November 25, 2011 in In the Media
It’s the season of giving and Oprah has put together her infamous list of “Oprah’s Favourite Things!” I really miss the Oprah show for this particular episode. I do not, however, miss feeling super duper jealous when seeing her audience members indulging in the gifts. This year, she has put together more than one list for the Holiday Season. With that being said, our relaxing and playful bath pearls made it on her list of the best “Gifts Under $1.” At .35 cents each, these colourful lovelies are the perfect stocking stuffer!
November 25, 2011 in Beauty, In the Media
The fabulous Martha Stewart has jumped on the blog train and has launched her own blog called “How Lovely.” Within this blog is a series called, “Food Inspired Beauty Ingredient.” This is a very relevant series because really … who doesn’t love fruity scents?! They’re one of the top selling scents in the beauty industry. In fact, many of our products are exploding with delicious fruity scents! As a result, we’re happy to say that two of Upper Canada Soap’s products from the Fruit Frappe collection have been featured not once, but twice this month! Check them out below. Fruit Frappe Dry Oil in Pear and Mangosteen ($14) This 2-phase Dry Body Oil is the perfect moisturizing nourishment for your skin. Spray all over and feel your skin transform into soft silk. Fruit Frappe Whipped Hand Repair Balm in Cranberry Moro Orange ($10) Cranberry Moro Orange – Comfort your hands with this nature-rich formulation. A unique blend of natural extracts work together to condition and soften your hard working hands. Made with all natural ingredients. What’s your favourite fruity scent?
November 25, 2011 in Life
Courtesy of the amazing, local, organic Fresh City Farms, we have a delicious and healthy dish to try this weekend. This versatile pilaf would work perfectly as a side dish to chicken or fish, but it’s equally delicious as the main dish, when used as a stuffing. Try it this week as a stuffing in your squash or green peppers! Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken or vegetable broth 1/3 cup chopped oven-dried tomatoes** 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed, diced 3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only) 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 3 cups freshly cooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 1 cup uncooked) 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Optional: ½ cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts Instructions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Three options for use and preparation: If using squash, trim stem off and cut squash in half. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and brush the cut side with olive oil. Bake, cut side down, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over and let cool slightly while you prepare stuffing. If using green peppers, then cut the top off the pepper, stem included, so that you can stuff and replace the top as a lid. Set aside. If using as a side dish, then prepare an 8×8 baking dish by greasing lightly with olive oil. Bring broth and tomatoes just to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat; let
November 24, 2011 in Fashion, Uncategorized
I went to the Jayz and Kanye West concert last night at the Air Canada Center and was BLOWN away. Literally, they had fire shooting from the stage. I digress. On my way to the concert, I saw a large and shiny black trailer with “Rocawear” painted across it in big block letters. Then, it dawned on me that aside from being EPIC and Beyonce’s baby daddy, Jay-Z is also a fashion aficionado. He owns his very own clothing line that blends streetwear with runway styles called, Rocawear. In fact, it seems that every celebrity has their own clothing line. This leads me to ask one question, would you purchase a sweater because you liked it or because it’s from Gwen Stefani’s line, LAMB? I think … purchasing a sweater from a celebrity line is not like purchasing one that was produced by an established fashion house like Versace, Prada or Dolce and Gabanna. When asked who made your sweater, you can’t bashfully smile and say, “Oh, it’s Jessica Simpson,” like you can when it’s Versace. Isn’t that one of the main reasons most of us fall victim to a gorgeous designer piece? Having a piece from a celebrity line doesn’t hold the same cache as it does if it were from Miu Miu. Am I right or am I right? Actually, if you take a step back and look at 90% of the celebrity fashion lines, most are made for the common person – in that anyone can wear their pieces and it’s
November 21, 2011 in Life
One of my favourite things to do on a brisk Fall day is read … with a nice glass of red wine (obvs). My friends have been ranting and raving about Tina Fey’s book, Bossy Pants, since its release in the summer. I hesitated in jumping on the bandwagon because I’m not usually one for biographies. I’m more of a fiction lover, but was persuaded otherwise this time… only because Tina Fey is absolutely awesome. Let me tell you, ten pages in and I fell in love. It was raw, honest and hilarious – in a self-deprecating manner. Fey delves into every single fibre that makes up the brilliant and, most times, awkward tapestry that is her life. She transitions seamlessly from her humble childhood in West Philadelphia to her defining moments as an adult. She even tells you how she got the scar on her chin. Everyone has a strong parental figure that shapes their life. It’s either your mom or dad, or both. In Fey’s case, it was her dad, Don Fey. To sum it up, he’s an intimidating badass. Apparently, if he told you to jump, you’d Google how to build rocket shoes and fly to the moon – all just to impress him. Powerful men like SNL creator, Lorne Michaels, and 30 Rock star, Alec Baldwin, step down to him. Think of Chuck Norris, but Greek. That’s Don Fey. A majority of the book discusses her love life, or lack thereof. Fey talks about how her strategy
November 15, 2011 in Beauty
It’s a beautiful fall day and I’m sitting here, depressed, listening to the emotional ballads of Canadian songstress, Jan Arden. This is why … I just called my hair salon to book an appointment and was greeted with terrible news. My trusted hair stylist that I’ve been seeing for years has moved back home to Ottawa. “No! You’re totally punking me!” I politely yelled. The receptionist confirmed that she was, in fact, not punking me … and no, she doesn’t know Ashton Kutcher. I replied with a slew of questions, but I knew that any answer I’d receive would not undo this pain and, ultimately, un-break my heart (sorry – was just listening to Toni Braxton this morning). More importantly, it would not bring back my beloved hair stylist – who had magical hands and a penchant for all things wonderful. I confided with my friends about this situation and they all replied with, “I’m sorry for your loss.” They went on to tell me a story about how they, too, have lost a dear hair stylist. My friend, Christian, followed one hair stylist from salon to salon for 11 years until he couldn’t anymore. My friend, Kim, reminisced about her lovely hair stylist, Courtney, whom she had to leave behind when she graduated University. This made me think … how can one person that you see every two or three months have such an impact on your life? It’s simple. A hair stylist is more than just someone who fashions your coif. They’re confidants
November 15, 2011 in Life
The Little Beauty Blog is not just about beauty and fashion, it’s about living life beautifully. This includes food, because really what could make you happier than a great meal, a glass of wine and good company? I wanted to kick off the recipes series with a nice, simple and delicious dish that would put a smile on anyone’s face on a brisk fall day. Courtesy of Fresh City Farms, an amazing urban farm in Toronto, we are able to share with you a soup that many in the office have called “happiness in a bowl.” The recipe below is for Lemon Parsnip Soup. Ingredients: 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter or vegetable oil 1 onion, peeled and chopped 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh tarragon or thyme leaves 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon peel 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper 6 cups (1.5 L) peeled, chopped parsnips 10 cups (2.5 L) chicken broth or vegetable broth 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice tarragon or thyme sprigs lemon slice Instructions Heat butter in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion, thyme, lemon peel, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the parsnips; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until parsnips become tender. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, for 20 to 25 minutes or until parsnips are very soft. Transfer parsnip mixture to a blender or food processor in batches. Purée until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and bring to a boil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve in
November 14, 2011 in Beauty
I love winter. It’s my favourite season for many reasons … the fashions, holiday music, the abundance of food, ice skating (I don’t actually do this, but it’s nice to think of) … and the list goes on. What I don’t love about the winter is the harsh climate conditions that result in dry skin and chapped lips. If you don’t want to look or feel like a velociraptor or any pre-historic animal for that matter, check out the winter skin tips below. Hydrate Yourself 70% of our bodies are made out of water. Therefore, it is crucial for your overall health to keep hydrated. I completely understand – it’s hard to make it a point to drink eight cups of water throughout the day, but try always having a full glass of water around. You’ll be reaching for that instead of your cup of coffee in no time. Water ($0.00). Exfoliate Clear out your skin for the new season. Starting with cleaner and healthier skin ensures your winter skin-care routine to be much more effective. Try the Naturally Coarse Scrub Rub in Wild Mint Lime ($16.00). Made with mineral rich Dead Seasalt, this body scrub provides the ultimate exfoliation while it soothes and re-mineralizes the skin; leaving it super soft and well nourished. Bathe in Liquid Gold Relax! There is no doubt that stress ages you and makes you look tired and haggard. End your day with a relaxing and deliciously scented bubble bath. The Golden Maple Sugar Bubble Bath ($12.00) is one of the
November 10, 2011 in Fashion
Do you know what I love waking up to every morning other than a buttery croissant and a warm vanilla latte? A fabulous YouTube video! One of our lovely Brand Managers at Upper Canada Soap, Leslie, forwarded an email to me this morning with a YouTube video about how one can wear a scarf in 25 different ways. I didn’t know that this was even possible! Because of Wendy (www.wendyslookbook.com), the cute and charming woman in this video, we are all able to bundle up and stay fashionable. My favourite thing about this video is the way that it’s edited – it slows down and turns all Matrix-like at the “difficult” parts to ensure that you do it right. If you’re not one of the 4 million that have already seen the video (amazing), check it out below! What’s your favourite way to wear a scarf? Comment below!
November 8, 2011 in Beauty, Life
Tom Selleck. Salvador Dali. Burt Reynolds. What do all of these men have in common? They have awesome moustaches. There are two things that November 1st is known for in Canada – the day that Halloween candy goes on sale for 50% off (my favourite day ever) and the first day that thousands of men in Canada and the rest of the world follow in the footsteps of the men above by starting their month-long moustache campaign to raise vital awareness and money for men’s cancers (mainly prostate and testicular). This is known as Movember. If your boyfriend, husband or even friend is sprouting a “mo’” for this amazing cause, here is a list of products from Upper Canada Soap that will help. High Quality Razor and Brush Shaving Kit It’s a moustache, not a beard. This high quality and stylish razor and brush set will help your man shape his moustache into his desired shape (handlebar, horseshoe, mistletoe etc.). The horseshoe is my personal favourite. ($40) Buy here. Fruit Frappe Foaming Shower Gel Help avoid razor burn and use our deliciously scented Fruit Frappe foaming gel as a shaving cream! It’s okay to share your products with your man … but only if it’s for a good cause. Plus, wouldn’t you rather kiss a cheek that smells like Grapefruit with Gooseberry than “Turbo Ice Moutain” anyway? ($12) Buy here. Naturally Nourishing Lip Balm Speaking of kissing, keep his lips moisturized underneath his bushy mo’ with our Naturally Nourishing Lip