July 20, 2012

Summertime Eating

Fruit parfait's

 Apple, fennel & candied pecan salad

 5 am Farmer's Salad at Flip restaurant

 Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

July 18, 2012

Beauty Secrets For Summer

Summer is definitely in full swing! The days are longer and the temperatures have risen, and with that, comes a little extra TLC for looking my best throughout the day. 

I have naturally curly hair and moderately oily skin so when the temperature reaches the plus 30's and it is as humid as hell, I will be the first to say I have some beauty issues. I put together some beauty products that I swear by to help me stay looking my best through the summer.

1. Wear a facial anti perspirant! 

My face is the most oily part of my body (as most people's is) also, I sweat profusely...ok maybe not that bad but I definitely get a shiny face and it can be pretty unattractive. If you have the same problem try this product. Just put it on before your moisturiser or sunscreen!

Neat 3B Face Saver Gel

2. Buy a good day cream with a high SPF!

Instead of using a day cream and then a sunscreen, invest in a really good day cream that has a high SPF. The worst thing for your skin is long exposure to the sun and it is the surest way to cause premature ageing. That goes for tanning beds too people! There are far too many oompa loompas walking around. It is soooo bad for your skin! Also, gross. 
 I wear sunscreen everyday but I like to wear a lower SPF on my body so I can get a little tan. On my face I wear an SPF of 30 or higher. I am not a freak about it or anything, but it really is important in keeping your skin looking its best as you age. Try this product. Eminence Organic Skin Care- Persimmon & Cantaloupe Day cream with an SPF 32.

3. Use a Makeup Primer!

Makeup primer goes on before your foundation and it makes your makeup stay on much longer. This is especially good for summer when you perspire and your makeup feels like it is practically melting of your face. I only wear foundation in certain spots, like under my eyes, my nose and my eyelids, and yes I still use a primer. It also helps your eyeshadow stay on longer as well.  This is a great one to try!

Bare Minerals Prime Time Foundation Primer

4. Wear a UV Protective Spray in your hair!

One of my biggest beauty pet peeves is how quick my hair fades! And in summer it fades twice as fast! So annoying, and the up keep gets really pricey. It all comes down to your hair's health and texture. Coarser hair (like mine) will fade quicker than fine hair and dry, damaged hair will also fade quicker than healthy hair. So really there is nothing you can do to help your hair fade less except take care of it, and use helpful products like this.
Paul Mitchell Sun Shield Conditioning Spray

5. Wear Waterproof Mascara!

Usually I hate this stuff because it is so hard to wash off, but when it comes to a beach day or a day in a pool, it is kind of a must (Unless you are blessed and able to go Au natural). In that case, I envy you because my lashes are sooo short and so blond. One of the best brands for long lasting mascara is this product. You could cry for hours in this mascara and it won't run so it is perfect for a day in the water. The only way to get it off properly (I have found), is to use really warm water and baby oil.

 Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wear Formula

6. Use a hair & body cleanse after being at the pool!

Rinse away yucky pool residue by washing your hair and body with this product afterwards. It gets rid of chlorine and it is also great for going on vacation or if you live by the ocean because it gets rid of salt as well! Also, huge bonus- It is color safe!

Aveda Sun Care Hair & Body Cleanser

7. Take care of sun burns!

Hopefully you won't get a sunburn, but it does happen. When you are outside having a good time with friends, family, doing a water sport etc...whatever the case may be, some of us forget to re apply sunscreen sometimes and wind up with a nasty burn that resembles sun burned Barbie.

This is a real Barbie they made by the way...WTF. I believe it was banned, thank God.

Anyway...one of the best things for relieving a sun burn is an old trick that works great. Just add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath water and soak in it for a minimum of ten minutes. You can also use Aloe, I always keep Aloe Vera Gel around for this purpose in the summer. (If you have an Aloe plant, even better!) It helps repair the skin but also reduces the pain and inflammation. Vinegar works too! Just dab some plain white vinegar on your burn with a cotton ball. The acids in vinegar help to balance the acidity and alkalinity of your skin!

8. Exfoliate before you shave!

This one is big. In summer you probably live in shorts, tanks, skirts? right?  And it really sucks having to shave your legs, underarms and bikini area way more often than in winter. I find myself having to do it every 2-3 days in the summer as opposed to winter when I do it once a month. Just kidding!.........sorta. A great trick to help you go longer in between shaves is to exfoliate first. Or wax. But who has the time?  Find a good scrub, or make one like I do. (I will post it in a few days). Rub the scrub in circular movements all over your skin. I do this about twice a week. What it does is bring the hairs completely out of the follicle, helping the strands get on the same growth cycle. I promise I didn't make this up, I learned all about it when I went to Cosmetology School!

9. Last but not least...my biggest summer flaw....FRIZZ HEAD.

I have naturally curly hair and when it gets humid out...well lets just say I look like someone who belongs on this site. Not cool. When I was in Mexico I was surprised I did not need to use anything for my hair?! Even though it was smouldering hot out, my hair did not get frizzy? Weird hey?  But in Saskatchewan, in the plus 30s I definitely need to use something and I usually go for this awesome spray. It works pretty good for my hair. You just spray on over dry hair then smooth down. It helps make your hair resistant to humidity because it seals down your cuticle.
                          Straight Sexy Hair: Smooth and Seal Aerated Anti Frizz and Shine Spray

So, there you have it. My main summer tricks for keeping my body, face and hair looking it's best. I hope you can find some of these tips useful!

Do you have any good summer beauty tips to share with me? I would love to hear them! 

July 16, 2012

Vodka Penne & Garlic Bread

When I post recipes on this blog, I am going to try and stick to easy recipes that even beginner cooks can make with ease. I want to share with you food that I cook for my family and friends, that is simple enough for even the newest cooks to make without feeling overwhelmed.

Here is a delicious Vodka Penne with Homemade Garlic Bread that I slightly adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.  It is pretty simple yet full of great flavor, Enjoy!

Vodka Penne


1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh oregano + a bit more for garnish
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vodka
1 large can of whole tomatoes
salt and pepper
3/4 lb penne pasta
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large ovenproof pot on medium & preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Cook onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes or until translucent
3. Add the dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes, stir well
4. Add the vodka, let cook for 1 minute
5. Add the whole tomatoes, crushing them in the pot with the back of your cooking spoon
6. Stir everything well
7. Season with salt and pepper
8. Cover and put in oven for 1 hour
9. Start boiling your pasta water when you take your sauce out of the oven (remember to add salt to your boiling water, before you drop your pasta!)
10. Ladle your sauce into a blender, and whiz up until you have a smooth consistency
11. Pour sauce into a pan, and add the 1 tbsp of fresh oregano and the heavy cream (you will be looking for a creamy consistency)
12. Season again with salt and pepper and let cook for another ten minutes.  At this point your penne should be cooking in the salted water.
13. When the pasta is cooked, drain in and toss with your vodka sauce (keeping it on the warm burner so it does not cool down)
14. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir. Pour into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with extra Parmesan and fresh oregano.

Garlic Bread


1 loaf of ciabatta bread (cut in half lengthwise)
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/8 cup fresh oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil (approximately)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1. Whiz up the garlic, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, you can mince the garlic and herbs by hand and mix all together
2. Heat up the oil in a small pot and cook the mixture for about 30 seconds, making sure not to let the garlic burn
3. Spoon the mixture on one half of the bread, and generously spread butter on the other half of bread
4. Put halves together and wrap the whole loaf in tin foil
5. Put in the oven for 5 minutes, take off foil, let bread sit for a minute or 2 then slice into pieces and serve

I hope you like this delicious and easy pasta dish that has become a regular meal in our home! Give it a try, you will love it!
P.S.  Who do you want Emily to pick on The Bachelorette next week?
Arie or Jef????

I am Team Jef, he is the cutest!