Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas

We get so busy during the holidays – preparing, planning, cooking, shopping, wrapping – that I feel that we often miss out on the beauty of the holidays and what this time of year really means. I hope you all take the time to enjoy these moments with those you love and appreciate the fun, food, laughter and good times that come with it.

Here’s wishing you a very warm holiday season. Make everyday a holiday and make each moment worth celebrating!

[Photo credit via Dwiggy.com]

A Few Good (Gingerbread) Men

There are so many things to love about the holiday season – the cheer in the air, the colourful decorations, the delicious food. I, for one, have a particular affinity for baking holiday treats (oh who am I kidding, treats of any kind really!). And one of my favourite holiday treats are gingerbread cookies. So simple to make and filled with the comforting spices, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of tea or hot chocolate. Especially if you love to spike your cocoa with a dash of cinnamon, like I do! Not only did I come across the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe, but it also happened to be low in fat (bonus)!

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies

Gingerbread cookies

I know what you are all wondering – do these low-fat gingermen taste as good as the full-fat version? I would tell you to ask my boyfriend, but he has his mouth full right now. :)

What’s your favourite holiday cookie recipe? Share your links in the comments below!

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

Emerald Green For 2013

Pantone has named its official colour for 2013 and it’s emerald green! Now before we get into the good stuff, first a little background info. Green is the colour of balance, healing and hope. It’s also said to connect us to unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion. But most importantly, the emerald is my birth stone, so get ready for me to rock that shizz next year!

Pantone Emerald Green 2013Green is one of my favourite colours so I am especially excited all the ways it will be incorporated into fashion, accessories and home décor. To get us all started, I thought I would share a little sartorial inspiration I found while browsing the Web.

Emerald inspiration

Emerald inspiration

Emerald inspiration

Emerald inspiration

Emerald inspiration

How will you be incorporating this beautiful, deep shade of green into your closet?

[Photo credit via various online sources.]

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

Despite the random gorgeous warm days we’ve had recently, fall is officially upon us. And with that, my wicked baking addiction returns. I woke up on Sunday morning craving that warm aroma that can only come from something delicious baking in the oven. And so, I quietly got out of bed (my boyfriend still sound asleep) and tip toed to the kitchen to whip up a batch of whole wheat chocolate chip scones.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

With the exception of a few modifications, I basically followed this recipe and the results were nothing short of scrumptious.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Scones

Simple and delicious, uncomplicated and rustic, just add a touch of butter and you have the perfect Sunday morning treat!

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

Lessons From Madame Chic :: Book Review & GIVEAWAY – CLOSED

What is it about French women? They always seem so effortlessly polished and impossibly chic, all the time. From their makeup and their hair, to their manners and appreciation for the finer things, they just have that certain je ne sais quoi. What’s their secret?

In the new book Lessons from Madame Chic, 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris, Jennifer L. Scott shares the secrets she learned from the stylish French family she lived with in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, Famille Chic.

Scott MADAME CHIC jacket

This book was a great read! Neatly organized in sections three sections, “Diet and Exercise”, “Style and Beauty” and “How to Live Well”, Jennifer shows us how she  embraced the Parisian lifestyle  and learned to live simply with help from Madame Chic. To me, her book served as a reminder that finding pleasure in the little things and appreciation in what we have is all it takes to practice the art of living. From eating (don’t deprive yourself and enjoy every bite), style (the 10-item wardrobe), beauty (mastering the no-makeup look), organizing (clutter is so not chic) and life (reclaiming your feminity and treating each occasion as a special one), the book reminded me at what point, as North Americans, we tend to live a life filled with excess. We feel we constantly need this season’s shoes, the newest gadgets and that trending eye shadow shade. But do we really need it to feel chic?

After reading this book, I definitely took a look at my own closet/makeup collection/life and decided it was time to make a few changes. First, I revamped my makeup look to embrace the no-makeup look, and you know what? I feel like I look more polished and it takes me half the time to get ready to go to work! I also took a little time to go through my closet and finally get ride of those items that I’ve been holding on to thinking that maybe one day I’ll wear them. I also take pleasure in wearing those pieces I’ve been saving for a special occasion (don’t judge, you know you do it too)! Finally, I embraced the arts a little more. I’ve always loved visiting museums and discovering new artists, but it made me realize that i don’t make enough time for it. So first thing I did, watched my favourite movie and the authors, Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulin (hey, it’s a start!).

This book is a wonderfully entertaining look at life in the chic lane direct from Paris. Each lesson is told with a humor and enthusiasm that at times made me laugh out loud.  All in all, a fabulous book that would easily make a great stocking stuffer!

GIVEAWAY!

Want to win a copy of Lessons From Madame Chic? Just leave a comment below what makes you feel most stylish and you could win! This giveaway is open to all Canadian and US residents. You have until Sunday December 9th to enter. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS to Jennifer Oseitutu! You’ve won your very own copy of Lessons From Madame Chic. Hope you enjoy it. :)

Happy holidays!