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An Interlude

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus here at Coffee and Turtlenecks and a lot has been going on in the sidelines which I feel I should share with you fine folk. In the past months I have been working away at the good old nine to fiver, going back to school and planning a rock solid future. I feel I have apparently turned into a proper adult while I wasn’t paying attention.

Never thought that was going to happen…

So to explain myself, starting from the beginning, we had moved out of the Lonely City of Windsor, and headed towards the quiet place where we call home. The Scugog area turned out to be comfortable and welcoming in contrast to the uncomfortable, cold city we had lived in for the past three or four years. Then, last June, after taking up the new hobby of becoming a magpie and buying all the shiny and glittery makeup I could find, we agreed it was a good idea for me to go back to school and become a professional Makeup Artist.

For the next three months I worked hard at perfecting my skills and learning new things at Beauty School, while also holding down a full time job. Sixteen year old Hailey, lover of all things black and emotional, was rolling in her grave, but life has a way of altering people. In this case I’m going to say it was certainly for the best.

I graduated with flying colours (get it?…..makeup…colours?….no?….anyway…) and am now a practicing freelance Makeup Artist, servicing my local area! This is really exciting to me and an opportunity to do something that interests me as well as helps pay the bills. I’ve been working really hard on my website and associated social media pages, as well as the business-ie side of things and getting my Professional Kit the best it can possibly be.

In the meanwhile, we’ve been repairing the barn on the family farm, and we are planning on eventually moving into the old farm house there, ideally next spring. I’m expecting a lot of potential post material on renovating that old house when we get in there, so let me know if that’s something you guys would be interested in reading about!

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Oh, and on the subject of new post material….the be all, end all of annoying things to write about constantly, has in fact happened to me. I have been proposed to, and at some point in the future am to be married. (See inserted photo of ring of awesomeness)

The ring

So maybe there will be the odd reference to plans in that department. Again I would appreciate as much feedback as possible about this tender subject or if I should in fact hold back on the wedding related content for now. Thoughts?

To recap, (Or if you skipped over the hooplah in the middle to the final paragraph, which to be honest I do sometimes…) in the past five months or so I have got another credential and started a thing which I am apprehensive to call a career (Because careers are for grownups), I have determined where I am going to live, and call my forever home (a very adult-ie thing to do…) and I have also been asked to be attached (figuratively) to one single other person for the rest of my life, and oddly enough agreed. So there you have it.

I don’t want to be to ‘self promote’-ie here  but if you are interested in my other website I’ll link it below. Otherwise hang tight for some more classic ‘Coffee and Turtlenecks’ material. I’m thinking Tea Reviews and How to Pick a Good Book, sort of stuff. Hey, maybe I’ll even knit something this winter! Here’s hoping!

Thanks again for all you folks who hang around to read my blatherings! You rock my mismatched weekend socks!

-Miss Hailey Jane

Makeup By Hailey: https://makeupbyhailey.wordpress.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/makeupbyhaileyj

Instagram: @makeup_by_haileyj


Five Things We Should Outgrow in 2015

Welcome to 2015 and to start the year on a potentially offensive note, here is a quick list of things we should really outgrow in the year 2015. Let’s begin!

1. Burlap

I’m SO done with everything being covered in dirty brown sheets designed to cover trees and hold potatoes.  This post-apocalyptic inspired style should have ended along with the Cold War. What’s next? Burlap Prom dresses?

Oh…well then…

As an actual person from the ‘country’ I’m hoping this ‘Redneck-Chic’ trend flies out the window with the bathwater. Speaking of bathwater….

2. Greige

Is it Grey? is it Beige? No one knows! How trendy, am I right?   I am not right…it’s terrible. If not having been exacerbated by every single interior photo on Pinterest, this “colour”, if I may use the term loosely, has been a constant soul shattering staple of 2014. Grey is fine, lovely cool tones are a really great way to add a clean and calm atmosphere to a room. Beige is great, a lovely warm variant of white that can add a homey feel to the most dismal of apartments. But ‘Greige’! Come on people…pick a side!

It just looks muddy and unflattering even in the best of lights. Like the powdered skin of the freshly deceased, we should probably bury this colour in the dirt, where it belongs.

3. Mason Jars

Who knew you could use them for so many different and useful things? I didn’t, because we cant! They’re used for, at the very best…canning, and the very worst, drinking out of when the rest of your dishes are dirty. I have some unfortunate news for you, those ‘cute’ make-up brush organizers you made in your bathroom? They’re ugly. Those lights you rigged up, hanging on your porch outside?…They’re also ugly. Those pencil holders, hand soap pumps, embossed vases, candle holders, terrariums, fucking blender attachments…guess what? They’re all UGLY.

If this were a post called ‘The top five ways to instantly cheapen the look of your home”, then by god this would be number one. You’re not on social assistance, don’t act like it’s cool if you were.

4. Chalkboard Everything

If you want to dust your home every single day, then by all means, go right ahead and paint that entire wall with chalkboard paint! While you’re at it, why not paint your cabinets, the television screen, THE FUCKING REFRIGERATOR!

I kid you not…someone thought instead of opting for a decent looking used fridge, they would buy the cheapest one they could find, and then spend however much they’re gouging us for on chalk paint, to paint a refrigerator.  I don’t even know what to say to these people. Maybe you should discipline your kids and not have them think it’s OK to write all over the walls and appliances. Guess who’s not getting invited to Christmas next year… Just sayin’.

5. Ratchet DIY and Up-Cycling

This has been an overarching theme of 2014 across the board.  Recovering and re-purposing the old, turning it into something magical and new. Which in theory is great…but in practice (and the wrong hands) is a disaster. Much like Communism.

The recession is over people, you don’t have to make jewelry out of bottle caps any more! Nor light fixtures out of wine bottles, or candles out of liqueur bottles! Your friends are going to start to think you have a drinking problem with all of the alcoholic paraphernalia littered throughout your home. And I specifically use the word ‘Littered’ here. As a personal connoisseur of alcoholic libations, I would much rather see these things actually recycled and put to better use, like refilled, with more booze, and given to me.

Those lights are incandescent anyway so you’re still not saving the environment!

It doesn’t end there my friends, a quick internet search will find you in the midst of junkyard chic apartments, couches out of oil drums, car tire ottomans, pop tab lamp shades, and cheese grater flower boxes. I am at a loss of words… Wait, that’s a lie, I’m never at a loss for words. I could do a whole post on the crazy things people come up with and feel compelled to share with the world. T-Shirt dresses, crayon lipstick, circuit board running shoes, piano bookshelf.  Those words don’t even go together?!

Essentially, it is all a matter of style and the occasional item can be reused in a new and useful way without being eye-bleedingly horrendous like that chair. I think the message I want to convey here is to ‘Think before you UpCycle.”

This has been the top five things that should be outgrown in 2015, I hope you find humour in my words and not be offended if you’re particularly into any of the above-mentioned crimes. Just know, an invitation to Christmas next year is on the table. Your choice.

Stay tuned for part 2, “Five Things We Should Keep around for 2015”

-Hailey Jane

xx


And Now for Something Completely Different…

Huzzah! It is the hour to head towards the hectic holiday season, having hoards of happy hands held out behind hollering humans, hovering, haggling and heckling, hastily hurrying as if hounds hatched at their heels.

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I, a hapless yet hopeful henchmen of a hypothetical heroic homage, henceforth honour a healthy hiatus of this hungry highlife and in happenstance, hope to have heaps of hypnotic hugs that heat the hesitant heart to hindered hindgut.

Happy Holidays!

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From Coffee and Turtlenecks

xx – Hailey Jane

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How To Enjoy The Perfect Latte’: Part II

Alternate Title: How To Actually Make a Latte’

Knowing your way around an espresso machine, take the double shot espresso handle out, empty it with a few bangs if it’s full, scrape any excess grinds out and then fill with extra fine ground espresso grinds.

Fresh Espresso

Tamp and twist firmly with a tamper until it’s packed perfectly then attach it to the espresso machine with a quarter turn to the right. Place the desired coffee holding vessel underneath and begin to pour the shot.

Gorgeous Crema

While the shot is pouring, steam your milk, whole milk for a flat white, 2% if for a regular latte and skim for those strange people who like them skinny. Soy or Almond Milk steams slightly differently, we’ll just pretend no one asked for that today. Fill the steaming cup with a bit more very cold milk than you will need, add a thermometer, then put the steam nozzle all the way to the bottom and turn on the steam by turning the nob to the left.

A barista steams milk for the 'Barista Throwdown' competition.

Open it nearly all the way and slowly raise the nozzle to the surface of the milk, and tilt the cup to get a swirling motion going in the milk, as the volume increases hold your position until the temperature of the milk reaches 140 degrees F, be particularly careful not to exceed 160, it’ll burn the milk. Remove nozzle once the correct temperature is reached and there is evidence of the microfoam you’re looking for, the soft tiny bubbles that leave the top looking like thick wet paint. Skim milk will naturally look less creamy, and if you’re doing a cappuccino feel free to steam with harder foam, bigger bubbles by lifting the nozzle slightly out of the milk while steaming for quick bursts.

The owner of the cafe foams milk for waiting customers.

Once the shot is done pouring, grab your milk and a spoon if desired and pour the milk over the shot. Use a spoon to separate the milk from the foam as you pour, or just pour more quickly and wait as it separates in the cup. There will be a bit more foam this way.

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To achieve the latte art design, tilt the mug and pour onto the side of the mug then in strategic motions, breaking through the espresso crema (or film ontop), wavering and wobbling the milk rhythmically then cutting across the top of the circles made will produce the iconic heart or rosette shape in your latte. Garnish with cinnamon or cocoa if desired, now sit back and enjoy your home made perfect latte!

Now repeat 100 times a day and curse the uselessness of your joint major Honours Science Degree in Psychology and Anthropology.

Latte’ Art Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NItrlTwbvAU

.NOM
-Hailey Jane


How To Enjoy The Perfect Latte’: Part I

Nothing quite hits the spot on a rainy afternoon like a cup of hot, dark, rich and creamy espresso. A comfortable push of motivation in the onwards and upwards direction. They are the most wonderful thing to enjoy, but first, you’ve got to acquire one.

You have two basic options. The first includes going out into the world to find the perfect little cafe on a drizzly main street.

City rain

In a semi-lit room with brick and terracotta coloured walls, the atmosphere envelops you and a thick warm smell of coffee drifts into your nose as you walk inside to shake off your umbrella and coat from the cool autumn rain. Looking up, seeing all of the other wayward souls that stop momentarily here for fleeting moments in their lives, passing them without too much thought a face greets you over a counter with a nonchalant acknowledgement through thick dark glasses.

Coffee shop

You hear the faint melancholy chords of a Neil Young or Leonard Cohen song and the subtle clinking of coffee mugs as a worker clears away the perfect table by the window. Once given the go ahead, you ask for your latte and make the decision for a fresh scone as well, Or was it the biscotti? You hear the steamer whistle as your milk is made ready, and glance around at the local art that hangs on the walls.

Cappuccino

Before you know it, your beverage is being handed to you in exchange for a handful of coins that until just now had lived in the bottom of your jeans pocket. On top of the delicious coffee in your bright ceramic mug there is a gorgeous layer of the tiniest microbubbles that make up a soft, smooth and heavenly foam. Much to your pleasant surprise there is an arrangement of swooping and bending dark coloured espresso lines tracing their way through the foam, leaving behind a gorgeous heart shaped pattern. You almost feel guilty, being about to eat it and all, but not guilty enough to stop you.

Ever so gently walking over to that perfect table by the rain spotted window, sitting down and letting all the tension flow out your feet. Relaxed, you pick up your mug, close your eyes and sip strongly and deeply. A small, light patch of foam sticks to your top lip but it is no matter, you have successfully enjoyed a perfect latte.

-Hailey Jane


I’m Going to Be a Horrible Person and Do A ‘Haul’ Post…

No judging..

The reason I cracked and decided it would be a good idea to do a post on the spoils of shopping, was because I was in need of some serious retail therapy this week and I was alarmingly successful. I found all of these lovely things, and have no one to share their wonders with. The boy really isn’t too interested, he tries to feign enthusiasm, but it’s all a lie really.

I had a surprise day off this week, so I went to the mall in search of a pair of sunglasses that I had deeply regretted not buying weeks ago, and when you’re still thinking about an item several weeks after walking past it, it’s a good reason to go back and get it. If only to help you sleep at night.

Here are the sleep depriving sunglasses in question.

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Aren’t they lovely? I hope you think so, because I know of at least four people in my social circle that will call them many things ranging from ridiculous  to just plain ugly. But haters gonna hate.  They’re from Laura, a clothing retailer here in Canada. I couldn’t find them online, but that really doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Afterwards I decided I’d explore the MAC counter at The Bay, as I had been hearing such wonderful things about everything they do to make us beautiful. I really wanted some lavender lipstick but they didn’t have any at the moment, but I did decide to give their Mineralize Skin Finish in Medium a try. I also picked up a Soft and Gentle Highlight Skinfinish. It’s sparkly and makes me happy.

IMG_5009Let me know if any of you use these and what you think. I’m genuinely curious.

I then popped over to Clinique for some clarifying lotion. Oooh exciting, I know.  But it works a charm and comes in a pretty bottle.

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Then on to LUSH for some olfactory stimulation. My usual shopping buddy can’t stand it in the store, gives her a headache, so when on my own I make sure to go in. I fell in love with a soap called KARMA, and will 100% be buying more in the future. It makes me smell a bit like a hippy (I think there’s patchouli in it) but it’s fantastic and I would take that over flowery smells any day! I also got a bath bomb, because you can’t go into LUSH without getting one. It’s called Rose Queen, and has petals inside it, and apparently turns the bath pink. So we’ll see how that goes.

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I then went to Old Navy for some cheap sweaters (seeing as all the spring stuff is out). I ended up with three of my favourite daily-wear pieces for 5 dollars each. One in cream, a V-neck in beige and another V-neck in Navy.

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And of course I had to look at the new spring stuff and found this chiffon blouse with white and beige stripes, and it’s my new favourite. Great with jeans!

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The next day my shopping buddy and I went to Homesense and JYSK after work and got a few house-y things. The Paris railway clock was only $11.00 so I couldn’t pass it up, and I have no idea where it’s going to hang in the apartment without Chris banging his head on it, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I also picked up this lovely photo album, because I’m a dinosaur and actually print pictures and put them in an album to enjoy. I will be adding my latest England trip photos to this one, as well as New York and Mexico if they all fit. There’s only 300 spaces, so we’ll see.

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This is a cute laundry hamper that I hope will help Chris to put his dirty clothing away properly. Anywhere but the floor. If this doesn’t work I’m going to assume he’s a lost cause.

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And our last stop was good old Value Village, for some thrifting, to see what we could see. It was turning out to be a dismal and failure of a journey, but I did a walk down the shoe isle and found a brand new pair of Crown Vintage Oxfords in my size! I checked online and they are still available from anywhere between 40 and 69 dollars. I would say I did good with these for 10 bux!

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So that was my shopping adventures over last week. I’d say I did good and don’t need to go out for a rather long time. Let me know if you like this sort of thing in the comments, or not, and I will regulate my content that way. It was my first and was sorta fun, so I have no trouble doing more in future.

Lots of Love!

-Hailey Jane

 

 

 


Mexico Tidbits and Rapid-Fire Beach Read Reviews!

Hellooo friends!

Darn this Hot Chocolate! My teeth are getting angry at me, whitened them last night and everything I try to eat hurts me. Blast!

Anywhoodle, I’ve been up to some trouble as of late gallivanting around the world in search of fun and exciting adventures. I was alarmingly successful in my exploration of Mexico with my family, we certainly got the most out of our trip to Puerto Vallarta. Here’s a sneak peak! Details and hilarious stories to follow!

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Rapid Fire Book Reviews

Beach Read Edition!

Here are the novels I managed to finish reading while I was away on holiday.  In all honesty I started to have a bit of a personal emotional crisis while lying on the beach, reading away. I was overcome by crashing wave of feeling as if I was wasting my precious time in another country lumping about in an uncomfortable green beach chair instead of exploring and enjoying everything this magical place had to offer. But upon further reflection the down time was necessary and I believe I made up for the lack of activity during the days larking about at night.

The Paris Wife – Paula McLain

This lovely book was an impulse grab at my local charity bookshop back home. It was three dollars and I dare say it was three dollars well bloody spent! I’ve heard mixed reviews of this book, saying it’s novelization of real life events and characters didn’t translate well, but I liked it. I think they (she…Paula McLain) may have made Hadley seem more endearing and attractive for the purpose of the novel, but that aside it was a fun look at life in the 20’s, not just in Paris, but all over Europe and North America briefly as well. Mr. Hemingway makes a very interesting character and you love him as much as you hate how he lives and treats others around him. It is easy to identify with Hadley in this respect. Darn him and his all encompassing talent!!

One Day – David Nicholls

I cheated, I’ve seen the film already. It was a lovely film and I had hopes that the novel would be even better. Alarmingly, they were strikingly similar. Both good, both detailed and clever. I don’t know if I could chose between them if it came down to it. There were occasional characters and events omitted from the film for the sake of time, but I feel they weren’t terribly central to the story. Emma and Dex are a very unlucky couple, but 90% of that is all their own fault. At times you want it to work for them, others you get frustrated and think they deserve every second of this torture and overwhelming sexual tension. It’s the entirety of two separate lives tangled together in 400 pages, and it’s done beautifully. Being written by a male, I thought the female perspective was lacking a bit of relatability, and the little things that women do when secretly in love with someone their entire life, but overall it was charming, well written and temporally accurate as the story effortless glides through the decades. Yay England! I am also extremely biased when it comes to stories set in the UK, just a heads up. 😀

So this has been another long awaited instalment of Coffee and Turtlenecks. Thanks for joining me, follow and like if that’s your cup of tea. It would make me wonderfully happy.

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-Hailey Jane