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Holiday: Father's Day Gift Ideas

We can't believe Father's Day is just around the corner! It seems like we just finished buying our Mother's Day gifts and are now starting to brainstorm some ideas for our dads! When thinking of a Father's Day gift this year it's good to keep in mind your budget, the type of dad you have and how much time you have to buy a gift. Depending on how you are purchasing your gift, if you're ordering from online, it may take a bit longer, so give yourself some time. We love shopping for our dads because every year it seems that gifts get cooler and more unique. We've listed some of our favourite gift ideas for your dad this Father's Day ranging in price and fitting for all different types of dads!

Beer Caddy 

If your dad is more of a laid back cottage guy, a beer caddy is the perfect gif! Who wants to keep going back and forth to the cottage to get another beer when you can use a caddy to carry beers down to the dock? We love this hand-carved caddy personalized with initials on the side. It even features a cute little opener built into the side of the caddy itself. This makes for the perfect Father's Day gift. Its great for the cottage, while entertaining or going back and forth to the dock! 

JBL Portable Speakers

Speakers are always a safe bet for your dad on Father's Day! JBL speakers are probably one of our favourite brands to buy, as we find them great quality, extremely easy to bring anywhere and the price is great.  Heading away for the weekend or to the cottage, these are the easiest bluetooth speakers! 

Gage Leather Strap Watch 

If you're looking for a safer gift to buy your dad, a classic leather watch strap is the perfect choice! This gift falls under the higher price point bracket, ranging around $150-$350. It's a timeless gift that your dad will have years to come! 

Bacon and Bourbon Candle  

This is a great gift option that won't break the bank! Its a masculine scent thats fun, fresh and perfect for burning at the cottage. Its's a great price and awesome gift to pair with another small gift, such as with BBQ accessories or with a set of beer or whiskey glasses. 

 

George Foreman Electric Indoor Grill and Panini Press 

If you're dad considers himself a chef and enjoys cooking on his time off, the George Foreman electric indoor grill and and panini press is the ultimate gift. It's perfect for grilling outside in the summer for barbecues and using indoors as well. Perfect for making the famous "dad" grilled sandwiches!

 

Apple Watch 

If you're wanting to splurge on your dad this year, what better present than the multi-purpose Apple watch? Our manager Jill has one and it serves so many purposes, they are absolutely awesome! Even if you're dad isn't a tech guy, this watch is user friendly. It's perfect for a dad that is on the go and doesn't always look at his phone for texts, as it has iMessage, email, apps and even fitness tracking features. You can't go wrong with this splurge! 

 


Summer Vacation: The June Motel

If you can't get away for a summer vacation this year, staycations are always a great option! One of the places we are dying to check out this summer is the June Motel located in Prince Edward County. It's one of the top weekend getaways spots for the summer. If you're wanting a girls weekend and are looking for something different than heading up north or going into the city, the June Motel is the perfect option. From the fun retro interiors, to the beautiful surrounding vineyards, this weekend getaway will not disappoint! 

 

What To Do 

Whether you're in search of a relaxing girls weekend, including yoga and chilling out in your room or by the campfire, or an active weekend, the June Motels offer all of that! If you're looking for a weekend full of swimming, hiking and water sports, Prince Edward County has it all!

It's always nice to get out of the room for the day and explore what is around the motel itself. Enjoy some sunshine and kayaking on Lake Ontario or relax on the beach. You can also rent canoes or hop on a boat cruise for the day (all accessible through the Prince Edward Country website). One of our favourite beaches to hit is the Sandbanks Provincial Park, it's only about a 20 minute drive from the June Motel. 

Another one of our favourite things to do while in Prince Edward County (aside from staying at the June Motel of course!) is going for some hikes and even a horseback trail ride! If you're going on this weekend trip with your significant other, these are a must on your list! The trail rides are usually about 60 minutes and they take you through the mountain trail that overlooks Picton Bay, which is stunning! 

If you're looking for a great hiking trail, that is accommodating for all fitness levels, depending on if you want a short walk or a long run or hike, check out Macaulay Conservation area! Its close to the June Motel and makes for a gorgeous scenic route! 

Where To Eat 

One of the things we love about the June Motel is they offer a breakfast in bed option if you're feeling a slower start to your day. If you're wanting to have a full day and don't want spend time finding a breakfast place, they also have a grab and go breakfast option in the Wine Lobby. This includes detox juices and "healthy" pastries.

If you're looking to have a dinner out, we love the Waupoos Estates Winery Restaurant. It offers unique dishes and tons of homemade options that differ from your typical menu. Their farm to table focus, gives the menu an incredibly fresh take on each dish. They also serve wine and beer (Clafeld Cider), both produced on the estate. 

Where To Drink 

The June Motel offers an awesome indoor-outdoor bar, called the "Wine Lobby". It has wine and beer from local wineries and breweries, also offering some cheese and charcuterie boards from artisans The County.

One of the wineries that we haven't been to but we're dying to try on our next trip to Prince Edward County is the By Chadsey's Cairns winery. This heritage winery offers a variety of all different types of wine, including rarer wines like Muscat and Chenin Blanc. A must if you're looking for a authentic winery to check out over the weekend!  

If you're not a huge wine fan and enjoy some cold brews (especially in the summer!), Prince Edward County has some awesome and really eclectic breweries. One of the breweries we're really wanting to check out next time we're in town is Parsons Brewing Company. This family owned brewery specializes in authentic craft beer. Their most popular beers are the Crushable Pilsner, Parsons Pale and Devil's Right Hand premium stout. They also serve Mexican dishes, bonus! What better way to pair a refreshing cold beer with some tacos or guac and chips?! Yum! 


Holiday: May Long Weekend Style Guide

One of our favourite long weekends is just around the corner! It's always so nice to enjoy an extra day off work and some nice weather. If you're heading up north next weekend or sticking around the city, we wanted to share some outfit ideas for all occasions! If you're unsure of what to pack for a weekend away with friends, or heading to a patio in the city, we're sharing our favourite long weekend looks. Hope you enjoy! XX.

Patio Drinks

We're supposed to have some great weather next weekend, so what better way to celebrate the start of summer (finally!) than with some warm weather patio drinks? Even better when you don't have to work on Monday! This warm weather lately is making us so excited for all our favourite mules, slides, sandals and sneakers paired with all the fun cropped denim this season! We're loving cropped denim with fresh white sneakers, mule, and a cute blouse or  tee. If you're thinking of heading to a patio this upcoming long weekend at some point, we love keeping it casual. Such as our Blue Eyes denim jacket with tee (Amuse Society Tanner tee) or blouse underneath and some fun denim. These pieces are casual enough for a daytime patio but still super cute incase you head to dinner afterwards! 

Cottage Weekend

We love heading up north for the May long weekend, wearing our favourite knits, denim and of course loungewear. Whether you're relaxing by the bonfire at night, heading into town during the day, or to a friend's cottage, you still want to bring some of your best casual, yet cute pieces! Our favourite pieces for the cottage are our new Velvet Clarah pullover and Thea joggers. with white sneakers for those cooler nights or even during the day. If you're heading to a friends cottage for some drinks and fireworks, we can't get enough of our Paige Hoxton Norfolk jeans! They're so fun with the frayed hem. Not only are they season appropriate with the cropped length, but are extremely comfortable! We love these jeans paired with the Velvet Felice knit cardigan as its perfect to throw on over a tee or dress up over a dress. Pair with a white Kira tee and you're set!  

A Night Out

If you're planning on staying in the city for the weekend and heading out at night, we wanted to give you some ideas on outfits to wear for a chic yet causal night out this long weekend. If you're looking for the perfect top to transition your outfit from day to night, we love the Amuse Society Idyllic top and the Velvet Olga blouse pair with high waisted jeans and heeled mules! A pair of jeans that we would recommend pairing is with the Farrah in 10 Year Sea Mist. You can wear this outfit for casual afternoon drinks to a night out! We also are absolutely loving our new Sanctuary Ojai dresses. These easy t-shirt dresses are sheer perfection! From the easy shape, to the breathable fabric, the Ojai dress can be thrown on with sneakers and leather jacket or some sandals. Perfect easy outfit for the long weekend! 


Holiday: Mothers day Gift Guide

We can't believe that May is already here and that means Mother's Day is just around the corner! It can sometimes be tricky picking out a gift. Your mom deserves the absolute best this year! We wanted to narrow down some choices to make it easier when gift shopping. Depending on if your mother is a total fashionista or if sticks to the basics, our list will guide you in the right direction of which gift is best suited for your mom. From gorgeous Amarilo pieces, to the best accessories, and the sweetest pyjamas, we've got you covered this Mother's Day! Hope our list helps give you some ideas on the perfect Mother's Day gift! XX.

1. Amarilo Jewelry

What better way to show some love for your mom than a beautiful delicate piece of jewelry that she can wear everyday?!  We love all the sterling silver and gold filled items from Amarilo, as they can be layered with so many other pieces from the collection. One of the great things about this line is how every single piece can be layered with another, it is delicate enough that it creates that perfect layered look without taking away from your outfit. So if your mom already owns a piece, you can just add to her collection, as she can layer the pieces together!  We love the Mina Lariat paired with the Romy, perfect combo!

2. Velvet Sandrine Top 

One of our favourite new arrivals and doubles as the perfect Mother's Day gift is the Velvet Sandrine Top. From the colour, to the to the super easy shape, we find this blouse extremely versatile. No matter what size your mom is, the blouse has a flowy shape  and billowy sleeve, so the fit is gorgeous on any body type. It looks great with white jeans for summer (just incase your mom is unsure on how to style it!). This would definitely be near the top of our list because you really can't go wrong with the Sandrine, the soft hue pretty much works on every skin tone, the shape is universally flattering and the print is right on trend for this season. Trust us, your mom won't be disappointed! 

3. Mackage Bag 

If you're wanting to go a little bigger on this year's Mother's Day, our pick at the top of our list would be one of the Mackage purses. If your mom loves a little pop of colour for spring and summer, the Zoey or Wilma bag would be a definite hit! If you're looking for an every season staple, the Wilma in black is the perfect gift to give. Your mom can take this out for dinner or wear as a crossbody while running errands and transition easily from day to night. From the unique hardware, to the blush hues, a Mackage leather crossbody will make the perfect Mother's Day gift this year, trust us! 

4. Pj Salvage Set 

You can never go wrong with a set of cute pyjamas for mom on Mother's Day. From night shirts, to striped sets, or cozy slippers, sleepwear always seems to make the best gift. One of our favourite PJ Salvage sets right now that would be a perfect gift for your mom, as they are the cutest print and super lightweight (perfect for the summer heat), is the Playful Vacay set. This set is also super cute paired with the Faux Fur pearl slides. Love!

5. Amuse Society Forever Vacay Tote 

If you're looking to find your mom the perfect gift, but don't necessarily want to break the bank, our new tote from Amuse Society is the perfect gift! The Forever Vacay Tote doubles as both an everyday summer bag and beach tote for vacations or at the cottage. This lightweight straw bag is neutral enough that it goes with absolutely everything and it's not super oversized, so your mom can still bring it out to dinner or use it during the day. 

 


Holiday: Dessert Recipes

It's hard to resist all the yummy desserts that come with the holiday season! From the parties, to the shopping, it is always a challenge to find time to do homemade baking. Even the word "homemade" can sound like a lot of work and effort but trust us, these recipes are super easy and will taste way better than store-bought. Hope you love these delicious recipes as much as we do! Enjoy XX. 

Bonnie Stern's Shortbread 

These are one of our favourite recipes for the holiday season! Not only are shortbread a classic Christmas cookie but this recipe is so easy and not time consuming. Shortbread are so fun to make because you can decorate them for the season, adding red and green sprinkles to make the cookie season appropriate. Bonnie Sterns shortbread is the absolute best! Definitely satisfying your holiday sweet tooth! 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of salted butter 
  • 1 cup of fruit sugar 
  • 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup of rice flour 
  •  Small amount of icing sugar for dusting 

Directions 

1. Place butter in mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add sugar slowly and continue to beat until its fluffy.  

2. Combine the all purpose flour with rice flour. Mix it well. Add in the butter and stir. Making sure its mixed well and the consistency is smooth. 

3. Take pieces of the dough and roll into 1-inch balls. Place each of the balls on a baking sheet with parchment paper lining the pan. Press cookies down to make them flatter in shape. Bake at 300F for 25-30 mins until golden brown. 

Enjoy! 

Aida Mollenkamp's Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding 

 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of whole milk 
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream 
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon for garnish 
  • 1/3 of flavoured liqueur 
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt 
  • 7 cups of large dice cinnamon challah 
  • 1 cup of toasted walnuts 

Directions 

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Mix together the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, liqueur, vanilla and salt. Mix until all the ingredients are mixed smoothly together. Break apart the bread and walnuts and place evenly in a 2 quart baking dish. Pour the custard mixture of the bread, giving it around 15 minutes to soak in. 

3. Next, bring about 8 cups of water to a simmer over medium- high heat. 

4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the bread. Set the filled baking dish into a larger roasting pan and add the hot water until it reaches half-way up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the bread is brown on top and the custard is set. Cool for about 15 mins. 

Enjoy! 

Jam Thumbprint Cookies 

A staff favourite here at V.O.C is the festive and traditional jam thumbprint cookie. These cookies are so delicious and perfect for Christmas. These cute little holiday bites can be filled with a preferred filling of the person you are baking them for, adding a personalized touch. Its no secret we are huge Barefoot Contessa fans, so we thought it would only be fitting to share her amazing thumbprint recipe!

Ingredients 

  • 3 sticks of unsalted butter 
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt 
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water 
  • 7 ounces of flaked sweetened coconut flakes 
  • Raspberry jam or whichever you like 

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar together. Once those two ingredients are mixed, add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt. 

2. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Mix the ingredients until dough starts to form. Take a flat board and sprinkle with flour. Take the dough and place on the board and roll it out into a flat disk. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 mins. 

3. After the dough has been chilling for 30 mins, roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each of the dough balls into the egg and water mixture and then roll in the coconut flakes. 

4. Once all the balls are dipped and rolled in coconut, place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Press each cookie down with your thumb to make them flatter and create an indent on the top. Drop a teaspoon of your preferred jam in the indent made with your finger. 

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until coconut flakes are golden. Enjoy! 

 

Martha Stewart's Chocolate Chip Cookies 

This is one of our go-to recipes for any occasion! These soft delicious cookies will be a hit at any holiday party you attend this season! Martha Stewart's recipe is so easy and tasty, you can easily whip up these cookies if you are in a pinch this holiday season. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar 
  • 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt 

Directions 

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine the butter and both sugars in a bowl and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and egg. Make sure ingredients are mixed together well. 

2. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add these ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix together until its combined. Add the chocolate chips in. 

3. Scoop out balls of dough, roughly 2 tablespoons of dough, and place on the cookie sheets with parchment paper. Each cookie should be around 3 inches apart. Bake for 16-18 mins (until cookies are golden). 

Enjoy! 

 


Winter Bucket List

We have been totally spoiled with our mild fall this year and slow transition into winter. However it is pretty apparent that winter is here, as the temperature has drastically dropped and we even had some flurries today!  It's fun to get ideas on some of the best things to own, see and do this season. With everyone's busy schedule as the holidays are fast approaching, it is easy to get caught up and not enjoy some of the great winter events and activities that are going on around us. Some days it seems like too much of hassle to go out into the cold. However there are some things mentioned on our list that are worth braving the chilly weather for and make you appreciate the winter season. Hope you enjoy! XX 

Denim 

AG Farrah Super Black 

Black jeans are always a great staple for every season but especially great for the winter. They have the ability to dress up any outfit, allowing you to easily transition from day to night. This is a must on our winter bucket list! From the high rise to the super black colour of these AG jeans, these are by far our favourite denim for the season. Pair with a knit and booties for a chic casual look or style with a blouse for smart casual office look. 

Footwear 

La Canadienne boots 

It is always hard to find stylish winter boots that are still durable. Spoiler alert! We have found the perfect boots for you! The La Canadienne waterproof collection is amazing! Not only are these boots cute but they are completely waterproof and warm. Bonus! Pair these denim and knit and you're good to go! You don't even have to worry about changing your shoes from outside. 

 

Ugg Slippers 

The Ugg Slippers are at the top of our winter bucket list! If you don't already own a pair, these slippers are an absolute dream! They feel amazing on your feet after a long day of work. A few of us have them here at V.O.C and we are obsessed. They are one of the best purchases we have ever made. It is something you will wear everyday and super cozy for the winter. Whether you're heading up to the cottage for the weekend or relaxing at home, these slippers are a must this winter! 

 

 

Outerwear 

Paige Shanna Jacket 

One of our more fun pieces on our winter bucket list is the Shanna Velvet moto jacket from Paige. Its a beautiful classic piece that you will find yourself gravitating towards again and again this winter season. Its such a great statement piece to throw over a t-shirt and jeans. This jacket is also perfect for holiday parties to style over a cocktail dress to add some edge to a simple dress. I mean who doesn't love a good velvet jacket?! 

 

Mackage Rena Down-Filled Parka 

Finding a warm winter jacket that will last you years to come and still be in style is hard to find. The Rena parka is definitely on our winter bucket list because this jacket literally meets all of our parka needs! Not only is it exceptionally warm but the colour and cut it amazing! It is definitely an investment piece but it will keep you warm for years to come in our frigid winters, you hit the jackpot with the Rena! 

 

Accessories 

Lyla and Luxe Pom Pom Hat 

One of our favourite accessories for winter is the Pom Pom hat by Lyla and Luxe. It comes in a variety of colours and adds a chic touch to any bundled outfit. We are obsessed with this cozy hat for the winter season. Not only does it keep you warm but adds a fun flare to your winter attire. It also has a removable fur pom pom so its super easy to wash. The natural colour looks amazing with the Mackage Rena parka as well. We will definitely check this off our winter bucket list! 

What to Do/ See

Christmas Market in the Distillery District 

One of our absolute favourite things to do this time of year is to visit the Christmas Market in the Distillery District. It makes for such a fun and festive day or night. Its great for getting into the holiday spirit, while sipping on mulled wine and checking out the unique boutiques that are decked out for the Christmas season. From the craft beer lounge, to the spirits terrace, to dining on French cuisine at the Cluny Bistro, there are so many festive spots to checkout within the market, getting you in the holiday spirit!

 

Ontario Place Winter Wonderland

Another must for this Winter (especially before Christmas) is the Winter festival at Ontario Place. The festival starts December 8th and goes until March 18th, displaying a beautiful light festival featuring installations by local artists, a synthetic skating rink and traditional Canadian eats to snack on. One of the coolest activities that this festival features is a display of holiday movies in the waterfront's iconic Cinesphere theatre. It doesn't get much more festive than that! It also features 12-feet-tall freestanding icicles, talk about a winter wonderland! From the bonfires, to delicious festive drinks, this new festival is definitely worth checking out if you're wanting to get into the Christmas spirit!

Whistler for a ski vacation 

Our last destination pick for our winter bucket list is a ski vacation to Whistler. A little more extravagant than the previous picks, however if you're planning a vacation this winter the Whistler Village is an all time favourite! Going in the winter is so majestic and is the ultimate getaway. We have suggested a few of our favourite restaurants to check out. Aside from all the amazing activities (dog-sledding, snowshoeing, skidooing, skiing, snowboarding), we have listed some favourite spots, restaurants of course! We love Elements for a delicious breakfast. Pure Bread for the most amazing sweets and coffee. Lastly, Sushi Villlage for the best fresh sushi and their awesome Sake margaritas (note they are strong!). From the cozy lodges, to the knee-deep powder skiing in the legendary terrain, Whistler really does provide the ultimate winter holiday.  

What to Eat/Drink

Beaver tail 

One of the best winter treats that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth is a beaver tail. This authentic Canadian based chain screams winter! One of the best places to snack on a beavertail is while skating on the Canal in Ottawa. The fried dough treat that allows you to choose from various toppings (cinnamon is our top pick) is such an iconic winter sweet. You need to enjoy at least one of these this season! There is a Beaver Tail shack that is located in Toronto's waterfront area, Queen's Quay, perfect to stop at before hitting the Ontario Place Winter Wonderland! 

Apple Cider from Balzacs 

Another favourite winter treat is the delicious apple cider from Balzacs. This cute chain coffee cafes are located throughout Toronto. There is something about their hot apple cider that is amazing and tastes like Christmas in a cup! It's a perfect treat on those frigid winter mornings. A winter favourite here at V.O.C! 

 

 


Recipes: 3 Festive Fall Drinks You Have To Try

The weather has started to cool down and we are slowly starting to pull out our fall attire, what better way to welcome fall than with the best autumn cocktails?! We have shared our four top pick fall drink recipes from some of our favourite chefs including Martha Stewart and Jamie Oliver. These are perfect to serve at your Thanksgiving dinner next weekend or anytime throughout out the fall. We hope you love these seasonal cocktails as much as we do! XX

Hot and Nutty Whiskey Sours

Prep time: 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of Nocello, or other walnut flavoured liquor
  • 1 1/2 cups of whiskey or bourbon, such as Marker's Mark
  • 3/4 cup of simple syrup for whiskey sours
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions

1. Bring Nocello, whiskey, simple syrup and lemon juice to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Divide among 4 mugs, and garnish each with a cinnamon stick.

2. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from marthastewart.com 

Autumn Crumble cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 part Martini Bianco
  • Dash of apple juice
  • Ginger ale
  • Apple segments to garnish

Directions

1. Add the Martini Bianco and apple juice to a rocks glass with some cubed ice. Top with ginger ale and stir lightly. Garnish with a fanned apple segment.

2. Enjoy!

Adapted from Jamie Oliver's recipe here

Apple Pie Moscow Mule

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces of apple cider
  • 4 ounces of apple pie vodka
  • 1 bottle of ginger beer
  • cinnamon sticks and apple slices for garnish

Directions

1. Fill up two copper mugs with ice.

2. In a cocktail mixer, combine apple cider and vodka. Shake to combine.

3. Top each mug with ginger beer until full.

4. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices.

5. Drink up and enjoy!

Recipe from The Cookie Rookie

 

 


Recipe: Valentine's Day Funfetti Cinnamon Buns

Valentine's Day is around the corner (just two weeks away) and we don't think there is a better gift for someone you love than baking them something as sweet as they are ;) ... and if you're lucky, they'll share what you made for them with you! For the special day, we're taking our own advice and cooking up a storm for our husbands/boyfriends and besties.

This year, we're making these Funfetti Cinnamon Buns (mind blown!) by The Little Epicurean. There's no doubt that they'll be a hit. Scroll down for recipe information and links to two more Valentine's Day recipe ideas that we love. 

FUNFETTI CINNAMON BUNS

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large yolk
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confetti sprinkles (pastel colours were used in this example)

Filling

  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • confetti sprinkles to garnish

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Dough

  • Sprinkle yeast over water and milk. Add 1 tbsp of sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5-7 minutes to allow mixture to bubble.
  • In a bowl or mixer, whisk together yeast mixture, remaining sugar, egg, and egg yolk. Whisk salt into flour. Add 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl and mix together. Add another cup of flour. Add softened butter 1 tbsp at a time. Add remaining cup of flour and knead until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. Add confetti sprinkles and mix until even distributed. 
  • Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour until it has doubled in volume.
  • Punch down risen dough. Transfer to a lightly floured working surface. Roll dough into a 20 x 14 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup of softened butter over dough. 

Filling

  • Mix together brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Distribute evenly onto the dough. Sprinkle some sea salt as well. 
  • Roll dough into a log starting at the longer side. Slice it into 12 equal parts. Place rolls in a greased 9 x 12 inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rest for 30-45 minutes at room temperature to let them rise.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Once they're done baking, set them out to cool slightly before adding the frosting. 

Frosting

  • Beat together cream and butter until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat until smooth and thickened. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls. Top rolls with a dded confetti sprinkles for garnish. 

Find the original recipe here

 

More Valentine's Day recipes we love:

RED VELVET TRUFFLES

VALENTINE'S DAY "CONVERSATION" SUGAR COOKIES 

 

 


THE HOLIDAYS: DIY GIFT IDEAS

DIY HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

We're bringing out our inner Martha Stewart with these awesome DIY holiday gifts. Check out these great ideas for both a fun craft and easy, one of a kind gifts for friends and family. 

Enjoy! 

1. HOLIDAY CARDS

No gift can be given without a great card, so why not personalize your cards this year with this fun DIY idea. Also, we're always looking for an excuse to get crafty, so why not start here! All you need is some 1) cardstock (folded in half), 2) giant sequins, buttons or gemstones, 3) craft glue, and a 4) fineline permanent marker. For more holiday card DIY ideas, check out our blog here

2. ORNAMENTS

To accompany your card and gift, I love attaching a cute Christmas Ornament to the ribbon on the gift. If you're like me and in the Christmas spirit, you also love collecting ornaments, so why not help your friends & family do the same. Plus, it's so fun to pick out or DIY the perfect ornament that you know someone will love. Try this DIY (pictured above). All you need are 1) pinecones, 2) mini pom poms, 3) string or ribbon (we like the gold string this DIY'er used), and 4) a hot glue gun and glue. For the full list of instructions, click here

3. KNITTING

We think knitting something makes the perfect gift, as there are so many options for things you can knit people that you can make it really personal! If they love beanies, you can knit an adorable hat. If they love a scarf, you can knit them the perfect scarf in their favourite colour. The options are endless! Plus, it's such a relaxing thing to do on the weekends. All you need is some yarn, knitting needles, an idea, and you're good to go! For Jill's blanket (pictured above), she ordered yarn from the famous knitting store Purl Soho. Something like this or this is great and convenient, or you can just steal inspiration from them and source the wool yourself! 

4. COOKIE MIX MASON JARS

This is a great gift idea for all the bakers out there and for people that love homemade treats but don't have all the time in the world to bake something from scratch! And this way, you've done all the hard work for them! It's a cute, easy, and affordable gift to give to your loved ones this holiday season. We also love the idea of including a little script of what each jar entails. For instructions on a great cookie mix/mason jar diy, click here

5. PAINTING POTTERY

In Oakville we are spoiled with a pottery painting and clay studio just around the corner from us called Crack Pot. It's not only fun, but the pottery becomes an amazing personalized, one of a kind gift! We highly recommend checking the studio out - they have an amazing selection of pottery pieces for their guests to paint. Such a fun activity to do on a rainy day or during an afternoon with friends. It's also the best place for hosting kids birthday parties. 

6. HOMEMADE CANDLES

Ok, we love this idea and it looks so fun. We were so surprised by how easy this is to do from home. We love that you can even personalize the candles by adding scents that the recipient loves! You can also buy cool coloured mason jars, or jars with patterns on them like the jars pictured above. If you're willing to put in a little extra time to make a unique and personal gift, this DIY is for you! For instructions, click here


Gift Guide: Ideas For Your Dog

GIFTS IDEAS FOR YOUR DOG

 

Tis' the season of gift giving and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. But as many of us dog lovers know, we can't forget about our pups this time of year! As the temperature starts to drop and walks and plays at the park may get a bit shorter, there's no better time to treat your dog. After all, they are pretty important members of the family! We hope you love these gift ideas as much as we do! 

1. SPA DAY

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Treat your pup to a good hair and nail cut for the holidays at Bark and Fitz, Oakville. Marie's dog, Fozzie Bear, gets the Anna Wintour cut by Rachel. For those of you in Toronto, Emily's dog, Rupert, loves the SPAW Boutique on King Street West. 

 

2. APPAREL FROM Dogfather & Co.  

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How handsome is this boyfriend-style Canadian sweater! It's from the Dogfather, a dog store on Yonge St. that is all the rage right now. We are also loving this Canadian made dog jacket by Elanor. Each jacket by Elanor is made with "recycled materials and repurposed production scraps" which is amazing -- a brand we definitely want to support! 

3. TREATS

Is there really a better gift for a dog than some healthy treats that they can sniff out from under the tree on Christmas morning? With the Bulk Barn that has moved in across from our Liberty Village location, we've discovered how many dog treats they carry. This year we plan on filling mason jars with treats for the dog(s) - filled with Bulk Barn's All Natural Grain Free Pumpkin Dog Biscuits and Salmon Biscuits. If you don't have a Bulk Barn near you, Zuke's Mini Naturals Salmon treats are another great option - and they're perfect for training! 

4. RAIN GEAR

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Keep your pup dry in the rain with this super stylish coat by Hunter! Hunter is German designed, and known for their high quality products! It also is machine-washable which is always a bonus!

5. GLOW IN THE DARK COLLAR

For those of you with smaller dogs, this is a must! It not only helps when dogs are out in the backyard at night, but it's great for evening walks as well - especially when there are lots of cars around. They go over your pups head and sit gently on their neck without being too heavy. And on a walk or at playtime, they don't even notice it's on! Great for big dogs as well! 

6. DOG WALKING PACKAGE

Unleashed in the City offers amazing dog walking packages from their "Adventure Hikes" to their "Park Play" which take your pup in a pack of dogs everywhere from Cherry Beach to urban dog parks around the city! Emily's dog Rupert has been doing this for a while now, and Emily says it has made him such a happy and well socialized dog - not to mention it keeps him busy and exercised while she is busy at work during the day! 

 


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