What’s In Your Purse? My Coach Cross-Body

This season, I’ve been noticing more of my “minimalist practices” when it comes to packing my purse.

I’m known to carry around rather large totes and being equipped with items for “worse-case scenarios” (band-aids, granola bars… the works). Lately though, I’ve been sporting more cross-body bags, as it allows me to be hands free, which is way more convenient during a nippy season. Layering clothes to stay warm is essential, so being able to carry one less thing, such a large shoulder bag, is a must. One thing’s for sure: I’ve been really putting my Coach satchel cross-body to good use… and so far, no regrets! I love how the dark brown can easily go with warm, earthy tones, or can be the accessory to soften up a colorful outfit (I love sporting burnt orange during this time of the year).

{one} A Coach wristlet, where I carry the essentials: a credit card, some cash, and my I.D.
{two} Mac lipstick in Blankety – for touch-ups
{three} Make Up Forever mascara (Smoky Extravagant)
{four} My trusty cell phone

You can find a similar purse here.

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

Relaxed Fit

During our trip to Spain, I found it so easy to just slip on a dress and call it a day. During the week, we often found ourselves running small errands (That is, if I could even call them errands. What consisted of picking up a baguette from the local bakery or stocking our fridge with more jambon and wine seemed like such simple tasks compared to those we face on a daily basis.) My out-of-the-door outfit became these relaxed-fitting pants from Splendid, paired with a mini tank that was ideal for layering (so easy to put on a cardigan or a thick scarf during cooler nights).

Relaxed Fit
H&M crop tank; Splendid pants (similar here); Jeffrey Campbell shoes; Ray-Ban aviators

Relaxed Fit

New Cup O’ Coffee

When Joe’s grandfather came to town for our wedding (all the way from Switzerland!), he brought over some Swiss chocolates that were so delightful… I was nearly eating them by the handful. Joe would describe each piece of chocolate before I unwrapped and popped them into my mouth (they really took him back to his childhood). I realized that the chocolate’s thin, delicate form would be the perfect size to melt into my morning coffee. I usually take the darkest flavor, add it to my favorite brew, and it offers my cup o’ joe that rich, mocha flavor I have come to love.

New Cup O' Coffee New Cup O' Coffee New Cup O' Coffee New Cup O' Coffee New Cup O' Coffee

DIY Lip Scrub

I am one of the first to admit how beautiful of a season autumn truly is. Problem is, that the “crisp feel to the air” can really play around with my skin and lips. In my neck of the woods (Montreal, Canada for all of you who are wondering!), the sudden drop in temperature causes my lips to get pretty chapped (and it doesn’t get any better during the winter season).

I love exfoliating my lips. I really do think it helps in smoothing them out, creating a better canvas for lipsticks and lip stains. I often turn to any of Lush‘s lip scrubs, but this time around, I decided to make my own at home.

2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp honey

{one} Combine the ingredients and mix (But don’t overdo it! You’ll want the sugar to stay as whole as possible – it’s the one ingredient that does the exfoliating) in a small bowl.
{two} Place mixture in a small glass jar. For storage, cover with lid, or place saran wrap on top and leave in a cool area (can be stored for up to two weeks… just to be safe!).

{Application} Every morning, apply scrub on lips in a circular motion. Once most of the sugar has melted, wipe off with a damp cloth. Apply your favorite lip balm

DIY Lip Scrub DIY Lip Scrub DIY Lip Scrub DIY Lip Scrub

Long Silver Dress

Over the summer, I was running around the city trying to find the perfect clothes for my honeymoon in Spain. I managed to purchase most of my “honeymoon wardrobe” during a week-long venture and while on my shopping spree, I spotting this maxi-dress by Pink Stitch. You could have called it love at first sight (sorry, Joe) because I knew immediately that I had to have it.

Let’s talk about having the perfect piece in your wardrobe: notice how the image description says nothing but the dress’ purchasing details. That’s because I wore nothing but the dress while Joe and I took our usual morning walks along the Spanish shore. It flowed so nicely and truly made me feel like I was on a romantic getaway (because that’s what a honeymoon is supposed to be, isn’t it?!).

Long Silver Dress Long Silver Dress Long Silver Dress

Nutella Crepes

When Joe and I went to Spain, we noticed that there was an abundance of crêpe and waffle stands. They were stationed in front of our favorite restaurants, so it was easy to grab a dessert to-go and munch on made-on-the-spot treats while taking walks along the beach.

I like to play a game of repetition when it comes to food I really like, so I found myself ordering the same Nutella crêpe all week long. As soon as we got back from our trip, I made my very own batch so as to make myself feel better about missing our unforgettable honeymoon.

1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp Nutella

{one} In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour and eggs, and then add your milk. After whisking all three ingredients, add your water.

{two} In a separate bowl, melt butter in the microwave and once melted, add salt. Pour the melted butter into your flour, egg, milk, and water mixture, and whisk until creamy and free of lumps.

{three} Heat a non-stick pan with a touch of oil and pour in about 1/4 of your crêpe mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remember to keep them thin! They are ready to flip over when you see the sides slightly rising and turning golden.

{four} Layer crêpes one on top of the other, putting a tablespoon of Nutella in between

Makes about 6 crêpes (which yields 2 servings of this Nutella-treat!) 

Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes Nutella Crepes

My Neon Skirt

I kicked off our honeymoon (spent at L’Escala, Spain!) with a new piece in my wardrobe that I’m incredibly excited about. J.Crew always nails their skirt game so when I saw this neon a-line hanging in their sale section, I grabbed it without thinking twice (so yes, it was an impulse purchase).

I decided to pair it with my newest chambray shirt, tied in the front for the ultimate marine look. I must say though, I could also picture the skirt paired with a white button-down, neatly tucked in, in order to give the outfit a more office-appropriate feel.

My Neon Skirt My Neon Skirt My Neon Skirt My Neon Skirt

Four-Berry Pie

When my sister and I are on the topic of desserts, we often compare our tastes and baking procedures. It didn’t take long for us to realize that while she’s got her art of chocolate down to a T, my pie-skills are surely making their way up to a higher level.

I love making pies.

There’s just something about a flaky crust hugging, say, a warm mixture of sugared fruits. Whenever my sister invites us over for dinner, I’m always one to bring a freshly baked pie… and as far as I’m concerned, no one is complaining about my habit.

This week, I couldn’t settle on just one fruit. I was inspired by the filling of this recipe, and then decided to go for 4 berries in order to give our dinner-party guests the ultimate palette experience.

Four-Berry Pie Four-Berry Pie 09282015-4berrypie-f

When Spring calls, it's time to bake some pie! For this week's pie, I decided to go for a four-berry one.

Why Not Me?

Book review on Mindy Kaling's 'Why Not Me?'
Somebody call a doctor. I need stitches.

I have been laughing non-stop for the last three days all because of Mindy Kaling’s newest memoir Why Not Me.Ever since I picked up my very own copy, my world has turned into its very own sitcom (Well, maybe the world inside my head. I haven ‘t really stepped out into the real world since I started reading it). So before all of you get concerned and wonder why I requested a paramedic to come rushing to my house, I was just trying to find a way to tell you that “I was in stitches.” This is the extent of my sarcasm. Did it work?

I kicked off my Reading Challenge at the beginning of 2015 with Kaling’s first novel Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?. After reading it, I ultimately decided that Kaling was my newest hero. Of course, my best friend is also responsible for this revelation because one day, when I was over at her place, she nearly forced me to watchThe Mindy Project and I was immediately hooked… big time. (Bless her heart, my #bff knows me so well).

In her second book, Mindy talks about love, Hollywood, family, and most importantly, self-acceptance. Just like in her debut-novel, you can nearly hear Kaling’s voice narrating as you go through each page. It was as if she were right next to me, going on about her daily routine and comparing herself to Hannibal Lecter during her daily face-mask sessions. (Unfortunately, she was never actually next to me, but Mindy, if you’re reading this, my home is always open to you. Just make sure to buzz in when you arrive.)

Book review on Mindy Kaling's 'Why Not Me?'

As hysterical as she is, Kaling discusses pretty serious matters and really emphasizes on women’s body image. This is why I would never hesitate to give my niece a copy of this book. (Not my copy, though. This one’s mine and mine only.) I would also never hesitate to force my niece to binge-watch The Mindy Project despite any of her pleas to play, yet again, Monte Carlo and A Cinderella Story.

Make your every day even more fab by picking up a copy of Why Not Me?.

I promise, the stitches won’t hurt one bit.

Cacao 70

Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experienceEver since Joe and I came back from vacation, we’ve been having some difficulty in finding an activity to top our honeymoon experience. Of course, the most important part of our week-long getaway was that we spent seven wonderful days together… all in a row, just us two. Sometimes, it’s easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and this trip just reinforced how important it is to spend as much quality time together as possible.

Upon arrival, while we settled into our new married lives, we decided to visit Cacao 70 and to put it simply: it was the best idea we’ve had since our trip to Spain.

Cacao 70 puts chocolate into a whole new perspective. Finally, something in life that encourages both quality and quantity. Many of Cacao 70‘s menu items are made for sharing (and now that Joe and I have finally tied the knot, I guess I have no choice but to be less greedy… even if it means playing fair with my portion of desserts).

Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experience Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experience

We indulged in waffles, drizzled with the perfect amount of milk chocolate (but, guilty as charged, yours truly took some of her fondue and layered even more on her portion). Our serving also consisted of fresh fruit (strawberries and bananas for the win), marshmallows, and other delicious treats to dip (and also, roast – all thanks to a mini grill that comes with the sharing dish) into our melted, milk chocolate.

Our palettes are extremely satisfied. Cacao 70 is the ultimate chocolate experience.

(Pssst… there are 4 locations in Montreal but we visited this one: 2087 Ste-Catherine Street West, H3H 1M6 – see their Facebook page here)

Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experience Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experience Cacao 70: the ultimate chocolate experience

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