Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fall Fashion Trend: The Blanket Coat Styled

 When I saw that 'the blanket coat' was a fall fashion trend let me tell you, I thought I was cool. I'm not trying to brag or anything (yah right totally bragging it up here) but I bought a blanket 'coat' last winter. Yes, you heard it here first folks, I was a blanket coat hipster.

I do have a confession to make though, I don't wear mine as a coat. It's not thick enough for that. Also, I didn't buy it to be fashionable. I saw a giant sweater in the form of a blanket and thought to myself, "Self that is THE thing for you". So those are my confessions.

I do wear this sweater/coat often and so I thought that you might want to see the different styling options that I've tried.
There is the standard, put it on let it be option.

The way I wear it most often is to belt it making ruffles in the bottom which promotes increased warmth while also making my waist look slimmer and having it not overpower my frame.

The third and warmest way that you can wear it  is kimono style, just double it over and then belt it. I had not even thought of this until I decided to do this post but I kind of really like it. What do you think? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Getting a Job Right after University/College: The Struggle

I graduated university a little while ago. It was a strange moment for me. On the one hand, I was excited because the 4 years that I invested actually meant something. On the other hand, financially this is the first time that I've not had any support. The idea of having to put on my big girl panties and get a job before the money ran out was SUPER stressful and kind of killed the whole celebrating graduating thing. I can't give you advice about finding your dream job right out of school but I can tell you what helped me when I felt as if I was in over my head.

1. Celebrate Graduating. You've accomplished something pretty cool that not everyone can. You hit the books so hard you got a bloody nose or two and used that blood as ink to write an essay. OK maybe you didn't work quite that hard but you accomplished something really awesome so take a day or two to celebrate with family or friends. Eat cake, go out to a park, and generally let yourself feel happy.

2. Know that the job market is not what it was when your parents graduated. If you are like me you felt sooo much pressure to prove to your parents that you didn't waste 4 years and tonnes of money on nothing. I wanted so badly to get a great job right away and prove to my parents that my degree was worth it. Unfortunately, the fact that we are just coming out of a recession is still apparent. Now you're thinking but the recession was 6 years ago it shouldn't affect me. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but our parents generation is making it hard. They don't mean to(or at least I don't think they do). The recession just kind of hurt their retirement savings, if they had any, so they are staying in the work force longer. Keep moving forward but know if you can't find "the perfect job" to apply to it might just take some time.

3. People are really bad at getting back to you about your application in a reasonable amount of time. I put an application in at an office where a friend works 2 weeks ago. I asked him after a week of not hearing back if he could check up on it for me and get me the number of someone I could could talk to. He said he would, gave me the number and then told me that he had asked the person responsible for recruitment and that my application was still in the "pending" pile. The moral of the story, people aren't great at hiring people and by the time this guy calls me back I'm going to have potentially been hired by someone else and it will be their loss.

4. Paper the town with resumes even if you have to do it electronically and even if you aren't exactly 'qualified' for the position. The job might not be exactly what you want, however, every job builds up more experience which will allow you to get a better job next time. The second reason that you should apply for everything is that you might be surprised at what people are looking for. For example, I have a strong communications background which when I was in a previous interview at a law firm, the interviewer said was an asset because of the need for clear communication when dealing with the law. 

5. Make sure you are submitting your resume correctly. There is nothing worse that realizing you submitted a resume in the wrong file format or worse didn't read directions for submitting properly and are now not even going to be considered. If you do, smack yourself in the head like they did in the old V8 juice commercials (do they still do that anymore?) and move on. It happens to all of us.

6. It's OK to wear sweatpants for 4 days in a row when waiting for callbacks. Enjoy the time that you aren't working because there will be very little of it after you get a job. By the way, by 'enjoy' I mean tight jeans suck.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Fall Red Lip, the just the Right Amount of Vampy Tutorial

It's becoming fall the time of year dedicated to leaves, hot chocolate and dark vampy lips. But what if you're not the kind of person that feels 100% comfortable with the dark purply hues of the season. The solution to your problem is simple. Embrace the Red!

Red lips are like the vampy lip's little sister. Red lips work all year round, in the summer they give you a cute vintage-y look, in the fall and winter they look supper chic and in the spring red lips give you a pop of colour that says, "yes, I, in fact, am emerging from my cocoon of blankets that I used to ward against the frigid hell."

I use three products to create my perfect fall red lip, Burts Bees Lip Balm, NYX lipliner in Hot Red, and MAC's Russian Red lipstick.

First apply the lip balm to your lips and wait for it to set in. (if it doesn't set quickly enough for you just wipe off any excess with tissue)

Then draw your lip liner around your lip line. (I know, so instructive I am today)
Fill them in a bit for lasting power.

Finally use a brush or straight from the tube and apply to lipstick to the centre of your lips. I do this because the lip colour will fan out as you talk so if you fill in the entire thing it can tend to go outside your lip line.

My final "pro tip" for red lips. Check your teeth before you leave the house. Otherwise your sister or friend is going to say, "Yo, you have lipstick on your teeth." and then bug you about your makeup faux pas until you are little old ladies sitting in your rockers and she finally forgets.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bake it yourself: The perfect Fall Dessert Ooey Gooey Cinnamon Buns



For a second close your eyes. OK, never mind, wait until you've finished this sentence and then close your eyes and imagine sticky, sweet warm Cinnamon Buns.

OK now that I’ve spoilt any idea of eating anything but cinnamon buns for you, I’ll tell you how this recipe happened. I got a carb craving. These tend to happen when I haven’t eaten supper yet because I am waiting for Kai to come home from work. This craving was different and not just any carbs would do. I wanted bread but it had to be sweet. This caused my quest to find the perfect cinnamon bun recipe.

I turned first to “The Joy of Cooking”. I thought that since it was a classic cookbook, it would be just what I needed to rid my mind of the cinnamon bun torment. Alas, this did not end my suffering. I found the cinnamon bun recipe just wasn’t what I was looking for.

After many tries and many different ways to many buns, I have cobbled together a recipe that I think is perfect. The bread was inspired by Flo Braker’s Lemon Scented Pull Apart Coffee Cake from Baking for all Occasions.  The filling is straight from Michael Smith’s Cinnamon Bun Recipe.

So enough talking, here’s the recipe.

Cinnamon Buns (Makes 9 Buns)

Ingredients:

Dough

Yeast Mixture
2 1/4 tsp. Quick Rise Yeast
1tsp. Sugar
1/4 cup Warm Water (The hottest your tap goes will be fine)

Dry Ingredients
3 cups All Purpose Flour (I use unbleached but either works)
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup or 4 tbls. Butter (Melted)
1/3 cup milk
2 Large Eggs
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Filling

1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup or 8 tbls. Salted Butter
2 tbls. Cinnamon


The first thing you’re going to want to do is take your butter for the filling out of the fridge this way by the time you need it, it will be room temperature and WAY easier to work with.

Next you need to assemble your yeast mixture. To do this mix the Yeast, 1 tsp. Sugar, and warm water in a bowl and let it sit for ten minutes. Afterwards it should look like the above picture, all puffy.

While you’re letting the yeast rise, you can assemble the dough’s dry ingredients. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (use your biggest bowl for this step) and make a well or dip in the centre (to put your wet ingredients in).

To prepare your wet ingredients you’re first going to melt your butter and warm up your milk in a separate bowl. You can do this over the stove in a pot but to avoid the burning risk it is also possible to warm in the microwave (which is what I prefer). Pour your butter mixture into the well in your dry ingredients. To lessen the dishes, crack and mix your eggs in the butter bowl and then add them to the well before finally adding the vanilla. 

Hopefully by this point it’s taken ten minutes and your yeast is all puffy. Add the yeast mixture to the well and mix the wet and dry together. After a while you’re going to start to knead the mixture by hand. The wet and dry ingredients will incorporate into a dough after a few minutes (don’t worry I promise it will even if it seems impossible at first). By kneading in the bowl you save yourself a tonne of clean up. Let the dough sit in a warm place for one hour until it has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, you can make the filling. It’s as easy as creaming together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Now you’re going to preheat your oven to 350ยบ F.

Roll your dough into an oblong shape like the picture above (about 2 feet by 1 foot but it doesn’t have to be precise).

Spread your filling onto the shape getting as close to the edges as possible. I used a butter knife for obvious reasons.

You will then need to roll the dough like the picture above.

Next you need to cut the ends of the dough off as they wont be even, like the rest of the buns, and then cut the dough into nine even rolls.


Place the rolls like pictured in a foil lined 8’ by 8’ baking pan.
Bake your rolls for about 35 minutes until they are golden and cooked through. Let the rolls cool and enjoy your ooey gooey indulgence.

I was thinking next time I might do lemon flavoured buns or maybe something savoury. What kind of swirly bun combinations would you like to try? Happy Bun Making!

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