Tuesday, November 29, 2011

.Christmas at the Trebaczkiewicz's.

Those are my new christmas lights and I used them to decorate my tree.
Or actually, my two trees.

Real and Fake.
Black/White and Red/Brown.
Fancy and Natural.
Upstairs and Downstairs.
Two completely different type of trees. And both pretty.
I was a busy girl. Busy and Superbly Happy.
I adore christmas decorating. ADORE IT. I sing christmas tunes. I sip something hot {in this case a delish carmel mocchiato}. I burn scented candles {usually pine or cranberry}. I spread all my xmas decor goodies around me. And I smile. A huge toothy grin that doesn't leave my face all day.
And this is only the beginning.......

Monday, November 28, 2011

.A Very Awesome Xmas CD.

Music Monday has been severely lacking latetly....I am sorry.
So here's a Jolly Good Tune to warm your ears.
A Very She & Him Christmas.
{entire album. so excellent!}
Have yourself a Very Merry Christmas
Watch from youtube....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

.Home Sweet Home.

Friends, I am back!
Betcha didn't even know I was gone, right?
My Day job {aka. my real job} requested my presence at our annual Canmore trip, and I happily obliged. My liver is hating me right now - the recovery time for a 3 day open bar is surprisingly long - and I am still trying to catch up from the lack of sleep I was exposed to during the conference.
Oh well. Things could most definately be worse.
So in other news, tomorrow is a big, big day.
My Bestie, Fiona, and I are going to check out this movie. And I am BEYOND EXCITED {don't judge!!}
We're having this lovely lady, her hubby, and sister over for a little more of this.....And I guess, dinner too.
The X-mas decorations ate being brought out. And assembled.
Rocking out to a little of this. A Very She & Him Christmas.
It's going to be a lovely day. 
Lovely indeed.
Christmas carols {loving the new she + him christmas album}, National Lampoons Christmas vacation, B.D. Part 1, Spiced rum & eggnog, Gift wrapping, a Yummy dinner, Blueberry Tea's, Wine, and Wonderful friends.
It's good to be Home.
xx

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

.cranberry lime vodka.

YUM, YUM, YUM.
As I mentioned here a while ago, Peter and I have been making our infamous Sour Cherry Vodka for years. It's one of those things that always gets me super excited for Christmas to arrive.
However, the other day I came across this recipe that made me think of our Vodka infusing holiday tradition and missing a batch of the sweet nectar is produces. So I'm giving this a try....in November. 
It's close enough to Christmas to indulge, and besides, who says you need a holiday to enjoy it?
Cranberry Lime Vodka
Cranberries + Limes.
1) First, I recommend that you poke a hole in each of the cranberries with a sharp knife. It sounds labour intensive but its really not so bad. I poked holes in two bags worth of cranberries to begin with. Now,  start to put the finished cranberries into your jar, but only fill up a third of the way.
2) Next, using a knife, peel off the lime rind and place them into your jar with your cranberries. Fill the jar up to the the top with cranberries.
Layering the cranberries and lime rinds, make it look so pretty.
3) Next, you need to add a little bit of sugar to cancel out the bitterness of the cranberries. You don't want to make the vodka sweet so add less than 2 tbsp of sugar to begin with {less if you have a a small jar}. Now you can pour the vodka on top of the cranberry/lime/sugar mixture, seal the jar, and give it a good shake.
4) Give the jar a good shaking every day or two to make sure the sugar mixes throughout. You can let your infused vodka sit for anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. FYI: The longer you leave it the sweeter it'll be.
Note: To give away as gifts, pour the vodka into pretty jars like I did above, and tie a ribbon or a gift tag on it {like I'll be doing for one lucky soul}. I also think it's cute to add a cocktail-drink recipe tag to it. 
It makes amazing crantinis {recipe here} and also tastes great mixed with some club soda.
Scrumptious!

Monday, November 21, 2011

.beauty tutorial: date night eyes.

Lately I've been getting requests to explain how I do my natural smoky eye make-up. 
Which I find both flattering and awkward. 
Flattering because I guess it looks nice enough to ask how I do it, and awkward because I really have no idea what I'm doing. 
I've mustered through my fair share of wacky clown faces throughout the years, and have found that natural is always the best. I have also learned that browns and plums work wonders for my blues, and to stay far, far away from greys or silvers {they just don't seem to work for me}.
I like to call this look my 'Date Night' eyes. 
Husband gets these pretty much everytime. I might vary the amount I put on, but it's always a version of this one way or another. Maybe it's time I try something different........
Anyways, here you go friends....how I do my date night eyes.
My Video "Tutorial":
And some outfit pictures from our night out.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

.Old Fashioned Beef Stew.

Want to try the best Beef Stew ever?
I'm telling you, this stuff is gooooood.
This recipe packs some major flavor and is reminiscent of the Old fashioned style, which I love so much. 
It's perfect served on a cold night {like it was on friday, brrrr} with some warm bread, a little wine, and we enjoyed it very {very!} much.
Old Fashioned Beef Stew
{original recipe here}
Ingredients:
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
a handful of Fresh Sage Leaves, slightly chopped
800g / 1 3/4lb Stewing Beef, cut into 2 inch pieces
Sea salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Flour, to dust
2 Parsnips, peeled and quartered
4 Carrots, peeled and halved
1/2 a Butternut Squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced
500g / 1lb 2oz. Small Potatoes
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 bottle Red Wine
285 ml can of Beef Stock {or vegetable stock}
zest of 1 Lemon, finely grated
a handful of Rosemary, leaves picked
1 clove Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Put the olive oil, and butter into a large sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato paste, wine and stock and gently stir together.
3. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this will take 3 hours {but might take 4....depends on what meat you're using. To test it, mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it's ready}.
4. The Best way to serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, and serve with some really fresh warmed bread. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference - and makes it smell delicious!

Friday, November 18, 2011

.Happy Six.

{six} Happy things that made my week.
{finally!} wallpapering our bedroom. 
Flowers {happy gerbera's} that husband brought home "just because", xo
My new {and totally awesome} Orange Cord Leggings. {cords + picture via Anthropologie}
Catching up on my weekly 'Modern Family' Addiction. Currently, BEST SHOW on.
The {huge} LUSH Haul that I brought home. {video review coming soon}
My many {MANY!} devoured Christmas Oranges.
HAPPY FRIDAY FRIENDS!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

.Frosty.

Brrr.....It is COLD out there!
So tonight husband and I are ordering pizza, sipping on some wine, and watching the hockey game from our couch. 
Under a blanket. 
In front of the fireplace.
However, with the all the cold comes a little of this........
and that's sort of fun. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

.For Sister.

Spoiling my sister is one of my most favorite things to do at Christmas {comes a very close second to spoiling myself, ha!}. I think it's simply because not only is she a sweetie, but we have such similar tastes it makes things so easy for me.
Here's a few cool items I think would pass the Little Sister Test.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

.For the Foodies.

This gift board was one of my most favorite to put together. 
See, I am a total Foodie. 
I love to cook; I love to own the newest gadgets; I love to entertain; and I love to make my kitchen sparkle {it's where everyone ALWAYS ends up!}
Here's for the Food Lovers in your Life.
7} Ovopur Water Filter {filtered with a cocktail!!} 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

.For Him.

You know who I think is the hardest to shop for: MEN!
I am just terrible at picking things out. See, I always try to dress husband as I think he should dress {which we often have a difference of opinions on}.
 Now don't get me wrong, my hubby actually has excellent taste {seriously!}, but sometimes he's a little cautious in the trend department. I could dress him all day long in old-man sweaters, suede shoes {you should see the awesome pair he just got!}, suspenders, bow ties, cuffed pants, etc. but he would just prefer to stick to a black v-neck sweater or button down shirt, and some dark jeans.
I do have to admit though, lately he is venturing out a little and I am finally seeing a tiny bit of my 'touch' in his wardrobe.
However, that could just be because I buy most things for him ;)
Here's a couple things that I would LOVE my husband to rock this Christmas.
{would be great gifts for a Dad or brother too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

.White.

Okay friends, I have a christmas confession to make. 
Ready for it?
I am almost done all my Christmas shopping!!!
It's only November 10th!!!
And to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about that.......
What am I going to do for the remainder of the 2 shopping months?
Guess, I'll just have to shop for myself {you can do that right? Buy yourself Christmas presents?}
And because I understand that everyone is not insanely crazy like me, I'm going to post some great gift ideas for your family and friends. Each will have a little theme, or be for a specific person {think: items for He, items for She, Kiddos, Work, Pets, etc.}. Here's my first of the series:
This one is because I am in a very white minimalistic mood {and because my 2nd tree will be very white this year}. We'll call it, {white} Christmas.
1} Abe Lincoln Mug
2} Menagerie Bottle Stopper
3} Milk Bottle Measuring Cups
4} Gnome Bottle Opener
5} Verdant Bread Bin
6} Farmers Egg Carton
7} Modern Santa Collection
8} Tree and Snowman Salt & Pepper Shakers
9} Marimekko Oiva Tea Pot
10} Oliver Peppermint Stick Appetizer Plate
11} Tree Ring Holder
12} Owl Table Lamp

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

.Cleopatra's Moon.

Another Book Review.
This one for Cleopatra's Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter.
At first I started this book with mixed feelings. I didn't know if it was based on fact or pure fiction, so after some serious searching and a few quick history lessons, I discovered that this book indeed has some facts weaved into it's fiction. See most of the characters are factual {only a few characters are fictional, and the author does a great job in giving you a character list at the beginning of the book}, with a few added characters as fiction {which the author also breaks out for you, making things easy}. This was to make the story a little more suspenseful and interesting, which plays into the fictional part.

So now that I had that all figured out, I really enjoyed reading this book. I personally love historical books that take place a long, long time ago. Historical fiction novels: Some of it based on truth, some of it made-up. I seem to romance things a little then. It makes me feel like I can actually believe the story is real and that it might just have happened exactly as the author writes it. And she did a wonderful job of placing me in the year 34 BCE {where the story starts}. The time of Cleopatra's Reign.

So here's what the story is about: Selene has grown up in a palace in Egypt with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Anthony. She is the only daughter of the reigning queen and is spoiled beyond your imagination. When the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants to rule Egypt himself, war starts. Selene faces losing everything and everyone she's ever loved. She is forced to live a new life in Octavianus's home in Rome, where she meets two very different young men. Two young men with two different possibilities and futures for her. And this book describes the path that she chooses.
Next Book on Rotation:
{a very ADULT book {sex, swearing, and some very gruesome parts}.....cannot wait!}

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

.$6.95.

See this skirt?
Yeah, I bought it for $6.95
Six Dollars and Ninety-Five Cents.
Can you believe that?
I also got a navy one and a red one. It almost broke the bank..........
It's so versatile and comfy. You can dress it up a little, or throw it on for brunch and a little afternoon shopping {and that's exactly what I did}.
Put on the $6.95 skirt, went to brunch, and started my christmas shopping. Exactly in that order.
It was a fine day with my new six dollars and ninety-five cent skirt.
SHOP: Skirt: H&M {similar skirt}, Sweater: GAP {similar sweater}, Boots: Steve Madden {similar boot},
Necklace: Club Monaco