{ Coming Soon… }

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As you may have noticed, there hasn’t been any new blog posts in the past few weeks. That’s because I’ve been working on an exciting project – there will be fun changes, so stay tuned for more details! Until then, you can also keep up with me via Instagram and Twitter.

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Beauty { Ipsy Glam Bag | March 2014 }

This was the first time I was disappointed with my Ipsy glam bag…I didn’t like the design on the bag, the shade of the OPI nail polish, and the eyeshadow quad. The only thing I’m looking forward to trying is the Pixi primer, and the bareminerals lipstick. Hopefully next month is better!

I’m still keeping my subscription because I really liked what I received previous months, and it’s a great way to try new products and brands. I’ve been trying to be more adventurous with my makeup and this is a great way to do that.

What did you guys get? What do you think of the products I received? Any other subscription services that you would recommend?

Fashion { Reality Check }

I love reading fashion blogs because of the pictures where I can get outfit inspiration. But I was unsure about starting my own blog because I felt intimidated since my outfits aren’t as ‘elaborate’ all the time.

Then I realized that there are important lessons to be learned from street style, and that fashion is very personal. Even though I would like to wear heels every day, my lifestyle (and the weather in Montreal) doesn’t allow for that. Regardless of that, I can still look put-together and feel good.

I hope that I can inspire every girl (and boy!) to look their best, no matter what, and not get intimidated by trends or what others choose to wear. Fashion is about finding our own individual style identity that suit our lifestyle, budget, and personality, rather than following someone else’s idea of a good outfit!

I spent that morning getting work done at a bakery, so I wore a comfortable but put-together outfit, appropriate for the Montreal weather, which is still cold this time of year (that day, it was -10˚C /14˚F). .

How about you? What are some of your every day outfit? What would like to see in a lifestyle blog that’s different?

[Photo Credit | Saba Sabati]

{ Pants Mexx || Sweater Gap || Belt Steve Madden || Booties Nine West || Sunnies Forever 21 || Laptop bag Marc Jacobs }

Restaurant Review { Déjeuner Cosmopolitain }

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about this restaurant yet, since it’s one of my favorite brunch spots in Montreal.

The food is amazing and there are SO many choices (see the size of the menu below…), and it can be overwhelming if you are not as experienced as I am. If my sister is there, we share the Royal Cosmopolitain: chocolate chip pancakes topped with bananas and strawberries, and served with chocolate hazelnut spread. We also share a typical egg plate, which is actually not so typical, because the potatoes are quite outstanding. You can choose from the round potatoes, which are full of flavor, or the mashed potatoes that have just a hint of bacon in them {Hint: if it’s your first time there, ask for half and half so you get to try both!}. If my sister isn’t there, I don’t have to choose to go savory or sweet, I can get both! There’s a plate with eggs, meat, potatoes and two blueberry pancakes (I ask for chocolate chips instead).

Another great thing is that there’s also a lunch menu, so if you fancy lunch while your date wants breakfast after 2 pm, then it works out perfectly.

The downside is that it’s extremely busy on weekends, so make sure to book ahead of time. The service is also not the best, we’ve had a few issues with some of the waitresses, BUT, the food is just that good that I still go back.

What are some of your favorite brunch spots in Montreal? What do you prefer for brunch: sweet or savory? 

[Photo credit | Saba Sabati]

Mani-Monday { Pink & Silver Glitter }

Who doesn’t love a little glitter? The silver accents nails were just enough for my taste. I really liked this sandy-glittery by OPI from the Mariah Carey Collection (in the color ‘It’s Frosty Outside’). I would definitely recommend it as a silver glitter in your collection. The effect reminds me of the Louboutin Fifi Strass. But until I can get a pair, I’ll settle for the same look, but on my nail.

The pink is the Zoya ‘Dot’ polish that I received in my February Glam Bag and I really like it. It’s a great polish and a great shade.

Doing my nails is a fun and relaxing way to tune out after a long day. It’s important to find activities that you enjoy and that help you decompress. I’m learning that taking time to take care of myself is so important, because when I feel recharged, I have even more energy and love to put out into the world.

What are some things that you enjoy doing on your alone-time? 

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International Restaurant Review { The Elephant House }

There is a little child in all of us that likes to come out and play sometimes. That child gets excited and giddy at things that might seem mundane to others. The little girl in me still gets excited about anything even remotely related to Harry Potter. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a wizard or witch and be able to do magic?!

When my friend told me about The Elephant House in Edinburgh, I was so excited. The Elephant House is the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books! It was quite thrilling sitting there, looking around and wondering what she was thinking while writing these books, not knowing how famous this character she created would become.

Allowing our inner child to enjoy these little moments are so important because it’s what will keep us grounded, and will make us enjoy life a little more.

There isn’t much to say about The Elephant House – a cozy little café with a great assortment of coffee & tea. True to its name, there are elephant decorations everywhere. If you visit but choose not to stay, please take a tour of the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom. The walls and ceilings are FILLED with the funniest comments by HP fans (I included a few pictures below).

What are some of the things that make you giddy like a child? Do you think it’s important to be able to ‘act like a child’ sometimes?

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Recipe { Easy Cauliflower Soup }

Even though other parts of the world are enjoying springtime weather, we were blessed with another snowstorm this week. Since it’s still cold, I just want to eat food that warm me up, like this delicious (and easy) soup!

My cousin first discovered this recipe, and I’ve made tweaks to it over time. That’s the beauty of cooking, you can change a recipe to create your own version of a dish – it’s like a creative outlet. This recipe is pretty versatile, and I’ve left alternative options below. Feel free to play around and adjust it to your taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup Chicken broth
  • Mushrooms (approx. 227 g)
  • One head of cauliflower
  • One onion
  • One big potato
  • 1 can (540 mL) white kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • Salt & pepper

Steps

  1. Prepare all the ingredients: wash mushrooms, cauliflower and potato.
  2. Roughly cut up the veggies them up.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a big pot.
  4. Over medium heat, bring to boil and let the ingredients steam for about 45 minutes.
  5. Blend everything together.
  6. Serve while hot!

Alternatives

  • Add 1-2 tbsp Italian herbs.
  • Add 1/3 cup cream cheese. This makes it a lot more delicious!
  • Removing the kidney beans
  • Using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • Add Sriracha sauce, to taste.

Fashion { Coral }

Another outfit I wore a few weekends ago when my sister was visiting. Since it was   a low-key weekend, I didn’t get too dressed up. I’ve been making a conscious effort to add more color to my wardrobe, and this bright coral sweater was perfect! I hesitated to get it, but my aunt loved it so much when I tried it on that she bought it for me on the spot, and I’m so happy (and grateful) that she did, because I’ve worn it many times since I got it. Just to push my boundaries even more, I paired the sweater with this neon yellow necklace that I got from SheInside.

What are some of things that you can do to switch up your wardrobe a little?

[Photo Credit | Saba Sabati]

{ Leggings American Apparel || Sweater Gap || Necklace SheInside || Wedge Sneakers Winners || Watch Michael Kors }

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International Restaurant Review { Zizzi }

I was lucky enough to have been able to travel a lot in 2013, and looking through my pictures, I realized there are still a lot that I haven’t blogged from my trip to the UK last summer.

I really enjoy travel posts on other blogs because I feel like I am able to get glimpses of other parts of the world that I hope to explore one day. What better way to spend a Sunday by escaping for a little bit before the beginning of the week? Let’s go back to Scotland today, shall we?

Zizzi is an amazing Italian restaurant that my friend had recommended before I left for Scotland. I still remember how delicious everything was, from the garlic bread and pizza to the salad dressing! Everything was incredible! We went to the one in Inverness, but we passed by another one in Edinburgh as well. Even though this is a chain, it’s still so delicious and really worth trying if you happen to pass by one!

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{ Zizzi’s in Inverness }

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{ The Menu }

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{ It was fun to see the chefs hard at work! }

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{ AMAZING garlic bread! }

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{ Close-up }

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{ Veggie pizza }

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{ Cheese pizza }

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{ Meat lover’s pizza }

Recipe { Banana Bread }

When I was 16 years old, I decided to cook dinner for my family every night for the whole summer. I would put together meal ideas, a grocery, and then plan how I would prepare everything in time for dinner. It was a lot of work, especially for someone that was just learning how to cook, but I loved it. The most rewarding part was the feeling of taking care of my family and their appreciation. Since then, I have related cooking & baking to showing someone that you love and care about them.

Now that I live on my own, I enjoy cooking for myself, but also for my boyfriend. He has a very busy schedule, so I try to cook him meals that he can keep in his fridge to warm up for dinner when he gets home from work. I also like preparing his favorites treats, like this banana bread, because it makes him happy, but also shows him that I’m thinking about him.

This is a recipe that I got from a Betty Crocker cookbook. A little trick to add moisture to the bread is to add about ¼ cup of yogurt to the mix.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup mashed banana (approx. 5 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil or melted butter
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F and grease pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together: egs, banana, sugar oil.
  5. Add the egg mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir until moistened. Fold in the walnuts.
  6. Bake for 55-60 minutes.

What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare for your loved ones? What are others ways that you like to show them that you love & care about them?