Friday, April 29, 2011

My Bags Are Packed, and I'm Ready to Go!

I finally finished my last college exam ever yesterday!  It's such a relief to be done after what has been an incredibly stressful last year.  And as of 3pm today, I'll be off to Italy!

I'm not bringing my laptop with me, so I won't be able to post. But I'll have tons of pictures to post when I get back!

Have a great next couple of weeks!


Monday, April 25, 2011

London Fog

You probably already know this London Fog:
I have a black London Fog trench that I adore - it's well made, has a removable flannel liner, and is a classic wardrobe staple.

And you may have hummed along to A Foggy Day in London Town:
Michael Buble has a great version, too.

But have you ever tried a London Fog tea latte?  They are incredibly delicious and refreshing.  Here's all you need:
Earl Grey Tea - I use decaf if I'm making a London Fog at night.  They're great partnered with a good book, a large armchair, and a faint state of sleepiness. 

Frothed Milk - If you don't have an espresso maker with a milk frother, you can buy a cheap handheld frother from IKEA or Wal-Mart.  Frothed milk just makes everything better!

Three to four capfulls of Vanilla syrup.  They don't advertise it, but you can actually buy those giant bottles of Vanilla syrup at Starbucks for under $10.  

I already packed my camera for my upcoming trip, so I couldn't take a picture of the final product, but I found this image via  

So the next time you're studying, reading a good book or the newspaper, maybe catching a glance at the morning news, upgrade your classic tea to a London Fog! 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Delicious way to use up those pesky end slices of bread...

If you're like me, you hate those pesky end slices of sandwich bread.  I'm just not a fan of that much crust.  Well when I reached for my loaf of bread to make a pb&j sandwich, I peaked inside to grab two slices when all I got were two end pieces.  Eww!  So what does Canadianprep do with two end pieces? I made a grilled pb,b&n sandwich - peanut butter, banana, and nutella!  Soooo delicious!

All you need are these key items:
banana, peanut butter, two end pieces of bread, nutella, margarine or butter, a non-stick frypan, and powdered sugar for decoration
  1. Turn stove on medium-low heat, preheat non-stick frypan
  2. Spread peanut butter on inside of end piece 1. Don't spread too close to the edges, or else it will melt too quickly and melt into your pan
  3. spread nutella on inside of end piece 2. Again, avoid edges.
  4. slice banana and place in three rows on one of the slices.  I can usually fit nine total slices of banana.
  5. Put the two bread pieces together, butter outer side of one of the sides, place sandwich on pan with buttered side down, then butter the top unbuttered side.  With four sides to spread, it's a little messy...
  6. Heat first side until it's slightly crispy, flip, and grill the other side.
  7. After both sides are slightly golden, remove from heat, place on plate, and decorate with powdered sugar
  8. Cut in half and enjoy!  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shout-Out to a Great Canadian Brand

The world is always abuzz with great classic American brands like Ralph Lauren, J Crew, Tommy Hilfiger and the like, but few Canadian brands ever receive quite the same celebrity status.

Joe Mimram, founder of Club Monaco (yup, it's originally Canadian!!!), now has a line in Canadian grocery stores (strange concept, I know) called Joe Fresh.  It's well priced, composed of fresh updates on preppy staples, and honestly one of my favorite Canadian brands.  It's been such a hit that it's expanding to the US, with stores opening in NYC this fall.

The current spring line is no exception to the great designs he's produced before. Sailor stripes, pink and green dresses for girls, sorbet colors, feminine cardigans, anchor patterns, and a darling trench dress.  I'm definitely going to have to make a run to my grocery store... for fashion!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Ways to Look More Polished

InStyle is by far one of my favorite magazines.  I have at least 7 years worth of magazines stacked on my bookshelves, on my desk, and in my closet.  I just refuse to let go of any of my Vogues, Instyles, or Real Simples! InStyle always has great tips and inspirations. One of my favorite features on their website is the "10 ways..."  10 Ways to Look More Polished is a great one, although I don't think I'll become so attached to my hair-straightener anytime soon.  Below you'll find InStyle's 10 tips, plus some of my go-tos.

(1) Find your beauty uniform: the key is having a go-to lip and eye combo. Makeup artist Sonia Kashuk recommends a brown smoky eye and sheer rose lips 
I blogged about my makeup routine here, but my go-to eye palette is Bobbi Brown's shimmer brick. Technically it's meant for face or cheeks, but I really only use it for my eyes and LOVE it. 

I love mac tinted lip conditioner.  It's incredibly soft, not sticky at all, and leaves a subtle and yet brilliant color.  

(2) Practice your posture: "Stand with feet 4-6 inches apart, then imagine a balloon tied to the top of your head pulling everything up ever so slightly." Okay, so this is really for those red-carpet moments (so not the most useful), but I do think posture can make a huge difference in appearance.  Standing and sitting up straight can instantly make you appear confident and polished.

(3) Manage your mani: InStyle says that chipped nails suggest laziness.  I like to think they suggest a busy schedule, but I do obsessively repaint my nails when they get a little chipped.  As a former nail-biter, having painted nails also dissuades me from biting my finger nails. These colors are in constant rotation.
OPI in Chapel of Love.  
OPI in Big Apple Red
Essie in Chubby Cheeks
Essie in Ballet Slippers
Mac nail lacquer in Steamy

(4) Be generous with your fragrance: I love the idea of always wearing your signature scent, even with a t-shirt and jeans.  My roommate can confirm that everything I own smells like me, because I always wear a fragrance. I have three signature scents, depending on the occasion and outfit. Yes, I am a little obsessive compulsive about my scent.
I use my Lilly Pulitzer "Wink" for everyday. It's a lovely light fragrance that instantly brings a smile to my face when I spritz it on.

I bought Burberry London while on exchange in a small airport for a steal!  I use it for special occasions or nights out.  It's my 'glamorous' scent that makes me feel like I should be heading out for a fab night on the town.
I use this Juicy Couture fragrance for those days I want to put an extra little skip to my step, feel a little extra swanky, or am wearing something a little more dressed up than usual.

(5) Lose the Shine: Makeup artists describe polished skin as flawless without being too dewey or overly powdered.  My go-to for reducing my overly abundant shine?  Oil blotting sheets.  
Pretty much any brand will do, but I pick up a pack of Clean and Clear sheets when I pop by my drugstore and keep them on me at all times.   Both my mom and I swear by them.

(6) Update your hair accessories: InStyle suggests channeling Jackie O (a classic favorite) by using a tortoise barrette instead of a hair elastic to tie up your hair.  J. Crew and Ann Taylor have always had a great selection of tortoise hair accessories, and usually offer a discount if you buy two or more tortoise accessories.  
I fondly remember my very first tortoise shell headband.... My mom and I were on one of our usual mother-daughter shopping trips at Ann Taylor way back when I was merely nine years old.  She was looking for a fun summer suit, and I was there to yay or nay her choices. As she was paying for her purchases I was playing with the jewelry and accessories, and fell in love with the super thick tortoise shell headband.  It became my very first Ann Taylor purchase.  It lasted me about ten years before I finally accidentally snapped it in half.... woops!

(7) Plan ahead: I break this rule the most often. I NEVER plan my hair cuts more than 24hrs in advance.  Honestly, I just wait until my hair gets too long and unruly, and then stop by one of my local hair salons without an appointment.  I only get a cut once or twice a year, so I don't ever get too attached to any particular stylist.  But for those with shorter hair and who get color done, I think setting appointments in advance is a good plan to ensure you get your favorite experts.

(8) Stock up on hairspray: hairspray is great for taming frizz, adding volume, and giving life to dirty hair. To combat frizz, I spray my hairbrush with hairspray and then run it through the lower half of my hair.  
Although not hairspray, I also swear by Pantene Thick Smooth Definition Gel.  I LOVE this product.  It's my favorite for treating that pesky winter frizz.

(9) Leave your flatiron at work: Sure commuting to work or class can damage a hairdo, but I think this is a little excessive.  Although I'm lucky enough to have hair that can easily be made straight with only a good brushing.

(10) Become a morning person:  As much as I like the idea of  going to bed and rising early, I am so not a morning person! I love the idea of a calm, easygoing morning, but I have a huge problem with going to bed really late and then hitting my snooze button too often in the morning.  
    What are some of your tips for looking more polished?


    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    I Heart Brunch!

    My absolute favorite meal is Brunch. I love that it can include the best of breakfast- pancakes,  bacon, omelets - plus delicious extras such as smoked salmon, crab, desserts.  I love that it normally involves great conversations with a great group of friends or family.  I love that it makes it acceptable to drink champagne before noon if it's mixed with orange juice.  I LOVE brunch.  DW says I'm made for brunch.  With all the Lilly, pearls, and colorful clothing I wear, I apparently always look like I'm about to go to brunch.  If only!

    If you're ever heading to NYC, check out I Heart Brunch:
    "I HEART BRUNCH is a collection of  reviews by brunch lovers throughout New York City. Brunch is by far our favorite meal and NYC provides no shortage of great (and not so great) brunch spots, so here we are to document the highs, the lows and everything in between."

     A recent post makes me want to jump on a plane and pretend it's my birthday. It provides the 5 top NYC Brunch Spots to Celebrate Your Birthday.  There are fives themes to chose from, and they all sound so glorious!

    1. The Rager Birthday Brunch - if you want extreme indulgence, complete with champagne galore and dancing on tables
    2. The Euro Birthday Brunch - if you want a taste of France in NYC and rub elbows with Europeans on holiday
    3. The Budget Birthday Brunch - if you want a tamer, yet still delicious brunch
    4. The Family Birthday Brunch - if you want a place to wear your pearls, delight in delicious desserts, and enjoy gourmet pumpkin waffles
    5. The Girls Day Out Birthday Brunch - if you're looking for glamor, enjoy a yummy cocktail and want to be surrounded by chic Gossip Girl type women.
    Um, can I celebrate my birthday more than once a year?!

    This past weekend we had a farewell brunch for the graduating Art History and Fine Arts students at a local restaurant overlooking Lake Ontario. The food was delicious! Smoked salmon, southern pecan pie, lime cheesecake, king crab, omelet bar, crab ravioli, chocolate hazelnut creamcheese, and a constant stream of Starbucks coffee (I realized that with the waitress refilling my cup constantly, I had over 6 cups.  Which explains why I was so jittery all day!). It was so much fun to share our crazy stories from the last four years, talk about some of our crazy professors (I find that art history attracts the most whimsical professors!), and here what everyone is doing in only a few short weeks after they are done with school.

    Group photo!  I'm way in the back wearing my wayferers. I should have pushed my way closer to the camera.... 

    It was such a great way to bid adieu to everyone.  This is the last week of class for us, so it's officially coming to an end, and oh so quickly.  The best thing about a three week period between my last class and only exam is the opportunity to make brunch everyday.  I never have time to make a real breakfast, or sleep in for that matter, so it'll be a nice treat. 

    What are some of your favorite brunch foods? 


    PS- since I overlooked Soundtrack Sunday (woops!), I'm currently listening to the Crazy Heart soundtrack.  I never saw the movie, but my brother passed the cd on to me, and I LOVE it. It's mellow, and yet bouncy enough to keep me happy while I'm living in the library studying for my quizzes and tests for this week.  I fully recommend it!