HOLIDAY BAKING: It’s A Candy Cane Christmas!

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Christmas is in full swing and the countdown is on to complete our lengthy baking list. Every year we bake our ‘classic family favourites‘ that have been in our family forever. You know, the Scottish Shortbread, Gingerbread and Pecan Tarts to name a few. This year we decided to step outside of the tried and true baking list and try something new and exciting. We like to live on the edge like that. 😉 We came across two new Holiday recipes by Ricardo CuisineCandy Cane Cookies and Candy Cane Hot Chocolate!

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If ever there was a cookie that tastes like Christmas, these Candy Cane Cookies would be it! Made with crushed candy canes and white chocolate, these cookies are a perfect festive addition to any holiday dessert platter.

This was our first time making a baked good with candy canes so we weren’t sure what to expect. If you like candy canes, then you will for sure love these! Of course you can alter the measurements depending on your tastes. Add just a pinch of crushed candy canes for a hint of peppermint or more if you are a true candy cane lover. We decided to add a tiny amount of the candy cane pieces that weren’t crushed as much for a more intense peppermint flavour. 

At first bite, you immediately taste the unbelievable flavour of the cookie batter. This cookie batter is one of the best cookie dough recipes we’ve tried. The whole family agrees!  The batter mixed with the candy cane and white chocolate is truly the ultimate holiday treat. It is delicious! 
We’ll definitely be making another batch of these before Christmas Day.

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What goes with candy cane cookies? That’s right… Candy Cane Hot Chocolate! How perfect and festive! Nothing like a cozy crackling fire, watching Christmas Vacation the movie (again), sippin’ hot chocolate and snackin’ on delicious baked festive candy cane cookies. Delightful, don’t cha think?

We are big hot chocolate lovers especially during the cold winter months. There’s something about it that makes you feel happy. Probably because it reminds us of when we were carefree kids.

We are always game for a new recipe and wanted to jazz up the classic hot drink a little so we decided to make Ricardo Cuisine’s Candy Cane Hot Chocolate. Who can resist fine Lindt milk chocolate melted with milk and topped with real whipped cream and some crushed candy cane? Mmmmmm!

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For more delicious Holiday recipes and inspiration, be sure to visit Ricardo Cuisine!

What cookies will you be baking this year?! Let us know!

Happy Holiday Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

NARS x Steven Klein Holiday 2015 Collection

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Legendary Make Up Artist Francois Nars collaborated with iconic A-list celebrity and Fashion Photographer, Steven Klein for the NARS x Steven Klein Holiday Collection 2015 – FANTASCENE. If you’re expecting the typical holiday scene of snowflakes and gingerbread, well, this isn’t the collection for you! However, if you’re looking for the amazing quality we’ve come to expect from NARS combined with the dark and sexy artistic Klein vibe, then you’ll love this collection. We both agree it is one of the most edgy, artistic, provocative and creative launches we’ve seen. The advertising images for the collection are completely captivating and pushes the boundary of fantasy.

The Collection uses photographs that Steven Klein has taken during his career. Everything from the make up colour choices, the names of each product and the packaging were created around Klein’s photos. Not the other way around which is typically the case.

“Steven is one of the most disruptive, fearless photographers of his time. I love his work – his ability to strip down and expose his subjects, to create shocking visual narratives that are never what they seem.” – François Nars

“There are few hands that could do what François has done. He has impeccable taste and stands strong by his work. His colors and his eye for imagery is unique and of the highest caliber.” – Steven Klein

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Limited Edition A WOMAN’S FACE LIP SET ($49)

This set is all about iconic nudes. Suitable for everyone and our personal fave!

The set contains 3 lip products: 
Dolce Vita Lipstick
Mini Dolce Vita Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Mini Patong Beach Velvet Lip Liner

The Dolce Vita lipstick shade is a NARS cult favourite product and with good reason. It is the perfect dusty rose nude.

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New Limited Edition NARS Killer Shine Lip Gloss ($35)
Developed with a new vinyl formula, these Limited Edition Glosses provide intense high shine with high drama. A perfect lip gloss when you want to have your lips be the main focus, the star feature!

Available in 3 shades:
Fast Life – Iridescent Dusty Rose (Laura’s favourite)
Provoke – Deep Iris Purple
Special Force – Wild Strawberry (Natasha’s favourite)

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The Killer Shine Lip Glosses are really unlike any other gloss we’ve ever tried. They offer the extreme colour pigmentation of a lipstick but also provide a high gloss shine. You get the best of both worlds. The greatest part about these glosses? They are long-lasting & not sticky at all! 

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This beautiful dusty rose shade is definitely the most neutral & easiest to wear. Flattering on all skin tones, even practical to wear everyday. 

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Limited Edition DUAL-INTENSITY BLUSH in shade VENGEFUL ($55)

This duo blush is extremely pigmented with White Gold Highlight & Shimmering Brick Red. It can be applied wet or dry. Wet provides a translucent 2nd skin look and dry for a light healthy glow. NARS exclusive Translucent Prismatic Technology features pearls and pigments perfectly suspended in transparent soft base to allow for multi-dimensional effects with a uniquely weightless, luxurious texture.

We are absolutely in love with this blush and how it looks on the cheeks. Gorgeous. Some may find the pigmented red a little shocking but applied with a light hand and blended with the Gold Highlight on the cheek bone is fabulous. Definitely my favourite product of the collection.

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A look at the complete NARS x Steven Klein Holiday 2015 Collection FANTASCENE:

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Where to buy:
NARS x Steven Klein FANTASCENE Color Collection is available online & at Sephora.

NARS Online: Official Site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

What pieces from NARS new Holiday Collection do you have your eye on? Let us know! 

Laura & Natasha xo
(written by Laura, photos by Natasha)

‘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

Etsy Holiday Inspiration

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Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods. Our mission is to re-imagine commerce in ways that build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

I love Etsy.

For those who are not aware, Etsy is a website which focuses on the selling & buying of handmade, & vintage items.
I like to think of Etsy as a ‘craftier‘ version of Ebay.
You can find everything on the site from paintings, prints, art & craft supplies, to home decor, quilts, beauty, jewelry, & toys.

Each item is unique, and it’s a great way to support artisans, & support smaller businesses.
Plus you can also find plenty of ideas for some DIY projects!

I’ve purchased some really cute items from Etsy previously & highly recommend shopping on Etsy. My latest purchase were gorgeous knitted coffee cozies which you can see here.

I was browsing on Etsy earlier, and started looking at Holiday gifts & decor and was blown away at all the great gift ideas.
Etsy is such a great site to do some online Holiday shopping, especially if you are looking for unique, homemade, beautiful pieces!

Grab a cup of cocoa, turn on your Christmas playlist, get cozy in your Christmas PJ’s (come on, you know you have a pair! 😉 ) and browse with me on Etsy! :)

Here are some of my top Holiday Picks from Etsy:

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1. Winter Forest Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: NormansPrintery

There’s few things I love more than beautifully wrapped Christmas presents under the tree. It’s almost like an art.
I love wrapping gifts, and have basically become the sole ‘gift wrapper‘ in my family. I love taking my time, and making the gifts look perfect, so I’m all about cute, unique wrapping paper.
This Forest Wrapping Paper is unique and perfectly vintage looking.

2. The Barrow – Chunky Infinity Scarf
from Etsy Seller: deroucheau

Nothing says Winter fashion like a nice, big, wool infinity scarf!
Essential piece of a girl’s Winter wardrobe.

3. Knitted Heart Fingerless Gloves
from Etsy Seller: KnitsbyVara

Cozy, homemade knitted gloves – perfect gift for her.

4. Burlap Dog Christmas Stocking
from Etsy Seller: ChristmasClaude

These doggie stockings are so adorable!
Pet’s are apart of the family, why not get a stocking for your fur-baby?

5. Glittered Acorn Christmas Ornaments – Set of 5
from Etsy Seller: AnnaBelleArts

I love the look of these glittery acorn ornaments.

6. Snowflake Christmas Earrings
from Etsy Seller: CloverPower

7. Christmas Reindeer Cushion
from Etsy Seller: CalicoandCotton

Cute reindeer pillow, perfect for a cabin!

8. Cardinals & Chickadees Christmas Wrapping Paper
from Etsy Seller: PaperandPresent

More pretty, unique wrapping paper. Love this bird design.

9. Custom Superhero Ornaments
from Etsy Seller: IttyBittyWoodShoppe

I thought these wooden superhero ornaments were so original, and creative. They would be so perfect for a kid’s tree, or a little boy’s tree!
If you’re a good painter, you could always make these yourself. I’m sure you could find plain wooden ornaments at a craft store, and paint them yourself. Would make for a great DIY & Christmas craft.

Have you ever bought or sold anything on Etsy before?
Love Etsy?
Comment & let us know! :)

Happy Holiday Shopping!
Natasha Xo