Saturday, 12 July 2014

Neob Lavender Festival

Inside the lavender field
Today, the Neob Lavender Festival was held at their location in Niagara on the Lake. I have been to this lavender store quite a few times and love it! The store is located in a barn type building with a wine tour store adjoining the building. A wonderful antique store is also located on the property with a beautiful lavender field right next store. I visited the lavender store to purchase culinary lavender (recipe coming soon!) and the cashier gave me tickets to their lavender festival. I was so excited to go and I'm super glad I made it. 

The tickets for general admission are $5 and the upgraded tickets were $15. I sprang for the upgraded wristband and boy, was it worth it! I got to try so many different foods and beverages containing lavender. I never knew just how many foods lavender is amazing in.

Upon entering the festival, I received a complimentary lavender plant and the lavender tent filled with food and drinks was directly in the front. I tried lavender soda water (which was complimentary to all festival goers), lemongrass raspberry ice cream topped with lavender syrup, a treat the store has always had as far as I know, lavender lemonade, lavender flatbread pizza, but my favorite was their watermelon goat cheese salad also topped with their lavender syrup. It was so incredibly refreshing! Going further into the festival, I found a cooking seminar with the main star being lavender, of course!

There were multiple tents arranged on the field which had so many little homemade crafts, much like a trade show, along with culinary delights (jams, jellies, salsas; the usual suspects). I purchased a really cute sustainable ring from Argentina and a sampler pack of jellies in the flavors: Vanilla Pear, Tomato Garlic, & Red Pepper Jelly.
They are hosting another festival of Garlic & Herb on September 14th, 2014. I know what I'm doing on that day! I will post links to the festival's website for you to purchase tickets, I highly recommend going!

Shot of the tea collection at the lavender store
Tour being held inside the greenhouse

My new ring!
Thanks for reading! (ring)

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Nautical Thrift Haul!

Who doesn't love new clothes? I mean, they're so exciting and can spice up your closet with just an article of clothing. This is why I love thrifting! I can find really eclectic items that no one else has! The history behind pieces can be felt with each unique piece I find. Not only does it inspire creativity by developing stories for the pieces, but creating outfits out of them is so much fun. I recently went on a few trips to the thrift store for a course I'm taking and found a ton of new items! Here are a few shots of a nautical outfit I put together with purely thrifted items!

The entire outfit is ready for a weekend on a boat! This theme is so appropriate for summer.

The light chambray drawstring pant are comfortable, yet chic (when ironed, they look a mess right now). The white cropped-sleeve cardigan adds texture and a little warmth for the chilly ocean breeze. The bag with the ship hardware add a nautical touch, and the whale earrings are just so appropriate and adorable! The bright red flats add a pop of colour necessary to this oceanic outfit.

Each item was less than $10 and I find it so adorable. I wear the pants very often, since they're so comfortable, and I think each item is unique yet incredible wearable. I hope I've inspired you to thrift if you don't already! Let me know if you've found anything you really love!

Portabello Cheese "Steak"

Being from dairy country I love a good cheesesteak sandwich. However, since I'm getting married in a little over a month (woo!) I'm trying to watch what I eat and watch my wallet. I cut the bread out of the traditional sandwich and substituted steak for low fat ground beef.

I started by pre-heating my oven to 375 degrees F. Then I heat a medium skillet with a a tablespoon of olive oil. I then diced an onion into small bits and sliced green and red peppers. Added them to the pan and sauteed until the onions became opaque in colour and the peppers softened a bit.

I removed the pepper-onion mix and set it to the side. I added ground beef to the pan and sauteed that completed with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Once cooked, I added chipotle flavored BBQ sauce. (Tip: steak sauce would work great here! I just used what I had in my fridge).

While the beef was cooking, I took portobello mushrooms removed the insides with a spoon and cut off the stems. During this time I also cut up some cheese (can't have a cheesesteak without cheese!). For this I used provolone and american cheese.

Once the beef was finished cooking, I began building my cheesesteak! I spooned ground beef in the mushroom cap, placed the onions and peppers on top, and then the cheese. I baked the whole thing until the mushroom softened and the cheese was melty and delicious.

                                          I paired the dish with homemade oven baked fries.

Serving size 2

Portobello Cheesesteak

2 Portobello Mushroom Caps
3/4 lb ground beef
1 white onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 slice American cheese
2 slices of Provolone
2 tbls of steak sauce
1 tbls of olive oil
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Homemade Oven-Baked Fries

2 well scrubbed Russet or Red potatoes
2 tbls of olive oil
Season salt, pepper, dried parsley, & garlic powder

                Cut potatoes in half lengthwise, then into "fry"-esque shape. Put into a bowl, add olive oil, toss with spices, and bake for 35-40 minutes in 375 degree oven.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Give The Judge a little Wink!

I used to not like beer very much, which is pretty understandable considering I'm not able to legally drink in my own country, so I haven't had a lot of experience trying different alcohols in the past. Well, all that has changed while living in Canada! My fiancé started me off with delicious craft beers at his favourite little pub in Hamilton, Augusta's The Winking Judge.

One of his coworker's, whom I have befriended, from Kansas is in town this week and we've developed a tradition that we always go to 'The Judge' to have a few pints, snacks, and an enjoyable night.

The Judge is homey little place that was made in 1895, and reopened in 2006. Their stained glass windows, wooden accents, and eclectic decor of past beer ads and beer botttles make for a comfortable evening. They offer a variety of 22 microbrew beers on tap, and a menu filled with typical bar food (ie, nachos, fries, wings, etc).The staff is knowledgeable and extremely friendly, so don't hesitate to ask any questions if you're not sure what you may want. I highly recommend visiting this cool environment for a delicious pint and a bite to eat!

Reap the BENEFITs

I am lucky enough to be in the Fashion Arts program at Humber where I get to experience the different facets of the fashion world, at least the business side of it. In my course it is mandatory to take a course in Social Media Marketing; it just so happens that the cosmetics students got a chance to has a seminar with Benefit Canada, and Rema Gouyez of The Burgundy Book is in charge of the social media aspect, so we got to have a separate seminar dealing with that part of Benefit! It was so exciting learning about the behind the scenes of what gets tweeted and Instagrammed every day. Ruth Goudie and Rema Gouyez are both so bubbly, sweet, but also very informative.

Yet another perk to having Benefit come and speak to my class is that we got to try the new They're Real! Push Up liner before it even hits shelves!

What it is:
It's the FIRST EVER lash-hugging gel liner in a pen! This matte black gel formula won't smudge, budge, or dry out, and the innovative soft AccuFlex Tip hugs your lashline from corner to corner. 

I can attest to its staying power! I applied two lines to the back of my hand to see the feel of the pen and the gel liner itself: the first line was to test the makeup remover (which is a cream based remover that you have to work into the product to break it down), and the second line was to test the staying power. And MAN! Did it stay on. Between washing my hands constantly, dishes, and everyday it stayed on for about 2.5 days. It smudged a bit the first day, but I imagine when applied to the eye and a primer it would be fantastic. And the tip definitely would take some practice!
 This product is out in stores tomorrow, June 27th, 2014, so go get yours!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

A little about Courtney...

Hey Guys!

I wanted my first blog post to be a little introduction about myself before we get into the super fun crafty posts. I started a blog because I want to share my life, and interact with people all around the world who also want to share their experiences. So, here we go!

Originally born in Wisconsin, my family moved to Illinois where we lived for a short period of time before settling in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I spent most of my life growing up in Arkansas, but with my family (other than my parents) residing in Wisconsin I knew I had to head back. So, the day after graduating high school, that's what I did!

I moved in with my sister, got a job, made some friends, and through those friends I met the, now, love of my life. It was pretty difficult at first since he was just visiting from Canada, but I just had to have him! Luckily, he felt the same way. We had a long distance relationship for quite a few months, but it wasn't close enough for us. Just after a year and half after moving to Wisconsin, I made the move to Ontario, and it's been great ever since.

Since living here, I've started the Fashion Arts program at Humber, which I have thoroughly been enjoying. I have gotten engaged to the most amazing man, and am getting married in August. I coerced him into a fur baby. Now, I am starting a blog to hopefully keep track of my crazy life!

This was taken a while ago (my hair is quite different now) at Christmas, but is my favorite picture of my fiancée and I.

World meet Thatcher Faversham. My adorable little heart nosed kitty. This shows my true cat lady capabilities.

Not the best picture of either of us, but that's life, and when it happens enjoy the best ice cream around. \taken at Hewitt's Dairy Bar.

If there's anything special you've done, or that's coming up soon, be sure to share below. I'd love to chat and get to know anyone willing to spend time to read about my life!