Saturday, December 29, 2012

Movie Night Gift Idea

Although Christmas has past, I thought I would show you the gift I put together for our Secret Santa at work. This gift also makes a good gift for your neighbour, friend, or a family member and is good for any occasion. 

I simply took a decorative box (the one I used is from Ikea, but you can also find some nice boxes throughout the year at your local dollar store), then I picked up a few things from Walmart including popcorn, popcorn seasoning, chocolate, mixed nuts, Twizzlers and other candy.
 I then used coloured tissue paper to line the bottom of the box and arranged all items to create a nice display. To finish it off, I scattered some Starburst throughout the box for an added touch.
Since the box was already decorative, I simply added ribbon and a bow to finish it off instead of using wrapping paper. These boxes are also practical and can be used again.
I have to say that this gift was one of the most 'stolen' gifts during our Secret Santa and was a big hit! The best part of course, is the fact that it all came in for under $20!

I hope you enjoy!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

So, we're well into the winter season now, and nothing warms my family up more than a nice hot bowl of homemade stew. This stew can be made in the slow cooker, which is my preference, or it can be made on the stove top.

It is chalk full of meat and vegetables, so it is good for every member of your family. Although I do have to admit that my toddler isn't a big fan!

I have adapted the original recipe I found here. Follow the directions below for a truly delicious meal. You will not be disappointed!

1 small bag of baby carrots. If they are too large, I cut them in half.
3 potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes.
2 lbs of pre-cut stewing beef (1 1/2 sm. packages).
1 cup of beef stock
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp on salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tsp of paprika
1 sm. onion, diced
4 celery ribs, cut up
2 - 3 tbsp of Bisto Gravy Mix, Beef flavour :)

Place all ingredients, except the Bisto, in the slow cooker in the order listed above. Mix to ensure all spices are blended. Cook on slow for 4 - 5 hours (or longer depending on what slow cooker you are using). During the last 5 - 10 minutes, add the Bisto one tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add as much as you'd like depending on what thickness you like your sauce. I find no more than three tablespoons work. Without the Bisto, I find the stew to be too watery.

Remove bay leaf, serve with warm buns and enjoy! 

Please let me know how you like it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

October GlossyBox

I received the October GlossyBox a little late this month, thus why I am blogging about it in November. However, this box did not disappoint! It's also good to note that this is the Breast Cancer Awareness box!

I already use the Venus Breeze razor, but this one is just as good. I didn't find any difference between the Venus Breeze and the Venus & Olay, so I'll continue to use the Venus Breeze simply because it's cheaper.

This full size MODELCO Flipstick Lip Duo sells for $38.75, so I am so happy it came it my GlossyBox this month. The shine ultra lip gloss is such a nice colour, but it goes on thick so I don't particularly like it.

This ZOYA nail polish in Scarlet is my favourite item this month. Not only is it the perfect colour to support breast cancer awareness, but it looks so cute. I have many variations of this shade and I love it. The ZOYA brand nail polish however, is by far the best quality and the longest lasting compared to other brands such as Cover Girl, Revlon and Essie.

What did you get in your GlossyBox this month? 

Monday, November 5, 2012

September GlossyBox

Are you a Glossy yet? If not, you're missing out! GlossyBox contains 5 deluxe beauty samples that are delivered to your door each month and contains the crème de la crème of international brands and tried-and-true favourites. All it costs is $21 a month - you just can't beat it.

I just signed up in late September and it has quickly turned into one of my favourite things. I'm a bit late on my posting, but that has given me a chance to really try some of the products.

This box was pretty nice and not to mention the cute packaging! The Dark Shadows makeup collection came with eye shadows, blushes, highlighters, lip gloss, and eye liner and the quality is pretty great. However, my favourite item is the B. Kamins Bio Maple Lip Balm. I have pretty dry lips and this lip balm makes them feel so nice and moist. It's probably the best moisturizing lip product I've ever used and works great under lipstick. If you haven't tried this particular product yet, I highly recommend it.

The Wella Shine Spray is just OK. It definitely adds shine, but be sure not to add too much as it will weigh your hair down. Even when I only used a small amount, I also found that it made my hair feel more oily. I don't normally use any finishing spray though, so maybe my hair just isn't used to it.

To learn more about GloosyBox, click here!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's a Monster Bash Birthday!

My son turned two this past July and we had a big backyard birthday bash to celebrate - make that a big Monster BashTwo is a wonderful age and he certainly keeps us busy, and he just happens to love little monsters so we couldn't have picked a better theme.

With a little Pinterest inspiration, I made most of my own party decorations and couldn't have asked for a better party. Here is how it turned out.
These invitations were created in Publisher. I purchased the monster clip art is from Etsy for no more than $5 and now I can use them for any future event or party.

This monster banner was downloaded from the SevenThirtyThree blog.

I made all of these circle cut-outs in MS Publisher.

The monster hats were an idea courtesy of Pinterest. They're made with regular party hats, construction paper, white card stock, poms poms, and googly eyes. 

The food table was a hit!

The kids loved having their own monster drink bucket.

Who knew monsters were so tasty?

The Birthday Boy!

Another idea from SevenThirtyThree are these monster mouths.

They created a memorable moment for everyone!

The party itself was a hit and all of the kids (and adults) had a great time! Two is a wonderful age and our son continues to amaze us. He's a super smart kid, loves to talk, colour and do everything pretty much other two year old loves to do. I look forward to throwing him many more birthday parties! I hope you enjoyed!

If you have any questions about how I made any of the items above, please feel free to comment.

- Lisa 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mini Closet Organization

As I've said before, I think I'm a pretty good organizer. Lately though, life has certainly caught up to us. With a rambunctious toddler, we are also in the middle of moving everything out of my late Father-in-Laws house since we finally sold it, as well another condo he owned.

Working on these properties, we've tended to neglect our home during the last couple of weeks. In fact, we have a closet in our dining room that became the dumping grounds for everything we needed to 'put away'.

How embarrassing is this?

As you can see, our closet needed a lot of work and I eventually got really sick of looking at it every time I had to go in and get a cleaner. Finally, I just went and picked up a few cheap shelving units from Walmart.

After and hour and a half, here is what I came up with.

It looks much better. It's not the greatest, but it at least I can get into it. Plus, it only cost me a few bucks to do. Once we finish our floors we plan to put in an actual closet organizer, which is when I'll buy some nice baskets/bins to organize everything.

Hopefully once the properties close, we can really concentrate on getting things done around here!

Happy organizing!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dresser Chaos

I really do think I am a very organized person, and it's something I'm good at. But sometimes, I am just plain messy. After working all day and then caring for my son, I'm just exhausted and just set things down where they really shouldn't go.

One of these places is the top of my dresser. Every time I took something upstairs, it would land here. This had to change. When I went to Target a couple of months back, I did buy some organizers for the things on my dresser; this includes my blow dryer, straightener, brush, hair products and much more.

Here's what my dresser looked like - how embarrassing!

You'll notice cords hanging in front of the dresser. My husband's clothes are on that side so he is very happy I chose to organize this space.

These are the organizers I bought. I love the spots specifically for the blow dryer and straightener.

After an hour of organizing and throwing some things out, as well as dusting and cleaning, this is the outcome.

The little orange container is filled with bobby pins and elastics. My garter is wrapped around it so I am always reminded of my wedding day :)

This round tray spins, it's fantastic!

I think the next time I go to Target, I need to check out more of their storage options.

- Lisa

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Punch

I threw a mini Birthday/Bachelorette Party for my sister who just turned 30 and is getting married next month. We had a mobile spa come to our house where we got manicures/pedicures, had some drinks and appetizers. We then went out for dinner and then headed to Splitsville, our local bowling alley that also an arcade and bumper cars (so fun!).

For drinks during the day, there was some alcohol involved, but I also made a nice Summer punch, inspired by a recipe found on Pinterest, for everyone to enjoy. It's very refreshing and light; a nice party punch.

(The punch is much lighter than this, it just looks darker because of the bowl I used, Tupperware Chip & Dip)

  • 1 sm. carton (approx. 900 ml) of chilled pineapple juice
  • 1 - 1.75 L of chilled lemonade
  • 1 litre of club soda, or more to taste
  • Ice cubes
  • Fresh assorted fruit (strawberries, orange slices, etc.).
In a large pitcher or punch bowl, mix together juices and add club soda and mix slightly; add ice and fruit. Serve and enjoy!

You can also serve with individual fruit skewers if desired.

If you happen to have the same bowl I used, you know it comes with two small containers that attach to the side. I used these containers for ice and it worked beautifully to keep the punch nice and cold without diluting it.

Happy Summer!

- Lisa

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Splash of Colour

Those who know me know my wordrobe consists of mainly black, blue, purple and grey. Not many options, and certainly not much colour. This is one thing that truly bothers my husband who really thinks I look good in some colour. I do think I need more colour options when it comes to my clothes and I believe I have been putting in a good effort to add colour as much as possible (whether it be clothes or accessories).

Coral is one colour that I am drawn to and it seems to be the it colour of the seasion - it's everywhere! It also helps that it looks good on me. So when my sister and I made a trip to the States this past weekend, we stopped where we always stop, Target (at least until their stores finally open in Canada anyway). At Target I found this very comfortable and pretty coral cardigan.

 (cute right?)


I am definitely going to try to keep adding colour to my wordrobe, but the best part about colar is that it matches quite nicely with blue!