‘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

3 Reasons Why Practical Magic is the Best Fall Movie Ever.

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Even though Fall is nearly over, we couldn’t help but post about one of our favorite things about Fall – Practical Magic. We ended up watching a movie called Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman a few weeks ago and it quickly became our favorite Fall movie. We are obsessed.

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Here are 3 reasons why Practical Magic is the greatest Fall movie ever:

1. THE HAIR.

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via Heather Taylor tumblr. 

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Oh. my. gosh.
If you are looking for hair inspiration, look no further – you have to watch this movie.
I was literally mesmerized by Nicole Kidman’s hair during the whole movie.
Both Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman’s hair are super long, shiny and gorgeous and my mom and I couldn’t stop making comments about their hair! Serious hair envy.

Now I can’t stop thinking about dying my hair a light red colour.. (one day. it’s gonna happen).

2. THE HOUSE

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photo via: decorology

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via hooked on houses

It’s worth it to watch this movie just for the house & decor alone. By far the best movie house ever! The book & movie take place in New England but due to bad weather & financial reasons they built and filmed the house in San Juan Park, Washington. The entire house was a specially built architectural shell (the house had no actual rooms on the inside), and was built on a platform. All the interior scenes of the house were shot on sets in LA and the house was taken down after filming. (so sad!)

I loved everything about the grand white Victorian house in the movie but my favorite part was by far the kitchen. This is my dream kitchen. Get ready to swoon…

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Image3 photos via hooked on houses

3. MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS!

Enough said.

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Practical Magic is all about love, family, & girl power combined with the magicalness of potions, spells and all things witches. It’s a fun, feel-good movie that represents positivity and sisterhood & is perfect to watch during the Fall. Grab your best girlfriends, pour some margaritas & get into the Fall spirit with Practical Magic!

I loved the movie so much that I painted a little picture of Sandra Bullock’s character ‘Sally Owens‘, & the Amas Veritas (True Love) Spell. I found this cute print on etsy, and decided to paint my own version to put on my bookshelf. The original print/painting is by etsy user: woodwings, which you can see here.

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To conclude this post, I leave you with one of my favorite scenes from Practical Magic..
“Hang On To Your Husbands, Girls!”

Oh, how I wish I were a witch…
Natasha xo.

The Curious Case of Laura Lea

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Let me start this blog off by introducing myself and telling you a little bit about me. My name is Laura and I do believe I am reverting in age. Like that Brad Pitt movie. You know, Benjamin Button. I just keep getting younger and younger. I know, it’s very peculiar. 

I was with the same man and married for 20 years (18 years old to 38 years old… yes we were very young) now divorced for 6 years… don’t worry, all of the nitty gritty details will eventually be told my dear ladies…do not fear. I like to share. I just can’t help myself.

I reside just 40 minutes outside of beautiful Vancouver, BC. Canada. Honestly one of the most amazing places to live.
I have two grown children (how they grew up so fast when I still feel like I’m only 25, I’m not too sure)
My son is 22 and daughter is 20. I adore them, but what mother doesn’t think the world of her kids? I also have a fur baby. He’s a yorkie-poo (mutt) who just turned 13 this month. Also adorable. Obviously.
I work full time in the cosmetics industry in management/make up artist and love my job as I am a bonafide makeup junkie. So it’s exactly where I belong. Well perhaps, not entirely ‘exactly‘ where I belong but…for now it’s where I belong.

My love of cosmetics, literature and so many other traits came from my mother. Looking back she was a much bigger influence in my life then I even truly realized until recently. Isn’t that funny? I mean, not literally funny, like ha ha, but more like ironic funny. Of course she would be a major influence in my life in huge ways!  Yet I’ve spent most of my life saying how different we are. But really, we’re probably more alike then not!  I’ll revisit this topic more I’m sure. I think I’m on to something here Sherlock.

At the age of five I was already fascinated by red lipstick and painted finger nails. I was a complete girlie girl and loved everything to do with beauty. I was mesmerized watching my mother cover her face in noxema cold cream and would insist I do the same. So there we would be, in the washroom, faces slathered in white cold cream. The longer it sits on your face the better. That’s what I was told. Yea, I’ve learnt that’s not true, but whatever. My grandmother had done the same her whole life, my mother also, as did I until I realized there was a whole other world of fabulous products to chose from. And more is not better. However my mother happens to have very beautiful skin to this day so the noxema couldn’t have been that bad!

Growing up my mother was extremely crafty and always had some project on the go. Whether it was creating and painting ceramic dishes and ornaments, cross stitching, knitting, flower arranging, baking, painting. You name it, at that time, she was doing it. We really didn’t have much else to do otherwise. We lived in a very small town in Ontario. When I say small town, I mean no traffic lights, only one stop sign and everyone knows what you had last night for dinner kind of small town.

My memories are packed full of her teaching my younger sister and I how to do all of these wonderful creations. We’d make Christmas ornaments that took literally hours to hand paint just one. We would make different crafts and give them for gifts and sometimes we would make enough to sell at craft fairs or just to neighbours who asked to buy from us.

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My mother also read books. A lot of books. We always had books around and she typically had one or two books on the go at any given time. This encouraged me to want to read as well. I ended up having to read whatever she was reading and what was available to me. So it was mostly a choice between John Grisham or Danielle Steele. I can’t even tell you how many Danielle Steele books I read.

Hmmm…that might help explain why I grew up with such a fairy tale outlook on romance. . .It was the damn romance novels!

TherapyPffft. Who needs it? I can analyze my whole life, all right here as I write! Stay tuned. This should be interesting. I can’t wait to see what else I figure out!

I believe to this day that my mother’s influence of reading helped me breeze through all of my English courses in high school and college. This instilled in me my love of books and my desire to write. I remember in grade 11 an English teacher told me I should consider becoming a journalist after handing in an essay assignment about pro choice. He ended up sending it into a major news magazine contest for students. Being so young and unaware, I didn’t pay too much attention when it wasn’t chosen to be published. However, it was filed in my mind and in later years I had more appreciation to what an honor it was to have even been chosen at all. It has always been a far away dream of mine to write a book.  Let me just insert here that I was saying this years before every second person on the planet was saying they wanted to write a book!  What is the deal with that? Everyone wants to be a rock star, reality star or author now a days.

For a long time it has felt like something is missing, something doesn’t feel quite right. Like I’m not living the life I’m supposed to be living. Does that make sense to anyone? Does anyone else relate to what I’m saying?

If I’m being completely honest, I’ve been trying to surpress this imbalance most of my adult life. In recent years I have been more in tune to my intuition and trying to figure out what my soul’s true purpose is. It’s easier said then done.  Life has a way of keeping you occupied and confined to living our day to day responsibilities, time ticks on. I know I can’t be alone in this feeling and this reality that many people experience. It’s like we get trapped or stuck then it’s difficult to make the necessary changes to find your true purpose.

This is when it kind of hit me. It was like an Oprah ‘ah ha‘ moment. It occurred to me that I can combine some of my passions into a blog. Everything in my life that keeps me inspired and motivated. Everything that truly fuels my soul I can combine in my writing. Music, cosmetics, fashion and beauty, health, baking, art, photography, family, love and relationships and yes, even the dreaded, yet oh so exciting topic of dating after divorce. So awesome, yay me, I get to live that reality!

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Not positive this blog is the answer to my void, but it’s a start in the right direction. Sometimes the path is not set out clearly in front of us but we have to begin somewhere and learn to listen to our instinct. Being a huge fan of Oprah (and paying top dollar to see her live at one of her motivational speech stops here in Vancouver a few months ago) she talks a lot about following your instinct and listening to your ‘gut’ and you will never be lead astray. Never.
I listened intently and took every word to heart. Her words made sense and I decided to commit to following my true desires in life and just see where it takes me.

I will share my journey of seeking and searching for answers, fulfillment of true happiness and in the process we can learn and inspire one another.  Most definitely we will share more than a few laughs, experiences and hopefully learn a few valuable lessons along the way.

Everyone has a story. This is my story….
Let’s begin shall we?

Laura xo

Dating: Shall I Go On?

Most of my written posts have been about dating. Okay, all of them have been about dating. Dating and baking. That’s what this blog has primarily consisted of thus far. When we (my daughter and I) decided to create a blog our main content focus was originally going to include cosmetics, since we own enough to open our own makeup store. And music, namely local Vancouver indie, up and coming musicians.

Ironically we have very little of the intended material posted on our blog as of yet. (we are definitely going to work on it)
It appears that I bake… and I date. Not necessarily in that order.
What is funny is that I haven’t technically even been on a date-date in months now. However, I’m not concerned as I have loads of ‘material’ from past dating experiences to cover me until something new occurs. God knows I’ve been on enough meet and greets and first dates to last the rest of my life. Really, if I never have to go on another awkward first time meet and greet it would be too soon.
Lately, instead of going out on a Friday or Saturday night date, I find it way more interesting to sift through our old family recipes, jot down ideas and ingredients and spend the whole day/night baking up a storm while dancing and singing around the kitchen listening to music. Or my other latest favourite thing, simply crawling into bed, light some candles, cup of hot tea and a great book or interesting blogs and I’m one happy girl. Oh gosh that sounds very, very sad doesn’t it?

I used to go out as often as possible to meet someone from an online dating site with the attitude, you just never know this could be the one. But now, I will only go out and meet someone who I am completely smitten with and there’s at least more than a hint of potential. Otherwise, sorry, I’ve spent way too many hours in the past few years trying to make Mr Wrong fit into Mr Right. That shit just doesn’t work for me anymore. Im learning. Slowly.

I do still have a profile up on a dating site. A site that I have paid 3 months for. It expires at the end of this month. I have not yet decided if I am going to renew my membership or not. I rarely even go on to check messages anymore, it always seems to be a let down. I used to check messages numerous times during the day, now I check maybe once a week or so.

One can’t help but have insecurites and wonder if you’re doing something wrong, portraying yourself in a certain way, good or bad, attracting the wrong guys for the wrong reasons…so many variables. You start to feel like it’s completely you, and that no one wants you. It has gotten to the point that it’s depressing to check messages. Yet I still have that glimmer of hope that maybe I’ll open my mailbox and there will be that one special message waiting for me. From my one and only, my Mr Right. You know? Like the movie, You’ve Got Mail.
A girl can dream.

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Sharing and talking about dating experiences with numerous other single women gives me some sort of comfort and hope. We all have our challenges when it comes to dating regardless of age. I still have to force negative thoughts aside when I start to think I’m way too old to date, I’ll never find anyone and maybe I should just give up. It’s difficult not to think that when I come across a very attractive profile picture of a 40 year old man (perfect age range for me) on a dating site, then upon closer inspection realize he has his potential date age requirement set at 20-35 years of age. Okay, really? You will only date someone that is more than 5+ years younger than yourself? That in itself speaks volumes.

So for now I will have to decide whether to renew my dating profile or not. Until then I have way more pressing matters to attend to. Should I bake the Double Layer Chocolate Cake next or an old family favourite Walnut Coconut Slice?
So many decisions.

Til next time,
Laura xo