Sunday, 30 November 2014

Holiday Home Decor

With November gone and December here, Christmas is definitely in the air! I usually get into the Christmas spirit around mid to late November. This year however, we chose to decorate our house on the last weekend of November. I thought it would be neat to show you some pictures of what I've done around the house. I don't have too many things, as we just moved in last year. I'm still working on collecting my Christmas stash!

I bought some special hot chocolate to go along with our holiday decorating! We sipped on hot chocolate, had Christmas music playing and our Mint chocolate Chip candle burning. It was very festive! P.S. The After Eight hot chocolate flavour is really good!

Red and gold decor all the way! Classic, timeless and traditional! The tree skirt is an old table runner that I just wrapped around the base. Honestly, you can be so creative with a tree skirt. Don't bother spending a lot of money at the store when you can get really creative with fabric and other materials that you may have around the house. 

He was from our Holiday celebrations last year! Last year he came with gummies, toffee and popcorn. If you ever get items like these as gifts, save them! They are great for decorating and cost nothing! All we have to do now is name him! If you have any good ideas let me know in the comments below!

My dollar store tree that changes colour. 

This is from my childhood. A snow globe that plays 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas!". 

A candle I got back from elementary school from a friend that I still speak to today!

Somewhat of a full view of the living room. 

Purple is mine and red is the husband's! We used command strips to secure them to the railing. 

My kitchen table center piece. I got this as a present last year. It didn't come with the candles so I stuck a pair of Christmas candles I had laying around. It would be nice to add some greenery or holly around the candles to bring the outdoors in. P.S. one of the wicks was not cooperating

And there's my Holiday home decor! I might add things here and there as I see them around stores. There's nothing really major that I absolutely want to add at the moment. For now I like everything the way it is. Simple and festive!

What's your favourite thing to decorate for your home during the holidays?


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Scandal Season 4 Review

Anyone else a Scandal fan!? I'm a huge fan! Check out my earlier post about Scandal Season 3 here. Season 4 is definitely full of surprises, twists and turns and just very 'scandalous' (aka lovemaking)! But what else would you expect from Shonda Rhimes? Here are my thoughts about the season so far. For anyone who has yet to watch Scandal or Season 4 episodes, don't read this! There will be major spoiler alerts!

Oh Olivia...why can't you just decide between Fitz or Jake? I guess this is what makes the show interesting. We see a lot of this back and forth in this season.

Poor Jake in the scenes where he's taken in by Fitz for questioning about the murder of his son! My heart literally sank every time he was tortured.

Agent Tom! Oh poor agent Tom! From being sent to prison, to being stabbed by Command! Which I did not see coming at all! But he revealed some interesting things to the plot such as Fitz trying to commit suicide for not knowing where Olivia was and that agent Tom actually had an obsession for Olivia....

I feel really bad for Huck this season. He finally had the chance to connect with his son, Javi, but it all came crashing down when his son saw him kill Kobiak... This would indeed scare any kid away. At the end of season we see Huck finally allowing his 'wife' to read into his secret life. I would love to have things turn out for the better for Huck but I'm not sure if that would ever happen given his life and past.

Olivia's dad....HOW is he always 5 steps ahead of the game! Is there something I keep missing? Someone whose on both sides? Just how?! A lot of interesting characteristics of him are shown in this season from his manipulative nature, to his twisted, yet genuine care for his daughter. We see that he doesn't have the intention to kill Olivia, but who knows with future shows what will happen.

I feel terrible for Cyrus Bean... Losing James hit him hard, and he ends up sleeping with Michael, a male prostitute. What he didn't know until later in the season was that he was a spy for Elizabeth North! (Portia di Rossi, Ellen's wife). To be fair, Cyrus didn't know any better about being spied on, but I'm glad Olivia could work things out for him. It seems that Michael has more of a personal interest in Sirius than just business. We'll see...

In my opinion, I actually liked the second last episode a lot better than the last episode. The second last episode could have ended the season right there and it would have been good! Again, shocked at her dad at the end of the episode. Majorly shocked at the affair between vice president Andrew Nichols and Elizabeth! It all kind of ends up making sense with the last episode with the vice president wanting Fitz to declare war in West Angola, and possibly having a role in kidnapping Olivia. After all the vice president is working with Elizabeth whose working with Kobiak who happens to have all those photos of Olivia... Something smells fishy...

Speaking of glad that the smelly Melly phase is over!!!!

And what was with the weird Olivia Pope dance at the end of the episode...? It was so awkward, that you could sense something was going to happen and it did!

Overall, great season so far! I can't wait until January 29th for the craziness to start all over again! I just don't know what to think about what will happen at this point in the show... it changes by the scene! If you're really into Scandal you should check out Ellen's interview with the cast of Scandal (I've linked it above). It was such a great interview and really cool to see them interact off camera.

P.S. Shonda Rhimes is a great writer/producer! I'm going to start watching How to Get Away with Murder!

Any predictions for Scandal's future episodes?


Monday, 24 November 2014

Spice Rack Organizer

Now that we've been in this house for a while, I have a lot of little organization projects that needed to be done. The first one I wanted to tackle was my spices! I use these almost everyday when cooking and it was so disorganized that it was driving me crazy! Here's a before picture:


I literally had some of my spices stuffed into a ziplock bag... yeah not the best for organization and trying to find anything!

So, to organize my spices, I bought these jars from IKEA. You can find them here


I really like these jars because they are small in size, it's glass, so I could see what's inside and find out how much of a certain spice I have left, and it also has a nice lid that screws on tightly.

I made sure to put them in the dishwasher and have them completely air dry before putting my spices in.

Then I bought this tiered spice rack that could sit in the cupboard. 

What's really cool about this tiered spice rack is that it's expandable! This is great if you want to place it in a bigger space or if your spice collection ever grows bigger. I found this at Home Outfitters. I'm sure you can find this or something similar at any organization store or department store. It's probably online as well.

Then the rest is simple, I filled all my jars with the spices. I ended up borrowing this label maker from my mother-in-law to make labels for the jars. I love label makers! It just makes everything look really nice!


And voila!

So glad I finally took the time to get all of this organized! It works a lot better for me and it's so much easier to find spices. 

How do you organize your spices?

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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Book Review : The Hunger Games Series

Title: The Hunger Games Series (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay) 

Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Teen Fiction (Dystopia)
Rating: 5/5!

Synopsis: The fictional nation Panem consists of 13 districts, controlled by a capital city. The capital city, Capitol is the richest while the other 13 districts live in poverty, separated from one another. 74 years prior to the start of the book, District 13 rebelled against the Capitol, resulting in a long, bloody civil war. After District 13's defeat, the Capitol had decided that every year, as punishment for rebelling against them, one female and one male under the age of 18 from every district are randomly selected as Tributes to participate in a competition known as "The Hunger Games," where each of the 24 contestants battle to the death until one is left standing. On the eve of the 74th edition of the games, Katniss Everdeen, a resident of District 12, volunteers as Tribute after her sister was selected. During the games, the actions of both Katniss and her fellow Tribute, Peeta, set the stage of a revolution to overthrow Capitol with the other districts of Panem.  

Why did I pick this book?: Recommended by my sister. The Dystopia concept was new to me and  I was interested in learning more about this genre of writing. 

My Favourite Part: The whole thing! I could not put this series down! The best part was that I did no prior research or had no idea what the Hunger Games was all about. The story was really unique and very adventurous, filled with questions of "what's going to happen next...?". The Hunger Games may have been the basis for the whole story, but I enjoyed Catching Fire and Mockingjay the most.  

Lessons Learned: Making an annual event about killing others and putting citizens in constant fear is not the way to make others remember what was done in the past. There are many ways to remember our history (the good and bad) and educate the population in a more effective and less cutthroat way.  

Would I Recommend It?: YES! Suzzanne Collins style of writing is incredible. I love the amount of creativity and detail that has been put into this. I thought I wouldn't like it and here I am, writing a review on it! I really want to buy this series and keep it for my personal collection. 

How Would The Movie Do?: I've watched the first two movies and I'm eager to see Mockingjay Part 1. As always the movies are never fully true to the books. The books definitely have more detail, but they are still exciting to watch. 

Would I Read Other Books By This Author?: In a heartbeat!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Sample Source Products Review

I recently received my Sample Source products in the mail a few weeks ago. Click here for that blog post. I thought it would be useful to do a review on the products that I received. So without any further delay here are my thoughts!

Hopefully you can see the products!

1. FrizzEase - I really like this product! It helps to take away and tame unwanted frizzy hair. I mainly use this product after I wash my hair and blow dry. I find that my hair tends to get super frizzy when I blow dry it and this definitely helps.

2. Finish Powerball Dishwashing Pod - I found that it got the dishes really clean. I had no dishes that had leftover food or water spots. However, I didn't find that it did anything special compared to other dishwashing pod brands.

3.  Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant toothpaste - I did not like this product! It did not taste good at all! It literally tasted as if I was taking baking soda and brushing my teeth (event though the flavour was in mint). I immediately had to spit it all out! I personally would not recommend this product. Although, the baking soda solution is pretty good for whitening teeth (according to my husband who tried it), this one might be one for you to try.

4. Higgins & Burke Chai Tea - This was really yummy! It's a great tasting black chai tea. Perfect with some added milk and sugar. I would definitely repurchase this to add to my tea collection.

5. Icebreaker Duo Mints in Raspberry - This was alright. Not really my type of mint though. It was nice to taste, but I don't think I would spend my money on it.

6. Icebreaker Frost Mints in Wintercool - These on the other hand, I really like! I'm kind of biased since I've had and bought these before. I would definitely repurchase these.

7.  Hershey's Whole Almonds Creamy Milk Chocolate - Who doesn't love chocolate?! I love chocolate and I love chocolate even more if it has nuts in them! So having this one with almonds was super delicious! I also really like the texture of Hershey's chocolate. Very creamy, smooth and melt-in-your-mouth texture. I'm definitely buying this again!

8. Kellog's Special K Pastry Crisps in Cookies & Creme - This was different to try and something I've never had before. The product itself is very, very sweet. I'm not one to like very sweet desserts or snacks. I don't think I'd be buying these for that reason. Plus I tend to take fruits & veggies for snacks. If I'm looking for something sweet I'll usually go for chocolate.

9. Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry - OMG, love them! Where can I buy them? Costco? Please tell I need to say more?

10. Biore Face Strip - I've never used a face strip before since I use my Clarisonic pretty much everyday. I decided to use this on my nose and chin area (I cut the strip into two pieces). When I took it off, my skin has never felt the same way! It was so powerful that I could see the dirt, blackheads and even baby hairs on the strip! I would definitely repurchase these.

11. John Frieda Full Repair Shampoo and Conditioner - I've never tried this brand of shampoo before. It smells so good! I even got compliments from my husband on how good it smelt (bonus!). The downsize to the sample is that the size is so small that you can only use it once for your hair. It's not enough to use mutliple times to see the affect on your hair. I would be willing to purchase this product and use it as my next shampoo and conditioner combo.

12. Jergen's Ultra Care Body Lotion - I really like this body lotion! It smells great and the application is super easy. It absorbs into the skin well. I also like this type of body lotion in the Fall and Winter months when your skin tends to get more dry. This sample came with a $1.00 off coupon. I recently purchased a bottle at Walmart. The price on this body lotion is super cheap! It's really affordable.

13. Schick Hydro 5 Razor - I got my husband to review this one (for obvious reasons). He says that he really likes it and it gets the job done. The only downside is that there's no trimmer blade. He stills prefers the Gillette Fusion but if the Schick Hydro was the only thing available to use, he'd be totally fine with that.

14. Breathe Right Nasal Strip - I had to use this a few weeks ago as I had a really stuffy nose. I applied it to the nose area, right before I went to bed. I have to say, it really did clear my nose so I could breathe better. There's actually no product on the nasal strip itself. The way it works is through the science of a specific spot of where you place the strip and it expands your nasal passage to breathe. I know it's weird...Look it up and you'll see! The only thing that I didn't like about this product is that it was slightly uncomfortable throughout the night. I ended up taking it off in the middle of the night.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments below!


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Living Room Update

Hope everyone's week has been going well! I have a really exciting update about my living room! We moved in our house over a year ago. At the time we purchased this sectional chair that fits perfect in this little nook. We updated the space with some decor such as the photo gallery wall and the mirror you see. We also ended up buying our round glass table and the laptop table at IKEA earlier this year.

On the other side of the living room, you can see that we have our TV, TV bench and the brown chair (Which I greatly dislike!). We got the TV bench from IKEA earlier this year with some of the accent pieces from Home Sense. And that brown chair? Well, when we first moved, we used our old living room chair set which was brown and leather (like the chair). When we got our sectional, we ended up moving the loveseat and sofa to the basement as it just wasn't working for the space (& me) and ended up leaving the brown chair in the corner as we had no idea what to do with the space.

For the past year, I've been looking around and deciding on what I should do. I settled on getting a pair of accent chairs to put on either side of the TV bench. I have been looking everywhere for the past year to find a chair that's comfortable, affordable, trendy, versatile and something I would really like, since I want to have this chair for a very long time, and in a colour and style that would fit in any room.

I did A LOT of researching at multiple stores to find the 'perfect' chair, but every one I looked at just didn't fit my style until I found out about the wing chair style. I really like the look of these chairs, they're very elegant and classy. I then focused my search towards other stores with chairs in that particular style, but I found that the prices in most stores were crazy high! Finally, I had set my eyes on IKEA's Strandmon chair, after a year of fruitless searching. What made this chair worth it compared to other stores is that IKEA usually has a sofa event during the year in that when you buy one fabric armchair, sofa or loveseat, you get the second 50% off, so I decided I would put some money away every month to afford the two chairs when the sale returns.

Finally, IKEA had its sofa event (The sale goes on until Nov. 24, 2014), and I seized the opportunity! It's obvious that no other chair suited my tastes, so I indulged! As I mentioned before, I did put away money every month to save up for these chairs, and let me tell you -- it's totally worth it!

I got them delivered and set up last week (if you follow me on Instagram, there's a picture of the chairs still in the box). Ever since then, I've been in love with my chairs and the living room! I can't get enough of it! Every time I come home and walk into my living room, I fall in love with it all over again! The chairs make the space complete, cozy and warm and I couldn't be happier with my purchase! I decided to get the chairs in grey, since the colour's neutral and it goes with just about anything. I picked up the white accent pillows from Home Sense. I like them for the design and white is a very versatile shade, which comes in handy in case I ever wanted to use the throw pillows for another purpose or in another space.

I'm absolutely loving the space and the chairs! I just can't get enough of them.

What's your favourite space at your place?


Monday, 17 November 2014

Book Review: Gone Girl

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 4.5/5

**SPOILER ALERT** If you have not read the book or watched the movie, this book review will reveal certain aspects of the plot. 

Synopsis: Nick and Amy Dunne got married and built a life in New York City. Due to personal circumstances, they move back to Nick's home town. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick discovers that Amy goes missing. Through Amy's yearly tradition of an anniversary scavenger hunt, Nick pursues his own investigation. He becomes a prime suspect throughout the investigation with the police. 

Why Did I Pick This Book?: With all the hype and craze from the movie and book, I had to join in! I'm glad I did!

Favourite Part: The author's writing style! I thought that she was very clever with how she structures the chapters. She flips between the point of view of Nick and Amy (Amy through her diary mostly). 

Lessons Learned: I'm not really sure if I learned or gained a lifelong lesson from the book but I feel really bad for Nick at the end of the book...... 

Would I Recommend It?: Go out and buy the book now (If you haven't read it)! If you like a good thriller or mystery book, you have to read Gone Girl. I don't think I've read a book so quickly before (and that's with working, household responsibilities, fun time & blogging all mixed in). Definitely a must read!

My only disappointment is the ending of the book which I did not like at all! Very upset and disappointed. I wish Nick would have been able to get out of the relationship to live his life without Amy always consuming his every thought and action. It's upsetting to see that he had to settle for that. Although I did read an interview by the author explaining the ending and she mentioned that she really couldn't structure it any other way simply because Amy was always thinking 3 steps ahead of Nick, always. It would have been impossible for the police to catch a clue that it was her. Also she explained that she didn't want Nick to be arrested in the book, so essentially he couldn't kill her either. It's one of those books where everything was just awesome in terms of a story line, but I was not happy with the ending.

How Would The Movie Do?: I cannot wait to see the movie! I have to wait for my hubby to read the book first. I read that the author was very closely related to the production of the movie to ensure that the movie would be true to the book. We'll see!

Would I Read Other Books By This Author: Yes! I am willing to read her other books as well. If they are even half as good as Gone Girl, it will be worth the read. 

Next Read: Four by Veronica Roth
First Impressions: I really like the Divergent series so reading this book is a must for me to shed some more light on the character named Four. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Crochet Holiday Gift Idea - Crochet Creations by Brenley

Christmas is fast approaching and you may be stuck in a gift idea rut....I'd like to introduce a gift giving idea that you may not have considered before. Crochet! My friend Brenley has her own crochet designs that are really creative, impressive and simply beautiful and timeless! You can't go wrong with gifting something that is homemade and original. I had Brenley make a crochet baby giraffe for a baby gift not too long ago.

How can you not like this cute, adorable little guy? I love her creations! She is so talented, creative and just brilliant! She has many different designs to choose from. She has such a huge range that you could get a crochet design for a baby, family, friends, teachers, birthdays etc...(the list can go on).

So if your unsure on what to gift for this holiday season, consider getting one's of Brenley's crochet designs. She will also ship depending on where your located. Check out her creations on Facebook, Pinterest & on Instagram!

I love to give support to friends like Brenley as her ideas and creations are simply timeless!


Monday, 10 November 2014

I'm on Instagram!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to send out a quick post that I am now on Instagram! Please follow me at randomissblogs. I don't have a ton of content yet, but I definitely will as the posts continue. I'm really excited for this new adventure! It gives me a way to connect with all of you and to get to know my audience better!

I look forward to your likes, comments and photos!


Sweet 16 Birthday Gift Idea

Hope everyone's weekend went well! I had a pretty busy weekend with errands, work and family affairs. It was my little sister's sweet 16th birthday! I can't believe that she's 16! I still remember the day my parents brought her home from the hospital and all the times we would dress her up in funny outfits when she was a toddler. Now she's 16!

I wanted to give her something special and unique, after all it's her sweet 16 birthday! I would get her 16 gifts for her 16 birthday! I thought that this would make a good post in case your looking for a special idea for a birthday, anniversary, celebration etc....Originally I was going to do a scavenger hunt for her 16 gifts but came up with a gift basket idea. Here are some of the 16 items I bought for her gift.

A popcorn bowl, mason jar barrel glasses, 40 different kinds of Jelly Belly jelly beans, nail polish, a movie ticket, Lush face mask, deodorant, pocket tissues, lip balm, nail file, mascara, socks & stick-on nails. I also got a few more items that aren't included in the picture. 

I focused on gifts that she would like based on her interest. You can always switch up the gifts based on the occasion and person. For example, if it's a 25th wedding anniversary, you could get 25 gifts that the couple can use together (ie. a dining card, a movie rental, chocolate, wine etc...). 

Here's the final product!

I used the big popcorn bowl as my 'gift basket'. You could get really creative and switch this out for a decorative garbage can, a laundry basket, cooler, decorative basket, baby bag, tool box etc...

I tied it up with clear plastic gift wrap and added some ribbon, and you're done! Oh, I also added some left over Halloween candy in the empty spaces to make it look full.

My sister absolutely loved it! She also loved everything inside. 

This is a very versatile, easy, creative and personal gift for anyone on any occasion. Happy gift giving!


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Mini Random Haul

Hope everyone's weekend is going well! I did some errands yesterday and along the way I got a few things for myself (of course!). I thought I would share!

Bath and Body Works had a promotion for 3-wick candles. Buy 2 for $25.50! I got two since you can never have too many! Plus, I really like the deal! I wanted some scents that were classic and that you could burn all year round. P.S. The sales lady said these are their two most popular scents.

I added these newbies to my already existing scents stored in my kitchen cupboard.

I went into Pier1 Imports looking for a indoor mat and also throw pillows (getting a new addition to the living room which I will let you know about in a future post). I didn't find anything, but I did come across this pedicure foot tool. It has two sides with different textures.


This side has a pumice stone and an emery board.

This side has a brush and a foot file. 

It also came with these instructions on how to use the tool.  How cute! I got it since my existing foot tools are so old. I also got a few extras for some X-mas presents as well! They make a great gift or a stocking stuffer for the X-mas season. Very practical and small. Also you can use it in the shower or for your pedicure routine.

I also went to Home Sense today (looking for an indoor mat and throw pillows) when my husband came across this. He is a HUGE Sonic The Hedgehog fan as well as a dedicated video game player. When he saw this he just had to have it! So we got it. The best part is that the cup changes when you pour hot liquid into it. Unfortunately I didn't get a shot of this.

There's my mini haul for the weekend!


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Book Review: Cinder

Title: Cinder The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tale
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: Cinder, who is a cyborg, struggles to find her place in the world with her evil stepmother, Adri, who despises her. Cinder, however, is a very gifted mechanic, which leads her to meet New Beijing's Prince Kai. This encounter then develops into a special relationship. As the story unfolds, Cinder is faced with many decisions that will impact her family, Prince Kai, New Beijing and even the earth's fate, as the Lunar Queen evil shadow is cast. However, Cinder discovers the one most important factor about herself that will change everything. 

Why Did I Pick This Book?: I got it as a birthday gift from my sister. Also, I really love fairy tales! I love them all! I thought it would be interesting to read about a twist on the classical Cinderella story. 

Favourite Part: I can't reveal exactly what happened during this part as I will give away too much. But I love the part where Cinder discovers the one most important factor about herself that will change everything. It will literally change her fate, others and the worlds. At this point in the story, she goes from being so insignificant to being the most important person alive. 

Lessons Learned: Everyone has something special inside of them no matter what they look like on the outside. Never judge a book by its cover! Also, life is full of surprises; some are good and some are bad. You just have to roll with the punches. 

Would I Recommend It?: I would recommend this book to anyone who is completely fascinated with fairy tales or fantasy/sci-fi books. If you are looking for an easy and quick read that's interesting, this may be something to pick up. 

How Would The Movie Do?: I think this would make a better movie than a book, for sure! In fact, I could totally see the movie being a huge hit!

Would I Read Other Books By This Author: The author has other stories in The Lunar Chronicles that all link together. I would be interested in reading the others to continue the story of where Cinder left off. 

Next Read: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
First Impressions: I-cannot-put-this-book-down! It is so good! I mean I've heard raving reviews about the movie so I figured the book would be really good as well. I'm absolutely loving it and have finished about a quarter of the book in less than a week (this is a record for me!). I'm really interested to see the movie after reading the book. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Halloween Night

I know this post is late but I thought I would post my Halloween night pictures. It was definitely a really cold, rainy and windy night! But everyone made the best of it.

Made some pumpkin seeds with cajun spice and paprika from the pumpkins. Not sure if I really like the taste of pumpkin seeds....are you supposed to eat the entire seed or only the contents inside the shell?

And then......the morning after....we got snow! The first snow fall for the season right on Nov. 1st! It was definitely a surprise!