Tuesday, 21 February 2017

My New "Go To" Dessert (that is wicked simple, but seems fancy at the same time)

We visit Collingwood, Ontario a few times a year, and I always try to stop by the Collingwood Olive Oil Company. This adorable little store has over 50 different olive oils and balsamic vinegars to try!

My mom introduced me to all of these delicious oils and vinegars a few years ago. I love their basil-infused olive oil, and when I was at the Collingwood Olive Oil Co this weekend, I tasted their Neapolitan Herb Balsamic.

My absolute favourite though is their Decadence duo. This pair turns a simple bowl of ice cream into a yummy and unique dessert. The Decadence Duo is made up of a bottle of Blood Orange Olive Oil and a bottle of Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar

Begin with a bowl of regular vanilla ice cream.

Top with 1 teaspoon of blood orange olive oil first. Then add 1 teaspoon of the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar.

And voilà! The easiest, three ingredient dessert you ever did make. Fancy enough to serve at a your next dinner party and yummy enough that it also passed the 4 year old's taste test.  I'd garnish with sliced strawberries or clementine pieces.

The best way to check out the Collingwood Olive Oil Company is if you are able to visit the store and taste their products; however, they also ship within Canada. The Decadence gift set is $10 (+ shipping). 


Friday, 10 February 2017

Celebrate Valentine's Day With a Harlequin Prize Pack!

Last week my friend and I attended a romance author event at a local library. We started reading romance a few years ago (and even took a road trip to stay at Nora Roberts' actual Inn Boonsboro). We weren't sure what to expect when we went to the library event, but we ended up having so much fun!

We listened to award-winning author Molly O'Keefe talk about the role that romance books have played in her life and how she became a romance author herself. Though it was not an especially large event, there were certainly women there of all walks of life. I think Dani and I were actually the youngest people there!

Yet, instantly we felt welcomed and connected through our shared interest in the genre, and this author event ended up being a place for everyone to talk about romance in a non-judgmental environment. 

Importantly, romance has allowed women's sexuality to be talked about in a positive way and encourages optimism in how relationships work out. Whatever kind of problem or experience you are having in your life right now, you can find a romance novel with that theme and then be able to read a story of a heroine who perseveres. As readers, we want the authors to take us on an emotional journey, but reading is our way to relax and with this genre we can always trust the authors to deliver a happily ever after. Some of my favourite romance authors are Bella Andre, Nora Roberts, and Sarah Morgan.

In the spirit of love, Valentine's Day, and happily ever afters, Harlequin Books is giving away a fantastic prize pack to one of my readers! 

The prize pack includes:

  • 4 newly published paperback books 
      • Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson
      • The Last Di Sione Claims His Prize by Maisy Yates
      • Her Secret Fortune by Stella Bagwell
      • Courting the Cowboy by Carolyne Aarsen
  • 1 newly published e-book
      • Rough & Tumble by Rhenna Morgan
  • Fringe Studio Water Studies Sunrise Square Soap
  • 1 Heart Stud Pouch

To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below. Open to residents in the U.S. and Canada (excluding Québec, unfortunately.) Contest closes February 15th.


Thursday, 9 February 2017

A Certain Age - Book Review

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband. 

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

Full of the glamour, wit and delicious twists that are the hallmarks of Beatriz Williams’ fiction and alternating between Sophie’s spirited voice and Theresa’s vibrant timbre, A Certain Age is a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’s comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York.

Synopsis via Goodreads

As a lover of both historical fiction and Downton Abbey, I was delighted to pick up a copy of A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams. It opens with a newspaper article for a murder trial and then we are taken a few months back in time to begin the story. For me this was a very atmospheric read. Gatsby-esque with romance and a murder mystery. I particularly loved the strong female characters who had me rooting for them throughout the novel. I also enjoyed the writing style. I love it when a book speaks directly to the reader now and then, like a cheeky little secret. It adds an element of fun to the story. It did take me 40 pages or so to settle into this book, but overall if you're craving a book about the roaring 20s, this will certainly be the perfect read for you!

You can connect with Beatriz Williams on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and her website.

A Certain Age is available for purchase from Amazon and HarperCollins.


Disclaimer - I received a copy of A Certain Age courtesy of HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.