Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Happy Leap Day! An extra day in the year to do whatever you please. In fact, the Washington Post has created this voucher that fully encourages it.

I think I'll cash mine in on raising a ruckus, calling my mom and feeling pleasantly whelmed. I think I'll leave the proposal to that brown-eyed handsome man of mine ;)

Have an indulgent and wonderful extra day!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Luxe Box

I first heard about Luxe Box from a coworker before Christmas. As soon as I heard about it, I knew I had to treat myself to a little gift. It's a monthly subscription that sends 4-5 beauty samples to your door for about $12 a month. Everything from hair and skin care to perfume and cosmetics.

I received my first box last week and I'm in love! Here's what was in it:

The Dermalogica Microfoliant is heaven. I've been using it everyday since I got it and I'm seriously dreading the day it runs out. It's definitely a product I would buy.

I like switching up perfume so the small bottle of  L'Air is my new go-to. I remember as a kid my dad used to give my mom L'Air du Temps as a gift and this modern version of it totally takes me back.

The Chi hair serum and China Glaze nail polish in High Maintenance were great too. Right now, subscribers also get 3 months of Flare magazine for free.

I can't wait for next one!

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Case of the Mondays

Is it Monday again already?

Now go get yourself another cup (or two)!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Underwater Dogs

AH! How hilarious and awesome are these photos by Seth Casteel?!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

Checking out Calgary is Awesome the other day, I read about the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest. For the month of February a few coffee shops and restaurants around town have prepared signature hot chocolates. After trying their drinks you can go online and rate each one. At the end of the month they'll award "Calgary's Best Hot Chocolate." In the spirit of charity and deliciousness, Eric and I headed to Caffe Beano for their ginger hot chocolate.

Yum! A chilly forecast for the next few days will make it even easier to try them all.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


My niece and nephew came over last weekend and we had to build a fort.

There's something so awesome about pulling out all the blankets and kitchen chairs to make a dark and cozy hideaway. It made me wish for a grown up fort of my own. One of these would do...


Speaking of awesome forts, check out this teepee that Jessica over at Paper Bluejay made for her little guy!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

What a beautiful weekend! Some leftover meyer lemons, half a tub of ricotta cheese and a sunny morning for BBQ-ing resulted in these lemon ricotta pancakes on Saturday.

If you haven't tried BBQ-ing pancakes, you must! Although, I'm sure these would be equally delicious on a regular griddle.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

3/4 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2/3 c. milk
1-2 lemons, zested and juiced

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, eggs, milk and lemon juice and zest. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined. Pour batter by the 1/4 cup onto a hot, greased griddle and cook until brown, flip and cook the other side. Top as you'd like. We went with whipped cream, syrup and raspberries.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Happy Family Day Long Weekend!

What's up for the weekend? We have just enough time planned with friends and family and just enough time for absolutely nothing.


Have a great one, whatever you end up doing!

Thursday, 16 February 2012


Whitehorse is a Canadian husband and wife duo made up of Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland. Both accomplished musicians in their own right, they're making beautiful music together.

You can check out a couple of their other songs on their website (including an amazing rendition of Springsteen's "I'm On Fire"). Their album is available from Six Shoot Records.

They're touring through the states now (including a few shows at SxSW), but they'll be in Calgary on April 14th at The Nick.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Creme Brulee

One of my goals for 2012 was to cook something in a bain marie (fancy for water bath). What better time to try something totally intimidating for the first time than your romantic Valentine's dinner? Luckily it worked and the experience was entirely break down free! What have I been so afraid of all these years?! Simply pour water in a pan..seriously, that's it. I'm almost embarrassed by the simplicity of it all.

Creme Brulee
From Alton Brown
1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided*
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. 

*To make vanilla sugar, scrape a vanilla bean into sugar and add the pod. Store it in an airtight container and use for regular sugar in any recipe.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Cherub's Cup

I'm not entirely sure how or when it happened, but I started getting e mails from The Spirit. It must've been divine intervention because just in time for Valentine's Day, I received a recipe for a drink called the Cherub's Cup. Similar to the French 75 with the addition of elderflower liquer (which, by the way, makes everything better), it was right up my alley for pre-Valentine's dinner cocktails.

Cherub's Cup
1/4 part Simple Syrup
3/4 part Lemon Juice
1 Strawberry
1 part St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 parts Hendrick's Gin

Shake and strain over fresh rocks in a collins glass. Top with Champagne. Garnish with strawberry.
I wasn't really thinking and didn't make ice before trying to make these so I shook the ingredients over frozen strawberries. It added a nice hint of sweetness and bit of a pink color.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Fashion Week Faves

It's New York Fashion Week time again. Here are a few of my favorite looks so far.

Clockwise from top left: Elie Saab, Rachel Zoe, Jason Wu, Band of Outsiders,Burberry Prorsum.

All images from New York Fashion

Friday, 10 February 2012

Valentine's Menu Predictor

Stumped for Valentine's Day dinner ideas? Check out Chow's Zodiac Valentine's Menu Predictor and let it decide for you. Enter you and your partner's zodiac signs and menu that suits you both will pop out.

Eric's a Cancer and I'm a Virgo so according to the Predictor, we should have marinated kale salad, chicken pot pie and chocolate lava cake. Doesn't sound too shabby at all!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 9 February 2012


I'm in serious need of a few new bags. What I really need is a basic black and a basic brown one, but what I want and what I need usually tend to be two entirely different things. Here are a few bags I'm currently coveting...


Marc jacobs handbag, Burberry Prorsum blue clutchCross body handbagH M leather shoulder bagASOS body bag,
Cambridge Satchel Company leather cross body bagBrown leather shoulder bag

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Valentine's Dates

Valentine's Day can be a bit tough. Restaurants are always packed and when it falls on a week day like it does this year, fun date ideas can be few and far between. If you're strapped for ideas, here are a couple of cool things going on in the city for you and your love.

Photo: Brent Ander
The Calgary Zoo's In the Heat of the Night takes place on Monday and Tuesday. Enjoy a candlelit dinner in the Conservatory followed by a little dirty talk about sweet animal lovin'.

Take your date to a cooking class at the Cookbook Company. They offer couples cooking classes throughout the year and there's still room on Tuesday night.

Adults Only Night at Telus Spark. Grab a few drinks while exploring what makes a heart beat. This month's adult only night happens tomorrow from 6-10pm, but they occur the second Thursday of every month with a different theme each time.

If you're not loved up or if you hate the whole notion of Valentine's Day, you can explore the anatomy of a break up and even animate your own. Nothing says good time like drinking gin and tonics while re-living heartbreak.

We're celebrating at home on Friday night. What are your Valentine's Day plans?

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

30 Day Yoga Challenge- It's Over!


This morning was my last practice in my 30 day yoga challenge. I actually really enjoyed the whole thing, but I'm looking forward to having some free time again.

What I learned is that when you do yoga every day for 30 days, you actually start to understand what all those dedicated yogis are talking about. You stop worrying so much about what the people around you are doing. You learn to let go of your ego and actually listen to your body. Before, I would always push myself into postures, but when daily practice for the foreseeable future looms ahead of you, it's smarter to take it easy and do things properly. After the first week, I stopped getting so frustrated. I can can hardly remember the last time I rolled my eyes at the instructor and quietly uttered profanity when they said "Let's get ready for our millionth runner's lunge."

I get it. I get why people do this. I understand the benefits of it and I think I'll stick with it (after a couple days off, of course). Just let me know if I start sounding like this:

Monday, 6 February 2012

Smalltown DJs Best of 2011

Smalltown DJs (made up of Pete Emes and Mike Grimes) are pretty well known in Calgary. They're the guys behind HiFi Club and Commonwealth and if you've ever seen one of their shows you know it's pretty much impossible not to have a good time. If you haven't seen them, watch for their shows in the city. Or maybe you'll catch one randomly in Vegas like we did earlier this year.

They've just released their Best of 2011. Perfect tunes to get you through this post Superbowl Monday. Enjoy!

SMALLTOWN DJs - BEST 2011 by Smalltown Djs

Friday, 3 February 2012

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Any big plans for the Superbowl this weekend? I'm not a huge NFL fan, but I'll take any excuse to drink beer and eat nachos and it looks like I'm not the only one...


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Glamping /glam-ping/
Verb:  1. To bring champage, baking and fancy cheese camping
           2. To sleep on a real bed at any point when you're supposed to be roughing it
           3. The very best way to camp

A couple of summers ago, I met my friend Kristine in Kelowna for a camping trip. Excited to spend a long weekend drinking champagne and 'roughing it' in the wilderness, we were both a bit unsure how to admit to the other (and maybe ourselves) that our mid-twenties had made us soft. Do you maybe...I don't know...we don't have to...but maybe... if you're into it...we could stay at a hotel the last night? And thus, glamping was born. Or so we thought. Then Rachel Horn goes and designs this Airstream and blows our cheap hotel right out of the water!

Is she for real?! If this were my trailer I don't think I'd ever go home.

*Side note-The photo led me to the stunning Life's Little Gems which I now love.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Bison Salad

While in Banff on the weekend, we had an amazing meal at The Bison. We started with a salad that inspired me to create something similar at home. I feel like I should preempt this by saying I'm a bit weird about blue cheese. I feel like I can't really say I like it, but I also don't really hate it. That said, I used to absolutely despise it. The very thought of it gave me the shivers. Then I got a job at a cheese store (also referred to as heaven) and in order to sell the moldy, stinky morsels, I had to taste every variety. At first it was complete torture, but eventually I found one that I liked and then I found another and, it was only those two.
So if you like blue cheese, use whichever one you'd like. If you're only lukewarm about it, I suggest using Bleu Benedictin from Quebec. It has a little bit of sweetness to it which goes well with the dates and candied pumpkin seeds. If you scrolled past this whole diatribe at the mere mention of the stuff... could always sub in goat cheese or a nice sharp cheddar.


4 cups salad greens
5 dates pitted and chopped
blue cheese- as much as you'd like
bacon- cooked and chopped (optional)

Candied Pumpkin Seeds

1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. brown sugar
a pinch of cayenne
1 cup pumpkin seeds

Pre-heat oven to 300. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add the brown sugar, cayenne and salt. Stir in pumpkin seeds until they're well coated. Spread the seed mixture onto a foil covered cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Allow the seeds to cool completely before breaking them apart.

Cider Vinaigrette

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk until emulsified.

Toss greens in the vinaigrette. In this case I used spinach and arugula, but any greens would do. Add the chopped dates, cheese, bacon (if you're using it and why wouldn't you be?) and pumpkin seeds.