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New Year, New Attitude

Cheesy as it sounds, I make a vision board a la Penny from Happy Endings. According to moi, that shizz works!

Cheesy as it sounds, I make a vision board a la Penny from Happy Endings. According to moi, that shizz works!

Feliz Nuevo ano! That’s Happy New Year for my non-Spanish speaking lovies.  Fortunate for moi, the universe was conspiring with me to flee the sub-arctic cold for warmer climates.  Instead of freezing my @ss off during the polar vortex, I was sunning, chilling and chillaxing on a beach drinking batidos (smoothies). But now that I am back, the wind chill is briskly slapping me on the face and my hair is turning into pointy icicles.  Thank goodness for my Sephora bronze & blush combo!

The new year is an exciting time.  It’s a fresh start. It’s a time to kick bad habits to the curb.  A proverbial do-over.  When I arrived home, I noticed that my friend D had begun to fill in her blank vision board (which I goaded her for a year to do).  And it made me reallyx3 happy (like totally kvelling as Cher would say in Clueless) because if you don’t think about what you want in the beginning of the year, 9/10 you don’t end up achieving what you want.  Let’s dream big in 2014!

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

 

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January 22, 2014   1 Comment

The Love Collage & Trend Trunk Gift Card Giveaway

Hello dearies, Are you having a very merry holiday thus far?  Are you snuggling by the fire roasting marshmallows while it’s snowing and freezing rain?  Are you dancing around your living room in your fluffy slippers and legwarmers to indie covers of Christmas classics?  Just moi!

Vintage Cherry Dress: I bought this at I Miss You Vintage but I never wore it. Could be yours!

Vintage Cherry Dress: I bought this at I Miss You Vintage but I never wore it. Could be yours!

To thank you for your continued love and support, click on the link below to get a free giftcard from The Love Collage and Trend Trunk.  You can also peruse my closet for goodies by clicking on the Trend Trunk badge on the left under “SHOP MY CLOSET.”  Click here: https://www.trendtrunk.com/mystery/the-love-collage xo Vanessa

Michael Kors boots with 100% proceeds going to The Corsage Project.

Michael Kors boots with 100% proceeds going to The Corsage Project

 

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December 22, 2013   No Comments

One For You, One For Me

"Hey girl, can we cuddle yet?" Ryan Gosling notebook. He always knows what to say.

“Hey girl, can we cuddle yet?” Ryan Gosling notebook. He always knows what to say.

Did I ever tell you about the time, this random guy yelled at me on the street, "Do you like hip hop?"  I pretended I didn't hear him because I was wearing giant earmuffs.

Did I ever tell you about the time, this random guy yelled at me on the street, “Do you like hip hop?” I pretended I didn’t hear him because I was wearing giant earmuffs.

This is kind of a continuation post of my Holiday Gift Guide 2013.  I reallyx3 put the brakes on my OOC tendency to buy “one for you, one for me” when Christmas shopping.  My Christmas tree and décor went up mid-November so I have been enjoying the lights, baking for friends, attending socials and wrapping gifts.  In an effort to share some delightful gift ideas and live cyber vicariously through my blog, here are more fun ideas to help you through your holiday shopping

J.Crew Flower Latice Necklace: Sometimes I see girls around the office wearing the most amazing statement necklaces and I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of jalouse (jealous in French).

J.Crew Flower Latice Necklace: Sometimes I see girls around the office wearing the most amazing statement necklaces and I’m not gonna lie, I’m kind of jalouse (jealous in French).

And for the more decadent bon-vivants in your life, some gifts which are worth the splurge!

Lately, I've been sporting vibrant redlipstick to work and to parties. I love the creamy texture of NARS -- the shades of Manhunt and Red Lizard make 'em stop and stare. Trust.

Lately, I’ve been sporting vibrant redlipstick to work and to parties. I love the creamy texture of NARS — the shades of Manhunt and Red Lizard make ‘em stop and stare. Trust.

My champagne of choice is Moet but Veuve makes some very nice holiday giftsets. Check out these mini champagne bottles that you can give out to friends with colourful straws for a NYE part-ay! Go socialite!

My champagne of choice is Moet but Veuve makes some very nice holiday giftsets. Check out these mini champagne bottles that you can give out to friends with colourful straws for a NYE part-ay! Go socialite!

For the gourmands who could use a bite to go with their giant glass of wine…

Mmmm. I discovered Coach House Shortbread at The One of a Kind Show. They make the most delicious sweet and savoury flavours of shortbread and wrapped so beautifully. Image c/o BlogTO

Mmmm. I discovered Coach House Shortbread at The One of a Kind Show. They make the most delicious sweet and savoury flavours of shortbread and wrapped so beautifully. Image c/o BlogTO

 

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December 14, 2013   1 Comment

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Bergdorf Goodman gives us spectacular Christmas windows. A girl can dream!

Bergdorf Goodman gives us spectacular Christmas windows. A girl can dream!

I woke up super-early on Saturday morning, even though the night before warranted a proper sleep-in until noon.  But I had a singular purpose in mind and that was to do all my holiday shopping before the madness descended on the mall.  And I can dutifully report, “Success!” 

Here are some of my tried and true ways to keep your sanity and give them what they want, what they reallyx2 want this holiday season:

  • Make a list & check it twice – Now that I’m older and wiser, I have no time for diddly dadlling.  I create a short list of the presents I need to buy and the shops I need to go to get them.  Pick up the easy items you know first (like a specific book) and leave more time for the difficult (that perfect holiday sweater).  Even if you don’t get everything in one shot, at least you will leave with a sense of accomplishment.
  • Wear lightweight clothing – Even if it’s bone-chill cold outside, shopping is a calorie-burning exercise.  I tend to feel overheated and irritable if I pack on the layers while maneuvering many bags.

Remember, to give how you live. I don’t think it’s about how grandiose the gift but the intention.  Getting someone something they would never think to get for themselves is always a crowd-pleaser.  And sometimes you don’t need to buy presents.  Perhaps organizing a holiday brunch or dinner is plenty to spend time with close friends and family.  The best part of the holidays is celebrating.

If you're like me and you confidently buy clothes for loved ones and friends, there are some lovely party dresses at Topshop.

If you’re like me and you confidently buy clothes for loved ones and friends, there are some lovely party dresses at Topshop.

 

For the hostess, why not try a fondue set? It's a subtle hint to your foodie friend, that perhaps they should host a fondue party (jedi-mind trick). Clever, non?

For the hostess, why not try a fondue set? It’s a subtle hint to your foodie friend, that perhaps they should host a fondue party (jedi-mind trick). Clever, non?

For the travel enthusiast that likes a beach conversation starter, try the Hudson's Bay stripe beach towel.

For the travel enthusiast that likes a beach conversation starter, try the Hudson’s Bay stripe beach towel.

Nothing beats a beautiful coffee table book. This one has beauty and depth, Grace: A Memoir

Nothing beats a beautiful coffee table book. This one has beauty and depth, Grace: A Memoir

 

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December 1, 2013   No Comments

Bake That: Carrot Cake

Sad face, I can't find my Anthropologie apron. This would be a perfect Secret Santa gift *wink-wink*

Sad face, I can’t find my Anthropologie apron. This would be a perfect Secret Santa gift *wink-wink*

If you’ve been following the LC, you know I’ve been on this #juiceodyssey of late.  Quite simply, I’m feeling juicer’s remorse discarding all the leftover vegetable and fruit fibers.  Surely, my compost is another person’s treasure!  The easiest thing I could think of making was a carrot cake, which is a cozy Sunday afternoon baking session.  I asked my sister for a recipe because she is one of the best bakers I know and she referred me to an easy recipe in her Joy of Cooking.  I made some modifications because I’m on a health kick and if I’m going to feed my colleagues carbs, I’m going to sneak in some healthy ingredients because I care about them.  *wink*

Carrot Cake (via The Joy of Cooking)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour (originally all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (originally 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded pineapple (original 1/2 cup canned pineapple)
  • 1 teaspoon Chia seeds (say yes to Omega-3 goodness), flax seeds would be fun too (surprise!)
  • optional 1 cup raisins (no thank you)

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.

Combine all dry ingredients.  Gradually fold in dry ingredients into wet.  Add in carrots, pineapple and chopped walnuts.

 

I used carrot fibers but didn't have enough so I chopped up more.  Call me crazy but I juiced a pineapple.

I used carrot fibers but didn’t have enough so I chopped up more. Call me crazy but I juiced a pineapple.

 

 

Thought "whoops, I should have borrowed my sister's handmixer" but once I combined the carrots and pineapple, the batter was much smoother.

Thought “whoops, I should have borrowed my sister’s handmixer” but once I combined the carrots and pineapple, the batter was much smoother.

Use a 13×9″ round or square pan.  Line the bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Spray lightly with cooking oil to easily take it out when serving.

 

Smooth the top so that it bakes evenly...and so that it looks perfect.

Smooth the top so that it bakes evenly…and so that it looks perfect.

 

Voila! Carrot Cake perfection. The house smells so delicious.

Voila! Carrot Cake perfection. The house smells so delicious.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out dry.  Let stand to cool and serve to your friends!

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November 24, 2013   No Comments

Gio Rana’s Really, Really Nice Restaurant

Inside Gio Rana's -- much funkier than you would expect from its non descript exterior.

Inside Gio Rana’s — much funkier than you would expect from its non descript exterior.

My fashionistah bestie C was celebrating a milestone birthday and she requested that we venture east to her neck of the woods.  Being completely clueless on restos in this quadrant of the city, she suggested her fave Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant (1220 Queen St. East).  This is a long standing hidden gem in Leslieville, marked by a giant nose housed in a former bank.  It was a wonderful choice for its eclectic décor, lively ambience (Lenny Kravitz, Biggie, oh yeah) and most of all its excellent Italian food.  We tried a number of appetizers to share - the risotto balls, brussel sprouts with prosciutto and crustini.  My entrée was a nicely prepared salmon with a side of rapini.  We finished with a birthday platter of chocolate molten cake, tiramisu and goat’s milk cheesecake.  Sooo delicious! 

 

No need for the address.  Just stop when you see that massive paper mache nose on Queen East.

No need for the address. Just stop when you see that massive paper mache nose on Queen East.

 

You can never go wrong with an Anthropologie statement necklace. My life!

You can never go wrong with an Anthropologie statement necklace. My life!

I lovex3 buying birthday presents for my girlfriends, especially clothes.  I know it sounds really weird but I love dressing my friends.  They say that I’m the only person that still buys them clothes as gifts.  But I am pretty spot-on when it comes to making sure my gift choices match their styles.  Dress you up in my loveTrust.

 

Dorothy Perkins is a London-based brand. Lovely damask and abstract lace prints in a fit and flare. Super flattering silhouette.

Dorothy Perkins is a London-based brand. Lovely damask and abstract lace prints in a fit and flare. Super flattering silhouette.

 

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November 23, 2013   No Comments