Holiday Makeup Haul

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2015 is now well underway, where does the time go?! We hope everyone had a fabulous Holiday season and enjoyed all the goodness it brings. We finally got around to taking down all of the Christmas decor a few days ago. A little late this year, yes. I loathe putting away the tree and all the beautiful Christmas ornaments every year. The house always feels so empty and bare once the lights and sparkle are gone. So to make the post-Christmas season sadness a bit more bearable this year, we decided to put out the Valentine’s Day decor right away. Xmas decor came down, Valentine’s went up. Never too early to celebrate! Valentine’s Day is only a month away. ­čśë

For our very first Beauty post of 2015 I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the products I’ve received and picked up over the Holiday season.

IMG_983g2Jennifer Aniston Perfume

I’m super picky when it comes to perfumes. Either they’re too strong or just don’t smell right on my skin. I tend to prefer scented body creams for daily wear. However, I tried a sample of Jennifer Aniston’s self-titled debut fragrance when it was released few years ago and was pleasantly surprised. The fragrance is clean & floral with notes of Citrus Grove Accord, Rose Water, Jasmine, Violet, Amazon Lily, & Sandalwood (to name a few). I love this perfume for everyday wear as it’s not overpowering. It’s fresh & feminine with a gorgeous bottle to match!

IMG_9789tSally Hansen VitaSurge Strength Gel & Quo by ORLY Cuti-prep – The perfect duo to help repair & touch-up your nails during the Winter.

IMG_981f2Rimmel London ScandalEyes Rockin’ Curves Mascara – Love the brush on this mascara. It’s large and curvy which makes it easy to reach all of your lashes. The formula doesn’t get clumpy. Pretty good mascara but I still prefer my go-to Covergirl Lashblast.

IMG_9835dGOSH Professional Colour Rescue Hair Conditioner –  A great conditioner for the price ($9.99). I’ve never tried any hair products by GOSH before, only used their makeup so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My mom and I were both really impressed with this conditioner. It is super nourishing, smells great and actually moisturizes your hair. I also really like the pump-style bottle, very salon-like.

IMG_9805bLypsyl Intensive Lip Balm & COVERGIRL Full Lash Bloom Mascara

I can’t wait to try COVERGIRL’s new Full Lash Bloom Mascara. We’ve heard so many great things about it! My all-time favourite mascara is Covergirl’s LashBlast Volume Blasting Mascara. I’ve been using it for years so I’m interested to see how this new one compares.

IMG_979gI couldn’t resist when I saw a 3 pack of these Vaseline Lip Therapy Balms on sale after Christmas. I’ve used Vaseline’s Cocoa Radiant Body Lotion over the years and LOVE it. Vaseline Lip Therapy Balms are just as lovely. For the price ($2.99 each), they are shockingly good. I’ve been using them constantly since I got them. They are extremely hydrating and moisturizing, perfect for the cold Winter months. I prefer the Cocoa Butter over the original Vaseline because it smells so good, just like the body lotion.

IMG_9800rPink and white ombre brushes… LOVE!

IMG_9764gWho doesn’t love Bath & Body Works candles? $22.50 a candle is pretty steep so I usually only buy them when they go on sale every now and then. Their Fall & Winter scents are my favourite so I was pretty happy to pick up these 2 on sale after Christmas.

IMG_9742g2IMG_9776gIMG_97523Cinnamon Frosting… ohmygosh. This one smells so nummy!

IMG_9822gIMG_9824rHave you tried any of these products? What products were you loving this Holiday Season? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

‘Til next time Beauties…
Natasha & Laura xo

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year Everyone!
We thought we would post some of our photos from the holidays before we get completely engulfed in the New Year. We took a little time from regular blogging during the holidays and enjoyed more time spent with family and friends. We have to say it was really great!
December is always a busy month for everyone, so much to do crammed into 30 short days. Sometimes you get so wrapped up focusing on the ‘big day’ that you forget to take in all of the special Holiday moments that are quickly whizzing by. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions but that’s one of the things I’ve been learning to do more of… living in the moment and appreciating the little things in life. It’s not that easy to always do you know? Just give it a try. At the end of every day, before you go to sleep, think of one thing that day that you are grateful for. It’s great ending the day on a positive thought.

IMG_9686gWe absolutely love this Vancouver radio station, 103.5 during the holidays. It plays nothing but Christmas songs 24/7 for the whole month. Not everyone’s cup of tea but we can’t get enough of it! All of our radios/clock radios in the house (and car) are permanently set on this station for December. Funny thing is on Christmas Day we were playing board games listening to the station and at exactly 12am midnight that night and not one second past (technically Boxing day) they stopped playing Christmas songs! It was back to their regular soft rock playlist.

IMG_9660gThe stockings were hung… uh, placed by the chimney with care. Okay I couldn’t hang them, they were way too heavy. This year our family decided not to do a ‘gift’ exchange between the adults, opting to donate money to a charity instead. However, my parents are forever extremely giving to myself and my kids that I wanted to at least fill a stocking for each of them. The 2 stockings on the right are handmade stockings for both of my kids. Grown kids no less but since the ‘Big Guy in the Red Suit’ doesn’t fill them anymore, I still do. The stocking was always my favourite part of Christmas morning. So I love to carry on the tradition.  I made Nicholas’ stocking over 20 years ago and my mom made Natasha’s. We used to cross stitch a lot back then and these 2 stockings have always held many special memories of Christmas’ gone by.

IMG_9651g2Christmas morning.

decorIMG_9658gThe past couple of years I’ve decorated with a purple and gold theme. Instead of changing the whole theme this year I decided to add some new ornaments to the tree and decor. I bought these gold poinsettia beauties and sparkling gold branches from Micheal’s Craft Store. They had this crazy big sale a few weeks before Christmas and all of their Christmas decor was 50-70% off. Score!

IMG_965g7rAnd then there were deer. Loving the deer decor this year. I discovered 2 fabulous gold deer ornaments for the mantel at Winners in November and that was it. Love at first site. (Take note of the previous pics of my mantel with the deer adorning the ledge.) All it took was finding these 2 new deer for my mantel, I then became my predictable obsessed self and had to ‘hunt’ for more deer ornaments everywhere I went. Not as available as one would think! Found these adorable little gold prancing deer at Canadian Tire! For all of you non-Canadian readers, it’s a popular hardware/a little bit of everything, not just tires store! I know… sounds weird doesn’t it?

IMG_9667tFirst photo of the day… Natasha posing by the tree!

IMG_97135Here are 2 of my favourite little peeps, aka niece & nephew. This is basically how they looked most of the evening on Christmas day. Completely entranced by their new Nintendo 3DS. Kids these days hey? 

gThis little cutie is the newest addition to our family.  More specifically, my parents new puppy. Three month old Bear aka The Bear. Like how cute is he right?!  Bear loved his first Christmas with our family. Toys and treats galore for our fur babies! Ooooh, what a face.

collageThe photo above right is me with my kids… Natasha and Nicholas at my parents on Christmas day.The photo bottom right is the game Jenga. Natasha always wanted it so I got it for her. We instantly became addicts and had a Jenga marathon Christmas evening and Boxing day. I’m not so good at it and Natasha claims she’s the ‘master’. Ahh. Yeah. Right. We’ll just see about that. Bring on the next marathon! Let’s do it! Anyone know of any winning tips out there? Let me know!

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IMG_9740gThis little lady is Mindy. My parents 4 year old Chihuahua. She likes getting new toys anytime but absolutely loves opening new toys at Christmas. She particularly enjoyed her new red stocking that squeaks and quickly became very protective of it. Mindy gets exhausted guarding it from that new Yorkie, The Bear. She really believes she’s the QUEEN and she finds him so terribly annoying. Aren’t dogs the cutest? They have little personalities, it kills me.

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Mr. Bear playing with one of his new Christmas presents.
Just stop it! So cute.

photo (21)Of course we can’t make it through too many posts without including some Makeup/product pics! Above are some of our current favourite Holiday products! ^

We hope everyone had the most magical holiday season and got to spend it with the special people in your life. Here’s to a completely awesome New Year ahead. May all of your hopes, wishes and dreams come true.

Check out some of the Holiday fun we had at the Vancouver Christmas Market here and some more Holiday fun here!

Laura & Natasha xo 

Merry Christmas!

IMG_9429gTis the season!
Christmas Day is literally only a few days away and it seems like December just flew by. We got into the spirit this year and put up our tree on November 13. Early right? I know. My son had been out of town working for 2 months and was finally coming home. I wanted to have the house all decorated and ready for when he came back. You know…  the whole Home Sweet Home feeling? Isn’t that the greatest feeling ever? Coming home after being away. Plus, having the house all decorated for Christmas and super cozy when you arrive. The best!

Needless to say, my mission to impress him was accomplished.  He loved coming home to see everything. Lights all twinkling on the tree and some of his favourite fresh baked goodies awaiting. Nothing I love more than being a mom to my kids regardless of how old they are.

We love the holiday season and everything it entails. The decorations, food, baking, parties, shopping and the best part is sharing time with family and friends.
This post is about our holiday season so far. Some snapshots of what we’ve been up to during December.

IMG_9409gMcDonald’s tree. How perfect for the kids.

We went to The Four Season’s Hotel Vancouver to see their 28th annual Festival Of Trees. The Hotel transforms 2 floors into a beautiful display of decorated Christmas trees. The trees are sponsored by individuals and local Vancouver business’ in support of BC Childrens Hospital. It is free to visit the hotel and see the trees but it is suggested you donate $2 minimum to vote for your favourite tree.

treesOur favourite tree was the Grinch themed tree pictured above left. How cute and creative is that? This tree actually ended up winning for top child-like themed tree. So fun! You can see what other trees won here.

IMG_9427gThe Christmas trees are displayed until January 4th. We recommend dropping by if you’re downtown and checking it out. Don’t forget to make a donation! Such an important cause and a really enjoyable holiday activity.

IMG_9489tThen we had my 5th annual ‘Christmas Fun Day‘ at my house. It is a special day during December that I have my niece and nephew over to build our gingerbread houses. Actually my nephew Brendan turned 3 so it was his first year that he was old enough to come and participate too. This is exactly what Christmas is all about… the kids. They make me laugh constantly.

christmascraftsIMG_9486gIMG_9492g4I plan an afternoon of action packed kid fun! We do our gingerbread houses, crafts, games, movie, dinner and when they are good and tired I bring them straight home to mom! (aka my sister) Ahhh… the sweet benefits of being an auntie!

2Then it was an evening of grown up fun at my house. I had a ladies only party and invited a few special girlfriends over for Christmas cheer and appetizers. And wine. Lots and lots of wine! 

3We had such a ‘holly jolly’ great time catching up. Sharing stories, girl talk, listening to Christmas music, eating and drinking. Everything a holiday party should be.

We finally baked these delicious candy cane cookies (pictured top right) that I’ve always wanted to try but never had a chance to. We used the recipe from one of our newer favourite cookbooks, Family Celebrations by Buddy Valastro aka The Cake BossThe recipe called for red food colouring but when we realized we were actually out of red we substituted for pink. We think they turned out quite pretty and girlie this way! Recipe here.

We’ve done plenty of holiday baking this year. Check out a few of our absolute FAVE family recipes from previous posts by clicking on the images below:

017Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – So amazingly soft and delicious. Everyone’s favourite.

029-2Gingerbread Cookies – Our go-to gingerbread recipe.

062Shortbread Cookies

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas… 
Laura & Natasha xo

‘Secret’ Family Pecan Tarts Recipe

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys! Why? Because it is my all time favourite. This is my ex mother-in-law’s recipe and is a family favorite. I’ve been making it forever. The crust for these tarts is the key. It’s light and fluffy and delicious. Without a great crust the tart is, well… not worth making. And this crust is da bomb! You are going to love them. They are the ultimate holiday treat.

Natasha was playing around with the camera and ended up filming me while baking the pecan tarts last night..
Here’s a little behind the scenes of what went down; Check it out!

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'Secret' Family Pecan Tarts
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Ingredients
  1. Ingredients for the Pecan Tarts Crust
  2. (Yield: 3 dozen tarts or 2 pies (top & bottom crusts))
  3. 1 lb Crisco
  4. 4 c. Flour
  5. 2 tsp. brown sugar
  6. 2 tsp. white vinegar
  7. 1 tsp. baking powder
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1 egg (mixed in with a 1/2 cup of water)
Ingredients for Pecan Tarts Filling
  1. (yield: 1 dozen)
  2. 1 egg beaten
  3. 1/3 c. butter (melted and cooled)
  4. 1 c. brown sugar
  5. 2 tbsp. milk
  6. 1/2 c. chopped pecans (can substitute with walnuts or raisins)
  7. 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pecan Tart Crust Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.
  3. After chilling, roll out dough and cut into tart shapes.
Pecan Tart Filling Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees f. for 8 minutes then adjust oven to 350 and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.
Rose & Lea http://roseandlea.com/

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I hope you enjoy these amazing Pecan Tarts as much as my family does!

Happy baking!
Laura xo