Friday, February 27, 2015

Snacking Lately: Homemade Hummus

It's no secret that my husband is handy in the kitchen and just recently he has totally perfected the most delish hummus ever!  I'm not usually a big hummus fan...  But when he decides to make a batch, he'll have me taste test it throughout his process so he's sure I'm happy with it and well... it's always just right.  I guess you can say the secret ingredient is love. *wink*

Sesame seeds & olive oil (to make the tahini, if you make it yourself)
Chick peas
Lemon Juice
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

First he starts by making his own tahini. To do this, simply roast the sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on the stovetop (you can also roast them on a cookie sheet in the oven, but hubby likes the control everything of doing it in the pan). Once roasted, let them cool.
Once cooled, mix 1 cup roasted sesame seeds to a 1/4 cup oil in a food processor... add the oil gradually, to end up with your desired consistency. 
Refrigerate (hubby often makes his tahini ahead of time so it's ready to go when he wants to make the hummus, we usually keep a jar in the fridge).

Now on to the best part... the hummus!!
First, peel the chick peas.  He's skipped this process once and althought it was still yummy, there was a definite texture difference!
Put the tahini in a food processor (about a large tablespoon), and blend while adding the lemon juice. Next add about a dozen garlic cloves (hubby likes to roast the garlic in aluminum foil the oven first - drizzle a bit of olive oil over the garlic).
Gradually add a 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Add a few handfuls of chick peas and blend well with the rest of the mix... and then add the rest of the chick peas.
Once it's all pureed, season to taste with salt, pepper & cumin.  If needed, at this point, you can add more lemon juice or do variations of different spices.

That's it, folks! Aren't you hungry now!?

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

How to Care For Your Swimwear

Hi guys! I ave a great guest post today all about taking care of your swimwear... I was hesitant to post it in the middle of February, but seeing as many of you live in a warmer climate OR will be going on vacation & escaping winter for a bit I thought why not!!


So you’re all ready to hit the beach when you pick up your favourite swimming costume, only to see it out of shape. Isn’t it depressing? Although it could be over-used, in reality it’s probably poorly taken care of. Needless to say, this doesn’t have to happen to you if you follow these great tips for swimwear care!

Wear the right swimwear material in hot tubs. Unfortunately, hot tubs are not great for your swimwear. So if you’re planning to have a long soak in the spa, it best to wear an old bikini. That said, if you can’t resist popping on your newest cossie, try using something made of 100% polyester or something chlorine-resistant. Beware that bromine-made swimwear could be damaged in one sitting.

Do not swim and then sunbath. Although probably a little unrealistic for the beach or pool lover, it’s best to sun bake before, not after a swim. Chlorine and salt water reacts badly when drying in the sunlight. Alternatively, you could change into a dry swimsuit after a swim!

Be cautious where you sit or lay down. Pool sides and decks are usually rough to ensure no one slips over. But that friction can be detrimental to your swimwear. Make sure you use a towel to sit on instead.

Give it a rest. The lycra and spandex used to make swimwear is flexible and stretchy and believe all not, has its own little fabric memory. That’s why it needs at least 24 hours to get back to its original shape. It’s best to alternate swimwear to ensure your bikini is dry before wearing it again.

Never sun-dry or use the dryer. The sun speeds up fading and reduces the swimwear’s elasticity. The dryer is equally hard on spandex and lycra. Air dry the suit in the shade, instead. But don’t hang it by the straps because the water weight will stretch it out. Place it on a flat surface such as a plastic beach chair.

Rinse it ASAP. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve gone swimming. What matters is to rinse your swimwear as soon as possible. Lather the suit with the same mild soap that you use for your skin. And afterwards, never wring rigorously! A gentle press is better.
Only hand wash. The washing machine is too harsh for your swimsuits. Hand wash, using a mild soap and gently rinse after every use. Plain water is not enough to take the chlorine out of the suits.

Have high quality swimwear. The best quality swimwear still has spandex and lycra that’s vulnerable to chlorine, salt water, and sun. But they have a better tolerance, and can last longer than the cheaper ones. Choose suits with more spandex. They are not only longer-lasting but they are also better at keeping their shape and therefore supporting you.

All swimwear has washing and drying instructions. Carefully and religiously follow these in addition to the tips mentioned above. Lastly, keep in mind that no swimwear can last forever. But you can always make them last longer!

Author Bio
Carla is a beach lover, who has spent most of her life by the beach. As a blogger, Carla loves sharing fashion tips and guides for readers of all shapes and sizes. When not blogging, she spends time as a fashion guru for Carla Swimwear.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Fashion Crush: Sarah Hyland

Funny I haven't really *noticed* Sarah Hyland before... she's adorable and her style is amazing!
It wasn't until I open my newest issue of LOULOU that I took notice.

Obviously, her red carpet style is spot on, but her more casual looks are cute too! Totally put together, fun, young & so hip!

Sorry for the pic heavy post, but honestly, the more I Googled her, the more infatuated with her style I became! Who's your recent fashion crush? 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Modcloth Sale!!!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. 

Attention party-goers and glam gals --ModCloth has a sale that's sure to suit your fancy! Nab dazzling dresses at 25% off during their Get Set for Soirees Sale. Explore their array of classy, contemporary, and all-out incredible styles, and you're sure to find your dream dress. Hurry though -- this exquisite event won't last long!

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Spongebob & Stitches & Cold Snaps, Oh My!

Since the weather has been so cold & unpredictable lately I rescheduled an engagement shoot I had originally planned for Saturday, and brought the kids to see the new SpongeBob movie instead. The little family-owned theatre we usually go to was PACKED.  Usually there are only a handful of families at the kid-friendly matinees... but this weekend I think everyone had the same idea. STAY INSIDE! 

The kids had a great time! By the time we got home, it was almost time for supper. We hadn't thought much about what to make, so we ended up pulling some homemade pulled pork chili out of the freezer! Delish! Especially with fresh bakery buns! 

We had planned on a pretty low key evening, got in our pajamas early and were about to settle in to watch Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day when Memphis accidentally cut his hand on an open can.  Everyone stayed very calm, but there was a fair amount of blood... "I think he's going to need stitches"... I got dressed quickly and rush to the hospital. So happy it's only a couple minutes away.

I'm always afraid I'm going to come off as an overreacting mom.... but sure enough, 3 stitches later and we were on our way back home...

We managed 9 years before needing to rush anyone to the hospital for stitches, so I count myself lucky. Can scratch that off our "firsts" list! And maybe it's a boy thing, but as we were walking out of the hospital, he turned to me and said "Oh man! I can't wait to show my friends!!" 

Sunday, with a wind chill of -43, we didn't do much. I got some stuff down around the house, hubby made some yummy homemade hummus and salsa and the kids bummed around most of the day in their pajamas!  It's nice to hibernate once in a while!

How was your weekend? Did anyone do anything special for Valentine's Day?

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Currently {february}

I don't know about you, but stumbling onto a blogger's "currently" post is always fun. I like getting a little sneak peek into their lives... Not in a stalkerish way, of course, but it's always cool to see what others are up to right now. I often find inspiration in these types of post: what to wear, what to watch, what to read, what to make for supper..., so I'm jumping on the band wagon and sharing a few my "currentlys" today too.

Reading Insurgent. I finished Divergent a few weeks ago and have set a goal to finish this book before the movie comes out in March. I'm only on the 2nd or 3rd chapter, but I will do it!  I just find it so hard to set aside the "me" time needed to really immersed myself in the story!

Watching  Bones. On Netflix. Every night before bed.  No idea why I never watched it before... it's so good!

Eating  Fresh veggies in the middle of winter! Hubby has a green thumb and has already started a few things in the basement... check out his lettuce!

Drinking  More water. Trying to anyway... I've installed a handy little app that reminds me, but I find I'm quick to just ignore it.

Wearing  Layers! Still very cold and snowy up here in the great white north, unfortunately.

Needing A little extra cash. Hubby isn't working right now I'm supporting all of us with my salary... Luckily, I can do photography on the side and if you like my style, I'll be selling some gently used items from my closet on Instagram!

Hoping  To bring the kids to see the new Spongebob movie this weekend.  I've been bribing them all week with it, and so far they've been pretty well behaved.

Feeling a little overwhelmed... but loved. Everything happens for a reason, right?

Wanting  A new tattoo! Gosh, I've been itching for one big time for a few months. A large piece isn't affordable right now, so I'm thinking I should just get something small & meaningful...

Dreaming of heading somewhere warm. Just a dream, unfortunately. My sister is heading to Cuba at the end of next week and even though I'm happy for her... I'm a wee bit jealous too! 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Fun Things You Probably Didn't Know About Watches

Nowadays, watches are considered an essential jewelry, one that is capable of defining our style. We see a designer timepiece as an elegant, sophisticated and smart accessory, and we tend to forget about its main purpose- telling time. Its functional attributes are not that important anymore. Face it. We care more about its brand, design and popularity. To balance a little bit the influence that fashion trends and snobbism have on us, let me tell you a few fun things you probably did not know about watches.
1. Ancient Egypt is the source of the first known examples of humans telling time. Even if it sounds obsolete, sundials represent a very accurate method of telling time. The way the shadow falls on the sundial at different times of the day is how time is deciphered. Sundials are a surprisingly accurate method of telling time.

2. It was during Tudor times when the pocket watch became popular. During the reign of King Henry VIII, timepieces were so large and heavy that these were worn around the neck.  
3. In 1868, Patek Phillipe was the first watchmaker to invent the wristwatch. In May 2008, his ‘Platinum Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch’ was sold for an unbelievable price of 3.1 million dollars.

4. Only during the First World War the modern wristwatch became popular. As opposed to a watch worn around the neck, the wristwatch allowed soldiers to check the time without using their hands. Until this moment in history, a watch was considered a feminine jewelry.
5. The digital watch was invented by a man names Dimitroff Petroff who worked as an engineer for NASA.
6. The second hand makes the difference between a fake and an original automatic movement watch. explains that the best way of assessing if a timepiece is a knockoff or not is to pay attention at the second hand. If this gracefully sweeps along the dial then it is a genuine designer watch whereas on a replica the second hand will always have a jerky movement.
7. Even if it sounds unbelievable, mechanical watches are less accurate than quartz movement timepieces. The battery operated watch was first introduced in 1969.  
8. You have surely noticed that most shops display their automatic watches with the pre-set time 10:10. They choose this hour because when displaying this time, the dial is very similar to a smiley face. By subconsciously influencing the customer’s mood in a positive way, he feels encouraged to make a purchase.

9. Rolex is the watch that has gone from the highest peak of the world to the deepest point of the ocean. In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary wore one while reaching the peaks of Mount Everest and in 1960, the US Navy dived a submarine that carried a Rolex at 35,798 feet below sea level. In both occasions, the watch survived intact. It did not even lose accuracy by one second.  

10. Records show that Patek Phillipe is the brand that sold some of the most expensive watches ever. In 2010, one of its watches was auctioned for a staggering price of $5.7 million.

This is a sponsored guest post for which I was compensated

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Three Unexpectedly Romantic Movies

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought I would share a few of my favorite romantic movies.  I'm not usually a huge fan of "romance"... for some reason over the top romantic gestures and extreme "mushiness" make me uncomfortable.  Don't get me wrong, I adore a sweet love story... but a movie also has to have something else going for it. Suspense, humor, zombies....

Warm Bodies is one of my favorite movies ever. Period. But it's also pretty romantic.  If you haven't seen it yet, just think of "Romeo & Juliet"... only Romeo is a zombie. Amazing, right?  It also stars the adorable Nicholas Hoult and has an awesome soundtrack!

Edward Scissorhands is another favorite. I love the tagline "The Story of an Uncommonly Gentle Man."  What at first seems to be a dark story of the town "freak" evolves into a beautiful love story.

Nobody expected UP to be anything else besides a cute kid movie. I remember renting it for the first time and watching it with my kids...  and I bawled! Carl & Ellie's love story, the backbone of the entire movie, is beautiful AND tragic.

What are some of your favorite "unexpectedly" romantic movies!?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Handbags : Interesting Facts About Famous Brands

Designer handbags are some of the most purchased fashion items in the world and understanding why isn’t so difficult. Women are very passionate by bags as these have the power of defining our style. A purse is the perfect accessory. It completes our outfits while carrying our most prized belongings. Every woman has her favorite brands and follows with interest every new collection to discover her next dream bag.  But when it comes to designer purses there’s more than meets the eye. Find out what are the most interesting facts about famous handbags companies.

1. The price of Chanel 2.55 bag increases every year.
No one can deny this: the Chanel double flap bag is incredibly versatile and stylish. This classic bag is one of the most famous models in the world. It is mostly referred to as the 2.55 and as a consequence of its continuously growing demand the price increases each year. So if this is one of your favorite designs then you shouldn’t wait until next year. The current retail price of the Chanel 2.55 classic medium size is $4900.

2. 2.55 marks the date when the purse was created: February 1955.
The iconic Chanel double flap bag is very often called the 2.55 purse because of the date when it was invented: February 1955. This number marks its “birth”. Even though the handbag has suffered a few aesthetic changes over the years, it has kept its basic shape and structure. It is a timeless bag with a unique value.
3. Hermes has the most expensive handbags.
It is a well-known fact that Hermes Birkin purses represent the most expensive collection in the world. One of these bags costs between $10,000 and $120,000! That’s a very high price for a handbag. These exclusivist designs are made from canvas fabric, calfskin, ostrich or even alligator skin and feature exquisite and unique details.
4. The Hermes Birkin was inspired by a French actress.
Jane Birkin is a beautiful French actress that has inspired the Hermes brand to create the luxurious and expensive Birkin line. The story is actually quite amusing. She bumped into the president of Hermes on a flight and she complained about the very pool selection of handbags available on the market. Soon, the Birkin collection was launched and a new era of over-priced designer handbags begun.

5. Louis Vuitton is the most replicated designer on Earth.
Statistics show that Louis Vuitton is the most copied designer on Earth. It seems that the very large demand for LV bags and the increasing ability of replica manufacturers to imitate these designs have turned the brand in one of the most copied one around. It is a fact that can’t be ignored. This is why I highly advise you to be careful when buying Louis Vuitton bags outside an authorized store. So ladies, always be on the lookout for online shops selling LV replica handbags at low prices!
6. The Louis Vuitton Speedy bag is predominantly canvas.
Louis Vuitton isn’t that crazy about leather. A proof of this is the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag that is mostly made from a very resistant and sturdy canvas fabric. The only parts of the bag that are made from real leather are the handles and trim.
7. Audrey Hepburn was a huge fan of the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag.
All celebrities wear designer handbags and we are always on the lookout for the preferences of our favorite movie stars. Apparently, Audrey Hepburn was a big fan of Louis Vuitton Speedy bag and she was seen wearing this model numerous times.

  disclaimer: this is a sponsored guest post for which I was compensated
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