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Archive for September, 2011

Hello,

So as I have been promising for the longest time, I bring to you our first ever hair tutorial! It’s a super simple, super quick braid that I honestly think is not harder than a regular braid (once you get the hang of it), and I also think that it looks 10 times better too!

Trust me, follow what I’m doing in the video and you will be rocking the cutest braid in no time! It’s the perfect hairstyle if you’re running late, or being lazy but still want to look like you did something with your hair!

Enjoy πŸ™‚

-Caitlin

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Hello Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday! I sure did.. .kinda haha

Anyway, check out the video below to see part of mine and Shannons Davids Tea stash!
This is only a bit of it, we still have a lot of tins in cupboard but I thought that it would be kinda nice to show you what we have, and some of my personal favourites!

Thanks for watching πŸ™‚ Tomorrow I should have a hair tutorial up for you all!

xoxo
Caitlin

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I guess we’re on a roll with mini birthday foods ! Hahah Me and my older sister, Nicole, were expert bakers for a day and decided to make Caitlin cute mini angel food cakes for her 21st birthday! We wanted to do home made angel food cake because it’s low fat, and Caitlin is very health conscious, even on her birthday. But home made angel food cake wasn’t enough! We needed to make them individually sized – mini! With a fresh strawberry and whipped cream filling, topped with dark chocolate ganache and delicate edible pearls. Happy Birthday to you. You’re Welcome. That is all.

Now these took about 2 hours to make. Not because it's difficult to do, but because there are quite a few components to make. I assure you they're well worth the time and effort πŸ™‚

(Angel Food recipe modified from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Angel-Food-Cake-III/Detail.aspx)

Ingredients for Angel Food:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Β Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Be sure that your 10 inch tube pan is clean and dry. Any amount of oil or residue could deflate the egg whites. Sift together the flour, and 3/4 cup of the sugar, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Carefully spoon batter into an ungreased cupcake baking tray. We filled the cupcake tray quite full as we needed space to cut out the middle and fill with whipped cream and strawberry mixture.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cakes springs back when touched. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of each cake and invert onto a plate.

Just out of the oven.

Inverted pan while the mini angel food cakes set up.

Ingredients for Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Approx. 10 Fresh strawberries- washed, completely dried and chopped
  1. Place cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix until the whipped cream is light and airy and volume has doubled with soft peaks.
  2. Add fresh, dried strawberries into the whipped cream and stir gently to combine.

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Place cream in sauce pan on low heat. Heat the cream just until little bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Do not let the cream boil! Once the cream has reached a simmer, take it off the heat and pour it into the chopped chocolate bits in a separate bowl. Let the chocolate sit in the cream for about 5 minutes – no touchy! After 5 minutes, the chocolate should be melted and simply stir the cream and chocolate together until completely blended and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Chopping 6oz. of dark chocolate.

Pouring the heated cream onto the chocolate.

Now to put all the components together!

Using a knife, carefully cut holes in the tops of the cakes and remove some of the middle of the cake to make room for the filling. You don't have to throw the excess cake away! rip it into little pieces and add it to the whipped cream/ strawberry filling for a nice texture, or just eat the extras πŸ™‚

Fill the centre of each cake with the filling.

Replace the tops of the cakes and spoon over the cooled chocolate ganache.

We decorated ours with little edible pearls that were purchased at Micheal's Craft Store.

Birthday Girl!

Yum!

Hope you give this a try!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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Hello Everyone,

This past weekend Shannon and I made a trip to our local mall and headed straight for the Davids Tea shop! Probably hands down one of my favourite stores in the entire mall!

If you are unfamiliar of what Davids Tea is, it is a loose leaf tea shop where they offer a whole bunch of teas! All loose leaf, so you can buy as much, or as little as you want! The sales associates are always so pleasant, you can literally stand there for half an hour smelling any tea that you want. The best part? Each season they come out with new limited edition teas, they are always adding new teas to their lineup. Autumn is my favourite time of year, and especially at Davids Tea. Thats when they start to come out with the warm, tasty teas! Now don’t let the name of the store fool you, they sell other things too… Like the most amazing travel mugs (I have three myself), tea sweeteners, tea pots, tea steepers, anything that you can think of that has to do with tea, they have it!

I filmed a video for you all on what we purchased! I am accompanying this post with another, part 2, which is where I show you some of the tea stash that Shannon and I have going on in our cupboards! Keep an eye out for that πŸ™‚

xoxox
Caitlin

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For our Mom’s 50th birthday we wanted to make something really special. Caitlin and I wanted to try something other than cakes, so we thought of pie. Our mom’s favorite kind of pie is cherry, so it was settled – we’ll make a cherry pie. However, that didn’t seem quite special enough… so we decided to make 50 of them! 50 regular sized pies is a little too extreme, so we thought making 50 mini pies would be a cute, more reasonable option!

We’ve had super busy schedules, so having free time at the same time as one another is kind of a challenge lately. To make our lives easier we bought pre-made, frozen mini tart shells, and ready made pie crust to create the tops of our pies. We also bought pre-made cherry pie filling and just added a splash of fresh lime to it to brighten the flavor. We realize this is cheating a little, but it definitely made our lives a bit easier, and the pies turned out tasty regardless! Feel free to make your own crust or filling! Also, you can substitute the pie filling with your favorite (blueberry, apple, pumpkin, etc.) and it will turn out just the same.

Here’s what you’ll need and how to make them:

Ingredients:

– Cherry Pie Filling

–Β  Frozen Mini Tart Shells

– Lime

– Pillsbury ready made pie crust

–Β  1 Egg

Take your mini tart shells out of the freezer and allow them to thaw for about 10-15 minutes (or according to the package instructions). Preheat your oven according to the instructions on your frozen tart shells box, for ours it was about 350 degrees. While your oven is preheating, and tart shells thawing, prepare your pie filling. We used ready made pie filling so we simply put it in a bowl and added about 1/2 a lime to bring a nice bright, fresh flavor to the canned filling. Whisk one egg in a small bowl and set aside – this will be used as an egg wash across the tops of the pie crusts to help with the browning of the pastry as well as add a nice shine when they’re done baking. Taking the pillsbury pie dough, we rolled it out a bit thinner than it was as we needed to make sure there was enough for all 50 mini pies.

We used calorie reduced E.D Smith cherry pie filling. Looking back on this, I definitley would have bought their original pie filling as the calorie reduced filling was a bit bland without the lime.

This is our rolled out pie dough. We used little cookie cutters to cut round shapes out of the dough. Be creative with your designs! Cut little circles, stars, or create a lattice top.

Filling the tart shell with pie filling.

Place the top of the crust over the tart shell. Gently press around the edge to seal the top and bottom together. Place the pies on a baking sheet and using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the egg wash. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or cook according to your tart shell instructions. We actually had to leave the pies in for a few more minutes than the package instructions said, so just keep an eye on the first batch until you figure out the right time. What you're looking for is a nice golden colour on top and bubbling filling with a crisp tart shell. If you have to sacrifice one to taste test then so be it! πŸ™‚

This was one of my favorite designs!

More cute designs! This is a really fun project to do. And actually making 50 pies took at lot less time than expected. This picture was taken before they made it into the oven.

These were really delicious! We served them with a bit of whipped cream, but they were also great by themselves. This is a really easy baking project, but you do need to use your own discretion with the actual baking of the pies as mentioned above.

We had some extra pie dough, so we ended up experimenting with making nutella pockets:

We just rolled out the left over dough and cut 2 even sized circles. Add a dollop of nutella in the centre of one of the circles. Using a little bit of the left over egg wash, brush around the edge of the circle with the filling and place the top circle on top. Using a fork, press all the way around the edges of the circles to create a seal. Place in oven and bake about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

I hope you give these a try!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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Hello Everyone,

I apologize for neglecting the blog, but I’m back! I have been super busy, working everyday along with school, it all adds up! Needless to say I haven’t really had the time to get online and blog some posts for you all.

Shann and I have actually been keeping up on ideas for the blog, it’s just the actual blogging part that we have been neglecting. We both apologize, and will be back in full swing very soon! Shann has a lot of new recipes, and some reviews coming your way, and I’ve got some really cool videos!!

Anyway, onto the blog post.

I recently had my nails done, and wanted to do a post all about gel nails, and also give my opinion on the gels that I have on right now.

A little history:

I, in the past have had a lot of gel nails put on my fingers. Some that I loved, and some that didn’t quite measure up. The quality of the nails I think really depends heavily on who is applying them, the products that they use, and their technique they use to apply the products. I must say that I have never had acrylics, and have always stuck to gels. All I know is that acrylic involves quite a bit of chemicals, and the procedure is kind of tricky.

Application: With gels, the procedure kind of varies depending on the product, but in general it is applied in layers and cured under a uv light. Gels are typically not as damaging to the natural nail, contain little to no chemicals and does not smell as strongly as acrylics. With acrylics you can have nail tips applied if you choose, but with gel, most manicurists are able to actually build with the gel in order to extend the length of your nail, no tips required! I have always preferred a gel overlay, which is where they do not use tips, they do not build with the gel to extend the nail, they simply use your natural nail length. I prefer this because I have very long nail beds, which means that my nail is super long in length, so I do not find that I need to have tips applied. That and I prefer a more reasonable length so that I am able to type on the computer properly and I don’t feel like I am going to scratch someones eyes out with my crazy long nails. I will post some pictures at the end of my ramble for you all to see!

Wear and Looks: There are so many options when it comes to appling gels, you can choose colours, whether or not you want nail art or frenchies . . . . . the possibilities are endless!!! I like to go for a classic look, and stay with the french tips. I can go for up to four weeks with one set of nails before I have to have them filled, or replaced with a new set. Which is actually pretty good. Some do not have as much luck, so I always knock on wood that they stay that way. I think that I can wear them longer because I do not put my hands through anything harsh on a regular basis. With most gels you are able to apply a regular nail polish on top of it should you feel the need for a change in looks. Most gels will withstand the nail polish remover as well without damaging the gel underneath. That being said, it’s always best to ask your manicurist if the gel he/she is using is regular nail polish proof. You don’t want to go ruining the gel underneath that’s for sure! I am a nail filer by habit, I like to shape and buff on a regular basis. Quite a few brands of gel cannot tolerate filing and buffing so make sure you ask your manicurist thatΒ  as well. Most will tolerate shaping, but for sure not buffing. It breaks the seal of the gel which may cause it to lift or go dull.

Price: It varies depending on who is doing them, and where you get them done. I have typically paid anywhere between $35.00 – $65.00 for a full set of french tipped gels. It can be a it steep if you have it done on a regular basis, but if you can afford it, and like your manicurist then I think its worth the extra splurge.

In terms of “brands” of gel that I’ve had applied, here are some mini reviews:

En Vogue: What I currently have on right now. It’s a typical gel, applied in layers and cured under a UV light. I find so far that they wear nicely, they are flexible and really just feel like my natural nail, only prettier πŸ™‚ They do not turn yellow in the sunlight and you are able to apply regular nail polish on top of if you need a change and it won’t damage the gel underneath!

Akzentz: What I wore on my nails for a solid eight months straight. I LOVED this brand. It stayed on my nails one time for over four weeks!! It never lifted, you could put regular nail polish over it, and it didn’t turn yellow in the fabulous Vancouver sun!

Bio Sculpture: ……I was not too impressed with this particular brand. I had it put on one day, and two days later it was already lifting. Which is very strange for my nails given my history, as I am normally able to wear gels for up to four weeks with no lifting. The application was exactly the same as the other gels I have worn, so I am not too sure whether or not it was the person who did it, the application technique that she used or the brand itself. AND on top of that, I was not able to put a clear top coat on top of it without it peeling right off, meaning that you are not able to use regular nail polish over it.Β  Which I like to do after a week or so to keep them nice and shiny.

Onto some pictures:

My attempt to take a photo with the nails, without looking completely silly. πŸ™‚ Those are my natural nail, no tips, like I said, long nail beds over here!

Rather than a totally clear top coat, I had a nice “mother of pearl” top coat put on. You can see in the photo above.

Sky view of them

Words of wisdom: The only advice that I can give you, if you are thinking about having some put on is to call around to the places that do artificial nails and ask to talk to their manicurist. Talk to them, ask them questions about the products they use, how long they wear, their prices and how long they have been applying artificial nails for. I always say: if you can’t talk to your manicurist for an hour straight, then keep lookin’! You’re gonna have to sit there for up to an hour and a half depending on how fast they work, so better make it someone you like!

Thats all for now folks! See you in our next post

xoxox
Caitlin

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Hi Everyone,

September 2nd was my birthday, and I turned 21! I don’t feel any different, haha age to me is just a number.

I thought that I would share with you some pictures and a small haul of birthday gifts πŸ™‚ My family and I mostly like to spend birthdays together, rather than shower each other with gifts, so most of the time its just a few small surprises.

Here we go!:

At the restaurant!

I’ve recorded a video for you all, so that you can see the amazing gifts that my friends and family gave me this year πŸ™‚ I am very thankful to have such amazing people in my life πŸ™‚

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIi4KL4LG_o%5D

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