Home for the Holidays

I cannot believe we’ve already embarked on our 29hr travel day home to Vancouver. One more flight after this until I see my family and friends, who I haven’t seen in almost a year! It seems as though I’ve been counting down the days for so long that now that it’s actually happening, it seems surreal.

As I sit on this ridiculously long plane ride, I’ve been reflecting on what the year’s been like. We have come a looooong way. I remember sitting on this exact flight going the opposite direction, with not a clue of what was on the other side. I was terrified and a little excited for an adventure, but I was mostly emotionally exhausted from saying goodbye to my main people. I slept almost the entire flight over to Cairns without a sleeping pill. Well, I am so happy I’m on the flip side now, coming back to catch up and celebrate Christmas and New Years with them all. However, now I can’t sit still! I’m just too excited.

In honour of travelling, I’ve put an outfit together that’s chic and I think is very Mary-Kate Olsen, yet still incredibly comfortable for any long travel days.

I had to take into account that I’ll be going from 37-degree weather to 5 degrees and under, so I chose a lot of basic shaded pieces so that it’s easy to layer! A few of my personal travel staples include, a jersey maxi skirt, which is always an elegant and comfortable choice. A hat to hide my pillow pasted hair. A pair of boots – and why not be a diva and make them heeled?  A plain white t-shirt, some arm candy and red lips of course, just to spice things up!

Bon Voyage!!

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Maxi Skirt-H&M / T-Shirt-ASOS / Hat-BCBG / Purse-BCBG / Snake vest-Kmart / Blazer-Zara

Rebecca Janelle

xo

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Christmas Crafts…take 3

First of all, I just want to say it is so good to be back!  I too have been quite busy here in Vancouver as I am just finishing up my first semester as a student teacher.  Let me tell ya…teaching is hard work!!  I have a new found respect for all of the teachers in my life – You.Are.Amazing.

So now that I am finding more spare time here and there, I decided to do some christmas crafts.  As you all know by now I love getting crafty and I get some great inspiration and ideas from Pinterest.  I decided to embark on some pins that had been lingering around my boards for awhile that I had yet to try.  I’ll be really honest here, I had two epic fails and one craft that turned out rather cute.  So I’ll start the Christmas season off with these…I hope you like…and I hope you try!!

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I made these gift tags with 3 every day ingredients.  Here is the recipe:

* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 cup salt

* 3/4 cup water

Mix these three ingredients together, slowly adding the water until you have a workable dough. Roll it out, cookie-cutter it out, and bake at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

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Simply. Easy. Cute.

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I then got out my stamps and sharpie and went to work decorating.  I loved the simplicity of a letter on the small tags to represent family members.

These little birdies turned out to be my favourite…

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 Make sure when you are punching out your shapes that you take a straw or toothpick (for the small circles) and punch out a hole to thread your string through.

Add them to a gift, or even hang them on your tree.  Other ideas to jazz them up would be to add sparkles to your dough before you bake it, or a little dab of food colouring.  How fun!

So far this season: Christmas Crafts – 2 … Jillian – 1

But sometimes it takes a few funny fails to get an outcome you truly love.

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xo

Jillian Marie

ps.  Rebecca and I are re-united in 7 DAYS!!!!

Fashionably Late

Im back!! Did you miss me? First of all, I need to apologize for our absence. The past few weeks have been like a whirlwind for me – in a good way!

A few weeks ago I got a call  from Louis Vuitton out of the blue glorious sky, asking for an interview! My resumé came across the manager’s desk again 10 months after applying there. The moment we sat down for an interview and got to know one another and she introduced me to the world of Louis Vuitton, I knew this would be such a blessing if I got the position! What they could offer me, and the opportunities available is exactly what I was looking for and I didn’t even have to ask for it. After a few days of hoping and praying, they called me back with wonderful news! So as I’ve started this new path I’ve also had to finish up at the Shangri La and in the process was working 2 jobs for the past couple of (long) weeks. Although Ill miss the people I’ve met at the hotel, I’m really excited about this new opportunity that seems to have fallen so nicely into my lap. So here I am again back into the world of fashion that I’ve been missing so much, and I could not be happier! Merry Christmas to moi!

AND Merry Christmas to YOU! Because I’ve been completely M.I.A. for the past 2 weeks, I’ve decided to treat you with two outfits this week.
Número Uno- beach day! This was my honey and I’s first day off together in months and we made the most of it by soaking up the rays and being complete beach bums. It was glorious.

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Sunglasses – ASOS / Dress – Kensie

Número dos- date night! I love pairing a casual boyfriend blouse with my leopard skirt. Juxtaposing pieces makes me giddy. I attempted Heidi braids for the first time a little while ago and loved it, they give a fun and edgy feel for any outfit. I’ve been wearing these braids with my casual outfits too. It’s nice for running around town too because it spices up a simple outfit and is so unexpected!

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Earrings – Aldo / Blouse – Sportsgirl / Leopard Skirt – Kmart / Nude Wedge – Aldo / Black Fringe Bag – H&M

Have a good week everyone!

Rebecca Janelle

xo

A little piece of heaven…

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I am so excited to have my dear friend and baker-extrordinaire Sylvia Francisco guest post on our blog today.  Sylvia is so talented when it comes to anything baking or cooking, and I have been blessed many times with invites for dinner, desserts for birthdays, and ‘just because’ muffins.  She is such an amazing friend and has made my time in Vancouver so rich!

When we were chatting about this post, she had me look through her facebook album of her amazing baking creations she has made over the last while.  When I came across these pumpkin brownies, I knew they had to be featured.  Pumpkin and brownie marbled together into a perfect piece of heaven…seriously…could there be a better combo!?

And just when you start drooling about the pumpkin and brownies…there are…

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Shut the front door. Pure bliss.

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She was kind enough to share the recipe with all of YOU!  Isn’t she the best!

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Marbled Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate (I use semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (I add a splash more)
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling…pure puree. I add a bit more of this too as I LOVE pumpkin flavour)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I heap mine…I love fall flavours)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (I heap…again)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (the recipe calls for hazelnuts, but pecans are my all time favorite baking nut – so in they go!)

1) Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan/dish. Cut a length of parchment that will cover the bottom and two sides of the pan (makes them much easier to remove), line the pan with it. Butter the parchment lining too.

2) Melt chocolate and butter together in the microwave in a microwave-proof bowl. Stir often until both are well melted and mixed.

3) Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fluffy and well combined with a hand-held mixer – approx 3 minutes. (Alternately, you can also cream the sugar/eggs/vanilla together in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment…but I prefer the hand-held mixer). Add and beat in the flour mixture.

4) Pour half of the batter (about 2 cups) into a bowl and stir in the chocolate mixture. This mixture should be a nice/pourable consistency…so if not, you can add a splash or so of milk until it is.

5) In the other bowl, stir the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining batter.

6) Transfer 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. The layers won’t be very thick so don’t be alarmed if the spreading takes a few minutes to execute. Top the chocolate batter with 1/2 of the pumpkin batter; smooth. Repeat these steps again, once more with the chocolate and pumpkin – you will have 4 layers in total.

7) Insert a table knife gently into the pan, until it hits the bottom. Run the knife through the batter along the length of the pan, swirling the layers together. Repeat this throughout the entire pan until it has a marbled effect. Smooth the top of the batter out again, and sprinkle with the nuts.

8) Bake 40-45 minutes, until set. Let the brownies cool in the pan, then cut/serve.

This brownie is very dense and rich, so only a little square is needed! Paired with a fresh americano or chai tea latte, this is a wonderful fall treat!

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With American Thanksgiving just around the corner and Pumpkin Spice Lattes still in full swing at Starbucks, this recipe has come at the perfect time.  Thanks Sylvia!

xo

Jillian Marie

Private Property

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Black Felt Hat – Sportsgirl / Blouse – Kensie / Necklace – J. Crew (my wedding necklace) / Bronze Metallic shorts – BCBG / Snake Skin Clutch – Blanco (Spain) / Shoes – Steve Madden / Gold Bow Ring – Collette

Well friends, I feel as though it was extremely difficult to find a time and place for my photo-shoot this last week. My trusty photographer is in the midst of his exams, and it is getting hotter and hotter out here! The humidity is picking up and the sun beams directly down making it terribly challenging to find shade. I was in search of a yellow(ish) backdrop and the only place we found was this one, on private property! I know, I am such a rebel. All that being said this shoot had tons of laughs and was heaps of fun.

I have been missing Vancouver’s fall season fashion. The scarves, coats, metallics, faux-furs, and chunky festive bling. All of these sentimental things are the reason for this weeks outfit. I love Vancouver’s seasons, so I feel like this is as close as  I could get to the fall season Vancouver’s in right now, Cairns style. It’s true when they say that Cairns really has only two seasons, (dang)-hot and raining.

Anyways everyone, I hope you have a glorious week ahead of you!

Rebecca Janelle

xo

PS: If you like us, please don’t forget to follow us to receive immediate updates on whats going on in our lives.

I’m on a horse

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This Old Spice commercial is still one of my favourites, I can’t help but smile as I remember the randomness that made it so funny.  This week, we are venturing into the world of stamping!!  I tried on a pair of ‘horse’ jeans a few weeks back at urban outfitters.  I didn’t love the fit, but fell in love with the print and how hipster it made me feel.  You see, I am a wanna-be hipster.  Living in Vancouver has encouraged me in this direction, and I really want to think I can pull it off, but somehow feel slightly awkward as I stroll down the street with my fake glasses and horses.  If people glance over I just know they are giggling inside at my attempt.  But attempt I will, because there is nothing wrong with trying out new styles and looks…right?

So instead of buying the jeans, I found a way to create my own horse pattern, and for really almost no cost!  I ventured to Michael’s to buy stamps.  I wanted a Fleur de Lis stamp for another project, and was excited to find the perfect one at Michaels.  Then my eyes gazed down to the price of this little, simple stamp and I think I yelped, right in the middle of the store.  It was over $20.  For one stamp.  Crazy right?  So I decided to make my own – and I highly recommend you do as well.  It was so easy, and so cheap!  Remember my pantsformation?  Well I have washed and dried these pants and the fabric paint hasn’t budged, which is another inspiration to just stamp it on!!

Here is what you will need:

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– fabric paint

– craft foam ($0.99)

– small paint brush

– exacto knife

– plain t-shirt or scarf or really anything you want to jazz up a little (t-shirt is not pictured)

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1) I googled the two images that I wanted to turn into stamps and put them into Word and then printed them out.

2)  Next, I traced the horse onto the craft foam.

3)  I then carefully cut using my exacto knife around the horse.

4)  Here is what your stamp should look like (this picture was taken post stamping, hence the black color)

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Next, paint on the stamp with your paintbrush, and press down on the fabric.  Here you see me working with the fleur de lis that I stamped onto a scarf.  Be careful as you do this, as you can get paint on your fingers, and it is easy to accidentally touch the fabric.  I kept a wet rag with me and washed my fingers regularly.

And there you have it.  A homemade stamp that just saved you heaps of $$$ and the option of unlimited shapes!  Imagine hearts, or polka dots, or moustaches….

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//t-shirt – H&M //pants – H&M // boots – Spring //watch – Fossil //necklace and earrings – gifted //glasses – Charlotte Russe

So as I was stamping and editing last night, my husband was busy watching football.  I glanced up and noticed that the New Orleans Saint’s logo is the Fleur de Lis!  I had no idea as I am not a big football fan (except for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers bought me my dinner at the Olive Garden once – true story), so I just thought, “huh, how random!”  Then I glanced up a few minutes later to see they were playing the Denver Bronco’s, whose logo is a horse!!  C-R-A-Z-Y coincidence or what?!  I felt like I was a REAL football fan without even knowing it!  And then I panicked that I wasn’t even being hipster, rather channelling my sporty side…sigh…

xo

Jillian Marie

Ruffled Up

This last week was a good week – you know why? The mister came out of the office, all red-eyed and brain-burnt from studying, to tell me that I was allowed to spend money on anything worth $50. This doesn’t happen too often, so for me, this is what I call a good week! I’ve been in search of a bright/statement purse. This may come as a surprise for some of you, but I have to admit, I’m just not a purse kinda-girl. I actually despise shopping for them, because let’s face it, I’d much rather be spending my dollars on shoes. But unlike shoes, it’s uncommon for me to come across a bag that I  “have” to have. I think the last time that happened was more than a year ago; tragic – I know.

 I went ahead and bought it. It took everything within me to not return the purse the next day, but I’m so happy with the decision I made. The color frightened me at first, but now that I’ve had it for a couple days, I can’t get enough of it. That’s the best way to buy something. My most cherished pieces are those that I’m too scared to buy or wear because they’re loud, outrageous, and get me out of my comfort zone. I love that.

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Sequined collar blouse – Kmart / Blue Ruffled Shorts – Princess Polly / Leopard Pumps – Kensie / Neon Purse – Collette / Leopard Sunnies – H&M

Weather is getting hot hot HOT again and that humidity is creeping back, slowly and unwantingly.
I think it’s time to put my “togs” on (my newly learnt aussie slang for bather) and go for a dip in my pool!

Have a happy week!
Rebecca Janelle
Xo

DIY circle scarf

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Fall is officially here!  In Vancouver we can tell because our gorgeous sunshine has turned to endless rain.  It has been raining here since Friday – straight – well almost without a break.  Fall can be dreary but there are a few things I can’t help but love and welcome with open arms, or hands, like a grande, extra hot, sugar free Pumpkin Spice Latte (with whip of course), shopping for new boots, leg warmers and scarves, and soaking in a hot bath without sweating (TMI?? sorry).  There is just something so cozy about this time of year which makes it easier to transition from summer.  This weeks DIY is an affordable and versatile way to layer your look for fall.  You have probably seen these around, possibly at your local Lulu Lemon store for a ridiculous amount of mula.  I am excited to share how easy and cheap this circle scarf is, and you don’t even need to be crafty!  I promise!!

All you need is:

  • One metre of fabric (check the bargain section…I buy fabric for $3-$4/m)
  • Scissors
  • Thread that matches your fabric
  • Needle

When the lady cuts your fabric at the store, the fabric is doubled, so all you need to do is bring it home, lay it out like I did below, and sew a hem along the hem line like in the picture (if you have a sewing machine this is a breeze, but if you don’t, like me, it takes about 15 minutes to hand sew it).

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Once you have sewn the hem, open the fabric up and you will have a long circle scarf like the one on the left, and then double it up for the final look!

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Now honestly, wasn’t that easy!?  Think of the endless colors, styles, fabric..and my favorite – patterns!  You might remember my striped one from this post.  I have gotten so much wear out of it!   Image

I hope you all have a fantastic week…happy crafting.

xo

Jillian Marie

Glitz and Glam

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canadians!

Much to my dismay, Australia does not celebrate Thanksgiving (at least none of the Australians we know). This was a big disappointment for me as I love everything Thanksgiving has to offer. It’s a time of being with family, eating your face off, PUMPKIN PIE, and turkey-coma. How could a person not love that? Usually I have about 4 Thanksgiving dinner’s each year. My mom usually cooks one, then my mother-in-law, and then both of my grandma’s. Being away from family this year I felt a little left out, so I decided to attempt to bring thanksgiving over here by cooking a big meal. I have never cooked such a massive dinner in my entire life, but it turned out great!

This past weekend, I attended my very first ball! It was for all the dental students, so I went as my husbands date. What a night it was. Here’s what I wore, and a peak at my hubby and I at the ball.

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Dress – Asos

Sunglasses – Kensie

Necklace – Diva

Ring – Collette

Heels – Steve Madden

Clutch – H&M

The draw…

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I am pleased to announce the winner of our first giveaway!  YAY Carling!

Thank-you to all who participated and if you are interested in purchasing a cell phone cozy…email me at: mariejanelleblog@gmail.com for the details.

xo

Jillian Marie