2017 in Books: Year-End Reading Wrap Up


It’s crazy to think about how much my life has changed in this last year. How much life changes every year. One year can make a vast difference. 

The one constant for me is (and always has been) my books. When I began this reading list, my life was completely different than at the very end of the list. But throughout the year, I have been transformed to 24 different places. I have become attached to 24 more novels. Fallen in love with (and hated) hundreds of fictional characters that always seem too real. And become much too invested in fake murders, rivalries, relationships. 

My love of reading is a constant in my life. It never lets me down. I will never be able to explain how 26 letters can make you fall in love with a setting, a character, a relationship. Make you weep and laugh and finish the last page and stare into space thinking about the meaning of life for 10 minutes. 

If you’re a non-reader, you have officially labelled me as a lunatic. If you’re a book-lover, you are thanking me for putting into words exactly how you feel about books. Pieces of paper. But so so much more. 

Here is my (swear-word-filled) reading list + book reviews from 2017! 

Gingerbread Sugar Scrub


Okay, Christmas is so freaking soon. Like really soon. Are you still looking for a small (and potentially homemade) gift for a few special people in your life?

I made these delicious-smelling (good enough to eat) sugar scrubs for each of the remarkable women in my life, just to add something extra to their bigger gifts. I obviously had to test them out just for quality control and let me tell you, I WANT TO SMELL LIKE A BUTTERY GINGERBREAD COOKIE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Live your best life and make this for yourself. Or make it for your friends/family if you're trying to be selfless.

Simplistic Gift Wrapping


Need some holiday gift wrapping inspiration?! Look no further.

I am so obsessed with simplistic wrapping. No need to spend a ton of money on extravagant wrapping paper, and ribbon, and bows. Buy a roll of kraft paper, some string, and go out into the wilderness for the rest!

No wilderness around you? No problem! The dollar store carries some fake and cheap foliage that is fairly comparable to the real stuff.

DIY Holiday Serving Tray


This DIY literally costs $5. That is less than your Starbucks coffee.

"But Amanda, what can I use this for?" I hear you asking. Well, let me tell you:
  1. Coffee table decor
  2. Serving drinks
  3. Cheese/meat tray
  4. Bedside table organizer
  5. Breakfast in bed 
  6. Dinner table centrepiece 
See, there. So many reasons you have to try this DIY!

Vanilla Peppermint Charcoal Detox Bar


Okay, hear me out. I know that most people are all about moisturizing their skin at this time of the year. The cold weather hits and my skin begins to crack and my hands resemble that of a 92-year-old woman. I know, I get it.

But there is something that I am sucker for all year round. DETOX. And if you're big into detox like myself, you know how amazing activated charcoal is. I brush my teeth with it, I spot treat zits with it, and I will often make a face mask with it. My best friend Zianza and I became obsessed with this charcoal face and body soap and decided to re-create it one day. It was messy and fun and we had such a great day! 

Autumn Tablescape + Pumpkin Vase


I love a nice fall tablescape. I also love scouring the internet (specifically Pinterest) to see other people's tablescapes and get inspiration.

I hope this post will serve as inspiration for some of you. Happy Fall!

Candy Corn Bath Bombs


How can you resist a bath bomb? It's impossible! I made a batch of these easy, and delicious-smelling bath bombs for Halloween and then gave them out to my friends. It was a major success!

Happy Halloween!

Salted Caramel Apple Vodka


If you're looking for a homemade autumn beverage to serve on the rocks, as a shot, or in a killer holiday sangria- look no further! This Salted Caramel Apple Vodka has an intense salted caramel flavour, a little bit of sweetness, with a hint of apple. This also makes a great host gift for the lovely host in your life this Thanksgiving.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

DIY No-Sew Blanket Scarf


'Tis the (blanket scarf) season! These are seriously easy and make a beautiful gift for someone special. Blanket scarves are revolutionary. All of the photos in this post should help get you started on the different ways to wear and use your blanket scarves; they are so versatile! Also a huuuuuuge thanks for my BFF, (sort of) roommate, and the best baker in all of the land, Justine Martin, for modelling these scarves for me. Love ya!

Pecan Pumpkin Butter


Fall has arrived! And to celebrate, try making this amazing Pecan Pumpkin Butter. Seriously, it's so good.

If for some insane reason you don't want to eat the whole batch to yourself (we can't be friends), then put it in a jar and give it as a gift! The receiver will be eternally grateful. I made this for my best friend Zianza, who is an all-season pumpkin-spice addict. She gave it major thumbs up!

Banana Peanut Butter Pupcakes


Yesterday my baby girl turned 2! And by baby girl, I mean my puppy.

She is so precious, so I had to make her a birthday treat fit for a princess. My pup loved them! Hope yours does too.

Vanilla Cinnamon Espresso Granola


There are days (mostly Saturdays & Sundays) when I relish in spending my morning making a fantastic and over-the-top breakfast. But my Monday to Friday 7AM mornings are always much too early and I need something quick, healthy, and yummy.

Enter: granola. Specifically homemade granola. And this granola is so versatile (as cereal with milk, on top of yogurt, an addition to your smoothie bowl, or just on it's own). PLUS, the espresso gives it that extra morning buzz.

Mod Podge Candle Jars


I've been MIA, I apologize. But this hella cute, and hella easy DIY will make up for it!

Cinco De Mayo Margarita Gummies


Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Here are some fun gummies to make for your Mexican-themed celebration this weekend. Just a heads up, these are pretty strong so if you want to sub out some booze for water, feel free!

Classic Cinnamon Rolls + Cream Cheese Icing


These are the best cinnamon rolls. I created this recipes from a few different recipes I tried. It does take a little bit of time to make these, but they're perfect for a lazy Sunday!

Chia Pudding Pods (5 Flavours)


I recently became obsessed with Chia Pods. They're healthy and make such a great breakfast/snack. HOWEVER, they cost almost $5 each. Insanity.

So, I made my own. There are 5 different flavour ideas in this post, but the options are endless. With these cute little pods, everyone at work will be envious of your new breakfast!

Black Heart V-Day Bath Bombs


When you drop one of these bath bombs into the bath, you will be madly creeped out at first but when the flower petals float to the top and the entire bath turns a dark violet colour, you'll be in love. This is such a great DIY to use up those V-Day flowers you received (once they start to dry out and die).

If you're not digging the black colour, use any other colour of food colouring (or none at all). But, I promise you that the black colouring will not stain you or your bath tub!

Watermelon Raspberry Margarita


Valentine's Day is coming! This cocktail can be made for a romantic date night. But is also well-suited for a Galentine's Day, single-ladies celebration.

Broiled Grapefruit


We're right in the dead of winter but grapefruit is always a good idea. One of my newest obsessions is broiled grapefruit. Maybe this sounds a bit strange but if you're the type of person who finds grapefruit to be too bitter, or you even just want to switch it up, try this super simple recipe!

Chai Cashew Butter


Chai spice is the severely underrated, and (in my opinion) superior cousin to pumpkin spice. Yeah, I said it.

If you've never made nut butter before, do it! It's super easy, I promise. All you need are some nuts and a food processor or good blender.

The first time I attempted nut-butter-making was fairly traumatic. I had seen a post about how easy it was but once I got started, I was sure I had done something wrong. 


After a couple of minutes, your nut mixture will still be crumbly and you'll be cursing me but KEEP GOING. I have provided step-by-step photos because I feel like they are very useful in this instance.

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