Monday, November 26, 2012

David's Tea For Me!


monday mornings ~ mugs of hot tea ~ overnight snow

I'm so happy to finally see snow down here in Ottawa. I love the first snowfall, especially in late November. We're one month away from Christmas, and we're definitely experiencing the cooler temps this week. I think it's the appropriate time to take out my TNA parka in order to survive this Canadian weather. As long as we get snow for the Christmas time, I'll be happy! I remember last year we were so afraid we weren't going to have a white Christmas, but it snowed a day before. #canadianproblems 

Because of the cooler temps, it's essential to keep warm! My parents hate turning up the heating, so in order to stay warm, I drink hot tea all day long and wear my mom's winter sweaters because they're just so much comfier than mine.

Speaking of hot tea... I thought this would be the perfect day to share my recent David's Tea purchases! Getting introduced to these teas has definitely turned me into a tea fiend.

It started with the above teas. First, I picked up 'Oyokuru' green tea. According to the website, "it's one of the highest grades of Japanese tea. The leaves come from single buds and are shielded from the sun for two weeks before harvesting, which results in a sweeter, more nuanced tea." It tastes pure, natural and I feel infused with health through each sip. The middle tea is from the grocery store, 'Banana Cinnamon Spice' and it is delicious! Lastly, we have 'organic - the skinny'. I was intrigued by the name and after I took a whiff, I knew I needed to try it. The tea contains 'delicious traditional digestives like pu'erh, oolong, ginger and eleuthero root.'  I enjoyed drinking this tea because it smells like a citrus tea [due to the ingredient orange peel], with a kick of ginger and a fruity note. When sipping, it tastes natural, and soothing.  

A few days later I did some online shopping, and I probably bought too much but the 'free shipping after you spend $50' made me want to keep shopping, and so I did! Why am I such a sucker for free shipping?  

When opened, there were 3 free samples and a tea menu. 

My 3 free samples consisted of Coconut Cream, Cookie Dough and Alpine Punch. As you can see I ripped open the Coconut Cream tea and immediately brewed a cup. It tasted like peppermint tea, with a hint of coconut - almost like a splash of coconut milk was added. I have yet to try the Alpine Punch, but I'm sure it's delicious!

I purchased 100g of the Cinnamon Rooibos Chai, which I was very excited about. They also give you a free metal tin with the amount, and a sticker to label the tin with. I love a good chai tea, and cinnamon is one of my favorite ingredients in autumnal/winter foods and beverages. I have yet to try this one, and I think I'll have to do an update with how this one tastes, as well as Alpine Punch from above. 

All of the tea pots we have at home are either for decorative purposes, or too big for my liking. I decided to get the 'forlife tea for one' so that I could brew the right amount of tea that I wanted - usually just one serving. Plus, how cute is the stacked tea cup underneath the mini tea pot? This way I could bring it up to my room and pour at my convenience. They have also included a built-in stainless steel infuser, so you have everything you need to brew the perfect cup of tea! 

For some extras, I also purchased agave sticks in a lime flavor. I've never tried a flavored agave syrup, but I do love lemon in my tea, so I thought that I'd enjoy the lime agave as well. Lastly, I got the tea filters, which are basically tea bags that you can put your tea leaves into for quick use. Great for travel, too!

I still have to try the Alpine Punch and Cinnamon Rooibos Chai teas, but when I do I'll let you guys know how they taste, but I already know they'll taste great because I have yet to try a tea from David's Tea that I don't like! 

Q: Are you a tea or coffee person? Is there a flavor of tea or coffee that you enjoy the most? Let me know!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

DIY: Canvas Art

You know those fancy stores that have little things about them, making you fall in love with them just a little more each and every time you step into the store? One of my favorite things about shopping at Aritzia is the unique art they feature on their shopping bags. Stepping into the store is like stepping into fashion heaven, and I'm always pleased when I see a new print on a shopping bag I can take home. You might think I'm weird because I'm fascinated with a shopping bag, but as you'll see, the prints are really nice! 

Being an avid collector of things I like, I started collecting the bags because I knew that one day I'd like to frame them, or perhaps make something artsy with them. I had a few medium sized canvases left over after painting them earlier this year, so I came up with the idea of transferring the artwork from the paper bags onto the canvas boards. 

I used four of my favorite prints: a disco scene, two euphoric/nature prints and one with some girls hanging upside down. 

And now for the instructions...

A canvas board 
Art from a shopping bag (but any art will do)
Flyers (to avoid making a mess)
Liquid Glue (I used Mod Podge)
Sponge Brush 
Pins* (optional)

1. Cut out your desired artwork as big or as small as you want.

2. Apply a layer of liquid glue with your sponge brush onto your canvas. Place your art on the canvas and use your hands to secure it in place.  It dries quickly, so work fast.

*This is an optional step if you decide to use pins. If you want to cover the sides of your canvas, cut your artwork significantly larger than your canvas board and pin the sides down to make sure they stay in place after you glue them down. 

3. Using your sponge brush again, apply a layer of glue to the top of your artwork. Most liquid glues are white but they dry clear, so don't worry if you see white streaks. 

Use something to hold up your canvas when it dries. 
If you didn't wrap it around the sides, you can lay it flat to dry.

I suggest you apply 2 coats of glue on the top of your canvas so you make sure you have every inch covered with a glossy coating. After it dries, it's ready to be hung up! You can add more to the canvas to make it more interesting and unique if you wish. For instance, the print of the girls hanging upside down reminded me of fun, youthful times and freedom. So, I painted the word 'freedom' in a cursive font on the bottom. 

Let me know if you make this DIY project, or other canvas art!

What do you think of my first DIY post? Should I post more in the future?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Boots and a Blazer

Blazer: Vera Moda - Top: American Eagle - Jeans: Dynamite - Boots: Steve Madden

Mid-weed University slumps are common these days. Exams are a month away, and it's crunch time. I've slacked my way through a few classes this semester and in order to make it through with good grades on my transcript, I need to pull my act together. This means no more watching morning talk shows until 2pm [Kelly & Michael, TMZ Live, the list goes on..], while munching on spoonfuls of peanut butter. Bad habits in the making. On an unrelated note, I'll never stop eating peanut butter by the spoonful.

Lately I've been feeling more productive when I dress myself up in more 'mature' attire, such as with blazers! I wore this blazer previous in this post, where I paired it with a burgundy bustier style top and a gorgeous statement necklace. For today's outfit, I paired the striped blazer with a black, silky top, burgundy skinny jeans, and edgy Steve Madden boots. I think it's a great combination of business attire, with an edgy vibe due to the boots. Of course most outfits also look great with one or two pieces of jewelry, and I added a black bangle on my left wrist.

Blazer: Vera Moda - Top: American Eagle Outfitters - Jeans: Dynamite
Boots: Steve Madden - Bangle: Forever 21

Q: What do you think about combining classy pieces with edgy pieces? 

*I added 'Connect' widgets to the left sidebar on my blog. Check them out!*

Thursday, November 01, 2012

October Favorites

A lot has happened throughout the month of October, and like all the other months, it's flown by, just like all of the beautiful, crunchy leaves now laying on the ground. I love walking around campus and seeing such a vast variety of trees with leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes. If you can't tell, I love autumn and all that nature brings along with it. We've had a bit of rain, but nothing compared to the east coast, heading south of the border. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those and their families affected by hurricane Sandy.

On a happier note, I want to share with you guys some of my favorite things I enjoyed or discovered on the Internet throughout the month of October!

Favorite meal: Eggs + gluten free toast + avocado slices + Italian seasonings + side of vegetables. I have a different variation of this meal 5-6x a week and it always keeps me full for hours. A cup (or two) of coffee on the side is always included.

Favorite drink: Pumpkin Spice La- just kidding. I'm so over the pumpkin spice latte phase, especially since I tasted this coffee my Dad brought home from Brazil [I'm not sure if it's a Brazilian brand, or if it's sold in other countries]. It has such a smooth, rich flavor, and you can definitely taste the difference from other popular brands that can sometimes taste murky or burnt. Add a splash of almond milk and you're set! This coffee would be great for iced coffee, as well.

Favorite Song: 'O My Heart' by Mother Mother. Mother Mother is a new band (to me), and I've been downloading their songs into my iTunes obsessively.

Favorite Outfit: I recently discovered Jana's blog and one of her recent outfits really caught my eye. I love an outfit that's black head to toe,  but a splash of color is nice to include. The aquamarine sequined shorts from Mango are spectacular, as well as her Urban Outifitters necklace! Shorts are great with tights in the colder months, too.

Favorite recipe to try: Pumpkin Hazelnut Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Tracey from Shutterbean always comes up with new, unique recipes that sound so delicious, and they always photograph so well - she's a talented woman! Image this... roasted pumpkin, toasted hazelnuts incorporated into brown butter, and thick slices of cheese all slathered onto 2 slices of bread and grilled. Um... yeah. Hard to resist, right? I don't consume much dairy, but if I bought dairy-free cheese, I'd definitely give this one a try. 

 Favorite Purchase:  And finally, I introduce to you my 'Trick or Treat' mug from Home Sense! I love the round shape that fit's more of your hot beverage than expected. Doesn't it remind you of a pumpkin's round shape, as well? I got this about a week before Halloween and it was on clearance. For $2.50, I think it was a great seasonal buy. The inside says, 'No tricks just treats', so cute, right?

Q: What are your October favorites? What are you looking forward to in November?