Thursday, 7 August 2014

#ThriftStyleThursday-Bollywood Babe (Influenced by India)

Alright guys, whoever voted for this week's #ThriftStyleThursday...I love ya!

For someone who is Indian, this week was actually a bit of a struggle for me. Do I just put on an Indian outfit and go completely Bollywood or do I tame it down?

It's really hard to make outfit decisions...

I decided to focus on two aspects of most Indian outfits- bright bold patterns, and bright bold jewelry (bling bling baby!) 

Except...what's a girl to do when she has a rotating wardrobe of black and denim, but barely have any colour?!

Well...I made it work. I remember buying this top when peplum was just starting to take off. It was one of those "it's cheap and trendy, so I'll buy it" moments. I mean for $3, you can't go wrong! It features a very popular Indian motif-the ever-so-popular paisley. Combine that with a giant shiny statement necklace straight from India itself?

[Shirt-$3 from Stitches] [Necklace-gift]

Also Bollywood- appropriate? A thick, shiny head of hair, and tons of eyeliner!


[Hair- au naturel baby!] [Eyeliner- Essence waterproof eyeliner, $2.99 at Shoppers Drug Mart]

My hair has been one of my biggest struggles since I was a baby. Would you believe that as a baby, I had a head full of curls?! 
Unfortunately, keeping those pretty curls tangle-free was my poor mother's biggest struggle. By the time I started school, chop chop-no more curls! 

Over the past several years, I've killed my hair. Between dying it different colours, straightening it almost every day in university, and blowdrying it to straw....my hair wasn't happy. It was brittle and still crazy prone to frizz. 

I made a huge change in February of this year when I started the no-poo movement on my hair. I wash my hair with apple cider vinegar, and condition with coconut oil. Yes, oil. Coconut oil is the only oil that is able to completely penetrate into the hair, conditioning from the inside out. I think it's paid off wonderfully because my hair is the softest it's ever been! 


What is your favourite Indian trend?

Take an exotic vacation to my thrifty gals to see how they styled this weel's Indian theme!


-Sarina

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Foodie Feature-My Take on Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Hello! 

As mentioned in a previous post, I am beginning a series called Foodie Feature, where I try out different recipes from my cookbook arsenal. 

This week's Foodie Feature is a recipe inspired by this cookbook: 
The Good, the Bad and the Yummy, by Adina Steiman

I picked up this book at a discount bookstore in the States a few years back, and I love it! True to its title, it gives recipes that are "good" (healthy pick-me-ups) and "bad" (delicious treats), with the focus on every recipe being delicious.

This week, I wanted to make something for a girl's day sitting poolside. I was looking for something light, healthy-ish and easy to make. I decided to use this book because I remembered that there was a fresh rice paper roll recipe in it.

However, true to my Sarina style- I can't just follow a recipe. I absolutely have to tweak it in some way.
The original recipe called for shrimp, rice noodles, cilantro and cucumber.

What did I do?
...
...
I decided to make dessert rolls. 

Following true rice paper roll form, I had a carb- homemade sweet rice with condensed milk, something crunchy- a Pink Lady apple, and something herby- mint leaves. I also added in slice of mango and strawberries, just for some beautiful colours. These flavours together just screamed summertime to me!

The tricky thing about this recipe is prepping the rice paper. Each piece needs to soak in water for a bit beforehand, so that it becomes pliable. Too short of a soak time and the rice paper is brittle, too long and it becomes a mushy mess. I slowly got the hang of it though, and somewhat mastered the rolling technique. 

Look at these beautiful colours! So summery

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls-makes 8
 (adapted from The Good, The Bad and the Yummy)

8 sheets of rice paper
a bowl filled with water- must be large enough to fit the rice paper into 
1/3 cup rice
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup condensed milk
1 mango, seeded, peeled and sliced
1 apple, cored and sliced (I didn't peel mine, but if you want to you can)
1/2 pint of strawberries, washed and sliced into quarters
2 sprigs mint leaves, taken off the stem

  • First prepare the rice- in a small saucepan, combine rice and milk. Over high heat, let rice boil. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 15 min, stirring occasionally. After, stir the condensed milk into the rice. Set aside. 
  • To make rolls
    • Soak a sheet of rice paper in water for 30-40 seconds, or until pliable. 
    • Lay rice paper onto a flat surface. Put a teaspoon of rice mixture down the middle. Top with 2 slices each of apple and mango, 4 strawberry quarters and 2 mint leaves. 
    • To roll. Fold top and bottom towards each other. Pull one side of rice paper towards the middle, making sure all ingredients are tight together. Roll. 
  • Repeat process for all 8 rolls
Have you have fresh rice paper rolls before?

Sarina












Thursday, 31 July 2014

Thrift Store Finds-A Ruby Red Convertible (dress)

I wish I thrifted an actual convertible, how cool would that be?! The closet I'll get to it is a Hot Wheels car...

Where I work at the moment is a hop skip and a jump from my favourite thrift store. I have gone there at least once a week since the summer started, and I have never left empty-handed. They have two sales every week. Items labelled with one type of coloured tag are 50 percent off, while a different coloured tag are marked down to be $1.

I have this thing...I love convertible dresses. A dress you can wear a million ways, just by tying it differently each time. The only problem is they're definitely not a thrifter's dream. Good quality ones start at $100 and up if you buy them through online companies, such as Dessy or Henkaa.

They have never been in my budget until this year. I bought teal ones for my bridesmaids dresses, and I thought that I was being smart and thrifty-ish by getting them off of Etsy! However, I wasn't smart enough, I should've bought one for myself too!

Well....yesterday was my lucky day.

I went to the thrift store just for a browse, and I saw this beautiful, silky red material peeking out from behind the coats. I decided to investigate. It was a convertible dress for $18! Of course, I had to grab it up. 

I got to the register after picking up a couple of books, started checking out-and got really confused when the cashier told me my total was $14. 
"Wasn't the dress supposed to be $18?" I asked
"Originally, yes. But yellow tags were on the half price sale this week" she told me. 


Hello wardrobe wonder! 


Halleujah!! I was pretty excited. I only have three red things in my wardrobe-a crazy fancy floor length cocktail dress, a cozy rust-coloured cardigan and a red sweater.

This is definitely a purchase that I can see myself re-using over and over again. I'm already dreaming up outfits...

Sarina

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Foodie Feature!

Hello there!

As a kid, my first introduction to reading was...different to say the least. My mother had a collection of cookbooks that was about the size of me (at the time) that she never used! So my little tiny self went through all those books, looking for the yummiest things. As I got older, I actually started to read the recipes instead of just drooling over the pictures (and wondering why I couldn't have only chocolate cake for every meal...I mean, it sounds perfect to me...right?) 

I started really getting into cooking and baking around the end of grade eleven. I enjoyed the process of gathering ingredients, mixing, and achieving my well deserved result-delicious things! Around this time I also started watching a certain Canadian chef on TV-Bob Blumer

I got to meet my favourite chef earlier this year at a Food and Wine show-he gives the best hugs! 

I guess this cooking thing became a hobby of mine over time, because I'm still crazy about it! I've always wanted to go to culinary school but took music as my 'safe' option.  Instead, I watch the Food Network like it's my job, create disasters (and miracles) in the kitchen and treat my friends as guinea pigs to my latest concoctions. I knew my fiancé was the One when he bought me a cookbook for our first Valentine's day together. So much more useful than flowers! 

Over the past couple of years, I've amassed my own small collection of cookbooks that I've read a million times, and tried recipes out of. The newest addition to the collection is this beauty-generations eats by Amy Rosen.
New books make me happy

It effortlessly combines catchy titles, yummy recipes, and movie recommendations as an accompaniment! I perused this book at a thrift store today and quickly realized that it was a never-used copy . When I took it to the cash register, I had sticker shock-instead of being the dollar it was marked as, it was fifty cents!! There was a flash sale, with all cookbooks being half off. So much excitement! 

I want to introduce a new feature to my blog-Foodie Features! Once a week (well, I'll try) I will feature a recipe from one of my many cookbooks, complete with photos and a recipe. This blog started off as a food blog, and I haven't posted much of that lately.

Sarina 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

#ThriftStyleThursday-Delightfully Dainty

Hello there!
This week's theme is delightfully dainty. When i think of dainty, I think of teeny weeny things, like rings and small patterns. 
This week I'll be featuring one of my favourite patterned items

Indian suit- free, birthday present, earrings- $5, Ardene

The pattern on the top and pants of this suit scream dainty to me. Even though the colours seem to take up most of the suit, if you look carefully you can see quite dainty little patterns.

What do you think? Does this seem dainty to you?

As always, visit the delightful dainty divas to see how they styled this weeks Dainty theme!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Wedding prep and my Something Blue

Hey there!

Ever since I got engaged, my fiancé and I have figured out a ton of wedding stuff. It's only been a month but we have our chapel, venue, caterer, and photographer. Being a thrifty gal, I wanted to keep the costs down as much as I could. 

One thing I didn't waver on were my brand new wedding shoes! I always knew I wanted Fluevogs for my wedding, ever since a friend introduced me to te brand. The only problem is...their shoes START at $200 and go up from there. What's a girl on a budget to do? Go hunting of course! There a ton of places I 'Vogs for cheaper. There's the Fluemarket, Amazon.com, eBay and even kijiji.ca! 

I ended up finding the *perfect* pair of shoes. Blue pebbled leather, pointy toe, 3 inch heel. Did I also mention they're the comfiest shoes I've ever worn?! 

Best purchase ever.  

I can't wait to rock these down the aisle!

What are your favourite shoes?

-Sarina



Thursday, 26 June 2014

#ThriftStyleThursday-Fabulous Florals

Hello!
This week is a bit of a rushed post, because I completely forgot...(oops) 
But I did have a dress in mind! 

This week I wanted to use my fabulous floral dress that I got at a thrift store back in London. 

Asos dress-from Talize, $12
(sorry for the terrible photo this week, using my phone)

It's one of the most flattering pieces I own! It's a fit and flare, so it highlights the best parts of me! 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Thrift Store Haul- Value Village and a Garage Sale!

The best deals are in the most unexpected places, and after the past couple weeks I am a firm believer in that. 

The weekend I had my vacation, my fiancé and I went to our first stop-Value Village! I'm always drawn to the books and begin the hunt for awesome quality kids books. This trip was a good one for books! 


I was ecstatic to find 'Where the Wild Things Are' and 'Scaredy Squirrel' for a buck each! The rest of the books are just fun little finds. 


The best deal on this trip was the community garage sale I went to about 20 min from where I was staying. I wish I had taken a photo of just how huge this place was, and how flawlessly organized each section was. Christmas, books, kitchenwares, electronics, even a section of brand new stuff from a drugstore that had moved! I had I resist from buying everything! All the mugs, teapots, kitchen gadgets and CD's! I took this as an opportunity to buy a couple things for my future home. 



Guess what this entire box cost me? 

$15!!! One of the best deals I've ever gotten! 

I already finished both chapter books, and I'm in love with the Goody spin pins.

What are some of your best garage sale finds?

Sarina

Friday, 13 June 2014

Huge news!

Hello hello hello!

I just got home, and this is not going to be a #thriftstylethursday post.

Instead, this post is going to be about something big that happened this weekend.

I'M ENGAGED!

I went up north to visit my boyfriend this weekend. Unbeknownst to me, he wasn't planning on being my boyfriend for very long. The day after I traveled up, we went on a canoe ride and he proposed to me.


In case you're wondering, I said yes!


We drove back down south, and made a detour to visit his grandparents and a friend of mine, where we did an impromptu photoshoot! My friend didn't actually know we were engaged until the beginning of the photoshoot. I'm sneaky like that ;)

My friend's reaction when she found out


The ring





Until next week,

Sarina

Friday, 6 June 2014

#ThriftStyleThursday- Dapper Toppers (Hats)

Hello there!

This week's #thriftstylethursday was a hard one for me-hats. As someone with a ridiculously thick mane of hair, it was always hard to brush and tame. As a child, my mother's way of 'taming' it was to just chop it off...I had a bowl cut for several years. As I grew older, the sheer amount of hair I had frustrated me so I usually kept it in one of two hairstyles- a bun or a ponytail.

Having to wear hats in the winter or summer gave me one of two options- leave my wild mane open so I could properly wear a hat or get a stretchy hat that would fit over a gigantic bun/ponytail but ultimately completely ruin any attempt at hair.

You've got to be kidding me. (This is pretty much what my hair looked like)

I also don't think that hats suit me very much. As strange as this will sound, I don't think I have a head shaped for hats.
Though I don't wear hats that often, I do have a soft spot in my heart for a few of them. Floppy sunhats, fedoras and cowboys are my favourites, and thought I haven't found the ideal ones for me yet, I'm holding onto hope that one day I will!

In the meanwhile, I decided to go semi-country for this week's theme, because one hat that I have and love is my trusted straw cowboy hat. And what goes better with country than the Canadian tuxedo, denim on denim, with both pieces fully thrifted? To accessorize, I kept it simple with a leather ring I picked up on vacation, a beautiful turquoise necklace, and a swipe of red lipstick!


And a closer look at the necklace and ring..



[Hat- gift from parents] [Leather ring, bought in Spain- $5] [Necklace-gift from parents]
[Shirt-Joe Fresh, thrifted from Talize- $2.50] [Jeans- Forever 21, thrifted from local thrift store- $2.50]
[Lipstick, Mac- Brave Red]

As a bonus, I also thought I'd use the excuse of a hat to showcase how long my mane is. Models, be jealous- that luscious thick head of hair is allll natural!

[Straw hat-gift from parents] 


Take a minute to look at the dapper toppers these lovelies wore this week!


 Aligator Toe  Being Zhenya  Bethie the Boo  Buttons and Birdcages   Confessions of a Refashionista  Eclecticity  Erika’s Style Diary  Lipstick and Yarn  Muddy Flowers  Rachel’s Lookbook ❇ Sandpaper Kisses  Sincerely Miss J  Sistas From Cali Slight Impression Snippets with Alex ❇ Spoolish That Cheap Bitch  The Two Cent Chick 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#ThriftStyleThursday- I'm a '90s Chick! (I don't care, I love it!)


I've been waiting for the perfect time to throw that song into something, and this week's #ThriftStyleThursday theme was my chance! I inquired with Martyna over at Spoolish about how to join #ThriftStyleThursdays, and now I am a part of it!

When I think of the '90s, I think of my childhood. Being born exactly in 1990, I grew up with some of my favourite TV shows being the Fresh Prince, Saved by the Bell, Boy Meets World (Topanga!!), 7th Heaven and cartoons like Johnny Bravo, Animaniacs, Felix the Cat, Dexter's Lab, and most of my favourite movies involved Disney princesses. The one thing that I remember really clearly about the '90s was SO. MUCH. COLOUR. Neon, crazy patterns, crop tops (which are all over the place now) and denim of every shade.

Being stuck in a fashion slump, I didn't think I'd have much for this week's theme, but then I looked into my closet and pulled out these three items. I remember buying these shorts last summer but never quite having a chance to wear them, and the shirt I got at a Stitches outlet but could never pull together fun, interesting outfits with it.


I love the back of this shirt- unexpected details like that make me happy!

The shoes not pictured in the outfit were actually free, through a university-wide clothing swap on campus this year. I wanted a pair of nice neutral oxfords but didn't want to shell out money at the time, and the next day I went to campus, found out about the clothing swap and ended up getting these! They looked brand new when I got them..I just happen to be really rough on shoes. 



[Shirt,Stitches -$3] [Shorts, H&M- $5] [Shoes, Ardene-free through clothing swap]

(PS: I know that technically I posted this on a Wednesday night, but I didn't want to forget!)

For some more takes on this week's thrifty theme, check out these lovely ladies!


 Aligator Toe  Being Zhenya  Bethie the Boo  Buttons and Birdcages   Confessions of a Refashionista  Eclecticity  Erika’s Style Diary  Lipstick and Yarn  Muddy Flowers  Rachel’s Lookbook ❇ Sandpaper Kisses  Sincerely Miss J  Sistas From Cali Slight Impression Snippets with Alex ❇ Spoolish That Cheap Bitch  The Two Cent Chick 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Chocolate-Almond Oatcakes

It's been a week since I've moved back home....and I am already starting to get bored. I don't have a summer job, so a lot of time is spent in and around home.

To combat today's dose of boredom, I decided to bake. I wasn't in the mood for a full-fledged meal, or a complicated dessert, so I went to something that I knew would be delicious no matter what-oatcakes.

Steel-cut oats were a huge breakfast staple this year. I enjoy the chewiness of them, and it was a breeze to make the night before and put into individual jars for the week. On the weekend, I used oats on top of pancakes to add both taste and texture, as well as keeping me fuller for a longer period of time.

Oatcakes were introduced to me on one of my practicum blocks. It was a cooking day with the kindergarteners, and we made healthy oatcakes together.

Now, I'm not a huge health person, so I took a basic oatcake recipe and jazzed it up. By jazzed it up, I mean I accidentally poured too much vanilla extract and cocoa powder into my oatcakes. Best mistake ever.


Chocolate-Almond Oatcakes-makes 12-14
(adapted from Edible Noir)

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar (I used white sugar, and it is a bit sweeter)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup water
Optional: chocolate chips, walnuts, almonds, etc.

  • Preheat oven to 375 F, and grease a large cookie sheet
  • Mix together all dry ingredients
  • Once dry ingredients are mixed, incorporate all wet ingredients and mix until a dough is formed
  • Using a tablespoon to measure, form dough into small balls. Place onto cookie sheet and flatten tops
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes
These babies are delicious with a pat of butter, jam or even some Nutella! 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Thrift Store Haul- Book edition

I went to the thrift store today and did a silly thing (although I like to think that I am planning for the future)

I went to the Salvation Army during their book sale. The way this limited-time sale works is that all books are 77 cents each- or 10 books for $5, 20 books for $10

Being the future planner that I am, everytime I go to a thrift store, I end up buying a least one children's book, if there are any.  I've built up my collection over the past few months!

Here are my latest additions to the growing collection! 



And here is the entire collection, in all its glory! Most of this has been thrifted over the past 6 months, and it's only going to get bigger!

What are some of your favourite children's books?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Influenster #imPressManicure Voxbox

After a year of working hard, I am proud to say that I am all done teacher's college! I am now back home, contemplating my next move, and waiting to start some additional teacher courses.

As you may realize by now, freebies are most definitely my favourite thing-getting packages in the mail just makes a day fantastic! So when I got the email that I qualified for the next Canadian Influenster Voxbox, I was excited. 

I got the package sent to my home address, and received it when I came back this weekend. 
                                  
A plain white box with two colourful shades of nails

This box was the Influenster imPress box. The imPress manicures are a set of stick on nails-no glue needed, and boast a staying power of up to 7 days. I was a bit apprehensive, because I've previously had poor experiences with stick-on nails and short staying powers. 
As seen above, I got two different colours for the nails- bright Barbie pink and beige with a black lace print. They were a bit difficult to apply, because the backing on the adhesive side sometimes wouldn't come off in one piece, but finally I got them on my nails.

I have no photos of me wearing the nails because... they didn't last long on my fingers.  I don't do much heavy duty work, mostly just typing, dishes and whatnot, but I found that the nails would fall off doing these small things. Two tips started fading after two hours!

My verdict: While they would be great for events like parties and going out, for everyday wear I'd stick to a good-quality nail polish and an amazing topcoat.




Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Tea Addiction Continues...

If you've read my 'About Me', you'll know that I am hopelessly addicted to David's Tea. I'm just a sucker for the flavours and varieties they offer. 

Today as a treat to myself, I went and splurged on 9 teas. 
Allll the tea!

Granted, my splurges are about 10-20 grams of each flavour, so maybe this is more of a sampler than a splurge. 

Top Row:
Ceylon Star (black tea), Organic Cream of Earl Grey (black tea), Chocolate Macaroon (black tea) and Shooting Starfruit (white tea)

Bottom Row:
The Spice is Right (green tea), Guava Cadabra (herbal tea), Organic Creme Brulee (rooibos tea), Just Peachy (herbal tea) and Organic Splash (green tea)

To me, all of these flavours are perfect for summer. The herbal and green teas are light, fruity and perect for iced teas, while the black and white teas are perfect as an evening sipper, or as iced lattes.

I'll be enjoying them in this beautiful mug that was given to me. 
                                           
Graduation present for finishing teacher's college! 


What are your favourite teas? Have you delved into the world of loose-leaf tea?

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Garlic Marinated Chicken and Kale Pesto Pasta, and a thrift store buy!

To preface this post, it's the time of year where  a lot of university students are moving back home, including a friend of mine. She also didn't want to bring home any food with her, so earlier this week she gifted me with so many food items- cereal, salad dressings, burgers and chicken, and a lot of rice. 

Today was one of those days. You know, the rainy-day, don't-want-to-do-anything,    lazy days that make even the slightest thing seem like an enormous waste of energy. 

Naturally, to combat this I wanted to cook. But I didn't know what to make, and I barely had any energy to stand up and make a fancy meal. Then I looked into my fridge and remembered the many food items I had been given. I marinated a chicken breast in some Italian salad dressing, and put on a small pot of pasta. While cooking my pasta, I thawed the last of my kale pesto. I then baked the chicken breast, and once it was cooked I diced it up. I then threw everything together in the pot.

Delicious, quick. easy and hearty meal

This pasta was flavourful because of both the marinade from the chicken and the pesto itself. It made moving around in the kitchen totally worth it. 


I did do a few errands today before succumbing to the rainy-weather blues, and one of those errands was the thrift store. I went in to look for clothes and walked out with this instead

This was one of my favourite books growing up, because it was so cute! It's about a grandpa who makes his grandson a baby blanket, and the journeys and transformations that blanket makes as the child grows older. It's such a sweet tale.

What are your go-to easy meals/favourite children's books?

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Elle Beauty Box

As you may have guessed from my previous post, I love freebies! Especially when I forget that I've ordered them (which happens more often than not)

Today I opened my mailbox and found a beautiful pink box. I looked closer and realized that it was the Elle Beauty Box that I had signed up for, but never got a confirmation about. 
Beautiful package full of goodies!

The mascara is beautiful. Jet black, and using only one coat still makes my lashes look natural. Two coats and we're headed into bombshell territory! 


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sample Mania!

I have been SO sleepy these days. I started my second practicum and I'm with a class of grade 3's. While it's not as hectic as kindergarten was, I find that I'm so much more tired because I'm using my teacher voice ALL. THE. TIME.  I have gone to bed at 8:30...and it was fantastic. 

Yesterday was one of those days. After a looooong day of lots of reading aloud to the kids, and talking I was wiped. But I came home to find a box on my desk....

SAMPLES HAD ARRIVED!!!! 

Top Row: Tostitos Baked Chips, Downy Unstoppables Zzzzquil laundry pellets, a FPC coupon for Tropicana Fruit+Veggie Juice, Snuggie sample, full-size Quaker's quinoa bar, Jergens BB Body Cream
Middle Row: Sunlight pack, car wax, full-size Hershey's bar, Burt Bee's night cream, Frizz-ease thermal control sample, John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner samples
Bottom: Frizz-ease Dream Curls samples, Quaker warm granola sample, Jergens Natural Glow samples

I subscribe to samplesource.ca, a site that lets you try different products, and often includes coupons so that if you like them, you can buy them. 
I was amazed at how much stuff can fit into one tiny box! I am so excited to try things out!

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thrifty Finds- All that Glitters is not Gold

I may have a bit of a problem- I love thrift shopping! (the best problem to have!) From finding a brand new thrift store to the hunt for that PERFECT new piece, I don't think I'll ever be able to stop! It's also something my boyfriend enjoys-not as much as I do-but he will often come with me, usually to Value Village or Goodwill in Newmarket

A couple of the thrift stores I frequent are the Salvation Army and the Care and Share, just because they're the ones closest to my home. I've found so many amazing  items such as a red BCBG blazer for $5, and Banana Republic and Jacob sweaters under $8! There's also a higher-end consignment store near me that always have fantastic items...just never in my size (spiky Sam Edelman shoes, I'm talking about you).

This year living away from home, I've gotten to explore my town a bit, and have visited the Talize and Bibles for Missions thrift store near me, as well as  a higher-end consignment store that I got my beautiful tan knee-high leather authentic Doc Marten boots for $50!

I won't mention the number of children's books (living the student teacher life) and novels I pick up whenever I go to a thrift store-how can you say no to a $1, barely-used hardcover copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or The Cat in the Hat?!

One of my favourite purchases recently was this beautiful silvery sweater. It was originally from Jones New York, which is a brand I rarely purchase from. The sweater was $5, but Talize had a half-price sweater special going on when I bought it.
The bun on my head is all my hair..no sock bun needed!


It is so comfy, and the glittery thread makes me feel fancy and makes even basic denim jeans look nicer
Jeans may look fancier, but my facial expressions never will

I may get it tailored a bit because it is a little loose, and short people like me don't need to wear bigger sweaters or we get lost in fabric !

What's your favourite thrift store buy so far?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Creamy Creme Brulee and an Avocado Milkshake

One of the perks of teacher's college is that I had a March Break! I relaxed a bit, socialized a bit, and ate a LOT! I also tested out a few recipes, like ricotta pancakes, different homemade juices (I miss having my juicer around) and creme brulee, my absolute a time favourite dessert

I don't know where my obsession with creme brulee came from, but it started when I was young. Maybe it's the subtle elegance of the dessert itself- creamy custard hidden underneath that crackling sugar shell, or the taste of broiled sugar juust a hint more sophisticated than toasted marshmallows. Or maybe it was the fact that I thought of it as a "fancy dessert", one you could only get at a fancy restaurant (read: one that didn't given children toys or colouring books with their meals). In either case, I always thought of it as beyond my reach, something difficult to make with a million steps. I also figured that if it was only served in fancy restaurants, that it had to be unhealthy and therefore not enjoyed at every given moment.

I was wrong. Oh so completely wrong.

It's not hard at all-the only tricky parts were getting a cake pan with four almost-overflowing ramekins of uncooked custard into the oven. It also can be made health-conscious with a few swaps- almond milk, instead of cream, xyitol instead of sugar and using a few less eggs.

I also made an avocado milkshake. I've always loved taking weird food items and making them sweet, and a milkshake is the perfect vehicle. Cool and creamy, with a hint of sweet!

Was this creme brulee perfect? Pretty much!

Cookbooks and milkshakes and brulee, oh my! 


Creamy Almond Creme Brulee(serves 4) 
(adapted from Providence Farms)

Ingredients
3 eggs
2 cups almond milk
13 cup sugar, plus extra for garnishing ramekins- I used brown, and it wasn't as sweet as I would have liked
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract (vanilla bean paste looks lovely in plain creme brulee)
1 tsp instant coffee granules


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for garnishing sugar
  • Pour mixture evenly into 4 ramekins (the little baking dishes)
  • Slowly put ramekins into a 13x9 baking dish, and fill baking dish with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins, being careful to not get into into the ramekins
What the pre-baked ramekins will look like

  • Bake for 50-55 min or until knife inserted into a ramekin comes out clean
  • Take ramekins out of the baking dish and place on a cooling rack. When cool enough, place ramekins in fridge.
  • Whenever you are ready, take ramekins out of fridge and cover with a thin, even layer of sugar. 
  • This is the fun part- if you have a blowtorch, torch the ramekins just until the sugar begins to brown. Alternatively, place ramekins 4 inches under a broiler and broil for a minute.

Avocado Milkshake (serves one)

Ingredients
1/2 ripe avocado
1 cup milk (substitute almond or coconut milk)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp brown sugar
  • Blend everything together!

Enjoy!