I Got Bit By the Bridal Shopping Bug

I Got Bit By The Bridal Shopping BugSo on Saturday my mom, my best friend, her mom and my mom’s best friend (plus me- duh!) all set out to go over to the States for some retail therapy and bridal shopping. My best friend got engaged 4 months after me but we’re getting married a week apart – YIKES! It’s nice though because we get to do everything together which meant dress shopping.

Originally the plan was to go back over to England to get my dress there for several reasons: my MIL is paying for the dress, Marc misses his family, and I’m an Anglo-snob so I kind’ve wanted my dress from England.

Life had other plans.

We went over to Alfred Angelo’s on Saturday with the intention of only having a 1.5 hour appointment. But the ladies there were so sweet and generous that I actually spent 4 hours there instead trying on everything from Bridal gowns to bridesmaids dresses and my mom even got to try MOTB dresses on too.

As with everyone who goes dress shopping I had pictured the style dress I liked but wasn’t sure I wanted. I was open to trying everything but when Cathy – the saleslady – asked what styles I liked “mermaid” came out first. Let me tell you, my natural curves are not well suited for a mermaid style. So after trying on 5 of these and hating myself more and more in each of them we switched to a-line dresses. These were better but I still didn’t love them. Everyone else did but I was sort’ve “meh” so I decided to move on. With – what I thought – was 5 minutes left of the appointment I asked Cathy if I could try some of Alfred Angelo’s Disney Princess dresses (because this is why I had come slash five year old me would’ve been pissed if I hadn’t).

She pulled Snow White and Cinderella. Snow White’s was gorgeous, it fit me nicely and had all the other points I was looking for – read: chantilly lace. It was definitely better than any of the others I had tried but I still didn’t “love” it. So then I tried Cinderella….

When I came out and saw myself in the mirror I loved it immediately. Then everyone asked if it was “the one” and honestly: I don’t know. Can I picture myself walking down the aisle to Marc in it? For sure. Would I be happy? Definitely. The trouble is, is that it was the only ball gown style dress I tried on that day. And if I’m going to spend $1500 on a dress I need to make sure there’s not something better out there. What if there’s a ball gown that has the lace edging like I really really wanted?

Cathy said it was better to buy as soon as you know but one thing I know for sure, if it’s meant to be it’ll be. So if I do go and “play the field” and go back to Alfred Angelo’s in a month and it’s gone – it wasn’t the dress for me. It’s as easy as that. I’ll find another one, I know I will.

Besides, I have another dress shopping appointment tomorrow and I plan to only try on ball gowns. So you never know, that Maggie Sorrento I saw that I loved? It could be the one for me too.

 

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This Outfit is a Lie

Walk In My Closet

On Sunday Marc and I took Hera for a walk because the weather was so nice – that’s Hera above sneaking in to pose with me. I carefully picked out my outfit, pleased to have a change of scenery to take the photos. The gods must’ve not wanted me to have the outfit though because probably 5 minutes after taking the photos the entire outfit was ruined.

Hera ran through mud at the beginning of the walk and as we neared the end of the walk I lifted her up to keep her out of the mud and she put her paws right down on my chest dirtying my t-shirt. The wind was also really bad that day and it literally lifted my hat from my head and flew away with it. Seriously. Marc wouldn’t be bothered to go after it so I had to say goodbye to the hat after only wearing it for this one outing.

Needless to say, the below photos are a sham. I sincerely apologize. I hope you can forgive me.

This Outfit is a LieHat – Adam Levine for Kmart / Jacket – Sofia Vergera for Kmart / T-shirt – Mossimo Black by Target / Pants – Slim Fit Slacks from Smart Set / Boots – JustFab

 

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Sweet and Spicy Carrot Bread

carrot-breadConfession time: I am not as organized as I want to be. In fact, this post is late because I had nothing prepared for today. I started to get a little stressed out thinking, “I’ve been posting recipes on Mondays I need to stick to this” that I actually got myself out of bed, despite feeling pretty poorly, got dressed so I felt like I needed to be productive, and made Carrot Bread.

So this post is coming to you later than anticipated because I only just got the bread out of the oven, staged, photographed, edited and then finally am writing this post.

Originally I had planned to make Carrot Cake – because my aunt’s recipe is pretty spanking good – but I had a busy weekend. We went over to the States to go wedding dress shopping and only finally crossed the border Saturday at 11:30pm. When we got home it was 1:30 and we had to get all the groceries away so I didn’t fall into bed until 2. Then yesterday Marc wanted to go for a hike so I went on a 100 minute hike and by the time I got home I was pooped (as I was still tired from Saturday). So, making a carrot cake as planned did not happen. Carrot bread on the other? Easy peasy! And just as delicious. Might even be healthier since you don’t put the icing on top – though, it would definitely taste amazing with a good cream cheese icing.

So how do you make carrot bread? Check it out!

Sweet and Spicy Carrot Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
This delicious bread is infused with yummy carrot, coconut and cinnamon flavors – the three big C’s perfect for spring! Serve with butter or on it’s own and it’s sure to be a hit.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 2 beaten Eggs
  • 1 cup of Shredded Carrots
  • 1½ cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp of Baking Powder
  • ¼ tsp of Salt
  • 1 tsp of Cinnamon
  • ½ cup of Milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix sugar and oil together and add beaten eggs.
  3. Stir in shredded carrots.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon before adding a small amount to the sugar mixture.
  5. Alternate between adding dry mix then milk ending with dry mix.
  6. Bake in 9 x 5 x 3 well greased pan for 55 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

 

 

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Places I Want To Go

Marc and I in Venice

I’ve had the lucky fortune to have been able to travel to the two places in the world I’ve always wanted to go: England and Italy. In England I got to meet the love of my life and bring him back to Canada with me and together we went to Italy, not once, but twice, because we loved it so much. And we’re planning on going back ASAP!

I would share more photos with you of all the cool places I’ve been able to see but today’s list is actually about places I want to go. And I’m lucky too that I’m marrying someone with as much wanderlust as I have so I have a good feeling we’ll cross enough of these places off my list one day.

But until then I’ll simply dream and create lists of the places I want to go

  • Greece
  • Egypt
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Turkey
  • Russia
  • Austria
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Brazil
  • China
  • holland
  • Morocco
  • Kenya
  • South Africa
  • Cambodia
  • Korea
  • L.A.
  • New York
  • Vancouver
  • Mexico
  • Greenland
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Denmark
  • Argentina
  • Peru
  • Panama
  • Haiti
  • Ecuador
  • Tuscany
  • Naples
  • Milan
  • Yukon
  • Where my Grandpa is from
  • Wales
  • Dallas
  • Atlanta
  • Scotland
  • Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Belize

Where have you been? Where would you like to go? I’d love to know!

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Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Review

fructis-full-box

Full disclosure: I was not asked to do a second review for this product. I chose to do one because I recently finished using the whole system and I wanted to provide my honest-to-goodness thoughts on how it did for my hair. To see my other reviews on this product you can find them here and here.

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Review #2:

As part of a compensated review sponsored by Influenster I received a complimentary box featuring full sized products of Garnier Fructis’ Damage Eraser line consisting of one shampoo, one conditioner, one split end serum and one conditioning butter.

For the last month this was the only hair system I used on my hair according to the packaging – so the system consists of shampoo, then butter, then conditioner followed by applying the serum on towel dried hair. I want to disclose to you, at this point, that I don’t wash my hair every day. I have too much hair and not enough time for that. Sometimes I even go three days before washing my hair again, I go according to my hair. If it feels dirty I’ll wash it but otherwise I try not to do it so much so I retain natural oils in my hair.

So the first thing I noticed as I started using this system is how much less frizzy my hair was. I don’t know if this is because it was damaged to begin with and the system helped with the treatment of this or what but my hair was a lot more tamed. I also had less curls and more waves, even then my waves were very tamed and barely noticeable. I know this isn’t the natural state of my hair so it could’ve been a side effects of the treatment.

The next thing I noticed was how soft and shiny my hair was getting. I could run my fingers through my hair over and over again because it feels so nice. I also, definitely, don’t have any split ends. This is great because I’m trying to grow my hair out and so long as it’s healthy I don’t need to cut it and I can keep my length. My ends are surprisingly healthy and I’m really pleased with that.

The last thing I noticed was when I used my straightener again I didn’t have to go over it a second time like I normally would. I was able to straighten in one brush and it held down my hair perfectly. That being said, by the time it was time to wash my hair again my hair was a little more dried out. I don’t know if this had to do with using the heat on my hair and the shampoo but I’ve never had my hair feel that way after using a straightener that way. But this was after 3 days.

All in all I was really, really impressed with the system. Which is why I wanted to do the second review without any compensation so you could see that I truly believe in this product. It’s worth it to go in and buy all four items as I feel the use of all four together is what made my hair so healthy.

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6 Gorgeous Makeup Looks for Wedding Guests – Number 4 is my Fave!

6 Gorgeous Makeup Looks for Wedding Guests

Wedding season is coming up and with that people are posting about what dresses are good to wear, what shoes are great to wear… And all of this is wonderful. But what about your face? What do you do with that?

I can’t possibly be the only one thinking that, am I? So, with a wedding attendance looming I took to Pinterest and found the 6 most gorgeous, easy makeup looks for wedding guests to share with you. Take a look!

1// I love the soft pink and white of this look, it would instantly brighten your eyes which is great with a darker outfit.

2// I feel the accent in this look is all on the lips as the eyes are really natural with a beautiful winged eyeliner. I might just have a thing for soft pink, shimmery lips…

3// This look promises to enlarge your eyes and I’m a huge fan of doll eyes but the look itself isn’t overbearing either.

4// I’m probably extremely biased about this look but I love soft grey smokey eyes. And it’s a neutral look so you could do it with any dress and any lipstick and you’d look amazing.

5// I love the white eyes and the red lips in this look. Can you sense a trend going yet?

6// This is a really sharp, interesting take on a smokey eye. I love the soft burgundy that’s blended into it.

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Here Comes Spring Windchime

diy-windchime

 

I am so glad spring is here. This winter has been way too long, way too cold and way too unforgiving. I am not a winter fan, in fact, for someone who has lived in Canada all their life I hate snow. So you can just imagine how horrible these past 4 months have been for me – what with snow 4 feet high in our yard.

But Spring has finally sprung in Canada and I couldn’t be more excited. I actually didn’t take a coat with me today while running errands and that was the best feeling in the world. I can’t wait for the weather to warm up even more but I’ll take 7 degrees until then (it’s better than -7!)

So with Spring on it’s way in I thought, what better way to celebrate than making something that makes noise! My grandma loved windchimes, whenever I went somewhere if I thought about bringing her back something it was always windchimes. There’s nothing better than hearing the chimes ring as Spring winds pull in the nice weather. So here’s the steps to making your own Spring windchime.

windchime-inside

 

Supplies:

  1. Small Terracotta Pot
  2. Medium Terracotta Pot
  3. Acrylic Paints
  4. Ribbon
  5. Fimo/Sculpty
  6. Skewer Stick

Here’s How!

  1. Start by making two small balls of fimo and flattening them out on the table until they’re about 1/8″ thick. Using the skewer stick make a hole in the center.
  2. Make another two medium sized balls, not flattening them, and poke a hole through them with the skewer as well. Bake all four in the oven at 275 degrees for 15 minutes.
  3. While your fimo is baking paint and decorate your pots to your tastes. I’m loving dip dying right now, as you can tell, so that’s why I chose that.
  4. Cut one arm’s length of ribbon, or several pieces of ribbon and braid together like I did, creating a loop at the top.
  5. Slip one of the disks onto the ribbon and pull to the top loop and knot in place, about 1″-1 1/2″ down from the disk slip the ball on and knot followed by the second ball.
  6. Carefully use the skewer stick to poke the loop up through the hole of the upside down medium pot. You may need to make a second knot at the base of the loop at this point so your loop doesn’t slip back through the hole.
  7. Using the tail of the ribbon guide it into the hole of the smaller pot with the skewer stick and adjust ribbon length. Trim with an excess 2″ tail.
  8. Tie last disk at the bottom of the ribbon.
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Crispy, Creamy Cheese Dumplings

cheese dumplings

 

I have a confession: when we’re having friends over for dinner for the first time I make Life in the Lofthouse’s Sweet and Sour Chicken. It’s actually amazing and both Marc and I can’t get enough of it. It’s actually getting to the point where I have cravings for it.

So when our friends Ashley and Adam came over for dinner I wanted to make an Asian inspired meal surrounding this amazing dish. Marc helped me out and we cooked up some veggie fried rice and these yummy little things!

Originally I had intended to make maple sweetened wontons but when I got to the Asian market the girl there told me they were sold out of wonton wrappers and were waiting for the next shipment. She suggested instead I try dumpling wrappers as they are more or less the same except in shape and you can fry them the way you do wontons – and here I thought dumplings were exclusively boiled!

So I took them home, mulling over what I was going to put in them and decided “let’s make cheese dumplings.”

uncooked-dumplings

Crispy, Creamy Cheese Dumplings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-8
 
Stuffed with cheese and deep fried these bite-sized treats are the perfect appetizer or hors d’oeuvre for any party!
Ingredients
  • 1 package of dumpling wrappers
  • 1 package of cream cheese
  • 1½ cups of shredded cheese (your choice)
  • Canola Oil
Instructions
  1. IMPORTANT: Do not open your dumpling package until you are ready to make your dumplings.
  2. In a bowl mix your cream cheese with your shredded cheese until blended.
  3. Pour ¼ inch pool of canola oil in bottom of saute pan or cast iron pan and heat.
  4. Carefully peel each layer of dumpling off the pile and lay out on top of clean counter top.
  5. Place one half teaspoon dollop of cheese mixture in the middle of dumpling wrapper and fold up to center and pinch.
  6. Carefully place dumplings in hot oil and let cook. Dumplings should brown up along sides before you flip and cook the other side.
  7. Be gentle when flipping, uncooked wrapper will be fragile and susceptible to breakage. But if it breaks it just creates a deep fried cheese layer on the outside of the dumpling which isn’t that bad either.
  8. Remove from heat and let drip dry before serving.

 

Tip: I found that one package of dumpling wrappers was a lot and even after making like 30 dumplings I still had wrappers left over. So I brushed a little water on the wrapper and sprinkled it with brown sugar before deep frying it, this was also amazing I am just saying.

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My All Time Favourite Songs

I thought, for a change, I would do a weekly review of what I’ve been up to. In case you were wondering that is.

Weekly snapshots //

fave-songs

It’s still been a bit cold here so unfortunately that means it’s still sweater weather. But at least I can ditch the coat! // This is what my mornings have looked like at my makeshift office (read: dining room table) // Last weekend I went to a wedding, Marc and I clean up good // I’ve joined the #1800minutechallenge with a few other bloggers (okay like 700) amazing motivation for getting in shape! // Hera photobombs everything I do, so I let her this time. Who would like to have an intro post from the puppy? // And this is the weirdo I spend most of my day talking too, this is what she does when I try and read in the morning it’s the ‘but mommmmmmm the light is too bright and I want to sleepppppp’ position ;)

This week I’ve // been thinking a lot about routines. Since staying home and working for myself there have been a few less than productive days and a few more productive days. The one thing I liked best is the fact that come 4:45 when Marc gets home I can leave social media, my blog, my writing, etc all behind and enjoy the evening with him. Which we hadn’t really been doing. I would really like to get myself in a good place where I have a routine laid out that is super efficient for my work day I’m just not quite there yet. Do you have any good types for productivity? I’d love to hear them!

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is how much I need an office. We’re slowly working at renovating the downstairs basement into an office/craft room but we ran out of paint and my benefactor hasn’t gone to get anymore so the project is on hold. I did however find an amazing writing/craft desk for only $100 that I’d like to get. Seems like we’ll be going with a white walls/white furniture look for a bright room. That’s alright though, room accessories are going to be loud.

Plans for next week // Since it’s now April Camp NaNoWriMo is in full swing. I’ve given myself the goal of 75k words and the intention to finish my sequel to my first book. So far I haven’t won anything for the competition I’ve entered so I’m preparing myself to self-publish the book come the summer. But lately I’ve been thinking about maybe trying to query it first, it never hurts to try right? I’ve digressed – point is next week I’m going to be a busy bee writing away trying to stay ahead of my goal. I’m going wedding dress shopping with my best friend and one of my bridesmaids in Buffalo so there will be photos from that and maybe (definitely) a shopping haul because those are fun. I also have a Brownie sleepover this weekend, we’re having sundaes, making garden decorations and watching Frozen. You know, girl stuff. I might even bring my nail polish and do a little nail art with the girls. What does your week look like?

52 Lists Challenge // Instead of just listing my all time favourite songs for you today and going about the day I thought maybe instead I’ll start using my Friday list posts as a weekly round-up type post where I share what I’ve been up to all week along with any cool links or stories I’ve found along the way. I love reading those kind of lists from other bloggers so why not do my own? It’s not like I haven’t been perusing the internet at some point and we all know there is no shortage of new thoughts out there. Some of the topics for my 52 lists challenge are a little frivolous like this one. But what’s life without a little frivolity? Instead of just giving you a boring list, but if that’s what you want you can go here and find one, I’ve decided to embed a playlist featuring my favourite songs for your listening enjoyment. I hope you find some that you love too or new ones to enjoy, but most especially I hope you sing along because that is always my pre-requisite for any song I like.

Also, if you don’t mind my taste in music I curate some playlists on 8tracks. My best/most popular are country music so if you like that check it out!

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DIY Adorable Bunny Basket!

DIY Bunny Basket

Easter is such an adorable holiday, kids love it for the candies, I love it for all the spring-y, cutesy things that crop up. It’s the perfect excuse to make something just for the sake of the holiday because it’s so flipping cute. Hence today I’m sharing how to make a super easy and adorable bunny basket. I have no kiddos to give treats to but it’s still so cute to make that you can easily use it as a decor piece if you wanted to.

To do this craft you’re going to need white cardstock, pink cardstock, another deeper pink cardstock, black cardstock and several sized punches that I’ve outlined throughout the tutorial. If you don’t have a punch you can easily freehand your circles and such to make your bunny unique just like you!

Let’s get started:

The bunny face is two scallop circles cut with a Sizzix die on a Big Shot but you can easily substitute this by cutting a circle and using scalloped scissors to create the edge. The bottom is then cut off so it will stand and not roll.

bunny-face

For the ears you’ll need two differently sized oval punches – one large and one wide, cutting two wide white punches and two large pink punches. Glue the pink on the white and those are your ears, attach behind one scalloped circle.

upclose-bunny-face

For the eyes use a 1/2″ circle punch and cut two black circles followed by two white circles with a 1/4″ punch, adhere the white to the black with glue or double sided tape.

For the nose and cheeks, punch out two 1″ circles of pink with 3/4″ square in a darker pink, cut the square diagonally and adhere to the top of the two circles to hold them in place.

Finally, using a 3/4″ square punch 1 white square and distress the edge with black ink and a sponge.

Place all these on your face and adhere using white glue or double sided tape.

paper-score

For the box you’ll need a rectangle of white cardstock that measures 3 3/4″ x 9 3/4″ which you will score at 1 1/4″, 4 1/4″, 5 1/2″ and 8 1/2″ before turning it and scoring 1″ down the long side. Using the short score lines to the 1″ as your guide cut each one and then fold up your flaps to create the base of the box. Again, use white glue or double sided tape to adhere. Cardstock isn’t heavy so either of these will hold it together.

bunny-tail

Glue each scalloped circle on one side of the box and to complete your bunny attach a cotton ball as his tail on the non-face side. Stuff with raffia and treats! Ta-Da! How cute.

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