Announcing the Winner of The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Contest!

After going through many entries received over the past week, we are pleased to announce that Brittany Goving is the winner of our latest giveaway sponsored by The Body Shop! We’re so excited for you to try out the full Tea Tree product line pictured below! Please look for our message to arrange the delivery of your prize!

We’d like to once again thank The Body Shop Canada for sponsoring a wonderful contest that lets us spoil our readers! We’d also like to thank our readers and everyone who took the time to enter the contest – we wish that everyone could win!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop with our most recent posts and contests! And once again, thanks to all for your continued support of inanutshell.

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Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Over the weekend, I was seriously channeling my domesticated side. Not only did I complete some “Pinterest Projects” that I have had flagged for a while, but I also spent some time in the kitchen trying out a few new recipes. By far, the best creation from the weekend were Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.

New York Style Cheesecake has been a baked good that I’ve always wanted to perfect, but have been nervous to attempt. One of my all-time favourite desserts, I know that it can be a finicky recipe and it will definitely take some practice. For now, these miniature versions are a more than suitable substitute!

What you’ll need:

-Large strawberries (I used 2 pints)
-1 container of cream cheese (I used the low fat variety)
-3-4 tbsp. of Icing Sugar
-1 tsp. of Vanilla

Directions:

1. Cut the tops of strawberries and core the middles. Set aside.
2. Mix together softened Cream Cheese, Icing Sugar and Vanilla. Beat until smooth.

3. Put stuffing mixture into a ziplock bag and cut the tip off to create a piping tool.
4. Squeeze a dollop of the stuffing into each strawberry.
5. Dip the top of each strawberry in Graham Cracker Crumble.

In a nutshell, these stuffed strawberries were definitely a hit when I brought them to my bookclub on Sunday evening. A cute and simple dessert that tastes like a little bite of heaven!

Fall back into Resolutions

Well folks, it is officially September. While summer is still technically with us for two more weeks, I always find that once the September long weekend passes and school starts back up, the carefree summer attitude often fades quickly away. Instead of mourning the season, I for one, always look to September and Fall as a chance to make a fresh start. Besides, it seems silly to wait another four months just to make a resolution, doesn’t it?

Re-organize your Finances

Remember back at the start of the year when you were geared up to get your finances in check, stop throwing your cash away and start saving? Ya, me too. Wasn’t that a fun thought? Seriously though, if you’ve fallen off the wagon when it comes to moula, now is the time to get back on track. While it’s hard enough to accept that summer is fleeting, keep in mind that the holiday season is approaching. While it can be tempting to go “back-to-school shopping” even if you’ve graduated or indulge in a Spiced-Pumpkin Latte at Starbucks every day, don’t sink yourself now! Besides, how nice would it be to enter 2013 with a little nest egg?

Leave piggy in tact!

Re-organize your Closet

As we leave summer behind, we also leave behind the need for barely-there shirts, skirts and shorts. Take the time to go through your closet and bring forward those staple sweaters and jeans that have been taking a back burner during the blazing heat. Check to see what still fits, what’s still in fashion and take whatever is no longer up your alley to your local Value Village or Salvation Army. Then, once you’ve cleaned shop, take these tips from Kaylee to help you transition between the seasons with ease!

Get back to the Gym!

Summer can present us with a ton of opportunities to exercise outdoors. Summer can also present us with a ton of opportunities to laze around instead of working out. Since dieting and getting fit are the most common New Year’s Resolutions, why not get started now? If you’ve taken a bit of a gym-hiatus this summer, September offers the opportunity to get back into a regular routine. It’s never too early to start developing healthy habits. And just think, by the time January 1st rolls around you’ll be that much closer to your fitness goals!

Tackle a Bucket List

While summer presents countless opportunities to try new things, fall does that too! If you haven’t touched the bucket list you made in January, dust that bad boy off and start checking things off! Don’t count out the adventures that can still be had, just because the weather is a tad cooler. Throw on a jacket and some boots and find your latest adventure. Consult Catherine’s Fall-Bucket List here for some great ideas!

Colours of Communication

I was recently fortunate enough to take part in a training program through my work which focused on the various styles of communication and types of communicators. My colleagues and I were asked to fill out a questionnaire, that generated colour coordinated profiles based on your responses. Each colour was representative of a different type of person, including those who were detail oriented vs. goal oriented vs. emotionally driven …and the list goes on. The four colours that were introduced represented the four types of people that we generally interact with, whether it be at work or in our personal lives.

At the beginning of the day, we discussed the various colours and identified positive and negative attributes for each. We also looked at where conflicts could arise between colours and their specific communication styles.

This isn’t working.

In a series of activities, we were first asked to choose the colours that best represented our way of interacting and communicating. Next, we were given ‘coloured’ attributes and asked to distribute them to our colleagues. Finally, we were given the results of a quiz that we answered in advance, which identified which colours we strongly identified with and what style of person/communicator we were.

I have to say that there were vast differences between how I originally perceived myself and how my answers reflected my true ‘colours’. Furthermore, the way that my colleagues perceived me were different from how I thought I came across, leading me to reflect on both my successes and areas where I have room to improve.

Where do you think you fall?

The biggest lesson that I learned was that we have to stop focusing solely on our own way of communicating and interacting and embrace and adapt to the communication style of our counterparts. Whether this is with our superiors and colleagues in the office, with our family members or with our significant others – it’s not all about us. While I may be the type to assert my ideas or opinions, that type of outgoing communication may overwhelm or alienate the person I’m speaking with. If this type of interaction is continuous, I may (unknowingly) cause a riff in the relationship.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that while someone’s approaches may be vastly different from our own, that does not make them less valuable. As young adults who are slowly forging our way into the working world and building and maintaining relationships in our personal lives, it’s important to keep valuable lessons like these in mind. What I learned is that the different types of people, and their corresponding communication styles, bring a different, and necessary, element to our interactions. After all, how boring would the world be if we were all the same?

Interested in learning about yourself? Take this short quiz!
(While not the same as the in-depth program I was a part of, it highlights four different styles of communication and breaks down their pro’s and con’s!)

Announcing the Winner of The Body Shop’s Cruelty-Free Make-Up Contest

We are pleased to announce that Sheralee Huot was drawn as the winner of our contest for $100 of  The Body Shop’s new cruelty-free make-up line! Congratulations! We’re so excited for you to fall in love with these gorgeous products! Please check your e-mail to arrange the delivery of your prize!

We’re Jealous! Enjoy!

We’d like to thank The Body Shop Canada for coming out with a beautiful range of cruelty-free products and sponsoring this contest. We’d also like to thank everyone who entered our contest by commenting on our posts and interacting with us on Facebook and Twitter! We hope that you enjoy our contests and we’re looking forward to bringing you more in the future. Besides, Movember is just around the corner…

Until next time nuts, thank you for your participation & continued support of inanutshell!

CONTEST: Win $100 in Make-Up from The Body Shop! **CONTEST CLOSED**

Lily Cole: The new face behind The Body Shop’s Cruelty-Free Campaign.

UPDATE: The winner has been chosen! Thank you to all who entered!http://inanutshell.ca/2012/08/10/announcing-the-winner-of-the-body-shops-cruelty-free-make-up-contest/

This summer, go cruelty-free with Lily Cole and The Body Shop! inanutshell, in collaboration with The Body Shop are thrilled to offer you the chance to win an amazing gift basket valued at more than $100, filled with the new, limited edition make-up range: Cruelty Free Make-Up, launched in collaboration with Lily Cole.

Celebrating The Body Shop Against Animal Testing ethos, Cruelty Free Make-Up contains no animal products and hasn’t ever been tested on animals. With ultra-expressive colours, shimmering looks and super soft giant puffs for perfect application every time, being cruelty-free has never been so glamorous! For more information on the products, please visit: www.thebodyshop.ca. We nuts couldn’t be more excited for one of our lucky readers to try out these gorgeous products!

The Giveaway Package will include: Pearl Radiance Primer, Liquid Eyeliner, Puff on Radiance, Shimmer Cubes, 1 Lip & Cheek Dome & 2 Mini Hi-Shine Lip Glosses.

To enter our fabulous contest: leave a comment below with your name and e-mail address so that we can contact you!

Want to up your chances? Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter! For every Facebook post that you tag us in and for every tweet you send our way, an additional entry will be made in your name!

Contest entries will be accepted from Thursday August 2nd – Thursday August 9th. Good luck nuts!

Beauty on a Budget

Alright readers, I’m just going to throw this out there – being on a budget is NOT fun. Whether you’re paying back student loans, starting out at a new job with a tiny salary or trying to save for your first home (or all of the above!), being in your twenties is a time where money matters. For women, cosmetics and beauty products can be so frustrating; not only are they huge money-suckers, but half the time you feel like they don’t give you the results that you anticipated. I’ve put together a list of some great products that are inexpensive and will cover most elements of your beauty regime – in fact, you can purchase everything on this list for under $100!

1. Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse Foundation ($14.99)
Used by multiple nuts, Maybelline’s Dream Matte Mousse Foundation is creamy and leaves a nice matte finish on your skin.

2. Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips ($19.99)
These shimmer strips are great because they are multi-purpose. Use each shade individually as eye-shadows and then use them together for a great, shimmery bronzer or blush

3. MAC Fluid Line ($18)
This gel is by far the best and longest lasting eye-liner I’ve ever used. Once you get used to applying it with a thin-angled brush, it will change your life. Perfect for creating a dramatic cat eye or a simple every-day look, this eye-liner is great on both upper and lower lids and is definitely a staple of mine. (Plus, it doesn’t smudge constantly like some pencils do!)

4. L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara ($10.49)
This mascara is a fan-favourite. Kate mentioned it in the past and I have since converted to it after trying it once. Use one sweep for a simple look or load it on for dramatic lashes.

5. Rimmel Vinyl Lip Gloss ($6.49)
One of inanutshell’s #1 supporters, Kelly, went on a quest for lip gloss and after trying multiple expensive brands, decided to give this a shot. After trying it over the weekend, we’re glad she did – it’s awesome and a great value!

6. Treseme Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($5.49)
I’ve blogged about dry shampoos in the past and at the time I wasn’t impressed. But, after trying Tresseme’s Volumizing Dry Shampoo, I can say that it’s now a staple in my beauty regime. Not only useful if you sleep in and have to skip a full wash, but also a great tool for creating a bit more volume if your hair falls flat.

7. Mini Body Shop Almond Hand & Nail Cream ($10)
This hand cream has been a staple in my purse/home/office for as long as I can remember. A light moisturizer with a sweet fragrance, this product not only targets dry hands, but moisturizes your nails as well! The mini size is perfect for taking on the go.

8. Essie ‘Fiji’ Nail Polish ($10.99)
It’s no secret that we nuts LOVE Essie nail polish. And now, you can get the look that Emily Maynard rocked all season as The Bachelorette by sporting the shade ‘Fiji’. It’s a light pink that’s great for everyday because it goes well with just about anything!

And there you have it nuts, some great bargains that will keep you looking great on a budget. Happy shopping & happy saving!

Happy Birthday Kate!

This past weekend, the ladies of inanutshell were lucky enough to all be in the same city. A rare occasion, as we all lead hectic lifestyles, our paths crossed for a very special event: Kate’s Birthday. Not only a wonderful writer, who we’re so lucky to have as a member of this blog, Kate’s passion for food and wine has only deepened over the past year and it has been such a pleasure to watch her flourish in her element. We’ve watched her excel in her work at one of Ottawa’s top restaurants and succeed in her studies to become a Sommelier. Furthermore, Kate is fiercely loyal, passionate and hilarious. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to chase adventure with, she’s always willing to step in or step up. Her dedication to her loved ones is unmatched and we’re so grateful to call her our friend. Happy Birthday to our little Lalu, we can’t wait to see what wonderful things your 24th year brings you.

While we had an all-day, all-night celebration on Saturday, here’s what we would do if we could throw her the ultimate Birthday soiree…

On the OUTFIT, Kaylee says…

Kate is a definition fashionista. She loves getting dressed up, and always looks fabulous from head-to-toe. She’s known for her affinity to Club Monaco, her sky-high wedges, and those perfectly curled brown locks. Of all us nuts, she takes the most risks when it comes to style, and they always pay off. Lace short shorts, cropped tanks, silk blouses, antique rings, and lust-worthy statement necklaces are among her go-to pieces, but she’s always on the cutting edge, being the first to rock a floral romper or tie her top in a knot paired with a high-waisted skirt. The lovely birthday girl can teach us all a lesson in risk-taking, blending trends old and new and continually redefining personal style.

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

On the FOOD, Cat says…

While Kate has many talents and interests, one of her greatest passions is definitely food. Whether it’s by pointing us to a delicious dish, through her informative restaurant reviews or simply being lucky enough to tag along as her dinner companion, our resident foodie has taught us all a thing or two about pleasing the palate. After many years in the food industry Kate knows what she likes but is always more than willing to be adventurous at mealtime, diving into the untraditional or the exotic. That’s why for her birthday food board we chose a mix of some of her staple favourites and some menu items that would make the average diner say … “What IS that?” Paired with some fine wines, delicious cocktails and post-dinner shots (of tequila), a memorable meal is the key to this birthday girl’s heart.

On the drinks, MEGHAN says…

Kate is definitely our wine connoisseur and for her Birthday, she deserves nothing less than a variety of wines to choose from. Cue two whites (Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc and Pillitterie Estates Gewürztraminer Riesling) and two reds (Kim Crawford Pinot Noir and Pirramimma Petit Verdot) that Kate has raved about in the past, along with a high-end bottle of bubbles, like Veuve Cliquot. Nothing but the best for this jem! Aside from wine, Kate often turns to a classic Old Fashioned cocktail (à la Don Draper) with plenty of muddled fruit to start off the evening. And to finish everything off? A Spanish coffee. Perfection.

On the music, JESS says…

Most random playlist ever? I prefer to think of it as eclectic – something that Kate is in every way. As you’ll read in her food and restaurant reviews and tales of traveling, Kate is one of the most open-minded and free-spirited girls I know – always willing to try something once and never one to deprive her senses of anew experience. Kate has incredible taste in music – both new and old – so I thought the birthday girl deserved a well-rounded, upbeat playlist with plenty of genre samples that are for the most part brand spankin’ new.  A little variety, excitement and groove for the fabulously outgoing girl who will always try something new on the menu of life.

1. Dull to Pause – The Junior Boys 2. New God Flow – Kanye West feat.Pusha T 3. Gaucho  Dave Matthews 4. Pyramids – Frank Ocean 5.Flutes – Hot Chip 6. One Love to Another – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 7. Words in the Fire – Patrick Watson 8. 1904 – Tallest Man on Earth 9.Summertime Sadness – Lana Del Rey 10.Wildest Moments – Jessie Ware 11.The Keepers – Santigold feat. The Knocks 12.Heaven – The Walkmen

Celebrating Kate’s Birthday at HOPE Volleyball Summerfest with the nuts and some lovely ladies!

 

What’s fat about that?

As a group of female writers, who love pop culture, fashion and beauty, it’s inevitable that at one time or another, snarky comments tend to be made about the celebrity of the moment. Whether we dislike someone’s dress on the red carpet or are shocked by the amount of botox that a young actress appears to have gotten, we know that we’re not innocent in passing judgment on public figures. It’s the name of the celebrity game; opening oneself up to the criticism of society. What we don’t encourage or engage in, is the mindless bashing of body figures.

We often speak to the topic of leading a healthy lifestyle on this blog. Whether it be healthy recipes, to our favourite songs to exercise to, we’re definitely on board with trying to live as healthy and well-rounded a lifestyle as possible. In the past, I’ve highlighted issues involving women’s body image, from the American Apparel Plus-Size Campaign to unrealistic standards of beauty as outlined by the beauty industry. Today, there is a news story floating around the web that I couldn’t help but shed some light on.

A blog, ‘skinny-gossip’, otherwise known as a forum where skinny women can come together to discuss a life of thin-ness and share starvation tips, have now taken it upon themselves to mock celebrities who they deem fat. On their target list: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model, Kate Upton.

Her? Seriously?

The author posted un-flattering pictures of 19 year old Upton, discussing things from her, “hugh thighs, no waist and big fat floppy boobs.” Calling her a ‘piggy’, the anonymous author asks, “Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry but: eww!” While the blog has since issued a statement that asserts the site is pro-skinny & healthy, not pro-anorexic, it’s safe to say that this type of negative forum where even SUPERMODELS are trashed, isn’t doing any favours to encourage a healthy body image for women of ANY size, whether they’re a 2 or a 20.

The author asserted that Upton is 30 pounds too heavy to wear this bikini.

While rocking bodacious curves, Kate Upton may not fit the mold of an average runway model, but not many women in North America do. And what, may I ask you, is so wrong with that? Runway models start as young as 13, so why should adult women be aspiring to look pubescent? This issue has come to the forefront of women’s health and fitness, with slogans such as “Healthy is the new Skinny’ being promoted by athletes and women’s publications. But, as this latest on-line forum indicates, there are still a lot of women out there who could care less about being healthy, so long as they’re wafer thin.

So, let them have their opinions, black coffee and celery sticks; I’ll take a balanced diet and workout regime over that, any day. And personally, if I looked like Kate Upton in a bikini, I’d probably never wear anything else…in a nutshell.

Yep, I’d settle for that.

Re-Decorating with Colour

As some of you may know, all 5 of us nuts have moved since the beginning of 2012. While Kaylee and Jess are now both calling Toronto their new home, Catherine, Kate and I have all re-located within the Nation’s Capital. Moving is never an easy venture (it is actually known as one of the top 3 most stressful life events) and along with it comes a million little issues and stresses. But, there is an upside to moving: the opportunity to make-over your old belongings and give yourself a fresh and fun new living space. I have found that changing up the colour scheme with a few simple touches is the easiest way to re-invent your space; here’s what I did…

Invest in new bedding:

After living in a predominantly white-walled home for the majority of my youth, as soon as I moved out on my own I craved dark colours and brightly painted walls as a pseudo-rebellion. I have literally had every colour of bedding you can imagine, from hot pink to black. Recently, I had deep red and beige bedding and while I still dislike the thought of everything being white-washed, I was craving a more tranquil colour scheme. And so, I decided to go with an almost nautical inspired pairing of white and navy blue.

 

Say hi to Winston.

 

DIY Picture Frames:

I’ve always loved surrounding myself with photos of my loved ones. Every room that I’ve ever had has been filled up with framed, smiling faces. I found some very pretty, inexpensive frames at IKEA (these and these) that matched the airy feel I was going for in my room, but I hated the thought of having a bunch of plain white frames blending into my white walls. After a quick trip to my local Canadian Tire, I easily re-vamped these frames with a coat of spray-paint to make them my own.

DIY.

Work with multiple colours/Don’t sweat the small stuff:

If you know me, you know that I am a big lover of TV and movies. While Catherine usually can’t sit still long enough to get through an hour long TV show (excluding Bach, obviously) I usually unwind with DVD’s of Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, etc. For me, a TV in my room is a non-negotiable. After picking white and navy blue, I worried that my black TV wouldn’t work with my colour scheme. But, instead of attempting to spray paint that too (terrible idea) or dishing out a ton of cash on a silver or white TV, I decided to roll with it. I found a large black mirror to hang on the adjacent wall and have a black picture frame on display as well.

And so, I hope that this quick view into my new room gives you some ideas of how to re-vamp your living space as well! Happy Re-Decorating, nuts!