Being Canadian

Good afternoon and happy Canada day to all of my fellow Canadians! Today's post is a short one and I'm here to publicly post my Canadian pride. 

Being Canadian is something very special. Often Canada gets overlooked as it's the northern neighbour to the United States which is such a shame. There's so much beautiful land and water in Canada and that makes it spectacular in it's own right. Canada is also physically huge! It contains several climates and regions that are very particular. (not all of Canada experiences the horrendous winters!) Aside from the natural beauty that Canada offers, it offers the world a personality. Canadians are known for their kindness, apologetic nature, and peacefulness. Canada is also such a multicultural state, but even though it is, every new Canadian citizen is proud to be called so. 

Well I hope you understand why Canada is so special and deserves to be celebrated on it's birthday. My public pride paragraph was pretty short and not totally inclusive of what makes Canada so awesome, but I hope I gave you the briefing on it. Now back to the the Canada day festivities: a good ol' bbq. 

Follow me on instagram and twitter

Etsy Shop Sale

Good afternoon everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 

If you didn't know already, I have a shop on Etsy called Melody Anne Prints. There I sell my own photography which includes lots of architecture, landscape, and urban pieces. I am offering a sale that goes until June 30th. This is a big sale. You can get 50% off your entire purchase using the offer code SPRINGSALE. I urge you to go and check it out, and if there's anything you like, remember you can get 50% off! 

You can take a look at my shop here. 

Ps. My blogging schedule tends to be a post every Wednesday at 1300 EDT and every Sunday at 10:00 EDT. I've had guest posts the last two Saturdays that are book reviews so if you're interested in doing a book review guest post please comment down below or contact me through the contact section! I will also be starting to post on Mondays at 1300 EDT as well. And please subscribe if you'd like to be kept in the loop. 

Follow me on instagram, twitter, and youtube!

Pps. Here's my last video: 

In today's video I give you a look into what I ate. I am not a vegan, but a vegetarian, but this particular day everything I ate was vegan. Give this video a thumbs up if you like it and leave any comments down below! Please subscribe to my channel!

 

Guest Post: A Court of Thorns and Roses Review by Fantasy Angel

Hello everyone! My name is Fantasy Angel (it's my blogger name, not real name) and I come from Avid Reader, a blog on books, their movies and writing in general. I am here on Melody Anne's lovely blog to give you guys a review of the book A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, one of my favorite authors. 

Ok so the premise of the books is (based on Goodreads' description): "When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever."

Now this book is supposed to be sort of based off Beauty and the Beast but with quite an obvious twist (cough fairies cough) and I knew that before starting the book. For the first several chapters of the book though I couldn't figure it out because of the fairie twist. Now after maybe the first five to ten chapters, the similarities between ACOTAR and Beauty and the Beast became more and more clear but the book didn't seem like it was ripping off from BATB because there were bigger problems in the book and Maas played that off beautifully. Her writing and the plot are amazing (I also recommend her Throne of Glass series to read because that is blow away amazing as well). The way she incorporates action, romance, emotion etc with just 26 letters is absolutely phenomenal and she is definitely at the top of my favorite authors list.

Now as for the characters: I loved them all! Feyre, the main character, felt a bit Katniss like at times with her hunting and her sometimes "I volunteer for tribute!" attitude which I loved because it gave me more of a connection to her. I also loved how fierce she is without being emotionless and remote. Tamlin, Lucien and Aliss (the latter two are characters unmentioned in the synopsis) were also amazing! I loved reading about them and seeing everyone's chemistry and personality and the way they all just bounced off one another. It was truly wonderful character wise. 

All in all, I definitely recommend this book to you because it is amazing. I loved it so much and if you are into Hunger Games, Beauty and the Beast and/or action and romance, you should definitely read this book. If you do or have read the book (or any of Maas' other books) comment below! If you haven't, tell me if you would read this book based on this review and/or anything else you've heard about the book or Sarah J Maas! 

I hope you liked this post! If you did, like this and come out to Avid Reader and hopefully you'll like it there as well and follow :) Anyway, thanks again to Melody Anne for this awesome opportunity and thanks to you guys for reading this! Have a great day/night and tata for now!

Welcome

My blog and I have officially moved hosting sites. I was with Wordpress for just over a year, but found that there were some limitations. I've moved over to Squarespace and I have to say I like everything about it! The only downside was that I couldn't take over my followers (sadface*). Nonetheless, the posts will continue and exciting things will still happen!   

Also, I'm hosting a blogger chat today at 1200 EDT time! Please join in and follow me @melodyyannep! 

 

image.jpg

Mystic Magic & Indigogo Campaign (ad)

I just recently stumbled upon Mystic Magic. It is a fashion brand that has a unique look and has up until now only produced masks and headwear. They are looking to venture into the world of clothing, while keeping with their very creative vibe. They are currently campaigning to raise enough funds for their clothing creation dreams, and they need some help. The campaign ends on June 25th, and you can access it here. There are gifts given to those to contribute to their clothing fund. And if all goes well, they'd like to be in London Fashion Week. I think it is important to support young emerging artists, and this chap is 21 and from the UK. The brand Mystic Magic is edgy and has a very distinct look, which is so important in the fashion world. As I am a huge art and art history lover, I can appreciate a creative fashion brand that is formed by such a passionate individual. Follow the link to view their campaign and to learn about their fashion brand!

Good luck Mystic Magic on your campaign! I wish you all the best!

Here's a link to their own website if you'd like to see what their currently sporting.

PS. I'm doing a twitter chat at 1200 EDT tomorrow June 9th so please join in with the hashtag #ltbloggers. Find me on twitter @melodyyannep.

Guest Post: "The Confessions of a True Womanizer" Book Review

“The Confessions of a True Womanizer” 2Q==

Synopsis

The Confessions of a True Womanizer is a Romance/Drama about a young man name Romeo Roosevelt that tries to find his way into treating women right. Romeo grows up watching his father romance his mother and other women. Romeo admires his dad’s abilities to be a smooth ladies man. Romeo of course wants to grow up being a ladies man just like his father. Romeo is blessed with his father’s handsome looks and as he grows into a man, he takes advantage of that. Jumping from woman to woman, confused on how to really stay faithful to a woman because Romeo was never taught how to truly treat a woman. Romeo reunites with a long lost love and tries to get his act right just for her. The question is; will he be able to? This is an incredible story of a young man trying to find himself after growing up in a drama filled household. Romeo Roosevelt is the main character that a lot of men can relate to in real life. A father figure is so important in a young man’s life and this story is a prime example of that. This novel is for everyone to read. No matter your race, gender, background, culture, etc. This is an enjoyable read for people who love great stories with great morals to it! This book has twenty something enjoyable chapters.

Character Review

The character Romeo in this book has a coming of age feel to him. While he is a grown man he still has a lot to learn about people as well as himself and how to be his own man. The story follows him around as he learns this as well as how to love the woman he is with. The writer of the book really understood how to make a reader care about the characters. as I was reading this book I began to care about Romeo as if he were an actual person. The creation on the character was great.

Review of the story

While the book was great overall I do wish that there was more to the woman he was falling in love with. The writer made her a really great character he did not make her as deep as he did Romeo. It would have been nice to read a little more about why he loved her and who she is. She needed a bit more development as well. The story was very unique, while it may sound a bit cliché when you think of the plot the author made it work effortlessly, holding the reader’s attention the entire time.

Overall

Overall this book receives 4.5/5 stars because it really is an amazing story, I enjoyed reading every moment of it and I’m sure you will too! The characters are relatable and really great and the author really knows what he is doing.

About the Blogger

Rene loves hiking, her cat ambush and her husband. not in that particular order. She also enjoys blogging about Books, Movies, TV shows and video games on her Blog http://Renereviews.com. If you want to get in touch with her you can contact her there.

Bingley turns four!

IMG_0848

Today is Bingley's birthday and he turns four! For his birthday, he's getting a little party, lots of gifts, and I made his favourite, flourless peanut butter cookies! He's allergic to wheat among lots of other things so this recipe is perfect for him. If you'd like to see that recipe, check here. Follow me on instagram and twitter for Bingley birthday cuteness and for new posts! Happy birthday Bingley!

IMG_6389

Welcome Spring, Its Been a While...

Is anyone else as happy as I am for Spring to be officially here? Although in the Toronto area it's still quite wintry, I'm enjoying the plus 5 weather. Grass is being exposed, the snow is melting, the days are brighter, longer, and I'm enjoying it all. When I think of Spring, I think of hope, newness, and life. The sun is coming out more, and we're finally going to be able to pack away those parkas. There's some things I'm looking forward to, and I'm sure you are to. The first thing I'm looking forward to is wearing all my Spring clothes. Layers, a lighter palette, and saying goodbye to boots are all beautiful things. Also, some nice pastel nail colours will be coming out!

This doesn't pertain to everyone, but the Spring represents university coming to an end. I'm excited to be finishing my fourth and final year. Saying goodbye to the thousand of essays means I can do more of the things I enjoy (before entering the real world).

Dog walks. I know Bingley and I are itching for warmer and sunnier weather so we can walk more. Bingley is fairly small and doesn't do well with extreme cold or heat, so the Spring is his favourite season. (Plus, his birthday will be coming up soon!) More time outside means all-around happier people.

Flowers, green grass, trees blooming, and all of the spring (and summer) produce that will be coming out. I can't wait to start my condo herb garden again.

I've missed you Spring, this Canadian winter was way too long.

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep, bloglovin, and twitter @melodyyannep!IMG_0361

Twelve Days of Christmas: Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies

Just like the chocolate bark, this recipe is a little bit of a cheat during this time of year. I love baking so I'll always make time for it, but other people have much busier schedules than I do, which means less time for baking. This recipe uses Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough, but feel free to adapt your own chocolate chip cookie recipe to it! (I've tried this recipe both ways and it works perfectly with both!) IMG_4474

You will need:

1 roll of Pillsbury cookie dough (or your own recipe)

1 cup of nutella

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

48 mini marshmallows or 12 large marshmallows

A handful of crushed candy canes

To start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the cookie dough, nutella, cocoa powder, and cinnamon into a bowl and mix very well.

IMG_4338IMG_4344

From here, you could easily make little balls and pop them in the oven for double chocolate chip cookies.

IMG_4346

For the peppermint hot chocolate cookies, you'll need to roll them out into little balls first. Once you've done this, squish the balls into flat rounds, and add 2 mini marshmallows or 1/2 of a large marshmallow to each cookie round.

IMG_4351

Enclose the marshmallows inside the dough and make a round ball. Add your crushed candy canes to the top, and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

IMG_4348

These cookies can really impress people because they're stuffed. They're really delicious once out of the oven because the marshmallow is very gooey. Enjoy these cookies with a warm drink or send them as a yummy gift to someone. They're easy, quick, and impressive!IMG_4408

IMG_4452

Check out tomorrow at 7 pm for a new recipe!

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

The Art of Christmas Shopping

Shopping in general can be pretty stressful. Shopping for clothes when you need them usually doesn't work out well since it always seems that nothing looks good or fits well. Shopping for gifts is similar since you're buying for the ones you love, and that can be stressful. Over the years I've learned how to deal with the stress of Christmas and most importantly I've learned how to conquer the dreaded task. First things first, make a list! As you may know I'm a big list lover. Making a list is important because you'll figure out where you need to go and what exactly you're going to buy. Think about what each person wants or needs, and there you go! Christmas gifts should be one of two things for me: 1. Personal or 2. Yummy!

Next up, scout out the sales. Christmas gift shopping shouldn't make you broke. You buy what you can, and when you can find good deals, you take them! Finding deals also means shopping online. You can get so many deals online, my favourite online shop is Indigo. Your order comes super fast and they have so many products to choose from at wonderful deals.

Finally, keep calm in the stores. Shop either in the morning or in the evening. You have a better chance of being alone in the stores which allows you to stay calm. Also, wear layers so you don't get too toasty in the really warm stores. No sweating is another way for you to stay calm.

Once you get all your gifts, you'll need to wrap them up. The hard task is done and you can turn on that Christmas music, make a warm drink, and wrap those gifts!

Follow me on Instagram @melodyannep!

IMG_2946.JPG

Vegan & Gluten Free Falafels

I absolutely love chickpeas. They're high in protein and fibre, and absolutely delicious. I'm always trying to find news way to enjoy them so I thought I'd venture out into the falafel world. I made these falafels for lunch today and they're easy, very quick, and very yummy! You'll also have everything on hand which means less money for you to spend. IMG_3280

You will need:

A can of chickpeas

A pinch or so of salt

Cilantro

Hot peppers

A teaspoon and a half of gluten free flour (If you don't need it to be gluten free, use AP flour!)

A teaspoon of oil (I used vegetable)

A food processor

(I used Gourmet Garden's Cilantro and Chili Pepper paste. I always keep it on hand, and it makes flavouring a lot easier.)

IMG_3251

IMG_3258

Put your pan on the heat at medium and add in your oil. Add all of your ingredients into your food processor. Put the lid on and whiz it up! (Its that easy really!) Make your little falafels with about a spoon or so of your mixture. If you wet your hands lightly it makes it the mixture stick less to your hands and easier to work with. Place your falafels into the hot pan, and let each side brown and crisp up. This should take about 1-2 minutes per side.

IMG_3262 IMG_3264 IMG_3268 IMG_3272  IMG_3285

Enjoy them with a salad, pitas, tortillas, yogurt, or any other chutney that you like! You could easily put them in the oven to bake as well. Next time I'm going to try adding sweet potato into the mix, and use them as a veggie burger! Bon appetit!

Follow me on instagram @melodyannep and bloglovin!

A Monday PickMeUp

As you may know, I had three (now two) exams this week. Today was rainy and cold and plain ugly in Toronto so I definitely needed a pickmeup. I always get picked up on a bad day by my cute pup, Bing. When I walked through my door he was so happy to see me; his tail was wagging, he was dancing, and he threw himself on the floor to get scratched. There were also many kisses. I love him, and am so grateful to have him. I hope I make him as happy as he makes me. Before I got home, I witnessed another dog and owner bonding that was just adorable. A man was taking his huge dog for a walk. They sat down at a bench, and the owner took out a new coat for the dog. He put the coat on him,  and the dog jumped him with a hug and kisses! It was so beautiful.

If you have your own pup, give them a hug. If you don't, I'll give Bingley one for you hehe

IMG_2567

Ps. Follow me on instagram @melodyannep for more pictures of bingley, updates on the blog, and lots of food! Also give me a follow on Bloglovin here!

Happy Autumn!

Autumn is definitely my favourite season and all around time of year! The crispness of the air, the colours of the leaves, thanksgiving, and my birthday all add up to a lovely time for me. This is just a general post for the seasonal things that I've prepared so far. I used a rainy saturday morning to pickle some veggies. I pickled radishes, cabbage, carrots, and red onions. For a general pickle, you use 2 cups of vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt. I added coriander seeds as well. You can boil the water before you make the mixture for food safety.

IMG_2135.JPG

 

I made my own pumpkin spice latte from scratch, and I have to admit it was pretty delicious! Make coffee or espresso. In a pot combine 3 tablespoons of pumpkin purée (just the canned stuff) with about 3/4 cup of milk, brown sugar, and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Let it heat up and add it to a mug with your coffee! I topped it with more pumpkin pie spice to make it the ultimate latte!

IMG_2153.JPG

 

I have multiple pretty pumpkins around my condo now, and they just add such a wonderful sparkle and piece of autumn. IMG_2193.JPG

 

This best shows my autumn mornings: Bingley, sleeping on my bed, being cute and cuddly. I'm so lucky to have this little guy! IMG_2189.JPG

Puppy Party

May 9th is Mr. Bingley's birthday, and of course, we throw him a puppy party! He turned the big 3 years old. We had party hats and crowns, toys for him, and I made vanilla cupcakes with sprinkles on them (for the humans)! The point is, Bingley is family to me and I want to make him feel special. Dogs provide humans with so much joy and happiness so when we can share it with them, please do. Celebrate your pup's birthday, and try to get them in a party hat! (I feel so accomplished that I got Bing in one!) Happy birthday Bingley! 

Image

Image

 

Mother's Day Preparation

Mother's Day is right around the corner (this Sunday!), and if you haven't figured out what to get your wonderful mom, look no further. When you're on a tight budget, and don't want to show it, doing/giving things that are truly personal to your mom will help to conceal that. If your mom is a foodie, take her out for brunch or lunch, give her a cookbook from one of her favourite chefs, or make her a wonderful meal at home. If your mom has a green thumb, buy her a beautiful plant, pots, or something to accent her garden. If she is just someone you love dearly, buy her something pretty like a blouse, scarf, or purse, or something enjoyable like a book, art, or flowers. Whatever you get your mom make sure it comes from the heart, even if it doesn't have a huge price tag. Oh and always include a card! Cards are where you can write a tiny message that can spark specialness in your mom.

Enjoy the time with your mom on Mother's Day. Remember two things: 1. Everyday can be Mother's Day 2. Celebrate Mother's Day with all the mothers in your life, and make everyone feel special because they deserve it!

Image

ps. These flowers are from my mom's garden! (Check out my dreamy spring photo collection at www.etsy.com/ca/shop/melodyanneprints and use the offer code MSINBETWEENERS for 25% off until May 31st)

Etsy

This is my official welcome to my Etsy shop, melodyanneprints! My shop contains photographs that I have shot over many seasons and throughout different cities. I am a photographer, and a camera collector (kind of a camera hoarder haha). The works in my shop have been shot with either my Canon Rebel T3i, Canon Rebel T5i, or my Diana Mini. Needless to say, I'm into both digital and film photography.

Photography is a way for me to capture my happiness and passions. I have been in art shows, competitions, and have had some photographs published in magazines, which all adds up to ways for me to extend my happiness through photography to others. And that's the idea behind my shop folks.

Since spring has finally sprung, new photographs will be popping up like May flowers on my shop! In honour of that, and the start of my blog, I'm giving you the chance to use the offer code MSINBETWEENERS to save 25% off your entire purchase until May 31st! I ship throughout Canada, and to the United States, as well as countries in the European Union.

You can check out my shop at www.etsy.com/ca/shop/melodyanneprints. If you have an Etsy account, please follow me! (and follow my Instagram @melodyannep too!) Feel free to comment or contact me through either this post or my Etsy shop; I'm all eyes and ears!

Thank you ladies and gents!

Image

ps. Bingley is such a fantastic model!

Meet Mr. Bingley

Hello everyone! Today's post is about my loveable and full of personality puppy. Well he isn't technically a "puppy" (he's going to turn 3 soon - stay tuned for a birthday party post) but he's still a puppy to me! He's a Yorkie Bichon mix, and captures the hearts of everyone around him.

So please let me introduce my oh so smart, handsome, and charismatic Mr. Bingley. Yup, he's named after Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (I'm a English major haha) character Charles Bingley. Ohh I forgot to mention he can dance too!

20140408-012918.jpg

Hello!

"Not a girl and not yet a woman." - Britney Spears This is an iconic line from Ms. Spears. Although I can't help at laugh at them, somehow though, it does apply to us twenty-somethings. We are the "inbetweeners". We're at the time in our lives where we want independence but need it at an affordable price. We are the women who want to live a happy healthy life on a budget!

My goal for this blog is to highlight the important parts of life for the ms. inbetweener. I'll focus on things like how to eat fantastic meals on a budget, how to become your own budget-savvy interior decorator, and how to go out and not spend a fortune! Most importantly, my blog is a local one that'll focus on Vaughan, and from time to time, Toronto.

Happy reading!

IMG_5935 - Version 2