Monday, October 31, 2011

Weekend Recap: The one where Charlie, a bumblebee, Black Swan & a beekeeper go bowling

This post is a complete 180 from the naked face challenge 2 weeks ago. From no make-up to the most I've ever had on my face. But I'll get to that in a minute. First I want to tell you about my weekend.

Friday night D (my boy), B (the roomie) & B's girlfriend C hit the mall for some last minute costume essentials. Once we snagged those, we played 3 rounds of cosmic bowling for free! (B's program was having an event.) On Saturday I took Abby for a long walk, ran some errands downtown, had pulled pork sandwiches for supper and then the fun started... Halloween costumes. I think homemade costumes are the best. I always have fun putting them together! Show & tell time:

B & C had an adorable couples costume... bee & beekeeper.
Photo credit: Sarah MacLellan

Aren't they the sweetest?

D & I did not match. At all. But we haven't done a matching costume in the past 4 years. Maybe next year... So, he was Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia & I was Black Swan!
after running home in the rain/wind

How cute is D in his long johns & my socks? If you don't watch the show, check out this photo for reference. Pretty accurate I'd say! I am really happy with the way our costumes turned out! I'm also happy I did a trial run of the makeup (one eye) on Monday night to make sure it was possible with the cosmetics I had. And because I'm sure your dying to see some close-ups (note: sarcasm), here are some more vain  photos of my costume! These were all taken at the end of the night (1:30am), so my make-up held up really well. Especially considering it was pouring when we walked to the party.

Detail shots:

looks better in the dark :)
The most hilarious part of the night was when I took Abby out for a quick bathroom break while I had my costume on. Some guys while walking by: "Is that Black Swan? Hey, are you Black Swan? Me: "Yep." Guys: "Hey look, Black Swan has a dog. What's your dogs name?"

How was your "Halloween" weekend? Did you go out and dress up? Watch a scary movie? Carve a pumpkin? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to link up to your Halloween-themed post in the comments! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Breakfast

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a good start so far. 

If you're tired of the usual toast or cereal for breakfast you could give an "everything egg scramble" a try. Remember my veggie/ham scramble from a while back? To make an 'everything' version, just throw in any veggies/meat you want, add some eggs and scramble it up. This morning I threw in some bacon bits, tomatoes, corn, leftover black beans and avocado and served it with (fake) sour cream and corn tortillas. Yum.

My usual breakfast food rotates between eggos with PB + applesauce (so amazing.), plain oatmeal with added in fruit, nuts & almond milk or just a big bowl of cereal. What's in your regular breakfast rotation? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

More love, please.


 I fell in love with this print when I first saw it. It sums up so perfectly what I need in my life. When I neglect these things and place more importance on other things I feel tired, anxious. Bored. But of course when I remember to focus on the simple things, the things that make me happy, I feel more like me. Happier, renewed.


The only thing the list is missing is chocolate. More chocolate. 
 And dog kisses, but I guess that goes without saying.

The spirit of this print has made me slow down. That's why it's been a bit quiet around here lately. I've been spending more time with my dog, more time with D and more time figuring out what the bleep i'm doing with my life. But that's another post story altogether.

I promise I'll be back soon to post something fun. I have a couple crafts I'm finishing up and my Halloween costume to show you! It involves a lot of black, white face makeup and my black jazz shoes. Any guesses? What are you being? Or are you one of those people who hate dressing up? Tell me. I wanna know!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The beauty of getting naked.

I'm a bit nervous about tonight's post because it's really personal. I have yet to post anything this emotionally revealing. I usually keep my blog to fun, frivolous things but today I'm laying it all out. I'm getting naked.

It's not what you think. (Don't worry Mom!)

Those of you who know me, know that I am a very low maintenance girl when it comes to my beauty routine. If you can even call it that. I rarely ever blowdry my hair and only occasionally straighten it. I usually wear mascara/curl the lashes and rub on my eye roller but even then, sometimes I just don't have time... Who else is going to walk the puppy-dog?

I'm getting to the point soon. Promise.

When reading Deanna's blog Delirious Rhapsody, I came across her Naked Face Challenge. She asked her readers to take one photo of themselves without any makeup (no editing) and post it on their blog. For some this is no biggie because they never wear makeup anyway, but for a lot of people this is unthinkable. It makes me sad that some people don't think they're pretty enough without makeup, even though this feeling has often crept its way into my thoughts.

For this reason, participating in activities that promote "real beauty", that show actual women in all of their natural, un-retouched and un-edited glory, is really important to me. It sickens me to consider the constant stream of false images that young girls and women are being bombarded with everyday. Women and girls measure themselves against an ideal that is calculated, created and manipulated. This unrealistic pressure to be beautiful and thin is one of the biggest worries I have about having a girl in the (far away) future. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to be more confident in how I look and to accept my so-called physical flaws. I have to say that it actually is getting easier with time.

On a related note, the one thing I find tricky about blogging is that it does cause people to compare themselves to others. But it's activities/events like this challenge that remind us, even for a minute, that we all look different and that that's okay. I truly believe that we are all beautiful BUT not in a Miss America-I love everyone, kind of way. In a way that we all have a little something that makes us unique and pretty.

Here's my naked face with no makeup & natural hair texture:

So I took 2 photos only because (get this) I didn't think the darkness showed the true rough texture of my skin enough. Haha. It doesn't get more real than this. 10 pm. Rockin' the toothbrush. Lovely cowlick. I even went to work like this that day.

This is me.

If you take the challenge be sure to email Deanna your entry here!

* Just to be clear, I have no problem with people who wear makeup everyday or every time they take a photo. I am not here to judge anyone. Just stating my thoughts on the standards of beauty.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Steppin Out Saturday: Dog Days + Art Nights

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect Fall day here. It was nice & sunny and there were lots of people walking around downtown. I lazed around in the morning and then decided to drag my butt off the couch and take Abby outside. We ended up walking up and around Citadel hill. If you've never been to Halifax, atop of Citadel hill, looking out over the city & harbour, sits a large star-shaped fort built in 1856. Here's an areal view:


So up we went. We stopped on the waterfront lookout so Abby could enjoy the view.

We even got to hear the firing of the noon cannon.

right view

left view

clock view

After we got home, I headed back out  for a tea-date with a friend and then D and I headed out for one of Halifax's most anticipated yearly events, Nocturne! Nocturne is an event that is all about art + fun. It showcases art galleries, installations, performance art, craftsmanship, video and any other type of art you can imagine. Dozens of permanent & temporary art "stops" are positioned all around the city. The idea is to explore the city by foot, bike, ferry or bus to see your favorite exhibits/installations from 6pm to midnight, hence the name Nocturne

Last year I worked until midnight at NovaScotian Crystal (a Nocturne stop), so I was very excited to have the full Nocturne experience this year. We started the night down on the waterfront with an exciting performance by Atlantic Cirque and then headed over to Maples Gallery to view Holly Carr's interetingly beautiful silk painting & to say hi to the owner. (Hi, Arline!)

Our next stop was NovaScotian Crystal to say hi to my former co-workers and to see what was new in the showroom. (Hi, Katie!) To refuel, we headed to Baton Rouge to grab a slice of their amazing-melt-in-your-mouth-creamy-delicious Red Velvet cake. Seriously, this is the cake that dreams are made of. So much so, that we devoured the whole thing before I could think to take a photo. Oops!

We continued on, hoping to try out the Happy Wash. It was a set-up like a car wash that you walked through that would simulate each step: rinse, suds, rinse, wax, dry and you would come out clean & refreshed. Doesn't that sound fun? Well, the line looked about 200 people long (!!!) so instead we hit up Letter Press Gang to do our own hand-pressed Nocturne print. The shop was really lovely & they had a couple of guys playing some Spanish music to keep us entertained while we waited.

By then it was getting pretty late so we started the walk home stopping at Argyle Fine Art along the way. They had a fun owl-themed exhibit downstairs complete with crunchy leaves all over the floor, branches in the ceiling and a hooting soundtrack. We were hoping to see a dance art piece & do a photo in the photobooth on the way home, but the photobooth was nowhere to be found and we had already passed the dance site... We stopped to paint something on the Glow Home, a project set up by an architecture student at Dal. It was a shed frame covered in plastic with glow in the dark paint messages and drawings all over it. It looked pretty cool, but I forgot to snap a pic.

All in all, it was a great night. It's fun to do something a little different in the city and for FREE! Nocturne is such a great event that brings people out and about. The streets were packed. It was awesome! It's also so well organized with all the different guided tours and booklets and clearly-marked sites. Definitely a must-do event in Halifax, for art-lovers and non-art lovers alike.


Linking up with Harper's Happenings today. Here's what I wore on our Nocturne adventure!

Abby either 1. wanted her picture taken too or 2. wanted to bite on my leopard-print scarf because she thought it was an animal.


Shoes: Le Chateau
Pants & Scarf: Dynamite
Tee & Bomber Jacket: Bluenotes
Hoodie: Joe Fresh

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog. I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Cinnamon Poached Pears

I think I accidentally stumbled upon my favorite fall dessert recipe.

Honestly, I was never much of a pumpkin pie eater...

I based my poached pears off of this recipe. Her's are prettier, mine are healthier. Not that I was trying to make them healthy. I actually just ran out of time. I was going to wrap Pillsbury crescent roll dough around them and bake them up. Instead I stopped here:

And am I ever glad I did. They were amazing. FYI: I am not tooting my own horn here. I am not the first girl to poach a pear. And considering I can't even poach an egg.... they are simple to make. Take my word for it.

Or, you know, you could always.... make your own.

clearly a messy cook.

Cinnamon Poached Pears
modified from Sprinkle Bakes

3-5 pears (I used red)
3-4 c water
scant  1 c brown sugar
whole or ground cloves*
2 tsp vanilla extract
crushed nuts (walnuts or pecans work well)
caramel sauce (optional)
ice-cream (optional)

Fill a pot up with 3 or 4 coups of water. Add sugar, spices and vanilla and stir well. Bring to a boil.

While waiting for water mixture to boil, peel & core pears. Add to boiling mixture. Let boil uncovered for about 20-30 minutes. Once pears are very tender, turn off burner and let pears sit in water uncovered for about 10 minutes.

Spoon pears into bowls and top with a bit of poaching liquid, caramel sauce and some crushed nuts. Top with a scoop of ice cream, if you like. Cuddle up by the fire & serve immediately.

** A note about the spices: I always eye ball my spices and add more or less to my own taste. Don't be afraid to load on the cinnamon but try to go easy on the cloves and nutmeg. A little goes a long way with those two. I learned that lesson by ruining an entire batch of pancakes with nutmeg.... Haha. **

I hope you enjoyed my little fall recipe. The sweet smell of cinnamon and vanilla wafting through the house will bring you warmth when the weather gets cold again. You may want to tuck this recipe away for safe keeping.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


I try to remember, not just this weekend but every day, how lucky I am. Given the theme of this weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving) I figured I would show you what I'm grateful for. In no particular order.

This guy.

 This family.

This puppy-dog.

These friends & others.

And this beautiful country.

But in this moment? I'm thankful for this.

My burrito from El Gallo @ the Farmer's Market.

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all get to spend time with loved ones. Enjoy.

**Pssssst: Check out my friend Val's blog for some recipes/shopping fun!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Tonight's Supper

Because I snacked on chocolate all afternoon at work. (Oops.) I've decided just to snack for supper. Since I had a round loaf of bread I needed to use up I made an
artichoke bread bowl dip

Here's what's inside:

sour cream
herb & garlic cream cheese
(all light)
1/2 can artichokes, drained/rinsed
herb & garlic dip mix
grated cheddar cheese
topped with chili powder

I heated up the bowl in the oven for 5 minutes first while I warmed the dip in the microwave. Put the 2 together and done.

This is quite possibly the easiest thing to make for a potluck or when hosting a dinner. I like that it's very customizable too. Don't have artichokes? Throw in some spinach. Want a little crunch? Cut up some celery. If you don't like garlic, you could always throw in some other spices instead.

Have you ever made a bowl dip? How about a soup bowl? Tell me!

Also, FYI: I tried octopus this weekend! Eep. It was so nice of my Japanese friend to cook for us, so I simply had to try it. Luckily it was made as part of a floury dough and we added lots of yummy sauce, so I could barely taste it. It was just the texture... chewy and squeaky. Yeah...