Lens Circle Review

I have failed to be online much recently, which I’m hoping to change soon, but that can happen to you when you have a baby. I hope to write more about our newest addition, who I’ve been calling “Little Sweets” for a while now, over this coming weekend. I put it off for a bit because of some family issues, with my honey not feeling entirely comfortable putting her picture up online for some estranged relatives to gawk at, but I’m thrilled to show off our precious princess and can’t wait to introduce her to you! Busy bodies be damned.
We now have FIVE little ones in the house and I’m finding that my blog has suffered while my kiddoes are flourishing. Of course, the one is far more pertinent than the other and that’s the way the cookie crumbles- I’m happy to put my own endeavors on the back burner but I’ve still got to etch out a steady blog routine if I’m going to feel fulfilled. Mamas have to express themselves somehow, right?

With self-expression in mind, I’m going to show you a neat, new find with these circle lenses that I received free in order to facilitate this review.

circle lenses

Circle Lenses differ from regular contacts because they’re wider than average, giving the eye a larger appearance.
Normal colour lenses are only tinted in the areas that cover the iris, whereas these circle lenses have an extra dark tint around the outer ring. They’re extremely popular in Asia and, like me, you may have seen pictures online of Asian women with absolutely giant eyes. For the longest time, I had wondered where you could purchase the all-black, wide contacts that make people look like vampires just because I thought it was so freakish and fun. Well, this is where you get ’em! Those are the lenses I wanted to try out for this review but, alas, (the only downfall I’ve found thus far) they were unavailable on the site. At the time of ordering, there were a few pairs that I couldn’t have chosen but I’m not certain of how frequently they restock. I’m sad that I was unable to obtain them in time for Halloween, as completely black eyes would have made for a nice addition to a costume, but the magic series is great for every day use. My husband said, “They’ll definitely set someone apart in a crowd” and he’s probably right. They’re the kind of touch that, at the end of the day, someone will think back on and talk about.

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Circle lenses are a quick, cheap way to take your look to a new level. You can check out the website here www.lenscircle.com and, if you like mine, I’m wearing the MAGIC SERIES CIRCLE LENS, Item Code: CM836. I have to say that I like these far more than any other colour contact I’ve worn previously. They’re comfortable, relatively inexpensive at under $30 per pair, and are shipped with their own contact lens case. A lot of companies will do that but I enjoyed the funky pink one that I received, rather than the standard (and boring) green and white. The company has a deal where you can get a free Anna Sui inspired lens kit with every two pairs of contacts purchased, which I thought was pretty neat. When I was searching for zombie lenses last year for my son’s Halloween costume, I found a lot of specialty, coloured or costume lenses easily ran over $50 a pair so I’m a big fan of the Lens Circle price point, on top of their quick shipping and quality.

What do you think of them?

Painting Lulu with Chicky

Today we are bringing you a really neat, new concept with the Paper-to-Digital Colouring Pack from Painting Lulu. I’m thrilled to be able to feature Chicky in a review again. It’s been so long that, the last time she was in one, she was modelling diapers and not in the least bit impressed. If you’re cloth diapering, or you just want to see a cute baby, you can check out the Glow Bug review here and a Piddly Winx one here.

Anyway! We received their My Little Pony kit free, in exchange for this review, and both of my girls have been making use of the 32 colouring pages included.

Paper to Digital Colouring Pack

Photo from Painting Lulu

What’s incredibly cool about the Painting Lulu colouring book is that your little ones can make a picture on the paper, then transfer it to Apple, Android or Amazon devices and continue their artwork via digital medium. This comes in handy if you’re heading out the car and want to avoid a melted crayon fiasco. Believe me, it’s rough and it happens. Last year my kiddoes took one SMALL package of crayons in our van, while on the trip up north, and I ended up with a backseat absolutely full of colourful streaks that were completely impossible to remove. Here I was thinking I was such an ingenious Mama, coming up with cute backseat fun kits that would keep them occupied during our 5 hour drive, and I inadvertently ruined the upholstery in our vehicle. Thankfully, I no longer have to worry about that (and we have since purchased a new van- yay for Honda and my man Nelson!).

As soon as I received the Painting Lulu colouring book in the mail, I had to hide it away, up high, so that they couldn’t tear it open. It was an instant hit because what girl doesn’t like My Little Pony and what kid doesn’t want to colour? For at least five minutes before they try to take the crayon to the wall anyway- I know what’s up, I’ve got boys too.

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Here’s a great video to show you what it’s all about.

 

 Chicky was SO excited to get started. For her, she loves the pictures of all of her favourite characters and she thinks the “squishy” crayon is the best. She’s actually carried it around since using it the first time, in order to keep it away from her big sister.

 
As a Mum, I like the quick share options and the idea that I can upload their artwork to Facebook, in order to put it in their online scrapbooks. I can also easily share it with family and friends that may not otherwise get to see her art, just in case anyone wants an original Chicky piece on their fridge. Gramma can take some of our overstock, no doubt.

If you want to try before you buy, check out the Painting Lulu website and find their free sample page by clicking this link. If you know now that your children, or the littles in your life, will love this as much as mine do, scoop it on Amazon below. By using my affiliate link to purchase, you’re buying a great gift in time for the holidays and you’re also supporting this Mama’s bloggy endeavors. Thank you!

Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara Review

By now, you’ve probably already heard about Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara but have you tried it for yourself? I wanted to splurge on the stuff ages ago but couldn’t believe the Before & After pictures I saw online. I was worried that I couldn’t make mine look the same way, that it would be difficult to apply, or that I would have to basically be a make up artist to get the stuff to work properly. I don’t know- I just, typically, find that the too-easy-to-be-true marketing means exactly that.

With Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara, which I was supplied free for this sponsored review, I was pleasantly surprised. The Moodstruck mascara comes in two little tubes, one being a transplanting gel and one being the fibers. According to the website, found here, you can increase your average lash volume substantially-  The results observed in independent laboratory testing included a 384.5% increase after one application; greater than 2,000% after three applications when compared against bare lashes.

To Use Moodstruck Mascara

It’s pretty easy to apply and achieve a look you desire;

  1. Apply an even coat of Transplanting Gel to lashes.
  2. Immediately apply 3D Fibers while Transplanting Gel is wet.
  3. Seal the fibers with Transplanting Gel.

Repeat until you’ve reached desired fullness.

The first time I tried out the product, I was overly excited and simply jumped right in without reading the directions. I tore open the packaging, appreciated the pretty bundle it is sent in and I tried it on immediately butI applied it without sealing the lashes. Woops! They actually looked alright but I was losing little fibers on to my cheeks through the day and the lashes looked somewhat feathered. My lovely Younique rep, Sarah, let me know that the main issues ladies have with this mascara is when they don’t follow the instructions properly. I have heard other women say it “makes your lashes look like spider legs” and, when I didn’t seal mine, I discovered that similar effect. You most certainly need the second coat of the transplanting gel so don’t forget that step!

The Look

As you can see, there’s quite a difference and this is just with one coat;

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I didn’t go bigger because I was having difficulty with them not hitting my lids and making a mess, that’s how long they were! For pictures, I couldn’t have tiny black spots all over my top lid, or smudges  from trying to wipe it off, so I couldn’t effectively show you that look.

All in all, I was thoroughly impressed by the Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I can understand the price tag and, given the fact that you pay nearly this much for higher end drug store brands, I think it’s a worthwhile investment if you’re a regular mascara user. I love the versatility, in the sense that you can go big and overly glamorous or opt for a simpler look. For me personally, I find the multiple coats to look too over the top. However, there are a variety of pictures on the website that showcase some incredibly beautiful layered lashes.
The new and improved formula gets my approval and, if you try it for yourself, I would love to see your pictures!

Manuka Magic Review

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing BunchaFarmers‘ Manuka Magic Facial Cream With Bee Venom, for a sponsored post, along with their Manuka Honey Oatmeal Soap.

The soap is actually made right in Ontario, where I’m from, and this particular bar includes saponified palm, coconut and olive oils- then there is oatmeal in there for an exfoliant.

#ManukMagicwithBeeVenom

I actually noticed the oatmeal kernels during use and, in one particular spot, that wasn’t entirely pleasant because it stuck out sideways on an angle. I had to pry it out, to prevent it from scratching me, and ended up making a bit of a mess out of the bar. I assume this wouldn’t happen regularly, and it hasn’t since, but I may lean more towards one of the other types in the future. I did, however, love that it is unscented and I could use it on my girls too. We’re a household big on using products that are safe for the whole family, while still addressing particular skin care needs. My babies, obviously, have baby soft skin- my husband has eczema and my boys are more on the greasy side, whereas I have more dry skin. This bar is moisturizing, although it does not add any additional slick to your body, it’s gentle enough for the girls, will not irritate my husband and it won’t clog pores either. It eliminates the need for 4 different bars, or body washes, in our house and frees up space in the shower. All around, I love it and it’s longevity isn’t bad either. You’re paying $3.99 a bar so it’s on par with most of the natural products out there but it includes Manuka honey, sourced from New Zealand. As the company pays import charges for this “healing honey”, I think the pricing is great compared to other, more easily sourced soaps. I find it lasts quite a bit longer than my usual olive oil soap does and I would definitely try out anything else from their line.

Upon first receiving the face cream, I was a little put off by the fact that it includes bee venom.manuka

We all know that bees are dying off at an alarming rate (thanks Monsanto!) and, initially, I was ticked right off thinking that we were killing thousands more for venom, just to slap it in some cosmetics. This prompted me to do a little research and I actually found that the venom used in this cream is gathered in a bee-friendly manner and you can follow this link to find out how it’s done. How cool is that?!

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I’m not usually one to use face creams of any kind, as I find that I break out or look greasy. I’ve tossed Vichy, Nivea, Neutrogena, Olay, some from the Avon line and a bunch of other ones because I get acne, where I have never had it previously (even in high school). I was a little hesitant to try Manuka Magic but can honestly tell you that it works like magic! Not only is my skin more smooth, I’m even pregnant and not dealing with break outs and I’ve found a decrease in fine lines on my face and forehead in particular. I was really hoping it would help combat dark circles too but, hey, a girl can’t have it all. Perhaps they’ll come out with something for that because, after this experience, I would certainly be buying it.

Upon doing some further reading, I discovered that BunchaFarmers deals with all organic and natural items and they’ve been around for over a decade in my country. They are listed in the Top 200 Ethical Companies from Ethical Ocean and their stain remover received the Top 10 Green Household Items by Canadian Living. Why, on earth, have I not heard of them before now?! If you’re as interested in their line as I am, check out their website– you’ll be able to use the code 2016MemorialDay for an additional 10% off until the 30th!

#ManukMagicwithBeeVenom

Tea Bird Company Review

Good afternoon- and here is an adorable logo for you to “awh” at! 
It’s Monday and, as a result, I have been drinking plenty of tea! I was able to sample all of these specific ones over the last couple of weeks but my brew today prompted me to post about them. The Tea Bird Company was kind enough to send me their sample pack for review and this is what it looks like;
 
At first glance, I love the simplistic branding and the titles of the various blends, as well as the fact that each includes its own brewing instructions printed directly on the packaging. Very handy, especially if you are new to the tea scene.
I tried the Lord Earl In The Study With An Infuser (such a fantastic name) first; 
Black tea
Each blend arrived wrapped in this little disposable teabag, which is what floats the boat for some but it is not my idea of a good steep. With the average consumer, as well as when it comes to convenience, loose leaf is not exactly the most popular option. 
I prefer loose leaf and was just the littlest bit sad at first but, lo and behold, the teabags unwrap and easily open! Hurray!
Once I opened the small sachet of joy, the tea leaves looked like this out of the bag; 
For steeping, I have a nice infuser pot but prefer to use this little guy for smaller portions; 
Isn’t that adorable?! It’s a single tea cup infuser and it is incredibly handy, on top of being super cute. The little thing flips upside down while steeping and his perch there covers the top of your teacup so as to keep your beverage warm. In a house where it is often the case that I have left my drink sit for too long due to the kids, it is quite nice to be able to still partake in a nice cup of hot tea, thanks to my bitty bird buddie. I bought this through Pampered Chef and am told that it is being discontinued as of August 31st, which is a big bummer, so I will have to grab a couple more. If you want one for yourself, you can also support my lovely friend, Sara, with a purchase and will find this non-feathered friend here.
This is how it works and how the tea looks while just starting to steep; 
The black tea was absolutely delicious. I got a kick out of using my tea bird to make Tea Bird but I’m a big dork like that. Anyway! The taste of this is standard in the sense that it is a similar flavour to what is considered when one thinks of “tea” but it was much cleaner to me. I find the big two name brands either taste a bit like dirt or a lot like chemicals, which is not at all surprising when you do some research upon the ingredients. This provides none of that and all of the relaxing goodness that is achieved from the best cup of, to quote Jean Luc here, “Tea. Earl Grey, hot”. 
Sourced from; http://startrekconfessions.tumblr.com/post/14356715986
To transition from balls of steel, The Captain, to Magnolia Steel now; this is the next kind I tried!
Green tea
Here is an up-close and personal shot! 

Now, I have reviewed my share of green teas, some of which you can read about here, and I drink a lot of them. At least three times a day (when not pregnant), I will have a cup and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Although it is slightly more earthy than I prefer for regular, all temperature consumption, it was also a bit more flavourful than a standard green and a hint of berries on the tongue left me going back for another sip. The name, I thought, was quite cute and I am wondering if it was a play on Steel Magnolias. If not, it prompted me to make a sweet tea out of this all the same because it’s the house wine of the south, don’t ya know? I used a scaled down version of a recipe from Southern Living, which can be found via this link. 

Amazing- and it will also now be part of our regular summer routine.

I have NO idea where the title for this next one came from; a song, a prayer said by the guys on the road, a poem…who knows? That is what I enjoy about Tea Bird; all of their items are compelling, be it due to the title or taste. Every indulgence was an intriguing encounter and I give them a lot of credit for that.
In previous reviews, I have stated how I was never a big fan of Oolong tea and have since reached the conclusion that I was mental. I have come to greatly enjoy the experience and have never found an Oolong that is the same as any other that I have come across. Trucker’s Prayer was fantastically fruity, with notes of apricots seeming to be the prominent flavour, and there was very little astringency to the cup. I just loved this tea, from scent, to sip, to finish.
Now, to calm down, I’ll talk about Calm Down, their herbal offering; 
A very decidedly minty tea that smells absolutely divine, this one reminds me a lot of chamomile blends with the exception of it not tasting like the flower that bears the name. Odd, I know. This is not a tea that I would, personally, drink on a daily basis but one that is perfect while dealing with a cold or flu. I enjoy lemongrass and the soothing mint during such times but, once in a while, it is a nice one to have while curled up with a novel as well. Even the thought is calming.
If you want to check out Tea Bird for yourself, please find all contact details below. It’s worth perusing the site, simply for the clever marketing and their laid back, fun approach to business. Definitely a company that enjoys what they do- which is why they are so good at it, I suppose! 

I will leave you with my wishes that you have an excellent day, as well as the immortal words from Monty Python; 

Make tea, not war.

Who stinks? Natural Deodorant by Routine

Oh, you know that scent…then one we all dread; It smells a bit like a stir fry, a bit like a raw onions and, depending on the person, it can be somewhat reminiscent of feet, Play-Doh or corn chips.
If you’re really lucky and trapped in an enclosed space with this person, you will get a combination of all of the above!

I know, personally, I never want stink like that and I was, up until recently, willing to sacrifice my health via antiperspirants in order to make certain that I did not. Then, I read a bit about it. Parabens? Triclosan? Aluminum zirconium and chlorohydrate, or propylene glycol? Does that sound healthy to you? It’s not! Google it- then avoiding trying not to stink after you’ve crapped your pants.

The harsh reality is that these cancer causing agents, proven contributors to Alzheimers (as if my husband doesn’t already have enough difficulty remembering to do things I have asked him to) and chemicals with a variety of other negative effects to our health are in our day-to-day products. They are part of our routine.

Sadly, however, it is very difficult to come across a natural deodorant that is effective, long-lasting and smells good. I mean, really, I want to smell like a dewy, fresh rose while sweating like a hog. Who doesn’t?
I am not that chick in the gym who pretends to wipe sweat off of her face while sneaking a pit sniff (yeah, I saw you lady!) but I want to make certain that I don’t stink to high heaven when I go to hug the hubbs once he returns home from work. As a result of the aforementioned facts, I also like doing that without a lot of chemicals.

Here’s where Routine De-Odor-Cream comes in, a natural deodorant, which I received free in exchange for this review;
It looks like icing, smells like cake and is not meant for eating but, considering the ingredient list, you actually could. You’ll be tempted, believe me. A very cool fact about this particular scent is that it’s comprised of flavour oils and not essential ones, which is completely safe for pregnant, or nursing, Mamas as well. Yay for that!
Now, I wish this stuff came in a handy, dandy stick but it doesn’t. Luckily, you need very little in order to get the job done and simply apply it with a finger tip. The jar pictured above lasts anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how much you require each time. The initial investment may seem rather large but, when you consider how long the jar of natural deodorant lasts, it is worthwhile.
The Woah Blackberry Betty smells a lot like blackberry cake or the fruit itself mixed in with a vanilla icing; not that gross, synthetic vanilla smell either but one that makes your mouth water. It is very richly scented and stays with you for quite some time.
I found that it lasted through the day, although the scent did diminish and that was preferable to me. It was a bit strong for my liking at first but my husband loved my skin smelling of dessert. He said that he has never come across a deodorant that made him hungry before and thought I smelled like a jam-filled doughnut.

The above picture is the Maggie’s Citrus Farm scent option and this one was my least favourite, as well as the least effective, of all of the options that I received. I was not the biggest fan of the orangey aroma and I felt self conscious as the day wore on. It’s made of the same, beeswax base that the other is but I was just not a big fan.

This little, blue bird covers Routine Cream’s clay based option for deodorant, which I found kept me more dry throughout the day than the beeswax one. This particular kind is called Sweet Jane and it most definitely smells very sweet, with a couple of notes being similar to the Woah Blackberry Betty kind, with the hint of baking from the vanilla, but it includes pears as well. Sweet Jane is also scented with natural and organic flavour oils, instead of essential ones, and is my personal recommendation for the nursing Mamas.
I really loved this one and it was the sample that I went through the quickest, as I wore it daily.
I am not sure if it is due to the formula difference, or just the way the little trial sizes are packaged, but these ones were a bit more wet than the large, glass jar. I didn’t mind that but the one is decidedly more solid.
The pink bird above labels their Sexy Sadie scent and it is one of the best sellers from the brand. It, to me, is also one of the most complex but I actually thought it was slightly less pleasing than the others. This one includes patchouli, which is fantastic for skin conditions and as an antifungal addition but it does not appeal to me personally. I don’t like anything with herbaceous, musky tones and find it’s cousin, lavender, more pleasing. For ladies who wear perfume on a regular basis, you would be used to this and probably enjoy it. Just not my thing.
I use ylang ylang quite a bit in the household, in my diffuser or topically, so I was reminded of that from this one too. This scent is actually fantastic for uplifting moods, inspiring feelings of joy, relaxation or hope and for treating depression. If you happen to have any underarm irritation from shaving, this would also be excellent for helping to sooth and heal that due to the addition of ylang ylang to the ingredient list. I think the name may come from ylang ylang being used as an aphrodisiac but I could be completely off the mark with it. Either way, it’s fitting.
Speaking of the hubby, Routine Cream also sent along their Napoleon Dynamite blend for him to try out. The bitty, birdy buddy on that one is black, although I do not have a picture of it because he took it to work for his locker.
Now, when I first opened this one I did not enjoy the way it smelled in the slightest, then it grew on me once my husband applied it and it mixed with his own scent. It was similar to the Maggie’s Citrus Farm, only even more reminiscent of oranges or grapefruits, and then included some undertones that I figured were more feminine. This one includes bergamot oil, however, and you can wear that on it’s own as natural deodorant so it’s duplicity in scent makes for a great deodorant for the ladies who are more worried about odour. Try the men’s line! Bergamot is proven effective and, as an inclusion in the ingredient list, it helped to make sure my husband could wear a natural deodorant without smelling like part of the wild. Considering he’s a sexy, albeit occasionally stinky, beast and this one kept the latter at bay- it earned my approval.

Routine De-Odor-Cream can be found online here and you can also check out their Facebook page for more information.

 

Wordless Wednesday; The Princess Tea

Here is my collection of pictures from the Princess Tea, coming up again this year at Faith Tabernacle church. It’s a fancy luncheon, for any little princess age 3+, that’s full of fun, delicious food and Disney princesses. These are our photos from last year and I’ve decided to post them, in anticipation of this year’s event. Both girls get to attend and couldn’t be more excited- just this evening they wanted to wear their crowns to bed. I will post again after the 2016 event, sharing the pictures from that.

Please see the watermarks on the photos, as they’re a mix of my own and ones from the Faith Welland Connections Facebook page. Thank you for allowing me to use them and to Celebrations Photography, for some of these absolutely gorgeous shots.

I’m still going to label this as a Wordless Wednesday post because, apart from explaining what you’re looking at and giving credit where it’s due, I will leave you to these pictures now.

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Ultimate Up”cycling” with Flat Bags

Hello again, me here- And up there too! That’s my Flat Bag under my arm and it doubles as a purse, diaper bag or laptop carry case. It looks good enough that I wanted to do this whole post for a Wordless Wednesday, as the pictures are review enough (in my mind) but there is so much to this neat, little creation that I wanted to “Dish” about it with you a bit!

Flat Bags are the brain child of Shannon Hames, an avid mountain biker from British Columbia, Canada, who made the first purse using old inner tubes and splash pants in 1996. At least something worthwhile came from horrible 90s fashion mistakes, I suppose you could say- Sorry Shannon! 😛

The company is now responsible for making fantastic, environmentally friendly fashion statements out of over 16 000 feet of inner tubes to date. They have also graduated beyond raingear to this lovely, leather-like, white creation that you see before you;

The above picture features the Large Favourite in Pearl, which has two inner pockets and a zippered pocket on the back. The back compartment actually has enough room that it can store the smaller purse shown below, or as part of my outfit in this Echo Verde review. Having a lot of space is great for me, as I carry a full sized hairbrush for out of control locks, have more keys than makes sense, I need to bring things to amuse my boys or else they’ll kill one another, I’m Peanut’s Little People mule, we have a ton of baby items in tow at all times, I need food about every two hours because I am a huge pig and I carry a honkin’, old lady wallet- so bonus!

The purse fastens closed by two magnetic snaps, which I found very fun to use, and the shoulder strap is similar to a seatbelt so it’s far more comfortable than what a typical bag would offer. I hate those straps that dig into my traps when I’m toting all that I do but this one is wide enough that it doesn’t- plus, it has an additional pad included for my shoulder as an added comfort feature.

Of course, Peanut got straight into the parcel as soon as I opened it and she took a liking to the larger of the two purses. As it looked ridiculous (and made me a bit jealous) I gave her the little one to sport around. Hopefully she will tote her own Little People but, as of right now, her purse includes one of my chapsticks, a box of Smarties, a Cinderella necklace that belongs to her sister, a crumpled picture of herself, a fridge magnet, a play syringe from her doctor kit and one Oreo. I’m not sure if this is really cute or if I should be concerned that my daughter may turn out to be a drug addict, narcissist, kleptomaniac, thief or a diabetic. In any case, she’s very pleased with her purse and it’s contents.

Check out the fall colours too- they are perfect for the season. More colour options are available on the Flat Bags Etsy page so you will want to check there, or their Facebook, if you are looking for this purse. I love the Zippity Doo Da in Tamale- it’s such a statement piece!

This specific purse is not featured in this pattern on their website but, if you want to check out more of the fancy, fantastic Flat Bag fun visit the site here. Feel free to like this Facebook fanpage too, which is not shown on the website. You can access it via the My Domestic Dish fanpage as one of my “likes” and I’ve shared it there as well.

This one is a simple, single pocket with the same magnetic closures as the larger option. I think it is perfect for those ladies would would prefer to carry only a wallet but, like I do, have the nasty habit of sitting it down while shopping in stores and walking away from it. This way you can do the same thing but have it attached to your shoulder at all times. It would comfortably fit keys, sunglasses, a comb, a couple of make up basics, money and identification. Presently ours is housing an Oreo but, hey, a girl’s gotta eat.

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Top 10 Foods I Could Eat For The Rest Of My Life

Have you got a favourite dish? A constant craving? The one meal that always makes you salivate ?
Perhaps I’m just thinking about food more because I’m pregnant but here is my list, in no particular order, of;

Top 10 Foods I Could Eat For The Rest Of My Life

  1. Grapefruit, with sugar sprinkled over the slices.
    Oh gosh, even thinking about it.fruit-671980_1920-1024x683

 

2. Cheese. All kinds. I can’t help myself.

3. Pad Thai. I love that shit.

top 10 foods i could eat for the rest of my life

4. Pasta, buttery and with parmesan cheese. It is my guilty pleasure and probably accounts for at least a buttcheek’s worth of my booty.

5. Steak, chicago style and medium in the middle. Better with button mushrooms fried in some butter, caramelized onions and topped with seafood. Just get in my mouth now. Do it.

top 10 foods

6. Eggs Benedict. Hollandaise sauce makes my life. In fact, put that on top of the steak too.

7. Homemade clam chowder. In a pinch, I will accept the canned stuff but it had better have giant chunks of clam in it!

8. Plain white rice with salt and butter, or soy sauce.

top 10 foods rice

9. Chocolate mousse. Oh man, I make good mousse. I’m going to make some right now. Seriously, at 2am. It’s going down.

10. Goat cheese and avocado sandwiches on rye bread, even better if topped with roasted red peppers. It’s amazing and, if you try it, email me to let you know how in love you are with this dish!

my top 10 foods

See, I couldn’t help it on the mousse front.

Are you starving yet? What foods would make your top 10?

Cocktails N Canvas Review

Just the other night, I finally got out on a date! The hubby and I chose Cocktails N Canvas for our free time. We didn’t get to dress like we were going out together, or primp and prep for it so that was a bit of a bummer…but we at least had a few child-free hours to spend in one another’s company! Our day was hectic and stressful so we certainly enjoyed it;  We had spent the whole afternoon in the courthouse, then took my stepson’s Mom out to where she lives (an hour and a half from our place) after we set up his adoption. That’s a whole different post in itself though so stay tuned. All of that made us nearly miss the evening entirely so we were thrilled we were able to make it, even though we looked mildly disheveled, didn’t have a chance to shower and were pretty tired after very a busy day.

Anyway, we went to the Cocktails N Canvas paint party, this time being at The Host Bar in St Catharines. I was lucky enough to attend for free, in exchange for an unbiased review, but tickets normally cost just over $40 each. This includes the canvas, use of an apron, all of your supplies and the two-hour lesson but doesn’t include any food or drinks purchased. Given the title, Cocktails N Canvas, that’s part of the fun so you will want to budget accordingly. It’s a fairly new concept, starting up under a variety of companies and names, but the premise is that you get together in a local bar or pub, share some laughs, have a few drinks with your friends, and you create a masterpiece.

Cocktails N Canvas

You will have to excuse the photography for this review but my camera has crapped out on me, my husband took most of the pictures and I’m just having all around sucky shoot luck lately.

cocktails n canvas

Me, with messy hair and preggo chunk. Hello!

Pulling up to The Host, we weren’t sure what to expect by the outside of the building. I have to say, if you’re looking for a place with a fantastic atmosphere, it’s definitely one to check out! I was wowed by the beautiful furniture inside, the gorgeous floors and the overall cleanliness of the place. I’m one of those people who doesn’t feel right about eating in a restaurant if they don’t have a super clean bathroom and The Host checks out.

cocktails n canvas #cnc #paintparty

Bear, still managing to look cute even though he didn’t have the chance to shower after work.

Even if you’re not in the least bit creative, you learn step-by-step how to make a beautiful painting while being guided by a local artist. It’s easier than it sounds, trust me! My husband is a blue-collar, machine shop worker who likes sports and won’t even colour- yet the man can make a beautiful painting, I’ll give him that.

In the interest of being entirely unbiased, I have to say that we expected to go for a small bite and some beverages but we didn’t end up eating. We wanted to but found that #cnc had too few breaks, which may have been better if it was just one longer one in the middle of the event. We weren’t able to take advantage of the awesome tapas menu and the wait staff of The Host didn’t serve the party at our seats. This isn’t the first of these events I have attended and, normally, the party itself is checked on regularly so I was fairly surprised by the lack of service. I don’t mean it was shoddy- it was completely absent and I think The Host failed to capitalize on a lucrative income opportunity where this event was concerned. We had to run out for our beverages when we had a break in the painting and it wound up ensuring we had only one drink apiece. There would have been enough time to dash for a second but my pregnant bladder wasn’t allowing me to stay on task for the two-hour timeframe and Bear was busy catching up on his piece. Many of the people could be heard wondering whether or not servers would be by to take orders but no one ended up coming, even though it appeared that staffers oversaw the lesson.
That was my only one complaint about the evening and, as the place is just so pretty, we will try The Host once more (not during a painting party) before dismissing it entirely.

What we loved about the evening was the atmosphere, the easy-to-follow instructions, our personable teacher (we had Michelle that night and she is lovely) and being surrounded by people who are just as inexperienced but still having a ton of fun. I overheard so many painters giggling at their work in the start, then shocked by how well the pieces turned out.  I also think that every person at our table will go again, including us, but bring along more friends next time. We sat with a big group of ladies that had all come together and so many of them added names to the list of people they wanted to get out to the next event. Once you go, it’s something you’ll want to try your hand at again.

Bear and I sat across from one another, instead of side-by-side, so that we could do the “big reveal” at the end. I was completely surprised at how well his painting turned out, as he kept making jokes about how poor it looked all the way along. Mind you, most of us did and we all ended up with fairly good pieces.

Below is mine and both of ours will be posted in a video to my YouTube channel. If you’re interested in checking out the next Cocktails ‘N Canvas for yourself, you can find a local event here- https://www.cocktailsncanvas.com/events

I did hear that they were hosting one at a winery soon so, if you’re anything like me, that will be the one you’ll want to book this very second. Cheers!

cocktails n canvas #cnc