Monthly Archives: August 2014

A Dazzling Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend Nick and I celebrated 3 years of marriage – which feels at the same time like it was yesterday, and also like we’ve been together forever!  Funny how that happens when it’s true love 🙂

Before the weekend arrived, we went on a late night date to Demetre’s for delicious anniversary desserts, check out my red velvet cheesecake torte with white chocolate ice cream!

That night we also watched our wedding video while enjoying some pink champagne, which has become a bit of a tradition!

We started off the celebratory weekend on Friday, and sped off to our destination – Niagara Falls.  Yup, the (surprising) honeymoon capital of the world, at least self-proclaimed as such.  I like that we try to get away from home and the city on these occasions, otherwise I’m kind of the type that would get caught up in errands and projects hehe!

So, Niagara Falls.  We stayed in a charming hotel, in their Scarlett O’Hara suite which had a heart-shaped whirlpool – and believe me, that was a dream!  It was so relaxing and amazing.

We went for romantic walks along the water and throughout the city…

And even did a maze of mirrors!

After a few days of beautiful relaxation and romance, we decided to stop at a winery on the way home on Sunday.  We drove out to Chateau des Charmes, which was a lovely place, and happy coincidence, we found the exact wine we had at our wedding here!  Check out the beautiful property and roses on the grounds.

There were a few other little treats too, like cupcakes chosen to harken back to our wedding cake, and Lindor truffles like we gave as wedding favours.  It was a magical weekend, and a beautiful celebration of 3 years of happily ever after!

Have you guys ever been to Niagara Falls, and if so, what’s your favourite thing to do there?

Any sweet or funny anniversary traditions you have?

 

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This summer has been…

ow has your summer been so far?  For us, this summer has been one with many multiple facets.  I can already tell it’s one I’ll look back on fondly.

On one side, relaxing, renewing, and outdoors.  This summer has been full of fresh air, long walks, and sun-kissed skin.  With having a car have come numerous days by a nice beach, filled with splashing around in the water, colourful beach towels, and getting that golden bronze on the sand.  It’s the first summer since 2009 that I’ve even had a tan without the help of a tropical vacation.  It’s been punctuated by lazy mornings, gorgeous sunsets, and warm evening light.  Even now, as we have unseasonally cool weather, this city is stepping out in defiance of that, to soak up every drop of sunshine and heat that can be captured.

On the other side, for us, there is a sense of anticipation.  Even the relaxing beach days usually have a deep discussion about the future.  Planning, dreaming, building.  Looking towards tomorrow with a renewed ambition and excitement.  Taking the time to weigh decisions, seeking what will actually bring us closer to making our big dreams come true.  We’ve mapped things out, invested in our future and ourselves, rearranged to optimize our little home all over again.  I feel a tingle in the air, like when you know a storm is coming, even though it’s a clear and sunny day.  Something different, something… new, just around the corner.  There is an energy in the air, and a gleam of excitement that I haven’t seen in a long time.

What has this summer meant to you?  How will you remember it?

 

Summer Daytime Makeup Look

Hello, lovelies!  I hope you’ve been having a fantastic summer and soaking up all the fun and sun this season brings – I know we definitely have 🙂 I’m also very excited that this is the first summer in a few years that I’ve gotten a decent tan!

Today, I want to talk about beauty and makeup.  I find that I have a tendency to design a go-to look for myself that I can quickly do in the morning for the usual day-to-day.  I still have fun with new looks and styles for the evening or maybe on weekends, but on a weekday morning I need to be able to do my makeup fast, and even if I’m half asleep.

So with that in mind, I wanted to share with you my daytime makeup look for this summer!  It’s super easy and quick, but uses some fun summery items that I’m pretty happy about 🙂

I’ve put in a quick video (the very first on here!), as well as instructions and products below.

Steps

  1. Apply foundation all over face using fingers, and blend well.  Use foundation as undereye concealer as well.  For summer, try a lighter foundation, such as a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream.
  2. Dab concealer onto blemishes gently and blend.  Be very gentle since the concealer might be lighter than your skin, if you have a tan.
  3. Dust setting powder, and then bronzer all over face.  The bronzer is essential since our faces are almost always lighter than our bodies, due to more frequent cleansing and exfoliating.
  4. Swirl a warm, peachy blush onto cheekbones.  I always place it here to look natural and avoid the porcelain doll look.
  5. Use a shadow brush to add light shade to top of eyelid, medium shade to outer crease, highlighting shade to brow bone and inner corner of lid, and the darkest or accent shade to the outer bottom lid.  Blend so colours transition smoothly.
  6. Swipe 2 quick coats of lengthening mascara on lashes.  Tan skin and summer looks best with a light look, so there is usually no need for eyeliner.
  7. Finish with lip balm and a softly tinted lip gloss.  Lip balm is essential with the heat, and I find gloss looks much better than lipstick for the daytime in the summer.

Products Used:

  • Foundation – Arbonne CC Cream in Light
  • Concealer – Artistry essentials concealer in Light
  • Setting Powder – Cover FX Setting Powder for light skin tones
  • Bronzer – Artistry essentials Mineral Foundation in Medium
  • Blush – Artistry Enchanted Garden blush in Sequined Peach & Sequined Rose
  • Eye Shadow – Casmara shadow quad with orange, lilac, and pink shades
  • Mascara – Artistry Length & Definition Mascara
  • Lip Balm – eos Lip Sphere in Strawberry Sorbet
  • Lip Gloss – Artistry Light Up Lip Gloss in Glitz

Hope you’re having a beautiful summer!  How have you changed up your makeup for the hot weather?

Pizza a la Casa

I really like pizza.  It’s one of the most fun foods, and it is tied to so many good feelings and memories.  Whenever I smell it or bite into it, I am reminded of joyous pizza days in elementary school, paying $1 for a slice of cheese or pepperoni.  I am reminded of day camp.  I am reminded of Pizza Hut’s lunch buffet, complete with their dessert pizza in either cherry or apple.  I am reminded of late night studying, or of working in a group to help someone move, and splitting pizzas as a result. It’s the perfect reprieve when you are feeling too tired, lazy, or whatever to make dinner.  It can also be an elegant and romantic meal, especially if topped with gourmet toppings like goat cheese and truffle oil, and then lovingly hand-fed to your spouse by candlelight.

But my favourite way to enjoy pizza is homemade.  Not only is it one of Nick’s favourite dinners, but it’s a mini date night just making pizza together.  Throw on some music while it’s in the oven, pour some wine, light a candle, and presto date night at your own little trattoria.

I occasionally buy pre-made fresh dough at the grocery store, and then it’s really easy – roll out, top, bake.  After a while of that, I decided to be even more of a domestic goddess and make my own pizza dough – ridiculously easy, and makes a big batch so I can freeze extra and always have some on hand.  I adapted this recipe, swapping out some of the AP flour for whole wheat, and it goes like this:

No Knead Pizza Dough

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups water

Directions

1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together.  While stirring, gradually add 3 cups water.  Mix well. Form dough into a ball, place in large bowl.

2. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for about 18 hours.  The surface will be covered with little bubbles, and the dough will have more than doubled.  I like to start on Friday evening, so this step is complete Saturday afternoon.

3. Place dough on a floured work area, and divide into 6 equal portions.  Dust with flour.  Let sit for about 1 hour.

4. At this point, dough is ready to use.  Wrap extra dough separate plastic wrap or resealable bags and freeze.  I usually throw these in the fridge overnight to thaw when needed.

Baking – roll out, top and bake at 450 for 13-15 minutes.

Our Favourite Homemade Pizza:  The one that’s been a continual hit at our place uses the dough above, then a generous layer of marinara sauce.  Top with shredded cheese (Italian blend), shredded grilled chicken, and bacon bits.  Sprinkle with basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

Buon Appetito!