Curling Wand Love: How-to

For Christmas I got a curling wand, because my curls never last more than a few hours, and a coworker told me that with a curling wand, they would last so much longer.
This is the curling wand that I got:
You can view it here.

I watched this youtube tutorial to help me.
This is my hair and outfit on Christmas Day:

This is my second day and the curls lasted!
The hair stylist told me if I wash my hair every day, my colour at the top will fade - so this was my attempt to not wash for the day.
It was pretty good!

Hope this helps everyone - especially those with hard to curl hair like me!

Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies - and decorating cookies, so here a great recipe to try over the holidays!

Ingredients:
½ cup of unsalted butter
½ cup of brown sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 ½  teaspoons of ground ginger*
½ teaspoon fresh ginger*
¾ teaspoon of ground cloves
¾ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup of molasses
3 cups of flour
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of baking soda

Icing Sugar, water, sprinkles for Decorating


*2 teaspoons (total) of ground ginger is fine if you do not have fresh ginger


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together the semi-melted butter and brown sugar. When light and fluffy, add the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, salt, molasses and egg, and mix together. Mix into the flour mixture.
*If using the fresh ginger, grate with a fine grater.

Roll out dough onto a floured surface, and cut with cookie cutters. Place them onto a nonstick baking pan.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.


Let the cookies cool, then make icing for decorating, by adding a little water to the icing sugar. It should be quite thick, but still be able to pipe it out of a piping bag. 
The way I decorated the cookies, was putting a thin tip on a piping bag, and drawing a line from one side to the other. Then, I drew the little lines coming out on an angle on the tips of the snow flake.
Sounds a little confusing, but if you look at the picture it might make more sense - I hope.


Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Enjoy!

A Day Downtown

This Christmas break, I have a list of things I want to do, so I make the most out of the time off of school.
One of the things was to go skating in Nathan Phillips Square, which is a skating rink in the heart of downtown Toronto.
I am a pretty terrible skater, when I was in my early teens I switched from figure skates, to hockey skates. I am now a confused skater!

After skating, we went for lunch at one of my favourite restaurants Mr. Green Jeans, in the Eaton's Centre, which was designed by one of my favourite designer's, Sarah Richardson. You can see the pictures here.
They also have amazing milkshakes...
Followed by some shopping at Sephora!
I bought some brow shadow and a subtle matte lipstick - starting to have a bigger love for makeup, lipstick, and beauty youtube tutorials and products other people love!
One of my new favourites is Vlog with Kendra.

Journey to Ombré

A few days before Christmas I decided to get my hair cut and coloured.
Until this point I had never coloured my hair, besides a product called Sun-In, which you spray in wet hair and blow dry it or sit in the sun - anyways it messed my hair up and made it a golden colour that I didn't like.
I fell in love with this picture:
A very subtle ombre, which would star with my natural colour, and then go lighter as it reached the bottom.

Before:
It already looked a little ombre, from the Sun-In but it was messed up.

 After:
They colour the roots to try and match my natural colour as much as they could, but this colour will eventually fade, and the rest will not.
Natural hair colour is more mousy coloured, and hair dyeing colours have more of a rich colour to them.
Colour difference between the top and bottom:

Cute Last Minute DIY Gifts

Some cute diy gifts that caught my attention this year, very easy and thoughtful!
Many of these little bits and pieces are easy to come by, at places such as Bath and Body Works, Shoppers Drugmart, and grocery stores!
Spa in a Basket
Basket filled with candles, bath bombs, socks, nail polish and nail file, and any other spa-like things.
Via boulderlocavore.com



Filled Mug
Fill a mug with a hot chocolate package, candy canes, christmas cookies, and some other favourites of the person that you are giving to, such as nail polish, candles - so they can enjoy a nice mug of hot chocolate, with cookies, a candle and paint nails!
via WeHeartIt.com



Baileys with Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate mix with marshmallows and Baileys!
Via 3citygirlsnyc


Homemade Brownie Mix
Via call-me-cupcake.blogspot


Manicure Set
Jar filled with nail polish, nail file, hand creams, nail polish remover, nail cutters and other cute things.
Via celebrations

Baking Kit
Cookie mix, spoon, cookie cutter in a holiday oven glove!
via Pinterest

Also, check out some of my gift guides!
Click the picture below for the full posts.

For her:
 Stocking Stuffers For Her


http://www.emma-courtney.com/2014/12/gift-guide-for-him-and-her.html

For him:
 Stocking Stuffers For Him



Happy Holidays!

Pretzel Bark

For those who are currently wondering - what is bark?!

"Chocolate bark is actually a sheet of chocolate that is usually covered with nuts, dried fruits, candies or even additional pieces of chocolate. Its is rustic looking in the sense that it is just thrown together, not laid out with a specific pattern to how the ingredients are placed, and it is broken into shards of various sizes to serve" - Baking Bites

So this isn't quite the traditional bark - but it's easy and delicious, inspired by Pinterest.
For 30 amazing bark recipes, you can visit Allred Designs, here.
The pretzels were semi-sweet chocolate coated, the chocolate chips were milk and white - three chocolate bark with candy cane!
I cheated a little, and bought dipped pretzels, but regular pretzels also taste great - just drizzle more chocolate on them!
I smashed up some candy cane with a hammer (in a plastic bag),
Melted some milk chocolate,
Drizzled it over the pretzels,
Sprinkled some candy cane,
Finally, I melted some white chocolate and drizzled it - sadly it wasn't runny/hot enough to drizzle as well as the milk chocolate.
Seriously a delicious take on chocolate pretzel bark with some added minty love!

Find more traditional Bark ideas/recipes here.

DIY: Christmas Tree Wreath

While I was home the other week, I learned how to make a Christmas wreath for the front door, out of left over pieces of Christmas tree.
We already had a wire frame, but you can also use a wire coat hanger, and shape it into a circle.
First, we cut the pieces up smaller - because they were full branches.
We began placing the pieces, one at a time, and wrapping thread around a few times, near the bottom of the christmas tree piece.
Then, layering another piece of christmas tree, covering where we had wrapped the thread.
We kept repeating this process, all the way around the wire frame.


I chose a black thread (it was all we had), but you can't see it at all.
I pulled out little bits and pieces of tree to cover up the thread.

Then, I began gluing fake berries and pinecones with a hot melt glue gun.


Then, we added a bow at the bottom.


The door we hung it on already had a nail to hang the wreath on, which made it easy.
If you don't want to do that, you can buy wreath door hooks at many places this time of year.