A Christmas (tree) Gesture

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I have recently moved and really don't have enough space for a large Christmas tree, like in years past, however, was feeling pretty down about not having a tree.  The thought of not really decorating for the holidays is sad, especially since I love to do it (but again, minimal space).  

After having a bad day on Monday, and venting to my sister, she showed up at my office on Tuesday with a wrapped gift.  I eagerly unwrapped my present to find this sweet (three-foot tall) white Christmas tree (with lights)!  

She bought it for me along with some feather ornaments (I've been coveting a feather tree from Bouclair for two years now) to stick in my tree, since those feather trees are damn expensive.  How sweet is that?  And just like that, she made my year. 

It's a Pulled Chx Salad Kinda Night...

Monday, November 28, 2011

I ate this tonight.  Pulled Chicken Salad.  A off-the-top-of-my-head recipe from an old friend that never fails.  It's clean, healthy, filling and delicious (and quick, easy-peasy).
I was leaving Zumba tonight and hit up the grocery store as I needed two things: (i) groceries, and (ii) dinner.  After picking up various produce and planning my meal for tomorrow night (I'm making a Greek chicken crock pot dish I've never attempted before) I started to feel hungry.  I hit up the magazine/cookbook aisle for inspiration and I didn't even need to open a book!  I saw a magazine entitled, 'Clean Eating' and my mind jumped to this salad and back to the produce aisle I went.  Within 15 minutes of arriving home I was chowing down. 

Ingredients:
* Whole BBQ chicken
* Spinach
* Veggies you like (I like: grape tomatoes, avocados)
* Canned mandarin oranges
* Optional: dried cranberries

Make it:
Pull all the chicken off your BBQ chicken and put in a bowl off to the side.  Put heaping handful of spinach on plate.  Chop veggies & add to the mix.  Throw in whatever else you want (walnuts are awesome. As are hard boiled eggs).  Toss some chicken on top.  Enjoy.

Told ya it was easy.




Sometimes I make my own dressing (not tonight, thanks Kraft) and to do so I squeeze a lime (you could use lemon), chop a couple cloves of garlic, and pour in some olive oil.  Shake it up and pour over your salad.

Friday Night

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I went out with some friends last night and we had a great time.  We just went to a local restaurant / pub and they had a live one-(wo)man band and the game playing as well.  Not typically my scene, but with the right company, any place can be fun!   I found this picture on my phone this morning from last night and have no idea what it is.  See?  Told you, good times!

Red Pear

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Have you ever had a red pear before?  I hadn't until my sister gave me hers and it was delicious.  I'm not sure how I'll go back to green/yellow.  Unlike other pears, this kind is less grainy and smoother with a sweet taste.  Yum.  

Celebrate Good Times, C'mon...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

 Dynamite jacket (last seen here), La Senza tank, American Eagle sweater, Foxy jeans (last seen here), 
Aldo wedges (last seen here) & H&M snood (last seen here)

Last night I had one of my closest friend's over to celebrate her birthday.  I told her that I would bake whatever she wanted for her birthday dessert and she chose a chocolate mousse cake.  Something I've never made.  Turns out, chocolate mousse cake can be pretty darn overwhelming, however, I did it!  It feels like such an accomplishment because while I enjoy being experimental with cooking, baking is more my sister's hat and something altogether different.  I will be posting the pictures and the recipe in the next few days as it turned out really good (at least everyone said it was really good...).

Today is her official birthday and we are celebrating today by going for a morning break at the cafeteria at work.  Happy Birthday J!



"If you get kicked in the rear, 
it's because you're out at front."
       - Joel Osteen

Healthy Smoothie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


While leaving the gym a couple weeks ago, a trainer had set up a table by the front doors and was handing out dixie cups filled with a green 'energy' smoothie she made.  I, of course, grabbed one because (a) I just finished a workout and was famished, and (b) I'm always up for trying something new.  

Turns out although it looked nasty, it tasted delicious.  

She had kindly printed out the recipe and had a stack of 'em for people to take home (with, of course, her personal training coordinates).  A few days later I made my own but it didn't turn out green like hers, and I had to improvise a bit because who really keeps almond milk and two kinds of yoghurt in their fridge at the same time?  Not this girl.

Healthy Smoothie:
* Frozen banana
* 1 Cup of Milk
* 1/2 Cup of Yoghurt
* 1 Cup of Frozen Berries (I used strawberries)
* Handful of Spinach*


Blend

Drink

Enjoy.




* I know what you're thinking, 'Spinach?! In a smoothie? Really Amanda? Yuck!' 
but seriously, you don't even taste it. And it's good for you. So do it.  Do it good.

Layered Tights

Monday, November 21, 2011

 Joe Fresh top & skirt, Aldo wedges (last seen here), unknown tights, Club Monaco belt, 
Ardene necklace & Costa Blanca bangles

These photos were taken at 5:10pm.  Welcome to November.  It gets dark so early now, it's almost depressing.  The only thing that is saving me is the still-visible grass.  If you could advise the weather man to prepare the snow for Christmas Eve, that'd be great.  Just great.

When I put on this skirt with the chocolate brown fishnets, it just felt too scandalous for work.  The skirt is somewhat on the short side for me but I didn't want to give up the look of texture on my legs.  In a quick decision (as I was running late) I decided to try layering my tights and it worked.  Chocolate brown opaque tights underneath the chocolate brown fishnets I had initially chosen. 
 
 Smart Set trench coat (thrifted) & Stitches fur stole

Easy Breakfast Sandwich

Friday, November 18, 2011


The other (weekend) morning, in a semi-rush to get out the door, but a desire to not spend money on breakfast, I whipped up these breakfast sandwiches.  Easy, healthy, and cheap.  I used what was in the fridge, so feel free to improvise with what you've got.

Ingredients:
* Bread for toasting
* 3 eggs
* Ham
* Spinach
* Red onion

Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet.  Saute your chopped onion.  Crack your eggs and poke the yokes.  Add ham and spinach and let the bottom of your egg mixture cook. 

When the top is fairly firm (not very runny), split your egg mixture into two or four (depending how good your flipping skills are) and flip.  

Toast your bread.

Remove egg mixture (fully cooked now) from skillet, place on toast, add ketchup/mayo/whatever-your-lil'-heart-desires, and top with other piece of toast.

(Wrap in tin-foil if it's to-go &) enjoy.

Neutral Pop

Thursday, November 17, 2011

 
Garage denim jacket, Joe Fresh sweater, Brody Myles top, H&M pants, Aldo boots (last seen here), 
Club Monaco scarf, H&M bangle & Bay ring

I rushed to take these photos.  Can you tell by the stunned look on my face?  Ha.  I was on my way to zumba, it was starting to rain, it was the end of the day, I was rushing, and the lighting was way off.  I ended up with these two work-able photos, not my favourites... but I did like this outfit (and my MTL girlfriend asked me to share with her how I would style my new red pants).

Thursday, Thursday, the day before the wonderful Friday.  Tonight I'm going to dinner with my grandparents and mom and then we are going to a musical (live play).  I'm not really a huge theatre go-er, but it was sweet of them to invite me and I get to spend some time with some of my favourite people, so, I'm in.

In other news, I bought three new rolling racks from Canadian Tire (50% off till today!).  I already purchased two from Home Outfitters which collapsed under the weight of my clothes (grrrr) so I returned those.  These ones are more 'heavy duty' so hopefully they will work.  If not, I will be lugging them back to the store... kind of how I was seen lugging them around the store.  This girl, of course, did not take a cart and was trying to carry three massive (and heavy, might I add) boxes of rolling racks. 

In a mini skirt no less.

Fortunately, a nice man in his fifties offered to help me carry them to the cash.  And he had a limp.  Like WTF, I should be helping him.  How nice is that?  He said it was his good deed for the day and to 'pass it on'.

I will pass it on.

Have you done a good deed lately?
 

Covet

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I'm totally in love with this rose-gold & diamond pendant necklace (as spotted on Veronika). It comes in white and yellow gold, as well, and every letter of the alphabet.  

Wouldn't it be so beautiful with a simple white tee and jeans, or dressed up with a sheath dress?

Acquiring a Covet

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I found lace shorts! So exciting, as I've been coveting a pair for several months now.  I was shocked to see these on a display table at Urban Planet for $25 bucks.  So ladies, run, don't walk, to your nearest Urban Plant (if you live in Canada) and pick yourself up a pair.  I scooped up a size large and there are a little loose in the waist, but the medium was far too snug (and I could not zip 'em up).

I plan to style these babies with black tights, ankle boots and... and... and well I'm not quite sure what to put on top, but rest assured I won't leave the house topless.  Suggestions?

Morning Hunger

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Color Works sweater, H&M jeans (last seen here), BCBG heels (last seen here), Mexx necklace & Auslini bangle

I'm a huge breakfast person.  As soon as I get up, I'm starving.  As in: must. eat. now.  As in: I have stomach hunger pains.  As in: don't talk to me until you feed me.  However, ever since changing up my daily breakfast routine (for weekdays, at least), I'm not experiencing the major growling stomach as soon as I open my eyes.

It's weird.

All my life I've always woken up starving and the only major thing I've switched up is my Monday to Friday breakfast.  I have to link it to the cause.  Weird, 'eh?

So, I'm conducting a little study and instead of making my morning easy omelet (at work), I'm going back to toast.  As much as it was annoying to wake up with zero energy until I ate, I don't exactly feel 'healthy' putting off my breakfast for several hours (this also throws a wrench into my snacks, and I like to eat... multiple times a day, every few hours... like totally. all. the. time). 

Weekend iPhone Snaps

Monday, November 14, 2011


Weekend snapshots:
1.  Reverse French glitter mani (with OPI's Lincoln Park after Midnight & Sephora by OPI 'It's Bouquet with Me')
2.  Dinner @ Wendy's (starting the long weekend off 'right')
3.  First wood stove fire of the season
4.  Trying oysters for the first time
5.  Seafood pizza (lobster, shrimp, scallops & mushrooms)
6.  Cottage country
7.  Reese's Pieces cookies (and although I didn't eat any, I ate many post-Halloween mini chocolate bars)
8.  Mexican omelet (that looks like pizza but isn't)

New Friends

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Healthy Pumpkin Muffins

Friday, November 11, 2011


I made these pumpkin muffins last week and they have been a big hit.  They came out kinda wonky looking because they are 'healthy'* and I guess that means they won't be perfect looking, but nonetheless, they're good.  The flavour isn't bad, but a regular (fatty) muffin has a ton of sugar to make it sweet and flavourful.  You will not get that with this muffin, however, in a rush or pinch, you can down one of these and the guilt doesn't tend to set in like with a normal muffin it would.

Kidding.

Sort of.



* What the heck is 'spelt flour'?  No clue, so I used whole wheat (that might explain the deformation?).  Also, I couldn't find coconut oil so I used olive (meh).


Roots

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dynamite Blazer (last seen here), Violet & Claire top, H&M pants, Guess heels,  
Suzy belt, Walmart watch, Tiffany bracelet & random bangle



Whoopsies!  I took these photos back in August (aka pre-grey hair) and never got around to posting them, and so, here we are.

So it's Friday! Woohoo! Okay, not exactly true, but tomorrow is a holiday which makes this weekend a long weekend and who doesn't love that? 

So lately I've been noticing some changes.  Body changes.  Dun dun dunnnn.  What's up with that?  Is my age catching up with me?  On top of that, to make matters worse, I'm suddenly addicted to chocolate.  Okay wait.  That's not true.  It's not exactly 'suddenly', and the boat-load of on-sale Halloween candy I bought after Halloween doesn't help, but... well, okay, scratch that point.  However, I'm having a tough time getting to the gym.  Ugh.  I'm still going like two or three (ambitious: four) times a week, but it's a struggle to drag my ass there.  Unless it's for my Monday night zumba class, then you know I be gettin' my groove on.  So, I guess that's just my body telling me it's time to switch up my routine and so I did just that Wednesday night by hitting a Body Combat class.  It's an MMA (mixed martial arts) class (at GoodLife) and it's killer.  I did it a couple years ago a few times with a girlfriend, but hadn't been since.  What. A. Workout.  By the end of the class I was drenched (got the visual?) and had a hard time lifting my arms up in the shower.  Success!  Hopefully I will be able to work this class into my weekly 'routine' once or (preferably if I can motivate myself) twice a week.  However, now that the weekend is here, it's strictly sweets and no gym!  Hoorah! ...er, wait, do you think that could my problem? ;)

A Step-by-Step Guide to Styling an Outfit

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I am a later person.  Ask me to be there at 5pm, I'll be there at 5:15pm, or worse, 5:30pm.  It cannot be helped, I've tried to be punctual but never seem to succeed.  Sometimes my family tells me the time to arrive is half an hour before everyone else... just so I'll be on time.  Yes, they have resorted to tricks like that.

Sometimes my tardiness spills over into my work life.  I say sometimes lightly.  Fortunately, I have an amazing boss is who understanding and is cool with me being a few minutes late so long as I put in those few minutes at the end of the day (which I always do).  However, in an effort to be on time, I decided to style eight outfits one evening last week to make mornings a bit more efficient.  It helps, but I always tend to find something to do that results in me still being late.  Le sigh.

Here are my top tips on how to style an outfit:

1.  Start with the base.  For me that's the bottoms (it used to be shoes, but I don't like to plan my outfits around my shoes anymore if I can help it).  So pick a skirt, dress or pants.

2.  Pick a top.  A sweater, a button-down, a blouse, a tee, a tank... whatever!

3.  Pick your second top.  This is usually a layering piece like a cardigan, blazer or sweater.

4.  Lay your 'outfit' on the bed.  Now comes the fun part...

5.  Accessorize!  This includes belts, jewelery, hosiery and shoes.  

6.  Finally, the easiest step: bra & undies.

7.  Next, take a hanger and hang all items on it.  I like to fold my bottoms over the base of the hanger, hang the top over it, loop the hanger through my belt, along with my bra, undies and hosiery.  Grab a ziplock bag and put your jewelery in that, seal, poke a hole and hang it on the hanger.

8.  If you want to take it to the next level, pick out your jacket and cold weather accessories too, like gloves, a scarf/pashmina & a hat.

Grey'd Out Part Deux

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ashley B Jacket (last seen here), Stitches sweater, Old Navy button down, Dynamite skirt (last seen here), Glaze booties (last seen here), A.Co Designs wool & leather scarf (last seen here), Suzy belt & Auslini bangle

What's with me and grey lately?

As I sit here and type this I feel happy.  My life is (somewhat) in order, my laundry is done, my belly is full, my place is (somewhat) tidy and I feel good.  Things are falling into place and it feels good.

I had a Skype date with my BBFF the other night.  Always good to catch up with that girl, and although thousands of miles apart, it's almost as if it isn't... almost.

And in other exciting news, I got a new laptop.  Yay!  My old one konked out on me after over six years and I have finally entered the twenty-first century.  It's nice to have some speed and have something that doesn't take 12 minutes to shut down.  It's also super pretty too.

Finally, can you believe Christmas is less than two months away?  Love it!  The stores are putting out their holiday products, seasonal music is streaming through the speakers, and there is no sign of any (icky) snow yet.  It's like a dream.  I've even already started my shopping, slowly but surely.  When will you start?

Turkey Sweet Potato Chili

Monday, November 7, 2011



Wow, that was a mouthful.

It was delicious.

I then proceeded to eat it for four days straight.

It was still delicious.

I used ground turkey (duh), for the first time ever, and it was good (but not quite the good stuff kids go for).

Kids would probably go for chocolate and chips...


Fall Streets

Saturday, November 5, 2011

F21 jacket (last seen here), Smart Set turtleneck, F21 skirt, unknown tights, 
Aldo flats &booties (last seen here), Suzy necklace & ring

The weekend is finally here (and passing ever so quickly, of course).  This week has been a tough one for getting out of bed in the mornings.  I love sticking to the sheets; the earlier, the stickier.  However, the weekend is finally here which means sleeping in and doing fun (non-work-related) things.  I'm currently out of town brought my laptop with me and was able to get an Internet connection.  The weather is crisp and cool and you can see your breath, perfect for a night in with fresh home-made Indian cuisine, Queen Elizabeth cake for dessert and some of my favourite people. 


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground