Saturday, 8 December 2012

My Christmas & winter must haves

Halloween is over, Remembrance day has passed, so that means the next holiday is... exams! Okay, that's true, but I'm not excited for that. Tis the season, to prepare for the most wonderful time of the year, CHRISTMAS!!
Hands down, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. All year I look forward to the snow, the evergreens, hot apple cider and meals among family. Oh, and my birthday of course on the 24th! In preparation for the Christmas season I've put together a little list of things that I need to get through the winter season.

1. Christmas smells 

I'm absolutely obsessed with Bath & Body Works! I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go there. I've even had to enlist the help of friends (thanks Katie!) to stop me from going in and buying half the store every time I'm at the mall. In light of the season, and because I finished both my fall 3 wick candles, I allowed myself a trip to the mall specifically to hit up BBW. I am being completely honest when I tell you that I smelled every candle in that store before picking two of my all time favourite smells, one that is only available at Christmas. My first favourite smell is Frosted Cupcake. I bought a large 3 wick candle AND a wallflower refill in this scent, I told you I loved it. It isn't a Christmas smell, but I love the smell of vanilla and from what I hear guys like food smells best... So I hope Jeff notices my whole room smells delicious. The second smell is Holiday Wreath/Tis the Season. Last year, and in the online US store the scent is called Tis the Season, but when I bought it yesterday it was called Holiday wreath, but as we know a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet... and it does. The other christmas smells I chose was a new PocketBac for my car in Winter Candy Apple. Fun Fact: Did you know that gas pumps are the dirtiest things we touch? That's why I always have sanitizer in my car... Well, and because I eat in my car a lot. Because my car can never smell sweet enough I got a Frosted Cranberry Scent portable refill, I have a sea turtle one. You'll also find some Frosted Cranberry soap in mine and Katie's bathroom.

2. A good pair of mittens 

I bought some TNA mittens last winter on a trip to Ottawa to take part in Contact Ontarois (a french music festival, if you're in the area check it out: I don't have an Aritizia store near me so I went a little TNA crazy on this trip, but I don't regret it one bit because these mittens have lasted me and are my favourite! They're warm and cute, what more could you ask for? I go for mittens over gloves because I enjoy the style and because they keep your hands warmer. How's that? Well in mittens, your 4 fingers are in the same "pouch" which means more body heat can be kept together. Not as practical as gloves, mittens are great for walking to class or driving with a cold steering wheel. 

3. Chapstick

Okay people, the worst part about winter has to be the chapped lips. They're painful, they look funny, and no one wants to kiss chapped lips. Over the years I've tried tons of different kinds of lip moisturizers and sticks but none of them compare to my all time favorite, Tahitian Noni Chapstick in Original. When the snows falling you can pucker your lips and take a wiff and feel like you're on the beach, because the scent is oh so tropical. Not only that but it works after the first application! I've found that most chapstick's require you to constantly reapply, and of course they would... then you buy more! 

4. Hand Moisturizer

This whole dry skin (hands) thing is new to me. At first I thought the cats were just getting more vicious, but it turns out my skin was just dry in general thanks to the cool winter air. Having no idea how to deal with this new joy in my life I asked my mom if she knew of any good moisturizers, she suggested Hemp Hand Protecter for the Body Shop and I loove it! It's super smooth and nourishes your hands within minutes. Be warned though, don't use too much or you won't be able to open doorknobs or deal with anything plastic for a while! 

4. A Taste of Christmas  

I'm a huge tea lover, I get really excited when it's loose leaf. I went into Teavana and found a delicious, and somewhat festive tea... ON SALE! So obviously I had to get it and make it my winter flavour. It's called White Ayurvedic Chai Tea, as described by the Teavana website, 
 Journey to India and take in all its exotic pleasures with this modern twist on a sweet and spicy classic. High quality white tea combines with cinnamon, coconut, pineapple, ginger, cardamom and cloves giving this tea a complex, sweet, full-bodied flavor. This proud chai's aroma and spicy flavors deliver a melange of deliciousness sip after heavenly sip. Naturally sweet cinnamon with spicy pepper and robust clove.
I like to add a little vanilla soy milk and some honey and call it a day. 

If you've got some variation of all these items I'd say you're ready for a holly jolly Christmas, Frightful weather, and to rock around the Christmas tree! 

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Aunt Liz's banana chocolate chip muffins

Here it is! The recipe for the best banana chocolate chip muffins I've ever had (sorry Jeff!). This recipe is an absolute gem. I got it one day over an xbox headset while Jeff and my cousin Bradley we're playing games... that's how badly I needed this recipe in my life. 

Banana Muffins
Prep time: 20 mins   |    Bake time: 20-30 mins    |      Makes: 12 lg muffins

½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg
4 tbsp milk
1 cup banana (3 about)
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cup flour
dash of cinnamon

Sometimes I add a little vanilla as well! 
Also, add as many chocolate chips as you like, I never measure the amount... oops. 

Preheat oven to 350 
Mix wet ingredients together 
Mix dry ingredients together 
Combine wet and dry ingredients 
Put into muffin tins and bake for 20-30 minutes for large muffins, I try to check on them after 15 mis  


On a side note... A huge Happy Birthday wish goes out to my roommate and friend Sydney Holmes. She's being a super human being today and completing 22 random acts of kindness for her 22nd birthday, UH-A-AMAZING right?! I tagged along for the morning where we gave out Tim cards to people at Tim Hortons, then we went downtown and handed out bags of chocolate, muffins, and orange slices to people walking. The best moment thus far was when we gave the man working in Slices and Squares pizza a bag of chocolates he decided to help us and gave us A WHOLE PIZZA to give out to people who needed it, great guy.
We've got some more shenanigans planned for later, I'm going to do a whole post about this stupendous day when it's over :)
Check out my tweets for more up to date stuff! #22RAK4SYD

Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday night ramblings

It's official, 2013 will be my year of travel! It may not seem like much to some, but for me it's a big deal to be taking two large trips next year. Not to mention my very first trip overseas!! I'm more excited than a cat with catnip.
My first trip is back to my homeland, London, ENGLAND!! I say my homeland because my grandma literally came over in a boat as a child, my family has the chest she brought with her in our living room. It's legit, not antiques roadshow approved, but legitimate none the less. My school and department is amazing and is offering a trip to England during reading week that counts for a credit. Yep, I get to go on a trip AND get an academic credit for it, unfreakingreal. I mean, I do have to write a paper... but, I'll worry about that on the hungover plane ride home. 
My second trip is our yearly family trip to Florida, BUT there's an added bonus this year... Jeffrey is coming! For the first time in our lives we will be vacationing together. FINALLY. My excitement for this goes beyond cats and catnip, maybe like the way my goldfish feel about any food I put in their tanks.

Mondays suck, but this monday wasn't too bad considering it was the last day of first semester classes!
Other than that, this Monday also made me happy because I had time to think about all the things I want to do/make this week...

Food I want to make: Whenever I get groceries I try to pick 2 or 3 recipes I want to make so I buy stuff especially for that. As you can imagine, I pick from my "I like to eat" Pinterest board. Click the pictures below for the recipes.
1. Cheesy Broccoli and Rice I have some leftover ham from a Christmas dinner this weekend that I want to try adding to this recipe as well!
2. Asparagus, Mushroom & Wild Rice Asparagus & Mushrooms are two of my favourite veggies. Actually, I like almost all veggies.
3. Spinach & Strawberry Salad No official recipe for this one, just a massive craving for it. Basically it will be a mix of Spinach, Strawberries, Pecans, goat cheese and Balsamic dressing. Mmm... my mouth is watering.

1.   2.  3.

BONUS: I have some "gone bad" bananas which can only mean one thing... 
BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS (aka the perfect study snack)
I use my aunt liz's recipe to make these delicious treats, I'll post it for you later in the week! Fun fact about this recipe, it was given to by my aunt over an xbox headset, classic recipe sharing.

FUN FACT FOR STUDENTS: If you show your student card at the Superstore on Tuesdays, you get 10% off! Save your money so you can buy more than Kraft Dinner. 

Pinterest thing I want to make: DIY wall flower refills. I absolutely love my Bath and Body Works wallflowers, all 4 of them. The only problem is, the chemicals used to create the smells aren't so lovely. I sometimes try to be green, so I'm going to try to make my own homemade refills. I bought some lavender essential oil to try. Click on the images to check out the tutorial!


Place I want to go: My Little Tea Shop. Ever since a lady I worked with gave me this card I've been dying to check out this tea shop in Windsor. I love tea and could really use a good winter/christmas flavour. But I also want to go to do some Christmas shopping! I'll fill you in on that one later..

How I want to paint my nails: Frosty Glitter Gradient. If you noticed in my last picture, my nails look like garbage, that will be fixed this week. Now that December is finally here, it's time for some snow. I know I can't expect much being in Southwestern Ontario, but I'll settle for snow-like frosty nails. It's time for a glitter gradient nail, one of my favorite looks... as seen here on Packzi day last year. I could really go for a Packzi now, only 70 days until Fat Tuesday 2013.

And finally, here's some motivation for exam times, which can also be found on our fridge:

I hope your monday went well and that the rest of your week is even better... Can you tell I'm in a good mood?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Me during exams... in Elf and the Grinch gifs.

My top two favourite Christmas movies are the Grinch and Elf, my least two favourite things are studying and writing papers. This seemed like the best way to update you on my life during exams. 

Trying to find clothes, who has time for laundry?

 I have a paper due and an exam that I need to study for

Thinking about all the free time I'll have when exams are over

When I'm on my 5th meal of the day

Justifying a facebook break after writing one sentence of a paper

When people in the library seem upset

Studying for pretty much anything

How I feel thinking about all the work I need to do

On the bright side, there's only 23 days left until christmas! Which means 22 until my birthday. Good luck to all the students for the next couple weeks... I'm sure we'll all need it! 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wrapped up in you.

I've always had this weird dream of being a white girl rapper, that will never happen. But I can be an amazing Christmas gift wrapper, and that is my plan for this year. I really wanted to get crafty with Christmas this year, in two ways. First, I'm hoping to bake my heart out and make goodie baskets for friends and family, but that sweetness will have to wait until I'm done school and back home. Second, I wanted to be unique in my gift wrapping. After browsing Pinterest for hours, I kept coming across great and unique ways to wrap gifts, I loved them so much I even have a wrapping board. Yes, I'm that obsessed with Pinterest, it's great. 
So these are some of the ideas I've found! I'm not quite sure exactly how I'm going to put it all together, but I'll figure that out later and let you know how it goes. To start I went to my new favorite store, Michaels and grabbed some brown "butcher paper" as I like to call it. On a side note, if you're wondering what to get me for Christmas I would gladly accept a Michaels gift card... so many neat things!! Back to wrapping, I grabbed some silver ribbon but am now wishing I would have grabbed some twine or raffia... or black ribbon, too many ideas. I'll have to take a stroll and steal some evergreen pieces, or I think the neighbours tree hangs over our yard a little bit...
Anywho, I'll be sure to update you when the wrapping begins because I currently have nothing to wrap... But, Here's my Pinsperation for this project! 

New Design?

I get bored of things sometimes, madness ensues and I create new things. 
Hope you like it!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Time to Grow Up.

Well, I've been super MIA in the blogging world lately, I have exams and teacher's college applications to blame for that one!! You should know, exams don't end until december 14th so I'll probably be too busy pulling my hair out to blog. Actually, I would never pull my hair out, but I'll probably be cooking feasts to procrastinate. 

TEACHER'S COLLEGE, HOLY MOLY. The time has come, I seriously can't believe that I'm half way done my 4th year, and therefore one step closer to being done my undergraduate degree... FOREVER. Although I'm clearly excited to be getting to the next step of my life I'm also extremely sad to see this stage of my life go! I've learned so many things over the last 4 years and feel like I've also grown a lot as a person, not physically unfortunately (well there was the freshmen 15... let's not go there). Here's a shout out to all my Dreds that helped me get this far, even if I try I don't think I could forget you all! 
Now, we play the waiting game... until April 2nd to see if I actually get in to any of my teacher's college choices. But, before then my brain must return to French mode while I have to interview and write a written language test to get into Laurentienne and UOttawa.
 Did I mention I'm scared? terrified. I've gone to french school all my life before university, this is true. I've also worked for the French school board. Now ask me if I have any confidence in my French writing skills.... very little. I still remember in grade school finding friends to copy the grammaire answers from... Kids, don't copy from your friends you'll screw yourself later in life. Did you know, that in french objects are male or female? I don't know who gets to decide what deserves to be masculin or feminin, but I have to remember the things gender, don't want to offend the toaster by calling it a girl, how rude. As with most things in life, I'll get through it! 

Other than that I couldn't be more thrilled to take the steps towards becoming known as Mme Carey.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My life as a Capricorn

Although I don't really believe in Zodiac being a Christian, it's really funny to look at how much I am like my zodiac sign of Capricorn. If you know me, things might start making a little more sense! So if you want to make me happy or know how to deal with me, treat me like a Capricorn and things should work out pretty well. 
I've found a few little quotes to give you a better idea...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Finally, the second addition of Renee's Recipe Box! This next recipe is super sweet and butterscotchy. So if you don't love butterscotch then I wouldn't recommend it. But if you do then you're in for a real treat with this chocolatey gooey square. 


Prep Time:
20 minutes
Baking Time:
30-35 minutes
~16 squares


1 – 300g package Butterscotch chips
1 – 300ml can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
2 ¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter (melted)
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or almonds


  • Heat butterscotch chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 tbsp. butter over low heat, stirring constantly until smoothly melted. Set aside.
  •  In a separate bowl, mix in sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Spread ½ dough in greased 13” x 9” pan. Spread butterscotch mixture evenly over dough. Dot spoonful of remaining dough on top. Spread lightly w/ knife to cover filling.
  • Bake 350°F (180°C) for 30-35 minutes.