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Monday, 19 February 2018

My go to hair: Dutch Braids....

I LOVE a braided hair look.
In my opinion, braids are the most underutilized of all the hairdos!

You always see the girls with ponies, top knots or down and flowy but how often do you see a braid??

French braid, Dutch braid, Fishtail, Piggy tail, Milkmaid braid, Braided bangs...
I wear ALL of them and I get so. many. compliments.

Really, whenever I am out wearing a braid people stop and say "Oh I love your hair" and I'm just laughing to myself because the main reason I wear braids is to conceal old, greasy hair. 

easy braids, dutch braids

By far my favorite of them all is the Dutch Braid, its basically a French braid done inside out and it always looks professional and fancy even though I pull the heck out of it to make it look loose and sloppy!

To learn a dutch braid (on yourself or others! both have pros and cons) start with your hair divided down the middle, section off one side and begin at the root of the other side.

Break a small section of your hair into 3 sections (just like a normal braid) but instead of folding the hair over top of each other you're going to fold one piece at a time under the other piece.

This is really hard to put into words so see video below and feel free to google & Pinterest dutch braids, that's how I taught myself about 5 years ago!

dutch braid hair updo


I filmed this video as a test run to see how clear my camera was, I apologize that its not very focused or angled in the proper area but I thought this was a good start to see how I go about it and from here I can re-shoot and start uploading more videos of my personal hair looks :)


dutch braid easy hair updo

Let me know how it goes and send me any hair ideas.
I love watching hair tutorials and I get super invested in recreating my own 'dumbed' down version!
Sunday, 18 February 2018

What to wear to a wine tasting...

I am attending my first Food and Wine Festival next week and I am already plotting what to wear! (?!??)

*This post is in partnership with PinkBlush



So unlike a summertime wine tasting, this is happening in the dead of Nova Scotia winter & indoors (thankfully lol).

Vineyard attire is so simple to me, a maxi dress, maybe a floppy hat, wedge sandals.
Boom, you automatically feel 10x more fancy the second you set foot on that holy ground.

But indoor?!?!? Wine & food?!?!
What do I wear to that??

Currently sitting at the top of my list...



This Royal Blue Bell Sleeve $52.

It's comfy, its casual, but can be dressed up.
See silver clutch, that's a vintage piece from my grandmothers closet. 

So, I am not 100% set that this will be the outfit but I do know that this will be the backup outfit.
I have some digging to do before I commit and when I say digging, I legitimately mean digging out clothes that have been holed up in my closet for wayyyyy too long.

See next:



This vest was a purchase from Target before they left Canada.
Yes, very sadly Target left Canada about 3 years ago???

It was a very painful goodbye for me, I loved Target!



I was looking at this adorable grey floral babydoll dress $51 and wondering how I could warm it up a bit for the cool weather when I saw this vest and thought it was the perfect opportunity!

I love the look of these pieces paired with some booties!
It melts the spring floral pattern into the gloomy Nova Scotia weather and makes me look cheery but not 'too extra' ya know?!

Anywhoo, I will be posing on Insta stories this week and featuring my other wine tasting outfit ideas.
So stay tuned!
And any advice, please I am all ears! (pun. hehe. see below!)




Earrings Forever21 Sale.



Friday, 9 February 2018

Happiness Breeds, Good Stories to Spread a Smile...

This week has been miserable... I came down with the FLU/STOMACH FLU.

I don't have the best health on a good day but at times like this I wallow in self-pity and would give anything to go back to my usual 'unhealthy' life.

It's really easy for me to sink into a state and cry about how unfair life is.

So, instead of self-pity... I am trying to spread something positive to pick myself up and maybe you guys too!



To be honest, I searched 'Happy stories this week' and well, they're harder to find than you may think!

The 'News' loves to share doom and gloom while skimming over the bright spots.
And this is the first in this series so I didn't think to prepare and pay attention to happy things throughout the week, but because I would like to keep this happiness coming I'll start to keep my eyes open for the 'Joy'.

And if you come across anything send it my way!
I would love to start a weekly 'Recap the Smiles' segment.



So when your face looks like this^
You can come here read, laugh & share.

Most of what I will share this week comes from Elliott!
I know he's my child and every parent is biased thinking their kids are just the funniest, smartest, cutest little things on earth... (guilty!)

but I feel like you'll get a laugh or at least a smile out of these too!



I slapped Elliott's supper down in from of him on his table and walked back into the kitchen with only seconds to spare before Noelle's cries begin (because I allegedly abandoned her) when I heard:

"Thank you for making me my supper Mom."

Super nonchalantly.
I said "what?"
(which I should not have done as it probably motivates him to ask what?? 500 times a day)
and he said "I said thanks for making my supper" in the sweetest, most content sounding voice.



Driving home from daycare I always quiz Elliott about his day.
I like to test his memory and ask who was there, what was for lunch, etc.
This day he said:

"I love my friends at Curries and they love me. 
Declin loves me."

I asked if Declin was his best friend?
he said:

"No, Baby is."

With the happiest of tones and grabbed Noelle's little hand in his.
He always calls Noelle baby or "my baby".



Driving to Mcdonalds a few days ago, I went to turn right on a red light.
Elliott loves to point out the colours of traffic lights and knows red = stop, yellow = slow, green = go.
When I turned right on red I heard him say:

"No Mom! You have a red light!" 

It was so hilarious, I had to explain sometimes you can turn on red lights.
And he says "Ooooooh." like he completely gets the rules of the road.



He loves to follow me around and while hot on my heels the other day I stopped and looked at him. He gets embarrassed and emotional sometimes so he said:

"Don't look at me."

I said why not? He said:

"I'm just following you because I love you too much, I love to be with you. I love you too much."

Later I told Nick what he said and as much as we whisper he hears everything so from behind us we heard:

"Stop doing that Dad. Stop laughing at me, I don't want you to laugh."

We try not to let him know when we are talking about him because we don't want him to be embarrassed but I swear we would have to go to another planet to get away from his prying ears.



I have been obsessed with watching SimplyNailogical lately and all things Nail Polish.

I love her crazy humour of course, that she's Canadian and most importantly how wicked smart she is.

I was half watching this video and once it hit the 11:30 mark I heard her talking about strong, smart women and how she was asked if she was going to University to get her MRS degree...

How that only pushed her harder.... (I started crying) and you would have to watch the video yourself to get a real feel for it but I was in tears.

I am a sucker for a motivational talk!


Twin sisters give birth the same day! ^ Y SO CUTE! LUCKY BABIES. 
Saturday, 3 February 2018

Simple Super Bowl Party Rice...

It's almost time guys!!!
The biggest day of the year!!!

SUPPPPPPPPPPPPPER BOWLLLLLLLLLLLLL SUNNNNNNNNNNNNDAY!!!

super bowl, super bowl rice, super bowl foods, super bowl Sunday

You know I am kidding.
I married a man with almost zero sport fan tendencies on purpose people.
I was looking for someone who liked sports but didn't invest too much of life into sports so I would never have to sit and stare at people chasing things on the tv screen. (golf balls, basketballs, baseballs,  footballs, hockey pucks, tennis balls, so many balls! So much chasing! why?!?!?)

We won't be watching the Superbowl.
Actually, that's a lie, we will be watching the halftime show, the halftime show I can get behind and snacks!

I live for food and celebrities so I decided to make a last minute Superbowl post and milk this very pinnable image for Pinterest.

super bowl, super bowl rice, super bowl foods, super bowl Sunday

A few weeks ago I made the bacon wrapped water chestnuts (you can find that post by clicking here) and had some extra water chestnuts so I made my favourite rice recipe.

Everyone was interested in the recipe but Nick finished off the rice before I could photograph it so I made it AGAIN this week. It is really good and so easy so I'm not mad about having it twice!

I've been making this rice for years, it's almost foolproof, stick to the basic bones but make it your own!

Let me know what you add so I can test it out too.
Enjoy!





BASIC BROWN RICE WITH WATER CHESTNUTS

- 2 cups Uncle Bens converted rice
- 3 1/2 cups cold water
- 1/4 cup soya sauce
- 1/3 cup corn oil (I have substituted veg oil)
- 1 package onion soup mix
- 1 can of mushrooms (I prefer fresh but I am all about organic living ;)) (JK) (but yes either works)
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts (I've used whole too but I love the crunch! you could even slice the whole if you feel ambitious)

Here is where you can get wild!
Sometimes I add cooked chicken, roast beef, steak, ground beef, literally any cooked meat would be fine.

Mix all together in a casserole dish and bake on 325 for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes.




This covered dish in the background is what I use, I keep the cover on and stir once just to check on it. This dish was given to me from my mom years ago but any covered casserole dish should be fine and if you don't have one with a cover, try tinfoil. 



And that's it!
It keeps really well and is a great addition to snack food or meal time.
(also so easy for potlucks!)

Further pictures just for cuteness.
Enjoy game day!








Friday, 2 February 2018

Can a Brother/Sister combo still be best friends?...

I know what you all are going to say "YES. I am so close to my brother omg."



But really, I think this is a very valid question, brothers and sisters???
I struggled so hard with the thought, what combo of kids would I have?

Before I had any, I could only imagine myself as a girl mom.
I love 'girly' things (I'm going to use gender stereotypes in a very light-hearted way in this blog, it's not to be taken the wrong way. Girls can play with trucks, boys can wear pink. just humour me in this post ;))

Of course, I could see myself braiding hair and buying frilly dresses.
Then when I was expecting Elliott the ultrasound tech said "its a boy!", right away my future changed and I saw myself as a 'boys only' mom.

I don't know why.
Maybe because I wanted so badly to be a girl mom, I thought the universe would spite me.
All I could see was myself with two boys, even when I let my mind go to the thought that maybe then we would have a third... BOOM. IT WOULD BE ANOTHER BOY.
I just knew it.



When we had the ultrasound for Noelle I was ONLY looking for boy parts, I knew what to look for and I knew it would be there.

But during the ultrasound I got confused and so did Nick, there wasn't really a boy to be seen but you know those ultrasounds are like unscrambling scrambles so we couldn't be sure.
The Halifax hospital doesn't tell you the sex so you have to wait to see your own doctor which can take days.

We left that appointment and we were about 80% sure, it was a girl. 



WHAT.
I had prepped myself for life with 2 boys, it was going to be great, they would be best friends and love me the most (because boys love their mamas) and I would be great friends with their future girlfriends/wives, I would be the best mom-in-law, we would go grocery shopping together and I would be involved but not too involved, no one would label me 'the annoying MIL'.
Nope.
It was going to be adorable.
Very Victoria Beckham (before she had Harper lol).

BOOM.
SCENE OVER.
NOW WHAT.



Never in my wildest dreams would I have pictured my life with 1 boy and 1 girl.



Do brothers and sisters even get along??!?!?!?!?!

I know you all will tell me they do and you're so close to your brother/sister.....
but how do I trust that?!?!

Someone needs to send me text screenshots and selfie photos so I can start to understand how a boy/girl sibling set up is going to work.



Right now they love each other SO much.
I'm not even sure they could love each other more if they were the same sex.

Because they are different but the same it kind of gives them each a special place in the family, I always tell Elliott he's the best boy ever and Noelle is my best girl.

He loves being her BIG brother and is so helpful and protective of her.
He still wakes up every morning and asks "wheres my baby?'



He wants to see her asap and when we joke about giving her back to the hospital he gets very upset and says "we can't because I love her and shes my sister".

Its all super cute!



But the future!
What does the future look like and how do we keep them being BFFs?

They're almost exactly 3 years apart so I hope they will have enough in common to keep close, but what else should I do to guarantee it?

Put them in similar sports/activities?
Buy one of those t-shirts that you put them in when they disagree (this is our getting along t-shirt) maybe if I force them to physically be close they will be close in spirit and minds?

hehehehehehe.
You know I'm kidding but really what is the best approach for the brother/sister bond?

Family suppers?
Family time in general?
Even when you have a sister/sister, brother/brother pair there's obviously no guarantees they will become or stay friends, but if you have any inside info on this, please send my way!

I'm genuinely curious as to how this will play out.
Only time will tell!


Friday, 26 January 2018

Made to look weathered family sign with Rust-Oleum



It shouldn't be news to you that I like my stuff a little country-modern, I like new shiny metals but I love a weathered antique.

A melting pot of old and new, bonus points if it's personalized and DIY'd!
As soon as I got my hands on these new Rust-Oleum products, I had a vision... (just call me Raven)

*This post is in partnership with Rust-Oleum



I took a little stroll through Michaels craft store and found my inspiration in the bare wood aisle, I already knew I wanted to go with our last name but I wasn't sure what the backdrop would be.

I ended up picking out larger letters because I wanted this to be something I could use as a front porch prop, I was worried that I wouldn't find a suitable backdrop (the letters are pretty large!) but I was at Michaels, you can find anything! A large hanging sign was exactly what I had wanted.




I arrived home and got to work right on the kitchen island, the Weathered Wood Accelerator (click for more info) was almost odourless and easy to work with/clean up.

I used a sponge paint brush and brushed the liquid on like a stain, thin coats to build up the colour - it was super fast drying.



While I waited between coats I started with the letters, I used this Metal Effects kit from Modern Masters and I was genuinely so curious to see how it would turn out.

I used another sponge brush and coated the letters with a copper paint, it went on very easily and already looked opaque.



That copper dried extremely fast so I did a second coat and when that had dried I applied the shiny copper paint.  



The trick next was to spray the letters with the liquid provided, while they were still wet.



I crossed my fingers and sprayed!



Immediately you could see only what I can call a 'mouldy' effect begin to form.
This was so satisfying and I couldn't take my eyes off of it!



That same night I went back and checked on everything, it dried after just a few hours so I hot glued the letters to the board... and voila!

A super simple, single day project that you can personalize or get as creative with as you please.




Nick modelling for me that very night but the best photos are below captured on our front porch.





My girlfriend came over to visit and she said that it looked even better in person than it had in Insta stories so I take that as a big win!

I love the look of it and I've already plotted my next Weathered item, I only used the smallest amount of stain so I may make some for friends/family.

Anything custom makes a really lovely gift!


Sunday, 21 January 2018

Brie Cheese Toast and Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts...

I've always wanted to do a charcuterie board... Nicks not a snacker but I am SUCH a snacker! 
Like, I need snacks and I need them salty and pickle-ish where possible.

I decided to test out a few treats and hone my skills for a future charcuterie board, I have been craving one for so long and I am super happy with this first draft!



First things first, if you're not into Cider.. get into it!
I have a really hard time with wine... to me, it feels like a chore to drink, maybe I just haven't found 'the' wine but I am halting that search because I've found the drink crush and its cider.

This is my second time picking up Bulwark (click) brand and it won't be the last.
I received a ton of messages on Instagram stating this was super delicious and I picked it because the price was R.I.G.H.T. (plus its made right here in New Ross NS, win, win, win, win.)







Next, I grabbed a fresh jar of this cheese topper from Sobeys, they were sold out of the apple and fig but the cranberry port was just as good. These little jars are located next to the cheese display and the mini french bread was also in a basket on display.

Layer the crusty bread, brie cheese and a dollop of topper for a tasty bite-size treat. 



I'm not great with deli decisions so I figured a variety pack was the way to go, these three meats were pre-packed together in the pickup cooler so I grabbed them and ran, and they were actually fantastic!




The final piece of the puzzle was the bacon wrapped water chestnuts.. we typically have these around Christmas but this year no one made them and I have had a craving ever since.

I didn't get a proper photo, they were made, displayed and devoured before I could stage a fancy flatlay so let's just hope you've been watching my insta stories and got the behind the scenes sneak peek.


BACON WRAPPED WATER CHESTNUTS

- 1 OR 2 PACKS OF REGULAR BACON
(1 IS FINE FOR FEW PEOPLE BUT YOU WILL HAVE LEFTOVER CHESTNUTS, I HAVE MY CHESTNUTS TUCKED IN THE FRIDGE TO BE USED IN RICE TOMORROW)

- 1 CAN OF WATER CHESTNUTS (CHECK YOUR ASIAN FOOD ISLE)

- LIGHT BROWN SUGAR

- TOOTHPICKS


FRY BACON UNTIL JUST SOFT, LEAVE LIMP TO BEND AROUND WATER CHESTNUT.

SET ASIDE TO COOL THEN CUT STRIPS IN HALF.

ONCE MANAGEABLE WRAP HALF PIECE OF BACON AROUND 1 WATER CHESNUT AND SECURE WITH TOOTHPICK. (CONTINUE UNTIL DONE)

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES, PLACE WRAPPED CHESTNUTS ON PAN.

SPRINKLE WITH LIGHT BROWN SUGAR.

PLACE IN OVEN FOR 5 MINUTES OR UNTIL SUGAR IS LIGHTLY CARMELIZED.



That's it!
A tasty snack board with some sweetness in the bacon, something salty in the meat and some creamy deliciousness in the cheese.
Enjoy!