Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Goodbye Autumn

I know, it's only October 30th! But the reality is, once this week is over I will be in full-on Christmas mode. We have a Halloween party this Saturday and then I'm allowing myself to get all giddy with Christmas plans, decorations, lists, movies, baking, etc. I want to stretch out the Christmas season for as long as I can and 2 months seems about right for me. So I feel like I'm closing the Autumn chapter in my life this week.

In celebration of the wonderful Fall we had (because let's be honest, we've been hitting -5 degree weather here and I cannot call that Autumn), I though I'd share a couple of posts that I wrote for the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club website.

Favourite Autumn items:

Autumn

1. Forest Friends Woodland Pillow by Savage Seeds
I've been a fan of Savage Seeds' adorable pillows for years now. These leaves completely won me over though. They'd be so cute to have out in the living room during the Fall months.


2. Cunning Hat by knerdsworld
The description on Etsy says it all "This hat has nothing to do with the best show ever. Nothing at all. Its just cunning is all." A hat to cover your ears is necessary when there's cold wind and this hat rocks!

3. Always Harry Potter Pullover Hoodie by parenholly
Click on the link and check out the back of this hoodie.... done? How awesome is this? I'd wear it every day!

4. Cafe Cutie Skirt by
ModCloth

I fell in love with the colours of this skirt first and then the print second. It's so pretty and I think it would be lovely paired with tights and a cardigan during the cold months.

5. Adventure Time Lumpy Space Princess Leggings by
Hot Topic

Not only am I huge fan of Adventure Time, but LSP is my favourite character on the show. These leggings are great because even though they're covered with LSPs, it's still only two colours. They're not 'in your face'.

6. Multicolor Animals Mug by
DAVIDsTEA

DAVIDsTEA is amazing. I have more teas from them than I'd like to admit. I also have a couple of their perfect tea mugs. Their new designs for Fall are to die for though. I want to buy more just for the prints.


Fun Halloween finds:


Halloween


1. Laboratory Shot Glasses by ThinkGeek
I think these are the cutest shot glasses and I'd love to have them on my shot glass shelf all year round! But they're the perfect addition to any Halloween party. 

2. Pumpkin Earrings by Inspired Theory
These earrings are so pretty and perfect to wear throughout Autumn. They're something subtle to wear on Halloween to the office. 

3. Ouija Board Skirt by Toot Sweet Skirts
This skirt is absolute perfection! The pattern and style is amazing! I'd definitely wear this to a Halloween party and wear a planchette piece around my neck on a necklace. 

4. Endoskeletal Hand Jive Skirt by ModCloth
Another wonderful skirt to wear on Halloween or to a party! 

5. Blue Power Ranger Tunic by We Love Fine
I think all these geeky tunics that are popular right now are such an easy way to dress up on Halloween. Pair this tunic with some blue leggings and put an ass kicking look on your face, and you're set!

6. Creature Eyes Lollipops by Designer Lollipop
These lollipops are so awesome! If you were having a small Halloween gathering, you could give these out to all your guests. I'm not sure if I'd be able to eat such a masterpiece though. 

I know the U.S. still has Thanksgiving next month which would definitely make me celebrate the Autumn season longer, but after Halloween here, Christmas is the next big family holiday. I unfortunately have to work tomorrow evening but I plan on sitting down afterwards with Ghostbusters and some discounted mini chocolate bars! 

Happy Early Halloween!
xo Jen

Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Parties

After spending the last two days racking my brain on coming up with a cheap and easy Halloween costume and also searching through numerous stores, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I did decide on a super easy and cute costume for the last minute Halloween party we're attending this upcoming weekend (it's only last-minute because of our work schedule changes, not because we were invited last minute).

Searching online for costume ideas has left me wanting more geeky clothing and pretty clothing that's My Little Pony-inspired. And the baking and DIY ideas make me want to throw my own Halloween party! Here are a few things I'm loving for Halloween parties.

Halloween Parties

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Once my costume is on and finished on Saturday, I'll snap some pictures to share. It's nothing too difficult, but it's very me!

We have plans to carve our pumpkin tomorrow evening and I bought a few last minute Halloween decorations over the weekend so even though we won't be having any company this week, our place will be decorated for the holiday!

xo Jen

Saturday, 26 October 2013

What I'm Loving Now

Have you fallen in love with any new television series that started this season? I have to admit, nothing is really grabbing me or making me fall in love with it, but I haven't given up on any new shows yet. The shows that I'm really enjoying so far this season are 2 Broke Girls, The Walking Dead (it's only been 2 episodes so far but the last episode was GOOD), and The Mindy Project.

The Mindy Project

The Mindy Project has surprised me completely. I honestly didn't think the show would last but the first season won me over. I love every character on the show and I enjoy when the episodes also revolve around different characters and don't just focus on Mindy, though I do love her. So far Season 2 has been great.


Parks and Recreation

I'm not caught up, but I just finished season 3 and I'm very addicted. I don't want to give away spoilers for anyone who hasn't watched it, but Ben (Adam Scott) and Chris (Rob Lowe) were perfect additions to the cast. The chemistry is just so good between the characters. And Ron Swanson keeps winning me over more and more. I find him absolutely hilarious and just ridiculously awesome.


Paper Towns

Well John Green did it again... he made me obsessed with a book and caused me to feel heartbreak. Paper Towns was such a great book. I felt so much for the main character, Q, and found myself seeing a bit of me in him. 


ModCloth

Surprised?!? Yeah, I didn't think so. I can't even explain how much I love this dress. It's perfect in every way <3


I hope you are having a lovely weekend! 
xo Jen

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Outside Adventures

So I will warn you now, this blog post is going to be photo heavy. A couple of weeks ago, me and Adam did a 2.5 km hike at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area here in Sudbury. The day was gorgeous; clear skies and warm with a cool breeze. The trail we choose was beautiful and so incredibly magical looking.

Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area

We spotted a few Garter Snakes during our walk. This one stopped near us and we were quiet enough to grab a picture before it slithered off. No other creatures were spotted except for a few ducks, but we did see numerous trees that had been chewed up by beavers and porcupines (I just found out that porcupines eat tree bark). The trees near the main lodge at the entrance of the conservation area had chicken wire around the bottom half of the trunks to protect them from the tree-eaters!

Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area

I ended up with wet and muddy shoes because the ground was pretty wet. This trail reaches the top of Mount Ramsey at one point so you get a 360 degree view of the surrounding area. There were mossy parts all over the rock and some of the puddles over top of the moss looked so cool. It was like a little underwater world.

Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area

Lake Laurentain was beautiful!

Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area
Laurentian Conservation Area

I want to go back at least once more before the snow comes. There's a few other trails that I'd like to check out.
xo Jen

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pumpkin Cake and Halloween Cookies

For Thanksgiving, I wanted to bring a dessert to my family's dinner but it had to be something easy since I was working right up until the day we left, and it had to be easy to bring on a 5 hour car trip. I decided to try the Pumpkin Poke Cake recipe I found on Pinterest.


I changed a few things in the recipe...
*I used a box of white cake mix 
*I used E.D. Smith Pure Pumpkin. The can only comes in 540 ml which is much bigger than the suggested size in the recipe. I took out 1 cup of pumpkin from the can and put it in a container in the fridge. I used the rest of the can of pumpkin. 
*I then added 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. 
*Because I added more pumpkin, I used a 9 x 13 pan and baked it for 45 minutes. 

I poked holes and drizzled sweetened condensed milk over it like the recipe said. Once we got to my parents' I spread Cool Whip over the top and that's it. I didn't add caramel or skor bits.

And it was SO YUMMY! It wasn't overly sweet. It was quite pumpkiny (let's pretend this is a word) tasting and it was the perfect combo with the Cool Whip. The best thing was that it was the easiest cake I've ever made and it requires only a few ingredients. 

Last week I made some Halloween cookies with the Wilton pan I have. I used the recipe that came with the pan and it tastes really good (almond extract!). They're sort of like a mix of a sugar cookie and a shortbread cookie. I added a bunch of the monster sprinkles that I had left over. The only problem was the sprinkles melted so it caused some of the cookies to stick to the pan. But overall I like the moldy look the sprinkles gave the cookies. I think they add the perfect touch to the Halloween theme. 

Halloween cookies made out of my Wilton pan! #halloween #wilton #cookies  #sprinkles 

I'm going to make a couple of batches of cupcakes this week and next week - one for a birthday party and then Halloween themed ones. I'm excited to use my black sugar sprinkles!

Have you baked any Halloween treats yet?
xo Jen

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Stationery Crush

Let's be honest here, I've had an obsession with stationery since middle school when I realised the joys of writing notes to my best friends during class. Back then, I was addicted to everything Sanrio! Note pads, pencils, stickers, pens.... there was something special about writing a note on Hello Kitty paper with my Chococat pen.

IGGPPC was contacted by an amazing online stationery store, Please Deliver To. Not only is this online store filled with the most amazingly geeky items, but they're also Canadian! Along with Round 8 being open to register for a pen pal, we're also running a giveaway for Please Deliver To stationery. I highly urge you to go enter the giveaway and also sign up for a pen pal this month!

I wanted to share some of the items I'm dying over in the Please Deliver To shop...



(By far my favourite on their site!)



What's your favourite stationery pack or postcard on their site?
xo Jen

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Daily Inspiration

The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me... between Thanksgiving, visiting family, IGGPPC, and sewing, I have been finding inspiration everywhere. Blogs, Pinterest, tumblr, Twitter and Instagram friends, they have been getting my creativity flowing!

But my biggest inspiration at the moment is actually coming from books, comics, movies, and TV shows... I'm obsessed with Gilmore Girls again, addicted to my audio books (especially John Green,), I'm flying through my X-Men comics, and rewatching all the Harry Potter movies. All of these have been supplying me with daily inspiration!

Inspiration


1     2     3     4     5

What has been inspiring you lately?
xo Jen

Monday, 14 October 2013

Thanksgiving

Today is our Thanksgiving holiday in Canada. Most people celebrate at some point over the Thanksgiving long weekend with a family dinner. For us, we headed down to Hamilton Saturday and came home late last night. We had a huge Thanksgiving meal and I ate lots of pumpkin pie and cake! Afterwards we played games and drank hard cider and pumpkin ale. It was a great time.


This year I'm thankful for a lot of things in my life. But most importantly my family and friends. It's been a somewhat crazy couple of years for me and I seriously wouldn't have gotten through everything without them in my life. 

If you're Canadian, Happy Thanksgiving! 
xo Jen

Sunday, 13 October 2013

What I'm Loving Now

Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls!

I decided to start watching Gilmore Girls from the beginning again. I've always associated the show with Fall and Winter. See, I never watched the show when it aired on television initially. After a couple of years of hearing how great the show was from a couple of friends, I gave in and borrowed their boxsets. I believe I watched the first 5 seasons on boxset and it was throughout the cold weather seasons. I remember watching it at night with hot chocolate and covered in my blanket. I did watch the last couple of seasons on television and I started buying the boxsets for myself. Since then I've rewatched the entire series a few times and now I'm doing it again. It seems like the perfect show to watch through my first cold Fall and Winter up in Sudbury. On Twitter the other day, Sara, described the show perfectly... 'it is like comfort food'. Yes! That's exactly what the show is like.


Other than watching the first season of Gilmore Girls, I started listening to the audio book of Paper Towns by John Green. I'm about half way through and I'm loving it! I may becoming obsessed with that man. 


It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and we have plans to visit family for dinner and hopefully a games night! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! 

And if you need a smile...

xo Jen

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Craftiness

Since Fan Expo Canada, I've been slowly adding new listings to my Etsy shop. Not only did I list all my leftover product from the convention, but I've been busy sewing up new pouches and Christmas stockings which are also up in my shop! I sold my TARDIS, Adventure Time, and Star Trek products SO quickly at the convention so I thought I should get some pouches up in that fabric for people who missed out at the show.

And since it's Fall, I've made up a few new Christmas stockings. I want to make up some more but I'm taking a break from them to sew up a few tote bags out of the Adventure Time, Star Trek, and TARDIS fabrics. I'm hoping to have them listed next week.

If you're looking for a custom order, I can definitely work with you and try to get whatever fabric you're looking for (if I don't already have it). If you're looking for something specific, send me an email at sparklegirl.jen@gmail.com!

It's kind of crazy to think that the Christmas season is just about here. I need to start brainstorming Christmas gift ideas.
xo Jen

Monday, 7 October 2013

Candy Corn M&M Cookies

So a little over a month ago I found out that there were Pumpkin Spice M&Ms at Target in the U.S. After screaming about this on twitter, I also found out that there were Candy Corn M&Ms too! Why does Canada not get these fun seasonal treats?!?!

A lovely lady offered to send me a bag of both Pumpkin Spice and Candy Corn M&Ms! I was so excited to get them in the mail. I knew I had to try some M&Ms on their own but I also wanted to bake with them.

Look what arrived!!! I'm so excited to do some baking!! Thanks @dorkabrain!! #pumpkinspice #candycorn

After finding this recipe on pinterest, I knew Candy Corn M&M cookies were going to happen! The only thing I changed was I substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil. The cookies turned out super good! As usual when I add applesauce, the cookies are a bit cakey but we like them like that in this household.

Candy Corn M&M Cookies
Candy Corn M&M Cookies

The best part was finding a bigger piece of M&M inside the cookie and the white chocolate would just melt in your mouth. Needless to say, these cookies didn't last too long.

Candy Corn M&M Cookies

After making these, I also made up some sugar cookies as per Adam's request (as good as they are, they're a GIANT pain in the ass to make) and decided to use some of the Autumn leaves sprinkles I bought at The Bulk Barn.

Autumn Sugar Cookies

I earned some points with Adam by adding some almond buttercream to some of the cookies too.

Autumn Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are not my favourite, but the frosted ones are especially yummy! A week later, though, and I'm still finding little sprinkle leaves randomly throughout my kitchen.

I want to try out so many more cookie and cake recipes this month! Expect at least two more Autumn/Halloween-themed baking posts (not kidding!). 

xo Jen

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Style Inspiration

Who's excited for Halloween?!? I am! I unfortunately don't have a Halloween party to go to this year as of yet. But I'm still looking forward to other Halloween festivities... carving a pumpkin, buying mini chocolate bars and candy, and watching horror movies. And depending on my work schedule, if I have the day off, I may be decked out in black and orange. But let's be honest, wearing one of these dresses, along with some festive nail polish and carrying a black cat purse all day would be ideal!

Halloween

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I'm in love with these two dresses... the first one is covered in skeletons and the other has bats, crows, and tarantulas all over it! 

Do you have Halloween plans? Are you dressing up?
xo Jen

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

My Life in Photos

September was all about welcoming the cooler Autumn weather and buying up all my favourite Fall things!

Our first weekend in September was spent in Hamilton/Toronto for a wedding. It was a nice weekend and we ended it with a visit to the local comic book store where I fell in love with all the Pop! Vinyl toys. I controlled myself and only purchased some graphic novels.

I want them all! #popvinyl #funko #LCS #toygeek

We still find it strange that when we start to see the rock on the side of the road, we know we're getting near home. The Canadian Shield is crazy and it's more crazy to think how much rock they had to remove to make the highways up here.

Seeing the rock along the highway is now a sign I'm heading home. #northernontario #canadianshield

I stocked up on hot chocolate and sprinkles at The Bulk Barn. I'm so excited to use the black sugar sprinkles!

Stocked up at the Bulk Barn... Salted caramel hot chocolate, candy cane hot chocolate, black sugar, monster mix and autumn leaves sprinkles! #halloween #autumn #sprinkles

When we were in Hamilton my Mom gave me this bag of coffee that her and my Dad picked up when they went shopping in the U.S. It smells sooooo good! It doesn't really have a candy corn taste. But there's definitely a sweeter flavour to it.

I can't even explain how amazing this smells! Thank you Mom and Dad <3 #candycorn #coffee

Of course I placed a Davids Tea order for some new Fall flavours. Sugar and Spice may be one of my new favourites! As soon as I opened it, it reminded me of gingerbread cookies. It tastes delicious too. Similar to a chai.

My Davids Tea order is here! Sugar and Spice and Mom's Apple Pie! I'm excited to try the mystery tea and Cocoberry samples. #davidstea #autumn

I picked the perfect day to hit up Bath and Body Works this month. They were giving out a free candle with any home fragrance purchase. And the best part is, the free candle actually smells really good!



All stocked up on Autumn candles - Cider Lane, Pumpkin Carving, Marshmallow Fireside and Harvest Gathering (which was free!) #bathandbodyworks #autumn #fall

Our evenings are getting darker and darker... the sunsets have still been gorgeous though.

Sunset
Ramsey Lake was gorgeous tonight. #sunset #nofilter #northernontario #ramseylake

The cats have mostly been curling up on the couch together, sleeping in their cat bed, or snuggling with this green blanket in the second bedroom. You know it's colder when Seymore is ok with me putting a blanket over him. He actually stayed like this for a while (probably until I stepped foot in the kitchen. I'm normally followed in there).

Seymore
Seymore and Logan

So, it must have been a bit warmer this day... I cannot believe he didn't fall off the couch.

Seymore

As for me, I've been living in this yellow cardigan and wearing all my leggings again!

Polka dots and a yellow cardigan <3 #redhead #cardigansforever
Autumn!! (And doing an Emma @lickmycupcakes) #fall #autumn

This season makes me so happy!
xo Jen
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