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Shopping Local in Niagara

Shopping Local in Niagara

Welcome to the holiday season! After the year we’ve had, many of us are looking to support local. I’ve tried to make an effort over the last few years to buy as much from local businesses as possible for Christmas gifts. Many years, I’ve found […]

October Reads

October Reads

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood 2/5 Stars Susan Green is what some would describe as ‘prickly’. She has a job she tolerates, and apartment that serves its purpose, and a family that is often more trouble than Susan appreciates. She likes to do things by […]

Lip Monthly September 2020

Lip Monthly September 2020

I missed the cutoff date for cancelling the Lip Monthly subscription for the month of September. I think this bag worked out to be between $17 and $20 CAD. Which feels, uh, very not worth it? IDK. This bag arrived the first week of October after my credit card was charged on September 1st. I will say that this has been my favourite bag so far and I think I will use MOST of it.

Here’s what I got:

Seraphine Cosmetics Daikon + Dreams Lip Exfoliator

$24.00 USD

It’s always nice to have a lip exfoliator on hand. This one uses all clean ingredients and is vegan. I didn’t find it as scrubby as other lip scrubs, but maybe that’s a good thing!! I would not recommend tasting it.

KAB Beauty Lipstick in Tiramisu

$18.00 USD

I actually really like this lipstick. It’s a nice pale pink colour. That usually doesn’t work for me, but this one does. The formula is nice and creamy. I don’t think it would be particularly long-wearing, but I think it’s a decent lipstick.

Kaleido Cosmetics Crazy Foils in Turn Up The Volume

$18.00 USD

You don’t really expect to get an eyeshadow duo in a subscription bag called ‘lip monthly’ but here we are. This was actually my favourite thing in the bag. I like these colours, and although I wouldn’t use them every single day, I would use them. I actually find the purple to be very wearable for every day. The colours have nice payoff and are pretty creamy. I have yet to use them with a primer, but I hope they would have a good wear time.

Unicorn Snot Lip Gloss


This is very much not ~ my vibe~. I just have no interest in putting anything with ‘snot’ in the title on my lips. I’m also just not super into a glittery gloss. I will probably end up passing this along to someone else.

Overall, this wasn’t the worst subscription bag I’ve ever gotten. It’s also not the best. I don’t really think it was worth the money.

You can sign up for Lip Monthly here.

Check out my other beauty posts here.

September Reads

September Reads

Another month, another failed attempt at reading more than one book. I am slacking. Hopefully I can use the back half of the year to catch up on my reading. Does anyone have any recommendations for me? The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor […]

Lip Monthly – August 2020

Lip Monthly – August 2020

I very much love subscription boxes and bags. As a long-time lipstick lover, Lip Monthly has intrigued me for a while. I was finally drawn in by the allure of a $5 bag advertised in an Instagram ad. I am a sucker, yes. I then […]

What I’ve Been Making Lately – September 9

What I’ve Been Making Lately – September 9

Mini M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

I couldn’t resist picking up some mini m&m’s at the bulk food store, and thought that cookies would be the best vehicle for them. I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking. I replaced half of the chocolate chips called for with the m&m’s.

Blackened Fish + Chicken and Roasted Corn Salad

I used a blackening seasoning to coat fish, shrimp, and chicken, and cooked them in a hot pan. The chicken I then transferred to the oven to cooking. I used fresh, local sweet corn and brushed it with olive oil before roasting it on our burner. I threw that on a salad with blistered cherry tomatoes, bocconcini, and jalapenos with a homemade honey mustard vinaigrette.

Homemade Bolognese

Our neighbour gave us some tomatoes from their garden and we thought we’d make a big ole batch of tomato sauce with them. We made a very large pot, we didn’t really follow a recipe, just our hearts. We did add a lot of garlic. We were able to bag a bunch of it for the freezer. For this dinner, we used some triple mix and cooked it in the sauce for a quick bolognese.

Coffee-rubbed Steaks, Roasted Corn, and Baked Potatoes

I also got some coffee rub while at the bulk food store, and we thought it would be perfect for a couple of steaks. I’m not alone in loving a baked potato with steak. Usually I’m lazy and make the microwaved version, but I went all out for these ones, including some chives from our garden.

Cacio e Pepe(ish)

If you’ve been reading these posts for any considerable amount of time, you’ll know that I break out this recipe often. It’s easy and always delicious. For this iteration, I threw in a little cream to round it out a bit more.

French Onion Soup

I can’t take a whole lot of credit for this. I got the soup from my favourite local soup place in a freezer sale. We broke it out for lunch one day with our own homemade croutons from hot dog buns that were on the verge of going bad. I then topped it with three kinds of cheese. Man, I love french onion soup.

The Home Cook’s take on Boston Pizza’s Royal Hawaiian Pizza

This is one of my favourite pizza from the Canadian chain restaurant, Boston Pizza. So, I tried to recreate it! For the base, I used sweet chili sauce. Then I topped it with cheese, pineapple, red onion, and prosciutto. I thought it turned out really well, and I’ll definitely make it again.

Chocolately Brownies

I needed a way to use up the aforementioned m&m’s, so onto brownies they went! I used the fudgey brownie recipe from The Joy of Cooking. These were some of the best brownies I’ve ever had.

Zucchini Bread

I bought zucchini on a whim at the local farmer’s market and into a baked good it went! Again, I used the recipe from The Joy of Cooking (seriously, it’s the best. Buy it now from your local book store.) I added chocolate chips, of course.

The ‘I Tried’ Cake

I think that maybe cakes and cupcakes just aren’t my thing. I tried to make a cake for a friend’s birthday. Every funfetti cake recipe I saw were for absolute behemoths of cakes. I don’t have the bake ware or patience for that kind of thing. I found this recipe for a small batch cake. Please note that the mediocrity of this cake is solely on my shoulders and not on this recipe.

Mushroom Soup

I made this soup based on the recipe from Cravings, but I do like to add a little milk or cream to it to create the texture I want in a mushroom soup.

Blueberry Mojito

There’s nothing like ending the summer with a good drink in hand. I made this mojito this week to enjoy in the sun. Check out the recipe here!

See all of my food posts here

Follow me on instagram to see everything I’m making @hstrong_

August Reads

August Reads

August was a very sad month for me reading. I just couldn’t really get into anything. I tried to read ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ a few times, but just couldn’t really get into it before my borrow expired. Even the one book I’m counting here […]

Blueberry Mojito

Blueberry Mojito

The mojito has been my drink of summer 2020. They’re easy, refreshing, and I almost always have the ingredients on hand. It may be the unofficial end to summer this weekend, but I’m unwilling to let it go by without a drink in hand. The […]

My Personal Rankings of the cast of Big Brother All-Stars 2

My Personal Rankings of the cast of Big Brother All-Stars 2

My fandom of Big Brother has come in ebbs and flows in the last two decades. I vividly remember watching season 3 on the little TV in my bedroom at the tender age of 10. I continued to watch for years, but gave up in favour of watching So You Think You Can Dance in the same time slot. I found my way back just before season 13 after a rewatch of the seasons I had missed.

In the last few seasons, I’ve had the tendency to dip in and out of the season around the midway point.

But I am back full-steam, baby.

I am very excited about Big Brother 22 aka ALL-STARS 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are my personal rankings of the Big Brother 22 based SOLELY on how excited I am to see them back on my TV:

Kaysar Ridha


I am so excited to see him back. He was my favourite player on BB6 and BB7. I was pretty surprised to realize all of these years later that he’s never made jury. He’s a smart dude who people like, which gets people far in Big Brother. With some age I think he will be able to go far. I never thought I’d see him again on Big Brother. I’m so excited to watch him play.

Da’Vonne Rogers

I tend to gravitate towards great personalities over gamebots. I think Da’Vonne has the opportunity here to have an even better handle on the strategic game than in her previous two jaunts on the show. Da’Vonne is such a bright, smart, and funny presence on the show. I think her few seasons of The Challenge has further sharpened her mind for the game. There’s one thing you can be sure to get from Da’Vonne – great confessionals.

Daniele Briones

Is Daniele actually a good Big Brother player? I’m not sure. I do know that I love her. She takes no shit, but is able to remain level-headed when things are going down around her. I think sometimes she relies on coasting, so I would love to see her fight for herself a little more this season. It will be interested to see how she starts the game without the pressure of dealing with her father right from the beginning. I’ve loved seeing Daniele’s evolution over the years.

Keesha Campbell

I never thought I’d see Kaysar on my TV again. I REALLY never thought I’d see Keesha. If I had to pick, BB10 was my favourite season of the show and I LOVED Keesha. She is a firecracker, but a smart one. She has the ability to deal with people in a way that only years of experience in the service industry will give you. When the names started to leak for the season, she was the one I couldn’t believe until she showed up on my screen.

Ian Terry

I feel like Ian was the superfan of the people for a long time. It was cool to see a guy like Ian play Big Brother, who was clearly just so excited to be there. I always get a little sad that people say he shouldn’t have won. I’m always of the opinion that the person who won was the one that deserved it. My hope he is able to play without the pressure of being one of two winners on the season, and that his love for the game with be reignited.

David Alexander

I think David might actually be the most surprising inclusion here. He was out first on BB21, but never actually got voted out. He lost in a competition on the first night (I hope first night evictions are over forever!!!!). We got to see what he’s capable of during the camp twist. He was there but couldn’t really play too much. I’m excited to see what he can bring when he’s really in the game.

Bayleigh Dayton

Bayleigh is a good addition to any cast. You want passion and drive? You’ve got it in Bayleigh. She was a rookie on the latest season of The Challenge and she made it to the final, which isn’t something many rookies are able to do. She’s never started a season without her husband, so I’m looking forward to seeing how she plays without him by her side.

Kevin Campbell

I’ve never really seen Season 11. I tried to watch it, but just could not get into it. I’m sure if I had finished it, I would have loved Kevin and ranked him a little higher here. Based on the clips I’ve seen and his into package on the premiere, I think I’m really going to like Kevin.

Janelle Pierzina

What’s an all-star season without Janelle? I like Janelle. She’s super competitive and cut-throat. I just wonder if we’ve seen all Janelle has? It felt like she rested on her reputation in BB14. I hope she shows her old fire when there’s a more even playing field. The Janelle and Kaysar reunion will be magical.

Memphis Garrett

Memphis’ game was overshadowed by Dan’s in BB10, but I think he has the potential to play a really solid game. I’m just looking forward to see a bunch of these old school players come back!!! What a joy!

Cody Calafiore

So, I’m happy that it’s Cody over Paulie. I couldn’t take another whole season of Paulie. But I just feel like if Cody doesn’t immediately align with a smart dude, he’s going to make some bone-headed mistakes.

Tyler Crispen

I think most people are a lot more excited to see Tyler again than I am. Maybe it’s because I didn’t finish that season, it’s just Tyler didn’t do a whole lot for me the first time around. I think he was a strategic superfan, but I feel like I remember him getting upset whenever something didn’t go his way. IDK.

Nicole Anthony

I like Nicole! I think she was nice in her season, she just maybe wasn’t the most compelling! And made a lot of what felt like were obvious mistakes! Maybe I’m wrong and should be more excited about her!

Enzo Palumbo

I was always very lukewarm on Enzo. The brigade was a fun alliance. I just was never super into his schtick. I can’t call him the ‘meow meow’ and feel good about myself. Is he good at the game? IDK

Christmas Abbott

I mean like, did we need another season of Christmas? Probably not, but it should be interesting to see her play on two feet without the influence of pain meds all season.

Nicole Franzel

I just feel like we’ve seen all we needed to see from Nicole. We saw her lose and come back and lose again and then come back and win. This cast would have been fine without her.

I mean overall, I will not complain about this cast. It’s well-rounded with players from every era and with many different skill sets. There is no one here that I hate and absolutely dread watching. I am so amped for this season!!!

Follow me on Twitter @hstrong_ for the latest #BB22 ~hot takes~

July Reads

July Reads

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston 4/5 Stars What if the first son of the United States and the Prince of England were in their early 20’s and fell in love during a tumultuous election year? Red, White & Royal Blue explores just […]