Designer Spotlight | Justine Brooks

Justine-Brooks_Jewelry

Photos via Justine Brooks

Blending international intrigue with familiar nature-inspired motifs, Justine Brooks has built a name for herself in Canada and around the world for her eponymous label which combines precious metals with raw stones and ultra-realistic shapes (think anatomically correct hearts, pine cones, cedar leaves and succulents). Justine launched her brand in 2005 after graduating from both the Emily Carr Institute Of Art & Design and Vancouver Community College’s Jewelry Art and Design Program. Beyond her love for design and jewelry, Justine is a passionate traveler and has explored the globe from top to bottom, visiting breathtaking places throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and more. In fact, this globe-trotter first fell in love with jewelry and design in 2005 while learning traditional jewelry-making techniques in India. This passion for travel is evident in Justine’s designs. Sometimes it’s a stone, sometime’s its a colour combination and sometimes its a shape or technique, but there is always an international feel to Justine’s designs and multiculturalism is woven into the core of her brand and her vision. I have loved her designs since I first discovered her pieces in Forsya (a lovely but now closed boutique that used to reside on Vancouver’s eclectic Main Street. You can still shop them online though!). I loved the way her pendant, earrings and charms resembled items found in nature in such a realistic way. Her itty-bitty silver pinecones and acorns looked just like the ones I would find while walking through Stanley Park. Her pieces have such a stunning simplicity to them and can be worn with anything – from weekend wear to a wedding dress. These are pieces that are meant to be worn and treasured, everyday. While it’s hard to pick favourites, scroll on to see 10 pieces that are on my wish list!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MY PICKS

1 // Tiny Cedar Earrings

2 // Rose Double Deer Antler Pendant

3 // Hammered Wave Ring

4 // Moonstone Charm Bracelet

5 // Tiny Pinecone Charm Necklace

6 // Fiddlehead Fern Necklace

7 // Anatomical Brain Pendant

8 // Wave & Sunshine Necklace

9 // Raw Opal Studs

10 // Moon + Star Opal Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

Advertisements

Lavender Pear Almond Muffins

I love a good pumpkin muffin around fall, don’t get me wrong, but last week I decided to take a great muffin recipe and shake it up with other fall flavours instead! Pear is a subtle, but oh-so-delicious, flavour that pairs beautifully with the cherry-like aroma of toasted almonds and the herbaceous, floral flavour of lavender. These are absolutely delicious hot out of the oven and make a great on-the-go breakfast. Not to mention how sparkly and pretty they look with their crust of granulated sugar on the top. For a sweet fall treat that doesn’t centre around pumpkin or cinnamon, look no further!

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Tsp Food Grade Lavender Essential Oil
  • 1Tbsp Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Unsalted Almonds
  • 1 Can Pears (Chopped Into 1/4″ Pieces)

Lavender-Pear-Almond-Muffins-Recipe

DIRECTIONS

1 // Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin tin with cupcake foils or grease with a bit of butter or cooking oil.

2 // Mix the dry ingredients together (apart from the sugar) in a large mixing bowl until well blended.

3 // In a medium sized bowl, used an electric mixer or fork to cream the butter, sugar, honey and extracts together until they have the consistency of fluffy snow.

4 // Add your eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until light and creamy.

5 // Gradually your dry mixture to your creamed butter, eggs and sugar. Add your mix and mix with a spoon. The batter should be a little bit lumpy.

6 // Open your canned pears, drain them, and chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Mix them into your batter until they are evenly distributed.

7 // Scoop your batter into your muffin tin – each cup should be 3/4 full so they have enough space to rise while they are baking.

8 // Sprinkle the tops of your muffins with extra granulated sugar to create a delicious, sugary crust.

9 // Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the over, let them cool and enjoy!

These are truly the coziest fall treat and are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee or fragrant mug of tea. A little butter really makes these flavours sing, so don’t be afraid to use the real thing (let’s face it, margarine never made anything better). Let me know what you think about this recipe! If you love lavender and like your desserts on the floral and not-too-sweet side, I have a feeling this will be a hit with you.

xoxo,

Alicia

Scent Saturday | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette By Chanel

COMPANY | Chanel

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Toilette

NOTES | Sicilian Orange, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Litchi, Italian Jasmine, Rose, Patchouli, Tahitian Vetiver, Bourbon Vanilla, White Musk

It’s strange, but when I first smelled Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum a few years ago I was not a fan. I liked its initial citrusy burst but as is developed on my skin, it changed into a heavy, thick floriental that I did not appreciate. Cut to testing this Eau De Toilette version last fall and I fell madly in love. It’s zesty and bright with a sharpness that reminds me of men’s cologne. It’s my absolute favourite office fragrance (it makes me feel powerful and pulled together) and has become a signature scent for me.

If you, like me, don’t like the Eau De Parfum version of Coco Mademoiselle, don’t let that stop you from giving this a test. It’s much fresher with a barely there sweetness that makes it modern and sparkling. This spectacle opens with bright citruses (grapefruit, Sicilian orange and Bergamot) and it’s like a refreshing slap in the face. It really wakes me up in the morning but doesn’t smell like straight up lemon peel or a basket of oranges like other citrus scents do. After about 20 minutes the zingy top softens and the romantic floral heart reveals itself. Dreamy jasmine, opulent rose and juicy litchi dance together creating a well-blended accord that is feminine without being overly sweet or flowery. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a Chanel LBD – it’s classic yet sexy. It’s feminine and sensual but still powerful. Like I said, it’s my favourite office scent but it’s really perfect for any occasion.

What really saves this from being just another girly floral is the base. A heady combination of Tahitian vetiver, patchouli, bourbon vanilla and musk, it’s a dusky accord reminiscent of cigar smoke filled lounges, leather and aged wood. It’s subtle but it makes the scent the sexy oriental it is. If you’re on the hunt for an everyday perfume that is sexy and fresh with a masculine edge, this is one you will love.

xoxo,

Alicia

DIY Exfoliating Pumpkin Face Mask

Face masks are truly one of my favourite indulgences. While there are a bunch of masks I love (especially LUSH’s Oatifix and Sand & Sky’s Australian Pink Clay Mask), it is fun, and cost-effective, to make your own. This fall-inspired formula is one of my favourite recipes. With enzyme-rich pumpkin purée to exfoliate, yogurt and oatmeal to soothe, honey to moisturize and lavender to clarify, it leaves my skin silky and noticeably brighter. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself! You will be hooked.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Purée
  • 2 Tbsp Organic Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Absolute
  • 1 Tsp Liquid Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Tsp Lavender Essential Oil
  • liquid-honey-Face-Mask pumpkin-purée-Face-Mask-diydoterra-Lavender-Essential-Oil-Face-Mask
  • DIRECTIONS

    1 // Measure out your ingredients and add them to a bowl.

    2 // Mix well until the mask is a smooth, easy-to-spread paste. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more yogurt and pumpkin purée. If it’s too runny, add more oatmeal. Easy-peasy.

    3 // Spread a thin layer over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes.

    4 // Wash the mask off and admire your smooth and silky face! Dab on a bit of your favorite moisturizer to lock in some hydration.

    And voila! This is a super easy-to-make mask and it’s incredibly nourishing and exfoliating. It also smells ah-maaazing. Give it a try and then immediately report back on how much you love it (or hate it, but I doubt it).

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    October Beauty Picks

    When you lead a busy life, it is easy to forget to take time for self-care. Although it may seem frivolous, a little luxury goes a long way in terms of improving the quality of your life and adding a little magic into an otherwise mundane day. Right now I am reaching for products that are not only effective, but are fun to use. From luxe textures and playful packaging to delicious smells, all of these five products are a pleasure to use while creating real results. Because, like in life, your beauty routine should be a happy mix of work and play!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    1 // C.O. Bigelow – Rose Salve

    This lightly scented salve hydrates with luxe rose extract and deeply moisturizing squalene and jojoba oil. It also leaves a flush of colour that will make your pout look full and pink – like you’ve just been kissed!

    2 // Bath & Bodyworks- Stress Relief Hand Cream

    I can’t get enough of this refreshing blend of zingy eucalyptus and spicy spearmint. I have two bottles of this at all times – on my desk at work and in my purse. I love that it subtly scents my skin while soothing my dry hands with vitamin E and shea butter. Putting it on honestly feels like a little spa ritual.

    3 // City Color Cosmetics – Glow Pro Stellar Highlighting Palette

    Although these highlighters appear to be richly pigmented, each leaves a different kind of shimmering effect on the skin, from dewy to a holographic glow. My favourite shade is Nebula – an icy blue that I dust on the bridge of my nose, tops of my cheeks, brow bones and on my cupid’s bow. It blends into my skin seamlessly and makes my complexion look like that of a sexy alien.

    4 // LUSH – Bûche De Noël Face & Body Cleanser

    I adore LUSH products. They’re high quality, they smell amazing, and they are made with ethical and sustainable practices – what’s not to love? This holiday favourite is no exception. Formulated with face brightening mandarins, antioxidant-packed cranberries, scrubby ground almonds, cleansing kaolin and hydrating cocoa butter, this elixir is a treat to use and leaves my skin soft and glowing. It also smells like a spicy slice of Christmas Cake. Think of it as a confection for your complexion!

    5 // Wander Beauty – Lift Off Purifying & Brightening Peel Off Mask

    A more insta-worthy mask never existed. Not only does this shimmering fuchsia mask look gorgeous on, after 15 minutes your skin will look even more stunning! It’s chock full of yummy, skin-beautifying ingredients such as açai, goji and blueberries, plus antioxidant-rich green tea. Simply apply a thin layer, snap a few pictures and then peel off a while later to reveal brighter, healthier skin.

    Which beauty products are you obsessed with right now? I am always looking for new ideas so let me know in the comments!

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Autumn Candles To Give You All The Cozy Feels

    Scent style your space with sumptuous fall fragrances that will make your inner basic squee with glee! I’m a huge candle addict. I’m currently sitting in my living room which contains no less than 13 candles. Do I have a problem? Forget switching up your wardrobe from season to season. I like to switch up my candles. Fall calls for warm and cozy scents like baked apples, smoky woods and sweet spices. And maybe a touch of whiskey if you’re feeling saucy. Read on for a rundown of my favorite fall candles. You’re bound to find at least one (or six) that tickle your fancy.


    1 // Bath & Bodyworks – Balsam 3-Wick Candle

    Notes: Pine, Cedarwood, Eucalyptus

    This smells like a crisp walk in the woods on a sunny day. Balsam smells exactly (and I do mean exactly) like the needles of a Christmas tree mixed with cool morning air. As a Pacific-northwest dwelling gal, there’s nothing more comforting than the spicy-fresh smell of a coniferous forest.

    2 // Diptyque – Thé Candle

    Notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Thyme, Sage

    This gorgeous candle is the olfactory equivalent of a steaming hot cup of fragrant black tea. Spicy and herbal with just a touch of sweetness, it’s as comforting as your favourite brew.

    3 // Byredo – Peyote Poem

    Notes: Clove Bud, Juniper Berries, Fir, Hyacinth, Tonka Bean, Black Amber, Patchouli, Vanilla

    As if we needed any more proof that Byredo is the bougie candle boss, this stunning blend is everything you could want in a fall candle and more. It’s sweet with notes of tonka bean and vanilla with a touch of forest-inspired greenness and bakery spices. Light it and enjoy being wrapped in a blanket of cuddly autumn deliciousness.

    4 // Whiskey Wicks – Apple Pickin’ Wood Wick Candle

    Notes: Apples, Spice

    I mean, it’s impossible to go wrong with the smell of just-baked apples and cinnamon. It smells like home, pie and comfort. It’s not basic, it’s beautifully classic and is a must-have as soon as the leaves start to change! This handmade gem lasts for ages so your home can smell like a spicy apple tart through until December.

    5 // Bath & Bodyworks – Maple Cinnamon Pancakes

    Notes: Nutmeg, Maple, Buttermilk Pancake Accord

    There’s quite frankly nothing more decadent than a late-morning breakfast of sumptuous buttermilk pancakes smothered in sticky maple syrup. This fall-addition from Bath & Bodyworks captures the essence of your favourite breakfast treat and leaves your home smelling warm, sweet and delicious!

    6 // Makers Of Wax Goods – Bourbon Candle

    Notes: Oaked Bourbon, Brandied Fruit, Raisins, Smoked Spices, Amber, Woods

    Light this bad boy and you’ll feel like a badass detective in a black and white movie, smoking a luxury cigar while sitting in a leather armchair and sipping a glass of top-shelf bourbon. This smoky, woodsy aroma is unique and sultry. It’s utterly intoxicating and always puts me in the mood. Plus how cool is the outer design?

    See? There are other fall smells besides pumpkin spice! Which one of these appeals to you the most?

    xoxo,

    Alicia

    Designer Spotlight | Vestige Story

    Photos via Vestige Story

    If minimalist silhouettes, rustic fabrics and earthy colours are your go-to, then Vestige Story is sure to become one of your favourite indie labels! This Vancouver-based brand was created by Aileen Lee in 2015 with the aim of offering simple, easy-to-wear pieces with subtle yet unique details. Sustainability, craftsmanship and a deep appreciation for timeless quality are at the heart of this brand. The best part? Everything is made locally, in Vancouver B.C. using minimal waste techniques! Most of their pieces are made with natural fabrics and some of the fabrics are even crafted out of recycled materials like water bottles. Specifically designed for the creative individual – the sculptures, artists, crafters, designers of the world – these pieces are flowy and comfortable. They breathe and move with the wearer. Season-less. Timeless. Made for makers. They let the wearer steal the show. As somewhat of a fabric snob, I immediately fell in love with their beautiful textures and insane attention to detail. Scroll on to see my top ten favourites from their latest collection!

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    MY PICKS

    1 // Washi Blouse in Mustard

    2 // Saya Culottes in Navy

    3 // Bushi Jumpsuit in Rust

    4 // Milieu Double Weave Jumpsuit

    5 // Ashura Dress in Navy

    6 // Dahlia Coat in Tan

    7 // Kana Coat in Gold

    8 // Kensho Coat in Navy

    9 // Earthen Sweater in Earth

    10 // Priori Top in Cream

    xoxo,

    Alicia