tablescape and added a delicious cocktail.

ON THE MENU

Deviled eggs

Stuffed mushrooms

Fruit Fluff

Peach “mimosa”



Deviled Eggs

This is a brunch staple and of course well suited for Easter. Deviled eggs turn simple boiled eggs into a creamy flavourful treat.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Makes 6

Eggs -The number of eggs you use will give double that number of deviled eggs as they are served as halves. I used 3 eggs so I got 6(only 4 shown)

1 tbsp Mustard– I used a spicy mustard

1 tbsp Mayonnaise– This is optional but it does add a certain creaminess

Spices– I used salt, black pepper and paprika, just a pinch of each.

Deviled eggs ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

1) Hard boil eggs, let cool and remove shells.

2) Cut eggs in half and gently remove yolks. Set whites aside.

3) Add condiments and spices and mix until a smooth paste forms.




4) Place paste into piping bag (you can use a zip lock and snip the end) and pipe into egg whites.



Deviled eggs 


Stuffed mushrooms 

I remember the first time I had this version of stuffed mushrooms. My mother brought them home from a local Italian bistro and my life was changed. Something about soft, tart cream cheese against the crunch of a fresh mushroom is a perfect match.

WHAT YOU NEED 

Mushrooms– I used 8 medium sized ones (they were unfortunately a bit bruised)

Cream cheese– The amount you use depends on the number and size of the mushrooms but about 2 tbsp fill 8 medium sized mushrooms.

Spices– I used lemon pepper and some oregano.

Mushrooms and cream cheese 


WHAT TO DO 

1) Add spices to softened cream cheese and mix.

2) Place in a piping bag and pipe into mushrooms. 

Mushrooms and cream cheese mixture



3 )Top with oregano 


Stuffed mushrooms 



Fruit Fluff 

This is my take on an Ambrosia salad. I substituted cool whip with Greek yogurt for a healthier twist and a more “brunchy” feel.

WHAT YOU NEED 

I used arbitrary amounts, a little bit of each. The amounts you use depends on how much you plan to make.

Greek yogurt- The one I used is plain combined with honey so it’s already sweet. A great alternative is vanilla but really any flavour you prefer can be used.

Fruit– I used  mixture of frozen fruit (cherries, strawberries, lingonberries) and fresh  (strawberries and blueberries)

Mini marshmallows

Fruit Fluff mixture

WHAT TO DO

Mix altogether and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Peach “Mimosas”

What’s the best part about brunch? The fact that you get to splash your juice with wine. Lol. Now mimosas traditionally consist of wine and citrus juice hence my use of air quotes. Technically this is a peach cocktail but when doing brunch, we call it a mimosa.

WHAT YOU NEED 

White wine

Peach juice

Canned peaches

Peach mimosa ingredients 




WHAT TO DO 

1) Place 1 or 2 peach slices in the bottom of the glass and muddle it a bit (mash it with a spoon if you don’t have a muddler, which I don’t)

2 ) Fill glass halfway with wine.

3) Top off with peach juice and add a straw.

Peach “mimosas”



Tablescape

An important part of entertaining is creating ambience. For this I chose a simple, clean fresh look in keeping with the idea of a relaxed yet sophisticated setting.

This tablescape employed some crafty skills but all were simple. My colour scheme was pink, white and gold.

Table runner

I made a table runner of sorts by overlapping lots of doilies along the Centre of the table. I added a touch of gold by swiping gold paint over them in a random fashion.

Table runner from doilies




Flowers

I went with pink and white carnations. Carnations are often a very affordable option from the florist costing only a few dollars. I used about 4 bunches in all keeping  the look minimal.

I swished some of the same gold paint onto the flower petals to keep with the theme and placed them in jelly jars.

Flowers




Centre piece 

My “Centre piece” began with ambition. In fact, the failure of this centrepiece led to the final colour scheme, so maybe it was for the best.

For the centerpiece of an Easter Brunch I had to incorporate eggs somehow. I decided to dye some eggs. People have different methods of doing this. The best way I’ve found is using regular food and egg dye and a bit of vinegar to allow for better uptake of colour.

I removed the contents of the eggs by making a small hole at one end and simply allowing it to run out, gently shaking if you need to. Don’t waste your egg ! I put mine in the refrigerator and made omelet the next day.

I mixed the dye, vinegar and water in a mug. I find you get a more even coating if you use a mug.

As it happened the only colour that worked out was the pink (the yellow one broke and the purple came out streaky)

Once my one surviving egg was dry I splattered it with the by now ubiquitous gold paint. I displayed it in a mini jelly jar on a bed of Easter egg shaped jelly beans.

Centre piece




I placed the flowers and Centre piece on the table runner and laid the table with simple white plates and bowls.

The tablescape and settings

Table with food

Deviled eggs 


Stuffed mushrooms



Fruit Fluff



Peach mimosa


Easy breezy Easter Brunch. Hopefully some of these ideas will inspire you if you plan on doing brunch for Easter or any other occasion. Have a happy Easter and an awesome day!

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A few Festive Things

6 Dec

A few Festive things



BLOG-Mas  DAY 6

Today I thought I would share some of the things putting me in a festive mood.

Anastacia of Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario

ABH Master paletteby Mario


This limited edition palette by Mario (known for doing Kim Kardashian’s makeup and making contouring popular among non-makeup artists) was released in October and isn’t meant to be a “holiday” palette per se but to me the colours in it embody festive colours; muted jewel tones and metallics. The shadows are high quality,smooth and easy to blend and you can create a myriad of looks from these 12 shades. And of course, it’s fabulous for year round use.

Milani Metallic Matte Liquid Lipcolour

Milani Metallic Lipcolour in Amor

This drugstore brand knows what it’s doing, it has for quite sometime. When I first heard of metallic mattes I couldn’t understand ,  to me metallic means shiny and matte means not shiny but it works. This lip colour dries down completely matte but maintains a vibrant metallic look. Due to my love of all red lipstick I chose this colour: Amor. Like the ABH palette, it wasn’t meant for holiday time specifically but if you out this colour on, you look instantly festive.

Spiced Gingerbread Cookie by Philosophy 

Spiced Gingerbread Cookie shower gel

Philosophy ,  I don’t know how you did it but it seems like you actually crumbled real spiced gingerbread cookies into this shower gel. This little bottle of Christmas cheer smells sweet and spicy but clean, not overwhelming in any way. The colour, a metallic copper tone is beautiful and as with all Philosophy products there is writing all over the front- this is an actual recipe for a gingerbread cookie ! Having a shower with this outs me in a great mood and makes me feel festive.


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses


SJM, is a prolific YA/Fantasy Novelist with a number of popular series namely the “Throne of Glass” series. This book is the first in this series (A Court of Thorns and roses) This book comes highly recommend by just about every BookTuber (YouTube channels dedicate books) and book bloggers and the last series that came highly recommended :The Lunar Chronicles changed my life!

So this book, as far as I know has nothing to do with Christmas . But what males it festive for me is that I am looking forward to getting cozy and reading it over the holiday season.

Bath and Body Works candles 


BBW Candles

What festive holiday favourites list would be complete without at least one BBW item. BBW releases scents for all seasons and Christmas is one of the best in my opinion . I took it easy and only bought 3 of the large 3 wick candles which I got on sale for $12.50 US a piece.

Pictured here is :

Twisted Peppermint:-This is a strong one, and it smell exactly like peppermint. It’s a good pick me up king of candle.

Marshmallow Fireside– Thank goodness BBW changed the colour of this candle from that murky grey they used in the Fall release. Now it looks as beautiful as it smells. The scent is like a mild version of a toasted marshmallow, not super sweet like a lot of marshmallow scents are.

Winter Candy Apple– This candle smells delicious .  There is a tart undertone like you would expect from a crisp granny smith apple with a sweet but mellow overtone , like candy.

So these are a few of my festive things. What items make you feel like the holidays are here? Thanks for reading and have an awesome day ! 

DIY GIFT-SUCCULENT SPREAD

4 Dec

Hello It’s December 4th. Know what that means? 21 days until Christmas! Today is the 3rd DIY gift tutorial so let’s get started.

Three succulents in a row


Succulents are great plants because even plant killers like myself have a hard time finishing them off. I’ve had one for over 2 years now and it’s still going strong(somewhat). For this reason, you can be comfortable gifting a succulent to anyone. It’s perfectly fine to give one small succulent as a gift but I think having a cluster in a pot looks even nicer and that’s what I did here.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Succulents – at least 3 but you can use as many as you like. I also recommend getting different colours and shapes. I was only able to get these three which are pretty similar in colour and size but still quite varied.

2) A plant pot -preferably with a wide opening, you can also use anything typically used as planters e.g wine crates, old bowls, tyres (tires)

3) Soil or potting mix

4) Decorative items– Decorative rocks or gravel are good for this, you can also use sand or other miscellaneous items. I used decorative gravel and wine corks (cause it’s what I had)

Wide mouthed pot

Decorative gravel 

Old wine corks – a testimony to my taste in wine (cheap)
WHAT TO DO 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a gardening extraordinaire so you might find better potting instructions elsewhere.

1) Place potting mix into pot.

Pot with soil
2) Remove succulents from their pots being sure to crumble away a bit of the soil and get the roots exposed. Place into pot and add more soil to cover up the roots.

TransPLANT your succulents 
3) Place wine corks in design around the plants.

Corks placed
4) Fill in remaining space with gravel.

Filled in with gravel (not sure what went on with the lighting there)
5) Add a tag and gift!

Finished product 



Review

This is a super easy DIY and it can be manifested so many different ways. You can use multiple colours of gravel (my initial intention but I found none) and create different designs, you can also use coloured sand, weathered glass, woodchips etc. 

Cost

The cost of this type of project can vary quite a bit depending heavily on the number and type of succulents you select, the ones I used cost 2.99 US each but they can run you all the way up to $12 or $15. The other major determining factor is the pot. I bought this muddy coloured clay  pot and saucer brand new and it cost me $10 US but you can use something you already own, plastic pots etc. The decorative items I already owned but garden gravel and sand are typically inexpensive . Regardless ,  this project is affordable . If you were to buy something similar from a garden store it would likely cost double or even triple what it costs you to make. 

This gift gives the recipient something to take care of but without too much responsibility  (like a pet but WAY easier). Plants also always add organic decor to any space. I think this is an excellent one of a kind gift.

See you tommorrow and have an awesome day !

DIY GIFT- Candle

3 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 3

Hello  and welcome to day 3.  I am continuing my gift DIYs and today I am making a candle. There are two ways I do DIY candles, one is using wax from white candles and the other is using shortening. I never use kits sold in craft stores as they are just too expensive.

Apparently, shortening is an excellent burning agent and in post natural disaster zones people use a can of shortening with a wick and get light for up to 22 hours. #whoknew So this makes CRISCO the star of this show. I was so enamored with the idea of making g candles from shortening that last year I gave EVERYONE  homemade candles for Christmas.

WHAT YOU NEED 

1) Shortening  (the white thick stuff )

2) Fragrance – either fragrance oils or scented was cubes

3) Colouring agent- either coloured wax, maybe from an old candle or wax crayons.

4) Wick- This is the tricky bit. Wicks  are sold at craft stores and are a bit expensive ,  you can alternately use craft cord/twine but it needs to be soaked in a flammable liqiud (e.g olive oil or borax)and/or coated in wax. I learnt this the hard way.

5) Container- I chose a large jelly jar because they are so affordable and lend to the homemade vibe but you can use any heat resistant container e.g a mug or glass.

6) Duck tape (you’ll see why)

7) Scissors

Some of the ingredients : shortening , jelly jar, scented wax melts,wax crayons, wax coated craft cord.



WHAT TO DO 

1) Prepare your container

  a) Store bought wicks: Place wick and end into jar, glueing down if needed.                       

  b) Homemade wicks: 

i)    Cut a length of your cord (pre soaked and waxed) slightly longer than needed

ii)  Cut a small square of Duck tape.

iii)  Fold over tape being careful not to let it stick to itself, and cut a slit in it.

  iv)   Insert cord through slit in tape and allow it to stick to the tape.

  v) Place wick into jar and stick to bottom of the jar    

   

Cut slit into tape



Place wick through slit and allow to stick to tape



Stick onto bottom of jar



Ensure tape is stuck



  Wick secured     




 c) Take two pens/pencils/crochet needles (anything slim and cylindrical ) and tape them together at either end and feed the wick through the space in the centre – this will help keep the wick centred while the candle hardens.

Place pens on top of jar


2) Place shortening, scented wax melts (if you are using them) and crayons in a microwave safe bowl.

Notes:

 If you aren’t using wax scent but liquid instead don’t add this until the shortening has melted.

 Use highly pigmented crayons (I used Crayola) because the colour does get diluted once the candle hardens.

Use a bowl you aren’t attached to because there will likely be waxy residue no matter how well you clean it.

Shortening, scented wax and crayons


3) Melt in microwave in 30 second bursts stirring each time . 

Melted solution


4) Pour into jar, reposition wick ensuring it is central, place into refrigerator to harden.

Pour wax into jar


5) Allow candle to firm up completely, it takes about an hour but you can leave it longer.

Hardened wax of first layer


For my candle I wanted to make a two toned or bicolor one, so this was just part 1. If you only want one colour stop here, if you want multiple colours continue.

PART 2

6) Melt  shortening (along with scented wax melts and colour) – For this step I added no colour and decided to add a fragrance oil.

Melted shortening and scented oil



7) Pour carefully over already hardened wax- If your first layer isn’t completely set the colours will mix.There is likely to be some mixing regardless but if you are careful it will be minimal.

Pour second layer


8) Allow to harden.

Hardened second layer



9) Cut wick down.

Cut wick




EXTRAS


Name/Label

You can write on the label that usually comes with the jars or print one aND add it to the jar or the lid. You can give your candle a name or just write the name of the recipient on it. I named this one which is a mixture of vanilla sandlewood (coloured brownish red) and coconut (“white “) Merry and Bright -it was pretty random.

Decoration

Feel free to add some extra flare to the top of the candle e.g coloured wax shavings, coffee beans, dried flowers or whatever suits your scent or colour scheme . 

Add name



10) Add a bow and gift! OR keep it for yourself and light!

It’s lit!


Review

As far as being a candle, this works. I made a bunch last Christmas and kept one for myself which stayed solid all year round and burnt well. In terms of the scent, once you use wax melts or essential oils there is a good convincing scent. In terms of burn time they seem to burn more slowly than for example a BBW or Glade candle.

Cost

In terms of cost, the priciest item was the jar costing just under $2US, however if you are making multiple candles you can buy the jars in bulk or use other containers you already own. The shortening is extremely affordable and a large container can literally give you dozens of candles, the crayons cost less than $3 US for a box and you can get colours for multiple candles from one box. The wax scented cubes and essential oils are also very affordable and again you get so much use out of just one package or bottle. By my calculation this candle cost me approximately  $3.50 US to make and for that you get a one of a kind gift.

Try this and tell me how it goes and have an awesome day!

How to Entertain on the Cheap

27 Nov

Signature cocktail and simple decor
Hello

The Holiday season is fast approaching and this means entertaining and lots of it . As someone who does her fair share of soirees I know it can run you ragged; physically , emotionally and of course financially . 
Often, what begins as an intimate gathering with close loved ones can snowball into an all out zoo scene and that cute budget you set goes up in proverbial smoke . 

Here are some tips I often consider when planning to entertain:

1) Plan a menu around items you already have

Don’t go out and spend a fortune on a massive turkey if you already have piece if lamb in the freezer. Decide what you make using whatever you have sitting in your cupboard . 

2) Make the most of your menu

Try to get as much out of the items you do buy. For example , if you buy a pumpkin, use it in as many dishes as you can; pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie etc. Do this rather than buying dozens of different items to make different dishes. 

3) Be selective with your invites

The way of the world of entertaining is such that some of the persons you invite won’t come while others will show up with extra guests. Be sure to invite reliable friends asking them to RSVP and make it clear whether or not they are allowed to bring guests.

4) Do potluck 

This is an oldie but a goodie. I am guilty of telling people not to bring anything when I entertain because I somehow feel it is in poor taste. It doesn’t have to be, we all have those friends who always offer to bring something so engage them. Also, people like to feel useful, why deprive your cousin of making his world famous sweet potato pie?

5) Make a punch/cocktail

It can be expensive to purchase multiple bottles of wine, vodka, brandy, scotch, rum and so on. It is far more cost effective to purchase one type of alcohol in bulk and make a punch or signature drink from it. 

6) Keep decorations simple

We all love our homes to look beautiful and festive. This means trees and wreaths and tablesscapes and railing and mantle piece decor, new curtains, new cushions… I could go on. The costs of these things really add up! Focus on a few things e.g the tree and tablesscapes. Chose items that can mix and match and be reused in the future.

I hope some of these tips help to allay the anxiety that can often come with entertaining, I also hope I listen to my own advice. Have an awesome day!

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