One of my goals this year is to read more non-academic books. Admittedly, this is one of my goals each year, and each year I seem to fall short. As much fun as reading about Alberta's Constitutional Framework is, sometimes a girl just wants to read about pizza. I'm having a moment with food related memoirs. While in Seattle last summer, I had the opportunity to dine at Delancey, and later found out about the book, which of course I had to read. I finished it rather quickly, and enjoyed every story in the book. Author Molly Wizenberg has this way of writing that makes you feel like you're the best of friends. Her stories are told in an raw, intimate manner, and you can't help but get drawn in. I think that having dined at Delancey helped me get into the book, as I could recall what the restaurant itself was like, as well as the dining experience itself. Overall, it was a wonderful read that I could not recommend enough.

I was having a chat with Gabi today while we were browsing the cooking section at Chapters about cooking memoirs. She mentioned a few that are now on my list, and I recalled one that I had read last year and fell madly in love with. I tend to be a read once and forget kind of gal... There are very few books that have had a lasting impact on me, but this is one of those ones that did. Another food memoir called The Art of Eating In by Cathy Erway. It documents her journey of swearing off eating out. A novel concept perhaps, but again, the stories that she has to tell about her experiences with home cooking are really inspiring.

1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg
2. Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton
3. 52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander
4. Bon Appetempt: A Coming-of-Age Story (with Recipes!) by Amelia Morris

I'm sure there are more, but they are mostly related to food politics as opposed to being memoirs. Are there any others that I should add to my list?


Modani Furniture
I've mentioned over and over that I moved last month—finally out of my parents house once again. The boyfriend and I now call home a little apartment in the heart of downtown Calgary. While the place is far from ready to be shown in the space, it's been an interesting collaboration between his and my decorating style, not without compromise. What the space is now is what I would call "rustic meets post-mod IKEA catalogue chic" with an emphasis on a lot of woodwork and a lot of booze related artwork. It's good. It works for us now, but admittedly has a long way to go. I've collaborated with Modani Furniture to showcase my ideal living room, and while Modani is a bit out of my student budget now, it's nice to dream. Their selection of modern sofas is a great starting place to design a room around.

We each came into the space with a few furniture items or art pieces of our own. The above features a classic Guinness ad that hangs proudly on our wall next to an old Heineken ad and a woodwork piece by a local artist. I think that my above description fits what we're trying to achieve, minus the reliance on good 'ol IKEA (why must quality, trendy furniture be so expensive!).

All pieces above (with the exception of the poster) can be found on Modani Furniture's website.


MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Gabi and I have just finished discussing our 2014 Beauty Favourites, and I somehow managed to forget MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, likely because I was out of it at the time. I moved out of my parents house a few weeks ago, and I had decided that it was maybe time to try out some drugstore makeup alternatives in an attempt to perhaps be able to spend some of my limited funds on food. It made good sense in theory, but in practice the results weren't great.

Kimmel Stay Matte

I don't really have a choice to not wear powder if I'm going to wear foundation. My face eats up foundation quicker than anything. On the recommendation of some of my favorite beauty bloggers, I chose to try Rimmel's Stay Matte Powder, but was seriously unimpressed. I used it for about a month with admittedly kind of shitty results. It's smells like talc, and leaves you with a heavy finish no matter how little you try to put on. I seem to be finding this with a lot of the drugstore alternatives that I've tried, leading me to believe that you really do get what you pay for. MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, you've won this round.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, $32 USD
Rimmel Stay Matte, $8 USD


What I've realized most over the last year is that I'm definitely less of a party girl than I used to be. Offer me a night in with a Netflix marathon and a glass of wine and I'll take you up on it any time. I've been to one New Years Eve party in my day, and never to a bar. It's always been nights in and board games with friends—just how I like it. I hope that this year is the same. Even though I'll likely be staying in, there's no reason to not look a little dressed up. Below is my perfect New Years Eve look. It's cozy with a touch of elegance.


Wilfred Montpellier Sweater, Aritzia // Tasha Legging, Club Monaco // Clutch, Zara

I'm admittedly not very good at doing my nails. I love the process and the pampering, but I always seem to lack the patience to wait for it to dry and inevitably end up smudging it. Can't blame a girl for trying though. My polish collection is always growing, and I've found a love for Julep products. They dry incredibly quickly (the major selling point for me), have a huge assortment of colors, and the pigment is great. My New Years Eve look will be accompanied by the Julep look featured below, likely in a purple like Jessie as opposed to red. Let me know in the comments what you'll be wearing and doing for New Years Eve, and also if you give the tutorial a try!



Holiday Baking
I'm admittedly a wee bit late on sharing my holiday baking game, but if you are looking for some last minute goodies to make, these are ALL good bets. Especially the Black Pepper Truffles.

White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Vanilla Salt from Not Without Salt
Rosemary and Salted Caramel Linzer Cookies from Two Red Bowls
Chocolate Truffle Studded Brownies from Spoon Fork Bacon
Oatmeal Cream Pies from Food52
Kahlua Spiked Mocha Cake Balls from Butterlust
Black Pepper Truffles from Sweet by Valerie Gordon

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that good stuff.

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