Puffed Pancake

Another breakfast recipe! When things get busy a lot of time breakfast is the only meal I actually make…or make well. There has been a lot of take out and roasted chicken for dinners around our house lately.

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When ever I make Puffed Pancakes for friends I am always surprised when people say they have never had it. I grew up eating it so it has always been a staple in our house. If you have never had it you need to try it, it’s delish! Also super easy to make large portions for a bigger group, pretty much the ideal sunday brunch.

Puffed Pancake

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk eggs, milk, sugar cinnamon and vanilla extract. Once well mixed add flour and whisk so that only a few small lumps are still visible.

Put the butter in a 91/2-inch pie or square pan and place the dish in the oven until butter is melted. Then add the pancake batter on top of the butter. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sides are high and golden brown.

Add you favorite toppings. I love to add fresh berries and powdered sugar topped with a little syrup.

Enjoy!

Ang

 

Taking Distressed Denim Up A Notch

This is a look I wore a few weeks ago and my twitter blew up with people wanting wanting details so I decided I would do a post about it.

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These photos are from our trip a earlier this month in Indy. There were so many beautiful war monuments so we took advantage and did a little fashion shoot.

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Everything is pretty much from Zara in stores now. I can’t find it all online so I will link to similar items.

Leather Jacket // Plaid Shirt // Distressed Jeans 

Iced Mint Ginger Green Tea

Quick post for you today as I have been working on the relaunch of our new site. I have had to move our top 100 viewed blog posts MANUALLY over to our new site. It has been tedious but also fun to look back at all our old blog posts. I am so proud of how Ang and I have grown in the past 18 months. Thankfully I haven’t had to sit inside the past week or so working on manually moving them over. I’ve been able most days to sit outside on our deck and enjoy some sunshine. While sitting outside I wanted a new refreshing drink for patio sipping.

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I decided upon a “sun tea”, I grew up on sun tea, my mom always made it in the summer. However, I think I used to ask for sugar in it when I was younger. One of my favorite summer drinks are mojitos and starbucks iced green tea lemondade. I decided to put the two together to create an iced ginger green tea with muddled mint. It’s delicisous and you can sip on it all day!

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Recipe:

  • 4-5 Ginger Green Tea Bags (you could use regular green tea)
  • 4 stems of mint
  • Agave nectar
  • Ice

Directions:

  • Fill up a pitcher with water and add in the tea bags. Add a few mint leaves, make sure you either cut them or smash them so that they release their flavor.
  • Set outside in the sun for 2-3 hours or more depending on the temp.
  • Muddle MORE mint in a glass, add a few drops of agave nectar, add ice and pour the sun tea in your cup!
  • Enjoy!

I like to be fancy sometimes so I drank my tea in a glassybaby cup. It is the perfect summer drink and a great thing to have in the fridge to offer guests this summer. It would also be the great thing to serve at a bridal or baby shower!

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Sorry it is so short this week, I haven’t had alot of time to work on new blog posts. But soon enough you’ll see our new site come to life!!

Cheers,

Jess

Q & A with Stylist Bianca Di Blasio

A couple weeks ago I did a little photo shoot with a local designer here in Montreal. Bianca Di Blasio was the stylist for the shoot and I fell in love! She has such great style and everything seemed to be aligned with my taste. She was nice enough to let me do a little Q & A to give all of our readers some tips for the season. Meet Bianca….

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1. What is your signature look?

Bianca: A blue denim or leather pant always parted with a white tee, subtle jewelry and a black stiletto or sneaker. I can go pretty much anywhere dressed this way.

(me: heck ya! This is my favorite go to look…well with an addition of a leather jacket.)

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2. What is your favorite trend this season?

B: The 70’s

(me: I find the 70’s look super fun to play with, so much you can do with it…I especially love it for summer.)

3. Best item to splurge on?

B: SHOES! Some great shoes this season, The Versace and Calvin Klein Plexi-Soles, Acne Studio Pumps, Loafers, sneakers and Saint-Laurent Wedges.

(me: Love these Saint-Laurent wedges…well I love everything Saint-Laurent to be honest. I also love that she included sneakers, the past few years sneakers have become a bigger part of my wardrobe, but it has taken some time to feel comfortable splurging a bit more on them.)

4. A must have item every girl needs?

B: A great black pump….preferably Saint-Laurent escarpin pump.

(me: These have been on my “gift” Pinterest board for years…maybe the hubs will see this and get the hint ;). My girlfriend has these exact ones and she literally wears them with everything and they always look great. In my opinion they are the perfect black pump.}

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5. Do you follow any fashion rules?

B: The only rules I follow is that its always a question of balance, to not over do it, and dress for myself.

(me: This is my favorite answer from Bianca. I love the idea for dressing for yourself, it is so easy to get caught up in trends and friends or spouses opinions.)

6. How old is too old for short shorts?

B: I don’t think it’s a question of age more than one of comfort. As long as you feel great in them, why not! Beauty relies on confidence.

(me: This was a question I have been kicking around for awhile…since I am nearing 30 (eeek!) I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to retire my beloved cut off short shorts….so I was relieved to hear Bianca’s answer. Hope to be rocking short shorts for years to come.)

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7. Biggest style mistakes you see girls make?

B: Showing way too much skin – for some it is not flattering and for most of them the message is very clear.

(me: I must say I have to agree with this one…If I am showing legs I like to make sure I am covered up on top and vise versa.)

8. How would you describe your attitude towards fashion?

B: I respect tradition and celebrate innovation. This quote really describes my attitude towards fashion and everything else. Classics are to be preserved, but I am always looking to innovate.

(me: how perfect is that answer? I love that you can apply this to life in general.)

I hope you all enjoyed having a look in to the thoughts of a professional stylist and hope you found it inspiriting. A bit thanks to Bianca for letting me pick her brain.

Cheers,

Ang

Black and White Classics

Everyone has a classic black and white look. I know when in doubt I can always pair black and white together. I decided to show off my classic look, with an added twist. Using distressed white denim and a fringe top and some high heeled booties I created the perfect going out outfit. VX2A2778

Every girl has a pair of white jeans and if you are with the trend the past two years you probably own a pair of distressed white jeans. I am such a lover of white jeans, I wear them all year long. I like how crisp and put together they look, that is if you can keep them clean!

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I picked up this Zara top in Chicago, Ang actually picked it out for me and Lauren. There are no shortage of black tanks in my closet, but I always “need” another one. My husband probably just looked up after reading that sentence and is explain to me the difference between “need” and “want”. Anyways, I loved this one cause it had a fringe front and a higher neckline.VX2A2776

Sunglasses are also key for “making this outfit”. I love my classic aviator mirrored ray bans. They are a staple of mine, they go with about everything. This is actually my second pair cause I tend to sometimes lose them. I think they are a great sunglass to invest in, aviators are never going to go out of style. So if you are going to pay a pretty penny for sunglasses they should be ones that will be timeless. stairs

I paired this outfit with my most comfortable pair of Jessica Simpson platform booties. These are my favorite and I feel like I go through a new pair every season. Thankfully I get them off the site 6pm so I have never paid more than $40. I can’t stress enough how comfortable they are and they complete the look. I also paired it with a little black jacket my friend Kari got my for my birthday, it’s the perfect light weight spring jacket that I know every girl has in her closet.

Outfit Details: Jacket // Shirt (similar here)  // Jeans // Booties // Sunglasses 

In other news we are doing a major website and brand overhaul. We will be leaving our current hosting site and moving over to a new one. If you “follow” us via email you will no longer be getting daily post emails, but we will be sending out a weekly update about current blog posts. We will still have the same url http://www.champagnenandshimmer.com , just our look will be more mature and professional. I’m excited we have finally reached the point that we needed to do a big update. We are hoping to get it done in the next week or so, so don’t be alarmed if you visit our site and it is down for a day or so. Just as a tease I thought I’d share with you our new logo! Our beautiful and insanely creative friend JoAnn from Feathers + Arrows designed it for us and has been helping with our website.  We are so excited for our relaunch, but just be patient with us as we do so. And remember for up to date info make sure you are following us on Facebook. 2732376_orig Cheers, Jess

Faking Fuller Eyelashes

I have been toying with the idea of getting eyelash extensions for a long time. I just haven’t been able to pull the trigger yet. Mainly because I don’t hate my current eyelashes, I think they are long and beautiful and I hate to risk ruining them…. I just wish they a bit fuller. So since I am too scared to go ahead and get extensions I have been playing around with tricks I can do at home. I have tried fake eyelashes, I am so not talented enough to apply those suckers! I have also tried that two step mascara that I see all over Facebook but that still didn’t do it for me. I finally came across the cheapest/ easiest solution that works great for me and all you need is baby powder!

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How to do it:

This is not complicated at all. First coat your eyelashes with your normal mascara.

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Using a Q-tip apply baby powder all over lashes. Bottom and top and really get it in to the base. Note, you can use any powder. I didn’t have baby powder on vacation so I used my loose finishing powder and that worked just fine.

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To finish just apply another coat of your mascara and brush lose powder away.

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Soooo easy!! I am still wanting eyelash extensions but this is will hold me over until I am brave enough. If you try this let me know how it goes or if you have any other tricks or trips please share.

Ang

Outdoor HIIT Workout

It was sunny and lovely here in the Northwest this weekend and it’s time to get outside and get your workout in. I hate going to the gym in nice Portland weather, I try my hardest to be outside as much as possible. This means creating workouts that are outdoor friendly. Over the past year one of our top viewed post was this  “Outdoor HIIT Workout” so with the 80 degree weekend we had in Portland I decided to head outside and create a new one for you! 

Our friend Corrie recently posted a great workout on Instagram; Ang and I decided to test it out when we were in Indy. We both were sweating and loved the structure and the intensity so I decided to take some elements from that workout and build upon it (i.e add in some running). I made my husband do this workout with me to make sure it was hard enough. I can successfully say it was equally as challenging for him. It was so nice to go outside and be active together. This workout took us about 18 minutes so if you are looking for a little more cardio you can add more rounds or go on a nice little jog afterwards. 

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Cheers and happy Monday,

Jess

Talk Derby to Me

Today’s post is Fashion Friday meets travel review for the Kentucky Derby. What is the Kentucky Derby all about besides horse racing… the fashion! And boy was there interesting fashion! We had high expectations for the derby, we had been planning this trip for an entire year. We didn’t know what to expect, but were hoping it was worth the money and hype. Nonetheless, we hoped it would be one of the best weekends of our lives. It is safe to say it exceeded all of our expectations on so many levels. Mostly because we found some awesome new friends who were derby experts that took us under their wing and showed us the ropes. Shout out to the Marcomb’s (our all-star derby group seen below)!

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For the derby weekend the fashion on Friday is a little more low key and Saturday is the day you pull out all the stops. So we will feature our Saturday Derby outfits, but we will give you some glimpses into Friday as well. We had the hardest time trying to take photos at the derby so we ran outside quickly Saturday morning to take photos in front of our hotel. We are so glad we did cause they turned out great.

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Ang’s Derby Style

The Derby is all about color and wild fashion…so needless to say I didn’t really fit in. I tried to have fun with black and white though. I ended up loving this look and I didn’t feel too out of place.

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Hat // White Crop Top // Black Skirt // Black Pumps (similar)

Jess’s Derby Style

I don’t have a problem with color or flash, although I was a bit overwhelmed with all the color mixing and crazy outfits happening. This is my Aunt Kathy’s hat and I have always wanted to wear it. While shopping this winter I found this dress on the sale rack, it screamed derby to me. I was a bit worried about the stripes and the feathers, but after seeing some of the other derby fashion I wasn’t worried anymore.

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Dress // Heels // Hat (Vintage)

Friday’s Kentucky Oaks

The derby weekend is divided into two days, the Friday Oaks and the Saturday Derby. If you go to the derby you must go to the Oaks. I almost think the Oaks was my favorite day. It was little less crowded (only 140,000 compared to 170,000 on Saturday) and it was fun getting a lay of the land. We ended up sitting with our friends in their box and their seats didn’t disappoint. I (Jessica) had a hard time keeping my mouth shut about the Superbowl while sitting in front of the top players from the Patriot’s team….. Deflategate!!!!

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Kentucky Oaks Style

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I went for some crop top action here! My first time wearing it. It was a “pink out” celebrating ovarian and breast cancer survivors.

Crop Top // Pencil Skirt // Fascinator

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I didn’t want to spend too much on Fridays outfit so I grabbed this dress off a clearness rack but then later found it at Express. I was a little top heavy for it, I think it would be super cute if you had a smaller chest though. The hat was also wallet friendly find.

Dress // Hat

Official Drink: Lily

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This was the perfect drink for a hot day…we both absolute loved it, maybe a little too much ;)

Recipe:

  • 1 1/4 oz. Vodka
  • 1 oz. Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1/4 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Cranberry Juice

Directions: Once the ingredients are mixed, place the pinkish cocktail in a stemless wine glass with crushed ice, add a straw and garnish with a blackberry and lemon wedge.

Kentucky Derby 

Oh the big day… we thankfully went to bed early that night  because we knew we had a long day ahead of us. Thanks again to our new friends we had fabulous seats in the Turf Club area of Churchhill downs. This meant rubbing elbows with some great C-list celebs and A list athletes. Funny enough our favorite of the weekend by far was the Papa John. Yep you know it, Mr. Papa John’s pizza himself. You’ll see a photo of him at the end of this post.

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With tradition we started the day off with Mint Juleps on Saturday. We both “claimed” we didn’t like these, but we kept ordering them!

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Mint Julep Recipe:

  • 1 ounce minted simple syrup
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 2 ounces bourbon (such as Woodford Reserve)
  • Fresh mint spring, for garnish

Celeb Sighting:

Of all the celebrities from Victoria Secret Super Models to Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, we only got star struck around the ones that had their biggest impact on us growing up. The Turf Club at the Kentucky Derby was a 1999 middle school dream, we stood in lines next to Boyz II Men and Joey Fatone from Nsync, how much more late 1990s can it get. I recommend you turn your pandora station to Boyz II Men radio right now… it won’t disappoint!

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Our new friend Madison was obsessed with Joey Fatone! Speaking of Madison… how cute was her dress. We both loved it, you can find it at Anthropologie.

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I’m guessing Papa Johns jacket is custom? Ang wants to make one advertising our blog…. (yes that’s Guy Fieri)

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We both enjoyed betting and walking around enjoying the sights and scenes. We happily both won money, Ang $18 and me $80 on the final derby race.

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We encourage you all to attend, no matter where your seats are you will have a wonderful time. We loved every moment to the point that we stayed up in bed Saturday night laughing until 3am replaying the weekend. Thank you for going along on the adventure with us on our instagram and Facebook.

Cheers,

Ang + Jess

Chicago and Indy Travel and Food Review 

Hi we are back!!

We tried to find a way to blog about our travels. Since it was such a long trip we decided to break it up into two posts. In Today’s post will cover Chicago and Indy and Friday will be all about the Kentucky Derby.

Chicago

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Eats

When talking about our trip we all seem to go right to talking about the food. It’s no secret that the 3 of us are all “foodies” so it would only be fitting to talk to you about our favorite food items.

Beatrix:

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Best breakfast spot in Chicago!! Okay, the only breakfast spot in Chicago we went to, but we were so impressed we kept going back. Fresh pressed juice, local ingredients, and plenty of healthy options made it worth the trip each time.

Girl and the Goat:

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If you like to get a little adverntureas with your food then this is the place for you. We had pig face, beef tongue, and goat and we loved it all.  I think you have to try this restaurant at least once. They also had more traditional items on the menu that were just as delicious.

RPM Italian:

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Mmmmm I could go to RPM everyday for their Chicken Parm. More traditional than the other restaurants we hit up but not disappointing in the least.

Sights

We saw all the major sights, including the bean, shopping on Michigan Ave, and the Architectural boat tour. Chicago is such a great walkable city and you can spend 2 full days seeing everything downtown. I’m sad we didn’t have enough time this trip to venture out of downtown because there are so many other great neighborhoods. Chicago architecture is beyond beautiful and the best way to see if by far is by boat. We would of preferred a warmer day, but none the less it was beautiful.

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And how can you not go to Chicago without a classic “bean” photo!

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Lastly our favorite part of the trip was going to see comedy at The Second City. Holy smokes, this was a kick in the pants. I was hesitant to see what the buzz was all about, but I had been dying to go see it. From my understanding Second City is the training ground for many great comedians that end up on SNL. It is very SNL like which tons of sketches and different characters, but minus all the props. We were all dying with laughter, if you go to Chicago this would be on our MUST list.

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Not going to lie…. the martini’s might of made it a little funnier!

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Indianapolis

We didn’t have a ton of time in Indy, less than 24 hours, but we tried our best to see it. We stayed mostly downtown and fell in love with Massachusetts Ave.

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 Eats

Bru Burger Bar:

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We may have indulged in the drinking department while in Chicago so a little comfort food was inevitable while we were in Indy. These burgers were delish and just what we needed.

Mesh on Mass Ave: 

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We grabbed a quick dinner here our only night in Indy. Everything was good but we both walked away raving about the Tuna Stack. I am not sure this is a must, but if you do go the Tuna is for sure! The flavors were very unique and we sure enjoyed a healthy dinner.

Sights

We were surprised how beautiful the city was. And how CLEAN everything was. We spend the morning walking about all the monuments and taking some blog photos for future Fashion Friday posts. We randomly ended up going to Indy and I’m so glad we did. We both didn’t realized how many monuments it had and how walkable of a city it was. I’ll share with you some of our favorite photos of the city.

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Lastly, we went to a cool old cigar bar called Nicky Blaine’s. It felt like we were stepping back into time. It’s old world sophisticated vibe was the perfect for us to end the night. All in all we were so glad we took the time to stop in Indy. I wish we could of stayed longer cause my friend Kristin had given us a ton of other areas to check out. But there wasn’t enough time, because we had the Derby to attend! More about that on Friday:)

Cheers,

Ang and Jess

Off To The Races

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One of our bucket list items is being crossed off this week…. THE KENTUCKY DERBY!! We have been talking about going to the derby together for about 5 years and finally this year we are making it happen. We will be taking a week away from blogging to road trip through the midwest. Yes you heard it, a little midwest vacay! We are starting out today in Chicago for two nights with our friend Lauren then will be heading to Indy, then to Louisville for some derby action. If you want to see all of our photos from our trip we will be posting daily if not more on our blog’s Instagram and sharing some of the photos on Facebook. Make sure your following us so you can see all the fun we  are having!

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Instagram: champagneandshimmer

Follow us on Facebook !

Hope you enjoyed the preview photos from our derby outfits! We can’t wait to share with you our experiences and stories!

Cheers,

Ang + Jess

Sleeveless Trench Coat

When I was in Spain last month I noticed in the windows of every store were these sleeveless trench coats. I decided if this was the trend in Madrid and Barcelona then I needed to have one. I had intended on getting a cream one but found this navy blue one and decided that is probably a better bet for me since I tend to spill on everything. But I am kind of regretting not buying both colors cause I’ve been obsessed with the look and vest/coat since I got it!

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The good news is you can get this same look at topshop at Nordstrom. It wasn’t warm enough to wear it without a long sleeve, but I can’t wait to pair it with shorts and a tank. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing this all summer long. It is a great piece of clothing that can go from casual to formal. I went for more of a going out look. I paired this with white jeans, heels, and a one of my favorite hats.

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Speaking of hats, I love a good hat. I just ordered a new panama hat this week, I hope it is as much of a staple as this navy hat has been. I think a hat can really make an outfit and it’s fun to add a hat to change the look. This is my Mom’s purse that was in the car so I grabbed it for a photo to add color. Simply to showing you guys that adding a colorful clutch, purse, or costume jewelry can really add to the outfit.

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All the flowers were blooming behind my parents house where I took pictures and the light happened to be so perfect. This past trip to the Tri-Cities really made me appreciate it in it’s own beauty. Every single day I hiked behind my parents house and enjoyed all the wildflowers and sunshine.

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Since you can’t get this outfit in the US, I thought I’d include some sleeveless trench coats you can get. Click the links to shop below!

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Trench 1 // Trench 2 // Trench 3 

What a better way to end start your Friday than with a picture of a cute dog (I might be bias) in a field of flowers…

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Hope everyone has a great weekend…. Ang and I are about to have a fun week ahead of us! Stay tuned till Monday!

Cheers,

Jess

Protein Crepes

Things have continued to be pretty busy around my house, and now I am getting ready to go on vacation next week!! So excited for this little venture, which you will hear more about on Friday. Since things have been busy I have been posting casual daily stuff, which will continue with todays post, Protein Crepes. This is a breakfast that I make weekly in my house. Super easy, healthy and the hubs loves it.

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Ingredients

Crepes:

  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal
  • 4 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1 cup berries
  • 1/2 cup Oatbox oats  (previous post about Oatbox here.)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Directions

Mix all crepe ingredients in a small bowl. Let the batter sit for 5 to 10 minutes, it will thicken a little. Whisk again. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and spray with olive oil. Pout 1/4 of the batter in to the pan in a circular motion, making a circle about the size of a pancake. Let the crepe cook on the first side for about a minute or so, then flip to cook the other side. Batter will make 4 crepes.

Mix all filling ingredients in another small bowl. If you are using flavored yogurt skip this step.

Fill each crepe with 1/4 of the filling, fold/roll the crepe to close it. Sprinkle with berries, outbox oats, and maple syrup.

Serve warm. Makes 4 crepes, I use two per serving.

Super yummy breakfast and super easy. You can even make the crepes the night before!

On a completely different subject, it is Earth Day today! I wanted to leave you with a few tips to try to incorporate in to your daily routine.

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Cheers,

Ang

 

Under Eye Dark Circle Relief 

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Skin care for me is something I don’t skimp on. You can catch me in forever 21 or H&M clothes, but you will never catch me cutting corners and going cheap on skincare. I think spending money on good face creams and facials is an investment you won’t regret and you’ll be thankful when you are 70 and still look 45! I think our skin is the most important thing and why not be proactive and get ahead of wrinkles, lines, and sun damage. This is why I can’t stress ENOUGH the importance of sunscreen. Sun damage causes aging, wrinkles, sun spots, the list goes on and on so don’t mess around and layer on that sun screen. Thankfully the beauty industry has created amazing self tanners and body makeup. Ang and I both love a good self tanner and I am not against using my body makeup to make my legs look tanner. Lastly, if you are some of those people using a tanning bed you need to STOP, not only to help your skin from aging, but because of the scary thing called skin cancer. If you want to read more about skin cancer and why protecting your skin from the sun should be your #1 priority click here. Ok…. back to the post!

As I’ve gotten older I have realized my dark circles under my eyes are getting darker and darker. I take skin care seriously (as you heard above) and I decided I wanted to get ahead of this problem and start treating it. I started doing some research and talking to beauty experts and came upon these 5 items (I need to reorder the 5th one)  that have helped me get a grip on my dark circles. I have been using both serums for about 4 weeks now and I have noticed a huge difference. I wish I would of taken photos a few weeks ago. I have always used an eye cream, but decided it was time to add in some other ingredients to help fight the dark circles. If you have problems with dark circles like me I have outlined some items you should be adding to your regiment or double checking your eye creams to see if these ingredients are listed.

Eye Cream 101

Hyaluronic Acid- Keeps skin plump by helping retain water under our eyes and works as a wonderful moisturizer. The truth is everyone looks better with hydrated skin, so the first step for your eye cream is make sure it is hydrating!

Vitamin C- Vitamin C has antioxidants and antioxidants are so good for the skin. They help banishes dark circles by increasing the amount of collagen in your skin, which plumps and tightens your skin. It also helps protect skin against sun damage, and we all know what sun damage does…. ages skin and make your dark circles look even darker.

Peptides- Peptides can boost collagen productions, it is good to start using peptides around your late 20’s to early 30s when you see your skin isn’t as firm as it used to be. I personally am not ready for botox just yet so peptides help with smoothing out wrinkles. They also help with firmness and keeping your skin looking young.

Caffeine- Caffeine’s ability to constrict small blood vessels and reduce inflammation is an asset in a number of eye creams.  Caffeine helps minimize dark circles and sagging skin under the eyes. It not only constricts blood vessels to reduce redness it also reduces puffiness, which is perfect.

My Dark Circle Combat Cocktail:

Janssen Eye Cream–  Smoothes and protects. I use this every night and sometimes during the day. This is the ideal treatment also for dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.

Avalon Organics Vitamin C Renewal– I use this at night, Vitamin C is great for your skin. But once it’s exposed to light it breaks down, so you should be using your Vitamin C at night. I got this product at Target, and it can be used all over the skin not just under eyes.

Trish McEvoy Beauty Booster Eye Serum– Ok so this is an expensive serum, and I’m sure if you did some research you could find something more affordable, but I love it and for me it does the trick. This serum has everything, peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamins and antioxidants. I use this every morning and sometimes at night. I not only use this under my eyes, but I use it my forehead. I am a brow furrow-er, so I have some deep lines happening. I have also noticed this eye serum has been helping these lines as well. Make sure to let it dry before putting on eye cream or your daily SPF face lotion.

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream– We know the benefits of caffeine not only to help wake us up in the morning, but for also waking up our skin. I put this eye cream on after my Trish McEvoy serum, to help reduce redness and get rid of those dark circles. I get this off of amazon and I seem to burn through it.

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener – Ok so this is the best under eye concealer I’ve ever used. I use a different concealer for blemishes and reserve this just for under my eyes. I love how smooth it goes on and the coverage it gives. I did a little tutorial for you guys below on how to apply concealer. This triangle technique has made a huge difference in the appearance of dark circles.

How To Apply Concealer To Eliminate Dark Circles

Ok folks… disclaimer I tried to take some photos, but it was a little odd taking tutorial photos and grouping them together. But hey you guys have been asking for tutorials and doing a video is just way to far out of my comfort zone. So we will start here and you get your first makeup tutorial. I discovered this triangle way to apply concealer a few months ago and I have noticed such a difference. The triangle shape helps off set the circle shape of your dark circles. I use a brush to get into the corners then after I am done with the brush I take my index finger and blot and blend it in so the concealer isn’t stuck in your fine lines.

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This felt like I was writing a report for school so much info, but it is important to know what you are putting on your skin.

Cheers,

Jess

 

Boyfriend Jeans and Camo

Nothing too fancy for todays fashion friday post, just a casual day to day look. My sister is here visiting with here two boys so this is what I wore for a day of sight seeing.

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I am in love with boyfriend jeans… so freakin comfortable! I never want this look to go out of style. These are my all time favorite heels because I can wear them for hours with no pain. The thicker heel and the loose fit around the toes make them worth every penny I paid for them.

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My everyday Kooba purse.

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Really casual on the jewelry front as well. The watch as well as the bracelets are fossil.

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Everything is older so here are similar items: Camo Jacket // Boyfriend Jean// White Tee // heels // Handbag

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Lastly, here is a picture of my nephew out sightseeing in Old Montreal. Go Habs Go!

Ang

 

 

 

How To Get Your Hair Healthy

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You can’t imagine the joy I get from social media comments, text messages, or email when people say things like, “major hair envy”, “please do a tutorial on how you curl your hair” or “I love your hair”. These are the biggest compliment I have received in a long time because for the first time in 5 years I don’t have hair extensions in and it’s all my natural hair. The truth is I have never had good hair…. like ever! If I go back through all my “favorite” photos from high school and college my hair is usually pulled up or cut pretty short. I remember being in Italy in college and a man telling me that my hair looked like spaghetti. I asked why and he said, cause it is so thin and stringy. Needless to stay I wore it up the rest of my Europe trip. I looked back at old photos trying to post a good before and after. I have so many “before” pictures that are cringe worthy although I am sharing a few with you so you can see how big of a difference my hair is today. I have been through it all with my hair and quite frankly I was to blame for never having healthy hair.  But changing up your hair habits will help you get your hair back on track. Since I have had friends and followers asking about my hair I thought I’d share with you my hair story and this embarrassing before and after hair photos. EEEWWWW, what was I thinking with that brown reddish color.

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As seen from my sorority photo above I’ve had bad hair in every color. I so badly wanted long beautiful hair so I’d try to grow it out, but it was so thin and disgusting then I’d trying dyeing it a new color. I wouldn’t like that, I’d bleach back blonde, my hair would literally start falling out then I would cut it short and then “start growing it out again”. That was my hair cycle from age 15-24. Finally I had “had it” I was tired of everyone having good hair but me. So in 2010 when I finally had a “big girl job” I started getting hair extensions. I don’t even want to think about the money spent over the past 4 years on hair extensions, thankfully I had an awesome hair dresser who gave me a good deal. I would get keratin bond extensions put my hair twice a year. They usually lasted for about 4-5 months. I rarely could go without them because the minute I got them taken out I felt bald and would beg my hair dresser to put them back it in. I can honestly say I felt more confident and beautiful with my long thick (fake) hair. Finally after a good 2.5 years straight of having my hair extensions in my hair dresser Heather told me I needed to take a “break” or I would have no hair left to attach the extensions to. So I went from finally having beautiful long hair back to my short “spaghetti” hair yet again. As you can see in the photo below…..

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I took a break for almost 9 months then it was about time for my wedding and I didn’t care about the hair I’d lose after taking the extensions out, all I wanted was long thick hair for my wedding. So back in went the extensions. But like usual I took them out and the damage was noticeable. I decided I was an extension addict and I needed to quit. To help ease the pain of losing my long think hair I bought some clip in extensions from Sally’s. I wore them for almost 6-8 months every time we went out to dinner, girls night out, or on vacation, etc. But then slowly I realized my hair was getting longer and thicker. And now almost a year later I rarely wear my clip ins because my hair has gotten so long and healthy. But on occasion I do wear them cause I  love how thick they make my hair feel. Side note If you are looking for some clip ins I know Ang and myself both have these Sally’s Real Hair Extensions , they last forever and are super easy to use and wear. But make sure you go into a store so you can physically match your color hair to the color of the hair extensions.

So enough about my crappy hair….how did I get my hair healthy and long for the first time ever? I think a lot has to do with the styling tools I use and the simple changes I made with my hair care routine. Here are a few things I suggested doing to get your hair back on track or at least on the right track.

  • QUIT COLORING it every 6-8 weeks. I used to be a super blonde and would color my hair all the time. Not to mention I would color my hair red or brown, then dye it back to bleach blonde. It wasn’t good. My hair was constantly being dyed and because of that it was brittle and thin. Now I’ve embraced my more “natural” hair color. As well as the balayage colored look.
  • Stop washing it everyday, this doesn’t mean stop showering everyday.  I now only wash my hair every 2-3 days. If I can handle every 3 days that is more ideal, but with working out I sometimes can’t do it.
  • Invest in a good blow dryer. I usually let my hair air dry until it is just barely damp, then I use my Tourmaline Hair Dryer. I did a lot of research on the best hair dryers for brittle hair. This one was the best hands down. It has some crazy ion thing and helps with breakage and not further hair damage. Click this link to learn more about it! Another huge thing is NEVER blow dry your hair on hot. I only use the medium or cool heat setting. Because I allow my hair to mostly air dry I only have to blow it dry for 2-3 minutes on medium.

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  • I also invested in a ceramic round brush, because I am not blow drying my hair for very long I needed a brush to assist with the taming of my hair (I have a weird cowlick on the back of my head so it needs some taming). I found this Nanothermic Ceramic Brush that has done wonders to my hair. The link will explain more of the science behind this brush. My Mom switched her round brush out for this one a few weeks ago and she has already noticed less breakage and split ends since using her Nanothermic brush.
  • Suck it up and spend the money to buy the Kerastase Initialiste. Ang blogged about this a year ago and my Mom bought me a bottle. Ang swears by it, but Ang has always had good hair….(Except for that ONE time in high school before the Sadies dance when a waiter spilled an entire bowl of soup on her hair and she had greasy miso soup hair for the dance and photos:). Anyways…. I have been using it for almost 6 months and my hair is NIGHT and DAY different. I also bought this hair mask from Kerastase and it also is amazing. I use it about once a month.

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  • If you are going to curl your hair use a hair wand. My friend Katie introduced me to this Jose Eber Hair Wand. It’s expensive, but it is made well so it reduced the heat and breakage on your hair. Also the best part about it is that the curls last for 2-3 days. I only curl my hair once with this and even after sleeping and wearing it in a ponytail the curls stay. I think it partly has to do with the hairspray I use. I’ve been using “big sexy hair” since college and it is the best hairspray ever. Hands down!
  • Buy a teasing comb, I don’t curl my hair everyday. This is because I also don’t brush the curls out. I use a teasing brush to loosely comb my hair and tame the curls. The only time I completely brush through my hair is when I’m blow drying it. This prevents me from pulling out my hair with a regular hair brush.
  • Make sure your multi vitamin has biotin or get a biotin supplement. The link explains why biotin helps with hair growth.

These little changes I’ve made over the past year has changed my hair entirely. I finally have long healthy REAL hair and I love it! I think the biggest thing is to be careful about exposing your hair to heat products and also not dyeing it as much. Hope these tools and tips I shared will help you with your hair regiment.

Cheers,

Jess