5 Tips to Enjoying Autumn

16 Oct

Some Autumn Muffins to get you inspired. Brought to you by Vegan Dad.

1. Candles, Candles Burning Bright

Don’t let gloomy autumn mornings get you down. As soon as you wake up, light a candle (or six) to lift your spirits and brighten your surroundings with natural light. Candles in warm scents will make your morning even more relaxing. Although not very festive, I enjoy Vanilla Bean by On Sco.

2.  Nothin’ Like a Muffin Afternoon

There’s nothing cozier than an afternoon of baking autumn-inspired muffins. (Or whatever baked good you desire!) Pumpkin, carrot, cinnamon and bran are all delicious fall flavours to try! Make it a relaxing day with pajamas, hot cider and a good book while each batch is in the oven. P.S. Stay tuned for a delicious fall muffin recipe in the next couple of days!

3. Warm Wool and Lovely Leather

Hands down, one of the best things about autumn is the fabulous fall fashion. Wool scarves, knitted sweaters, leather jackets and suade boots are vital to an awesome autumn warbdrobe. So, if you’re feeling bummed about fall, enjoy a little retail therapy and stock up on warm layering pieces.

4. The Leaves They Are a-Changin’

Bundle up and go for a walk – either along a wooded path or a tree-lined street. Taking in the bright colours, autumnal smells and crunchy leaves underfoot will have you feeling festive in no time. Nature walks are also a great opportunity to get some exercise while bonding with friends, family or new neighbours .

5. Maise Mazes and Pumpkin Patches

You know all those silly pumpkin carving contests, corn mazes and fall festivals your town holds every year? Gather your nieces and nephews (or even your friends, if they’re up for the fun) and go to them! Raking leaves and building scarecrows will make you feel like a kid again and you’ll forget all about the chilly weather change.

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Food Porn: Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions

12 Oct

I am on a bit of a gourmet grilled cheese kick. This isn’t your five-year-old brothers cheese-between-bread kind of grilled cheese; This is sinfully delicious, boundary-pushing grilled cheese made with only the finest ingredients. (Well, as far as my student budget will allow.) Tonight, I made grilled cheese filled with carmelized onions. It was an idea I had been meaning to try and I’m glad I did! (Excuse my roughly estimated ingredients list!)

You will need:

2 tbsp of butter

a handful of onion slivers

1 tbsp of brown sugar

two slices of bread

a few slices of cheese

Instructions:

1. Add one tbsp of butter to a frying pan on medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add brown sugar and continue cooking for 1 – 2 more minutes or until onion is brown and very tender.

2. Spread butter on outter sides of two pieces of bread. (I used regular whole-wheat bread but a loaf of sourdough or pumpernickel would bring this grilled cheese sandwhich to a whole new level of yum. I plan on doing so next time.)

3. Place cheese slices inside the two pieces of bread. (I used cheddar cheese with a bit of havarti. The havarti gave it a real kick! Try fontina or goat cheese for something truly gourmet.) Add caramelized onions to the sandwich. Make sure the buttered sides of the bread are facing out!

4. Next, on medium, grill each side of the sandwich in a fry pan until golden brown. Look for that scrumptious cheese to start oozing out the sides!

And of course, step 5, enjoy! I certainly did! I added a side of cauliflower (mostly because I needed to use it up) but broccoli would be great as well. I also considered adding some kind of potato-vegetable hash or maybe just baked beans. When you’re making grilled cheese, you can pretty much play by your own rules!

Love always, Erica

p.s. I am afraid I did not take that photo. (I actually burned my grilled cheese, rending it rather unphotogenic.)  The photo actually came from Readers’ Digest. Click the link for more grilled cheese ideas!

DIY Faded Jeans from Finland

11 Oct

How sexy are these faded, dip-dyed jeans!? They come courtesy of Nelliinan, a blogger from Finland! Not only do I applaud her mad DIY skills, but her fabulous fashion choices as well. Such a simple yet dynamic outfit.

Just a little DIY inspiration for you today!

Love always, Erica

 

Talize Haul: Scarves & Blazers

5 Oct

Allow me to summarize my shopaholic tenancies in one word: thrifty. I will not spend $30 on a t-shirt that I can get for $3 at Salvation Army. I will not spend $10 dollars on a necklace that I can get for $1 at Value Village. In addition to be frugal (ahem, cheap) I also love searching through racks upon racks of clothing – its like a treasure hunt!

Furthermore, I love being able to tell Geuss-clad girls that my jeans were $7 dollars – especially when they look just as sexy as their $170 ones! Haha!

So, without further ado, here is a mini-haul of clothing that I recently purchased at one of my favorite second-hand clothing stores, Talize!

1. Peachy Pink Scarf – I saw a nearly identical pink scarf at Forever 21 and, for a mere $6.50, I had to have it. Its a good thing I waited because a week later I found this adorable duplicate for less than four dollars. Its soft, warm and totally compliments my skin tone and hair colour!

2. Glittery Purple Scarf – Though not very functional, I could not turn this scarf away when it caught my eye on the rack at Talize. The photo here does not do it justice but this scarf has an indescribable blue-purple-black iridescence to it. For just a couple of bucks, its a definite statement piece!

3. Grey Scarf – I have been wanting a grey scarf for some time and this knitted, triangular number from Mark was an automatic “Yes” for me! It looks great with a plain white tee and jeans!

4. Pink T-Shirt – I have seen this pink Ganesha t-shirt in various stores on several occasions. However, each time I have found it out of my price range. So, you can imagine my surprise when I came across this tee in Talize for just a few dollars. It is one of the comfiest tees I own and looks really fun with black shredded jeans.

5. Pale Blue Blazer – In early September, a girl came into Forever 21 wearing a light blue blazer and black jeans. It looked so chic and so, needless to say, I have been on the hunt for one ever since. I didn’t expect to find one but, alas, I did! And, yes, it looks just as chic on me, haha!

6. Tan Blazer – I’ve been on a bit of a blazer kick. I found this tan-coloured one, originally from Reitmans, for $7 at Talize. It fits perfectly, feels comfortable and looks really sharp with black jeans and heels. I recently wore this blazer to an interview in a gigantic office building and fit right in!

7. Striped Shirt – A long-sleeve, black and white striped shirt has been high on my list of to-finds for a while. This Club Monaco shirt is incredibly comfy and so figure flattering. Whoever said horizontal stripes make you look fat?! It has also been boyfriend-approved!

I hope my haul has inspired you to do a little second-hand shopping of your own!

Love always, Erica

Nude Peeptoe Pumps from Forever 21

2 Oct

For months, I have been on an undying quest for a pair of gorgeous, leg-lengthening, nude-toned pumps. Throughout my search I have come across many such pairs from Aldo, Spring and the like; however, they have all been out of my price-range.

Today, while working at Forever 21, I noticed that we had recieved a shipment of nude pumps with a sexy platform and a little-more-than-a-peeptoe. The colour was beautiful – a beige, olivey hue – and matched my skin perfectly! They are the exact style of shoes shown in the photo above, only slightly lighter and not “marbled”. My heart racing (as it tends to do at the sight of heavenly heels) I checked the price. And then I checked it again. Could my soulmate shoes really be $24.80? Alas, it was true and you can bet I purchased those nude pumps immedietly after closing!

Although I have only worn these shoes for the 15 minute walk from work to home (yes, I wore them home) I can assert that they are fabulous and comfortable! Platforms tend to be way more comfortable than thin-soled shoes in general. I can’t wait to wear them the next chance I get, whether with jeans and t-shirt or a sexy black dress.

Love always, Erica

Breaking News: Ontario judge decriminalizes prostitution

29 Sep

Terri-Jean Bedford and Valerie Scott in court.

Yesterday, Justice Susan Himel took down three Criminal Code provisions: soliticing prostitution, pimping and operating a brothel. Her ruling, which will officially take effect in 30 days lest any Crown lawyers should return with strong, competing arguments, will set the standard for judges across Canada.

“By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance. I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by the public,” Judge Himel was quoted as saying in a recent Globe & Mail article.

According to Valerie Scott, the former prostitute and current sex-trade activist who launched the legal attack on Ontario’s prostitution laws, the province’s sex-workers will immediately begin to seek workers’ compensation, health standards and inclusion in the country’s income-tax scheme.

“It is a great day for Canada,” said Terri-Jean Bedford, the dominatrix who was also involved in the case.

Yesterday afternoon, when one of my classmates announced excitedly that Ontario had decriminalized prostitution, these were my sentiments exactly. I am thrilled that people are finally beginning to take this issue seriously and that sex-trade workers will no longer have to fear for their lives. Canada is finally showing some forward-thinking and I hope that we will continue to do so.

In a recent poll, 82 per cent of Globe & Mail readers agreed that prostitution should be decriminalized.

What do you think?

Love always, Erica

Product Review: Kashi Pumpkin Pie Bar

28 Sep

Last year, I discovered the joys of pumpkin pie. This year, I have been anxious to taste any and all things pumpkin-related. So, when I saw these Pumpkin Pie Fruit and Grain Bars on the shelf at the local Metro I had to try them. The topping looked irrestitable. And, although in reality the topping lacked a few nuts, the bar itself did not disappoint. In fact, it has become a new favorite.

In my opinion, the Kashi Pumpkin Pie bar tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. The topping even has a texture just like pumpkin pie filling. It may be a bit on the cinnamon side but only for the better!

The Kashi Pumpkin Pie bar is a great snack to throw in your purse and its full of festive autumn flavour! (Although, from what I’ve read, Kashi sells the Pumpkin Pie bars all year! Yay!) Plus, at just 120 calories per bar, they are even diet-friendly!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous fall!

Love always, Erica