Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Live Life One Cupcake at a Time

For cupcake lovers everywhere, today is the day that one of the most delicious books hits shelves: 

The Prairie Girl Cupcake Cookbook 

Prairie Girl Bakery is sort of the It Girl of cupcakes in Toronto. It launched in downtown Toronto in April 2011, and took to the hearts and appetites of the financial district. Torontonians just couldn't resist this sweet welcome into their hectic work lives. And, the person responsible for tempting us with this cupcake obsession is no other than Jean Blacklock. Interestingly enough, Jean Blacklock actually started her career as a lawyer and financial executive.  

Now, Prairie Girl Bakery takes you behind their kitchen doors to reveal some secrets of making the most decadent cupcakes around. (I actually can't believe Jean Blackrock released all her trade secrets. If I had the recipe for the most perfectly delicious cupcake, I may just keep it locked-up in my vault at the bottom of the ocean.)

"People ask us what our special secrets are, but as you will see, there really aren't any secrets -- we just take care to make sure the ingredients are all top-notch and that our recipes are followed carefully every day." Jean Blacklock 

Forget that New Year's resolution to cut off sweets. 

There is no better time to indulge. 
Just tell your friends that you have a new resolution: Live life to its sweetest! (And, when you do announce it to everyone, just be prepared for lots of knocks at your door.)

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Creating the perfect space to both recharge and work

No matter how small your home is, creating a perfect work area that inspires you, is important. And this doesn't have to be the run-of-the-mill office space with a desk and chair. Adding pieces that embody both a functional and an aesthetically-pleasing quality that incorporate the best of both worlds, offer you more options to play with. This is even more crucial when you are in an urban setting with limited constraints on space and budget. 

Office space doesn't have to mean a boring office desk and chair.
Here, I've strategically placed a Swingasan from Pier 1 Imports in the corner of my kitchen (an area I specifically chose because it's one of the few areas of my home that allows sun to peek in). It comes in a few colours, but I decided to keep it neutral and instead add a splash of colour with accessories, including a colourful outdoor/indoor pillow from Pier 1, as well as a pillow with cute illustrations that I picked up on a whim from Ikea. Sometimes impulse buys while idly browsing the store for design inspiration, can work in your favour. 

Picking the perfect accessories and pieces for your perfect sanctuary takes time. So, don't fret over the fact that you are spending a lot of time in stores, hemming and hawing over the perfect details. Think of it as picking a piece of art. These peices are an investment that you have to love and live with for a long time.

Here's a tip: 
The Swingasan swing is such a versatile piece. You can enjoy it in your backyard during the summer months, and bring it indoors for the winter. 

Working from home a few days of the week gives a sense of accomplishment when you have a sense of calm and an environment that fosters creative spark. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Red Carpet Styles You Can Do At Home

Looking for the perfect pick-me-up? Here's a suggestion. Vintage is in. Look around you. There's a vintage modern mashup happening everywhere. You can add a vintage flair to any look with your best accessory -- your hair! And with award season in full swing, you'll be sure to see a lot of celebrities strutting these vintage hairstyles on the red carpet.

And although it may seem impossible, some of these vintage styles can be created right in your own homes, with simple hairstyling tools that are lurking in your bathroom shelf. 

Vintage Hairstyles presents tools, techniques, and step-by-step instructions you need to get eye-catching looks, from the finger waves of the roaring 1920s to the beehive of the rebellious 1960s. 

It doesn’t hurt to add a bit of glam into your style. Whether you are planning for an Oscar Party with your BFFs, or just want to mix up your everyday style with playful curls, Vintage Hairstyles by Emma Sundh and Sarah Wing, will guide you. 

Going beyond hair, you can also go through a pouty-lipped safari, that will take you from the taboo-ridden 1910s to the trendsetting 1960s. 

Along with movies, makeup became the trend in the 1920s. In silent movies, makeup was used as a tool to emphasize contrasting features. You'll notice the stark eyebrows that were prominent in those movies, and their purpose was to underscore facial features.

Lips were painted dark red to distinguish them from pale skin. 


"During the tumultuous period of women's issues and cropped 'dos, women used makeup to mark their independence and identity. It was an effective means to alternatively please and upset, all while challenging societal norms, thus breaking new ground." 

Vintage Hairstyles by Emma Sundh and Sarah Wing, is available at 
Chapters Indigo