Chester: An Impromptu Camera Phone Photoshoot With a Cuddly Cat

This Christmas I went over to my brother’s house in Nova Scotia. I haven’t seen him in years and I find out that he has a new kitty named Chester. He’s still under a year old and loves cuddles. He also loves posing. He kept switching from one adorable pose to the next. Out comes the phone for some sweet shots.

ImageCute and he knows it!

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All up in your face! Love it when he decides to lay on my belly and shove his head in  my face.

ImageBeing irresistibly cute!

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Finally he got sleepy and decided to snuggle in an upside-down position. ❤

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My New Favourite Top

meeI’m a little too excited. Here’s why:

Yesterday I was feeling terrible in general. I had gained a bit of weight and felt ‘fat and ugly’. I have been also having some family drama that I didn’t want to be a part of. My mood was really low and I needed to get out. I met up with my good friend Laura to do some retail therapy. It never fails me, and I had some Christmas cash to spend. I also wanted to feel good about myself, so naturally I decided to stop into some clothing shops for something cute! Thankfully, there were TONS of boxing week sales, as I’m a fierce deal hunter and pretty thrifty. I went into two stores that both carried plus size clothing and ended up being thoroughly disappointed. I even tried on sizes much bigger than my usual size. One size is too small, the size up is too big, or too long. Feeling defeated, I tried one last shop that goes up to an XXL size only. I chose 3 things that I fell completely in love with, 50% off the lowest tagged price. I dreaded the change room so much. I got in, reluctantly took off my coat and shirt to try on the tops. To my surprise, the first one fit. So did the second and third. Fit like a glove! What the heck!! So I decided to rock it and go out to karaoke. Just a side note, I NEVER fit into peplum tops because they’re too long usually and I’m a short gal…I’m completely amazed and feel pretty great now.

Giveaway Time! Win Free Earrings!

Image As some of you may know, I own a jewelry shop called Earth and Soul Designs on Etsy.com. I create each item carefully and by hand. I am inspired by nature as well as vintage fashion. I’m having a giveaway for a free pair of my best-selling Tree of Life earrings. They feature a beautiful blue and brown speckled ceramic bead and a tree charm.

 

 

Here’s what you need to do to win:

  • Click HERE to visit my Facebook page
  • ‘Like’ my Facebook page
  • ‘Like’ the post pinned to the top, about the giveaway
  • Share the post about the giveaway
  • Comment to let me know you’ve done it all!

Drawing will be conducted on January 15th, 2014. I will cover shipping prices and will ship internationally as well as locally. Winners will be selected randomly, and you can only enter once.

The Lazy Chef: 5 Things I Add Cocoa Powder To

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I find myself in this scenario often, where I really just want some chocolate but there’s no chocolate bars or baked goods to be found at home. I tear through the cupboards trying to find the perfect snack, or a forgotten snack once purchased, to no avail. Then I find my Fry’s coco powder and the lightbulbs are flashing.

I’ve compiled a list of easy things I do in a pinch when I want chocolate RIGHT NOW!

Yogurt

Yogurt

 

Yogurt 

This is my favourite thing to do when I’m craving something chocolatey. I love the creaminess of yogurt, and I love chocolate. I will add a teaspoon of cocoa powder to my favourite flavour of yogurt and it tastes like I’m eating cake batter. Great combos include vanilla, strawberry, strawberry banana and coffee flavour yogurts. The added chocolate just makes it that much more delicious!

Coffee

Coffee

 

Coffee

Just adding a bit of cocoa power can give your morning coffee a facelift. I personally drink my coffee with both sugar and milk. Adding a bit of cocoa powder to it makes it taste like a mocha latte, but less fancy. I can deal with less fancy. Just give me some chocolate!

 

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

Cereal 

I love porridge and anything that resembles sludge. Cream of wheat, Wheetabix and the other oat cereals are amazing. What’s more amazing is chocolate. Seriously, it tastes SO good with a sprinkle of cocoa! Trust me.

 

Banana

Banana

 

Banana

It’s like a really lazy way of doing fondue. Don’t bother with melting chocolate. Just grab your banana, slice it up, and dip those slices into some power and pop it in your mouth! It tastes indulgent but is actually a healthier option. You can experiment with different types of fruit too. Strawberries, raspberries, apple slices? Why not. I’ll probably try them soon enough too!

 

Toast

Toast

Toast

I used to do this with cinnamon, but sometimes you just want chocolate for breakfast. Mix with a small amount of sugar or sweetener and sprinkle on your breakfast toast! I always butter my toast first so the mix can stick onto the toast better and not fall off. So yummy, you have no idea!

 

 

 

Do you have any quick and easy no-bake snacks that you love? Let me know!

Stop the Body Hate!

Okay, so I’m a huge fan of this blog called The Militant Baker. I follow the blog on Facebook as well as read the blog through and through. This morning I woke up to a post that really hit home for me about body shaming, and more specifically ‘fat hate’. It was a photo of a stylish, curvaceous woman with a screenshot of Google’s auto-complete edited over her mouth. The point is that Google auto-correct clearly illustrates the prejudice and misconceptions that people still have about ‘fat’ people. The body-positive message of the poster, as well as tons of reader-submitted posters, was so strong. It really resonated with me, to the point that I even created my own. Facebook has been non-supportive of sharing these photos. The Militant Baker tried to pay to advertise the photo as well as her page, and it got declined because there were too many negative responses to it. In response, we’re being encouraged to share the heck out of all the posters and let them be seen by all! Spreading the message of acceptance is one that I wholeheartedly support. Here’s my submission:

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Please don’t forget to visit the Militant Baker on Facebook as well as the blog, and even make your own poster! Last, but not least, please love yourself, flaws and all. All bodies are worthy of love and respect.

Jewelry Quest: China Edition

I have to admit that I am in love with shopping. I can spend hours just looking at clothes, makeup, books and craft supplies. I’m also pretty selective, so it takes me forever to decide what I want. Enter online marketplaces. I have been a shopper on Etsy and Ebay for years now, with no regrets. I love being able to search for what I want, and take breaks or save the page for later if I’m not sure. It’s just fantastic!

This brings me to my next issue. I used to avoid China like the plague, until I worked at a very popular retail store. I realized that every piece of jewelry we sold had tiny words on the back of the package, reading ‘made in China’. I started going to other popular stores as well; all from China. I’ve actually started notice the same products (or nearly the same) sold on Ebay for pennies. Here’s a great example:

Guess the Price! There are 2 necklaces. One is $5.00 and the other is 14.50…Click to find out.

ImageImageSo how did you do? It’s really a 50/50 chance unless you cheated. So, some of the items may have minor differences, but are more than likely made in the same factory. I’d rather save my money and just buy online. It might take 2-4 weeks to get to me, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

As a side note, as an Etsy seller and shopper, I do buy (as well as make) unique handcrafted jewelry. Nothing compares  to the craftsmanship and heart that goes into each piece. But sometimes, I just need that cute 2 dollar chunky necklace…and I’m not ashamed of that.

And without further ado, here is a pair of earrings I bought for 2 dollars from China (just got them in today).

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You can get these cuties here: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/281183002330?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Mason Jar Snowmen

ImageSo, I’ve been pinning a lot of seasonal crafts lately, and have been seeing a LOT of mason jar crafts. Everything from candle holders to planters. They are very multi-purpose. I decided to try my hand at making some snow man luminaries.

What you’ll need:

  • acrylic paint (white, black, orange)
  • mason jar
  • different sizes of paint brushes (you may choose to use a sponge brush to paint the base coat).

How to create:

  • coat your mason jar completely with white acrylic paint, and let dry (I let mine sit for an hour)
  • apply a second coat of white acrylic paint and let dry
  • decide where you want the eyes, nose and mouth. It might be helpful to practice drawing it on a piece of paper until you decide what style you want them to be.
  • use a finer brush to carefully paint the eyes, nose and mouth, and let dry
  • add finer detail and outline any features (I added detail to the carrot nose)
  • paint the lid black, as a hat
  • You can also add fabric (like a scarf), buttons for the eyes and mouth, and you can really play around with it to make it your own
  • as a safety precaution, I decided to use flickering LED lights