Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Book Nook

I finally joined a book club. It's something I've always wanted to do, but never really put the effort into organizing. My dear friend Lindsay has taken on the task and I can't wait to get reading. Now if only I had a little nook to get lost in...

Source

Source


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A library next to the bathtub?! I would never leave!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Stickygrams

Have you seen this?


Stickygram turns your iPhone instagram pictures into magnets! Very cool.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Farewell #107


This about sums up how I'm feeling right now (except far, far less glamorous). Eric and I spent all day moving yesterday. I always tend to underestimate how much work moving involves. I believe I said  "I only have a bed and a couple big shelves to move. It won't take long." Oh, that was cute. Eight hours and two very sore backs later, it's done.

Suite 107, you were the very first place I lived by myself. You held many a kitchen dance party and you will be missed.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Do or Don't: Sequin Pants

Now bear with me here. Obviously, you're not rocking them around the office, but picture counting down on New Year's Eve, glass of champagne in hand wearing a pair of these...

3.1 Philip Lim Sequin Trousers

Michael Kors Deep-Pocket Sequin Pants

Asos Petite Sequin Pants
I love that whole third outfit!

So, aside from being somewhat impractical, are they totally nuts or trés chic?

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Christmas Baking- Gingersnaps

Gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies and yet, I somehow seem to forget all about them until Christmas rolls around. These little delights beg for a nice warm chai tea after a day of tobogganing.


Gingersnaps

3/4 c butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. molasses
2 c. flour
11/2 tbsp. ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together butter and sugar. Stir in egg and molasses. Add the dry ingredients and mix into a firm dough. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in additional sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. They should look underdone when you take them out. That's the trick to making them soft and chewy.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Lefse

One of my favorite new holiday traditions is heading to my friend Brittany's parents' house to make lefse. Lefse is a Noweigan flatbread and any good viking will tell you that it's the very best part of Christmas. It is, however, very time consuming to make so having a team of people to help cook and rice potatoes, make dough, roll dough and cook it is a must.





Once it's finished, you cover it with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, roll it up and eat it. I took home a hefty bag and I'm still not sure I'll be able to share it.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Gift Guide- The Hard to Buy For

For the next few Fridays, I'd like to share with you a couple of gift guides for the holidays-starting with one full of gifts that keep on giving.

A couple of years ago Eric and I adopted this little guy

We got him from Nudo. We picked which grove we wanted him from and in the spring we received 3 bottles of their flavored oils (chili, orange and lemon) and in the fall we received olive oil from the grove of our adopted tree. Both the flavored and plain oils were delicious. They even made it on to Oprah's Favorite Things list this year. You also get a picture of your tree and it's exact location so if you're ever in Italy, you can visit and thank it for all it's delicious offerings.


Janice Beaton Fine Cheese offers a Cheese of the Month gift. Each month (you can choose from 3, 6 or 12 months) 3 incredible cheeses will be delivered to the recipient's door. It includes descriptions of each cheese and where they come from.

What an awesome surprise to receive every month. It's also a great opportunity to branch out and try some cheeses you might normally be too scared to try.

You can't have all that cheese without beer and wine! Zyn offers a case of the month for both. You can choose between an all red, mixed and beer case and delivery is free!


Gourmet gifts can run a bit pricey, but these photobooks from Pinhole Press are budget friendly and great, personalized gifts for someone close to you. You pick which book you want, add your photos and titles, they put it all together and send it to you.


Photo: Pinhole Press
You can also make your own notepads, cards and calendars.

All of these gifts are available for order online so you don't even have to brave the mall. And, if you were to order them now, the lucky recipient would have them in time for Christmas. Probably best not to leave cheese under the tree though.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Christmas Baking- Magic Cookie Bars

You might also know these as Seven Layer Bars (although, I only count five). By any name, they are incredibly easy and always get rave reviews. Doesn't everything involving condensed milk?




Magic Cookie Bars

1/2 c. butter, melted
11/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 c. chocolate chips - I prefer milk chocolate, but any kind will do
1/2 c. pecans
1 1/3 c. sweetened coconut
300 mL sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix graham crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9x13 pan. Spread chocolate chips evenly over the crust. Layer pecans and coconut on top. Pour condensed milk evenly on top of the mixture. It's ok if there are a few uncovered parts. Bake for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

First Covers

Flavorwire did some digging and found the first covers of some of today's most popular magazines.

1888


1925

1892

1933

1944
It's so interesting to see how similar some covers look and how some have completely changed. Very cool!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

To Market With Leo

Usually, when I go to the Asian Supermarket I leave with the same things: milk bread, pork buns and tea. Anything outside of those three items and I'm totally lost so I asked my friend Leo to help. After an exciting game of "Would You Eat That?" Leo helped me navigate the market and stock up on some Asian cooking essentials.

Would you eat that?

Probably not

Hot dog flavored chips? Maybe

One of his essentials was this Korean BBQ sauce. This stuff is amazing. I bought the small bottle and after using it once, I knew I should've gone for the big one. Cut up some steak and marinate in this for a day or so and throw it on your BBQ griddle. Tip: before cutting meat, throw it in the freezer for a bit. It makes it easier to cut into strips.



For a super fast and easy dinner I make broccoli slaw using this dressing:

Broccoli Slaw with Peanut Dressing

3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2.5 tbsp unsweetened peanut butter
1.5 tbsp soya sauce
1.5 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger root
1 clove grated garlic
dried cranberries (optional)

1 bag of broccoli slaw (shredded cabbage would work too)

Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the broccoli slaw. Add dried cranberries and mix well.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Ahh the Weekend

Babies galore this weekend! We celebrated my niece Georgia's 1st birthday.

Happy Birthday Georgia!

We also welcomed this little munchkin to Eric's family.


And a big happy birthday also goes to the best darn Dad a girl could ask for. Love you Dad!


A wonderful weekend, indeed.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Remembrance

Tomorrow, we honor and remember those who have served our country.



My Grandpa Eric served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for World War II. His story, as told to me by my Uncle Garry, was as follows

Your Grandpa Eric joined the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) and went to England before travelling through Africa to India and Burma where he was a Radar Technician. His job was a dangerous one as they took bombing, machine gun fire and flack from the Japanese for the control of the South Pacific. He contracted malaria twice and returned to Canada in an extremely weakened condition and severely underweight at the end of the war in 1945. Conditions in the jungle were atrocious and the food was 'eat it or starve' rations (mostly mutton as the Indians consider cows sacred). He brought back a few souvenirs including shrapnel that nearly missed his head and some coins. Most veterans didn't talk about the war. They were too happy to live in peace and start families of their own.

Which is exactly what my Grandpa did. He and my beautiful Grandma Beth had 4 strapping lads. He passed away when I was just a toddler.

My Grandpa was lucky to make it home from the war and live to see his kids grow up and have kids of their own. However, it was not without sacrifice.

Tomorrow, when we honor all of those who have dedicated their lives to keeping our country the incredible place it is, I will hold a special place in my heart for my Grandpa Eric and the amazing man he was.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Christmas Baking- Nuts and Bolts

Let me start out by saying that I'm not one of those people who start celebrating Christmas at the beginning of November. Lights, trees and decorations don't come out until December 1st at the earliest. That said, I do like to get my Christmas baking done as early as possible so that when the holidays roll around I can just relax. It also gives me extra time to eat it straight out of the freezer.

For the next couple of weeks I'm going to share some of my favorite Christmas treats starting with my mom's Nuts and Bolts. I don't know what it is about this recipe that blows every other version out of the water, but I'll continue to eat them by the handful to figure it out.


Nuts & Bolts

1 lb butter
4 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp garlic power
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp celery salt
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp savory
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 c Cheerios
4 c Life cereal
4 c Shreddies
Pretzels (however many you want)
2 c salted peanuts or mixed nuts
2 bags Bugles*
1 box Cheese Nips or Goldfish

Melt butter in saucepan. combine all other ingredients in large roaster. Pour butter over all and mix well. Bake at 250 for 2 hours stirring every 15 min.

This makes A LOT.

*As you may have noticed in the photo, I didn't use Bugles. I went to 3 different stores to find them and couldn't, so I used Hickory Sticks instead. Now I think I might prefer them to Bugles.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

DIY Makeup Brush Cleaner


I read recently that you should clean your makeup brushes AT LEAST once a month. Uhhh, whoops! The last couple times I've bought makeup brushes, the kind woman at the cosmetics counter has asked if I have brush cleaner. I don't know why, but I always lie and say I do. I think it's because I'm already spending kind of an unreasonable amount of money on a brush and I figure I'll just get around to it later. Well, it's later. Enter homemade brush cleaner. Anti-bacterial dish soap and olive oil. That's it!

1.) Pour 2 tbsp. of dish soap and 11/2 tbsp. of olive oil on a plate
2.) Dip your brush in the solution and rub it in a circular motion in the palm of your hand. The color will start coming out of the brush


3.) Rinse the brush by rubbing it in a circular motion in your palm under warm -not hot- water
4.) Dry your brushes upside down by using clothes pins or bag clips. This keeps water from running into the handle and wrecking your brush

Voila! Clean brushes for zero extra dollars.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Ahh the Weekend


Well, we got our first snowfall and it was actually quite nice. I always love the first one, especially when the weather is still somewhat mild.

Sunday, on my way to my old apartment, I came across an amazing memorial for those who fell in World War 2. The white crosses go on and on and you can't help but think of "In Flander's Fields." It really is something to see. If you're on Memorial Drive in the next week, take some time to stop by.

I started packing up the old place. I haven't lived there for a year and a half or so and I had organized most of my stuff before I started subletting it, so I took some time to go through my keepsake bins. Wow. I was not nearly as cool when was 14 as I thought I was. It was nice to reminisce and appreciate the friendships that I've kept since then. A few more hours of sorting and cleaning and I'll officially be out of there.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Florence Friday

Happy Friday!

Tough to say which of these is more amazing.

New Florence + the Machine


Florence, Italy

What if you were listening TO Florence while IN Florence? Whoa.

*Side note- does that Florence and the Machine song scream Annie Lennox to anyone else?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Green Calgary


Tonight Green Calgary is having their Red Wine, Blue Cheese, Green Art Gala at Hotel Arts. Unfortunately, I can't make it tonight, but I fully intend on checking out the following Green Art Market in Hillhurst this weekend. Just in time for the holidays, it'll be a great chance to check out some local artists and pick up some really cool gifts. All the proceeds go towards supporting local sustainability and all the other great things Green Calgary does. Check it out if you can!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Typography

I've always loved words and fonts. I only wish I had the talent to create beauties like these...




All found here

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's Coming...

Winter. I'm still a little in denial even though I saw snow yesterday (it didn't stay on the ground which means it doesn't count). Like most unpleasant things, I like to leave preparation for winter until the very last minute, but I'm seriously considering some proper winter gear this year.


Warm, water-proof boots for instance. These Sorels would do the trick. I don't really remember the last time I owned a pair of functional winter boots. It was probably when I was still under my parent's care, before I became too cool for warmth. I'm over that now.


I've been longing for a Canada Goose jacket ever since a trip to Whistler a few years ago. The price always deters me, but I think this is a jacket I would use for years to come. An investment piece, if you will.


Body scrub and oil. Because this skin ain't pretty this time of year. I'm loving Skoah products right now, but I've also got a few homemade body scrub recipes I'd like to try.

I'm in no hurry to experience winter, but I think the anticipation of it's arrival is almost worse. It's November. We all know you're coming. Let's do this.