Monday, January 31, 2011

how to warm your insides.

Brace yourself children, this is a long one. I'm proud to present my first tutorial on my blog. I've been meaning to do this for a while actually but never got around to it. I'd like to introduce you to your next purchase. This is William-Sonoma's Rich & Creamy Hot Chocolate. I discovered it three Christmases ago and now I know that I can't live without it. In this tin is the sweetest smelling chocolate. The mixture is just purely shaved chocolate. It seems a little silly to be spending $28 on a tin of chocolate flakes but I'll gladly spare a pretty penny to satisfy my taste buds. I personally think it's the best hot chocolate you can make at home. Like it says, this hot chocolate is very rich and creamy and quite filling too. The tin is also a nifty, little collector's item. I use it for my art pencils, fineliners, short brushes, and other little knick knacks. If you're a thrifty fellow and like to do things yourself, opt for buying a quality bar of chocolate and shaving it down. It'll work just as well but will take a few tries to get just as right. With a snow storm about to hit Toronto, I think this tutorial is just about on time. This is my take on how to make hot chocolate.

Step 1: Choose your favourite mug.

Step 2: Find milk.

In this tutorial I'll be making hot chocolate suited to one cup so 250 ml should do the trick.

How convenient! The perfect amount of milk. And I honestly didn't stage this. It just so happens I had this much milk left in my fridge.

Step 3: Pour milk into saucepan and let heat.

At this point we're just letting the milk heat up, you don't want to boil it. This usually takes about seven or eight minutes on a medium to low setting on the stove. On the tin, it says to wait for bubbles to form around the edges of the pan but in my experience I just wait until I see a faint bit of smoke rising. I didn't want to say 'smoke' because it doesn't sound good coming from a cooking tutorial but I didn't know how else to describe it. Don't burn or boil your milk!

Step 4: Add mix.

Once the milk is ready and well-heated, add your hot chocolate mix. Five tablespoons is just about right to me. It's really personal preference. After trying it for the first time you'll know whether you want to add more or less mix to the milk.

Step 5: Stir, stir, stir!

Keeping the heat at the same level, stir in the chocolate until completely dissolved.

Like so!

Step 6: Pour into your mug.

This is a pretty dangerous step for clumsy people like me.

And voila!

Step 7: Add toppings.

This step is totally optional but highly recommended. Pile on as much whipped cream as you desire. I also like to sprinkle on a bit of hot chocolate mix on top for some pizazz.

Now, unfortunately, I didn't realize I had run out of whipped cream while taking the photos for this tutorial so I couldn't show you the final result of that hot chocolate. But I do have these photos I had taken during Christmas! The glasses below are the actual ones meant for hot chocolate.

Delicious looking, isn't it? It's great with some shortbread cookies or perhaps a biscotti to dip. I hope you guys enjoyed this little how-to and are inspired to try it out yourselves!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


My lunatic friends attacking me. From left to right: Nina, myself, Caroline.

Hello there, chums! I know it's been a little while but here I am! Still have much to catch up on and so here is me starting. Earlier this month me and my pal Nina decided to make an online order to Urban Outfitters together in order to save our thrifty-selves a few dollars on shipping. The items we ordered were also a tad difficult to find in the whopping two whole locations in the city. We needed our fix. So we placed our order, waited an agonizing fifteen days, and it finally came! Being the eager little beavers we are, we met up at the mall and opened it together. When I say together, I mean Nina opened it by herself. I think this may have been her first package from Urban Outfitters ever (she kept the box). She was a little more eager than I was. Also, in this box was one of her long-awaited wishlist items, and what she calls a cardi-blazer. The next few photos are of Nina having at this naive little box.

She sits down in preparation, searches for a sharp object.

And she begins! The box never saw it coming.

Accompany these photos with urgh sounds, yelling, and the wretched (or beautiful) sound of cardboard ripping.

Here's what I got! I can now cross two items off my wishlist. Pictured here is the BDG Fisherman Cardigan in ivory, Cooperative Trompe L'Oeil Laptop Case, and Cooperative Eyeglasses Case. The cardigan is perfect! I would have loved it in that mustardy yellow colour but this seemed a little more practical. It's the perfect oversized sweater, a warm knit, and has these funky, big buttons.

As a person with terrible eyesight, the glasses case is perfect. I never liked using the case that's given with my own glasses. It has a quirky design, durable canvas, and spring band closure.

Tell me this isn't adorable. Unfortunately, this case is a smidge too small for my laptop making it a very tight squeeze. I'm too in love to part with it though! I keep thinking that one day I'll have a laptop that will fill it perfectly and everything will work out. Until then I will just admire it.

As for Nina, she bought this
Kimchi Blue Cutaway Cardigan Jacket in black, a Waylaid Bare Ribs Necklace, and these Cheap Monday Sport Tight Jeans in Stone Grey. Oh, and another friend of ours chipped in on this order and got this lovely, simplistic Triple Finger Ring. I'm pretty sure everyone was extremely pleased with their purchases. I know I am.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

In the neighbourhood.

My sweet followers, I apologize for how inconsistent I've been with posting. The last two weeks have been pretty hectic and will continue to be hectic until I've fully finished applying to universities. The next couple weeks will consist of erratic and machine-like art-making for my portfolios. Forgive me if I neglect my blog just a tad. I wish I could use my blog as a portfolio piece. Then I wouldn't have to let go for a little while. But I will try my best to keep posting semi-regularly. I take photos on a day-to-day basis and they are piling up, waiting to be exposed about the internet. I have much to talk about but only so little time to sit down and write worthy of reading. I'm neurotic for maintaining the quality of my posts.

Anyways, that was just a little update. On to the real subject of the post! I wanted to show you these few photos I took just the other day. I was on my way out when I noticed all the beautiful scenery. It's rare that you get such a warm, sunny day in winter like this. It's days like these I love winter. The snow was practically sparkling! It made for some pretty photos. They were all taken in my neighbourhood while I walked to the bus stop and also while waiting for it to arrive. This is Canada, folks.

Footprints in the snow. I just think they're so cute.

The snow looks almost fake!

In case you've forgotten, here is my photostream on flickr. Unfortunately, I did not win the print giveaway with Teresa Q, but cheers to those who did! I ought to make a little widget in the sidebar. I will get on that soon. How soon is still to be determined.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nastygal, you're breaking my heart.

Nastygal has stolen my heart. Through my daily browsing I've discovered a plethora of things I love, most of which are on the Nastygal site. After much drooling over these wonderful clothes, I decided to create a wishlist solely dedicated to Nastygal. There are even more things I couldn't fit in this collage so perhaps I'll have another Nastygal wishlist post. It's a shame I do not have a credit card to buy from this online store. In all honesty though, I shouldn't be trusted with a credit card. There are too many things purchasable over the internet.

1. Unbalanced Crop Knit in Beige; Looking for an ivory, knit sweater and this one fits the bill!

2. Parker Pleated Skirt in Mocha; This lovely maxi skirt is also shown here in black. I'm longing to own at least one maxi skirt. I'm crossing my fingers this may be my first.

3. Caped Trench Coat; I'm really loving this colour at the moment in all shades.
Madrid Wool Hat; After a failed attempt at finding that Aritzia bowler hat, this is best next choice. Of course, in an ideal world, I'd have both hats.

5. Aleena Dress; I'm pretty sure I've posted this dress before on another wishlist but it's also available at Nastygal!

6. Peachy Keen Jumpsuit; I'm a sucker for ruffles and light pink, it's no wonder I adore this jumper!

7. Dante Trouser Shorts in Camel; I find myself really wanting to touch these shorts. They appear to have this interesting texture.

8. Rose Gold Cuff; Isn't this a snazzy piece of jewellery?

9. Crimson Chain Bag; I love that these quilted bags are coming back in style! This would be an adorable addition to my wardrobe.

10. Jeffrey Campbell Mendoza Suede Booties; I want these shoes!

11. Jeffrey Campbell Meeker Wedge Boot; These would be some real statement shoes though I would fear someone stepping on the back of my heel constantly.

12. Utility Trench Coat; Unfortunately, this lovely coat is sold but my search for a beautiful trench coat doesn't stop here!

13. Take a Bow Dress; The over-sized bow on the shoulder of this dress is so cute! I have semi-formal coming up at school and I would love to have this dress for the occasion. We all know that's not going to happen, but I can dream! I'll have to scrape up a dress of my own like this one day.

This is my wishlist, if any kind stranger is interested in buying me something. I actually considered creating a 'post-Christmas' wishlist but I feel somewhat selfish in the making of these although they are very fun. I love the idea of cataloguing all the things I've wished for and watch my style and taste change. I want to be able to look back and reminisce over the silly, the cool, the smart, and the long shots. With that, I will continue to make these crafty little collages.

Monday, January 10, 2011

featuring Teresa.

The lovely Teresa Queiros is doing a print giveaway! If you don't already know her, she is a wonderful photographer I've discovered on Flickr. Back when I did a post about me joining this photography land, I featured a few of her photos in my
post. She is now holding a giveaway for your choice of one of her photos! I highly reccommend you take a peak at her photostream. It's some of the most gorgeous photos I've ever seen. For more details on how to enter her giveaway, hop on over to her blog. Below I've posted a handful of my favourites from her photostream. Enjoy!

This is my pick if I win the giveaway!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

little person, big crowd.

It's been a little hectic lately with getting back to school and thinking about university deadlines but here I am with a long overdue post. For the first time I ventured out to the mall for the infamous boxing day. I was determined to score some great deals and ready to push through crowds. Being a small person, it is fairly easily to be knocked from side to side by angry mothers and daughters with seventeen shopping bags. The lines wrapped around corners of the mall and I'd become a flimsy body in a sweaty crowd. Not to mention how messy the stores get. How will you ever know if you left the store thinking there were no more of the hat you wanted, meanwhile it's been quietly stuffed between a stack of jeans and a wall. To the average person it's hectic but to me it's disastrous. Dragging my neurotic self through the stores, I look everywhere with terror in my eyes. I dislike crowds so normally I would be safe at home, but on this day I would do anything for shopping. I realize now that the smarter thing to do is scope out street stores. Next year I won't be so naive.

H&M Floral Clutch

This probably isn't the best thing to start off with because it wasn't on sale but I had decided I wanted this purse weeks prior to boxing day. I'm glad I found it.

Urban Outfitters Paper Mache Mushroom Box

Although poorly made, I love this little mushroom shaped box. It's perfect for all my stud earrings that have been previously sitting on a tiny saucer plate in my drawer.

Urban Outfitters Lightweight Sweater Tight

I purchased two of the same of these. They're wonderfully comfortable.

aerie necklace

Almost everything at aerie was marked down that day and on top of that, red tag items were an additional 30% off. I wouldn't have bought this necklace if it weren't for the mark downs. I especially like the key pendant.

I chose to include this photo solely because the top of the right hand chain resembles a heart pattern. I think it's sweet.

I was so happy to finally get my hands on these. I adore all of aerie's boxers. A couple weeks before Christmas I had been in the store looking at these. I had tried on a couple things and narrowed it down to these boxers, a t-shirt, and another pair of sailboat print boxers. The deal was buy one, get one 50%off on tees, tanks, and boxers. I had weighed my choices and a t-shirt and boxers seemed to make more sense than two pairs of boxers. So there I was standing in the store gruellingly deciding between both very cute prints. I ended up choosing the sailboats that day so you could imagine how happy I was to find the whale print on even further mark down on boxing day. Below are the also adorable sailboat print boxers.

Two things I didn't include are this Urban Outfitters Pins and Needles Chiffon Open-Back Dress and American Eagle Cable Knit Tights because I may return these. I originally wanted the dress in nude but there wasn't any size. I even considered buy the nude colour in a size 12 and using it as material. The dress was originally $78 then marked down to $19 and an additional 50% off. It was too hard to pass up! The skirt falls a little long on me but it's nothing a few stitches can't cure. I must say I didn't get the best of deals but I was pretty satisfied with what I went home with. I'm ready for next year!