A 5'3 Perspective


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Mani Monday

Hello snowy Monday! I woke up this morning to find a light dusting of snow covering the grass. There is something about the first [lasting] snowfall that is incredibly beautiful – maybe it is a novelty thing, but it really gets me in the holiday spirit!

Anyways, onto my favourite topic – nail polish! This weekend I treated myself to a few new bottles from the OPI Skyfall collection. It was so hard to limit myself to only two, and to be honest, I’ll probably go back for two more this week. Trade Secrets often has a buy two items and receive 15% off promotion that gets me every time.

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After seeing this collection I was dying to get my hands on “The World Is Not Enough” and “Casino Royale”.

I love how rich and regal this collection is, it is great for dreary winter days. I haven’t used Casino Royal yet, but The World Is Not Enough is already a favourite in my books.

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The silver rose combination is simply fabulous and eye catching. The formula stays true to OPI’s high quality reputation. The polish is smooth and dries quite quickly.
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To achieve an opaque look similar to mine you will need to use at least three coats, maybe four. I used my tried and true essie good to go rapid dry top coat and this polish dried in no time [take that four coats]!
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I took this picture this morning – after two full days of wear, no chips and the colour is still shimmery and bright. I am addicted. The world might be enough for me, but the bottle of nail polish doesn’t contain enough! You’ll definitely see me rocking this shade over the next few weeks!


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Fabulous [Festive] Finds Friday

Happy [stimulate the economy] Black Friday! The holidays are quickly approaching and the party invites are being sent – so what better to feature today than some holiday party items that will make you shine brighter than the Christmas lights!

1. Sephora by OPI – Good Tidings We Bling!

With a name like that, this polish is way too cute to pass up! I can’t wait to layer it over a fresh coat of black to add a little playfulness. Expect a few pictures soon 🙂 Although this lacquer isn’t on sale, Sephora does a have few good buys today, you’ll just have to search their site – they don’t make it easy for you to find the deals.

2. Sketched Flora One-Shoulder Dress

In an ideal world this would be my go to Christmas Party Dress! It is absolutely glamorous. I’m sharing it with you because I’m too nervous to order it online in case it doesn’t fit. Anthropologie doesn’t accept in store returns from online purchases if you are an international customer – returning an item by mail is one of the most frustrating tasks ever. I will probably forever regret not buying this dress. In case you wanted to do some online Anthro shopping today, use discount code : LUCKYDAY at the checkout to receive 20% off your purchase. You’re welcome ;).

3. meow.

There are no words to describe this. I laughed so hard when I saw – and I’m not even a cat person. I don’t know where the image came from, a friend sent it to me in a chain email, it was to good to pass up. To whoever took this photo – you made my day!

In case you needed some music inspiration – I’ve been playing this non stop in my office today [the Alvin Risk Remix version is even better]. I’m having a dance party of one, it’s awesome!

 

Have a great weekend!


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Get In My Belly Banana Bread

In our house someone always ends up buying more bananas than they can eat, in hopes that they will magically turn into banana bread. That someone usually gets his wish – what a lucky guy!

I can’t remember where I came across this recipe, but I have made a few tweaks over the years and it seems to work out perfectly every time.

Part of the reason I am sharing this recipe with you guys is because I need to rewrite my post-it note of ingredients or else I may soon lose it.

Seriously… this is a health hazard. And look at how I spelled flour – I don’t know if I can ever live that one down.

I always thought making banana bread was a really tough feat – until I came across this recipe. I have been using it for as long as I can remember and I hate to brag [kinda] but I’ve been told it is the best out there! I should probably mention that this isn’t the healthiest recipe on the market [it isn’t the worst either though], but it is totally worth it!

GET IN MY BELLY BANANA BREAD

Makes 1 loaf

What you will need:

Simple and few ingredients – as usual!

3-4 very ripe bananas [the ones in the picture are for show, I usually freeze my brown bananas and defrost them when I am ready to bake]

1/3 cup melted butter or margarine [either work so it is your preference]

1 cup sugar

1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour [I have made this recipe using whole wheat flour with success]

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

pinch of salt

What to do:

Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: In a large bowl, thoroughly mash the bananas – I use a potato masher for this task.

Step 3: Add the melted butter and sugar and continue to mash everything together.

Bananas, margarine and sugar mash.

Step 4: Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well using a fork or spatula, whichever you prefer.

Ready to be poured into the pan.

Step 5: Grease a loaf pan using butter or margarine. This is essential to easy removal from the pan.

Step 6: Pour the batter into the loaf pan – the batter will be quite thick and sticky.

Before the oven.

Step 7: Bake for 60 minutes.

Step 8: Allow to cool in the loaf pan for 15 – 20 minutes.

And after. I love the way it cracks at the top and caramelizes – so pretty and tasty!

Step 9: Serve and enjoy!

This banana bread doesn’t last more than a few days in my house. I bake for banana bread purists so I don’t add any extras, however, adding nuts or chocolate chips would be delicious – your call though!


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Home Sweet Home

As much as I love to travel – sometimes being away from home can be exhausting. Since I was away on business, I felt like I was going non stop. Luckily I got a chance to enjoy a beautiful Florida sunset. Where would you rather be?

Just kidding – it isn’t snowing in Ottawa yet!

Florida was beautiful – but for me, home is where the heart is – and as cheesy as it sounds, my heart is firmly planted in Ottawa.

 


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Fabulous Finds Friday

Hello from sunny Florida! I am away for the weekend attending a conference with my employer. It is such a nice break from the cold Canadian weather – I feel like I am on vacation! In true Friday form, I present you my fabulous finds of the week.

Today I only have one item [shocker right?] to share with you – and it is quite ironic considering I’m basking in the 27 degree sun.

With thoughts of winter and snow dancing in my mind, I am always looking for a winter pick me up. Nothing says warm, cozy, and cheery like faux fur and wool!

A|Wear Fur Collar Wrap Coat in Camel

How beautiful is this coat!? It is over 50% wool so it will keep you quite warm in the winter and you’ll look great with the faux fur collar! I love that this jacket marries two of my favourite trends – camel colour and fur. I’ve ordered it online from asos – It should arrive by the end of next week! I’m crossing my fingers that I chose the right size.

Have a great weekend and keep warm!


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The Starbucks Secret Menu

Has anyone seen this yet? I’ve come across  a few secret menus elsewhere [mostly American fast food joints], but this is the first I’ve heard about Starbucks. As far as I can tell it was released about six months ago.

The Starbucks Secret Menu

To be honest the items on there are too indulgent for me [I’m more of a coffee gal] – but they do sound pretty awesome if you are looking for a treat! There are a few more that caught my eye though:

Short Cappuccino – A “Short” cappuccino is a more Italian style cappuccino. Basically this cappuccino leaves out the gallons of milk Starbucks puts in for the more traditional amount of dairy that the drink originated with.

Red Eye – A shot of espresso in regular drip coffee.

Black Eye – Two shots of espresso in regular drip coffee.

Green Eye – Three shots of espresso in regular drip coffee. Not for anyone with a heart condition or road rage issues.

Poor Man’s Latte – Iced Americano with no water and half ice, then you can add free half and half at the little milk and condiments table. This is the same drink as a Breve Latte but costs much less. Just watch out for the classy police. This is definitely not the most chic thing to be caught doing by your mother-in-law or boss.

Poor Man’s Chai Latte – Order a Chai Tea Misto with extra foam, two tea bags, and half cinnamon-half vanilla syrup. This is basically the same drink but almost half the price.

Cafe au Lait – Order the Misto without foam for a classic French coffee drink.

French Pressed Coffee – Choose any coffee they sell by the bag and have it served in a French press.

Dirty Chai – Chair latte with a shot of espresso

Chocolate Cream Frapuccino – Chocolate syrup and chocolate flavoring. Lots and Lots of chocolate! Do not underestimate the amount of chocolate in this frozen blended coffee. Only for the true chocolate lover die hard.

Chocolate Dalmation – The Chocolate Dalmatian adds java chips and chocolate chips to a white chocolate mocha for that extra something.

Now, I don’t recommend ordering a “Tuxedo Mocha” or a “Captain Crunch” by name – but if you are able to explain what you want to the barista [extra points for using Starbucks terminology] you shouldn’t have a problem getting any of these wacky items!

So – which will you try first? I’ve got my eye on the “Black Eye”!

Sources: The Stir, Starbucks, and BuzzFeed


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Chocolate Chunk and Almond Butter Cookies [with a healthy twist – dairy and gluten free]

I know it is only mid November, but is anyone else starting to get into the holiday baking spirit? Last night [a non convicted] Martha Stewart took over my body and I spent the evening baking my  famous ginger cookies

Big Soft Ginger Cookies

for my favourite people – and who am I kidding, I made some treats for myself too! The recipe I’m going to share with you has a secret ingredient that makes them healthy and filling. I know it is going to sound a bit strange but just trust me on this one – I’m seriously becoming the queen of “weird” recipes among my friends. Everyone I have shared these cookies with went back for seconds – that is how delish they are – especially right out of the oven when the chocolate is gooey, like this:

Ooey Gooey Chocolate!!!

Okay, so here is the secret – chickpeas [SAY WHAT?!]. Seriously. The base of the cookie is made from chickpeas. Enough anticipation, here is the recipe!

Almond Butter, Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Recipe adapted from: Texanerin Baking

What you need:

Only 7 ingredients!

 

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry with paper towel
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of natural almond butter (I used raw)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (look for a gluten free brand if necessary)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80g of dark chocolate (I used a full chocolate bar minus 2 big squares – you can use more or less depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies)

 

What to do:

What a mess!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper [this will save you a lot of clean up]. Add all of your ingredients (except for the chocolate) into a high powered food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Even though this mixture doesn’t have any egg and is safe to eat raw I don’t recommend doing so. The batter uncooked tastes pretty brutal – they will get better though, save yourself the disappointment and wait a few more minutes to taste your creation!

Next you’ll have to smash the chocolate into smaller pieces. I use the term “smash” because I literally take a hard spatula and hit the chocolate until it breaks into smaller chunks – I should have taken a video, it is beyond ridiculous, but it is a great way to let out some aggression and it is lots of fun! Once the chocolate is broken into pieces add it to the food processor and pulse quickly once or twice just to mix it in.

Adding the “smashed” chocolate pieces!

You should end up with a mixture that is sticky and a bit slimy [awful way to describe cookies] so you’ll want to use a spoon to transfer the batter into 12 cookies on your lined cookie sheet. These cookies don’t change much in size at all when baked so keep that in mind. I press down on the ball just a bit so they aren’t as puffy. It should look something like this:

chocolate almond butter chickpea cookies

Uncooked Almond Butter, Chocolate Chunk, Chickpea Cookies.

Bake for 10 minutes – or a bit longer if you want a bit of crunch, these cookies are very chewy.

Baked Cookies.

They look pretty much the same except you can see the melted chocolate chunks inside and the browned edges! Wait about 5 minutes [if you have any self-control] and dig in while they are still warm!

You can’t even tell that these are healthy cookies, they are so good – this is the 4th batch I’ve made in the past three weeks.

And for your friends and family that are sick of your healthy treats – make them some ginger cookies, they’ll be happy – and that will keep them away from your healthy but delicious desserts [insert evil laugh here]!

Big Soft Ginger Cookies! You can find the recipe on the blog.

Happy Baking!!!