Wild Mantle

I received this product for review and was not financially compensated for this post. All opinions are based on my own experience.

Having been born and raised in Montreal, Canada, I know what it’s like to live through harsh, freezing winters. My closet has to be sectioned off in very specific seasonal-wear, and while it breaks my heart to not be able to sport as many dresses as I’d like year-round, our colder season allows me to have fun with my accessories.

When it comes to winter, I’m all about knits. Scarves in particular play an essential role in my day-to-day wardrobe. Whereas in the summer I usually play up a plain white t-shirt with a statement necklace, in the winter, I’ll turn to a good scarf to liven up an outfit.

And here we have it, a perfect accessory for all of your layering needs: Wild Mantle. Made in the USA with only sustainable materials, Wild Mantle offers hooded scarves that are stylish, unique, and ultra-warm.

I’ve been notorious for doubling my infinity scarves as a hood, somehow trying to protect my ears and head whenever gusts of wind come out of nowhere. But now that I received my mantle, I’m able to do exactly what I was doing before, but with beautiful materials and more wiggle room (and most importantly, in a more fashionable way). These mantles feel liWild Mantle Wild Mantle Wild Mantle Wild Mantleke warm hugs… and who could say no to hugs when it’s below zero?

Homemade Tiropita

My dear friend Ciara married into a Greek family and now, her homemade Greek cooking is on point. I’m not really surprised: Ciara’s culinary skills are very impressive and she can go from Greek cooking to Russian dishes all the way down to whipping up a number of Irish plates. Ciara comes over every week and we literally spend hours in the kitchen, cooking a meal for both of our husbands. It’s a fun tradition that allows us to host mini dinner parties and spend quality time together.

Ciara taught me the basics for making tiropita, a Greek cheese pie using feta cheese and phyllo (or, filo) dough. She explained how the original recipe made for a great base and encouraged me to add in different cheeses and herbs in order to alter the flavor and texture to my liking. Last week, Ciara came for her visit and I followed the base recipe but then added some cottage cheese, extra raw eggs, and a large amount of dill to create a creamier and cheesier filling.

Again, we spent quite some time in the kitchen and the result: lots of laughs, lots of chit-chat, and 4 dozen tiropitas to share with our husbands.

Homemade Tiropita Homemade Tiropita Homemade Tiropita Homemade Tiropita

Pink Bath Bomb

I have been shopping at Lush for years. I remember back in my college days when I’d have long breaks between classes, I would often hop onto the subway and head for the closest Lush store to pick up a few bath and care items (shampoo bars, face masks, hand creams… the works). I guess it’s safe to say that I’m a loyal customer.

Even though I’ve been purchasing their items for quite some time, I am a newbie when it comes to their bath bombs. Stop what you’re thinking right now. I know… I’m awful. Lush’s bath bombs have been praised for years: they’re colorful, they’re cute, and they smell divine… but I never thought of picking one up. I guess I’ve always associated baths to relaxing and private time but growing up in a household with five family members, there was never really any peace and quiet.

Now I am finally trying it and I am so excited to feature different kinds and write about my impressions and experience. I like to refer to these posts as a new “mini-series,” so let me know what you think!

Pink Bath Bomb
For the first bath I drew up, I chose the Pink Bath Bomb. After making my bath and setting my bath bomb free, I was literally swimming in a bed of hearts. Think of diving into water that’s Barbie-girl pink and being surrounded by sweet notes of vanilla. In fact, the smell wasn’t too overpowering and as soon as I stepped out of the bath, my skin felt silky.

This bomb is definitely a must if you don’t want an extremely strong scent in your bathroom.

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What’s In Your Purse?

I know lately I’ve been talking about being as hands-free as possible when it comes to carrying purses. There’s just something about a minimalist approach to carrying things around and running errands while still looking fashionable.

When I spotted this Faux Shearling Backpack from Indigo Books & Music, I fell in love (apologies to my husband… but at this point in the game, I think he knows how strongly I feel about fashion accessories). I remember sporting mini backpacks in the late 90’s. While I can never forget my faux patent ‘smiley face’ tote that I carried around as a tween, there was just something a little more “fashion-forward” about this one.

Indigo’s backpack is ideal for carrying just a tad bit more than you would in a clutch, but doesn’t have that clunky, uncomfortable feel. Of course, I picked up a couple of other pouches to go with my crisp, white-color palette. Here’s what I have in my purse:

1. My trusty phone, which I can never really leave home without
2. Indigo’s Popcheck Hat, because a good beanie is always in style (and I can’t get enough of the pattern).
3. The cutest coin purse (because true ladies never “jingle” as they walk).
4. House keys
5. Embossed Pouch (in ivory) by Indigo Books & Music for all of my makeup needs. (It’s so much easier when ‘like items’ are grouped in one spot.)
6. Michael Kors wallet with gold hardware

So tell me: what’s in your purse?

What's In Your Purse? What's In Your Purse? What's In Your Purse? What's In Your Purse? What's In Your Purse?

Fabulously Scalloped Potatoes

When it comes to side-dishes, I’m all about using potatoes. They’re versatile and inexpensive and so we always have a bag at home.
Recently, I put together a couple of servings of scalloped potatoes. My take on this side-dish was inspired by dauphine potatoes (one of Joe’s childhood favorites) and the gratin that my mom used to make when we were kids.

Fabulously Scalloped Potatoes

1 garlic clove
1 large onion
3 tablespoons butter
5 – 6 red potatoes
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we usually use old-age and very strong)
1.5 cups cooking cream (35%)
2 teaspoons salt
8″ x 8″ non-stick pan
aluminum foil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
1. Prepare your vegetables: slice your potatoes so that they’re about 3mm thick; slice your onions – place in separate bowls
2. Peel garlic and cut in half. Use the exposed ends to coat your pan, including the sides of it. Take one tablespoon of butter and coat your pan, including the sides as well (I use a paper towel to keep things neat and tidy)
3. Start your layer with a bed of potatoes. Next, add half of the sliced onions you have set aside. Add a layer of shredded cheese (a third of what you have prepared) and evenly pour half of your cooking cream. Sprinkle with salt and add a tablespoon of butter in the middle. Repeat for a second layer.
4. Your final layer should only be a bed of potatoes topped with the remainder of your cheddar cheese.
5. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes. Afterwards, remove the aluminium foil and bake it for another 10 minutes. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!
(Serves about 3 to 4)

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National Oatmeal Day With mixit.ca

I haven’t been hopping on the “National Day” bandwagon lately. I missed the memo about National Coffee Day (September 29), and I would have totally used the celebration as a passive excuse to outdo my normal caffeine intake.

Today marks National Oatmeal Day and I’m celebrating with mixit.ca. As a tween, eating oatmeal was practically a chore, but Mix It has their breakfast game on point. Their concept on choosing what you want and how much of it has literally made their website into a breakfast-cereal-buffet-heaven.

You can choose from a wide variety of cereals, fruits, and nuts. Every ingredient is tasty and healthy which calls for a guaranteed high-energy start to your day. I opted for a bowl of cereal with an oat base (Dr. Bircher’s Oat Classic) and threw in some blueberries and walnuts (just to name a few ingredients) in the mix. If you’re jealous of my oatmeal combo, don’t be! Mix It has plenty more!

National Oatmeal Day With mixit.ca National Oatmeal Day With mixit.ca National Oatmeal Day With mixit.ca

Book Review: The Little Prince

I was about eight years old when my uncle gave me a copy of The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-ExupĂ©ry. I’ll fully admit that it took me up until my adult years to finally get through the story in its entirety… and while I couldn’t get past the idea of a boa constrictor inside an elephant as a child, I surely have no regrets only completing the read in my late twenties.
After reading The Little Prince, I naturally researched other readers’ reviews. I agree with what all the articles had to say: The Little Prince is hardly review-able and is a story that should be well-read, no matter what age you are. I learned that for many folks, the book was read at various stages of their lives and analyzed and understood differently each time. For me, The Little Prince was written oh-so beautifully and has quite a poetic flow to its narrative.

In the story, the Little Prince goes through the universe, planet by planet, and tries to make sense of the adults he meets along the way. The Little Prince is wise and never allows for his questions to go unanswered (although if you were to ask him a question, I can’t guarantee he will ever give you a response).

I am definitely looking forward to the film adaptation coming out in December. A “must” on every book shelf. Get your copy here.

Book Review: The Little Prince Book Review: The Little Prince

Candied Pecans

Today, I decided to put together some candied pecans because of its simplicity and the sweet aroma it gives our home as it slowly bakes into a crisp perfection.

What I love most about this recipe is that it can be served either as an autumn or winter dessert. The blend of cinnamon and cayenne pepper gives it that spicy, Fall-weather feel. On the other hand, the brown sugar that melts carefully onto each pecan makes it ideal for a cooler-day treat.

Baked on a low temperature of 300 degrees Fahrenheit, these toasty pecans are absolutely delightful and offer just the right amount of sugar and crunch for nearly any season.
Candied Pecans Candied Pecans Candied Pecans Candied PecansI haven’t been whipping up as many cake-y or chocolate-y desserts lately, and I think our household has been feeling the lack of sugar-filled treats.

Subtle Halloween Decor

Shortly after tying the knot, Joe and I realized that we have quickly outgrown our space and that by next summer, we will be seriously looking for a larger home.

As exciting as this is (a triple “yay” for more bedrooms!), I was a little discouraged to buy more decorations and furniture for our current condo. It didn’t take me long to get me out of this slump. I decided that subtle touches could still liven up any season (since we’ll still be here for about another 10 months).

Halloween would be the festivity to start off my “subtle touches” and a “subtle look” is even easier when you have a space that offers a minimalist approach to home decor. My personal taste truly abides by the “less is more” way of thinking, and ever since moving into the condo, I opted for statement, quality pieces for my furniture. To keep in the spooky Halloween spirit, a touch of glamorized skulls and realistic-looking crows helped stage our home and keep it within the theme.

Subtle Halloween Decor Subtle Halloween Decor Subtle Halloween Decor

Bake Sale

Recently, I was asked to provide goodies for a bake sale and I quickly agreed to do so. Bake sales really take me back to my childhood: my elementary school would frequently hold fundraising events and I remember bringing a handful of change so that I could indulge in a sweet treat during recess. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to make because I didn’t want to go too complicated. I feared that if I made one of my trusty desserts, and it didn’t turn out this one time, then I’d be coming into the event empty-handed. That’s me: always preparing for the worst!

So Rice Krispie treats it was.

In order to spruce up a rather basic dessert, I flattened my mixture onto a pan and layered some icing on top in order to give it a creamier and sweeter taste. Of course, I just had to add some sort of autumn element, so when I found pumpkin sprinkles in my pantry, I knew I had to roll some onto the treats.

I love how they turned out and how the idea of rolling and then slicing them made my treats just a bit more different than your usual squares.

Bake Sale Bake Sale Bake Sale Bake Sale

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