New Blog!

Hello! I’ve recently started a new, casual blog with my one of my closest friends! We write about life and all the things that come with it, as well as a few DIYs every now and than. We’d love it if you’d take a few minutes of your time and check it out here.

 

 

 

love,

                    rose

Fabric Dyeing with Flowers

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Introducing flower dyeing! It’s all natural and waaay more fun the than using store-bought dye! You don’t have to worry about those nasty chemicals touching your skin or buying lots of different colours! Flowers are Mother Nature’s way of saying “Hey, here’s some dye! Go make something pretty!”

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I’ve always loved flowers. My mother grew up around a flower shop which my grandparents own, so naturally I grew up hanging out there too. Flowers are really just awesome aren’t they?

Now, some flowers work better than others. The squishier the leaf, the richer colour of dye you’ll receive. It’ll also be much easier to smash. Remember, the colour of the petals won’t always be the same as the dye on some white fabric. Whether you buy your flowers from the store, get them from a someone else, or your own garden, you’ll need to experiment with them!

I have a fairly large garden at home, so I just picked lots of flowers in pretty colours, as well as some greens (leaves) for a green colour. I picked about 40 different flowers/leaves, and only about 10 of them had some nice colour that came out easily. To test your flowers for the best dyes, just squish onto some cotton fabric and dry.  Whatever colour the dye dries as, that’s the colour you’ll receive!

Now you’ll have to decide what you’d like to do with your soon-to-be-dyed fabric. Think: scarves, pillow cases, curtains, wall hangings or phone cases. The possibilities are vast! I decided on making a pillowcase, which I’ll post a tutorial about soon!

Enough chatter, here’s the instructions!

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You’ll need:

– fabric (100% cotton works best!) –> Iron fabric if really wrinkled..I didn’t 😦

-a “smasher” (rock, side of a meat tenderizer, eg…)

-clear plastic (from a bag works well)

-something to go under the fabric to prevent it from staining anything (cardboard, newspaper, old table)

-various flowers and/or leaves

Directions:

1) Put your fabric on top of some cardboard or newspaper. Do you want to use petals or whole flowers? Petals with give you a tad lighter dye, but you can get a clearer pattern. If you use whole flowers, you’ll get a darker dye, but it’ll be a bit blotchy (check out the photo that my mother did down below). Lay out your flowers in any desired pattern. I chose to lay them out colour wise. Beet Leaves to Verbenia to Hydrangea  to Green Onion to Geranium Leaves to Silk Plant Leaves to Pansy to various Geranium petals to Beet Leaves! My mother chose to layout entire flowers and leaves to make a “flower” out of flowers. So witty of her.

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2) Cover fabric and flowers/leaves with plastic and smash smash smash those flowers up! You can even smash them with your feet!

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Rock Smashing!

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Feet Smashing!

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Hey, even the dog wanted to get in on the fun!

3) Take off the plastic and smash some more flowers/leaves where needed!

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TaDa! Mine on the left and my mother’s on the right.

Note: The colour will most likely bleed through so the cardboard or newspaper underneath is definitely a must unless you want a stained surface!

Also Note: If you MUST wash your fabric, hand wash very gently.

 

Basic Macarons

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As I mentioned in this Top Ten post, I’m a big fan of macarons. I love baking them, filling them, researching them, and naturally…eating them! They have a wonderful texture with a crunchy shell and soft interior. So incredibly tasty!

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This is to my favourite recipe but everyone’s ovens and techniques are different. After many many many attempts at baking macarons, I have a few tips for succeeding in your macaron baking:

1) Don’t give up. You’re going to fail. It’s inevitable. But you WILL succeed in the end!

2) Try out different recipes, oven temperatures and baking times.

3) Aging egg whites? I don’t! Try it both ways.

4) Food colouring? Gel, liquid or powder? I use gel, but try them out (or work with what you’ve got)

5) Learn how to accept failure and dance around the room like a crazy person when you succeed!

6) Practice. A lot.

I am probably the most amateur of amateur bakers. My experience level? Rice crispy master. So if I can do it, you can too!

Macaron Shells:

-130 grams almond flour*

-160 grams icing sugar

-90-100 grams room temperature egg whites (about 3 eggs)

-65 grams superfine sugar

*You can make your own by pulsing in a food processor with the icing sugar.

(Note: You may need to add more dry/wet ingredient if flavouring or colouring the shells)

I know there is a ton of steps, but I wanted this recipe to be easy to understand and read. I hate it when recipe’s just have all of the instructions in one paragraph so I hope this will help you succeed in your macaron adventures!

Directions:

1) Whisk the almond flour and icing together and sift twice. Set aside. (If adding dry flavouring, do this now. eg: matcha powder, cocoa, cinnamon) You can also process the icing sugar and almond meal together to get a finer powder and smoother shell before sifting.

2) Use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites on medium until soft peaks form.

3) Once soft peaks form, gradually add the superfine sugar

4) Increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form. Keep mixing until the egg whites clump onto the mixer attachment when you lift it up. Add your food colouring here if desired and mix a little bit more until combined.

5) This step is very very important! Sift in about half of the almond/sugar mixture. Fold the egg whites and almond/flour mixture together until mixed a little with a rubber spatula. Don’t incorporate the mixtures completely.

6) Now sift in the rest of the dry mixture.

7) Fold the batter together by flattening the mixture against the side of the bowl and scraping it off. Keep on doing this until you get a lava-like consistency. You can test this by scooping up a large amount of the matter and holding it up. If it runs off of the rubber spatula in ribbons, than it’s good. If not, fold it a couple times more and test again.

8) Put your batter into a piping bag or ziploc bag (I use a ziploc and it works perfectly)

9) Pipe small mounds (about 1 inch) onto a double insulated baking tray, two layers of regular cookie sheets, or two layers of parchment paper. You’ll want to have at least one layer of parchment paper on your trays.  This will reduce the bottoms from burning and sticking to the tray. You can also use a Silpat if you have one (this works well!)

10) Now, firmly tap the trays against the counter a few times to flatten out the batter as well as allow any air bubbles at the top to break so they won’t crack.

11) Allow your macarons to rest in a cool place until they form a *skin. Rest time could vary from 15 mins. to 1 hour, depending on the humidity.

*When a skin forms, you should be able to lightly touch the macaron shell without the batter sticking to your finger!

12) Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius or about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

13) Before putting macarons in the oven, lower the temperature to 130 degrees Celsius or 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

14) A lower temperature will cause your macarons to bake slower and longer, but it will prevent your shells from browning to quickly. If you’re baking two trays at once, swap the top and bottom trays half way through. Baking time varies between 15-25 minutes. Don’t fret if feet don’t form right away! Mine usually took about 7 minutes to form. Once feet form, open the oven door for about 5 seconds to allow some heat to escape and close again.

15) To test when your macarons are ready, gently lift the macaron from the parchment paper. If it lifts of cleanly, its ready! If the base sticks to the paper and is uncooked, allow it to cook for a little longer.

16)  Let the shells cool and gently peel off the parchment paper. Now you can fill them with some yummy filling! Enjoy!

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These are Strawberry-Rhubarb filled macarons. Want the recipe for the filling?

Comment down below and I’ll post the recipe 🙂

Off-White and Dark Brown Cookies

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Have you ever eaten a Black and White cookie? If so, than you can make these delicious cookies right at home without going to a nearby bakery! If not, than you’ll be able to try them for the first time, as well as feel good about your baking skills!

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These cookies are most commonly found in New York bakeries and stands. They have the texture of a cake, but are shaped like a cookie. Therefore, they are cookakes….I have a feeling this term won’t stick around for long..

I had my first black and white cookie when I was in New York last summer and I think it was love at first sight! Than, I had my second one, and it wasn’t very good. It was dry, and crumbly. But have no fear, these black and white cookies are soft, delicious and moist *virtual high five*
Original recipe found here, but I made up my own glaze.

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You’ll need:

– 2 cups cake flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup (1 stick) of softened butter
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 cup milk

Directions:

1) In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2) In your mixer cream together the softened butter and sugar for about 1 minute.

3) Add in the egg and vanilla extract, mix until combined.

4) Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in half of the flour mixture. Mix, then add half of the milk. Alternate mixing the flour and milk mixtures until it’s all gone.

5) Each cookie should be about 1/4 cup of batter each.

6) Bake at 375 F for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are brown and the centers are just done. You can test this by using a toothpick.

7) Let the cookies cool slightly on cookie pan before moving them over to a cooling rack.

For the Glaze:

You’ll need:
Icing sugar, milk, vanilla, and cocoa powder.

1) Start off with 1 cup of icing sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (only for vanilla glaze) and 1 teaspoon of milk in a bowl.

2) Mix them together and add milk/powdered sugar/vanilla until you achieve the desired flavour/amount/consistency.

3) For the chocolate glaze, add about 1 teaspoon of icing sugar and subtract 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. Adjust milk/icing sugar/cocoa to taste and consistency.

4) Glaze your cookies by spreading either a teaspoon of chocolate/vanilla onto half of the cookie.

5) Once the halves of the cookies are dry, do the same to the other side with the opposite flavour.

Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Now, if you’re wondering about the title of this post. My mother looked at them, and she said “They aren’t white…or black. They’re off white and brown” Oh mother, always telling the real truth.
Well anyways, if you want these white and black, use clear vanilla extract and add some black food colouring. Enjoy your off-white and dark brown cookies! 🙂

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Top 10 of June

Hello! I had this brilliant idea today to start a monthly trend of the “Top 10 things that I’m currently loving!” Now, this is completely my personal opinion, and if you hate what I love, than I wish you an amazing life, but please keep your hate mail to yourself. Maybe you’ll discover something really awesome, or you’ll learn something along the way, and that’s what I hope to achieve. Enjoy the Top of June!

 

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Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hello! I’m in love with this cream cheese frosting! Enjoy!

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Made 3 dozen cupcakes for me!
For Cream Cheese Frosting you’ll need:
-250 grams of slightly softened cream cheese
-1/4 cup of slightly softened butter (or half a stick)
-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-3 to 4 cups of icing sugar aka powdered sugar
I recommend sifting the icing sugar before adding it to the butter/cream cheese mixture so it’ll be waaaay easier to mix without all the lumps!
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy (I did it by hand but you can definitely use an electric hand mixer). Add the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds or until thoroughly mixed together. Start adding the powder sugar 1 cup at a time and beat after each cup added. Keep on beating until it reaches your desired consistency without clumps of icing sugar. Refrigerate covered for atleast half an hour if you want it to be a little thicker!

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Baked Fries

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Hello! I’ve recently been craving some homemade fries, but without the frying (I know, fries that aren’t fried?) These fries are extremely tasty and amazing! If you want them crunchy on the edges and soft in the middle, these are the fries for you! Plus they’re sweet and salty with a touch of earthiness.

Yummy right?
Recipe found here, but I added a bit of my own twist to it!
Ingredients:
~3-4 russet potatoes
~some cinnamon
~some salt and pepper
~some brown sugar
~1-2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive)
This recipe is super versatile and you can add more sugar, more salt (although too much salt is bad!) and cinnamon to however much you really want. I used just enough cinnamon and salt/pepper to lightly dust the potatoes. I used about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.
1. Peel and cut potatoes in to fry-like shapes. Try to keep them even in width.
2. Preheat oven to 475 F. Soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes
3. Lightly coat a rimmed baking pan with about 1 tablespoon of oil, until pan is completely covered.
4. Drain the potatoes onto a towel or paper towel and pat dry. Toss them around with some oil, salt and pepper.
5. Spread them evenly around the pan and top off with some cinnamon.
6.Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 5 minutes. Take off the foil.
7. Continue baking for 10 more minutes and shake the potatoes around to loosen them from the pan.
8. Bake for another 10 minutes.
9. Now flip each fry around with a heat-proof spatula or tons. Sprinkle on about 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar and bake for another 10 minutes.
10. Take the fries out of the oven and sprinkle on the rest of the brown sugar before serving.
Enjoy!

My Beauty Favourites!

Hello! I’ve been wanting to do a beauty favourites post for a while now…so here it is! I’m not much a make-up wearer, but I do like to wear a bit of mascara and usually some eyeliner. I’ve never liked the pile-on-a-ton-of-makeup-and-look-like-a-racoon look…just the basic eye enhancing stuff! I do enjoy some good ol’ perfume though! So here are some of my beauty favourites in general!

In Cha-Ching Cherry

 Let’s start off with hair! 

I’m not a big fan of hairspray because it makes your hair all crunchy and sticky. I’ve found that most of the mousses made my crunchy…but I’ve finally found one that doesn’t make my hair crunchy, smells awesome, makes your hair super shiny and soft, has a nice dispenser and is cheap!

I bought this Aussie Sprunch mousse/leave-in conditioner at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Canada for about $2. I think it was on sale though, but regular it’s around $3.50 which is still awesome. It has a really awesome dispenser which I think works really well (sorry, I forgot to take a pic!) I definitely recommend this one if you want a durable mousse. I love to use it to scrunch my hair up a bit after I curl it to give it a messy texture!
I really love this Huini Power Polish! It used to be my sisters, so I have no clue where she bought it and how much it was! I always use it before I use any heat (hair dryers, curling wands ect..) and sometimes I’ll use it even if I’m not using heat cause it smells awesome and makes my hair super shiny. I also find that it reduces frizz!
Next, Make-Up!
So, I like to use some liquid eyeliner on special occasions, but it’s pretty expensive sometimes. I was shopping down in the States a couple weeks ago, and saw this elf Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in the Dollar Tree. I bought it because, well it was one whopping buck! I’ve heard a lot of reviews about it drying up really fast..but so far, mine’s perfect. It works really well and I LOVE the tip of this one so much compared to brushes!
I think this product is a gamble, but for $1, you aren’t losing much.
I received this Clinique Chubby Stick from my aunt a few months ago for my birthday! I don’t usually wear lip colour to school, but if I do, I wear this one. It’s a bit expensive (around $20) but it glides on really nicely and lasts a long time. This one is in #14 curvy candy. I really love the colour of it! It’s a really pretty pink that isn’t too bold, but gives my lips some nice colour. The Clinique Chubby Sticks are very moisturizing and have awesome crayon-like tips! Perfect!
I also received this Lancome Juicy Tube from my aunt, which I think belonged to a pack of 5 at one time..so I’m not sure if you can buy this exact one at retail price. This one is in Magic Spell and gives my lips a super glossy shine! It’s a bit sticky, which I’m not a fan of, but it smells heavenly. Like strawberries and apple pie!
I ran out of this amazing lip balm a few days ago, but this is probably the best lip balm ever! As you can see in the picture, the actual balm has a swirly pattern to it (light pink with a darker pink) like a “smoothie”. This one smells really good and gives my lips a really pretty shine. And it also makes them super soft of course! I definitely recommend this lip balm!
 
Now for perfume!
I’m pretty picky about my perfume. I really really hate it when people wear wayy too much perfume/body spray. So here are 2 of my favourites that aren’t super over-powering and still smell amazing!
I received the Taylor Swift Enchanted Wonderstruck perfume for Christmas as a gift. I’ve really enjoyed it because 1) It smells amazing 2) The bottle is gorgeous and 3) Well, I just really like Taylor Swift. I know, that was a bad reason to love the perfume.
I ALSO recieved this perfume/lip gloss as a gift!
For the perfume, it smells flowery (peonies to be exact!) and is super convienient in a nice roll-on tube. The smell lasts the whole day and isn’t too strong. My friends say that it smells like something my grandma would wear..so either my grandma has a really awesome taste in perfume, or I walk around smelling like an 80 year old lady.
For the gloss, I think it’s supposed to smell the same as the perfume, but I personally think it smells a lot  sweeter and a bit fruitier! It has a nice nice shimmer too it, and gives my lips a pearly shine without the stickiness!

Sprite Cupcakes

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Okay, so here it is! Part 2!

Before Frosting them (they puffed up nicely didn’t they?

 

  I made some donuts using this donut pan!
The final result using this cream cheese frosting recipe!
So by now you’re probably wondering, what? How? Using only sprite and a box of cake mix (In my case, half a box)? Yes! Overall, these were super fluffy and light. I thought that they were a little bit stickier than most cupcakes, but that’s because of the sprite. I used regular sprite but sprite-zero works as well of course! Check out the recipe here! So yummy and easy!
If you haven’t checked out the 3-Ingredient Nutella Brownie/Cupcakes, make sure you do!