Recipes

Georgetown Cupcake (The Cupcake Diaries) – Coconut Cupcakes

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I’m in love with anything and everything cupcakes. I prefer cupcakes over cakes, or any kind of dessert really.. I have plates with cupcakes on them, clothes, jewelry and makeup with cupcakes on them. I’ll literally watch any kind of baking cupcake shows, although my favorite cupcake show is DC Cupcakes on TLC.
I love it. I think Katherine & Sophie are so cute and fun and the cupcakes look to die for! (I have to go visit their Georgetown Cupcake shop in Washington someday!)
Their cupcake creations are always new and creative..  Sooo, when they released their recipe book ‘The Cupcake Diaries’, I obviously had to have it.

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I decided to try a recipe from the book out last night for the first time. I chose to make their Coconut Cupcakes recipe, and I’m not even exaggerating.. they were hands down, the best tasting cupcakes that I’ve made from scratch before. My mom and I have tried many different cupcake recipes over the years and we have always preferred the taste of box brands (Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker), over homemade recipes. For some reason a lot of cupcake and icing recipes either are too sweet, too dry, or just seem to lack something and taste a bit blah.
I was pleasantly surprised to say the least when these coconut cupcakes ended up tasting delicious! Everyone who tried one loved them.
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There’s quite a few different cupcake recipes in the book, and I’m so excited to try some more out! I’ll definitely be posting more on recipes from this book as I go along. I’m not going to re-post the recipe due to copyright issues, but I’m telling you.. their coconut cupcakes recipe alone is worth buying the book for! Perfect texture, just the right amount of coconut and sweetness, and the icing is an added bonus! Plus, they look super pretty.. like perfect little white clouds of love haha.
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Note: There were no issues while making the cupcakes.. the only thing that was strange was that the recipe said it would make 12 cupcakes. I had enough batter for 18 cupcakes, and I was using standard size cupcake cups. I read some other reviews on recipes from the book and quite a few other people have said the same thing. It’s definitely not an issue for me, the more the merrier when it comes to cupcakes. 🙂
I also had quite a bit of icing left over as I used less than the recipe called for. I prefer cupcakes not to have too much icing.. I like it mostly cake with a cover of icing.

Check out Georgetown Cupcakes, or if you are a cupcake lover, pickup The Cupcake Diaries! You won’t be disappointed.

http://www.georgetowncupcake.com

Natasha xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Stila In The Light Eye Shadow Palette – Review + Swatches

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From left to right: bare, kitten, bliss, sunset, sandstone, bubbly, gilded gold, luster, night sky, ebony

The In The Light palette is a beautiful collection of Stila’s award-winning eye shadows in wearable, neutral shades for every skintone that can be worn wet or dry.

The palette also includes an exclusive Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Damsel, a matte chocolate brown, and a 6-page lookbook with detailed how-to tips and tricks.

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Natasha’s Review: 
I’ve been using this eye shadow palette for the past week, trying out different colour combinations and am really liking it so far. My favorite colours are bare, kitten and night sky. I prefer to wear more natural, neutral eye shadow colours so bare and kitten were my favorites. (Kitten is one of Stila’s bestselling colours). I absolutely love the colour night sky as well. It’s a gorgeous blueish/purple with a hint of shimmer, and is perfect for a smokey eye look. I was really impressed with the colour pigments.. they go on smooth, and blend super easily. This palette reminds me of the ‘Naked’ Eye Shadow Palette by Urban Decay as they have similar colours. If you are looking for a neutral (but not too neutral!) eye shadow palette, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Laura’s Review: I have used most of Stila’s eye shadows on my clients in the past years and it always remains one of my all time favourite brands. I absolutely love, love, love the colours which are very pigmented. I use many combinations but one of my favourite everyday looks that I personally wear is the trio combination of bare, kitten (all time best seller) and bliss. I use bare over the entire eye lid up to the brow bone, blend kitten over the lid and into the inside corners of the eyes to highlight, then a light sweep of bliss in the crease. Use the damsel smudge stick waterproof eye liner along the upper lash line and in the upper lid water line (aka the tight line) this makes the lashes look longer and the liner more intense. Finish with mascara and voila! Beautiful 5 minute day time eye makeup look.

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Laura & Natasha Xo

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Life

Attracting Mr. Right Online

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I have been on and off online dating sites since my divorce 6 years ago. The whole concept of dating sites has come a long way since then. Just 6 years ago the thought of signing onto a dating site was foreign and embarrassing. And now, well, I’m only slightly embarrassed.

I got quite a bit of slack from my mother and people in my life. Doesn’t matter how old I am, my mother still talks to me sometimes like I’m 16.  ‘Oh my god Laura, why are you on some lame dating site? You don’t need that!’

Well, apparently I do. How else am I going to meet anyone new? I’ve been set up by family and friends and there’s no one left who is single in my little social circle in this big ol’ world. That’s right, online dating sites. That’s all I have left. That and the possibility of meeting Mr. Right in the grocery store, Chapter’s, Home Depot or possibly in the dog park. But I’m here to say, those suggestions are not working so far. I’m keeping my options open.

I have gone through many stages and opinions regarding online dating. I have constantly changed the way I set up my profile, the types of photos I post, information I share or don’t share about myself. It is critical how you set that shit up. This is portraying you and your personality. This information ultimately determines what type of guy will be attracted to your profile and contact you. You have to keep in mind what kind of guy you’re interested in attracting dependent on the information you share.

I’ve gone from writing way too much information, lots of photos and setting my potential date requirements relatively low to moderate. Then to the opposite extreme, minimal personal information, one head shot and my date requirements set to very high. I’m still unsure what works best.

I just go with the motto, stay true to yourself and what you’re searching for. Be real and be honest.

I’m so tired of people saying I’m being way too picky, he was such a nice guy. Well, I’m a real nice girl. Hell, I’m a damn awesome girl. Don’t I deserve an awesome guy? Shouldn’t I be with someone just as awesome?

Why does it seem there’s this double standard when it comes to dating and meeting one’s potential partner?

As women we’re supposed to be successful, independent, beautiful, intelligent yet settle for the guy who is so nice? I say hell no.

Not this girl. Not ever. I respect myself way too much to settle. And so should all of you single ladies out there.

At one point I had succumb to the overwhelming pressure that I was being way too picky, letting all of the good ones get away, having too high of standards (pffft, is there such a thing?) and not giving the ‘good’ guys out there a chance. So I decided to meet guys that I wasn’t particularly physically attracted to but had personalities and a sense of humour that interested me. I gave it the good ole’ college try. I really did. Sometimes even going on a 2nd date just in an effort to get to know them just a bit more in hopes that I would feel that somethin’ somethin. Nothin. Didn’t work. Now I’m not saying that method never ever works. I’m sure sometimes a person can become more attractive with time because he has that incredible personality. I’m sure it happens. Just hasn’t for me in the way I need it to. That’s just me.

I want to be physically and mentally attracted at the same time for the same guy. I want to miss them like crazy when we’re apart. I want to crave to be with them again. I want to look at him and feel that insatiable feeling of lust and love. If he isn’t doing it for you then you’re just not that into him and that’s okay ladies. Keep trying. Nothing gained, nothing lost right?

Now all of you single ladies, think about what information you’re sharing online and just what kind of man you’re hoping to attract. And please, please ladies for the love of god, do not post any self fishy lips face pics. They are never gonna be hot.

Til next time all of you beautiful single ladies, stay strong and be true to yourself.

Laura xo

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Song: Millions
Artist: Hannah Georgas

Vancouver, BC has such a strong music scene right now and I believe Hannah Georgas is a main component as to why. Her synth-pop, singer/songwriter style and witty lyrics are a breath of fresh air.

Originally from Newmarket, Ontario, Hannah moved to Victoria to attend university, and later on located to Vancouver.
She won the “Emerging Artist of the Year” award at XM’s Verge Music Awards in 2011 and “Solo Artist of the Year” at the Sirius/XM-sponsored Indies. Her first album, ‘This Is Good’ was put up for the Polaris Music Prize. And at the 2011 Juno Awards, Georgas was nominated for both “Best New Artist of the Year” and “Songwriter of the Year.”

She has toured with fellow Canadian Kathleen Edwards as her opening act, plus was apart of Kathleen’s backing ensemble.

Her second self-titled album was released on October 2, 2012. Check out one of my favorite tracks from the album, titled ‘Millions’. Ryan Guldemond from the band MOTHER MOTHER also makes an appearance!

‘I wanna make a million bucks. I wanna make my millions.
My fear is a crutch, a little hell that I live in.
If she can do it what the fuck, how come I can’t?
I wanna make a million bucks. I wanna make my millions.’

http://www.hannahgeorgas.com/
http://www.twitter.com/hannahmusic

Natasha xo

Music

Surrey Fusion Festival

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Tonight we went and checked out the Surrey Fusion Festival, the ultimate celebration of music, food & culture. There were tons of great bands playing all day long, and a variety of tasty food from local vendors.

The main attraction for us was seeing Kyprios & K-OS live on the Main Stage!

Kyprios was up first, and he blew us away. He has such a powerful stage presence, and so much energy, he draws the crowd right in. It was a really chill, feel good, hip hop performance. He also threw down a medley of classic rap/hip hop songs by Snoop Dogg, Wutang Clan, The Roots and Dr.Dre! So cool.
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Kyprios Bio:

Kyprios has been a cornerstone for live hip hop since his ‘Mic Tease’ EP dropped in 2000. Pledging to push boundaries of sampled hip hop by utilizing live musicians, Kyp is identified by his fleshed out, full bodied musical style.

Writing songs from the ground up, Kyprios is known for his infectious melodies, thought provoking lyrics and his elaborate live performance. The industry has taken notice through a variety of affirmations: 2 solo Juno nominations, 2 Juno nominations from his time with Sweatshop Union, a Gemini nomination, plus a Jessie and a Betty win from writing music for the theatre in both BC and Calgary.

Kyp has seen both sides of the industry. He was signed to Sony where he released ‘Say Something’ in 2004 and has been independent since 2008, releasing ’12:12′ shortly thereafter.

In 2011, Kyp released a fun song about his beloved Vancouver Canucks entitled ‘How The West Was One’ which propelled him to perform in Rogers arena just prior to the puck being dropped in game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. Kyprios donated all of the songs proceeds to Canuck Place.

Kyp continues to tour and was recently back in the USA promoting his most recent offering ‘The Lap Dog EP’ while headlining with his group The Chaperones.

He has made numerous appearances in television and film and is one of the voices for Michael Jordan’s website jumpman23.com. Kyp is eagerly anticipating his next release ‘The Midnight Sun.’

Bio from: http://www.kyprios.com

K-OS
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K-OS killed it, and even sang a few of his older, classic hits like Crabbuckit and Man I Used To Be. He also performed a cover of Rihanna’s song ‘Umbrella’!

K-OS Bio:

With over 27,000 singles already sold between “Dog is Mine” and “NYCE 2 KNOW YA”, k-os propels his innovative, provocative, ground-breaking, fearless and incredibly talented reputation by crisscrossing genres and radio formats challenging conventional genres. BLack on BLonde is two slamming records: one album of rock tunes, on which k-os sings and plays drums, guitar and bass, and one album of old-school hip hop jams.

With an impressive history to say the least…he’s twice gone platinum, toured with Drake, recorded with The Chemical Brothers, won a Source award, won multiple JUNO and Much Music Video Awards (with a staggering combined 34 nominations!) and was a 2005 Grammy-nominee, k-os continues to challenge himself and the industry as a whole. “I consider myself to be hip hop’s first alternative/emo-rapper, and now it feels like the game’s finally caught up to me,” says k-os. “It’s my job to take the music to the next level.”

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Life

30 Minute Love Affair

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I decided that perhaps writing about my dating experiences will somehow help me in some small way. Maybe instill some sort of clarity of what I am doing wrong, need to be doing or help me come to some sort of magical realization on how to meet that perfect guy just for me. Well, there has to be one perfect gem in the 3.5 billion men out there just for me. Right?

It’s like some sort of self discovery as I go along. No one is a true expert in the dating world, it’s like we’re all participating in one big experiment and sharing our outcomes.

Everyone has an opinion, even if not wanted. Frankly, I’m not asking anymore. But thanks anyways. I have now become an expert of sorts. In my own mind.

I have gone through various theories of dating (or lack thereof) during these past years. I have done the online dating sites more then I care to admit so whether my theories have become more cynical because of it, I’m not too sure. But I can say this… online experiences have given me plenty to talk about. (always gotta look at the positive, isn’t that what they say?)

When I first signed onto a dating site I was so cautious, timid and shy about it. When I did come across the rare guy whom I was interested in and we started to communicate, he would ask to meet after 2 messages and I would be all like, “oh my gosh, I need to know your whole life history before that happens silly!”

Yeah, that strategy really doesn’t work I have to warn you! When you finally do meet in person you now have nothing to talk about and it’s super awkward because you are face to face with a stranger first time meeting yet you know everything about them via typed messages.

Not ideal.

I would only meet guys I found attractive regardless of my mother and everyone else saying “Don’t be dating only the good looking model types, you’re being way too picky and letting all of the good ones slip by!”  Okay, firstly, I wasn’t dating only good looking model types. Puh-leease. I was dating guys I found attractive. Hardly model types. Secondly, what is wrong with choosing men who you find attractive? Is that so wrong?

Now, I should insert here that finding an attractive man who doesn’t act like he’s all attractive is a feat. There’s a big difference between being attractive and acting like he knows he’s attractive. You ladies know what I’m talkin about. Now that’s a challenge.

I remember being on a date with (let’s call him Frank), he was oh so handsome. He was the tall, dark handsome type they write about in romance novels. I thought I’d gone and hit the boyfriend, husband potential jack pot. That was until 40 minutes into meeting in person. This was in the beginning of my online dating days where I found out everything I felt was required before meeting face to face. I knew from his posted profile photos that he was very attractive. He was a professional volleyball player, university educated, well established business career, good family background, 2 siblings, never married but long term relationship that lasted 10 years. Check, check, and check. On paper, perfect. Pretty certain at this point I was probably going to marry this one.

When I walked up to meet him for the first time in the lounge of a high end hotel, he literally took my breath away. He said the same of me. Why thank you, I blush. So he’s a very sweet talker. Hmmmm. I’m silently thinking to myself, should we elope tonight or is that too soon?  Wow. Taller then I expected. Always a nice surprise, a bonus. Gorgeous teeth (dental hygiene is a concern for me. Can’t help it.)

Leads me to the table where he has been waiting at. Ahhh, arrives earlier then me, good sign and a bonus point for that. Bottle of red wine awaits. He remembers from our numerous online typed chats that red wine is my favourite. Beautiful. Definitely another point for that.

Pretty certain I’m already in love. Thanking my lucky stars.

It’s difficult not to get too overly excited or to start planning our wedding in my mind as I sit down at the table. I can picture it all now, the images are flashing through my mind. The dress I would wear, nothing extremely fancy as it’s a beach wedding and I don’t want to have anything too extravagant. It is my second wedding after all. ‘Frank’ standing there in front of me holding my hand, all handsome looking. Wind blowing my hair. No, maybe I should wear it up, off of my face. Yes, definitely up.

I’m kind of giddy with nervous excitement as we engage in normal conversation. Did you find the hotel okay? Parking? Normal conversation flowed between us.

But then it was like 30 minutes into it I found myself realizing there probably wasn’t going to be that elopement tonight or ever.

I started to sense he really liked himself a lot more then he liked me. I told myself not to be so hasty or make assumptions about him. Perhaps he’s trying to impress me by telling me how great he is? That’s gotta be it. Oh, his eyes are so blue. I keep getting distracted by his beauty and I can’t concentrate on his constant stories of just how awesome he is.

Then for some reason I suddenly just see past his handsome-ness and can’t stand to listen to his voice any longer.

I agree to have some dinner. I did drive 30 minutes to get here after all and I’m a polite lady. That and I’m a sucker for giving people the benefit of the doubt. I’m hoping he surprises me and is just trying to impress me. He continues to talk about himself and all of his greatness and achievements. He hasn’t asked me anything about myself other then if I would be interested in possibly posing for some photos for him and his new business venture that involved beauty and health products. I’ll have to find out more about it I tell him, but I’m pretty positive at this point I’m never going to see him again after tonight.

His attractiveness disappeared right infront of my eyes like magic. I’ve never experienced that before. One extreme to the next within an hour!

Finding the whole package is like finding a rare gem. I’m searching for that special guy who has it all. Handsome (to me), an amazing personality, great sense of humour, smart and someone who I have chemistry with. That’s the key. Chemistry.

I know good looks is not everything and it’s all relative, but I still believe you have to be attracted to your partner. Obviously looks alone isn’t going to work. It’s the whole package that makes chemistry.

‘Frank’ is a very nice guy and is perfect for someone else out there. Just not for me.

I guess I have time to make those beach wedding plans after all.

Til next time all of you beautiful single ladies,
Laura xo

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Artist: Matt Corby
Song: Resolution

At only 22 years old, Matt Corby is making his mark on the music industry. Matt began his career at age 16 on the reality show Australian Idol where he came in second place. He’s released 4 EP’s, and is currently writing new music for his debut album and playing secret garden shows across the world.

His new EP ‘Resolution’ was released on July 10, 2013 and the EP also includes tracks Lay You Down, Evangelist and Resolution (demo version).
Check it out!

– Natasha
xo