Skuish Cookies

Cookies make everyone’s day better! I love baking, so I was thrilled to come across Skuish cookies. This Ottawa based business delivers ready to bake cookies that are easy to make and even more fun to eat!

How to Order

Each box of Skuish cookies contains 12 cookies raw frozen cookies in 3 different flabours. You can’t choose which flavours you get but Skuish does announce “cookie drops” on their website where you can order your box of cookies. The tricky part of the website is that it is only open while cookie supplies last. Once they are sold out of a particular drop the website is closed until the next cookie drop announcement. I think this adds an element of fun to the whole ordering process, it’s like a race to grab your cookies although this may not be everyone’s idea of fun or smart marketing.

The box I received contained the following flavours: double chocolate chip with Cadbury mini eggs, red velvet chocolate chip and Oreo chocolate chip.

How to Bake

The cookies are huge and come already formed in to balls of dough. You need to keep the cookies frozen until you’d like to bake them so there’s no need to defrost your cookies. I recommended baking 1-2 cookies at a time because these cookies are huge and very filling. Each box also comes with baking instructions on the back. It’s best to preheat your oven to 350F.

Although the recommended baking time is 16-18 minutes I suggest baking your cookies for about 20-25 minutes. After 16 mins my cookies were still very soft and doughy. I’d also suggest letting the cookies cool for about 15 minutes before you move them. Try not to break the cookies in half  or “skuish” them before this as they will be very soft and runny.

The Verdict

Skuish cookies are a fun and easy baking activity. They’re great if you’re in the mood for baking but don’t feel like making the dough. They are also handy as a quick treat as you can choose to make one cookie at a time if you wish.  A box of a dozen Skuish cookies however is not cheap and will cost you $43 which is pretty steep for cookies. They are however more of a gourmet treat hence the higher price point. The cookies are jam packed with chocolate chips and treats like Cadbury mini eggs so I found them a little too sweet for my liking. They’re great in moderation though. I also think they’d be great paired with ice cream to balance out the sweetness.

I would still recommend supporting this Ottawa based business and perhaps sharing a box with friends.

 

Preserving Your Perfumes

Christian Dior said that ” a woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting” and if you’re like me then you know how important having a signature scent is. I love perfumes and I must say over the years I collected quite a bit of them. In fact I had more perfumes than I could possibly wear. I’ve since scaled down my collection but as far as scents go my go to perfumes are always Dior.

Perfumes are an investment, they make you feel great and smell even better. Over time perfumes can lose their distinctive scents or evaporate too soon if they aren’t stored properly. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to make your perfumes last longer so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned. Here are some of my tips for preserving your perfumes.

Save the box

Most fragrances come in a box, it’s a good idea to save the original box the scent came in. Perfume bottles are pretty to display but keeping your fragrances in their boxes protects them from sunlight and against moisture in the air.

Keep cool and dry

Store your perfumes in a cool (but not cold) and dry place. This means avoiding sunny places like a windowsill or a dresser top. Sunlight causes perfumes to evaporate and also affects the chemical makeup of the liquid, which could result in an altered scent. You should also keep your perfumes away from heat and humidity which again can alter the chemistry of a scent. It would be wise to stay away from storing your perfumes in the bathroom.

Travel sizes are your friend

Although it might be tempting to take your full size perfume bottles on trips with you the temperature changes in an airplane can affect your perfumes. Most airlines only allow 100ml quantities of liquids in carry on baggage which can make traveling with perfumes a little challenging. Most times you have no choice other than to pack your perfumes in your checked bags, which are stored in a non-temperature controlled compartment and subject to drastic temperature changes. The extremely cold temperatures can alter the chemical makeup of your favourite fragrances. If you love a particular perfume it’s always a good idea to invest in a travel size bottle or pick up a few samples which can easily fit in your carry-on.

Keep them closed

This may sound a little obvious but it’s important to keep your perfume bottles tightly capped. Improperly closed bottles can lead to evaporation so the next time you spray some of your favourite fragrance take a second to cap it tightly.

Places you shouldn’t store your perfumes:

Windowsills

Any place with direct sunlight

The bathroom

Places you should store your perfumes:

Dark closets

Dresser drawers

In the original box

Cupboards

Do you have any perfume tips to share? I’ve linked some of my favourite perfumes below. What’s your favourite?

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Canada Day Outfit Ideas

Canada Day is around the corner and although most of the festivities are cancelled this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t get dressed up and show your Canadian pride. I’ve pulled together four different looks to help you get in the patriotic spirit as you raise a glass to the true north strong and free this July 1st.

Backyard BBQ Chic

I find gingham is a great print for Canada day. For a relaxed casual look I paired a white t-shirt with a cotton gingham print skirt. This look is great for a backyard BBQ or a quiet celebration with family at home. I finished off this casual look with a pair of white mules and accessorized with some red tassel earrings.

Downtown Glam

I came across this adorable one shoulder romper and thought it was perfect for a Canada day look. It’s definitely more of a fun and glamorous look. This is a great option if you’re hoping to check out some patios during the day.  To accessorize I added a straw pompom clutch which I picked up a few Summer’s ago (I’ve linked similar options below the post) and some white bauble earrings.

Picnic in the Park

Another great gingham option is this tie shoulder dress. I love the smocking detail in the top and the flowey skirt. This dress is just perfect for a Canada Day picnic in the park, so I had to accessorize with my picnic basket bag. It’s also a great option on a hot Summer day as the cotton fabric keeps you dry and cool.

Retro Red jumpsuit

When I saw this jumpsuit online it just screamed 80’s to me. I love the rouched waist and one shoulder detail. The padded shoulder and puffed sleeve are such a vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous this Canada Day then this is the outfit for you. Whether you’re having cocktails at home or hitting a patio you’re sure to stand out in this number

Which look is your favourite?

I picked up these Canada Outfits from Shein and I’ve linked them all below. Use my code WKND15 15% and save 15% off all your Shein purchases.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

It’s been a while since my last post! I’ve been very busy with work and of course Instagram. I post a lot more frequently there but I’ve decided to get back to blogging starting this month.

I don’t know about you but I’ve been doing a lot of quarantine baking. I recently made some white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, they’re one of Sash’s favourites. I had a lot of questions about them on Instagram so I thought I’d share my recipe 🙂

Here’s what you need:

2 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (make sure it’s soft)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup  granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 and 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts

Let’s bake!

1. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Add the eggs and vanilla extract one at a time and mix until fully combined.
3.Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and continue mixing until just combined.
4. Mix in the white chocolate chips and chopped macadamia nuts do this slowly and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
5.Cover the cookie dough (I used Saran wrap) and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours. I left mine in the fridge overnight.
6. When you’re ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for about 15 mins. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
7. Spray cookie sheets with Pam or line with parchment paper.
8. Using a tablespoon scoop out the cookie dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave a little room between each ball of cookie dough as they will spread a little while they bake.
9.Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown and the tops are set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes you can then transfer them on to a dish.
Enjoy!

Spring Favourites from Shein

It’s been over a month since my last post and of course a lot has transpired during this time. I’ve been a bit hesitant to post about my fashion finds amidst a pandemic hence the lag between posts. However I found that although physical storefronts have suffered significant losses, virtual storefronts and e-commerce have flourished.

I’ve been shopping online since our lockdown started and been able to find some lovely pieces in the process. I thought I’d share some of my Spring style finds from Shein.

1. Mock neck Swiss dot dress

When I came across this dress online I initially thought it would be perfect for Easter or a Spring High Tea. I was able to wear it out to a high tea prior to the lockdown. I chose it for it for the feminine detail of the dots and the ruffle sleeves. This dress is flowly and comfortable but the tie around the waist helps create some shape and definition. I’d love to wear this out again at some point.

2.  Tribal print dress

I love bright and colourful prints. This dress is so much fun! I found it very comfortable and figure flattering. It makes you look dressed up with minimal effort, the fabric makes you feel like you’re wearing a t-shirt. I would definitely wear this dress well in to the Summer.

3. White off the shoulder dress

When I saw this dress online I knew I had to have it. I didn’t have a white formal dress and this one fit the bill. I love the bardot neckline on this dress. The fabric is stretchy which makes it comfortable to wear. The ruching is also very figure flattering. This dress is great for the day or an evening out (or rather in since we are all staying in at the moment).

What are some of your favourite online style finds?

You can shop all my looks from this post below. Use my promo code WKND15 and save 15% off your Shein purchase.

 

Le Sirenuse Miami

I’m excited to write about one of my favourite places we visited on our trip to Florida. For those of you who may not be aware Sash and I visited Florida at the beginning of February. We spent 3 days in Miami and 3 days in Fort Lauderdale. Prior to leaving we did a lot of research on the places we wanted to visit and created an itinerary for our trip, yes we like to plan everything! One of the places I came across during our research was Le Sirenuse Miami, a restaurant at the Four Seasons Surfside.

The Venue

Le Sirenuse Miami is a restaurant and champagne bar inspired by the Italian hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. The Miami location is famous for its tropical decor with palm trees adorning every inch of the restaurant. The venue features a Champagne Bar and restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating.

The Cocktails

 

We decided to stop in at Le Sirenuse for a cocktail in the late afternoon. Aside from its Champagne Bar, Le Sirenuse Miami is famous for its hand crafted cocktails. The restaurant has its own signature cocktails which can be found on their Amore Eterno menu.

We were fortunate to get seated on the terrace overlooking the hotel pool and the ocean. It was so nice to sit outside and enjoy a cocktail while we looked out at the sea.  I was really excited to try the cocktails at Le Sirenuse.

Seeing as how there was a Champagne Bar I opted for one of their Champagne based cocktails. The Champagne cocktails are named after famous guests who have stayed at Le Sirenuse such as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Church Hill. I chose the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and was told that it was one of their most popular cocktails, especially for ladies. This was a light and sweet cocktail topped off with elderflower foam and garnished with a flower.

Sash generally prefers something on the stronger side so he decided to go with Mandolini Di Sorrento a bourbon based cocktail. This drink is named in honour of Andrea and Franco, a mandolin and guitar duo who have been fixtures at Le Sirenuse Positano’s  La Sponda restaurant since 1993.

We really enjoyed our experience at Le Sirenuse Miami. If you are ever in the vicinity I highly recommend stopping by and checking it out. Although items on the menus are quite pricey, the ambiance and decor are well worth the splurge.

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Fontana at the Biltmore Hotel

Hello again! I’m back from my mini vacation in Florida and I’m excited to share a few posts about my experience there. The first post I’ll be sharing is all about the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida; a city located about 20 mins away from Miami. We visited Miami and Fort Lauderdale on this trip.

I came across the Biltmore Hotel by accident when I was looking for some nice restaurants for us to visit for lunch and dinner. I noticed Fontana, the hotel’s Italian restaurant while I was searching for restaurants on OpenTable. What first got my attention was the location and ambiance.

Fontana

Fontana specializes in Italian cuisine and offers a service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer a Sunday Brunch. The restaurant has an indoor and outdoor dining area, with a large fountain in the middle of the outdoor courtyard surrounded by palm trees. I put in a special request for a table outside and they accommodated us with a table right next to the fountain. It was so nice to enjoy a meal outside with the fountain in the background. The courtyard has a covered high ceiling and open arches that allow a cool breeze to waft in and out of the outdoor dining area.

The restaurant offers a large choice of items on their lunch menu but of course we opted for pasta, because who goes to an Italian restaurant and doesn’t try the pasta. The staff were really helpful and accommodating, allowing us to customize the dishes to our liking. For example if there is a certain type of pasta or sauce you enjoy you can mix and match off the menu.

As it was quite warm that day we decided to avoid alcoholic beverages and opted for some freshly squeezed orange juice, a Florida special. It sure lived up to the hype.

The Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel was constructed in 1926 and the building has a vintage tropical flare to it. I thought it was a spectacular property with sprawling gardens, numerous fountains and a golf course on site. The hotel premises span over 150 acres and is home to a 271 room resort. One striking feature of the Biltmore is the architecture which has Italian, Moorish and Spanish touches.

We took a walk around the hotel and got to see the pool and some of the gardens. The hotels boasts the largest hotel pool on the East Coast of the United States. This place truly is a tropical paradise. The interior of the hotel has a vintage luxury feel to it and is decorated in a classic style. I would definitely visit this place again and possibly stay there.

Although the hotel has numerous restaurants and dining options, one thing I’d love to try is the Afternoon Tea service in the hotel’s lobby.

If you’re ever in Miami then the Biltmore is definitely worth the short drive to Coral Gables.

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Feminine Workwear from Femme De Carriere

Finding well made workwear that fits has always been a challenge for me so I was especially thrilled when I came across Femme De Carriere.

If you live in Canada I’m sure you’re familiar with this brand as it’s been around many years, 35 to be exact. I was pleased to find a retailer that offered well-made work clothes that were also feminine. My biggest challenge as a working woman has been finding work clothes that look professional and feminine at the same time.

This Canadian brand was founded in Montreal and still operates as a family business. Today Femme has stores throughout Canada and is well recognized in the world of women’s fashion. What I like most about Femme is that many of their pieces are designed and made in Canada. Their lead designer Sandra Angelozzi is known for feminine designs and structured, tailored pieces that can last the test of time. I have quite a few of her dresses and business suits and I’m very impressed with the workmanship, finish and cut in these garments.

Femme De Carriere prides itself in offering women luxury pieces at affordable prices and I think the brand really lives up to this promise. Who doesn’t feel more confident going in to a business meeting or an interview in a fantastic new business suit or dress?

Here are a few of my favourite pieces.

Cream Business Suit 

I love this cream coloured business suit. I have many dark coloured suits so I was looking to add some light and variety to my collection. The blazer and skirt are sold separately so you can mix and match to your liking. I like how well structured the blazer is and the rounded colour gives it more of a feminine and unique look. Both the blazer and the skirt are designed by Sandra Angelozzi and made in Canada. The skirt and blazer also come in a baby blue.

Cream Skirt and Blouse

If blazers aren’t your thing you can also pair this skirt with this sleeves fitted top. I really like the detail down the front of this blouse as it gives it character and structure. This top also comes in baby blue if you’re not a fan of cream.

White Dress with Bow Detail

This is definitely one of my favourite dresses. The moment I saw this dress in the window I knew I had to have it. I tried it on and the rest is history. I love how figure flattering this dress is; it’s truly a well-made garment. The detail on the shoulder just gives it that extra bit of flare and glamour. This dress is another creation by Sandra and is also made in Canada. One thing I really appreciate about the clothes at Femme is the quality as these pieces really do last a long time. I can’t wait to wear this out to an event, business meeting or garden party.

If you appreciate high quality garments that are made and designed in Canada then you’ll love Femme De Carriere. You can shop their collection in-store at one of their many locations or online.

Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier

 

 

I hope everyone is having a great 2020 so far. I’m so excited to tell you all about what I’ve been up to lately. My better half and I recently had the pleasure of checking out the new Winter Afternoon Tea menu at Zoe’s Lounge located inside the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel. The Fairmont Laurier is a notable landmark in Canada’s capital city. If you go downtown you cannot miss this castle in the city, named after Sir Wilfrid Laurier Canada’s 7th Prime Minister.  Subsequently the tea lounge and bar at the hotel is named after his wife Lady Zoe who was fond of afternoon tea.

Those of you that know me personally are aware that I too am a huge fan of afternoon tea and have visited the Chateau Laurier on countless occasions to try their new tea menus.  Zoe’s never ceases to impress and their Winter Afternoon Tea menu is no exception.

Cocktails anyone?
Afternoon tea doesn’t just have to be about tea. Zoe’s Tea Menu has a selection of sparkling wines, Champagnes, dessert wines and afternoon cocktails to choose from. We decided to kick off the afternoon with a glass of sparkling wine after all isn’t everything better with bubbles?

Choosing your tea
One of the great features of the tea at Zoe’s is of course their tea menu offering you the choice of 21 teas. Besides the teas on the menu you can also order traditional English Breakfast tea at Zoe’s. All the teas on the menu are blended specifically for Fairmont Hotels so you really get a special treat in choosing one of their teas. I decided to go with Something Sweet, a black tea that featured rich caramel and chocolate highlights. I really enjoyed this tea as it also had a coffee aroma to it. You could also smell the notes of chocolate in it. Sash opted for Mojo Mate, a green tea with fresh lemon highlights and a spearmint finish.

The Pastries
The Winter menu at Zoe’s features a carefully curated selection of savoury and sweet pastries prepared by Pastry Chef Anne Marie Milk and her team.  We started off with the savoury sandwiches and then progressed to the desserts. Some of our favourites were the Smoked Salmon Crepe and Chicken Liver Mousse sandwiches along with the Milk Chocolate and Caramel Chocolate Choux and the Rum and Brown Sugar Cake for dessert. Last but certainly not least we enjoyed some scones with mascarpone cream and strawberry jam because what afternoon tea is complete without scones?!   I’m very traditional when it comes to scones so I enjoyed the butter cream scone with jam and cream. Full details of the Winter menu can be found here.

The Experience
Afternoon tea is lovely at any time of the year however it’s a great way to stay warm and cozy in the Winter. We really enjoyed sitting in the warmth of this historic castle while watching the world go by outside. The Fairmont Chateau Laurier’s afternoon tea menu changes on a quarterly basis so the Winter menu will be around for a couple of months.  If you live in Ottawa or are going to be visiting soon I cannot recommend this experience enough!  In addition to the traditional tea menu Zoe’s also offers the Little  Prince and Princess Tea menus for children under 12.

What makes afternoon tea at Zoe’s a truly memorable experience is the staff and the ambiance, aside from the food of course 😉 We had a pleasant and relaxing time during our tea thanks to Deneen and her team and our server Garrick, who made this a wonderful experience for us. All staff at the hotel really live up to the Fairmont standard of service and this is quite evident in how popular the Fairmont Laurier is among Ottawa natives and tourists alike.

The afternoon tea service at Zoe’s is available Wednesday to Sunday. There is a 1pm and 3pm seating Wednesday-Friday and an additional 11am seating on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are highly recommended as the Zoe’s afternoon tea is quite popular.

My Fave Dress Picks for NYE

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and you’re enjoying the holiday season. Can you believe we will be in to a new decade in a few days?! 2020 is around the corner and it’s going to be a great year.

Whether you’re going out or staying in New Year’s Eve is something to celebrate.Have you picked out your dress for New Year’s Eve yet? Here are few of my favourite dresses for NYE.

My first pick is this black mock neck dress from Dynamite Clothing. I love the silver studded detail and the puffed sleeves give it a great finish. I paired this dress with a rhinestone buckle belt and some door knocker earrings. I really wanted to accentuate the silver in this dress. I also like that this dress is velvet, it’s a great fabric for Winter.

My second pick is a little unconventional for NYE but I think the colour and fabric are so classy. This satin one shoulder dress is an elegant choice if you want a break from the sparkle and shine of typical NYE dresses. I love the royal blue colour (the dress also comes in black) and the one shoulder detail of this dress. The draping in the front also make it figure flattering. I accessorized this dress with some embellished tights and rhinestone door knocker earrings.

P.S. I’m currently running a giveaway for a Dynamite Gift Card, details can be found on my instagram page.

If you want to go the more traditional route then this dress is for you. This gold dot printed dress is perfect for NYE! I like this dress because it’s stylish, comfortable and the gold dots look like confetti against the black fabric. This dress also photographs really well and has a sophisticated chic look to it. In this photo I paired it with some black tights and black pumps but you could also pair this dress with gold pumps for a really festive look. I picked this dress up last year at Le Chateau but it’s back again this year and under $100!

Which dress do you think I should choose?

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