Life

Vancity Buzz Feature – Love At Ikea

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Laura recently wrote a piece for Vancity Buzz’s ‘Single In Vancouver (Worst Dating Stories)’ column, and her piece was featured on the site today!
Click here to read Laura’s story (Love At Ikea) on Vancity Buzz!

About Vancity Buzz:
Since 2008, Vancity Buzz has been engaging readers with content that highlights the culture, people and developments of our beautiful city of Vancouver. Our content is fresh, reliable and informative. Our aim is to keep Vancouverites connected to the city’s pulse.

Official site: www.vancitybuzz.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/VancityBuzz

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Recipes

Great Grandma Eames’ Scottish Shortbread Cookies

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Nothing says it’s Christmas time like shortbread cookies!
Okay, we also said that in our previous post about our amazing gingerbread cookies. But seriously, Christmas isn’t really Christmas without Shortbread. We say, ‘the more cookies the better!‘ We have more than enough love for every single kind of Christmas cookie!

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This recipe is from my Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames who was from Scotland. So I guess I can’t get any more authentic than that can I? However, I have changed it just a tad. (The nerve!)
My family’s traditional Scottish Shortbread has always been made and baked in a pan, pricked with a fork throughout and then cut in squares. Some family members still insist that I should be doing it that way. As that is the only way. I have changed it only in the way of rolling the dough out and cutting with Christmas shapes instead of in bars. Otherwise the recipe itself is still exactly the same as it has always been. Some family members swear the cookies taste different just because they are in cookie shapes and not the traditional bars. In any case… you can do either and I guarantee they taste delicious either way!

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Recipe for Great Grandma Elizabeth Eames Scottish Shortbread

Ingredients:
Yield 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

2 c. sifted flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. soft butter (unsalted)
1/2 c. confectioner sugar (icing sugar)

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture into butter mixture and blend well.
Cover and refrigerate until easy to handle. (approx an hour)

If making into cookie shapes, roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface at approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes and add sprinkles (optional) before baking. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

If making into bars, press mixture into a parchment lined 9×9 square cake pan. Use a fork to make indents right through to the bottom of pan, allowing for air.

Bake at 325 for approximately 20-25 minutes.
(Just until slightly golden around the edges.)

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This recipe is now in it’s 5th generation of being passed down (on my mom’s side). It has obviously held a very special place in our hearts.
My mom and her brother (her only sibling) have plenty of stories of when they were growing up associated with this recipe. It was only made at Christmas time and it was a very big treat to even get a piece of this shortbread. It was typically reserved for the adult guests only.
Every year when I bake this shortbread I always think of these stories about my mom and my uncle when they were children growing up. This year those memories fill my heart even more as I remember my uncle and how much he loved this shortbread and how much I love him.
It is with love that we bake goodies and share them with our friends and family. I thought it would be nice to share stories of what Christmas baking means to you. What special memories do you have?

We know that you will love these Scottish Shortbread cookies/bars as much as we do!
Happy Christmas baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

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Recipes

Gingerbread Cookies

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Nothing says Holiday Baking quite like Gingerbread!
We have finally found the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe and we are so excited to share it with you guys.
These cookies smell almost as good as they taste, and will fill your house with an unbelievable, delicious Christmas scent.

These gingerbread cookies have just the right amount of spices, and are simple & easy to make.
We had so much fun decorating these cookies & seeing the gingerbread men come to life!

Nothing’s better than putting on some Christmas tunes, getting your friends and family together & spending a cozy night in decorating these cute gingerbread cookies. (And of course the best part is getting to eat all the cookies afterwards… or during. 😉 )

Happy Holiday Baking!

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Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 50 cookies)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
4 cups all-purpose flour. sifted
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the molasses, and egg.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger & nutmeg.
Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients & mix until combined.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface & use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes.
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake for approx. 10 minutes, and let cookies cool on the sheets for 10 minutes, than transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely, decorate! 🙂

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Pinterest-inspired reindeer cookies! We used red m&m candies for the noses.
They turned out super cute.

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Enjoy!
Natasha & Laura

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Projects

Thrift Store Treasures

The other day we decided it was high time for another Thrift Store Expedition. We love, love, love going to thrift stores and garage sales. You just never know what you might find. Like my great uncle Bob used to say, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

I am a huge fan of finding treasures in the glassware, dishes and cookware section. Natasha on the other hand loves to rummage through the clothes area. I can’t be bothered searching for clothes. Natasha always seems to discover some hidden gem in the vast sea of old vintage clothing. Lots of times she even finds designer pieces! Don’t even ask me how she does it.  Every now and then when she discovers some amazing piece of clothing, I decide to mohzy on over and look through the racks too. Hoping that I’ll finally find that one awesome piece. After about 5 minutes I’m bored silly and head back over to the dishes. I can usually find at least one must have item in that section that speaks to me!

I am completely obsessed with bowls/plates and glasses. I have so many of both that I couldn’t possibly need anymore but I just can’t stop myself when I find something that catches my eye.

On this particular shopping trip I found numerous pieces that just had to come home with me! I mean, a girl can never have too many plates… and glasses… and bowls…

 Just look at what I found..

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Four plates and six goblet style glasses
(10 pieces)
Total spent = $22.

You may be thinking to yourself, why does she buy plates that don’t match?
Well… we purchase certain individual plates/dishes to use for displaying our baked goods that we feature on our blog. Sometimes I get crazy and will purchase a set of plates but I am realizing I have run out of cupboard space.  So now I mostly buy random pieces that I love.

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Not one single chip & they look brand new!
The largest one was $4 and the other three were $2 each.

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Made in England (the real deal)

They kinda remind me of china plates that my grandmother used to have & I adore them.

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So beautiful.

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Shuttt up! Love these goblets so much!
There were only 2 of these bronze coloured glasses there and they cost $2 each.

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The four green glasses were $2 each.

It was so much fun finding all of these treasures!
We would love to hear about your thrift store/garage sale excursions and some of your best purchases!
Leave a comment & share with us.

Happy Vintage Shopping!

Laura xo

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Uncategorized

West Coast Christmas Show

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Yesterday we went and checked out the West Coast Christmas Show in Abbotsford, BC.
The West Coast Christmas Show is a big holiday convention where you can find all kinds of goodies for the holidays like gifts, fancy foods from local vendors, decor ideas, live Christmas music & even culinary presentations, (just to name a few).

We’ve never been to the show before but when we heard that Food Network’s (Baker Extraordinaire) Anna Olson was going to be there, we had to go!

Anna performed a Holiday Baking presentation, and gave out lots of helpful baking tips & tricks.
She also baked a few things on stage – an apple crisp trifle, and shortbread bars. They looked amazing!

Here are a few of Anna’s Baking Tips that she shared:

– always use unsalted butter (for a number of reasons, but it is scientifically proven that unsalted butter has more butter in it than salted.)
– when making bars, line the pan with overhanging notched parchment paper so the bars don’t stick & are easy to get out of the pan after baking.
– when cutting a cheesecake or bars – to get a precise cut every time, dip knife in a glass of hot water for 30 seconds, & wipe dry.

Getting to meet Anna was definitely the highlight of the show for us, but we also had fun walking around looking at all the Christmas goodies! There were lots of local vendors & artisans there which was great.
We ended up buying  J.R. Watkins cinnamon (Anna used it during her set, and recommended it!), and 100% natural bath body salts. (pictures below)

We had such a great time and getting to meet Anna was awesome – She’s a big inspiration to us.

If you’re in the area, definitely go check out the West Coast Christmas Show for some Holiday fun.

Happy Holidays!

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Body Saltz

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How cute are these cupcake soaps?! I am kicking myself for not buying one now.

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Monkey Toast – Delicious flavour-packed fruit crisps made from 100% organic whole wheat flour, which are nut free and dairy free.
 We tried a sample of the Banana Blueberry crackers & they are delish!

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Laura with her goodies.

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selfie’s in the car. obviously.

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(suppp!)

Our purchases:

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100% natural body salts by Body Saltz.
These vanilla bliss bath salts seriously smell amazing.. we can’t wait to try them out.

Body Saltz is a Canadian company based in the Fraser Valley of BC that makes homemade, 100% natural body products.

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Anna’s cinnamon recommendation: J.R. Watkins.

Laura & Natasha xo
(note: all photos were taken with an iphone, as dslr camera’s aren’t allowed in the convention centre.)

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Projects

3 Reasons Why Practical Magic is the Best Fall Movie Ever.

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Even though Fall is nearly over, we couldn’t help but post about one of our favorite things about Fall – Practical Magic.

We ended up watching a movie called Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman a few weeks ago, and it quickly became our favorite Fall movie. We are obsessed.

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Here are 3 reasons why Practical Magic is the greatest Fall movie ever:

1. THE HAIR.

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via Heather Taylor tumblr.

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photo via beauty blurbs

Oh. my. gosh.
If you are looking for hair inspiration, look no further – you have to watch this movie.
I was literally mesmerized by Nicole Kidman’s hair during the whole movie.
Both Sandra Bullock & Nicole Kidman’s hair are super long, shiny and gorgeous and my mom and I couldn’t stop making comments about their hair! Serious hair envy.

Now I can’t stop thinking about dying my hair a light red colour.. (one day. it’s gonna happen).

2. THE HOUSE

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photo via: decorology

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via hooked on houses

It’s worth it to watch this movie just for the house & decor alone.
By far the best movie house ever!

The book & movie take place in New England, but due to bad weather & financial reasons they built and filmed the house in San Juan Park, Washington.
The entire house was a specially built architectural shell (the house had no actual rooms on the inside), and was built on a platform.
All the interior scenes of the house were shot on sets in LA, and the house was taken down after filming. (so sad!)

I loved everything about the grand white Victorian house in the movie but my favorite part was by far the kitchen.
This is my dream kitchen. Get ready to swoon…

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3 photos via hooked on houses

3. MIDNIGHT MARGARITAS!

Enough said.

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Practical Magic is all about love, family, & girl power combined with the magicalness of potions, spells and all things witches.
It’s a fun, feel-good movie that represents positivity and sisterhood & is perfect to watch during the Fall.

Grab your best girlfriends, pour some margaritas & get into the Fall spirit with Practical Magic!

I loved the movie so much that I painted a little picture of Sandra Bullock’s character ‘Sally Owens‘, & the Amas Veritas (True Love) Spell.

I found this cute print on etsy, and decided to paint my own version to put on my bookshelf.
The original print/painting is by etsy user: woodwings ,
which you can see here.

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To conclude this post, I leave you with one of my favorite scenes from Practical Magic..

“Hang On To Your Husbands, Girls!”

Oh, How I wish I was a witch…
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Cranberry Noel Tea Cookies

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We are in full-swing Holiday Baking mode here at Rose & Lea,
and today we are sharing one of our new favorite Christmas cookie recipes…

Cranberry Noel Tea Cookies!

These cookies are very easy to make & you’ll most likely already have all the ingredients needed in your cupboard!

They are so, so delicious, and make the perfect accompaniment to a nice hot cup of tea or coffee.
Perfect for the Holidays!

We filmed a little behind the scenes/tutorial video while making these cookies last night..
Check out what went down!

Note: In the video, we used songs by a band named ‘Carroll‘. They are an amazing psychedelic-pop band based out of Minneapolis.. Do yourself a favour, and check em out!

Band Links:
Carroll Website
Facebook

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Cranberry Noel Tea Cookies Recipe + Directions:
(Yield: Approx. 40 cookies)

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries

Directions:

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter & sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the milk & vanilla, mix until just blended. Add the salt & flour, mix well.
Using a spatula, fold in the pecans and cranberries.

2. Divide batter in half. Roll batter into 2 even sized logs, and wrap in saran wrap.
Chill the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes – 1 hour. (the dough needs to firm up so you can cut the cookies without losing their round shape).

3. After chilling, slice cookies approx. 1/4″ thick.
Place on baking sheets prepared with non-stick cooking spray, or parchment paper.
Bake at 375 degrees F. for 10 minutes.
Do not overbake!

Happy Holiday Baking!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

‘Secret’ Family Pecan Tarts Recipe

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I am so excited to share this recipe with you guys!
Why? Because it is my all time favourite. This is my ex mother-in-law’s recipe and is a family favorite. I’ve been making it forever. The crust for these tarts is the key. It’s light and fluffy and delicious. Without a great crust the tart is, well… not worth making. And this crust is da bomb! You are going to love them.
They are the ultimate holiday treat.

Natasha was playing around with the camera and ended up filming me while baking the pecan tarts last night..
Here’s a little behind the scenes of what went down; Check it out!

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Ingredients for the Pecan Tarts Crust
Yield: 3 dozen tarts or 2 pies (top & bottom crusts)

1 lb Crisco
4 c. Flour
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg (mixed in with a 1/2 cup of water)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Refrigerate covered for 1 hour.

Ingredients for Pecan Tarts Filling
Yield: 1 dozen

1 egg beaten
1/3 c. butter (melted and cooled)
1 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. milk
1/2 c.  chopped pecans  (can substitute with walnuts or raisins)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together. Fill tart shells 2/3 full.

Bake at 450 degrees f. for 8 minutes then adjust oven to 350 and continue baking for 15-20 minutes.

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I hope you enjoy these amazing Pecan Tarts as much as my family does!

Happy baking!
Laura xo

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Fall Beauty: Vampy Lips

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Nothing says Fall like dark, rich lip colours!
We believe the deeper & vampier the colour, the better.

Playing up your lips is an easy way to complete your look.
When you rock super sexy dark lips, keep the eye makeup neutral and let the lips be the main focus.

Tips for rockin’ dark lip colours:

Always line your lips first.
We’re not talking about a big, thick line of lip liner on the outside of your lips – Clown lips are definitely a no-no!
Use a lip liner that matches the colour of your lipstick and lightly create a faint line around the edges of your lips to help define & keep the colour from running.
If you are weary of lip-liners, we highly recommend a clear lip liner called No Bleeding Lips, which helps define your lips and prevents lip colours from bleeding.  (We love the product & will be featuring No Bleeding Lips on the blog soon).

Apply a thin layer of lip balm/moisturizer/primer before applying the lipstick.
Many lipsticks tend to be dry & matte, so applying a bit of lip balm before the lip colour helps hydrate your lips & prevents your lip colour from cracking.

Use a highlighter to contour your lips’ cupid’s bow.
Your cupid’s bow is the middle curve of the upper lip.
If you apply a light shimmery highlighter just above the cupid’s bow of your lips, it helps to make lips look more defined & full.
(Use Benefit’s Watt’s Up!, or any nude shimmery eyeshadow pencils/eyeshadows).

A tip for women with thinner lips:
if you have thin lips, dark lip colours will accentuate that and make thin lips look even slimmer. We recommend wearing dark reds, instead of intense browns and purples.

Here are two of our favorite lip colours this Fall.. (so far!)

1. Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in F-Bomb.
Rich and creamy lipstick with insane amounts of high-gloss shine – all captured in one chubby pencil.

Urban Decay’s Super-Saturated High Gloss Color’s are the ultimate – you get the best of a lipstick, gloss & stain all in one!
Easy to apply, this lip colour is long lasting, shiny, creamy & highly pigmented.

How great are the names of the colours in the Super-Saturated line as well?!
(F-Bomb, Naked, Adrenaline, Big Bang, Crush) Pretty funny!

We definitely recommend this Urban Decay Lip Color.

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2. Guerlain Rouge Automatique in 170 Nuit d’Amour.

A gorgeous berry, purple colour.
We love Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique lip colours and have a few different colours.
They are amazing quality, very hydrating & long lasting.
A bit on the pricier side, but we believe its well worth it!

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Laura & Natasha XO

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Beauty & Cosmetics

Spotlight: Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm

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Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm is a must-have for the Fall & Winter months.
Lips tend to get dry and cracked during the Winter due to the cold weather, and most lip chaps do nothing to help.
This Eight Hour Lip Repair Balm is designed to help strengthen your lip’s moisture barrier, while also providing long-lasting moisture that will immediately soothe your lips making it one of the best remedies for dry lips & skin!

We both adore this balm and have been through a few jars already.
It is definitely our go-to lip balm, and we both can’t recommend it enough!
Not only does it deeply moisturize dry, chapped lips, it also has a beautiful, clear sheen gloss affect to it so you can also use it as a lip gloss during the day.

Product comments:

– Even though the balm looks creamy, the formula is completely non-greasy, and long lasting!
– It has a faint, refreshing scent of eucalyptus and when first applied to your lips, it provides a really nice cooling sensation.
– You don’t just have to use this product on your lips – it can be applied to dry cuticles as well!
– Wear a thin layer of the balm underneath your lipstick to help keep lips hydrated.

Key ingredients:
(from Elizabeth Arden’s website)

Petrolatum, Shea Butter, Palm Tree Butter, Essential Fatty Acids Complex & Honey Extract – this mixture of emollients help to seal in moisture as it smoothes and softens lips.
Arnica Flower Oil – helps to heal dry, chapped lips and create a protective film to protect against future damage.
Vitamins A & E – known to firm the look of skin & other benefits.
Menthol & Menthol lactate – cooling agents to provide immediate soothing relief.
Cardiospermum Halicacabum – botanical extract which help soothe and calm skin.

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Although this balm is a bit pricier, (ranging around $30) we believe it’s worth it!
We give Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm a 5/5.

Have you tried any of the products in Elizabeth Arden’s ‘Eight Hour Cream’ line?!
Love the balm?!
Comment & let us know!

Natasha & Laura XO

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