My Favorite Winter Scarf Is A Fashion Scarf

Wool/Silk Scarf by Kala Scarves

We usually think of winter as a time for thick, heavy-knit scarves that we wear with our coats, but it’s also the perfect time to wear a warm fashion scarf! Maybe you’re like me and tend to wear dark colors like blues, greys, browns, and black at this time of year. I find that adding a scarf in a complementary or contrasting print is a great way to add texture and depth to a monotone winter outfit.

You know I love scarves from all of the previous posts I’ve done, like this one and this one.

So, why do I love this Kala scarf in particular? This scarf has so many things going for it: it’s a 25% silk/ 75% Australian wool combo, making it super soft and warm; it’s medium weight; and, it goes through a series of cool colors from one end of the scarf to the other. I especially love that it’s Rothko inspire because he’s one of my favorite painters. If you’ve spent time in front of a Rothko painting, or been lucky enough to visit the Rothko Chapel in Houston, then you know that there’s a certain feeling of simplicity and serenity to his work. The abstract nature of this scarf adds an element of quiet color to any outfit. I also like the all-around small fringe.

This scarf is hand-sprayed, making each piece a one-of-a-kind item. The medium, twill weave of the fabric makes it light enough to wrap around your neck once and is thin enough to be worn draped around your neck, and hanging down past your knees.

Wool/Silk Scarf by Kala Scarves
Wool/Silk Scarf by Kala Scarves
Wool/Silk Scarf by Kala Scarves
Wool/Silk Scarf by Kala Scarves

Here it’s styled with grey cords and a navy blazer, shoes, and bag. The light blues and greens in the scarf take the outfit from boring to something more vibrant, dressing up an otherwise plain outfit:

Here are a few photos of similar scarves, from the Kala Scarves collection:

And, I love how the pink version of the scarf goes great with greys and browns:

Hand-sprayed Kala Scarf in Wool/Silk

What about you? Warm fashion scarf or thick, heavy-knit scarf?

This post is created in partnership with Kala Scarves, but all opinions, as always, are my own.

Email This Post Email This Post Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Chicken-Ginger Noodle Soup – Perfect For This Freezing Weather!

Chicken-Ginger Noodle Soup

With wind chill values of -35 degrees celsius in Toronto, a bowl of warm Chicken-Ginger Noodle Soup sounds just right! It’s been so very cold these last few weeks in this part of North America and we’re spending a lot of time indoors. That means plenty of time with family and friends and lots of time to cook and experiment with new recipes.

A few weeks ago, I received the cutest package from Blue Goose Pure Foods, a Canadian organic meat producer that works with Canadian farmers who are committed to treating animals humanely. Blue Goose products are sold in grocery stores and specialty retailers across Canada, and they are easily identifiable by the illustrated blue and white chicken on the labels.

This is not the first time I’ve received a pre-arranged delivery from Blue Goose. The last one was a whole chicken and a recipe for Beer Can Chicken. You would’ve seen the details on my Instagram Stories, and the end result was a delicious, moist, tender chicken, which you can see here:

Beer Can Chicken made with Blue Goose Pure Foods Organic Chicken
Beer Can Chicken made with Blue Goose Pure Foods Organic Chicken

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Linzer Cookies- Something New For New Year’s!

Linzer Cookies with Black Cherry Spread from Bonne Maman
Linzer Cookies filled with Black Cherry Spread from Bonne Maman

Jam-filled sablé cookies have always been a holiday tradition in my family – it just wouldn’t be the holiday season without some kind of shortbread cookie in the lineup! In fact, when I used to come home from university, my mom had a box of these yummy cookies frozen and waiting for me. She still does that anytime I go home, no matter what time of year it is.

This holiday season, I tried a new version of jam-filled cookies: Linzer Cookies, from the Holiday Cookies* cookbook by Alice Medrich. The combination of almonds, almond extract, lemon and lime zest made the cookies unique, crunchy, and oh-so-tasty! Linzer cookies are, by definition, made with almonds, and originated in Linz, Austria.

Linzer Cookies made with Black Cherry Spread

Our wedding anniversary is between Christmas and New Year’s and, given that jam cookies are my husband’s most requested cookie, it gives me the perfect excuse to make one more holiday cookie (not that I need one) at this time of year. In fact, my husband reminded me earlier this week that I hadn’t made any this year! He also likes anything with almond flavoring, so these cookies were made for him! And, he loved them.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

6 Tips And Ideas For Packaging Christmas Cookies

Packaging Christmas CookiesIt’s as much fun to package Christmas cookies and treats, as it is to make them – wouldn’t you agree? All you have to do is search for  holiday gift wrap ideas online and you’ll find tons of creative and original ideas. I also love getting inspiration from magazines, books, and stores this time of year.
In my post on stress-free tips for holiday baking, I promised some tips on packaging baked goods. So…here are my 6 tips for packaging Christmas cookies.
Packaging Christmas CookiesTip 1: Keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts!
If you’ve spent lots of time baking or picking out the perfect edible gift, and you’ve gifted yummy food in the past, then you know that the receiver is really going to appreciate the time and effort that went into the gift. As my daughter says, it’s a more thoughtful gift when it’s homemade. This is another way of saying that there’s lots of food this time of year and that it’s about the thought behind the gift, not the quantity.

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Say Hello to Stress-Free Meal Planning with HelloFresh Canada!

Sesame Beef Stir-Fry by HelloFresh
Sesame Beef Stir-Fry by HelloFresh

It’s the little things that make a big difference. Last week, not having to plan, shop, or think about my meals made my week so easy – this, thanks, to a delivery from HelloFresh Canada.

I usually do the meal planning, shopping, and cooking for my family and I love doing it. Being a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom, I have more flexibility in shopping and cooking than most households but, every once in a while, I find myself in a rut and out of time and out of meal ideas. The kids complain that the meals aren’t up to their expectations and ‘why can’t we have something good’! I’m not upset when I hear those words – I just ask them to make a list of their top 5 favorite foods and I go from there.

Having said that, getting HelloFresh Canada delivered to my door last week was such a treat!

Roasted Pork and Peppercorn Sauce by HelloFresh
Roasted Pork and Peppercorn Sauce by HelloFresh

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, HelloFresh is a service that makes meal prep and family time fun. The chefs at HelloFresh come up with meal ideas based on in-season produce, and they source everything locally, which I love.

All you have to do is go online, choose your meals, and then get everything delivered to your door. You choose the type of plan you want (pronto meals, which are ready in 30 minutes or less; family meals; or veggie meals), the number of people you want to feed, and the delivery date. It’s a subscription service that you can stop by following the instructions online.

HelloFresh Canada Delivery
HelloFresh Canada Delivery

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

8 Steps To Stress-Free Holiday Baking!

Holiday Baking TipsI love to bake and it’s something that I do several times a week, all year long! People ask me what I do with all the baked goodies, but the truth is that we eat most of them, take them for school lunches, and share them with friends. The latter is especially true around the holidays, because we end up gifting a lot of baked treats. It does take a bit of planning to get it done effortlessly, so I’m sharing my 8 steps for stress-free holiday baking!

Holiday Baking TipsStep 1: Make a list of what you want to bake
This step sort of starts itself around the beginning of October when you see holiday baking magazines in the check-out aisle. It’s easy to get inspired and reminded about what you want to bake. I usually take out holiday baking books from the library and do some online searches. I also ask my husband and kids what their favorite treats are, and I add them to my list. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes, because it’s always fun to find new favorites. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on some new treats I’m going to bake this year!

Holiday Baking TipsStep 2: Clean out the freezer and fridge
Although we have a frost-free fridge, I still find that there is some frost build-up in the bottom of the freezer. This is probably because of the uneven temperatures in our kitchen and because we open and close the fridge a lot. I find the beginning of the holiday season to be the best time to do a big clean. Purging expired and freezer-burned food clears space for storing all of the holiday goodies. This takes me 24 hours to do as I let the fridge sit overnight, but it feels so good to start the holiday season with a clean and empty freezer!

Holiday Baking TipsStep 3: Take an audit of your ingredients, spices, and flavourings
Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Wearing Purples and Browns Together

Wearing Purples amd Browns Together
Wearing Purples amd Browns Together

If you follow my blog, you know I like to write posts about pairing colors together (here and here). I love my navy colors, but I also like mixing it up from time to time. Enter wearing purple and brown together.

Brown is a good winter neutral. It’s not as harsh as black or navy because it’s got more of a warm tone to it. And, purple is an interesting color because it’s made of blue and red. Actually, both brown (made by combining red, yellow, and black) and purple are considered composite colors. Purple and brown go very well together and you may see them combined on shirts, sweaters, and other items.

In this post, I’ve paired a light purple sweater with brown brocade floral pants. There are hints of purple in the pants, but not a lot. The lavender shade of the sweater brings out the similar tones in the pants. Interestingly, the complementary color to purple is yellow, not brown, but because brown has warm undertones in it, the combination works!

Wearing Purple and Brown Together
Wearing Purple and Brown Together

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

7 Holiday Gift Ideas Inspired By The Toronto Gift Fair!

It’s mid-November which means it’s the Christmas and holiday season everywhere you look! Given that clothing, shoe, electronic, department, and jewelry stores derive anywhere from 20-30% of their annual revenue from holiday sales, it makes sense that stores are heavily promoting gift-giving!

And, for us consumers, getting a head start on holiday shopping is always a good way to enjoy a stress-free holiday season. I’m always amazed by my friends and family who are so ahead of the game. You know what I mean: that friend whose house is all decorated by December 1st and whose shopping list is done. This is the friend who’s enjoying the holidays the way they’re meant to be enjoyed: relaxing in front of the fireplace and listening to Christmas carols – doing anything except shopping at the mall! Every year, I say I’m going to get more and more things done ahead of time, and I do a pretty decent job, especially with my holiday baking! (more on this in a future post).

Because buying gifts is the most time-consuming and most difficult part of the holiday season, I thought I’d suggest some ideas for preparing and completing your list. Here are some ways to think about your holiday gifts, as inspired by the Toronto Gift Fair. Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Recently one evening, my daughter came home from a school event, with two big cookies that looked like oatmeal cookies. She said they were ‘breakfast cookies’. They looked (and tasted) delicious and contained one of my favorite baking ingredients: oatmeal. I had to figure out how to make them. Luckily, they’re made at the school and they were able to give me the recipe.

The term ‘breakfast cookie’ is an interesting one because you don’t usually think of a cookie as a breakfast food. It sounds like you’re sort of tricking yourself by having a cookie with the word ‘breakfast’ in front of it! Let me be clear here: these cookies contain butter and sugar and no fruit. You’ll find lots of recipes online for healthier breakfast cookies out there, made with mashed bananas, almond or peanut butter, and coconut oil. This recipe doesn’t have any of those ingredients. So, in that sense, it really is more of a traditional cookie!

In fact, this recipe is basically the recipe for oatmeal cookies, except that it has proportionally more of the dry ingredients. And, the recipe calls for ground flax meal, which you can taste and notice with every bite.

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram

Honey Cake and Happy New Year Times Two!

Honey Cake & Pistachio Maamoul
Honey Cake & Pistachio Maamoul

I love to bake, so, by now, you’re used to all of the desserts you see on this blog. This time of year is always interesting with lots going on, like the beginning of the school year, sports tryouts, back-to-school shopping, and getting ready for fall activities like Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween.

One thing is for sure, though: I’m back to cooking and baking quite a bit more after the long summer break, where I apparently slacked off in the kitchen! Kids are always so honest. When I came back last week from a trip to Lebanon with tons of fun desserts like date and pistachio-filled maamoul (shown in the round box), pistachio nougats, and boxes of chocolate bars, I was surprised when my daughter said that I need to bake some desserts!

Honey Cake With Chocolate Glaze
Honey Cake With Chocolate Glaze

So, bake I did. I made brownies that are gone, and decided to make this Honey Cake (basically a coffee cake made with coffee and honey), which you may be seeing in stores as it’s popular this time of year for the Jewish New Year. By the way, this year the Muslim New Year and the Jewish New Year are on the same day, today – something that happens only once every 33 years! If you’ve ever wondered how the Jewish calendar observes the new year in late summer or early fall every year, despite being a lunar calendar, it’s because of the addition of ‘leap months’ into the lunar calendar to keep the holiday steady. You can read more about when the New Years collide here. Happy New Year! Continue reading

Facebooktwitterpinterestinstagram