Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Organic Coffee Scrub

I've been feeling crafty these days and finally and since one of my boards is called  "for when I'm feeling crafty", I decided to cross one on my list.

I have always wanted to try my hand at making my own bath stuff, and this one seemed simple enough. Only 3 ingredients! Plus all the benefits of coconut oil are well a benefit.   Plus coffee is supposed to be good for cellulite, or so the rumours say, this seemed like the best bet.

Use this scrub in your morning shower and you will feel invigorated.  You will be left with super moisturized skin thanks to the oil and super soft skin thanks to the exfoliant power of the sugar and coffee.

So how to make it:

- Coconut Oil (1/4 cup)
- Brown Sugar (1/4 cup)
- Coffee (1/2 cup) --->I used fresh ground French Vanilla because I'm classy like that... Actually no, its the only non K-cup type we had

You mix them all together.

Then you put them into a pretty mason jar. 

(yields about 8 ounces.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

To Read Lists
I've fallen away from my love. Reading. Just lately I haven't been able to pick up a book and finish it. I read a few chapters and then forget about it. And not because they didn't hold my attention, because some definitely did. So I got to thinking on how I should get back to making time to read, and I believe that a good portion of back when I was doing more full time book blogging (through netgalley) is that I had lists upon lists of To Be Read Lists, To Be Reviewed Lists, etc. While this may make it sound more like a job - I feel like it actually made me want to read, to cross off those books.

So, I am going to try that again.  There isn't as much pressure to review them, just to enjoy them.  And while I know my time off to just sit and read is going to greatly lessen come July, I am only going to put 5 on my list.  All randomly just picked at random with me just looking over to my bookshelf. 

To Read:
1. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
2 .Homegoing by Ya'a Gyasi
3. The Nest by 
4. Naked by David Sedaris
5.  Draongfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

Thursday, March 16, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: The Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

I enjoyed this book immensely. Not only is the cover art beautiful and is something I would pick up based on that alone, the writing is superb.

Rules of Civility

The story initially begins by Katey Kontent and her husband at an art gallery featuring photographs of strangers riding the subway. Two of these photographs feature Tinker Grey. This year is the year that was worth a flashback in Katey’s life. It was essentially the year she stepped out of her best friends shadow and lived her own life.

On New Years Eve of 1937, Katey Kontent a New York native and her best friend Eve Ross, who is transplanted to NYC from Indiana, find themselves in a Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with a bit of a secret side, happens to sit down next to them.  The three of them instantly click and start hanging out, becoming an unlikely threesome. And as all threesomes go, one poor soul  is always left out. At the beginning you can see that Tinker, despite Eve’s raw sensualism, is developing a little crush on Katey. Eve who is very outspoken and always looking to be the life of the party does not like the way Tinker’s mind is going. While Katey never shies away from the dramatic flair, you can tell she is more reserve and cannot compete with her best friend’s advances and ‘this-belongs-to-me’ attitude.  This especially comes clear when they end up in a car crash.  Tinker guilt plays a large role and him and Eve shack up propelling Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society where she goes from lowly secretary to a well-respected business woman.
Towles is a great writer. He writes with ease and romanticism. He makes you feel connected not only to 1938 New York but to each of the characters as well.  Katey was a great character. She was a hard worker, hard partier, loved to read and loved to shoot guns.  She was very believable and likeable. One thing that I did not like about Towles writing style was his lack of quotation marks.   I found it confusing at first, second guessing who was actually saying what. You get used to it, but really? Why did you have to try something different?

I give this 4.5 stars!  You should check it out!
I want to write more, but I fear too many spoilers would be given away!

“ careful when choosing what you're proud of--because the world has every intention of using it against you.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baby Number 2!

There's been a reason why I've been silent on this blog. Baby Novo # 2 is coming!

We announced on New Years Eve the only way we knew how, with H!

Currently I am 15 weeks into this pregnancy, and I have to say its a lot different than the first one.  

Mainly, I was sick the first 3 months. Not really morning sickness related (although I did throw up a few times- which was a completely new experience for me), but with the flu and the cold. Back and forth. It was fun. (high dose of sarcasm there).

This pregnancy I have to say that I am not as overly cautious over what I eat. Sure I avoid the big no's, but when momma craves a hot dog she is having one.  I also haven't been as active - as this time around I am more exhausted than I remembered being with H.  I also guess its because I have an active toddler to chase after and entertain all day.

Super excited for this next journey. Also a little bit nervous.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next DoorFast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing.

You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit? - goodreads

My first book review of 2017, I know I kind of slacked on them last year. Who knew a baby would take up so much time?  HAHA

Anyways, this book was a really good book to start the year off with. 4 stars for sure.

It is about a couple who went to a dinner party next door, and left their 6 month old baby at home; mainly because their neighbors don't like kids-  checking in on her every half an hour to make sure she was alright.  First as a mom, I'm not sure I could do this - I mean sure we hang out in the yard or in the cul-de-sac with the neighbours, while H was sleeping, with our monitor on and made a mad dash if we hear any whimpering. But we were also in eyesight of the door at all times, and we weren't getting shit faced (well not both of us at the same time)- so I can sympathize a bit, but seriously get better friends who like kids... But back to the storyline. The couple, at the end of the night comes home to find the door unlocked and their baby girl missing.

Enter Panic.

They call the cops and of course are both put on the suspect list.

The twists and turns, while some are pretty predictable, also keeps you guessing.

It is also a fast paced book. I wanted to keep reading it until I was done, so that makes it a winner in my book as it captivated me from the beginning.

If you like The Girl on The Train type books, then I think you will also enjoy this one as well and you should add it to your To Read pile.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Favourite Christmas books!

One of my favourite family Christmas traditions was reading Christmas books. Every evening leading up to Christmas, we all gathered on the couch, sipped on hot chocolate and picked from the basket of books and read a story together. 

Some of my favourite books included:

The Little Match Girl
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
The Snowman
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
The Polar Express
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (the one with the pipe)
The Wild Christmas Reindeer
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
What are some of your favourite Christmas books?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

RECIPE: Cinnamon Buns!

Who doesn't love cinnamon buns?

We were at the mall the other day and smelt that sweet sweet smell of Cinnzeo, and G and I were both like, yup before we leave we have to pick one up.

Until you have a toddler needing a nap ASAP.

We didn't realize we forgot this precious treat until we were at home, and as the closet mall is 45 minutes away from us, G was like - didn't you make some that tasted exactly like them a while ago. And I was like- Yes, yes I did.

 The recipe I used was from Jo's Cook

The Goods:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup  softened butter
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups  all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup softened butter
Cream cheese icing
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • ½ tsp  vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt

The How To:
  1. For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a large bowl.
  2. Add sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well.
  3. Pour the milk/yeast mixture in the bowl and using the dough hook, mix well until well incorporated.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. - This is the part that takes FOREVER!
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface, until it is approx 16 inches long by 12 inches wide. It should be approx ¼ inch thick.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  7. To make filling, combine the butter or margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. Alternatively you can spread the butter first on the dough and then the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.
  9. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. The roll should be about 18 inches in length. Cut the roll into 1½ inch slices. You might find it easier if you use a piece of floss vs a knife.
  10. Place the cut rolls in the prepared pan. Cover them with a damp towel. Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cooking time can vary greatly! Mine took 24 minutes.
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  13. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.

*Note - I didn't actually make this icing, because 1) I did not have  cream cheese other than the herb and garlic kind and 2) I was lazy. So I used store bought canned vanilla icing and it was just as delicious.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Top 5 Christmas Tunes

I don't like the traditional hymn type Christmas carols. But, I do like throwing these Christmas tunes up on the good ol' speakers every once in a while.

So let me introduce you to my 5 Favorite Christmas tunes:

Bandaid - Do They Know It's Christmas.

This is the newest compilation of this song, and as always features Bono.

Coldplay - Christmas Lights

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You... a classic

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Carol of the Bells.

Wham - Last Christmas

What are your favourite Christmas Tunes?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Triangles THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-at home mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers -goodreads

Triangles was my first ‘adult’ Ellen Hopkins book. And I was not disappointed. Not that I thought I would.  I’m going to go all fangirl on you for a moment- I love Ellen Hopkins. Something about turning poetry into a novel just excites me. She writes beautifully, and maybe it is the poetry, but every time I read a book of hers I feel like I can relate to every single person in some way or another and I'm just drawn in, making it extremely hard to put down!
Anyways, back to the point...
Triangles is a novel that concentrates on three different women; Holly, Marissa and Andrea.

Holly: She is pushing 40 and was going through a mid-life crisis. Focused on working out and trying to start it up as an erotic novelist, Holly gets bored of her life. She has 3 kids, a loving husband, great house, everything anyone would ever want. However... sometimes once you have everything you get bored. Holly starts experimenting in the sexual realm of things, saying it's all research for her book. She basically is throwing away something for a little excitement, instead of just talking to her husband!!

Marissa: A mother of a gay son (who by the way is amazing portrayed in this book- strong, sometimes rebellious, independent and trying to help out whenever he can) and of a terminally ill daughter. Oh she is also wife to a husband who is never there, always focused on work and not helping out with their daughters rigorous health routine. Once she learns a very detrimental secret of her husband she has to figure out what's in her best interest.  Tears were shed during her story.

Andrea: Is the middle thread as mentioned before. Holly is her best friend and Marissa is her sister.  Andrea, she goes from one bad guy to the next, never catching a break. She sees how great Holly and her husbands relationship is (on the outside) and how barren her sisters relationship is, and she is stuck between the two. Her story seemed the most lack lustre of all three of them to me, while it wasn't boring it just wasn't memorable, definitely getting the sense that she was the anchor to hold the two other stories together.

Now that the main character descriptions are out of they way, they all go through some coming of age dilemma. And as always, Hopkins tackle difficult subjects, Triangles being no exception. The central theme though is cheating with other topics ranging from threesomes, to sex parties, to accepting a gay child, to name a few.

I totally enjoyed this book. It was hard to keep down and I wanted to know about each character getting mad that their section ended, but then excited to read on to the next one.  The erotic/sex scenes were also written very tastefully so that if your teenager picked this up you wouldn't have to explain anything to embarrassing.

You know how much I love Ellen Hopkin, so please go and read this, or any of her novels. You will not be disappointed!
“Spilling a Secret

What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
when it all falls to pieces?”
Ellen Hopkins, Triangles

Friday, October 28, 2016

Hunting Jewelry - Twelve:TwentyThree

As most of you know my hubby is a big hunter. I am not. However, being around the sport all the time, I get inspired by it when I sit down and make jewelry.

Above are some of my favourites that I have created recently.  Head on over to my etsy shop to check out them and more :)