Sunday, October 25, 2015

7.304 Canned

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You guys know me enough to know about my obsession with HBC. There's something about the stripes and Canadian heritage history that just pulls me in.

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I've already shown you guys one of these towels (chunky, shown right) when the Mister and I went to the beach. Well, not too long ago some of the HBC items went on sale, so I got another towel but in the other style (cabana) where the stripes lay vertically instead of horizontally. I really love these beach towels because they're thick, big and they absorb water well. I got them for $30 each but right now they're on sale for $25 each so it's an even better deal now.

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I also picked this Cozy Chunky Polar Fleece Throw for $30. Fleece throws are great to snuggle in on a cold winter night. I get cold easily so I actually use two fleece throws under my down duvet to keep warm at night. Both of those throws I got years ago, one is from Chapters and the other is HBC's Multi Stripe Polar Fleece Throw. Because I used those fleece throws daily and under my duvet, they got roughed up and lost their softness. I plan to keep this new fleece throw more nicely. It would be a great throw to have when you're sitting on the couch or something.

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I went into Canadian Tire one day to look for a few things I've been meaning to pick up and stumbled across this Bernardin canning kit in the clearance section.

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Originally it was $60 but it got marked down to $30 and then $20!! I immediately dove into the aisle where all the canning supplies were to find out if it was really a good deal or not. I found the rack that sits inside the pot and saw that it alone costed $20! I was totally getting a great deal.

The kit was marked down because it was missing pieces like the funnel, can lifter, bubble remover/head space gauge and jar lifter... but those are generally just extra stuff you really don't need. What did come with the kits was the pot, rack, 4 small limited edition mason jars, pectin and dvd. I already bought a jar lifter in the clearance section from Winners previously thinking that one day I would get myself into canning (what a coincidence). I also picked up a funnel because it's easier and cleaner to can when you have one, and of course I got myself a case of 1L mason jars.

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A brief overview of the canning process. I canned my home grown tomatoes and a bag of tomatoes I got from Walmart for $1.

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Since switching jobs, I've had more free time after work to get things done. I've cleaned and reorganized all the drawers to my vanity dresser and now I'm in the process of cleaning the closet and my jewelry collection. I hope one day when I have good lighting and time, I'll take pictures of how my closet looks now and show you. I had plans to do a closet organization post a long time ago, but it kept getting put off due to lack of time and lighting. Now that things have changed, I hope I can do that sometime soon.

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My nails last week. This is Nicole's "Follow Me On Glitter" from the Kardashion Kollection. It's still one of my favourite nail colours of all time. It does good opaque coverage with one coat but I paint two coats to get the absolute full effect. The colour is really unique and absolutely gorgeous, texture and consistency is wonderful. Application is also very easy and it dried very quickly.

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But... the staying power totally sucks! Because it's a glitter polish and the formula is a bit thicker, when it chips, it chips off in chunks. This basically lasted me 2 days before this happened. It sucks because the rest of my nails were still okay until it happened again to another nail the next day. Beautiful colour but staying power is dreadful. Removal was a pain lol.

"Do not let what you can not do, interfere with what you can do." -John Wooden

Monday, October 19, 2015

7.303 The Deep Blue + Vintage + Empanadas

Starting a new job at my new workplace has been a little bit of a roller coaster ride for me. The first week was very overwhelming, there was a lot of information to learn and it was a lot to take in all at once. I had to memorize information regarding the products, remember all the codes, and learn about the procedures related to opening and closing of the store, performing invoices and transactions, balancing the till, processing samples, and learning math calculations all over again (haven't done that since high school!)

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When I was still new, I felt very uncomfortable in the small lunchroom. So uncomfortable that a couple times I sat in the car to eat (sounds lame, I know). I was surrounded by people all day and just for half an hour I wanted some quiet alone time- something that was impossible to do when there's only one big round table to sit at in the lunchroom. Eating in the car was for my peace of mind.

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As I got to know people, I didn't feel the need to go out and sit in the car anymore. Having questions asked about me died down, and I slowly got more comfortable sitting with my coworkers.

Another great perk about working at this place is that I get to wear NAIL POLISH again. For 3 years I couldn't wear nail polish... but that didn't stop me from buying tons of bottles over the years lol.
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I wore a couple of other colours before this one, but the pictures didn't turn out. This is a deep dark blue colour with iridescent blue flecks of glitter on top. It reminds me of the deep blue ocean and can look a little different in different lighting. It's looks so beautiful on, I couldn't stop looking at my nails when I had it on.

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The nail polish base colour I used was Rimmel's Lasting Finish Pro in "Midnight Blue" #420. It's a very dark blue almost black colour. In the light you can see it has micro shimmers. The top coat is by L'Oreal's The Magic Top Coat in "The Holographic" #804. I remember picking up this top coat because I thought it was so unique to all other glitter polishes. I highly recommend trying this combo I call The Deep Blue!

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Dentist appointment I went to just before I quit my last job. Had to make the most of the benefits they offered to us employees, right?

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Eggspectation
20 Albert St, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9

The Mister started a new job again just a couple of weeks ago. He didn't like his other job so he quit after just a couple of weeks. Because it's the beginning of a new job, we both haven't had time for each other.

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This was taken 3 weeks ago when we went to the Eggspectation in Toronto. I only found out a couple months ago that they still had a location here in Toronto. I thought they had gone from Toronto for sure when they left their location on Yonge St. Since we had some time and were downtown that day, we thought we'd swing by and check it out. This location seems to be doing a lot better. They're much more busy and the place looks great! We opted to eat outside on the patio.

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Water for me and hot chocolate for the Mister. Funny thing, I said "just water" to the waiter and he misheard and brought me hot water. Probably thought I was crazy because it was warm that day. Ah well, it was my fault for adding the word "just" in front of water.

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I ordered Chicken Benedict and the Mister got the Eggspectation Omelette. This was the first time I tried Eggs Benedict and liked it. We both liked the food and really enjoyed eating out on the patio. It wasn't on a busy and loud street, it was spacious and there was shade provided by the trees. Food, location and service is much better than what I remember at their Yonge St. location.

Overall: Ambience A+, Food A-, Service A, Price A.

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The baked goods at Starbucks now. This blueberry yogurt muffin was bomb.

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My sisters and I went to the Toronto Antique and Vintage Market. There was a $10 admission fee which I thought was pretty steep... but I guess they need to pay for renting out the building and having the market in the first place. It's good to remember to bring water because I got thirsty but refused to pay 4 flipping dollars for a water bottle- outrageous!

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Some vendors had some really nice things for sale. A lot of times there was so much to look at, that I didn't know what to look at anymore.

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Beautiful vintage mirrors and silverware. This reminds me the beginning of the Titanic movie, where the scene slowly transitions from showing the objects they discover on the ocean floor to when they were still new and being used by the patrons on the ship.

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Vintage tea cups. I would love to buy a vintage tea cup one day but they're so pricey at $30+. I guess I wouldn't mind settling for a pretty one regardless if it's vintage. I want a small collection of unique and pretty tea cups. The mad hatter comes to mind when I say this lol.

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This vendor sold vintage maps- most were at least 100 years old. My sister bought a map of Russia for her boyfriend. I was close to buying a map of Paris but I changed my mind last minute.

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The only thing other than the map that caught my eye were these beautiful crystal bowls. The lady who was selling them told me that they were American Brilliant Cut Glass that were popular and made from the 1800s to the early 1900s. Luckily my sister had free data on her phone so I did a little research to learn more about it and to be sure it's what I want. It's completely handmade and you can feel just how heavy it is and how sharp the edges are. When I was holding the bowl to examine it, my hands started to hurt a little bit because of the sharp edges.

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Crystal glass today aren't made the same as these American Cut Glass were. You can clearly see the brilliance and clarity of the glass even under dim light. Usually glass only looks brilliant when shining under a direct light source, but this bowl shines even in the dimmest of lights. The cuts in the glass are also very precise and sharp. It was a hefty price of $85, but it was totally worth it in my opinion (plus identical and similar bowls online were selling for much more). Right now it's sitting on my vanity with some skincare samples in it. One day I would love to put it where the light can shine through it to showcase how beautiful it is, but for now, I like where it sits because it's safe from being accidentally knocked down.

I'm really glad to have come to the market and find the bowl, but honestly, unless you're looking for something vintage and authentic, and you don't mind paying the $10 admission fee, I'd say skip. A lot of the things I saw could be found in second hand stores. But again, if you're looking for the real deal and trust to know who you're buying from, then it was a decent place to browse.

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The market was located on the CNE grounds. While we were passing through, we saw that they were still dismantling the last couple CNE rides. I figured it takes a lot for them to set and put up all the rides... but dang! I didn't know it took a whole month.

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The Empanada Company
122 Fortieth Street, Toronto, ON M8W 3N3

Taken from the site: "Would like to present to you our collection of traditional and contemporary empanadas. Each empanada is hand crafted and made with only the freshest ingredients using no preservatives or additives.

We have created an assortment of doughs and fillings inspired by countries from around the globe. Try our multicultural empanadas and experience the world in just a few bites."

After visiting the market, we were hungry and decided to eat some empanadas at The Empanada Company. My sister heard about this place from her friend who told her they made some really delicious empanadas.

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This was the first time I've eaten empanadas and dang it was hella good! It's a very small joint with just a couple bar stools inside and a small terrace outside. You can grab a bite to eat or just grab it and go. Next time I'm hungry before going someplace, I could grab these instead of patties at the subway.

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From the traditional empanadas menu we ordered the Chicken Empanadas, from the contemporary menu we ordered the Cajun Pulled Pork Empanadas, and from the mini empanadas menu we got the Smoked Chorizo Empanadas. We also got fries too (I think they use Cavendish fries which are the best), and drinks. I saw that they serve churros too... next time I'm so getting those!!

The guy taking our order behind the counter was nice and service was prompt.

Overall: Ambience B+, Food A+, Service A+, Price A-.

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Lately when I have the time, I've been reorganizing up areas in my room that have ended up a bit messy. I managed to reorganize all my drawers in my vanity and I also organized the top too. Next is my closet!

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Hot chocolate for the sibs and Mister. Neilson Hot Chocolate is hands down the best hot chocolate mix I've tasted. Forget Nestle Carnation, it just doesn't compare. I also love how Neilson still kept the old fashioned label. It's so old school and I love it! You can get this at Food Grant or Oceans.

Well, I think I redeemed myself a little bit with this post. I felt like I was blogging like how I used to. For some time I felt like I lost that little bit of Natalie touch. Today felt like I was able to sit down and "talk" to you. I haven't felt like that in a long time. Hope to do this some more :)

"The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you've come." -Unknown

Thursday, October 15, 2015

7.302 Feathers & Florals

Cooler weather, leaves changing colours... Fall is in full force here and you know I'm loving it!

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Chapters came out this year with their best Fall collection yet! They seriously hit every mark that I love: feathers, florals, pinecones, even acorns! Everywhere I looked I saw something that intrigued me, I just couldn't believe it.

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These feather plates caught my eye. The only thing is, I have so many of these decorative plates that I've run out of things to put in them! Haha!

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I really like this journal cover, the colour scheme of the florals drew me in like a magnet. The only thing with journals is that I don't really have a purpose for them... so I'm not even sure if I will get this if it goes on sale.

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From this table I picked up a passport cover because I loved the floral print so much not to get it.

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I also picked up the scarf in the same floral pattern (second from the right). I bought it on sale for 15% off but then the scarf got ruined when my mom put it in the dryer :( Luckily the scarf went on sale so I got a good deal on it the second time around.

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These chunky knit tassel throws looked and felt so luxurious. I told myself I would get one once it went on sale... and it did! I got the navy colour and I think it'll look great on the couch in my future home :D They're on sale right now for 50% off which is an even better deal than what I got.

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I am waiting patiently for these brass items to go on sale- particularly the acorn, pinecone and feather. The one item that I fear going out of stock would be the acorn... because I seriously want it badly. It's the best acorn item I've come across so far. The colour, weight and size is perfect.

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These would look great to display your jewelry in. I already have a case for jewelry so I don't plan on getting any, but wouldn't they be great to have in your house? Maybe I'll pick up one for a Christmas gift... hmm.

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Right now they have all of their Fall entertaining in store. Perfect time to host dinners for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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Speaking of Thanksgiving, this year it was just my family and I. The Mister had to go work so he couldn't make the dinner. We had chicken instead of Turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus, jalapeno poppers, potato salad and creme brulee for dessert.

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I also picked up a colouring book for adults from Chapters. I haven't found free time to finish a page yet, but hopefully in the near future I'll be able to continue. I also want to colour some pages with the Mister too.

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Here is the backyard garden now. If you remember my garden before, you'd remember this huge vine plant of some sort growing from my neighbour's backyard. Now it's all clear so it's much easier to garden now.

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This was the last big harvest from my garden for the year.

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I found this lovely artificial lavender plant at Homesense a couple months back. I really like it but I forgot to show you guys.

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And here is my air plant in it's little glass home. My terrarium is looking very bare as you can see, but once I find an interesting rock or other decorative stuff, I'll put it in with it.

"The hardest thing to do is to watch the one you love, love someone else." -Unknown