Motel Hamilton- Restaurant Review

The new (and adorable) little Sister to School Toronto is Motel Hamilton. After some major construction, transformation, and face-lifting, Motel Hamilton officially opened its doors on June 9, 2017. It is slated to be, if not already is, one of the hottest brunch spots in Hamilton. With its Palm Spring’s decor, delicious food and drink menu, you will forget you’re only about an hour outside of Toronto.

IMG_8161

If you’re looking for a new place for brunch/lunch in the Hamilton area, go check-in to Motel, you’re sure to enjoy your stay, I know I did!

IMG_8139

When you pull up to the restaurant, you will see the adorable little pastel pink MOTEL sign, and until you walk in (or peak in the window) you wouldn’t really look twice at it. The second you walk in you are instantly hit with Palm Springs motel chic, the smell of delicious food, and the enthusiasm and smiles of the staff!

IMG_8157

IMG_8147

IMG_8155

Before all the hype began and bloggers and foodies from allover began flooding into Motel Hamilton I was lucky enough to visit shortly after it first opened. Lucky for me, this meant it was less busy, making for optimal photo-shooting time.

IMG_8131IMG_8126IMG_8124IMG_8112

The pastel pink walls, palm leaves, and little motel details really transform this restaurant into a work of art!

IMG_8113

IMG_8136

IMG_8143

IMG_8138

An old pastel pink rotary phone sits at the “front-desk” otherwise known as the “lobby bar”.

IMG_8133

Neon lights are popping up all over the place lately, I love the quirky little detail and homage to a real motel of this one!

We were seated instantly and started off with drinks. The speciality drink menu  (The 5 O’cocktails)  isn’t extensive, but the regular drink menu has everything you would need and more. The cocktail menu drinks run at $12.00 a glass or “Motel-sized” for an extra $2.50. Of course, seeing the Flamingo Sangria I knew immediately I would be ordering that. My boyfriend went with a twist on a classic Caesar and got the Bacon Bourbon Caesar. Once we received our drinks I began taking some pictures, because who could resist photographing cocktails like these?

IMG_8097

Since it wasn’t too busy, one of the staff asked if we’d like to move over to the white table as it was “better for pictures”. I couldn’t have agreed more, and immediately jumped at the opportunity. I was glad he did because my plated food pictures turned out 100% better because of it. There’s something about food on a sleek white table that really grabs the attention to your followers and is proven to be visually more effective.

THE DRINKS

IMG_8100IMG_8101IMG_8110IMG_8103IMG_8106IMG_8108

I’m not a fan of super sweet/sugary cocktails but this sangria had just the right amount for me, with a good mix of bubbly!

IMG_8099

I seriously could have stayed and ate (and drank) here all day, the decor was serious goals!

IMG_8125

Taking a sneak peak at the decor before hand on Instagram, I knew exactly what I was going to wear! I’m a huge fan of themes, so when I saw the pastel perfection and Palm Spring’s decor at Motel Hamilton ,there’s no way I wasn’t going to incorporate palm leaves and flamingos (always) into my outfit! One of the staff members even complimented my outfit and said it was matched perfectly with the decor (success!)

IMG_8121IMG_8119IMG_8117

THE FOOD

IMG_8115

IMG_8107

In keeping with traditional brunch, I went for the Charred & Smashed Avocado Croissant (because, avocado, always!) It came with a side of tasty kale salad! The croissant was very fresh, and the eggs were perfectly cooked. They even stayed good after all the pictures I had to take of my food first!

My boyfriend, being the boy that he is, went for the ultimate match made it brunch heaven, chicken and waffles. The waffle was topped with vanilla honey butter, a sweet and salty sauce, and buttermilk fried chicken. While I’m not a fan of waffles, fried chicken has a large part of my heart, so I tried some of his. It was perfectly spiced and battered with undoubtedly moist chicken!

IMG_8105IMG_8102IMG_8109

The food was so yummy and so visually appealing that they basically photographed themselves!

IMG_8096

HELLOOOOOO PINK WALLS!

I would without a doubt recommend this restaurant and can’t wait to go back and visit again!  There were lots of items on the menu I had my eye on, saving them for the next time knowing I would be back.

IMG_8156

Thanks for stopping in!

Head over to my  Instagram to follow along my tasty and fashionable journey!

xoxo,
Sara

If Summer Were A Dress

Summer has met it’s match. This dress embodies what summer style is all about: floral prints, white, breezy, flounce material. You’ll feel as carefree and effortless as you look in this adorable dress from H&M.

IMG_7879

IMG_7901IMG_7899IMG_7898IMG_7897IMG_7894IMG_7892IMG_7887

Put a meadow on your dress and twirl into summer!

IMG_7886IMG_7885IMG_7878IMG_7877IMG_7876IMG_7874IMG_7915IMG_8280IMG_8273IMG_8270IMG_7872IMG_7870

IMG_7917

In keeping with the effortless summer-chic, I tossed my hair up into a messy bun (one of those messy buns that actually worked out for once!)

IMG_7906

IMG_7914

IMG_7913IMG_7911IMG_7908IMG_7904

Dress (great deal!), |Earrings- Hudson’s Bay (similar here),|Peep-toe slides- Winners (similar here),|Sunglasses (Quay Australia)- (available on ASOS,| straw clutch bag- Winners (similar here).

Are we friends on Instagram yet?

xoxo,

Sara

 

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Don’t go bacon my heart!

IMG_7593

These sweet and salty cupcakes are sure to please any crowd! I whipped up a batch of these for Canada Day, since they included two Canadian classics (maple and bacon!) The moist maple cupcake, topped with vanilla icing with a drizzle of maple syrup and bits of crispy bacon will have you wanting more and more!

IMG_7598

IMG_7603

You eat bacon for breakfast, so these are basically a breakfast item right?

The bacon dessert trend hit the food scene a few years ago and continues to be added to a number of sweet treats, so I decided to take a run at it! Maple and bacon have always been a match made in heaven, so there were high hopes for these cupcakes!

IMG_7594

Making these cupcakes was my very first encounter using bacon in dessert. I was excited to hear and see what everyone thought of them. The reviews were good and everyone loved them!

IMG_7596

PREP TIME
20 mins
COOK TIME
18 mins
TOTAL TIME
38 mins

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 box of white cake mix (I cheated because hey, these recipes are perfected so why mess with a good thing?)
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil- use half, half bacon grease
  • bacon grease (grease from cooking bacon in a pan)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Optional: 1 tsp of maple extract

Frosting:

  • 2 containers of white frosting (also cheated on making this from scratch)
  • 2 Tbsp of maple syrup

Topping:

  • maple syrup, to drizzle over cupcakes
  • 6-8 crispy bacon strips cut into small pieces
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. (I used Canada Day themed ones on this occasion)
  2. Combine ingredients as stated on the box + the bacon grease, and maple syrup (and maple extract if you’re included that.)
  3. Start pouring mixture into cupcake liners filing just over halfway.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes.Take out of the oven and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting! (important step or you’ll get runny icing– speaking from experience.

Frosting:

  • Transfer your maple frosting into a piping bag using the piping tip of choice.
  • Crumble crispy bacon on top and drizzle with maple syrup!
  • Add festive little touches like Canadian flags, etc.

VOILA!

IMG_7599IMG_7600IMG_7597IMG_7595

I will definitely be making these again, they were super simple and stayed really moist from the bacon grease added to the mix!

IMG_7592

Talk Derby To Me- DIY Derby Party

Anyone that knows me knows I am the biggest fan of themed parties so when a friend suggested doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I jumped at the idea. I also love to decorate and party plan, and so the fun began…

IMG_4855

If you are like me and have always wanted to attend the Kentucky Derby but just can’t fathom the cost, this was a great alternative and fun to see everyone dress up in their best Derby attire. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones that gets to attend the coveted Derby and rock a beautiful floral dress and elaborate hat/fascinator, why not try an at-home version instead?

The Attire:

What’s even more important than the race itself is all the beautiful fashion that comes with it. I have to say I’m guilty for following along every year on social media only to check out the derby style with the upmost envy!

IMG_4820

Fascinator: Obsessions Fashion, Dress: Banana Republic

The good news is, since you will be doing a DIY version your outfit really doesn’t have to break the bank! For the ladies, you’re more than likely to find a floral or flowy dress already in your closet! The Kentucky Derby is known for its over the top hats and fascinators so having one is a must!  Finding a big floppy hat or fascinator will really top off your look! A lot of my friends bought hats from the dollarstore and then glued on flowers and they looked amazing!  For the gentlemen, wear a pair khakis or pastel coloured pants and throw on fun colour/print shirt, a sports jacket and of course, a bowtie and straw fedora!IMG_5007

My favourite accessory store (Obsessions Fashion) gifted me with this beautiful white fascinator adorned with small feather details and stunning veil.

Sips/Snacks:

I kept the food to a minimum so the focus would be on the fun games and everyone socializing! Of course no Derby is complete without mint juleps. I made a large jug of it using (Powdered sugar, Bourbon whiskey, Water, and Mint leaves  ). Add some fun straws into mason jars or traditional julep silver cups to get the real experience! Next on the food table were mini pulled pork sliders, easy to pick up and eat. The pork was cooked in bourbon bbq sauce (bourbon whisky is the liquor of the South).

IMG_4852

IMG_5391IMG_5392IMG_5393

Bourbon Barrel Stout and Bourbon Whisky straight from Kentucky were the perfect touch to the bar!

AG Macarons donated this beautiful assortment of colourful French macarons that matched perfectly with the décor on the table and were to die for!

IMG_4972IMG_4974IMG_4977

Now to the Cadillac of cakes…this 14k gold dipped cake from The Social Cupcake is seriously #cakegoals. When I was envisioning my Birthday cake this was exactly what I had in mind from top to bottom. I cannot thank the wonderful staff for making all my cake dreams come true, it made my Birthday extra special. I had also planned to have the cake match the photo booth wall.  The first tier was vanilla cake with classic buttercream icing and the second layer was red velvet with cream cheese icing. I still cannot get over every single detail of this cake and how intricate these flowers are (would you believe me if I told you they were edible, you better believe it!

IMG_5034

IMG_4826IMG_5018IMG_4836IMG_4840

IMG_4839

IMG_4998IMG_4999IMG_5003IMG_5002IMG_5040IMG_5044

Décor:

Once I landed on doing a Kentucky Derby themed party I started to think of décor. After googling a few images right away tons of flowers popped up and the ideas starting flowing. Thanks to Bloomingful Flowers, guests were able to capture their Derby looks infront of this stunning customized 8 foot paper flower wall. Fill a box with lots of props and extra floppy hats, etc so the guests can get creative with their pictures and have something to remember 🙂

IMG_4613

IMG_4612

 I picked up this fake grass from Homesense it was the perfect compliment to the floral backdrop!

IMG_4822IMG_4823

The illuminating circle lamp was the selfie light we didn’t know we needed in our lives.

The tissue paper flowers were so beautiful and exactly the look that I was going for a (indoor) garden party!

IMG_4614IMG_4615IMG_4805

IMG_4901

I carried out the flower theme with the rest of the décor, adding it to the food table along with the entrance in the front foyer.

IMG_4849

The majority of the decor I found from Homesense or Winners. The white horse head (Winners), Green Leaf Balls (Homesense), Faux Flowers (Homesense), Stone Containers (Homesense), Plastic Trophies, Horses, Grass, , Mason Jars/Straws, Plastic White Fence (Dollarama), “Derby” Letters and Marquee Horseshoe (Michaels). IMG_4846

I used the hashtag “Talk Derby To Me” for the night because I love a good pun. This Lightbox by (My Cinema Lightbox) is a great decor piece that lets you get creative and express yourself with fun quotes or puns to really set the mood!  The adorable faux-fur wraps for the bottles I picked up from Winners.

Games:

No Derby party is complete without horse racing! I did a simple DIY version that had guests placing bets on toy horses to win the pot of money! I bought a green plastic tablecloth from Party City and then used green tape to outline the lines of the “track”. I made 6 starting positions where each of the players horses would start. For the horses, I picked up a package of toy horses from Dollarama and spray painted them gold. You will also need 6 dice.

Each player wagers $1 (or higher if you’re feeling lucky) and then each player rolls a dice to assign a horse. Next, roll all 6 of the dice, the number on the dice corresponds with which horse gets to move (i.e 662344- the “6” horse moves two spots, the “2” and “3” horse move 1 and the “4” horse moves two spots. First horse to cross the finish lines wins the pot!

Derby themed Bingo:

I printed off a number of bingo cards that had derby-themed sayings. This was simple to do since all I had to do was print and cut and have pens out for the players! I cut one card and placed all the sayings into a hat and pulled them from there.

Horseshoes:

Unfortunately with the cold weather we couldn’t do any outdoor games so I had to improvise with horseshoes by doing it indoors. I found a small plastic ring-toss game from the dollar store and spray painted it gold. It may not have been the best game of horseshoes but it did the trick and fit the theme, which was really what it was all about!

Bean-bag toss:

I picked up this game from Homesense for $29.00, quick and easy installation and safe to play indoors if you have the room to spread out the boards.

IMG_5394

Safe to say I got down and derby and horsed around all night!

IMG_4819IMG_5006xoxo

Sara

Weekend Getaway- Queen’s Landing (NOTL)

On the Easter weekend (which also happened to be my Birthday) my boyfriend treated me to a weekend getaway at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-On-The-Lake (“NOTL”). Neither of us had ever been to NOTL before, so you can imagine my excitement when we pulled up to this beautiful hotel for our first NOTL experience. I mean, who could say no to staying in a magical place like this, enjoying the local shops, and to top it all off, local wine tours! It really made me feel like a Birthday princess, and every girl deserves that on their Birthday, and really, any day! Head over to my Instagram to see some posts of our stay!

IMG_5068

We drove up on the Friday morning (it was a holiday for most, so the traffic was lighter than normal). Typically, the drive is about an hour and half from Toronto, not bad at all for a little escape from the big city !

The Hotel:

Queen’s Landing is a beautiful sprawling historic inn that overlooks the water that blends old world class with modern amenities. We even got to take in a beautiful sunset on our last night there down by the water! The hotel isn’t on the main strip which is nice because its less busy and is a short scenic walk passing by old Victorian homes.

IMG_4101

(Jacket: Zara,  Sweater: J-Crew, Shoes (Tory Burch), Sunglasses (Quay Australia)

With its large white pillars and beautiful gardens it has a really inviting setting right from the drive in.  I felt like royalty the second we turned the corner and saw the wrought-iron fences and a glimpse of the beautiful grounds. Parking was right out front which was convenient for moving our stuff into the room along with available free valet parking.  There is also WiFi in the public areas, which made blogging on the go a breeze! The lobby presented guests with sophistication and charm with the antique décor and fresh flowers everywhere. There were a lot of couples coming in to check out the Inn as a potential wedding venue and I can certainly see the appeal, it’s absolutely breathtaking!

IMG_5095

Checking-in was a breeze and within minutes we were up to our room where a rose lay on the pillow (such a special touch!) Since it was my Birthday there was also a special bottle of wine and a cheese board in the fridge from my boyfriend’s parents, I was on cloud-nine within minutes of seeing all of this!  There was also complimentary water, which you don’t always see at hotels.

IMG_5086

IMG_5087

IMG_4141

After settling in and dropping off our bags it was off to a late lunch in the beautiful quaint downtown. Lucky for us it was a nice warm and sunny day so we walked around for hours checking out all the little shops and restaurants. We went to the Angel’s Inn for some pub-style food, it was delicious, and great drinks! I was also told I had to check out the basement as it was supposedly haunted, safe to say I went and came back pretty quick!

Downtown was bustling with tons of people coming to spend a beautiful Good Friday in NOTL. I was told it isn’t typically that busy but because it was a long weekend there were larger crowds than normal. Nonetheless, we were able to enjoyably walk around and grab food and drinks no problem.

IMG_4140IMG_4139

We came across THE cutest storefront and of course I had to snap a pic!

After walking around for a few hours we went back to the room, got changed and decided we’d head into Buffalo for a few hours of shopping! One of the other joys of NOTL is it close proximity to the border. From door to door including going through the border it took only 30 minutes!

We got back to NOTL around 9:30 pm and decided to go back to the Angel’s Inn for a late dinner since we enjoyed it so much at lunch. There was a live band and everyone was singing and dancing, it was a really fun atmosphere at night!

On Saturday we spent the better part of the day on a wine tour, visiting 3 local wineries. The wine tour started around 10:30 so we were up and at ‘em pretty early after catching a quick breakfast. Our tickets were purchased on Travel Zoo and included a trolley car style bus (think San Francisco) to pick us up, take us from winery to winery, and then get us safely home. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the greatest that day and was raining quite heavily for most of the tour. Luckily most of them were indoors and for one we were only outdoors for a little to check out the amazing vineyard. I would really enjoy coming back in the summer to do another wine tour on a hot sunny day.

IMG_5088

After a few hours wine touring, our bus took us back to our hotel. After a lot of wine tastings it was time to head back to the room to enjoy our cheese platter and more wine, because why stop there? We did a nice walk around the hotel since Friday we didn’t spend much time inside the hotel. We checked out the bar and restaurant along with library, and the pool/gym facilities. We didn’t get a swim in, but it looked lovely, there was also a hot tub and sauna, I guess that just means we will have to go back!

IMG_5228IMG_5229

IMG_5100IMG_5099IMG_5098IMG_5097

More pineapple spotting!

IMG_5101IMG_5102IMG_5103

I loved all the décor throughout the hotel, but I especially took a liking to this hallway with its palm leaves and bright white colours, I could have taken pictures here all day.

IMG_5096

And then I did…

IMG_4138

We also visited one of the sister hotels of Queen’s Landing, The Prince of Wales. This hotel was just as charming inside, with the most adorable tea-room, definitely stopping in for teatime next time I’m back!

IMG_5203

(Sunglases: Quay Australia, Top: Banana Republic, Jeans: H&M, Shoes:Winners)

IMG_5226

It was one of those Summer-like Spring days so we stopped in a local cafe for some gelato!

IMG_5225I couldn’t help but stop to say hello to the beautiful horses outside the Prince of Wales Hotel. This beautiful girl was named Cinderella, I loved her right away (look at that adorable little flower!) There were horse and carriage rides available that would take you around town in style! IMG_4604

What better way to greet a horse named Cinderella than by wearing all tulle and sparkly “glass slippers”?!

IMG_4602

IMG_5198

IMG_5177

IMG_5179IMG_5178IMG_5180

This town is seriously out of a movie, everywhere I turned I found more and more charm!

IMG_5181IMG_5182IMG_5188IMG_5190IMG_5191IMG_5192

IMG_5196

Never too old for tulle and glitter!

(Top: Zara, Skirt: H&M, Shoes, Top Shop, Clutch: Tory Burch, Necklace: Kate Spade)

Before dinner we decided to go down for a walk by the waterfront since the rain cleared out and it ended up being a beautiful night with a stunning sunset. It was only a few minutes to walk down and there was a lot to see along the way. I can only imagine how stunning it is with all the sail boats out in the summer. Our hotel had a wonderful outdoor patio was stunning views of the water.

We decided to take the free private shuttle that you order from the hotel that takes you in and out of downtown. I think this was a great addition, especially when a lot of guests have been out on wine tours!

IMG_5062

(Top & Pants: Banana Republic, Shoes: Payless, Clutch: Tory Burch)

IMG_5221

IMG_5219IMG_5218IMG_5217

IMG_4449

Couldn’t get enough of this sunset, I could’ve watched it forever!

After dinner and some more drinks (surprise, surprise) we walked back to the hotel since it was only a 10 minute walk or less and was a beautiful night to do it! The front of the hotel was beautifully lit up when we returned, what a perfect way to cap off our magical stay!

IMG_5104

There are 142 guest rooms within the Inn that are all furnished with luxurious bedding, a safe inside the closet along  with high-speed and wireless internet.  There was also a flat-screen t.v and a small gas fireplace (ver cozy touch.) Both the bathroom and the room itself were very spacious. With the added comfort of the 2-inch mattress pad, we slept very well!

IMG_4455

(Top: Urban Planet, Pajama Bottoms: Old Navy)

Sunday morning we had an Easter brunch back in the city so unfortunately we didn’t get to stick around past 10:00 a.m. It was another beautiful day, I really did not want to leave! I brought home with me my two beautiful roses that were left on the bed as a reminder of our lovely time at Queen’s Landing.

IMG_4201IMG_4203

IMG_4333

(Dress: Winners, Sunglasses: Quay Australia, Purse: H&M)

Next time you are planning a visit to NOTL, whatever the occasion, be sure to check out Queen’s Landing, you will not be disappointed!

I can’t wait to visit again soon, thank you Queen’s Landing for a wonderful weekend getaway!

IMG_4130

xoxo

Sara

IMG_5202

Clarins Open Spa Launch Party

Earlier this week I was so fortunate to be able to attend the opening of Clarins Open Spa at the Hudson’s Bay Queen Street location in Toronto. This marked the official opening of the spa counter in North America, this is 1 of 3 locations, how cool is that?!

image

For just $35 you can enjoy a 30 minute luxury spa experience, it doesn’t get much better than that! An affordable luxury experience is right up my alley, I can’t wait until I can come in next for my next spa treatment!

The 30 minute Clarins Open spa offers 7 different treatments for both men and women. It starts with a consultation and they will even touch up your makeup at the end. This is great if you want to get a quick spa fix before work, or on your lunch so you can go back relaxed and looking better than ever!

imageimageimage

imageimage

These were some pics I snapped of the products used inside the existing spa room that Clarins had for longer spa sessions.

Let’s talk about the details of this amazing event! Upon arrival Dave’s guests were greeted with Clarins signature cocktails (cranberry and apple), or your choice of red or white wine. The cocktails were flowing all night along with a wide assortment of gourmet appetizers from Oliver and Bonacini. They were all so delectable and I couldn’t pass them up every time they came back with a platter!

image

image

image

My first time trying duck, it was delicious!

imageimage

The brie with grilled mushrooms was my absolute fave, I think I had about 4 of these!

imageimageimageimage

The macarons were beautiful and I couldn’t let them go without being photographed! We had bluberry, pistachio and hazelnut options!

I’m such a sucker for details so naturally the beautiful white flowers caught my attention right away! The red carpet was an amazing touch, and made us all feel so special to attending this exclusive event! We were introduced to the president of Clarins Canada, such a humble and beautiful lady, the national sales director and the director behind the Spa experience, another beautiful lady with a beautiful and bubbly personality! Eric Antoniotti visited all the way in from Paris. Eric is an international artistic and training directior and wait until I share some exciting news about my night with him below!

image

image

The marketing and PR team put on an amazing event and I had a great time getting to chat with them. I enjoyed the cocktail experience at this event as we were able to socialize a lot in a casual yet beautiful atmosphere surrounded by Clarins beauty products. Of course, I couldn’t do my thanks without mentioning the man of the hour (always), Dave Lackie. Dave has connected so many beautiful influencers, bloggers and beauty enthusiasts through the events and I couldn’t thank him enough! If you don’t already follow Dave and love beauty products, follow him for some awesome giveaways and beauty tips!

image

image

I was so lucky to have my makeup done by the one and only Eric! I can’t stress enough how talented this man is and how enthusiastic he is about Clarins and every detail that goes into each and every product. . In addition to beautifying  my eyes, Clarins has joined up with the Pur Projet which is committed to planting 10,000 trees for medical or cosmetic use. This will help revive the Kuntanawa culture of the Amazon

I was so amazed by the smokey eye look that Eric created for me using Clarins “The Essentials Eye Makeup Palette”. This palette is made with 10 beautiful shades, Eric used 4 to create my look!  What amazed me even more was how effortless Eric made this look, and even gave me pointers on how to recreate this look myself. I will definitely be picking up this palette, its absolutely everything and more!

Getting the ultimate VIP treatment!!

imageimage

The final reveal…

imageimageimage

I couldn’t believe how much this makeup made my eyes pop, I received so many compliments on it! I was already wearing Clarins lipstick in plum, I think it was a great pairing for the smokey eye look!

I really did not want to take this makeup off, it was too beautiful and I wanted to enjoy it forever! Now, I can only hope that I can recreate it myself, I think it would be a perfect makeup look for the holidays!

imageimageimageimageimageimage

The “Rosewood” shade is absolutely stunning and I think it’s what really made this look so fantastic!

I can’t wait to try out all these products and share my experience with you. I have already been using the Clarins lip oil for a few months and I am so impressed with it. I put it on at night before bed or before I put my lipstick on for a flawless application. All of these products are available at the Clarins beauty counter in Hudson’s Bay, Hudson’s Bay.com or Clarins.com

image

image

imageimageimageimageimageimage

I got so excited about sharing the products inside my gift bag that I forgot to post a picture of one of the items. I later realized when I was putting away my lovely new products that I had forgot one (and I think this one is going to be my favourite once the cold temperatures creep in and the dry skin comes out!)

image

Be sure to check out #ClarinsOpenSpa on Twitter and Instagram for a look at the evening through the eyes of all the lucky attendees!

Of course I couldn’t resist snapping some outfit pictures!

I got a lot of compliments on my bell-sleeve top. It’s from H&M, but I haven’t seen it available in stores for a while! The plunging neckline black jumper dress is also H&M! Layering blouses, or turtlenecks under dresses is HUGE in fashion this season so I decided to give it a try.  I finished my look with Franco Sarto leather boots and decided to add clip-on pom-poms to the side of my boots!

image

This top makes me feel like royalty!

image

image

Thanks so much for a beautiful evening with so many beautiful people!

xoxo

Instagram: staffordable_blog

Twitter: staff_sara

Banana Pecan Cake

I always seem to have extra bananas lying around that are just waiting to be added to a recipe.

Instead of my usual use of bananas in banana bread I decided to add them to a cake using cake mix from the box (secret’s out!)

This recipe is so simple and you can even use it to whip up a quick bananna bread. It came out so moist and the pecans added a nice crunch.

What you’ll need:

* 1 white cake mix box (follow recipe on box to make a regular cake)

* 2-3 ripe banannas

* 1/2 cup of butter

* half a teaspoon of baking soda

*2 containers of store bough cream cheese frosting. You can make it yourself, but I find this way easier and I’m all about easy baking!

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your cake pans.
  2. Follow the instructions on the cake mix box. Using an electric mixer, mix in the baking soda and butter.
  3. Mash banannas
  4. Chop pecans
  5.  Stir in mashed bananas and chopped pecans
  6. Top with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans.

This cake was a huge hit. It was so easy to take a simple boxed cake mix and turn it into another delicious banana recipe!

Enjoy!

image

image

image