Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Artichoke Bruschetta

Good Day! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.
It was my God Daughter's 1st Birthday Party this Sunday and today is her actual Birthday! There were about 30 people at her Birthday Party so it was a busy weekend cleaning the house, getting the backyard ready and cooking tons of yummy food. Some may think it is strange to have such an extravagant event for a 1 year old, but I see it as a good reason to get together with the people you care about to eat, drink and be merry! I can't believe that one year has past since she has been born, time really does go by so quickly.

I was asked to make Artichoke Bruschetta as an appetizer as it is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. So I wanted to share this dish with you to try at home or to bring to your next Pot-Luck. Everyone loves these hot, dreamy Bruschetta bites and they are really easy to prepare so let's get to it!

You will need:

  • 1 (6 1/2 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped ** If you live in Canada, get the Artichoke Hearts from Costco, they are the BEST**
  • 1 medium tomato, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 cup grated romano cheese or 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion or you can use a couple Shallots for a different flavour
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed ** I use more, I like these garlicky (sp?) **
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise ** Hellman's is the best **
  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices * * Slice these diagonally **

1) Preheat the broiler.
2) Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast lightly under the broiler.
3) In a medium bowl, mix marinated artichoke hearts, Romano or Parmesan cheese, red onion, crushed garlic, diced tomato and mayonnaise.
4) Top the lightly toasted French baguette slices with equal amounts of the artichoke heart mixture being careful to spread the mixture over the entire surface.
5) The edges of the bread will tend to burn if not covered by the artichoke mixture. * this is important*
6) Arrange slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
7) Broil in the preheated oven 2 minutes, or until toppings are bubbly and lightly browned.

You can view the recipe from Food.com HERE

Here are the decadent little bundles of heaven..... Also I will post more pictures of the event soon!

Dress I wore to the party, sorry for the poor quality. I bought this in the Turks & Caicos. So glad that the weather is warmer so I can wear it!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Dressy for a Friday

Happy rainy Friday!

Blazer: Le Chateau
Tube Top: American Eagle
Necklace: Cleo
Rings and Earrings: From Mexico
Nails: Sally Hansen Insta Gel Strips (more to follow!)

 Down from above
Shoes: Aldo seen here

I love getting my nails done, Acrylic, Gel, regular Mani...I love'em all! But what I don't like is the time that it takes to drive to the salon and sit there for an hour or more. It just seems to take so much time and we all don't have enough of that. So when I came across this product from Sally Hansen, I thought I would give it a try. Here's what you do:

  1. Push your cuticles down 
  2. File your nails 
  3. Apply the gel strips & file those to the shape of your nail 
  4. Apply the gel coat and place your nail under the LED light to cure
  5. Wipe off the access with an alcohol pad that is provided and voila! 

Now the applying and filing of the nails with the strips can be tricky. I found some YouTube videos that were super helpful:

The Sally Hansen video from their website
This one with a review
And this one I really liked

My verdict, I loved the way they turned out, they are shinny and with the help of the videos, weren't as hard to apply as I thought. It was my first time applying these so I am sure I will get better the more I do it.
My criticisms of this product is that on the box it says "2 Easy Steps"..... ummmm no. There are several steps so the box is a little misleading.
Also not ALL of the strips will fit your nails so I would maybe try Sally's gel polish to get a better gel manicure. I already know how to apply nail polish pretty well so it will just be easier overall.
But I would use this product again!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Polka Dot Continued....

Wanted to follow up on this post for the Polka Dot Dress that I purchased at Cleo over Easter Weekend in Kingston, Ontario.

 Fully Polkie!

 Love the detail of the fuchsia lining.

Down from above. Shoes are Nine West.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Eat Here Before You Die!

Hello and Happy Wednesday! This Eat Here Before You Die! post will feature a Sushi Restaurant from Montreal, Quebec.

I LOVE SUSHI....like love,  Love, LOVE it. I consider myself a bit of a Sushi snob when it comes to this Japanese cuisine. Being from Vancouver and eating superb Sushi freshly caught that day is a very hard standard to live up to. Most Sushi restaurants that I go to in Ontario are kinda meh!? Don't get me wrong, there are some great places to get your Sushi fix inland and I have had some really great Sushi all over Ontario. However once you have had the best of the best in Vancouver where the fish is fresh, the Chefs are world renowned and you have access to cutting edge flavor combinations for this creative delicacy, it's like comparing apples to oranges.

On a trip to Montreal several years ago with my old Roommate from University we were hankerin' for some Sushi and the Concierge recommended we go to Shodan, located on Metcalfe Street. From the moment we walked in, we were impressed. The decor was modern and stylish, funky house music was playing but at a volume where you can still talk comfortably. The staff were very friendly and like any good Sushi establishment, the Chef's assemble their dishes for all the restaurant to see.

The Chefs will prepare dishes that are off the menu, kind of like a see-what-you-get dish with your favorites as a starting point, if you wish. The fish is fresh tasting, the dishes are incredibly presented (it's like art) and the service was efficient and friendly. This is a great place to start your night out at before you hit the club scene or you can have a romantic dinner for two as well.

 The Pheonix

 Rose Maki

 Specialty dish. Yes that's watermelon you see there. You really never know what you will be surprised with!

 Beautifully modern, funky decor

 Martinis YUM!

 Me the first time I visited Shodan in 2008.

Me again the last time I was there in 2011. It's time to go back!

There is a wall of celebrities that have eaten there, including Ms. Britney Spears, back before she went off the rails :-)

Even if you don't really like Sushi or haven't tried it before, I really think you will enjoy eating here. Please, if you are in Montreal check this place out!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


You have heard about my new obsession with Jessica Simpson jeans and how I love the way they fit. I had picked up a pair of the Jessica Simpson Forever Skinny Jeans in White and today being the gorgeous day that it was, I thought it was time to break them out of hiding! I love the look of white Pants or Capris  There is something so crisp and polished about a fresh whites, before I go spilling food all over them of course!

 Sorry for the lack of clothing brands! The top was purchased long ago in Virginia, cardigan was also bought long ago and I can't remember where. The Bracelet is from Ricki's and the Necklace is from Dynamite (love this, wear it all the time and get tons of compliments on it). 

 Down from above

Shoes: Aldo beige heels

Monday, 22 April 2013

Some Progress

I have mentioned before that I have been doing Weight Watchers since early January and I wanted to share a quick post of my progress with the hopes that it will inspire others to start/continue/contemplate a weight loss program of their choosing. Now first I must say that Weight Watchers has not sponsored this post or given me any compensation to endorse their program. I have participated in WW before a few years back and it worked so I chose to use it again. That's it, plain and simple.

Also I don't want to get into my struggles with weight, body image, self-esteem or anything about my "journey" to my goal weight. It's not that I don't want to share that with you.There are SO many of these stories out there, you've heard it a thousand times on Oprah or the Biggest Loser, Ricky Lake (haha, "Go Ricki!"), any magazine and countless blogs. I think we are saturated with the reasons why people choose to change their eating habits but it all comes down to one thing, the need to change. That's what it was for me and that's all there really is to it. 

So I have been slowly loosing weight and have been keeping it off for 3.5 months and I feel much better overall. Again I say I have slowly lost weight and I think this is part of the success and why I want to keep going. I do indulge now again with my favorite guilty foods and I do still drink alcohol from time to time. But now I plan for those splurges by eating better the rest of the time. Before, every day was a splurge!  I saw a commercial for WW the other day with Jennifer Hudson and she said something along the lines of that she has been successful with the program not because she doesn't indulge in her favorite foods, it's because she does indulge that she is successful (in moderation of course). 

Here is a before and after. I am not sure if you can really tell that I have lost weight but I am down 17 lbs so far. I am tall-ish 5"7, so I can gain and lose a few pounds without others really noticing; but I notice!

This was taken right before Christmas 2012, when I saw this picture all I could think was "what the hell happened!"

This was taken Friday April 19th 2013. Now I know I am posing more to the side in this picture compared to the before but I still think it shows the progress I have made.

I should say that this weight loss is entirely diet driven. I have not done regular exercise this entire time. But I will begin to walk/run again as the weather is getting nicer. I am more of an outdoor activity person then a gym person. I took the dogs for a walk on Sunday and it was so fun! I will do that more often now as I have plateaued and I will need to burn more calories then I am taking in to get over that hump.

If you wish to share your thoughts on weight or struggles that you have had please leave a comment or send me a message. Just because I have chosen not to divulge my history with weight (I may at some point) doesn't mean I don't want to hear yours!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Morning Basics

Happy Friday Everyone!

Like many of you, I have some morning essentials that I need to make it through the groggiest time of day (for me anyways, so NOT a morning person). I also wanted to show some pictures of the Flower Peasant top I picked up at Dynamite a couple of weekends ago. It's finally starting to warm up in Ottawa so I took the opportunity to wear a Spring-Type outfit.

I have my Lady Grey Tea in my special mug that my Roomie made me for Xmas, a multivitamin and Fish Oil Omega Supplement and the all important Coach purse in Red that I would die without! Seriously, I can fit so much in this bag if I need to and it still looks great; not all bulging and sloppy. 

Click the Fish Oil link for some valuable diet information!

Can I just say the look on my face in this picture is hilarious! I don't know what expression I was going for here but it makes me giggle. Flower Peasant Top from Dynamite, lace tank from Ricki's and Seven for All Man kind Jeans.

Side View 

 Look down from above (shoe info to follow)

This is a close up of the top. I love the fun detailing and the tassels on the ties. This top is super flirty and feminine, perfect for Spring!

Aldo Wedges in White: I bought these last year at the end of Summer so they were on sale. Not sure how much I paid for them but they were a deal, I remember that! I love to wear them with boot cut jeans and the bamboo platform is my fav part of this wedge style shoe. Nail color is OPI - Quarter of a Cent-Cherry

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and thank you for stopping by!

MelMac oxoxoxoxo

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Dig It!

How unbelievably gorgeous is this watch from Marc Jacobs? 

Henry Gold Watch
CA$ 212.90 | $200.00

I haven't used a watch in years (my cell phone serves that purpose) but when I came across this Ombre watch on Pinterest I was yearning to have it. Ombre is so huge right now, from hair to nails to now watches, this trend is popping up in the most creative ways and I dig it!

Jennifer Carpenter at the Grammy's shows how ombre hair is done. Source forums.thefashionspot.com

Ombre nails, how pretty! The link includes a DIY video to get this look at home. Source: originalpiecemag.com 

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Fig Clothing

Okay I am SOOO excited to write this post! A fashion blogger that I admire and read daily, A.Co Est 1984 recently featured a clothing company on her blog called Fig Clothing. Now A.Co is the Fashion Vlogger for Place D'Orleans Shopping Center and she does a great job on featuring what fashion trends are hot, DIY videos, food & fun and everything in between. She is tall and beautiful so she looks amazing in everything that she wears (she should have been a model!) so when she blogged a picture of herself in a dress from Fig Clothing, I immediately LOVED the dress and ordered it. But eeek.... would it look the same on me? I would soon find out!

Now Fig Clothing is a Montreal based company that creates very functional, comfortable sportswear and urban pieces that are 100% manufactured in Canada. Again, I love to support a "local" business so that was another appealing aspect of ordering from this company.When browsing the website, I found most of their collections very Lulu Lemon-ish, which isn't a bad thing. The sweaters and pants look like they would be the ideal outfit to travel in and still appear put-together. Very comfortable and stylish! But it was the Nev Dress, from their Ocean Spring 2013 Collection, that I had my eye on. It came in the mail yesterday and because they are shipping from Canada, no shipping fees YAY! I was going to order the dress in a beautiful Coral color, however I thought that the Navy would be more "work appropriate" and would give me more occasions to wear it.

The ruching on the front tummy area will hide a multitude of sins!

 A close up of the rouching detail
Yes the price tag is still on the dress, I was so excited to try it on and take a picture that I didn't take it off :)

The fabric is really unique and very comfortable. It's a quick drying material so you could wear this to the pool on vacation with flip-flops, change into heels and go straight to dinner. I love that kind of versatility from a dress, especially when you are traveling and packing space is of the essence!

Now I don't know if I look as stunning as A.Co in this little number but I am happy with the purchase and I look forward to wearing this dress to casual events, work and dressing it up for a dinner out (whenever that happens). Please, if you are in Canada, check this website out! Thank you A.Co and Thank you Fig Clothing! oxoxox

Monday, 15 April 2013

Sleepy weekend

Hello and Happy Monday! I had previously posted about a little shopping spree I had in back in January; my first of 2013 and my first for a long time before that. I had purchased a couple of tops from Dynamite, a store that I can always find success at, and there was my Rag & Bone Jeggings from Aritzia. I promised that I would post a picture of me wearing these items and so here we are, taken Gorilla style in the Ladies washroom at work ;-)

You can see that the top is very drapey and quite see through so it requires a tank underneath

I kind of look surprised that I am taking my own picture :)

 Paired the jeggings with Nine West brown boots that I LOVE! I wear these all of the time. They are easy to walk in due to the block heel. 

Boots tucked into skinny jeans or jeggings is one of my favourite looks. I probably sport this look a little too often and should change it up but it's because I love it so much!

This weekend I rested and really didn't do much of anything. But I did make a batch of a super healthy soup to eat throughout the week. It has quinoa, chicken thighs (for more flavor), butternut squash, olives (for a briny goodness) and kale. I got the recipe from Pinterest and have loved it every time I make it. Kale is my own addition but you don't have to use it for this soup to still be yummy and healthy.

I am telling ya, I don't know what I would do with out soup! It's so easy to make and so good for you. Best of all, it's filling and for those of us trying to watch what we eat, soup is a MUST!

Friday, 12 April 2013

Thursday, 11 April 2013


This weekend I blogged about discovering Jessica Simpson's line of jeans at the Bayshore Mall called Forever Skinny. Since then my Roomie and I have gone back to the Bay (she ordered online) to snatch some more pairs of these denim delights. My Roomie wore these the other day and she looked amazing and received tons of compliments when she visited her husband at work So on my lunch hour today I drove to the nearest Bay on the hunt for another pair but they didn't have my size in the Forever Skinny line. I tried on pair in a size higher then I normally wear and they just didn't look right. So I attempted Jessica's Kiss Me Jeggings and found my size and success!

 Front View. Top from Tommy Hilfiger and heels from Nine West

Back View. 

These jeans are a dark rinse so they can be dressed up or down and they have some good stretch to them so  they're comfy. You can wear them with heels, flats and my fav, tucked into boots. The test for these and any jean is how it will stand up to washing. Will the color last? How will the fit change? Will washing cause them to fit great when you first put them on and then stretch to oblivion throughout the day? I will test that out and let you know! 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Style for Days

So last time for a Style for Days post, I featured a man with some serious swag. Again I am featuring a male celebrity that I personally think has a style all his own and oozes with confidence and sex appeal. I have seen him in several indie flicks but I really came to appreciate him looking HAWT in a little show called Boardwalk Empire. I love this show (airs on HBO) and I totally drooled for his character, the bad-ass tormented James "Jimmy" Darmody. But alas *SPOILER ALERT if you haven't seen this show and want to* he was killed off and I have missed seeing him in his gangster suits with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. The Style for Days pick for this post is Michael Pitt.

 Michael Pitt // Appearances: Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences Presents An Evening With Boardwalk Empire 

 Source: selectism.com

Michael Pitt can look a little grungy, but sometimes I like a man to look like he doesn't give a F*$% and still be sexy. And what is so alluring about the "other" Mr. Pitt is that he does sloppy well and he also cleans up so beautifully when he puts a form fitting suit on. He is long and lean so clothes fit him well and with that hair slicked back and piercing gaze, you KNOW he means business.

I don't know why but I seem to be gravitating more towards how a man dresses rather than a women these days. Women have so many options that it can be easy to see what works and what doesn't for us. But for a man, they really have a casual jeans and t-shirt look (which I am not knocking) or they have a suit (I know I am really generalizing here). So when a man's style catches my eye, it must mean they are doing something right. So I am in Boardwalk Empire withdrawal and have been in Michael Pitt withdrawal for quite sometime but now I have this post to get my fix when needed! :) What do you think of my choice for this feature?

Monday, 8 April 2013

Bayshore & Meatballs

Hi all! Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I had a low key weekend with no social obligations but still managed to keep pretty busy. My Roomie and I headed to Bayshore Shopping Center in Ottawa for some retail therapy as we had some gift cards from Xmas burning holes in our pockets. So we braved the traffic and construction for a huge expansion currently going on at the Bayshore Mall and browsed what the Bay had to offer. We scored some skinny jeans by Jessica Simpson which I have never ever tried before but was really impressed with the fit and style for this line. The jeans are definitely cut to fit a woman with some curves (i.e. room for actual hips and a bit of booty) and the jeans still fit nicely in the leg. Often what fits by butt and hips is too loose in the leg. I also picked up a cute spring/summer top from Dynamite (a fav store of mine). 

 Jessica Simpson Forever Skinny jeans in White

When the weather is suited for wearing this outfit I will post a picture of me sporting this very springy look! I am going to pair this with some beige heels and wear this look for work. I will definitely wear the top with some regular blue jeans or a jean skirt as well in the summer. What do you think of these pieces?

On Sunday we ran some errands and I took the initiative to make meatball subs with homemade meatballs from scratch. Oh yeah baby! Go big or go home I say....I also say if you are going to have a cheat meal, while on Weight Watchers, do it right so you can appreciate every mouthful :)

I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked super easy and tasty so I gave it a whirl. You basically cook some onion, garlic and spices with spinach, combine with your meat of choosing (I did pork and beef, wanted veal but the store was out) and bake the meatballs in the oven. When done, throw the meatballs in some ready made jarred tomato sauce and heat through. I had the meatballs simmering in the sauce for a couple of hours so I think that made a difference in the taste but that isn't a necessity if you don't have the time.You then line up your rolls on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and load the meatballs, sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese and pop them in the oven at 400 F until the cheese is bubbly (about 5-7 mins). I broiled the subs for a couple of those minutes to get a bit of browning on the cheese.

Here are the little beauties before they went in the oven. They even look tasty like this!

Here is the finished product. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture but I think you can still see how amazing these look.

Now I wouldn't say that making the meatballs is "easy" as far as time goes. It's a bit time consuming so you can make this recipe even more convenient by using frozen meatballs of your preference. The meal was very well received and my Roomies loved that it was kind of like a special meal that you would have been crazy excited to see as a kid. A couple of things I would change next time I make this dish; I would add some Parmesan cheese to the meatballs to give them a bit more flavor  I would also make sure that the cheese is completely covering the bread when baking. As you can probably tell some of the bread got a little burnt in the oven. But other then that, I LOVED this sandwich! I paired it with some red wine to make it an official Italian experience.

If you aren't following me on Pinterest, you are seriously missing out! I have some great recipes on my "Eat" board and you can check out some other "Eat here before you die" restaurants from around the world!