Friday, July 13, 2012

How to: Rice Krispie Treats

Sometimes I have a tough job...I have to test products like this Rice Krispie Decorating Kit. Life is Hard.

But seriously, I think I turned into a 5 year old while testing this product. I had loads of fun melting, mixing, and decorating everything. And because of my lack of art skills, the finished product ended up looking like a 5 year old made my creations...but who cares, I had fun! And now I can successfully say that if I (the girl who burns just about everything) can figure this kit out, so can any child. Easy instructions to follow, and a great way for parents to have fun with their kids. It gets my stamp of approval!

Each kit comes with everything you need - gummies for decorating the faces, icing, marshmallow creme, and a good amount of rice krispies. All you need is a little creativity to decide what to make. I made a fish (get it, since we're called Orangefish...). Okay, so maybe it's because that was a pretty easy shape to start with. Then I made a face that was supposed to be me. And if you can't tell, that's a hairbow because even rice krispie treats need accessories.

Check out a bunch of our decorating kits here including our new cake pop kits.

Happy decorating!

Posing before Hitting the Podium: Are the Team USA portraits Fab or Drab?

SO something that has been making a few waves in cyberland over the last few weeks is the recently leaked photos of the USA Olympic team. They have been criticized for being amateurish, unsightly, and just down right awkward. The angles, lighting, and exposed sets all make for a very different kind of photo in comparison to the epic, glamourized images we've seen in the past. Like this one:
Instead, this is what the images by photographer JOE KLAMAR (images from AFP/GettyImages) ended up looking like. To be fair, everyone seems to be claiming that they are the official images, but apparently they are not, and are just another set of news photographs. Either way, you can't deny that they are certainly...unconventional.

Okay, so here's my breakdown of the photographs. I understand all the criticism they've received. I'm definitely not a fan of that final image of shot putter Jillian Camarena-Williams. I feel like it is completely devoid of life or energy and I am almost certain that is not true at all of Jillian herself (she is an Olympic athlete afterall!)

That being said, I recognize what Klamar is trying to accomplish in these images. They appear to be much more natural, with no photoshopping added. The athletes are lifted down from their pedestal as mortal gods (a pedestal often constructed from media campaigns and marketing) and their humanity is emphasized. They are just people. Super talented, focused people, but people nevertheless. When Nastia Luikin strikes a pose, sometimes the paper tears under her feet. I think the photographs give off an impression that they were taken in some little makeshift photography studio - and I would bet that's exactly what Klamar's vision was.

It reminds me a bit of Marc Jacobs fashion ads (see it always comes back to fashion on this blog doesn't it...). His marketing has such a distinctive aesthetic, that I happen to love (sometimes). The photographs in his ads always have a spontaneous, amateurish quality to them which is translated to major cool factor - like someome just ahppened to capture these uber stylish women (and sometiems men) in the midst of the daily routine. No photo studio required. Sometimes these ads really work, like in this case:

love MIA

So chic!

But sometimes, like Klamar's aesthetic, it doesn't work and just translates to awkward, unflattering images:

Just. weird. Sorry Marc, not a fan of these.

Of course, I love when everything comes together and sports meet fashion. Thanks Vogue for the lovely Team USA spread this month. I think photographer Annie Leibovitz nailed these. They have a hint of quirk, while still be incredibly flattering a beautiful. A great balance between Klamar's images, and the usual overly-edited and boring Olympic portraits. And of course, I love the integration of beautiful couture dresses...

What do you think of all the new Olympic photographs? Do you have a fav?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Here Comes the Sun: Looking Hot, When it's (really, really) Hot

As I sit writing this, I'm looking out my window, out at the street and I can see people walking by looking like the only thing they want in the world is a huge glass of water, and strong air conditioning. In fact, yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year here in Toronto! Cooped up working in air conditioning I didn't quite notice this. But when I briefly ventured out down the street to grab a quick snack, boy did I feel that heat! I felt a bit like a melting popsicle. And everyone knows melting popsicles are just a sad, sad, thing. By the time I got home from my five minute stroll, I wasn't looking too hot (despite the fact that it was beyond hot outside).

This past weekend was a pretty huge weekend in Toronto with Canada Day, and the Pride parade (and subsequent Church street party) on Sunday. I got a good healthy dose of sun on saturday at the beach with friends, and then while watching the pride parade on sunday so I can tell you that all the following tricks and tips have been fully tested by yours truly. 

Here's the dilemna: 
The yay- It's beautiful and sunny out and you want to get your serving of endorphins and Vitamin D. 
The nay- makeup, hair, and clothing all happen to hate the heat.

First Stop, the Face.
The face should be pretty straightforward right? If you don't usually wear any makeup then yes! Simply put on a facial sunscreen (or combo sunscreen and facial moisturizer) in at least SPF 15. Done. 

But if you're like me, and prefer to wear a bit of makeup, you have to be sure to adjust what makeup you wear, and how you wear it during the summer months. First, apply a facial sunscreen. I sometimes like to wear liquid foundation but during the summer i'm always cautious when wearing it. Have you ever looked at someone on a really hot day, and you can see little tinted beads of moisture on their face where their liquid foundation has gathered? I have, and it's not too cute. Instead, I prefer to mix a bit of my foundation into my moisturizer to make my own tinted moisturizer while saving money. I love foundation like this one by DaLish, so I can mix my own colours to match it to my summer tan or winter pale. If you do wear powder, stick to a light mineral foundation. This is usually my favourite summer choice because it's so light and won't cake. 
And now, Hair
I will refrain form showing you lovely blog readers any more braided updos, since I have included so many in previous blog entries (see here, and here). Instead, here are some more creative summer hair solutions. I recently chopped my locks off and was surprised about how much less overheated I got in the sun. 
The lovely Ashley Benson sporting new cut hair

But if you're not looking for such a drastic change, and just want to keep your hair off your neck, check these out: 

This sock bun tutorial by Ciao Beautiful is a really great option for day or night summer hair.

Don't Forget the Clothing

One of my favourite trends this summer is the High-Low skirt. I think I might actually be addicted, and have lately been trying to figure out how I am going to bring this trend into my fall wardrobe. I love wearing one to the beach, with it floating in the wind. It makes me feel beyond glamorous despite the heat (and that's a feat!)

(I actually own this skirt)

Another great option for a hot summer day is a flowy maxi (very of the moment right now!) Breezy, easy, and stylish - the perfect combo.

Finish off even the simplest summer ensemble with some layered jewellery like these lovely pieces:

What do you do to keep looking hot in the heat?

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