Brayley’s Beautiful Bows


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http://www.facebook.com/brayleysbeautifulbows

I know I have not posted in a while but that is because I have been super busy creating a company! Brayley’s Beautiful Bows, which are handmade hair bows.

Looking for Hair Bows? Well you have found them, handmade hair bows made by me. Three different sizes ranging from $6-$10, in many different colours and patterns. If you don’t like the ones offered or have suggestions, you can always send me an email at brayleysbows@outlook.com, and ask for whatever combination of colours or patterns you wish. So I hope you enjoy my bows and go ahead of order one. I can do payments through paypal or etranfers.

Go ahead and check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/brayleysbeautifulbows, remember to like it, and email me at brayleysbows@outlook.com if you see anything you would like to order.

Keep Smiling,
Karlee XOXO

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Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

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As I wrote about in my June goals I am trying to eat healthy this month, and this may be a bit of an unhealthy meal, I just want to put it out there that I made this in May, and I am only now getting around to making a post about it. I stubbled upon this meal while looking for pasta dishes which incorporated spinach. So this dish includes pasta (gluten fee of course), spinach, bacon, and tomatoes. Now let me get started on it.

Ingredients:
1 cup gluten free penne pasta
1-2 bunches of spinach
2-3 strips of bacon
1/2 a tomato diced
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil optional

1. First put a pot on to boil, with a little bit of salt to help it along. Once boiling, add the pasta, try a piece and once it is just to your liking, remove from heat.
2. At the same time start cooking your bacon, put into a frying pan over medium to high heat, cooking until browned and crisp.
3. Once your bacon is done, add if the 1 teaspoon of minced garlic, you may have to lower the heat to prevent burning.

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4. Lastly, add your diced tomatoes once the garlic has browned, and cook until reduced.
5. In a strainer place the spinach, and pour the hot pasta overtop of spinach to wilt.

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6. In a mixing boil, mix together all of the ingredients, if you feel to add some olive oil to taste. I added a little bit but felt the bacon and tomatoes aded enough juice to the dish. I also ripped the bacon strips into smaller pieces so that it was easier to eat.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. It does sound heavy, but if you only have a small portion it is a refreshing pasta dish. And it is gluten free, which is perfect for me and all of those gluten intolerant, celiac disease people out there. If you try this recipe or have a different variation of this recipe, let me know!

Keep Smiling,
XOXO Karlee

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay Book Cover

I literally just finished reading the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and I felt like I had to do a review on it immediately. I know that if I start reading it right away I will most likely forget some of the events of the book, or completely mix up the two. So let’s start off by saying “wow.” I just want to warn everyone right now, that if you have NOT read the book, then stop reading here, because there will be spoilers!

If I Stay is a book that starts off quite nice, about a family and told from the perspective of a teenage girl. However things soon turn south when the family is in a car accident. The teenage girl in the novel’s name is Mia, and right after the car accident occurs she discovers that although she appears to be alive and perfectly well, in reality she is not, and she is in fact in a coma. The story then continues from her point of view, as she goes into surgery (twice), and while the family she has left, close family friends, her best friend and her boyfriend wait for her in the waiting room of the ICU. Ending with her having to make the most difficult decision of her life, will she stay, or will she go?

I felt that this book was a roller coaster ride. At some times I was perfectly content about what was going on, and at other times I wanted to jump into the book and control the situation. In the beginning I was a little bored, and when there was flash backs I didn’t want to read them, I just wanted to be in the present. However, after the first 50 pages or so, I began to like the flashbacks as it started to build onto the characters. By the end of the novel I felt well invested into the characters and the situation that was at hand. There was many times where I felt happy with her decision to let go and be with her deceased family, and others that I wanted her to hold on, fight and stay.

I warn you that this novel will make you cry! I stay here in the living room with my parents and tried to hide my tears, but after a while there was no point, and I gave up hiding them. I do have to say though, that Mia’s little brother Teddy does provide some great comic relief, that makes the novel not feel as heavy as it could, which I am grateful for. Also the music references and the theme of music altogether allows the reader to really connect with the characters, even if they do not love music, or know the songs they are referencing to.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I plan on reading the second novel to If I Stay, which is titled Where She Went. Once I get my hands on this book, I will try and add it to my Summer Reading List, which then after I will write a review on it. I recommend this novel to anyone who is a sucker for a love story, or maybe wants to read something a little bit more sad, but has a happy ending. I came across this novel first when I was working at Chapter but secondly when I was looking for books similar to John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars. So anyone who enjoys books along those lines, will definitely enjoy If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

As Always, Keep Smiling,
XOXO Karlee

 

 

100 Happy Days: Day 2

Day 2!

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It is day number 2, and today my happiness, or one of my happinesses is hot chocolate. I love hot chocolate, or I should say anything chocolate. And although it is over 80 degrees in my house, I couldn’t resist having a cup!

Remember to Keep Smiling,
XOXO Karlee!

Three Words: Colour Me Rad!

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This past weekend I participated in the Colour Me Rad event. It is a 5k run, and after the start line, every kilometre, and the finish line, the volunteers of the event throw colours at you. The actual colour is made of corn starch, which is great for me because that means Gluten Free! The whole event cost 50 dollars, and I am happy to say that a portion of the proceeds are donated to charity. The event that I participated in was in Toronto at Downsview Park, therefore the organization the proceeds are going to is Big Brother and Big Sisters in Toronto. Overall the entire day was a lot of fun, and I am super happy that I participated in it. I ran the race with my best friend Rebecca, but originally she was suppose to do it with a different friend that she goes to school with but unfortunately for her she had to back out due to work. So lucky for me, Rebecca asked me to do it with her, which made me really happy. And although I mentioned this in a pervious post, I have been sick for almost three weeks, I am slowly getting better but this almost stopped us form going. But thankfully we decided to go and we had a blast. By the end of the day we were completely covered head to toe in colours!

A couple tips I can give to anyone looking to participate in any Colour Me Rad event is, sign up early! This lowers the cost. Make sure you train a little bit before, as I said I have been sick for weeks so I did not train, and I had not actually been running since april. I do yoga multiple times a week but that wasn’t enough. I was extremely tired and we did about a 50/50 walk/run type deal. Next either buy a plastic sleeve for your phone which is available when you go pick up your packages, or bring a small zip lock sandwich bag, this will protect it from the colour! Don’t bring a bag. Just leave it in the car, they give you water once during the race, and then you get more water or other drinks right after the race. It is not necessary to buy a colour bomb, they throw them out at you so you can catch them and have fun without spending the money! Remember to bring either a change of clothes or towels to put on the seats of your car, because you will be covered in paint, and you will make a mess of your car. And lastly, have patience! It is hectic getting in and out of the park and parking lots, so you need to be prepared to have patience, it takes a long time.

Below I have included a ton of photos from the day, like I said we had a colourful blast!

Keep Smiling, especially when you’re covered in colour!
XOXO Karlee

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100 Happy Days: Day 1

Day 1!

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Today my brother made these super yummy gluten free funnel cakes. So I thought I would share a picture of one of them, with all of you for the first day of my 100 happy days! I know this goes against eating clean but this is not something I could pass up, especially because he made them gluten free for me. Later this month I will have the recipe and how to much them up here on my blog.

Always Smile,
XOXO Karlee

June Reading List

For the month of may I managed to read about four books in two weeks. This is mainly due to two reasons. The first one being that I currently am not working. This is because I have just finished my second year of University and haven’t yet begun to work for the summer. The second reason is that for about 2-3 weeks during May I was really sick and did not have much energy to do anything. The four books that I read during this time were, “Help For the Haunted” by John Searles, and all three books in the Divergent series, which include “Divergent”, “Insurgent”, and lastly “Allegiant”. All of these three books are by author Veronica Roth, and I will soon have up a book review for all four of the books mentioned.

However, since it is not June I have decided to post a reading list, of the books that I hope to be reading this up coming month. I may not get around to all of these but this is only a list of books that I would like to read, not ones I am being forced to read. For July and August I will be posting a Summer Reading List, which may include some of the books on this list I have not gotten to reading, or it may be a brand new list of books. I am also hoping to write a review for every book that I read from here on out, good or bad. So with no further ado, my June Reading List!

1. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
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I have read the first five books before this one, so I want to continue on with this series and see where it goes. I will also be doing a book review on this series, as well as the spin off series that Cassandra Clare writes.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay Book Cover

While I was working at Chapters I saw and heard a lot about this book, so I feel that now is a good time to pick it up. I don’t have much to say about this novel yet, I hope that I have a lot more to say about it once I have read it, and I hope it’s a good read.

3. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith
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This book came to my attention when I was at the Coles in the mall near my house. I was there picking up the last book of the Divergent Series, “Allegiant”, and it caught my eye. I must be honest though, I noticed it originally because of the word geography. If you have been reading my posts then you know I study Geography and History at Brock University. Once I read the inside cover however, the book sounded really good, so it has made this list.

4. You Are Here by Jennifer E Smith
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This book is also by Jennifer E Smith, and that is exactly the reason why it has made this list. As I was researching more into “The Geography of You and Me”, I came across the authors website which lists all of the books she has written. I went through the list and read a little bit about each of them, the two on this list sounded the most interesting to me at this time. But this doesn’t mean that the others are ruled out for a later date (maybe my Summer Reading List).

5. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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This is another book that I first saw when I was working at Chapters in high school. I remember it catching a little bit of buzz, but I am not sure if it has really taken off. I came across it this time on a website that compares it to the novel “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, which is an amazing book and soon will be out in theatres as a movie. And John Green is one of my favourite authors. After reading this book I will have to see if it is comparable and if I think it will take off.

6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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This last book is also the same situation as two of the above books. I also saw this one while working at Chapters. Lauren Oliver is an author that I have never read but many people, especially teenage girls would come into the store looking for her books, which I often heard were really good. “Before I Fall” is the most popular book by this author that I can remember, so hopefully it is as good as it is popular.

I hope that some of you read these books along with me. Once I am done each one throughout the month of June I will try and post a review on it. Good luck with your reading. If you have any suggestions for my Summer Reading List, or if you have read any of the books on this list, let me know in the comments below.

Keep Smiling,
XOXO Karlee

June Goals

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The month of June is here! Which means the hot wether is fast approaching. Here in Southern Canada, we had already had some pretty hot days, but I know it is nothing to is what to come. So since it is a new month, it is time for me to do my June Goals! As of right now, I am not working for the month of June, therefore I am able to focus more on myself and my life, then on work or school. My goals are made with this in mind.

1. A Post A Day For 30 Days
Thats is right, I will be trying to post one post every single day for the month of June. I try to keep up with my posts already but sometimes it is a little bit hard with life, and family and just everything that is always going on. So for June, I am going to try my absolute hardest to post at least once a day for the entire month.

2. Exercise regularly
I know, I know, I have posted this one before but I truly want to be able to get in daily exercise. Some days that may be yoga which I already do, and pre being sick I had a good schedule going about every other day. I hope to get back to that if not going everyday, but days that I don’t go I would like to get back into running. I recently ran a 5k run, which I will be posting about this coming week, if not tomorrow. And I would like to run another 5k by the end of the summer (that’s a long term goal).

3. Get through my June Reading List
I will be posting my June Reading List today, and I have 6 books on there which I would like to get through this month. As I will mention in my post with the reading list I will try and do a book review on all of the books I read off of the reading list. Therefore that is another goal combined with this one.

4. Eat Clean
This is another goal I have set before, but I feel that June is a good time to bring it back. I have completely gotten my celiac disease under control, and I haven’t eaten gluten in about a month, which is really great. In fact the reason I was recently sick was due to accidentally eating gluten, which caused my immune system to be vulnerable and catch a virus. But now that, that is under control, I want to focus on real clean eating. I already don’t eat fast food, or any foods too bad but now I want to try and cut out things such as muffins, and cookies (gluten-free ones of course, those are the only ones I have been eating), as well as any deep fried foods, that I do at home. But again this is just a goal, and as much as I hope to achieve it, I know I may have slip ups.

5. 100 Happy Days
This is going to be a bit longer, well a lot longer, but I have been seeing 100 Happy Days posted a lot on facebook, and I want to do the same thing but here on my blog. So for the next 100 days I will be posting a picture, and probably a sentence or two just explaining what the picture is, or why it is a happy post. But it is as simple as that, this is a long term goal but I am really hoping that I am able to faithfully post everyday for the 100 days. The only exception I will be giving myself is if, I go away to my boyfriends cottage because there is no internet access up there, therefore it will be impossible to post while I am away.

So those are my goals for the month of June, as always I will do a review at the end of the month and report my progress or my results to the above goals. Keep checking back on here for my upcoming posts, as per mentioned there will be a ton to come due to my first goal for this month, also if you remember a while back I posted with a number of up coming posts that I plan on doing, those are still in the works, some of them are done and I just need to get around to writing up on them and posting, which makes June a perfect time to do so! So have a great month of June, and keep checking back everyday to see what I post.

Always Keep Smiling, and Have a Smiley June,
XOXO Karlee 🙂

PS. The picture above was taken was I was about four or five years old. In it there are four generations on the left is my nana who is currently still alive, then me and my mom, and then on the right is my great nan, who has since passed away. I just thought I would share it because it is a good throw back for my family, and it reminds me of June and the summer.

WW: May 28, 2014

This weeks Wisdom Wednesday is…

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I chose this quote to honour the passing of Maya Angelou. She passed away today, and it has seemed to move many people. The quote that I have chosen is one that my dad sometimes says to me and my brothers. I think that it is something that is good to live by. I always try to be the best person I can be, or the best version of myself and although just like everyone else, I’m not perfect. The one thing I try my hardest at is not hurting other people physically and emotionally/mentally. This quote is very telling because in the past people have said mean things to me or have done mean things to me, but now I could not tell you what those specific things are, but I could most definitely tell you how what they did made me feel. I would just like to remind everyone to think about this out in their daily lives. The last thing you want is to hurt someone and make them feel bad. Be the best version of yourself.

Always Keep Smiling,
XOXO Karlee

Yoga Mat Disinfectant

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As I have mentioned before I am an avid yogi. Meaning I practice yoga regularly, and more specifically I practice Moksha hot yoga. Due to practicing so often and the fact that because it is hot yoga, therefore I am sweating A LOT, and I mean A LOOOOTTTTT. I have come up with a disinfecting cleaner that I use on my yoga mat after practice. My yoga studio here in Brampton, does have all natural cleaners available at the studio, however I prefer coming home and hopping right in the shower and disinfecting my mat right away. So here is my recipe for an at home disinfectant, I hope you enjoy it and find it as effective as I do.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 inch wedge of lemon
About 1-2 cups of water

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What I do it mix all of it together, first with the baking soda and the lemon. This will cause a little reaction and the baking soda will fizz. Then I add in the water and mix it all together. I then dip a rag into the mixture and wipe down my yoga mat with it. Next after I have done the entire mat, I pour out the mixture and fill the bowl with just water and wipe down my mat for a second time. I let my mat dry out, generally just on the living room floor. I have heard if you put it out in the sun that the yoga mat may start to smell like rubber, so I advise you not to do this.

I hope my disinfectant works for you, enjoy! And get your yoga on!

Remember to Keep Smiling, and Namaste
XOXO Karlee