The Best of Oscar de la Renta

Sadly, one of the most influential and creative fashion designers has left us. Oscar de la Renta, who began his career in the 1950s,was best know for the exquisite gowns that turned the red carpet into true glamour. He was a visionary, an inspiration, a gentleman. Here we pay tribute to the man who knew how to make women feel beautiful both inside and out, with a collection of his best creations.

Sarah Jessica Parker in oscar de la renta - 2014

Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta 2013

“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”

“The qualities I most admire in women are confidence and kindness. “

“I don’t really know how to do casual clothes.”

Scarlett Johansson in Oscar de la Renta - 2009

Elle Fanning in Oscar de la Renta - 2012

Freida Pinto in Oscar de la Renta - 2014

“Things never happen on accident. They happen because you have a vision, you have a commitment, you have a dream.”

“The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward.”

“My role as a designer is to make a woman feel her very best.”

Jessica Biel in Oscar de la Renta 2005

Jessica Paré in Oscar de la Renta 2013

Jessica Alba in Oscar de la Renta 2013

Mila Kunis in Oscar de la Renta 2011

“I always say: To be well dressed you must be well naked.”

“Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself”

“We live in an era of globalization and the era of the woman. Never in the history of the world have women been more in control of their destiny.”

“I want to make clothes that people will wear, not styles that will make a big splash on the runway.”

Amal Alamuddin in Oscar de la Renta 2014

[Photo credit via NYMag.com, Stylist.co.uk, Vogue.com]

Chocolate Halloween Mice

Chocolate Halloween Mice

I’m not a Halloween person. I don’t really like to dress up, I don’t like the creepiness of people wearing masks, all the tricks,  it’s just not for me. But when it comes to treats, I’m your girl! Of course, I try to eat clean and green most of the time, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while. This weekend, I bonded with my Martha Stewart side to create fun Halloween treats that were slightly more sophisticated than the usual kid treat. The delicious chocolate truffles are dark and rich with flavour (for my adult side). Yet the cute mouse shape is so fun, creating them brought out the kid in me.

Chocolate Halloween truffles

 Chocolate Halloween truffles

Chocolate Halloween truffles

Chocolate Halloween Truffle Mice
Makes 12 mice

For the mice:
4  1-ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

For the decoration:
1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
White sugar pearls
Red sugar pearls
Sliced almonds
12 pieces of red vine licorice

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1. In a heat-proof bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval until completely melted. Add Greek yogurt and 1 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs and fold to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until set, about 1 hour.

2. Once the mixture is chilled, it’s time to roll! Using a tablespoon of mixture for each mouse, roll the mixture in a ball until warmed and mold into a mouse shape, with a point on one side. If the mixture is a little crumbly, continue to roll between your palms to warm a little more.

3. Roll the mouse in the chocolate cookie crumbs. Place a red sugar pearl at the point for the nose, two white sugar pearls for the eyes, two slices of almonds for the ears and a piece of licorice on the back for the tail. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining mixture.

4. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours until firm.

Happy Halloween!

9 rooms that will change your mind about wallpaper

Wallpaper 1

When I was young, my bedroom was pink and white. I had pink bedding, pink curtains and my walls were covered with two patterns of wallpaper – the top was white with pastel balloons and the bottom was more of a muted pattern, both separated by a pink chair rail. In our living room was a large wallpapered wall with a forest pattern. How did wallpaper get such a bad rap? Everywhere I look for home inspiration, I’m tempted by colourful patterned wallpaper. The unique designs and bold patterns are a stylish way to breathe new life into a room and create a statement. Here I’ve gathered some of my favourite wallpaper inspirations that hopefully will help you breathe new life into your home.

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[Visual inspiration via Pinterest]

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

One of my favourite cold-weather comfort foods is chili. The aromas that fill the house while it’s cooking, the hardy flavours that fill you up like a warm hug – it’s all delicious. This vegetarian version is packed with good stuff that will even satisfy meat lovers. Butternut squash adds depth of flavour, while the chipotle adds smokey flavours and spice. Delicious and healthy, it’s the perfect recipe to make on a Sunday for quick dinners during the week.

I love to add homemade corn tortilla chips and a few slices of vibrant avocado. Nom nom nom!Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili
Serves 4 to 6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 cloves garlic, pressed
Sea salt
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 14-ounce can diced tomato, liquid and all (don’t get the version that already has spices)
2 cans black beans (or 4 cups cooked black beans if you prefer to use dried)
2 cups vegetable broth
Toppings:
Avocado, sliced
Corn tortillas, cut into strips
Cilantro
Tabasco (for extra spice!)
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1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the red onion, bell pepper, butternut squash and garlic, and sauté stirring frequently until the onions are translucent.
2. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the rest of the ingredients (except toppings) and stir to combine. Cover for and let simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At this point, give it a taste and add more chipotle if you want it a little spicier.
3. Once done, let the chili sit for a while. I found that after an hour it has more liquid than I like. Allowing it to sit for another hour will help the chili reduce and give it that comforting hearty texture.
4. For the tortilla chips, heat a few teaspoons of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the tortilla strips and toss to coat evenly. Add a sprinkle of salt and cook. Continue to cook and stir until the strips have turned golden brown.  Alternatively, you could also pop them in the oven at 350° for a few minutes (keep an eye on them, they can go from golden to burned in minutes).
5. Serve chili topped with a few strips of corn tortilla chips, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and a dash or two (or three) of Tabasco sauce.
Bon appétit!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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This weekend was a whirlwind! It all started on Friday when my beau picked me up from work. His parents were visiting from Winnipeg for Thanksgiving weekend and, oh what a weekend we had planned! We had dinner at Park on Friday, an amazing Japanese restaurant that marries Korean and South American flavours in delicious dishes. It continued into Sunday when my beau’s sister, brother-in-law and cute little nephew visited from Ottawa. We spent most of Sunday in the kitchen preparing a feast (there is no other word to describe the amount of food we cooked up), making a little time for walk to enjoy the gorgeous weather we had. Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and sweet and spicy shrimp for appetizers, followed by turkey, tex mex cornbread stuffing, maple glazed Brussels sprouts, baked cauliflower, succotash, roasted carrots and mashed potatoes. The meal was made that much better when my mom (and best friend) and my brother joined us. The meal was topped of with four different desserts, including two kinds of pumpkin pie, maple pecan squares and almond chocolate chip bar created by my mom and mom-in-law. Clearly you can see where I get my love of cooking from. Good food and great company, what more do you need for a perfect meal.

Procciutto  wrapped asparagus

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I had particularly love table decor. Each and every detail that you could think of comes together to create an autumn setting that is inviting and cozy. I particularly love the beautiful flowers my beau got me on Friday (just because), and the cute vintage-looking tea lights that emitted a warm glow for our feast.

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Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have. A time to forget about the material things we tend to bitch about everyday and focus on what really matters. This beautiful weekend spent with family made me realize once again how grateful I am for the family I was born in, the family who adopted me and the wonderful boyfriend who keeps me grounded and reminds me of all the amazing things I have in my life. For all these reasons, I am truly grateful.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Pretty pearls

What's in my bag - Chic on the Street

Last week I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend Catherine from Pearls & Caramel to a trendy shopping event at TNT in Westmount.  For those of you who don’t know this shop, you need to take the long way home and stop by. What greeted me was nothing less than a shopaholic’s dream – rows of lush fabrics in warm shades of greys, thick knits in tartan prints and a wall of Alexander Wang shoes and 3.1 Phillip Lim. It was my very own little paradise. It was also the scene of my latest discovery, Bettyray.

Bettyray is the stylish result of a collaboration between two cousins, Emmie and Tara, who created a collection of eclectic accessories that could be easily accessible for busy women. Let me just say that the pop-up shop they had at the TNT made it easily accessible for these cute earrings to make their way into my purse!

Bettyray Leona Pearl Earrings

Meet Leona, she is my newest obsession! Inspired by the coveted Mise en Dior pearl earrings, the Lenora earrings offer a refreshing take on the trend with pavé crystal studs in the front and an oversized pearl in the back. Each time I wear these earrings, I get so many compliments. Bettyray has an amazing collection of jewelry. Although they were at the TNT event as a pop-up shop, you can find them online here.

Bettyray Lenona Pearl Earrings

The Fab Five

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magic-carpet

I can’t wait to try these colourful beet and sweet potato chips as an appetizer for Thanksgiving weekend. (theeverygirl.com)

7 stunning yoga mats to amp up our asana. (thechalkboardmag.com)

These are some of the best tips I’ve read about improving food styling and photography. (6bittersweets.com)

40 quotes about gratitude that will not only remind you that what you have is pretty awesome. (time.com)

A guide to how colours are often used in food packaging, and the secret messages they contain. (thekitchn.com)

Chocolate Chip Banana Pumpkin Bread

Banana chocolate chip pumpkin bread

It’s October and Thanksgiving is around the corner. That means one thing to me… it’s pumpkin time! I love anything pumpkin and get really excited to try new pumpkin recipes that go beyond the basic pumpkin pie. This chocolate chip banana pumpkin bread combines so many of the delicious reasons I love to be in the kitchen. The spice of pumpkin, the sweetness of a very ripe banana (use a banana with the skin almost black for more sweetness), the richness of melted dark chocolate, all come together to fill the house with comforting aromas synonymous with a beautiful fall day. Try it and you won’t be able to resist having a warm slice right out of the oven.

  Chocolate chip banana pumpkin bread

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin bread

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin bread

Chocolate chip banana pumpkin bread

Chocolate Chip Banana Pumpkin Bread
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup mashed banana
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 15-ounce can organic pumpkin purée
3 cups non-bleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup dark chocolate chips

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1. Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and evenly spread the batter.

2. Whisk the mashed banana and the sugar. Add eggs one at a time, then pumpkin puree and combine.

3. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg) in small batches, using a rubber spatula to gently fold and combine.

4. Fold in dark chocolate chips until just combine. Be careful not to over mix, it will make the batter thick).

5. Pop in the oven on the middle rack for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before handling (if you can resists… I couldn’t).

7. Slice that sucker up and devour!

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Grey Matters

Grey is one of my favourite shades. It’s the perfect neutral to slowly depart from summer and ease into the colder months. Stormy greys, mix and match of greys, head-to-toe grey, I don’t discriminate. I love all greys. I especially love it with a pop of colour. Keep scrolling to discover my favourite looks from all grey everything to the chicest hues to pair it with.

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 TANGERINE

Grey matters 1

Grey matters 13

Grey matters

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BURGUNDY

Grey matters 2

Grey matters 2

grey matters 6

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BLUSH

Grey matters 3

Grey matters 4

Grey matters 12

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YELLOW

Grey matters 5

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Grey matters 7

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PEACH

Grey matters 8

grey matters 5

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GREYS

Grey matters 11

grey matters 8

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[Photo inspiration via the fashionable people on Pinterest]

Monthly Beauty Buys

Monthly beauty buys

The first beauty item I remember using was clear mascara. At the time, it was all my mom would allow me to wear. I remember applying it with precision and fluttering my lashes as if I had the long, voluminous lashes of movie stars. As I grew older, I transitioned into bright shadows and brown lipsticks (don’t judge, it was the 90s). Since then, I’ve developed a love for beauty products. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what works for me, and have ventured into taking risks when it comes to trying new shades and tools. All in the goal of accentuating my best features.  It’s in this light that I decided to start a new series documenting my favourite beauty buys of the month.

Essie She's Pampered and Essie Apricot oil

Essie She’s Pampered Nail Lacquer and Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil My nail polish shades usually rotate between three basic shades – reds, nudes and darks. While fall tells me it’s time for darker shades, oxblood and burgundy was still too dark for the warm weather we are having here. This red is the perfect transitional colour to keep nails looking polished for any occasion. And the perfect manicure is nothing without clean cuticles. Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil has become part of my morning ritual for beautiful hands.

Tweezerman Eye Lash Curler

Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler When my Shu Uemura eyelash curler gave up on me, I was on the hunt for a new eyelash curler. I had heard so much about this one that I had to give it a try. And I’m so happy that I did! I never knew that an eyelash curler could be this comfortable to use (seriously!). The shape fits my eye perfectly without the fear that I’ll pinch my eyelid. It gives my lashes the perfect curl that lasts all day. It comes with two sets or replacement pad, which is a bonus since most I’ve come across only come with one. Plus, who can deny how pretty the rose gold colour is.

Klorane  Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioner

Klorane Extra-Gentle Shampoo with Oat Milk and Mask with Desert Date I can’t say that I’ve ever been committed to a shampoo or conditioner. So when it was time to restock, I reached for this brand that I’ve always has my eye on. The Extra-Gentle Shampoo with Oat Milk is moisturizing enough for my hair and scalp, yet still gentle. It leaves my hair super soft and smells wonderful without overpowering. The Mask with Desert Date is the perfect weekly treatment and my new favourite hair product. It’s highly concentrated with desert date to repair any damage and nourish the hair, and make it more resilient to styling (just what a girl needs).