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Gingerbread House

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Yesterday was our annual Christmas Fun Day at Auntie’s! Every year I have my niece over for the day and we construct a gingerbread house.
I decided to change it up a bit and surprise her with a Barbie gingerbread house. Like how cute is that! She loved it!

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Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

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I’m trying to construct the gingerbread house. It’s more difficult than it looks! ha

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Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

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Artists hard at work.

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Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

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This is what Christmas is all about.

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Ta da! The masterpiece all complete.
What a great day spent making memories with my special girls.Happy Holidays!

Laura xo

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Uncategorized

Hostess Gifts

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We are all so busy during the holidays. With all the running around, shopping, baking, cooking, & entertaining, it can get real exhausting. We have made up a sweet list of hostess gifts that any girl would be happy to receive. Wine, chocolates or poinsettia’s are typical hostess gifts that are commonly given and while these gifts are great, we think hostess gifts can be a little more personal and have a wee bit more pizazz.

1. Soap Gift Sets from Lush

You can’t go wrong with Lush products. We love them so much. I know, I know, I have Lush on every single list for gift giving. Trust me, the hostess that receives a gift from Lush will definitely invite you back next year!

2. Specialty Tea from Teavana

Every Host knows that it takes a lot of time and energy to plan a get together let alone get through all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. A quality cup of tea is always appreciated. We love these gift sets that come in the beautiful tins that can be reused over and over. You will be affectionately remembered every time she brews a cup of tea long after the holidays are over.

3. Pure Maple Syrup from Blisgourmet

This amazing maple syrup is recognized by top chefs and foodies such as Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray. This is something a little different then the typical bottle of wine or chocolates. Especially great for those that love to cook.

4. Scented Candles from Bath And Body Works

The scented candles from Bath And Body Works are to die for! We can’t pick just one as a favourite. This one is the ultimate holiday scent of rich red apples, green pine and golden cider. One for the hostess and one for me!

5. Lip Balm Sets from Korres

We love, love, love this line from Greece. The body products are the ultimate and so are their lip glosses. Perfect for the long winter to keep lips hydrated and smooth. This limited edition lip glaze set has delicious flavours such as jasmine, pomegranate, raspberry. Made with no parabens or sulphates.

6. Nail Polish Sets from Nails Inc.

Nail polish and nail art is all the rage and who doesn’t love to have their nails all done up? We are amazed at the selection of colours, textures and art that is being done on nails. Can never have too many nail polishes, now can we?

7. Bath and Body Products from Philosophy

We will never get tired of Philosophy products! Ever. The festive gingerbread products add spice to any girl’s day!

8. Designer Fragrance Sets

So many mini sets to choose from during the holidays. A set like this one is perfect with the rollerball fragrance so she can throw it in her purse.

9. Fun Novelty Gifts

Finding really fun personalized gifts are the ultimate if you know the hostess well. For music lovers, a gift like these coasters is different, unique and fun.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Love, Laura xox

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Uncategorized

Oh Christmas Tree

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Happy Holidays!
We finally managed to get it together and got our tree up & decorated. Typically we have the whole family come over and we decorate the tree together. Usually this is complete before the end of November. However, this year everyone’s schedule was all over the place. My sister, her husband and their 2 small children went away on an impromptu surprise trip to Disneyland, my son is working out of town and my parents had plans. So that left Natasha and I. Oh and Zeus (aka our fur baby).
I went through that dreaded chore of rummaging around in the garage to get the tree and drag it all the way inside.ย  (And yes, it’s a fake tree. Gasp!) Got it all set up and 3/4 of the lights didn’t work! I tried everything to get them to work. You know, that whole process of going over all of the bulbs, checking the extension cords, plugging and unplugging from the outlet a hundred times. The joy. One hour later, Natasha tries her magic touch and still, nothing. No magic. Like how frustrating is that?
Coincidentally my sister bought a new tree and had her old one waiting in her entrance to be recycled.
Perfect! We’ll take it!

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Every year or 2 I like to choose a new theme when decorating for the holidays. This year we chose purple and gold. One of my all time favourite color combinations. A great design tip I follow is to try and incorporate the colours you have in your home so your tree becomes an extension of the whole room/home.ย  I love it. I have deep, rich warm colours throughout our home. Deep reds, burgundy, gold, terracotta and purple are the main colours in all of our rooms so the tree looks like it belongs and it is so beautiful.

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We are loving how our tree turned out.

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It’s a purple and gold Christmas!

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We have to have hot cocoa before any decorating can begin!
With Baileys Irish Cream?
Yesss please!

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Mariah… being all Mariah!
We had our tv on for the first little while because we wanted to see the lighting of the Rockefeller tree in New York… and see Mariah sing her classic Christmas songs.
Infact her Christmas CD is one of the best Christmas albums ever. We listen to it every year.
Santa Baby!
Great song!

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Our mantel.
I like to coordinate the mantel to match the tree.

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Our coffee table.

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Ummm… yes, we are wearing matching pajamas! ha!
Gotta love La Senza.

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Natasha is a beautiful model… Zeus, not so much!

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We look like crazy school teachers!

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Christmas picture selfies in the middle of the night? Sure, why not?

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It’s probably around 2 a.m. at this point.

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Natasha showing some love to the tree that almost wasn’t!

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From our home to yours, we wish all of you the most magical Christmas season.
Much love,
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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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

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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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.ย  (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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