Spring Fashion Alert

Over the years, fashion has proved that some trends never go out of style and others are more prominent than others. That is the case for the 1950s era that seems to have come back in style, at least for this spring.  When we think about the 1950s, we realize how much femininity fashion has lost throughout the years. Women used to dress very “smartly” and feminine on every occasion. Wearing a dress was a given whether it was for  work, a casual get-together or a special soirée.  Dresses were almost always accompanied by heels, gloves and stylish purses. The most popular styles were the swing (right) and pencil (left) dresses.

                                   

The idea was to look “every inch the lady” and, with the help of dresses/skirts women achieved the hourglass figure.  Below are some images from Vogue and Women’s Journal that illustrate the most popular trends for this era. There is a certain glamour,  nostalgia and a ‘je ne sais quoi’ that take us back to a time where women  looked feminine and delicate yet sophisticated.

                

Anthropologie’s newest collection proves once again that the ‘soft’ side of fashion is here to stay. Some of the outfits I love include the librarian look, college girl meets cute ensemble and flirty skirts and tops. Happy shopping!

Food Photography

I love good food, especially desserts. I started taking pictures of desserts that I made a couple of years ago. Nothing fancy and planned, on the spot with my Cool Pix point-and-shoot camera. A few months ago, my friend Eni told me that she had signed up for a professional photography course. Through her blog , I started discovering a variety of  photography sites and came across some gorgeous food photography/styling blogs like Tartelette, Cannelle et vanille, Lifestyle blog etc.  I couldn’t take my eyes of their photos. I was in awe with their crystal clear images, their stylish compositions and scrumptious food. I wanted so bad for my photos to look half as good as theirs that I began reading online about the art of food photography. I was both fascinated and surprised at how much time and effort you need to put into your photos before you can get decent results. I was committed to trying it too…

On my birthday, my husband surprised me with a brand new DSLR Canon EOS Rebel XSi and a tripod. I was sooooo happy. So far, I’ve studied the manual and took a few nice shots (I think) . Now, I have one more reason to wake up in the morning: natural light for my photos, plus the excitement that goes with preparing my shots, composition and of course, my camera.

Forever young? Not really…

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Not too bad, huh? I’m not that sure about that anymore. As I walked to the elevator to go to work, for the first time in my life, I had this unusual feeling…I felt old. Something in my body, the way I walked, the way I breathed felt different. I remember feeling different when I woke up and looked in the mirror. Young, but not the kind of early 20s young  when everything seems possible, when you’re invincible, when nothing really touches but goes through you.

As a child, I used to dream of growing up and imagine my life as an adult: my career with very specific details  and a stable personal life. I didn’t spend too much time worrying about my personal life. I was obsessed with having a dream job; of course that had changed over the course of my late childhood, teenage years from a successful and ruthless business woman (aka Sue Ellen Ewing 2) to a powerful criminal lawyer or later a curious and adventurous journalist seeking out the truths of the world.  I’d pray so much for the time to go by, for me to grow up once.

So, I’m all grown up now. I’m slowly heading into my thirties when your metabolism slows down, your biological clock is ticking (oh, how I hate this phrase) and apparently your hormones go crazy 🙂 And, I don’t feel too happy about it. I’d rather be in my early 20s, trying to figure out how I can mature faster :).

Raw Desserts – The Healthy Alternative

I didn’t know too much about the raw food diet, however lately I’ve come across various websites that promote this lifestyle. I’ve recently tried a few recipes that actually taste great! Since I’m one of those people who can’t live without sweets, I’m committed to incorporate some healthy desserts into my diet. I’ve been working out for a long time, but I need my sweet ‘fix’ every know and then.

The raw food diet is based on unprocessed and uncooked plant foods, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, grains, beans, nuts and dried fruit. This type of diet has numerous health benefits including increased energy, better digestion, improved skin appearance, weight loss and reduced chance of heart disease. Overall, it contains fewer trans fats and saturated fats than regular diets. At least 75% of food consumed should not be heated over 116 degrees F. For more information including health precautions, cooking techniques, equipment click here.

Here is a latest dessert that I made – a decadent and delicious raw chocolate cake. You can find the recipe here. I purchased  most of the ingredients from a Health Foods/Organic Store. Bon appetit!

 
 
 

 

Travel Back in Time with Retro Swimsuits

While looking for a new swimsuit for my upcoming Carribbean vacation, I’ve come across a number of Retro style swimsuits. According to Swimco, a Canadian swimwear retailer, retro-modern is a term used to describe today’s styles that carry us back into the glamour and class of days past, while providing today’s women with well-fitting feminine swimwear. Common elements of retro styles include lower cut heights, ruffled fabric, broad straps and basic colours that almost any woman can wear. Inspiration of this trend can be seen in designers such as Jantzen and Michael Cors.  Here are a couple of swimsuits from the 1950s – classy, feminine and flirty.
 

What I love about retro modern swimsuits is that they take us back to an era of nostalgia where women were potrayed as these ‘vixens’, an image of classic timeless beauty.

Retro style swimsuits come in neutral colours (great for concealing figure flaws) or bright hues which give you an elegant youthful look. I’ve fallen in love with Jantzen collection but don’t know where to find them in the GTA area yet. In the meantime, I think I’ll visit Anthropologie and Bikini Village for similar styles. Here are some of my favourite pieces. I can’t wait to try them on.

 Image Credits: www.anthropologie.com ; www.bikinivillage.com

Raw Strawberry Macaroons

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison”. Dr. Ann Wigmore, N.D

I kind of agree with this quote although I love baked foods. Generally speaking I try to eat healthy, replace anything ‘white’ with ‘brown’ (flour, sugar) and choose low fat dairy products.  However, I do agree that raw food has its benefits including higher nutrient value and digestive enzymes that aid digestion. The only ‘raw’ dessert that I make is Tiramisu which is actually my favourite. I came across this great recipe on Ina’s website who has lots of raw/vegan recipes and also takes great pictures.  Traditionally, macaroons are made either with coconut and egg white or with a coarse almond paste formed into a dense cookie or confection. Not to be confused with French macarons which are completely different in appearance.

If you like coconut, you will definitely enjoy this delicious recipe. Very easy to make. You’ll need a food dehydrator which you can later use to make healthy natural snacks like dried fruit and veggies, but also jerky, homemade herbs and spices.  You can find it at your local Walmart, The Bay or Canadian Tire. Make sure you know what it looks like as many people are not very familiar with it. Ironically, it is posted under ‘Crafts and Hobbies’  category on Walmart’s website which is partly true, but common, in the end it is a kitchen appliance!

Strawberry Macaroons – makes approx. 20

1/3 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
1/4 cup agave or honey
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 cups shredded coconut

Place dates, strawberries, agave or honey, and vanilla in your food processor. Process into a puree. Add coconut, and process to mix well. Using an ice cream spoon make small balls and place them in the dehydrator. Leave them dry for approx. 4 hours or until they are crisp on the outside and soft inside. They make a unique gift for your friends and/or family.  Enjoy!

 

 

Holiday Cookies – Packaging and Design

With the holidays around the corner, everyone is looking for that special gift for their loved ones. There are so many things you could offer as gifts. This year, why not offer something from the heart like homemade cookies? Make it your little holiday project that will sure fill your heart with joy. The mere fact that you took the time to bake will impress your friends and family. Cookies can be wrapped up nicely like any presents would. Or, just think of them as clothes and accessories. Mix and match to create your own style or make it unique with that special person in mind. Below are a few tips from Myrecipes.com and Martha Stewart’s website. I’ll be using these myself in the next couple of weeks.

1. Place cookies in glassine bags or wrap individually in cellophane, and tie with colorful ribbons.
2. Package cookies in small wooden boxes lined with colorful tissue paper.
3. Wrap preety boxes and/or containers with seasonal gift wrap, art paper, ribbons and twill tape.
4. Try repackaging. Use everyday items, such as egg cartons or takeout boxes, and dress them with colorful holiday decorations.
5.  If you’re on a budget, use inexpensive glass containers and put a bow on top.
6. Use cookie jars. This way, you’re giving two gifts in one.
7.  Package cookies in small wooden boxes lined with colorful tissue paper.
8. Heap cookies into inexpensive tins lined with tissue or parchment paper.
9.  Wrap cookies in wax paper, secure with a ribbon, and tie a cookie cutter to the ribbon.
10.  Present cookies in small compotes, wrapped in sparkling celophane, and adorned with small ribbons.

Image Credits:  www.marthastewart.com; www.myrecipes.com; www.theblackapple.typepad.com; www.countryliving.com