Current Obsession: Loeffler Randall

Loeffler Randall Embossed Walker Mini Bag

This past weekend, something came over me. On Saturday morning, I developed a desperate need to clean out my closet. I’m not talking about the usual getting rid of a few old pieces. I took a cold, hard look at my closet and decided it was time to consciously uncouple from a few of my beautiful bags, sensational shoes and cool clothing. It was time, as beautiful as they are, I haven’t reached for them in years (yes, years!). My mantra has always been quality over quantity, and this was the perfect time to put it into practice. Plus, it gave me a great reason to add this cute little number to my closet.

The Loeffler Randall Embossed Walker Mini Bag is just the bag that was missing in my collection. Small, yet functional; simple, yet striking. I adore the black and white textured leather that give it that unique look and the jet black chain is just so chic. The bag has two compartments inside and a zip compartment at the back, more than enough space to carry your essentials. Worn cross-body or as a clutch, it’s the perfect bag to take you from day to night.

Loeffler Randall Embossed Walker Mini Bag

Loeffler Randall Embossed Walker Mini Bag

Feed for Clarins

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For many around the world, hunger is a daily struggle. In fact 1 in 8 people go to bed hungry every night. That’s why Clarins has teamed up with FEED to help improve the lives of children in need and fight world hunger with this chic tote. Want to get your hands on one? I’ll tell you how, but first a little background info.

You may have already heard of FEED, famous for its burlap bag that became a must-have fashion accessory when it was sold at Holt Renfrew. It’s fashion that’s good for the planet since each bag sold had a measurable donation attached to it. So far, the organization has been able to donate over $6 million and provide more than 60 million school meals globally through the United Nations World Food Program. FEED has also supported nutrition programs around the world by providing supplements to more than 3.5 million children through UNICEF. Clarins has been helping to increased these numbers since 2011 and continues to do so with the oh-so-stylish FEED tote.

Here’s how you can get your hands on your very own tote and help make a difference in global hunger. Starting November 1st, with each purchase of $75 or more at Clarins counters exclusively at Hudson’s Bay, you’ll receive your products in the FEED shopping bag with 2 free samples. Each bag will provide 10 school meals and give children the opportunity to grow, learn and thrive.

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To learn more about FEED and its projects, visit their website here.

Feed your skin, FEED the world.

Apple cinnamon turnovers

Apple cinnamon turnovers

 

There’s something about Saturday mornings. There’s no rushing to get out the door and at work on time, no quick breakfasts, no washing up when it’s still dark. Instead, there’s getting up with the sun, nowhere to go and something warm and baked straight from the oven to start the day. This past Saturday, I woke up with that exact craving. With a ton of apples still leftover from last weekend’s apple picking excursion, apple cinnamon turnovers were the obvious choice. Warm, flaky, slightly sweet yet still tart with the comforting flavour of cinnamon. Is there anything better on a cool fall morning? I don’t think so.

Apple cinnamon turnovers

Apple cinnamon turnovers

Apple Cinnamon Turnovers
Makes 4 turnovers

Half a package of puff pastry
1/3 cup of stevia
2 tsp cornstarch
4 medium tart apples, peeled and cut into small cubes (I used Cortland)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp water

~

1. Preheat oven at 450° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions. Once thawed, roll out using a rolling pin and cut into 4 equal squares. Set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine stevia, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss to evenly coat apples. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes, until apple are tender and the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.

4. In a small bowl, combine the egg and water. Brush each puff pastry square with the egg wash and add 1/4 cup of apple filling to each square. Fold dough over the filling and press the edges with a fork to seal. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each apple turnover with a little more egg wash.

5. Bake for 17-20 minutes, until golden brown. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool a little before eating (if you can resist).

Bon appétit!

 

 

Pretty Painted Ceramics

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Thanksgiving weekend made me realize how few serving dishes I had. Since my beau and I often have dinner parties in the summer that involve the BBQ and straight-from-the-grill serving methods, I never found a need to add serving dishes to my kitchen. So this past Thanksgiving, I made it a point to pick up a few dishes to dress up my table. I have a mild obsession for little painted ceramic bowls (I have a habit of buying random patterns that I love). The bright colours and bold patterns of these dishes are so chic and really spruce up my kitchen. The white dishes have a simple swirl that make give it that little something special and really make the food the star of the show.

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This cute hand-painted spoon rest and pie server adds just the right touch of colour and girliness to my very stainless steel kitchen. Green has slowly become one of my favourite accent colours in my kitchen. I especially love the heart cut-outs on the pie server.

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All bowls are available at Zone. The spoon rest and pie server is available at Anthropology.

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

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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