Laura Mercier Concealer - Review

I'm procrastinating on my wedding planning, so what better than to write about something that's kind of relevant to weddings, but not really? Here's my review for the Laura Mercier concealer!

I’m not a huge make-up person, but I’ve always used a powder foundation. I was going to a Christmas party last week and decided I needed more coverage. I went to Sephora, and the person I spoke to happen to represent Laura Mercier. She demoed the Secret Camouflage on me, and I absolutely loved it. The compact comes with two colours for you to blend, it’s oil free, and it can even cover up tattoos!
You simply blend the colours with the brush, and paint it on. Super easy. Next, just set it with the Camouflage Powder, and you’re good to go.
The best part of this is that there’s a starter kit with all the things you need, and then some! I love kits! Even better, it comes with the brushes you need!
What's your must have make up?


Twine Flowers - Wedding Decor!

I made a list of DIY project that I want to do for our wedding. One of these things were twine flowers that I had found on Pinterest (Follow Me!). They were cute, rustic, and looked relatively simple to make. There was one thing that held me back was that you needed to make your own loom, and after each flower, you had to disassemble the loom and then reassemble it for the next flower.

I felt that this assembly and disassembly was extremely inefficient, so I set out to look for a loom that was meant to make these flowers. It wasn't that difficult to find one. I went to Michaels, and they had a couple versions. I settled on the loom from The Crochet Dude. It cost about $4.00 and I had a 50% off coupon. I bought a couple bundles of embroidery thread in our wedding colours, and off I went.

The loom has 2 notches at the bottom. First, start with a tail of about 15", and then put the thread into the notch. You then start by looping the thread around the peg directly opposite the notch. I like to do it in a figure 8.

Next, you figure 8 the thread around the peg directly opposite the first peg. You can now either loop the thread around the first peg again, or you can move left, and continue until all the pegs are looped. I prefer looping each peg twice before moving on. Depending on how full you want the flower to look, you can go around either 2 or 3 times. To conserve thread, I think 2 loops look pretty good.

Once all the pegs are looped to your liking, you can put that end into the second notch, and then cut the thread with about 2 inches left. This is only so you can hold that end taut while you are backstitching the middle of the flower.

I like to spin the loom around so that the notches are at the top. Thread the 15" end through the needle, and count back 2 petals, go down, and come back up 3 petals later. So back 2, forward 3.

 Continue back stitching until all the petals have been stitched. I like to go around the center twice, or until I have about 2 inches of thread left.
Once the center has been stitched, you can finish it off by weaving the end in and out of the petals to secure, or you can tie the 2 ends together.

Here is the finished flower:
To make a double flower, you simply create the second flower on top of the first, and stitch them both together at the same time. The same concept of 2 back, 3 forward applies when you're backstitching. you would only need one tail end to stitch the flowers together. You can choose to use the end from either flower. Just make sure you leave enough thread to stitch it all together.

Once I got the hang of it, it took me about 10  minutes per flower. It's a great project to do when you're watching TV, when you don't really have to focus on what you're doing. for a small flower like the one I've shown, about 2" in diameter, it used about 2 meters of thread when going around 2 times.

Let me know what you think!



Invitations Decisions!!

Those close to me know I have major issues when it comes to decision making. I blame it on being a Libra. So the latest dilemma is how to do our invitations. I've been perusing Pinterest (FOLLOW ME!) for months now, and the more I look, the less I seem to be able to decide.

I originally wanted something formal, with a pocket, and staggered inserts (see original post here). But as the details of our wedding are being finalized, well, as finalized as someone with decision making issues can be, my vision for our invitations have evolved. I don't want something super formal, since our wedding will not be super formal. I've been deciding between fun vs. classic. Here are some of the concepts I've toyed with:

nickeldesign on Etsy

100 Layer Cake - Cheerful Maine Wedding: Ruth + Ed
Lauren by The Pulp Studio
Pinkpolka Wedding Invitation
Hydrangea Invitation by redpearldesigns on Etsy
It was and is difficult deciding what we're going to do. My MOH was so sick of hearing me flip flop between all the various options that she just flipped a coin and decided for me. I was happy with the decision, but in the end, I went back to basics. I thought about what my original inspiration for the wedding was. What inspired me to choose green as my supplementary colour?

This picture was what started it all. 
Chic & Modern Wedding in Calgary - Wedding Obsession
I decided to look for examples with baby's breath as the inspiration. After looking through maaaany maaaany images, I decided to do something similar to this invitation.

A Down Home BBQ Wedding - Ruffled Blog
In addition to baby's breath, my bridesmaid Jocelyn suggested we add some lavender to the graphic since we will be giving honey infused with our home-grown lavender as wedding favors. And of course, purple is one of our colours.

We will print the invitation on vellum, and back it on a piece of linen textured purple card. There will be one piece for the actual invitation, and one for the map. We are going to use our app as our  RSVP tool, so it's still up in the air as to whether we will have a RSVP card directing guests to our app.

That's my decision for this week anyway. I may change my mind in a few weeks, and rethink all of this. LOL



September Travels!

It's been a while since I last updated the blog. I haven't been thinking about planning the wedding as much since we booked the venues, and other major vendors like photographer, hair & make-up artist, and the florist. It's kind of hard too because the wedding is still 10 months away. It seems kind of ridiculous when I'm asking vendors to finalize details.

Anyway, Chris and I went on a 2 week vacation to Malaysia and Hong Kong in September. It was great! It was Chris' first time in Asia, and it was also an opportunity for him to meet my extended family. We are also planning to have a small reception in Hong Kong next year, so it was a chance for us to scope out potential venues.

Here are some pics from our trip!!

We're going up to Penticton next weekend to decide on our wedding cake. I'm still not sure if I want a traditional cake, or if I want to do a top tier, with cupcakes. Decisions!


Engagement Party!

We had our engagement party about a month ago. We kept it small, only close friends and immediate family. We wanted to keep the cost low, so I opted to make the invites myself. My inspiration is from Pinterest/Etsy. Here is the finished product:

I created the text on Photoshop, and had them printed at Kinko's. The total cost for printing 30 invites was about $9.00. The envelopes actually cost me more at $15.00!! If you plan on making your own invites, definitely invest in a corner punch. I think the rounded corners definitely make them look more professional.

We had our engagement party in our backyard to keep the cost down, and to keep it low key. We bought paper lanterns from China's version of eBay, TaoBao. The total for 30 lanterns, came to about $5.00CDN. They're the same colour as our colours for the wedding, green and purple.

Here is a picture of the lanterns strung up. We had them strung up around 3 sides of our backyard.

We bought most of our food from Costco. Here is our charcuterie plate. We also had some cheese, various salads, steak and chicken wings.
Our most expensive item, was definitely our cake. It was well worth it!! It was delicious!! Chris and I have a thing with poo talk, I know, it's weird. The topper was made of fondant, and the cake was chocolate with hazelnut filling.

Here are the lanterns at the end of the night. We're definitely going to reuse these for our reception.
It was a great party. Our families got to know each other better, and we our friends got to know each other better too. It was simple, and most importantly, we all had fun!

I want to thank everyone who helped with the party. Particularly my mom, Vanessa, my maid of honour, and Jon. They made sure the party went smoothly and I was stress free! 



Grain Free Almond Flour Waffles with Strawberry Compote

It's been a while since I posted. I've been busy making my engagement party invitations. I will share those once they're complete.

I've been trying out a grain free diet the last week or so because I noticed that I never feel very good after I had pasta. I haven't done much research in regards to the technical terms, so please forgive me. I just know how I feel after I eat, so I based my adjustments on that. It first started out as a no flour (I guess gluten-free?) diet, that was fine enough, I didn't crave pasta even though I used to have it about 4 times a week. Then I went for sushi one night, and I just felt soooo bloated and uncomfortable. I realized that I always felt like that after having sushi, and I had always put it off to me eating waaaay too much. I also looooooove sushi. It was after that dinner that I decided that I should try to go off all grains. It wasn't too difficult as I had done various "low-carb" diets before. However, the hardest meal for me to adjust to was breakfast. I used to eat a bowl of oatmeal everyday for breakfast, so now what can I eat?? I've been sustaining myself in the morning with various fruits and veggies, but it didn't really cut it for me.

So off I went to Google-land. I found great recipes for grain-free breakfasts. I found a lot of egg recipes, but what I was really after was the carby breakfast. I was super excited to see that there were also lots of options for waffles, scones, even PORRIDGE!!! My first recipe was the Almond Flour Waffles. All credit goes to Comfy Belly. I didn't change a thing on this recipe. It took me about 5 minutes to make the batter, and I made my strawberry compote while the waffles were cooking. We were eating within 20 minutes of me breaking the eggs.

Almond Flour Waffles with Strawberry Compote

Inspired by Comfy Belly

Yield: 2

4 eggs
1 cup Almond Flour
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tablespoon honey (I used agave syrup)

Strawberry Compote

1 cup fresh strawberries - quartered
1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon agave syrup

Preheat waffle iron.
Beat the eggs, vanilla, and honey (agave) until smooth.
Mix in dry ingredients.
Cook in waffle iron.

How easy can it get??

The strawberry compote is just as easy.
Put the cut strawberries in a small pot.
Add agave syrup.
Add lemon juice.
Stir continuously, and cook until desired softness is achieved in the strawberries.

Here is the finished product!!


Cranberry Buttermilk Scones!

It's been a while since my last post. I can't really tell you what I've been doing, because I don't really remember. Well, that's not true. I went dress shopping again, think I may have found "the one". There's one more place to check out, but I found the dress at Clara Couture. This time Clara helped me, and I can tell she is so passionate about what she does.

Anyway, so I haven't made scones in a couple months. The recipe I had was good, I liked the flavour, but I found the scones really dense. After watching some videos, and reading some recipes, I decided that my problem was that I didn't use dairy. I used almond milk thinking it would do the job. But alas, you can't use almond milk for all of milk's responsibilities.

So, I found a new recipe, and it turned out beautifully!! I googled a loooot of different recipes. I didn't want a recipe with a huge batch, so I looked for recipes that yielded 8 - 10 scones. I've also convinced myself that not only did I need dairy for success, but I needed buttermilk. So I've found myself a buttermilk recipe.

Cranberry Buttermilk Scones

Inspired by Canadian Living

Yield: 8 scones

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp  granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk


1 tbsp buttermilk
2 tsp granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
I used a food processor, but you can also do this by hand. Mix (or whisk, if by hand) flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add in butter, and pulse until mixture looks like coarse meal. If you're doing this by hand, you can either mush (very technical) the butter with your hands, use a pastry blender, or a fork to cut in the butter. Once the butter is incorporated, add in dried fruit. Mix in egg and buttermilk. Process until the dough comes together.

Pour dough out on to a silpat, or parchment paper. Form into a 1-inch thick round disk. Brush dough with buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut into 8 slices, but DO NOT separate!

Bake for 16 minutes.

When it comes out of the oven, it'll look like this.

Here's what it looks like on the inside:
It's so light and fluffy! I ate mine with Devonshire Creme and strawberry jam. Sooo goood.

The whole process took about 30 minutes. I was done making the dough just as the oven was done pre-heating. While it baked, I cleaned up the kitchen.

I love this recipe!!!

What's your favourite scone?



Chickpeas quest continued...

I've made another dish in my quest to diversify my love of chickpeas. Like many of my other recipes, I used what was available in my pantry. I had made plain quinoa last night as a side dish, and of course I made enough to last a couple days. So here it is:

Chickpea Quinoa Salad

Serves 4

2 cups COOKED quinoa
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped (I used grape and roma tomatoes)
2 - 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 lemon
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

This is another simple recipe. Mix all the ingredients together, squeeze lemon over the salad, and drizzle the olive oil. You're set to go!


German Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favourite salads. It's so fast and easy to make. And guess what!!! I didn't get the idea from Pinterest! hahaha. This recipe is actually from Cal's mom. She makes it all the time when we go for family dinner.

German Cucumber Salad

Serves 2

1 cucumber
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of dried dill

In a bowl, combine vinegar and sugar.

Slice the cucumber thinly into the bowl. You can do this with a knife, or use a mandolin. Salt the cucumber. The salt will draw out some of the liquid from the cucumber.

Sprinkle dill over cucumber. You can also use fresh dill.

Let it marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

Easy peasy!



Chickpea salad...AKA unblended hummus

When I was on vacation in Cuba with Cal and his family, the dishes we really enjoyed all had chickpeas. I didn't think much about it though, it was just really good and that was that. The only thing I ever made with chickpeas was hummus. My hummus is very delicious, if I say so myself! haha. I'll post the recipe next time I make it. But, what inspired this post, and the following recipe, was Pinterest (Follow ME!) of course. Hopefully, this will be the first of many things I try to make with chickpeas.

Here's the original inspiration:
I followed this recipe pretty closely.

Cilantro Chickpea Salad

Inspired by Oh She Glows

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup of sweet onion, chopped
1 lime
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
dash of red chili flakes
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk lime, mustard, olive oil, cumin, chili flakes, and garlic together until it comes together.
Toss with chickpeas, spinach, cilantro and onion.

I don't have a food processor, so I chopped everything by hand. If you have a processor, by all means, chop the spinach, onion, and cilantro with that.

Here's how it turned out:

Let me know if you like it!