Cake pops for the festivities!

Alright so I’m a huge fan of desserts and I do bake a little–as evidenced by my Best Brownies Ever! recipe. But I’ve always shied away from anything too complicated. Cake pops look complicated and therefore must be seriously hard to make right? Nope, easy as 5min mug brownies! Follow along below for a no fuss, easy to follow Cake Pop recipe that is sure to win over any Scrooge this holiday season.

Ingredients:

~ Instant cake mix (whatever flavours you like)

~ Frosting

~ Candy chocolate melts (bought at Bulk Barn or Michaels)

~ Sprinkles

~ Cake pop sticks

~ Styrofoam/Egg trays

Method:

Start off by making your instant cake. Follow the box instructions to build the easy cake. You can of course make your own cake from scratch but what’s the point? It’s going to be crumbled up and masked with frosting anyways. If you’re anything like me I’d recommend taking the easy way out.

 

Next let your cake cool down completely. Then begin the fun process of crumbling it in a bowl. Don’t use the crusts of the cake at all! It’ll ruin the structure of the cake pop.

After you’ve successfully crumbled the cake, begin dolling out the frosting into the bowl and mix it all together. Then pick up small sections of the mixture and roll them into small cake pop shaped balls. Then start sticking the cake pop sticks into about a quarter of the pop. No more no less! After you’ve made the amount you want, stick them into your fridge overnight or for an hour so it hardens.

Next you’ll want to melt the chocolate while the pops are in the fridge. I was baking for a baby shower which why it’s all pink and white. I recommend red and green for a Christmas vibe.

Dunk your cake pop into the bowl of chocolate carefully, holding by the stick and not losing your cake in the chocolate. Going slowly and swirling is key to this step!

Drizzle on whatever sparkles, sprinkles or dusting of whatever over the wet chocolate and stick it on the styrofoam. Repeat steps for forever and before you know it you’ll be done.

When you’re finished stick it into the fridge and relax until the party. Pull them out and serve to resounding applause.

Pro tip #1: Let your cake pops warm to room temp. before covering with chocolate or else the chocolate starts to crack as the cake cools down.

Pro tip #2: stick your cake pop(ulated) styrofoam into the fridge while you re-melt the chocolate to make sure your cake pops don’t start melting on you.


Enjoy and let me know in the comments how it goes!

Until next time,

Rochelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Holiday To-Do List

Its officially the holiday season, well technically it already started (you know it when the stores change their theme from Halloween to Christmas literally the next day). Although my Christmas celebrations are not until January 6th and 7th, I do like to decorate the house in time for the December 25th celebrations. Today I want to share with you 8 awesome winter activities to keep you busy during the holidays and to make sure that you are making use of everything Toronto and the GTA has to offer. From the Toronto Christmas Market down to pictures with your furry friend and Santa Claus, I got your back.

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1.Toronto Christmas Market- this is perhaps my most coveted thing on the to-do list. I have been meaning to visit the Distillery District during the holidays for years now and I never get around to it because of exams. However, this time around, I will be making use of the mistletoe photo-booth, the Marshmallow Waffles, hot chocolate, the beautiful decor and the festive vibes, and of course all the goodies sold by vendors.

  • Entry: FREE but $6 on weekends after 5pm
  • Open: November 18th- December 18th

2.Winter Festival of Lights at Niagara Falls- This is another soon to be holiday tradition for me. Every year, Niagara Parks are decorated with 2 million lights and holiday decorations creating a truly illuminating show to capture those holiday feels. This is an 8km route, filled with fun activities along the way. Don’t forget to catch the light show of the falls themselves at night.

  • Entry: FREE
  • Open: November 19th- January 31st

3. Brampton skating ring of lights- although this is not a particular event, the Gage Park in Brampton is decorated every year much like the Nathan Phillips Square for outdoor skating. The cool thing about this particular location is that the skating rink wraps around the park, making loops between the trees. It sounds so magical to be skating under decorated trees outdoors.

4. 12 Trees of Christmas- the Gardiner Museum really feeds into my love for Christmas tree decorating with this event. Artists have been invited to take part in the holiday scene by designing Christmas trees. From modern to traditional styles, this event is so perfect for anyone interested in decor and unique design.

  • Entry: $15
  • Open: November 18th- January 8th

5.12 Beers of Christmas- quite on the contrary is this event which is perfect for all beer lovers. With a small admission fee, you get a chance to indulge in 12 beers to find the perfect one. Don’t forget to bring your ugly Christmas sweater to this event and taste away.

  • Entry: $10
  • Open: December 13th

6. Second City Holiday Comedy Show- I am a huge fan of Second City. I have been to two shows and both were some of my best and funniest experiences. Since its holiday season, Second City got your back with themed comedy shows. I am looking forward to checking out “Eat, Buy, Repeat: the Second City’s Guide to the Holidays” and “What the Elf.”

  • Entry: $25 (if you are student, you have a discounted rate)
  • Open: November 21st- January 1st

7. Cavalcade of Lights- the first lighting of the Christmas tree in the heart of Toronto at the Nathan Phillips Square. Enjoy the fireworks show but don’t forget to bring something or someone to snuggle up with because Toronto gets so cold this time of year. You can rent some skates too, enjoy a night of performances, the Spectacle of Lights, a skating party with a DJ, and of course try out the holiday photo booth.

  • Entry: FREE
  • Open: November 26th

8. Ugly X-Mas Sweater Party- as a bonus, why not host your own holiday party at home. Recently, I have been on the hunt for an “ugly Christmas sweater” but the price point is beyond what I want to pay for one time wear. So why not make your own with your friends? Take some old sweaters, pick up arts supplies from the dollar store and let your creativity soar. Here is a post I’ve written about hosting your own “ugly Christmas sweater party.”


I hope you enjoyed these ideas and will be trying out some of them. Let me know in the comments below what you are excited about for the holiday season.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

5 ways to Save this Holiday Season

So it’s November 9th, and while the focus has been on the US election, something else has creeped up on us all: the holiday season. Some of you might say that there’s more than a month left but have you seen Walmart? Costco? Visited Pier One Imports? It’s apparently already Christmas! In my ideal world the holiday season season doesn’t start until the weather is in the negatives but in the consumer world, the holiday season begins the minute the clock strikes 12 marking the end of Halloween. 


So with Christmas season looming and panic setting in because we all know we have to buy presents for practically everyone and their mother, what can we possibly do to save our bank accounts and ourselves? I hope my 5 tried and tested tricks help you survive this holiday season!

#1. Make a list! Pull a Santa and make a list to figure out to whom you need to gift. Making a list eliminates the stress of the unknown and having a physical list of people allows you to formulate a plan of gift giving.

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#2. Budget: This may seem slightly callous but I actually give gifts based on expected return. Don’t pour out the hate just yet, this is actually a well thought out idea. For a while I used to gift small and expected to receive small as well, but that wasn’t always the case. When you receive a Michael Kors bag after gifting a box of chocolates, it’s just embarrassing. But if you start gifting big while the other person gifts small, it can be embarrassing for them in turn. There’s really no winning so it’s best to read your audience and budget accordingly. But when in doubt, just gift a meaningful gift from the heart with no return gift expected: big or small they’ll appreciate it! Isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?

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#3. Buy early or buy late: Paying full price sucks. Kvitka and I practically never do! We hold out for sales and clearance because it really makes no difference when the product remains the same whether you pay full price or 60% off! The in-between season is the worst because that when everyone gets their shopping done and price rocket upward. Shopping late is badd too because price get raised since suppliers know their customers are desperate! So be on the look out for sales and shop early! Subscribe to store newsletters to stay in the loop for random sales. Or if you can, organise an after Christmas holiday party and shop boxing day sales!

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#4. Secret Santa: My favourite gift giving method! You set a budget, pick a name from a draw and gift only to that person. What a wonderful way to save money and not waste effort on gifting meaningless presents to a large number of people. This way we all win when you a meaningful present to one person and receive one in return too! I find this works best among a large group of friends and within the workplace as well.

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#5. Potlucks: Thinking of hosting a Christmas/New Years party this year? Make sure it’s a potluck event. Simplest way to save your money and make sure everyone is satisfied because most people bring what they enjoy. You can relax from the stress of cooking for everyone and appealing to all tastes. Plus, you get to enjoy your own party for once without being stuck in the kitchen!


Let me know in the comments below, your own holiday survival tricks! Love to hear from you all. 

Until next time,

Rochelle

Part II: Travelling Solo in London

As promised, I’ve decided to trace out my travel plans from this summer. I hope my post inspires some of you to explore and seek out adventures solo or not! I took a flight from Toronto Pearson to Gatwick Airport with one stopover. It was the perfect redeye because I slept through both flights and arrived in the UK refreshed and ready to start my adventure at 8 in the morning.

The second I got out of baggage pickup (quick and painless since I only had carry-ons!), I searched for the Visitor’s Centre. It’s the best place to stop at as a tourist. I picked up an Osyter card, topped it off and received a bunch of instructions on how to access the airport wifi, travel maps, a step by step guide on how to get to my hotel, an essential Tube map and instructions on how to use the Osyter Card. I definitely recommend stopping at the Visitor’s Centre before starting your trip!

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I somehow navigated the Tube and took a double decker to the Kensington House Hotel right next door to the Kensington Gardens. I scored a CAD $110/3nights through the hotel website which isn’t bad at all for a 4 star place!  I dropped off my stuff, put stars on my Google Maps and looked up directions by public transport to a bunch of places and off I went to explore London. Here’s a link to how I planned out my entire trip: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Lthx158Nuaz2BZhRFYUjX78bw6c&usp=sharing!


Day 1: I decided to take the bus to Portobello Market, a must see in Notting Hill. It was so quaint and busy and lovely. I wish I had extra space in my luggage, because my biggest regret is not buying the vintage Enid Blyton I spotted at a roadside bookstall. The colourful houses of Nottinghill are actually gorgeous in person and the Nottinghill Bookstore from the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts movie is actually adorable. I somehow got a kind Korean tourist who spoke no English to take a photo of me at the bookstore (it didn’t look like the kind of place one take selfies in).

I passed someone who looked like Bansky spray painting a Bansky-like teddy bear on a wall, which was beyond cool. I then took a bus to explore Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace and Hyde Park all in the steady downpour for which London is known. I also explored Harrods and then decided to watch a play in the evening. The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie (my favourite mystery novelist) was fantastic and the St. Martin’s Theatre is a must see even if you don’t like plays.

I finished the day by grabbing a meal from Stick and Bowl (the BEST asian restaurant) and a few French macaroons from Harrods.


Day 2: Going off of the maps I’d created in Toronto, I started off my day at Buckingham Palace, where I decided to save my money and not explore the interior. The exterior itself is lovely and since the flag was raised, I heard the queen was actually at the palace–I did not see her unfortunately.

Not discouraged by the rainy weather, I continued onwards through St. James Park to see the gorgeous Westminster Abbey, the Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, explore Somerset House where I took a break with a well deserved chocolate and lemon polenta.

The British Museum was my next stop where I stopped by the Rosetta Stone and bought a few souvenirs. I walked through the Sicilian Avenue with its lovely archway and quaint shop lined street.

I also visited the Harry Potter Shop at Kings Cross and a lineup which I avoided. Instead I bought a Deathly Hallows pin, a Hogwarts notebook and a keychain which I will forever treasure. I ended my day by stopping off at the Coca Cola London Eye, seeing the line up and deciding that the view couldn’t possibly be worth the wait time or the cost!

I recommend walking along Westminster Bridge to have the most amazing view over the Thames of both the Westminster Palace and the London Eye on the opposite sides. A complimentary beer at my hotel’s bar concluded a tiring but wonderful day.


Day 3: This was my most relaxed day since it was my last in London. I started off by attending an Anglican service at the St. Paul’s Cathedral and relaxing after, taking in the view of the stunning ceilings.

The architecture, the painting, the atmosphere is all worth the cost and more in my opinion. I climbed to the very top of the dome which gave me incredible views of the city (made me feel better about skipping the London Eye). After, I took a circuitous route through Saint Dunstan in the East, a haven with gothic ruins from WWII, to get to the Tower of London where I got the classic fish and chips before entering.

I must say I was slightly disappointed by the Crown Jewels and I’d say if you have something else you’d rather pay for, do that instead of paying for entrance at the Tower of London. It was still nice enough and the architecture was cool. I found the exterior to be worth my time spent there. The Tower Bridge is a must! It looks like a Disney bridge, colourful and something out of Cinderella.

The views of the Shard and the city are pretty cool too. I walked over to Tate Modern which was a bit of a hike and explored the paintings and the collection. The building itself is nothing special but the collections are worth it, especially since it’s free (donations are welcomed). Plus, the Shakespeare Globe is close by and the bank has a great view of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

I decided to end my evening exploring Covent Garden and taking in the theatre scene with some gelato and then grabbed dinner with I proceeded to enjoy with a book in Kensington Gardens.


Overall, London was fantastic. It was worth every penny I spent. I met several wonderful people and I experienced so much I had always read about or watched on TV. It is absolutely possible to see at least 80%-90% of tourist spots and more in 3 days. I didn’t feel rushed at all and I enjoyed everything at my own pace. A lot of this trip was done foot, saving me bus fare and also allowed me to see the city the way a local does. I’m definitely going back for a longer trip because London has so much more to see. But if you have three days, I hope my guide helps you see the finer points of London without feeling like you missed out!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments on things I missed out on during my trip and any recommendations you have from experience! Part III will encompass my solo adventures in Switzerland–stay tuned!


Until next time,

Rochelle

We’ve Missed You!

And we are back! Rochelle and I have had a wonderful two weeks to travel around Spain, England, and Switzerland. It was the right dose of relaxation after a hectic summer and a busy school year to come. It felt amazing to wake up to a to do list that consisted of discovering a new city, reading up on the news back home/ keeping in touch with our families and maybe journaling a little bit.

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This summer, after A Lipstick Trilogy’s one year anniversary, the two of us also took time away from blogging to find inspiration and learn ways we could improve our blog and make it stand out (we also had two jobs each as well as summer school and unfortunately blogging took a step aside). However, while traveling, we both agreed that the one thing on our minds (mind you, popping up constantly at that) was, “Oh this is a wonderland blogging opportunity, and so is this, oh and this too!” We missed blogging and have decided to come back stronger and better!

Some changes coming soon:
– Blog posts 2-3 times a week
– More posts about our experiences, travels, and events
– Updates to layout and design
– Greater social media presence and increased connectivity with readers

We are excited to have you continue on this journey with us. For now, stay tuned for a future post and we’re sending you lots of hugs and kisses.

Kvitka and Rochelle

Types of Pokemon Goers + Questions


Although I was going to be a “hipster” and avoid the “Pokemon Go” craze, I decided to cave in and download it onto my iPhone anyways. Although it crashed on me the minute I logged in, I am determined to learn the ropes ASAP. I haven’t experienced this app addiction yet but it reminds me of the time “Flappy Bird” made the news globally and I am little hesitant to try “Pokemon Go” for this exact reason. However, I will stop being Debby Downer and instead entertain you with some hilarious types of Pokemon Goers (which I have personally encountered).

#1 The Lost Boyfriend: this one is still my favourite. While waiting in line at a small convenience store I can tell that the couple in front of me is “pokemoning” its way towards the cash register. Long story short, the disappearing boyfriend made his way into a park 5 minutes away from the store while his girlfriend frantically searched for him. It was not a happy phone convo.

#2 The Lost and Found: while at work, I cannot help but notice the small crowds gathering around High Park. With phones in all sorts of contortionist positions, it is hilarious watching people stare at their phones while navigating in circles and triangles around trees and bushes.

#3 Presidential Palace: Yes Indonesia, yes to banning workers in your presidential palace from playing “Pokemon Go” during working hours. Hmm, drafting laws and policies or looking for Pokemon?


Skepticism


Alright but in all seriousness, I have some questions about “Pokemon Go.”Pardom moi but I might be going on a rant here. I will have to be a bummer after all but I am wondering about the way that our GPS is being tracked. With cameras installed and location identification on, this is a global phenomenon that tracks the where abouts of every individual logged into the game. Although it is cool to see Pokemon pop up in a real life environment (believe me, I used to be obsessed in elementary school), what is the information tracked about us being used for and by whom?

Now let’s address the lack of interaction between people. Although “Pokemon Go” is getting people outside and moving, I also have not seen so many people blindly starring into their phones and avoiding social interaction. Now what about safety concerns as people are bound to be less cognizant of their surroundings, leading to accidents or walking into restricted areas in search of Pokemon. Honestly “DON’T POKEMON AND DRIVE/WALK” should be a thing.

If you have any questions of your own or answers to mine along with hilarious stories about your “Pokemon Go” adventures, leave them in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts! 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Movie Review: “The Secret Life of Pets”

I like to say that until about a year ago, my taste in movies was limited to chic-flics and an occasional “odd” (for me at least) movie that was nominated for an Oscar. However, I have since changed my ways to branch out and give other genres a try. I mean, I watched “The Revenant,” where a man gets inside a horse so I think I can take on anything. If you have movie recommendations you think would challenge me, leave them in the comments below. This time, I went back to my primitive movie tastes and decided to watch “The Secret Life of Pets” with my family. Here are my thoughts.


THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Chloe (voice: Lake Bell), Sweetpea, Norman, Mel (back, voice:

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Chloe (voice: Lake Bell), Sweetpea, Norman, Mel (back, voice: Bobby Moynihan), Tiberius (back, voice: Albert Brooks), Buddy (voice: Hannibal Buress), Gidget (voice: Jenny Slate), 2016. © Universal

The animation, “The Secret Life of Pets” starts off with an enchanting friendship between a pet owner and her dog Max who lives day and night to play fetch and hang out with his owner. Little did he know that a new dog, a rescue will be making it onto a scene to test their friendship. Alright that sounded a little dramatic but nevertheless, Max and his new “brother” Duke begin an epic adventure after Max is deserted by Duke in the dumpsters. Despite the immediate conflict between the two, they had to work together to overcome the wreath of the mighty revolutionary, Snowball. Like all happy endings go, can you blame me for loving them, the two, or rather, the three of them lived happily ever after.


LT Ratings: Overall rating: 9.5/10 | Tear Dropper: 3/10 | Comedy: 9/10 | Action: 7.5/10 |  Animation: 10/10 |  Adventure: 8/10 | Must watch/ Average/ Pass: Must watch


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Alright, now that the spoiler alert is done, here are my thoughts on the new favourite animation on the block. If you are looking for a great relaxing film, forget it! You will be cracking up throughout and I can almost guarantee a six pack walking out of that theater. But all jokes aside, Kevin Hart (Snowball) is amazing with his impersonations while the jokes in general were refreshing and on point (not your casual fart jokes 24/7).

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Of  course the main lesson to walk away with is the power of friendship, cooperation, and most importantly not judging books by their covers. Let’s throw determination into the bucket as well as Gidget was not only a cute furry ball of cuteness but also a brave protagonist that was determined to rescue Max from the benevolent revolutionary anti-pets squad headed by Snowball.

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I promise that if you are a pet owner, this movie will be right up your alley as there is bound to be at least one of the characters that matches the personality of your lovely creature. For me it was the cat Chloe that is startlingly similar to my cat Kitsuniya. The sass and hidden charm were all there, let alone the looks.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Max (voice: Louis C.K.), Duke (voice: Eric Stonestreet), Katie

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, from left: Max (voice: Louis C.K.), Duke (voice: Eric Stonestreet), Katie (voice: Ellie Kemper), 2016.

Now I only took one silly issue with the animation and it was the fact that being a cat lover, of course cats had to be partially the antagonists and the lazy, sneaky characters. I will have you know that cats are amazing, always there to cuddle and stay calm and collected when you have one of those crazy busy weeks. Therefore, cats definitely needed more love.

Do you think you will be giving “The Secret Life of Pets” a try? Have I convinced you to watch it? Let me know if you like it or love it in the comments below.

BTW: Have you checked out our giveaway? Details linked in the previous two posts. Today is the last day to enter to win an assortment of Travel Essentials for your vacation.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

**All the photos are not ours and were taken by the Illumination Presents
movie "The Secret Life of Pets." The photos were taken from the Cineplex
Odeon webpage at: http://www.cineplex.com/Movie/the-secret-life-of-pets/Photos
(© 2015 Universal Studios).

Don’t Forget These Essentials + Giveaway

Summer is in full swing which also means its travel season! Rochelle and I have already pre-booked our flights to get away before school starts again. Although we wont be travelling together, we enjoy sharing tips and tricks for efficient packing, affordable flights, and things to see and do in our country of choice. As for this week, this is no regular old travel post as we’ve collaborated with Always Kaye to bring an array of awesome travel related posts and Giveaway some of these Travel Essentials to our readers! Keep reading to find out more.


Its no secret that packing is a hit or miss situation. That feeling of “I’m sure I forgot something” is an internal alarm and most of the time, the intuition is true. There are a few key items that I always forget to pack last minute yet they make a big difference. Check your suitcases if you are missing these items.

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Now is your chance to win some of these essentials to make sure you are covered for your next getaway! To win an assortment of Travel Essentials we ask that you follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye on Instagram and answer the question posted on our Instagram page in the caption. This week will be dedicated only to travel related posts on Instagram and the blog. To qualify, you must be a Greater Toronto Area resident and can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO to claim your prize. This us NOT a sponsored giveaway and all the items were purchased by us and Kaye. The deadline is Wednesday, July 13th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

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~Kisses, Kvitka~

Our Journey Thus Far & Giveaway

A Lipstick Trilogy hit its one year anniversary last month and we think it’s been an absolutely amazing journey so far. We started blogging on a whim last year at a random Starbucks. We came up with the theme we wanted to go for and the social media aspect of it but what we didn’t expect is how much the blog would change and takeover our lives. So today, we wanted to post a reflection on how far we think our blog has come.

Rochelle


Before this blog, I was already blogging for my own blog, BooksDecoded. When I say ‘blogging’ I really mean, ‘barely blogging’. Writing every single week and keeping up with the schedule you set for yourself is extremely difficult. You don’t realize how hard it is to make time for personal activities until you try to fit blogging into a schedule filled with school, work, friends and volunteer work.

It’s intense and without Kvitka, I doubt I would’ve kept up with the blog. Blogging with a partner really gives you someone to whom you’re held accountable. It makes you work harder, be a bit more competitive/creative and makes it more enjoyable. And plus, we’re a fabulous team!

Blogging ultimately changed how I function. I constantly pull out my camera to photograph everything in sight in case it’s ‘blog worthy’. Friends constantly reference our blog and I love the phrase “Hey, so I was reading your blog yesterday and it’s actually so cool!”. It also makes me go to events and I’ve taken up new hobbies like learning a bunch of languages. Our blog has also taught me to be more social, which has led to an amazing year of fun and creativity. I’ve loved collaborating with other bloggers and exploring different venues through which we can express ourselves best.

And I’m absolutely certain that without the blog, I would never have had the courage to try a solo Europe trip this summer. I love our blog for being the best creative outlet where I can relax and write whatever I want, whenever I want.

Kvitka:


When Rochelle and I started A Lipstick Trilogy, the idea of blogging was still a little raw in my mind. Yet, I knew that this was something that I’d want to commit to for sure. It was at that Starbucks that we made a pact: we would know if blogging was for us if we could stick to it for a year. And here we are! After not blogging for 2 weeks and instead writing content for other outlets, it made me realize just how much I appreciate being an independent writer, blogger, and photographer.

Taking a look back at the days where we posted twice a day on bloggie and three times a day on Instagram, I’m thinking “damnnn” but it is exactly that commitment that I wish to continue bringing to the blog as it grows. Aside from earning extra cool points from friends and family for starting a blog, it has become more than a hobby, its a passion.

Rochelle and I have been on so many adventures and it is fantastic to have an outlet where to capture those memories we’ve made together. We have been to Elle Canada events and made mini local trips to cafes, national parks, and fashion shows. More importantly, I like the aspect of being able to write from anywhere in the world. So far this has been a blissful journey and to be 100%, this would not have happened if I didn’t have Rochelle to do this with not only because you are held accountable to the other person but rather because its amazing to know that you have a bestie that literally reads your mind. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for us.


GIVEAWAY! As a thank you to our loyal readers and followers on Instagram, we’re collaborating with Always Kaye to giveaway a surprise of Travel Essentials! This entire week is dedicated to travel and we’ll be asking all of you travel questions on Instagram which you must answer in the comment section and follow @lipsticktrilogy and @always_kaye in order to qualify. The giveaway is sadly only for GTA residents and can only be awarded to those who can meet up with us in the downtown core, TO. The deadline is Tuesday, July 12th and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. We hope you enjoy this week as much as we will enjoy hearing from you!

💋 Kvitka & Rochelle

Road Trip Adventure & Essentials

Happy Canada Day to all of our lovely Canadian readers! As the long weekend is approaching, Rochelle and I celebrated the holiday with a girls trip to Scarborough Bluffs. With the sun out, this is the perfect time to hit the road in search of an adventure. Today I’d like to share with you some tips on planning a perfect day road trip and share some sneak peek moments of our own.

The most important part of the trip was choosing a destination. We went with Scarborough Bluffs to enjoy the views, hiking, and of course laying out in the sun with a picnic. Making the right decision to drive when the rush hour subsided saved us an extra hour!!! Despite the dangerous cliffs, the adrenaline was really kicking in when we decided it was a great idea to try and take a super steep hiking route towards the shoreline.

A lesson to take away from our adventures at the Bluffs was to wear simple, athletic attire with open toed hiking shoes and lots of grip. Of course sun screen would of come in handy considering that Kvitka could camouflage next to a lobster at the end of the day.

The highlight of the day was discovering the beach! Despite freezing cold water that paralyzed our ankles and sand so hot that left us racing towards the grassy area, we enjoyed the hidden gem nevertheless. With free parking (yes please) and healthy snacks, the only thing left to do was a nice long walk along the beach.

Snacks for a picnic:

  • Croissants with gem
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Iced tea lemonade
  • Fruits and veggies with dip
  • Trail mix
  • Chips and cookies

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Blanket
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Water and comfy clothes

We hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your road trip! We had a blast planning the trip and we hope you do as well.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Love, Nina: a touching find!

I’ve been trying to explore new tv shows recently. From Peaky Blinders to Mad Men I’ve been experimenting to find a favorite. And two weeks, I finally discovered Love, Nina. The show is based off a book (now on my to-read list) by Nina Stibbe. It’a directed by ever popular Nick Hornby and stars Helena Bonham Carter and Faye Marsay, who plays Nina (she’s also in GOT!)

I simply HAD to write about this show because even though there’s only five episodes out, it is such a touching, quirky, funny and lovely show. Leave it to the British to make sarcastic, strange nannies the central and beloved characters.

Nina is no Mary Poppins but she shines in her own way. She walks the streets, grocery stores and gardens with bare feet. She wear her shoes indoors. She makes delicious meals that are constantly questioned by their famous neighbour (author Malcolm Tanner). And she’s in charge of two foul mouthed boys with a football obsession. Plus, she’s only 20!

There’s also a love interest, misunderstandings and some pretty great British humour. Helena Bonham Carter finally plays a regular human being and excels at it. It’s all set in the 80’s so you do get mentions of nuclear war and fabulous outfits appropriate for the time period!

Does that make you want to watch the show yet? I certainly hope so because everything I just described combines to make a unique show for which I have great hope. I actually wait eagerly wait for each new episode to come out which is quite rare for me.

Give it a try. Let me know if you live it or if you hate it and think I’m a weirdo for loving it!


Until next time,
Rochelle

5 Free or Cheap Things To Do in Toronto- June

Fika Cafe Review

Rochelle and I have recently visited the Fika cafe in Kensington Market and it has quickly grown to be a favourite. You can call it love at first sight almost. We had amazing company and of course our cafe expert Rachel (you can check out her gorgeous Instagram @cafecatalogue) has recommended this place to us. Aside from getting our photos done, together for the first time, we had a blast catching up with our friends. Here is a quick overview of Fika and maybe you can make time to visit this cozy cafe too.


LT Rating: Food: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10 Decor: 10/10 | Seating wait time: 7.5/10 | Meal wait time: 10/10 | Prices: $$ | Must go, Average, Poor review: Must go  


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Atmosphere- 28 Kensington Ave. 


If you enjoy cute shops to photograph, this is the place for you. Aside from an open concept layout, bright colours, and cozy seating, I cannot begin to describe the wall of books. On the opposite wall, you are free to draw with chalk or sit down in the little nooks to read. There is a comfortable outdoor patio with a hammock and a couch in the front yard. With fresh flowers on every table, this is definitely a very laid back, relaxing atmosphere.

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Menu- $$


Although the food can get a tinge pricy, borderline, I really enjoyed my breakfast sandwich. You can never go wrong with bacon, eggs, and lots of butter. Some of my friends opted for salad options and avocado toast which was definitely envied. Iced coffee is a must, especially because the cup is not filled with ice half way (you know what I’m talking about). Being a cafe, the pastries and drink menu was plentiful with prices ranging on average at $4-6.

I would like to hear from you:
Have you been to Fika? Will you be paying it a visit?

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Cocktails at Cold Tea

A few weeks ago we decided to spend Friday night at Cold Tea, an obscure little bar in the depths of Kensington Market that is quite popular with those in the know. After reading the small number of reviews on Google and finding no hours of operation on their Twitter page (they don’t have a website), we decided to take the jump and visit anyways. And what a time we had!


LT Rating: Food: 10/10 | Atmosphere: 8/10 Decor: 10/10 | Seating wait time: 10/10 | Meal wait time: 8/10 | Prices: $$$ | Must go, Average, Poor review: Must go


To give you a visual, Kensington Mall is a small shop with kitschy clothes and cool looking thingummybobs being sold. We entered the small shop and walked all the way to the back of the white tiled corridor up to a door with a lit red light over it. It was very dramatic and a little sketchy. The atmosphere of sketchiness didn’t decrease as we entered a dimly lit area selling Dim Sum of all things, but the floor tiles were lovely!

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And then we finally entered the actual bar. Cold Tea, despite it’s strange entrance its actually quite a hipster bar. The bottle lined shelves, to the wooden chairs and candle lit aesthetic is gorgeous. To say nothing of the teal coloured walls and the ‘VS’ statement wall. I personally loved the atmosphere and if though the bar was dimly lit, the patio was very bright and a huge contrast to the bar itself.

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The service was extremely prompt. And the detail and attention the barpeople gave to each cocktail was phenomenal. I had a regular gin fizz while my friends tried their famous mojitos, apple Jacks and a Singapore Slingy which was just delicious. One friend didn’t know what to get and simply asked for “something fruity”. The barpeople specialize in creating drinks according to what people feel like having which I think is really cool. They know their craft! The drinks were unfortunately pricey at $12 per cocktail. I finished off the experience with a pork bun which I thought was pretty fantastic for $3.

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Overall, I highly enjoyed the experience. They were open at 6 on a Friday night which is nice for those finishing up a 9 to 5. The only minus was that they only accepted cash so I had to use a little ATM. I recommend keeping that in mind when heading to Cold Tea. I highly recommend trying out the place if only for the strange but fun experience.

Until next time,
Rochelle

Inspiration Board for June: Beauty, Style, and Food

It is time for the new Inspiration Board. Seeing that the month of June is sneaking up on us next week, this is perfect timing to make a new to do list, get motivated, and try out new trends or activities. This month, I am putting a lot of focus on self improvement as I am looking into taking photography classes, learning to rollerblade, and finding a healthy balance between work and school. For now, let’s dive into some June inspiration.

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Fashion


#1. Off the shoulder: I have been spotting this look while looking to expand my summer wardrobe. This is a very elegant look with a little bit of flirtation and skin. I have yet to find the one I like but Zara and H&M are a great start.

#2. Active wear: since Toronto is treating us with sunny days, I have made a promise to myself to make time for long, meditative walks in the park as well as biking. This is a therapeutic activity that lets you clear the mind from all the commotion. I am also planning a trip to Scarborough Bluffs to make room for hiking. Finding the right active wear is key which is why I stocked up on a pair of shorts and shirts.

Food


#3. Seeds: although I enjoy blaming my sweet-tooth, I have made an effort to convert to healthier snacks that have the sweetness element and a health benefit. My recent favourite is using flax, chia, and pumpkin seeds to top of simple meals.

#4. Water: you cannot underestimate the benefits of drinking lots of water. Hydration cleanses the inside and outside. I have realized that I do not drink nearly enough water each day which is why I tend to get tired easily. Now that I have made a conscious effort to drink water regularly, I am doing a lot better. I challenge you to do the same 🙂

Beauty  


#5. Face masks: YES! I live for The Face Shop facial masks. Believe me, these $1-4 masks are a nice way to pamper yourself. Rochelle has written a post earlier about facial masks in general and although they may be short term skin fixes, they are refreshing nevertheless. I am looking to try the ones they sell for the under eye area and the lips and feet.

Now its your turn? Let me know:

What are you looking to try this month? I am looking forward to being inspired by you!

~Kisses, Kvitka~