Thursday, 31 January 2013

Yay! It's time for Tuesday's Tunes! Yes, that's a thing now....
you: But wait! It's not Tuesday!
me: You're right, my observant friend! It's not
That's because my featured song of the week is moving to Tuesday!
you: Why would you do that!
me: for one simple reason, Thursdays Tunes sounds stupid

So enjoy your last Thursday's tunes because next week it will start on Tuesday
Here is Trip by Vacationer
Because a trip is what my pasty self needs... stupid rain
Thanks to Mo for the song!

♥ Olivia

Lemon Breakfast Bars

My morning ritual is a glass of OJ with some almonds while I make my earl grey tea sweetened with honey. That's all my stomach can handle. It's not until about ten o'clock that I'm ready for a real breakfast...and I do love my breakfast. They say eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a peasant for dinner.

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts because the fuel you get from this very healthy and whole carb is unbeatable. I don't much care for the runny texture or the mess of making oatmeal every morning and this recipe came from that struggle, lol. Oh I've also been craving lemon squares but couldn't find a recipe that didn't call for a pound of sugar.

Just a note on the ingredients, anything with a star is not essential but highly recommended. If you want to get really simple with it, or go vegan, omit the crust and just lay a thin layer of coconut shreds on the pan and put the oatmeal mixture over this; doing a good job of pressing it down. Its no bake this way too! This is the first way I tried it and it turned out beautifully.


1 Egg
1/4+ c Water
1/2 c Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut Shreds
1/3 c Quinoa Flour - (Or any other flour)
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil - (Or any other Oil or Butter)
*1 Tbsp Almond Butter

Heat the oven to 350. Beat the egg and water together and then add all other ingredients. If your coconut oil is not liquid you can warm it up in the pan that you will use later for the oatmeal mixture. If the mixture is too dry, just add a bit of water at a time. Take a baking pan, 13 x 9 inches, and line with parchment paper. Spread the crust mixture into it. Cover your hand with cellophane wrap and press the mixture down into a thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Lemon Oatmeal:
1 c Almond Milk- (Soy, or Reg.)
1 c Water
*3 Tbsp White Quinoa
1 cup Oatmeal
3/4 c Prunes, diced
1/2 c Sultan Raisins
*2 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
1/2+c Water
*2 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Lemon Squeezed
1/2 tsp Lemon Rind
1 Tbsp + Vanilla Extract
Slivered Almonds

Add the almond milk, water, quinoa, dried fruits, and sunflower seeds to a pan with a lid. On a low to medium heat, start bringing this to a boil. When you start to see bubbles add the oatmeal. Mix and allow this to come up to a boil again and then turn the heat down just enough to keep things bubbling. Add the rest of the ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and cook for 15 min, stirring regularly and adding water as needed to keep the mixture moist but not runny. Take a taste and either add more lemon or a sweetener such as honey to your liking. Take the pan off the stove and set aside for ten minutes.

Now spread the oatmeal mixture on top of the crust and sprinkle as many or as little slivered almonds as you please. Using the almonds as a barrier, press the mixture firmly into the pan.

You can either slice a piece off now and have it warm or leave it all in the fridge for a good hour before you cut it up. I like to make individual packages with tinfoil that I can grab-and-go.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Nail Polish Tuesday

Good morning, or afternoon, or night... or whatever time it is wherever you are!
So I have decided to start this new thing called Nail Polish of the Week! every Tuesday, because Tuesday are sometimes hard to get through so maybe a bit of colour will help you lovely people out!

Today's feature nail colour is Mount Royal by American Apparel's brand Nail Lacquer
American Apparel nail polish is pretty pricey, but I had to have this one!
I don't usually like dark nail colours but this one is classy. And I think it's perfect for winter (which I'm expecting another 4 months or so of winter here in BC)!
If this brand is a bit out of your budget, NXY carries a shimmery version of this colour called Titanic
Mount Royal

or not... I'm procrastinating pretty hard right now... I'm not judging!

♥ Olivia


Lace Phone Case

Rachel and her phone case... beautiful isn't it?
So as I was desperately trying to forget my impending history paper due on Friday (good news, I successfully forgot about the essay!), I happened to come upon my new favorite blog... Hey, Look What I Made
If you are into studs and sparkles, or if you just want a laugh, I strongly suggest heading over to this blog here

So continuing with my story, I found a post describing how to make your own lace iPhone case...yay!
I have been pretty board with my iPhone case lately. It's magenta, and boring. But buying a new phone case is not something I'm into. I'm not made of money! So I was pretty stoked on this discovery

This is how mine turned out
So I just wanted to share with you my  iPhone case lacifying journey
I'm not going to really include many instructions, because her blog does an awesome job of explaining what to do (link here), but I encountered a few problems and obstacles along my way, so I will include some important tips I think you should know

Here are my supplies... a note about each
The phone case- I was worried over whether my iskin solo gel case would work as well as a  hard phone case would. I tried both and they were fine! I'm not so sure about those really flexible TNA/Aritzia phone cases, but it's worth a try! But you may want to try to  sand down any phone case you use just so it sticks better!
 The spray paint- When I was at Canadian Tire getting my paints, I actually had to get the guy working there to help me pick an appropriate spray paint. If you are too shy to do this, then I'll let you know what he told me... It doesn't really make that much of a difference. Most brands are fine, I just happened to purchase all Krylon paints. But try to make sure that it is made for plastic, not wood. I used Navy and gold which I thought looked a bit nicer*

*To be honest... the reason why I didn't use black and gold like Melissa is probably less about navy's aesthetic qualities, and more about the fact that my old high school's colours are black and gold... I don't want my high school friends to make fun of me! 

Do this outside! That's a good tip, hey? I know that is pretty obvious... but I didn't really take my own advice and house reeked! So here a picture of when I decided to open my garage door... good thinking Olivia

Don't go crazy with the paint! Do thin layers and let it dry in between... think nail polish... having said that, with many varieties of spray paint, if you let it stand for too long (usually 24 hours) than you can't paint it again. I was curious as to why this was the case... I discovered it was because it makes the paint crack like the OPI cracking nail polish. So now I have a cracked up iPhone case... anyone want it?

Wear gloves! You probably don't really want this stuff on your hands. But who am I to tell you what to do?Maybe you're into that... in which case I'm not judging

The right kind of lace
This is my greatest tip. I completely ruined my case on my first attempt
Are you listening? Want me to say it again?
There you go, I said it 3 more times
But seriously though guys. On my first try, my lace had very small holes, so you couldn't see any design or pattern on the case. It kind of just looked like scales on my case... like snake skin. Which sounds a lot more cool than it really is
My favorite thing about lace is the beautiful floral patterns, so if you want that to shine though, use a) a floral lace and b) a porous lace
The picture above is the right kind of lace

Also, do a few coats of your second colour before removing the lace... because once you take your lace off there is no going back!

Shake shake shake!
Shake your spray paint!

Also, once you are done PUT A SEAL ON IT! Mod Podge doesn't work unfortunately... I tried. Try clear nail polish :)

And there you go! Go to Melissa's blog and make your own beautiful, lovely, stunning, lacey, chic, floral, gorgeous phone case (link here again)
Now I get to enjoy going back to my history class... did you guys know that pretty much the entire Pocahontas movie is a lie? Professor Coll, you are a killer of childhood dreams and happiness

Thanks to my beautiful friend Rachel... look at how much fun she is!

♥ Olivia

Monday, 28 January 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas guys!

I decorated my house with snowflakes
Just kidding... I know I'm over a month late ;)
I kind of dropped off the face of the earth during the Holiday season, what was I up to!?

My friend Mo visited from Montreal... this is our igloo
That's what I was up to! I made a goal at the end of November that I would do my best to hand make all of my presents, so as you could imagine, this took a while

My tiny Blue Cedar tree... it's now planted outside
Some people like giving better, some like receiving. And while, of course, I LOVE receiving, I think I prefer giving. It's like a game for me, which I always try to win... especially when it comes to my boyfriend. Every year I try to one up my last gift... and it's getting harder and harder

The view from our dock, Christmas morning
This year's gift to Alex was actually pretty easy to do.
I was all ready to make him a scrap book, but then I happened to stumble upon a post by find joy in the journey called "a year of dates". It was perfect.

What is a year of dates?
The gifter presents the giftee with 12 envelopes- one for each month of the year. Each envelope is to be opened at the beginning of each month. Within the envelope is a romantic (or not so romantic) date  for the two of you, a description of said date, and perhaps some items to go along with this date

But of course, I needed mine to be a bit different... and grander (not sure if that is a word)
So here is my version of the year of dates (sorry, there really aren't many photo's of the gifts. I was so determined to finish it on time that I forgot to take photo's along the way)

The treasure chest
The theme of this gift was adventure
Alexander loves going on adventures, and earlier in the year when I asked him to describe our relationship in a couple of words, he said an adventure
Awwwe, how sweet
So thanks to him, I had a theme to the present

For his card, I made him a treasure chest (nothing can ever be boring with me)
I had a little chest-like-box that I stained with coffee and vinegar (it smelled like a cafe after). Inside I popped in some old coins from different places I have traveled, some coral, some sea glass, some shells, a very special flower (I can tell you guys the story of the flower later), and a little rolled up map. On the map, I drew out Vancouver (the city where were have had the most adventures), and drew little red X's on all the places where have had any of our adventures (aka. dates, etc)
On top of this, I wrote him a little note

Then it was onto the tedious part
September's Date
With this treasure box came the 12 envelopes
In each envelope was a little card I made
Each card said the activity, and had a little scratchcard section at the bottom. This was a little lottery of how many times I will do any random nice thing for him. Like massages, etc
This was SO hard to do, because usually when people make heart shaped scratch cards, they have a heart punch, but I had to hand cut them
But I did it!
So I'm sure you guys are curious about what the dates were, so here they are! I hope you guys can use some of my idea's as inspiration for your dates!

♥ January Skiing and hot chocolate on my favorite mountain, Grouse
♥ February Skating... There is this beautiful open skating rink in the heart of downtown Vancouver called "Robson Skating"... and it's free!
♥ March Dinner and a movie... a classic!
♥ April Science World... science world is the coolest place in Vancouver in my opinion. It's this giant beautiful dome building aimed at every age group, and it's just a world of science. It has games, movies, exhibits, bee's, everything! And even though Alexander is a huge science nerd, my country boy has never been to Science world... so I'm pretty excited
♥ May Drive-in Movie.... Vancouver has a drive-in movie theater called the Twilight drive-in, how cute!
♥ June Haunted Tour of Downtown Victoria... Victoria is a city on Vancouver Island and it's the capital of BC. It's beautiful and old and super haunted. In the summer they have these walking tours that I have been dying to go on
♥ July Picnic... Head down to my favorite lake on a sunny day, feed the ducks, and eat!
♥ August Zoo/Aquarium... Alexander LOVES animals, so I know he would love the zoo, but I don't really support the Vancouver zoo. I don't think it's well managed, and they are constantly being sued on animal cruelty charges... but our Aquarium is awesome! Every ticket supports wildlife conservation, and we have the famous Vancouver otters... haven't seen them? LOOK THEM UP. You will die of cuteness, here is a link . So I decided I would give him a choice here of where he would want to go
♥ September Biking the Sea Wall... the sea wall is a long waterfront path in the beautiful Stanley park. And it's usually still sunny and warm in September
♥ October Stay in and relax... this will be around exam time, so I think it would be nice just to have a nice relaxing day to stay in and plan to do nothing
♥ November Board game night with Drinks and Friends.... This date is for us and our friends. I'm really looking forward for this one!
♥ December His choice... anything he wants and I can't complain... probably video games and takeout hahaha

Then it was onto the fun part

This is the part where I got a little bit crazy. For some of the months, there was a little present to go along with the date. With pretty much all of the versions of this gift I saw, most people just put little gift cards, and coupons in their envelopes, but I wanted this to be extra special, so here is a list of the presents he got with every month
The mugs for January... I wrote on our nicknames in sharpie and then baked it in the oven... I know, couple nicknames are nauseating 
♥ January Skiing and Hot Chocolate: "Apress Ski" hot chocolate, mugs, Warm roots socks
♥ February Skating: Starbucks gift card so we can warm up after skating
♥ March Movie: Movie tickets and free popcorn coupon
♥ April Science World: couldn't think of anything!
♥ May Drive-in Movie: Chocolate, jelly beans, McDonald's gift card so we can snack while we are there
♥ June Haunted Tour of Downtown Victoria: Couldn't think of anything
♥ July Picnic: Duck feed, Menu... I'm going to make cake in a jar, and then we are going to grab takeout from my favorite East African Restaurant... yum yum chicken pakora and mogo, here I come!
♥ August Zoo/Aquarium... couldn't think of anything
♥ September Biking the Sea Wall.... again... couldn't think of anything!
♥ October Stay in and relax
♥ November Board Game Night: Mini jaegermeister's and bailey's, apples to apples the board game
♥ December His choice

October's Bonus!
With some of the cards, there is a extra special bonus date!
January: The circus! This one was courtesy of my mom and dad. They got Alexander and I tickets for Amaluna by Cirque Du Soleil for Alex's early birthday present. If you have never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show, GO. It's life changing
June: Road Trip! This is way more for me than for him. I love road trips! With this I have included a mixed tape of all the crazy country songs he loves (I know I'm going to hear red solo cup about 1000 times by the end of it)
October: Nerf Wars! This is my favorite. I am SO excited for this one. As is said above, this will be around exam time, so this might be a fun way to blow off some steam! And guess what? Nerf guns were on sale the day I went shopping! I got two beautiful fully equipped nerf guns for the two of us (that's what's in the big box in the picture above)
November: Cleaning! Again, this one is more for me, but I know Alexander get stressed out when things are messy, so I thought it would be nice to set aside a time to do a complete turn over clean up day. And I have included a little intensive for this date.... homemade spider repellent. Alexander HATES spiders, and I found a recipe online, so I know he will be excited to try it out 

May's Date: Drive in Movie
Another thing that is also included in with some of the cards is a little sketch by me. I am by no means an artist, but I really did my best to illustrate some of the stuff we would be doing... I just thought it might be a nice little personal touch!

And there you have it! All of our adventures for the year!
Although I know this is going to be torture for Alexander. He loves getting presents, but he doesn't like waiting to open them!

If you guys are thinking of doing your own version of "a year of dates", than here are some links of some other people who have tried it, so maybe these can help you too!

Aside from Alexander's gift, I had some of my friends over during the holiday season to celebrate surviving our first term of University. Yay us!
So I thought it would be nice to make each of them little tile coasters
I set it up before they came over, and put them all in matching bags
On the front is another scratch card that has their initials on it. They had a lot of fun guessing who's is who's

Kennedy and I eating cake at the Rowing Nationals... annual tradition
The contents in each was identical. It was just two 4x4 pictures of me and the friend. It was just a nice reminder of all the fun times we have had over the years
If you want to learn how to make your own tile coasters, here is the link

Kennedy, Ju, and Rachel
And there you go!
Geez, that was a long post, hahaha
Do you guys have any good idea's for dates?
♥ Olivia


Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Ombre Nail

 Are you guys ready for the Ombre nail tutorial? Lately it's been all ombre, all the time. Ombre hair, ombre cakes, you name it... and now ombre nails.
This is probably my favorite nail design; however, this trick is pretty hard to get a hang off
So grab your makeup sponge, and 2-3 shades of nail polish, and get ready to ombre (is that a verb?) your nails 

As always, push down your cuticles, file your nail, wipe once with nail polish remover to make sure your nail is clean and oil free, and apply a base coat

Paint your nails with your base colour. You probably want to use your lighter colour on the bottom and your darker colour on the top. It just makes things a little easier.
Here I am using Minted by Revlon (stole it from my friend Kennedy because she's gone for the weekend... shhh don' tell her)

While those dry (and you want them completely dry before you start), cut up your sponge. This will just help you save your sponges as you will have more surface area to work with. Try to cut them so they are roughly the width of your nail... this will make the clean up at the end a little easier. Speaking of cleanup, you may want to smear some Vaseline on the skin around your nails so that you have an easier time cleaning up the manicure at the end... but this shouldn't get that messy, not like the Water Marble Tutorial!!

I have read a lot of tutorials on this, and watched a lot of videos on this technique, and there are a lot of different ways to do this. I have tried them all I think, and this is the one that works best for me. I will link some different kinds of tutorials at the end, in case you find those easier, but my technique is honestly the easiest

First, dab your second colour onto your sponge. Be liberal!
I am using some dollar store brand for my secondary colour, called Electric Pink

Now, dab your second colour on your nail. Start from the top, and work your way down. The point is, the top of your nail will get 3 dabs, the part below that will get 2 dabs, and the lowest part will get 1 dab. What way you will get a fading effect
make a gif image

As you can see in this picture, the result of using a sponge will be bumpy! So its vital you use a top clear  coat!

And there you go!

In case that was too confusing for you, or if you don't like the way I do it, here are some links to some other tutorials!
Here, they apply both colours on the sponge, on top of a white base coat:
Here is a great video:
Tips and Other Things:
  This trick may take a few tries, and finding your own way to do it will take a lot of trial and error... bear with it!!!
   If your nail polish isn't going on smoothly, you can either
a) put it in the fridge (nail polish hates warm temps) for a while
b) Add a few drops of nail polish remover to your nail polish (you can also do this if you are running low on your favorite colour)
    When filing your nails, make sure to move the file in only one direction (none of this side to side nonsense) or else you may ruin your nail bed
   If you are messy with your nail painting, try smearing some Vaseline on the skin around your nail... this will make sure that when you are done, you can just wipe off the nail polish around your nail easily
   If you let each coat dry before applying the next, then you will have a longer lasting mani... but who has time for that!?
 If you look at the first photo at the top of the tutorial of the ombre nails, there is an orange and yellow nail. For that I used yellow as my base, and then orange for the secondary colour, but then I also added a "in between" colour to help blend it easier (it was a light salmon colour)

If you guys have any questions, you can email me at, or easier yet, leave a comment bellow! Also, if you are curious about what colours I used in any of the pictures in this tutorial, let me know! I will try to find that out for you... I did some of these a while ago

Coming up next!
Pink tips!


Thursday, 24 January 2013

It's another Thursday!

It's Thursday again! They just seem to keep coming
Hopefully this song will help you guys get through the final stretch of the week

At least my friend Bobby is having a good Thursday... Happy Birthday to him!

Say strong! One more day till the weekend!

♥ Olivia

More String Art!

Hey guys! So for Christmas this year, my sister asked me to make her another String art board, except this time of Vancouver Island, because that is where her heart lives ;)

Vancouver Island, BC

If you miss my last string art post, or just want to take a look at my other string art boards, here is the link!

Hope you all have an excellent Thursday! As for myself, I didn't get to bed till 4:30 last night, so I am still recovering from that... but oh well, you're only a university student once!

♥ Olivia
. .

Thursday, 17 January 2013

It's a Thursday!

It's a Thursday :(
It least it sunny here! But maybe it's not where ever you are
So here is a song that will hopefully get you through the next day till the weekend starts

This song gets me every time :')

♥ Olivia

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

DIY Incense Holder

Although I have no wedding to plan, lately I have found myself stumbling around the hundreds of wedding planning websites out there. But who can resist ? They have the cutest craft ideas!
About two months ago I found a tutorial on Intimate Weddings describing how to make these beautiful clay ring bowls (click for the link here), and I couldn't wait to make one myself. So I made a few amendments to the original project, and here I give you...
The Clay Incense Holder 

♥ Oven Bake Clay- I use the sculpey brand... I'm not sure what other brands are like, but this one worked great. I got the 794g box which was about 20$ at michaels, but  with my 50% off coupon, this was a lot more reasonable. This box was enough to make 3 bowls
♥ Rolling Pin- I used a silicone rolling pin, but I don't think it makes a difference. If you are worried about ruining your rolling pin, just wrap it in some parchment paper
♥ Bamboo Skewer- Or any kind of skinny stick
♥ Fabric Dollie- Don't worry, it won't get ruined. The thicker the dollie, the deeper and more dramatic the pattern on your bowl will be
♥ A Lid- You want a diameter of about 6-7 inches. This will punch out the shape of your bowl
♥ A small-medium oven safe Bowl
♥ Sand Paper
♥ Parchment Paper- Optional
♥ Letter Stamps- Optional
♥ Super Glue- Optional, to glue the birds onto the bowl

Preheat your oven to 275 Degree's F, or 135 Degree's C

First remove about 1/3 of your clay from the box (if you have the 794g box) and lay it out on your parchment paper (I did this so I wouldn't ruin the counters)
It should be pretty hard to work with initially, so take small bits at a time and work it in your hands till it is warm and smooth... I rolled it in a ball to make the rest of the project easier

Next, Roll out the clay. As you can see in the picture, I have laid some parchment paper on top of the clay to make cleaning the rolling pin easier
Try to roll out the clay as evenly as possible, with a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch

Place your dollie on your clay, and gently roll your rolling pin over this.

Next, take your lid and cut a circle out of your clay. My clay got stuck in the lid, so beware

If you have decided to monogram your bowl, now is the time to do so
Try to pick short words or even initials. I chose the word OHM for a bowl I made my mom, and the word JOY for another one I made for my boyfriends family

Place your clay disk in your oven safe bowl. The deeper the oven safe bowl, the deeper your incense bowl will be
Also keep in mind that if the edges around your clay are rough and uneven (like mine in the picture above), than you are going to have a hell of a time sanding that out once the clay hardens (take my word for it). So try to smooth this out beforehand to the best of your ability 

Now, poke your bamboo skewer, and angle it so that when you put your incense in the hole, the ash doesn't drop off the edge. Keep in mind that the skewer will likely be thicker than your incense. If you have an incense stick on hand, then it may be a good idea to test it, as you will be able to fix it now, but once the clay is hard there is no going back.

Next, I made some little birdies to put on the edge of the bowl. These I totally ripped off from Intimate Weddings because I thought they were so cute. But you can chose anything... or nothing and save yourself some time. But if you have chosen to adorn your bowl, make sure to make a little indent on the bottom of your birds, so that when you go to glue the birds at the end, they fit on the edge of your bowl

Place your bowl and birds in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes
Time for a quick snack break!

Once the timer on your oven is up, remove your bowl and birds, and let it cool for 15-20 minutes
If your bowl has some rough edges or imperfections, buff them out with your sand paper... I spent a good long time working on this!
Also, if you did monogram your bowl, and the imprint is too shallow, then you can use your bamboo skewer to gingerly carve out the letters... Be careful with this step! You don't want to ruin your bowl!

And enjoy your new incense bowl!

If you have never tried incense, I strongly recommend it. It smells amazing, and it just creates this peaceful environment... and it's usually pretty cheep! 
You can purchase incense at used book stores, "hippie" shops, spiritual stores, Asian import stores, and even smoke shops. A brand I recommend is Nag Champa. Their incense is very widely distributed everywhere (I think), and it is usually sold in their trademark white and blue boxes. Here is the link to their website.

Hope you guys have a lovely week!

♥ Olivia