Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Organic Vanilla Bean Latte

A few years ago, I made the switch to eat real food (the kind that grows out of the ground and doesn't have ingredients you can't pronounce)!  But since then, I have kind of become turned off by standard coffee shop drinks.  I'm hesitant to order coffee when I go out because I don't like the mysterious syrups and artificial flavours in most drinks and I'm not a fan of black coffee (yet!).

Luckily, these days it has become WAY easier to make an amazing cup of coffee at home and I love how fast and convenient it is to just pop a pod into my Keurig and have my own cup of coffee brewed in minutes.  But like I said, black coffee isn't my thing, so I thought I would share a recipe I created for my favourite homemade coffee drink that tastes delicious without any artificial flavours or high-fructose corn syrup.  I also chose to use OneCoffee pods for this recipe because… well they taste great… but also because I love that they are organic, fair trade and are much more environmentally friendly than your standard Keurig pod!  While most pods are made of plastic that will be stuck in landfills forever, OneCoffee pods are 99% biodegradable (I know, amazing right?!).  So cheers to a cup of coffee you can feel good about!

Organic Vanilla Latte with homemade vanilla bean syrup.

- Organic Vanilla Bean Latte -
(makes 1 serving)

1 tsp vanilla bean syrup (recipe below)
1 organic OneCoffee pod
6 oz water
1/4 cup your choice of organic milk (regular, almond, soy... It's up to you!)

1. Measure out 1 tsp of vanilla bean syrup and pour into the bottom of your mug.
2. Fill your Keurig with water and insert your OneCoffee pod (I used the breakfast blend this time!).  Place your mug underneath the spout and set the machine to brew one 6oz cup.
3. While your coffee is brewing, heat up your milk using a milk frother or by whisking it over medium heat on your stovetop.
4. Pour the warm milk into your mug, spooning foam on top last.

  Ingredients for making an organic vanilla bean coffee with OneCoffee Keurig pods.
- Vanilla Bean Syrup -
(Makes 1/2 cup)

1/2 Organic unrefined cane sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean

1. Measure sugar and water into a small saucepan.
2. Cut vanilla bean in half and scape the seeds into the sugar water. Drop the remaining vanilla bean into the saucepan as well.
3. Warm the saucepan over medium heat.  Stirring consistently, bring the mixture up to 200° F (if you don't own a candy thermometer, just bring to rolling boil and let it boil for about one minute)
4. Remove the syrup from the heat and remove the 2 halves of the vanilla bean from the syrup.
5. Let the syrup cool to room temperature and pour into a small jar to store.

Ps. This post was brought to you by OneCoffee but all thoughts & opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the great companies that help make this blog possible!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Polka dots, Hot Pink & Feathers Oh My!

I made this diy feather skirt almost a year ago, but somehow it has never made it onto the blog!  Making this skirt was a super fun diy project, and all I used was some feather trim I purchased off ebay, and an inexpensive black pencil skirt from Target.  I got the idea from a tutorial via P.S. I made this and WhoWhatWear but instead of gluing the feathers onto the skirt, I took the time to sew them on.  Which honestly, was a way better solution considering how much the feather trim sheds!  When I wear this skirt I always end up leaving a trail of feathers behind… which is kinda cute right?

Anyways, I hope your weekend was amazing!

Close up shot of the Elliott Lucca Cordoba clutch in Hot Pink.

Jennifer Ashley wearing a feather skirt with a green army jacket.
Close up view of Elliott Lucca Cordoba Clutch.
Jennifer Ashley of Pretty Little Details.

Purse: Elliott Luca (via Sterling).  Skirt: DIY.  Blouse: Forever 21.  Utility Jacket: Urban Planet.  Heels: Spring Shoes.  Stockings: Victoria's Secret.  Nail polish: OPI "cancun fiesta".

Because most of today's outfit was purchased locally and is not available online, I have also linked to some similar items below!

Monday, January 12, 2015

DIY Faux Coral

Recently, I looked at a show home that had the most beautiful faux coral displayed on a bathroom shelf.    I knew I wanted something similar for my own home so I started looking online to find out where I could buy my own.  After a bit of searching, I realized faux coral is pretty pricy and larger pieces sell for upwards of $89 from Z-Gallery!
Luckily, I found a way to create your own faux coral for WAY cheaper!  I used a few old craft supplies I already had on hand, together with a cheap plastic fish tank accessory I purchased at Walmart to create this gorgeous, eye-catching decoration for only $5!

Gold faux coral decor piece for your home.

What you will need:
- Plastic fishtank coral
- School glue
- Small paintbrush
- Gold or silver spray paint (I used Rustolium in "champaign mist")
- Gold or Silver glitter (I used Martha Stewart in "yellow gold")

Cheap and easy DIY sparkly gold faux coral decor piece for your home - Step 1.
1. Spray paint the entire piece of coral with silver or gold paint. (This may take several coats!) Let the paint dry completely before moving to the next step!

Cheap and easy DIY sparkly gold faux coral decor piece for your home - Step 2.

2. Using a small paint brush, coat just the tips of the coral with school glue.

Cheap and easy DIY sparkly gold faux coral decor piece for your home - Step 3.

3. Before the glue dries, pour a generous coat of glitter on top, then turn the coral upside down and tap to remove any excess glitter that has not stuck to the glue.

Cheap and easy DIY sparkly gold faux coral decor piece for your home - Step 4.

And voila!  Your DIY faux coral is ready to be used as a gorgeous display piece in your home!

Easy DIY sparkly gold coral decor piece for your home.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Welcome to Winter

As the weather has become colder, I have been drawn to more cozy clothing picks and lately knit sweaters & furry mukluks have become a near daily occurrence!  Here's a few quick snapshots from a recent cozy outfit I wore ;)

Statement necklace and houndstooth bomber jacket by Pretty Little Details.Elsa from Frozen dutch braid hairstyle.

Statement necklace and houndstooth bomber jacket by Pretty Little Details.

Mint blue cable knit sweater by Pretty Little Details.

Statement necklace with mint blue cable knit sweater.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello 2015!

Happy new year! Have you set any resolutions for 2015? I feel like New Years resolutions have gotten a bad rap (everyone knows that the gym will have cleared out by the 15th!) but I'm one of those people who loves sitting down and setting goals. And not just yearly goals... I love lists and setting daily and weekly goals is the best way I know to stay on track and get things done! Even so, there is something about a new year that just makes you want to dream big!

Over the years, I've learned a lot about goal setting and how to set goals that are challenging but also realistic. Most important though, I've learned that if you are going to make your dreams a reality, you have to write your goals down. As I am dreaming about 2015 I got a chance to look back over my written 2014 goals. Like most people, there were a few goals I wasn't able to accomplish this past year (like learning to speak French fluently... ummm maybe next year haha!) but I was also able to see all the steps I was able to take towards fulfilling last year's dreams (like learning calligraphy)!  As you are planing for 2015, make sure to take a moment to remember all the successes you have had this year!

Speaking of which… I thought I would share a few of my most popular posts from 2014!

This collaboration with Alvina Grace (part 1 & part 2)

I finally shared my wedding! (part 1, part 2 & part 3)

Okay, so enough about 2014! Curious about my 2015 goals? Here are 5 things I want to accomplish this year:

1. Run a 5k
2. Book a trip to Paris
3. Grow my blog into a full-time business
4. Read through the entire bible
5. Plan more dates to connect with friends

So, what are your goals for this year? I would love to know, so make sure to leave a comment (or link if you posted your goals on your own blog)!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Fur vest & a special collaboration!

Last week, I got the chance to collaborate with a new friend of mine, Alexis!  She is just starting out her own photography business but you can check out her Facebook page here!  Sometimes it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when taking pictures, so it was so much fun to get out of my comfort zone and work with Alexis (she was super at directing me into some new poses I had never thought of)!

Also, I have to say, I love the structured shape of this Michael Kors purse!  I tend to use small clutches more than actual handbags but this bag might have just converted me!  In fact, I just purchased the black quilted version of this bag yesterday (for 50% off I might mention!!!)

Purse - Large Selma Tote (in color 'luggage') by Michael Kors.  Fur vest - Bohme (out of stock).  Platforms - Steve Madden (out of stock).

Ps.  I'm so sorry that most of the items in today's outfit post are now out of stock.  I'm working to upload outfit posts more quickly so you all can get the chance to purchase your favourites.  Thanks for continuing to follow along!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Boxing day deals!

I've been searching the web to find the best deals for boxing day (and boxing week!) and here are my favourites!  I'll be updating this list as boxing week goes along, but if you know of any other awesome deals, make sure to leave a note in the comments!  I hope your Christmas was amazing!!!

Best boxing day sales 2014 Canada

- Extra 50% off sale items + free shipping over $50 (use CA code "brboxing" or US code "brwinter")

- 50% off EVERYTHING + free CA/US shipping on EVERYTHING

BH cosmetics:
- Up to 77% off + free US shipping over $50

- Extra 20% off orders over $70 (use code "treat20") + free CA/US shipping

- Up to 70% off + free CA/US shipping on EVERYTHING

- 50% off EVERYTHING + free shipping over $125

- 35% off EVERYTHING + free shipping over $50 (US only using code "gift4me")
- 30% off EVERYTHING + free shipping over $50 (CA only using code "gaphappy")

Hunter Boots:
- Up to 30% off + free CA/US shipping on EVERYTHING

J. Crew
- 30% off regular priced items and 40% off sale items (use code "holiday time")

Kate Spade
- 25% off sale items + free US shipping (use code "jingle25")

Old Navy:
- Extra 20% off EVERYTHING + free shipping over $50 (CA only using code "extra")
- 15% off sale items + free shipping over $50 (US only using code "savenow")

Nine west
- Extra 50% off entire site + free CA shipping over $75

- up to 50% off + free US shipping

- Extra 20% off sale items (use code extra20) + free CA shipping over $75, free US shipping over $50

Steve Madden:
- 30% off EVERYTHING + free US shipping (use code "cheers")