Holiday Dresses under $100

dresses5When it comes to dressing for the holidays, I’ve definitely grown out of sparkly metallic fabrics that have little wearability once all the festivities are over. These days I’m drawn to unique shapes, quality materials and styles that can be worn again and again when special occasions come up. Here are a few picks that range from casual to fancy, all while keeping the pricetag under $100.
[Above image: Left: plaid swing dress, Asos. Right, Gap cable knit sweater dress that makes me want to cozy up next to the fire after having eaten too much.]dresses2Above: Keep it girly and sweet with floral details.
Left: teal lace, Zara.
Right: embroidered velvet, Zara.

dresses4Throw a blazer on and they’re work-appropriate. Both available in plus sizes.
Left: striped boat neck cotton dress, Gap.
Right: Wrap dress, Asos.

dresses1Show off that body all while keeping it classy.
Left: Asymmetrical dress with double hem, H&M (also available in forest green.)
 Right: jersey body-con dress, Wilfred Free from Aritzia.

dresses3Minimalist details make a great impact.
Left: black dress with mesh neckline trim, Babaton from Aritzia.
Right: long sheer crepe dress, Zara.

Fall Cookbooks for Everyone

I love cookbooks. As much as I use the internet as my main resource for recipes, I love the feel of a solid good cookbook. I read them like bed time stories, pausing to look at beautiful photographs and fantasizing about recreating dishes in my own kitchen. Clearly I can’t be the only one, because there have been tons of new release in the last little while. Here’s a round-up of the ones that have caught my eye.

1. The Art of Eating Well: Hemsley and Hemsley: By now we all get that eating healthy is a lifestyle approach. What better way to encourage that than delicious, accessible meals?
2. Plenty More by Yottam Ottolenghi: I’m always looking for new interesting ways to make vegetables. Now I just wish I had a fresh herb garden year round.
3.  Cairo Kitchen by Suzanne Zeidi: My love for Middle Eastern food holds no bounds, and it’s about time I learn how to make some of my favorite meals.
4. Three Times a Day by Marilou and Alexandre Champagne: a.k.a “Trois Fois par Jour”, this local Montreal duo has created quite a buzz in the last year. With new recipes that are not featured on their blog, as well as some favorites like buttered chicken,
5. A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones: Packed with vegetarian recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes. Ideal for the real world where you just give in after a long day of work and throw a frozen pizza in the oven.
6. Audrey at Home: Memories from my Mother’s Kitchen by Luca Dotti: Both a scrapbook of Audrey Hepburn’s life and a cookbook, nostalgia-lovers can fully indulge in the vintage photographs, anecdotes and foods from another time.
7. Baking from Food52: Because sometimes, after all that healthy eating, I just want to make something entirely out of sugar and flour. This go-to site compiled a book of classic baked recipes (like banana bread) to mind-blowing new desserts (like black sesame cupcakes with matcha icing!!!!!)
8. Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food by Nigella Lawson: are you noticing a trend here? Cooks offering recipes that are less complex, more accessible? Well last but not least, Nigella is on board, offering meals that can easily be made during your workweek. Butternut and halloumi burgers? I’m totally down.

Anything I missed? What are your favorite cookbooks?

DIY PAGE BUNTING

IMG_7504A few months ago, I attended an event at Centrale Culinaire, and couldn’t take my eyes off the incredibly simple-yet-striking buntings that hung across the room. I decided to steal the idea and recreate them in my own home. I’ve always loved old books and how they draw in all the senses- the faded yellow pages, that sweet vanilla-tobacco scent, the feel of the paper wearing thin… so using them as decor was really appealing to me. Tearing pages out of a book might seem sacrilegious to some, but rest assured, I found this book in the trash and I’m pretty sure no one was really dying to read it anyway (sorry to all the Emile Zola fans out there!).
IMG_7589The materials needed are pretty basic: old book, string, craft glue. The process is super easy and you’ll have a cool wall decoration in no time!

IMG_7437

I tried it out on both our grey bedroom wall and my pink office/boudoir/studio. Which do you prefer?

IMG_7554IMG_7608PS: can someone in the candle industry please make a candle that smells like old books? Or is that gross? Think about it: Dyptique, Vieux Livres.

3 Spooky Cocktails for Halloween

halloween cocktails littlekokomo.comI tend to believe there are 2 types of people in the world: Christmas* people and Halloween people (* read: Holiday). I’m definitely one of the latter, so I like to go all out for this time of year. I like to cram in as many horror movie nights, costume parties, Rocky Horror Picture Show outings as I can.  Last year I found two great Halloween-themed drinks on the web, so I decided to share them, as well as an easy classic option. Apologies for the low-quality instagram pictures! please check the original recipes so they get full credit!

halloween cocktails littlekokomo.comEyeball Punch
A clear punch bowl is great for showing off the eyeballs, but putting them into individual glasses works well too.
Spooky factor: 5/5
Effort level: Moderate, depending on how available canned lychees are
Tastes like: a light, fruity and refreshing summer drink.
See full recipe here

halloween cocktails littlekokomo.comDark and Stormy
When you’re short on time/lazy/want to get straight to the point, the trusty Dark and Stormy is always a crowd pleaser. Make sure to get ginger beer, and not ginger ale to get that extra bite (they sell this brand at walmart, but the artisanal ones are great if you can find them). Don’t skip the lime juice! substituting it with lemon just doesn’t do it, in my opinion.
Spooky factor: 0 but add a gummy worm and it becomes a 2/5!
Effort level: Easy. Easy like Sunday morning
Taste like: a good ginger candy, nice and spicy
See full recipe herehalloween cocktails littlekokomo.comShrunken Heads in Cider
Find a nice big pot to serve it in. The more it looks like a cauldron, the better.  I found it worked best by placing it somewhere convenient with a ladle and having guests serve themselves, so that they get to see the “shrunken heads” you spent so much time prepping and carving.
Spooky factor: 4/5
Effort level: Very High. Takes about 2 hours with baking time, so not something you can do last-minute.
Tastes like: Apple pie. It’s so damn good! Anyone who loves fresh apple cider will really enjoy this.
See full recipe here 

Mantras lately

made by littlekokomo.com

I’ve been reading some inspirational books recently, and decided to make a few desktop backgrounds with positive messages to keep me motivated. I’m at a turning point in my life and sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged by obstacles or realizing how much work is ahead before I get to where I want to be. I can easily slip into a negative mindset where I think of what my life could have been if things had been different, and that kind of thinking is sooo counter productive. I sometimes need a reminder that says, “hey! stop that!”
This post is dedicated to my friend Christina in Berlin! We’ve been having a lot of long talks about our common need to stay creative, despite whatever setbacks we may have. It’s a good time to surround ourselves with a team of cheerleaders and just plow forward with our passions. So, thanks, lady, and keep at it!
All images made with photoshop and pictures I have taken.
made by littlekokomo.com made by littlekokomo.comAbove quote taken from the book “What color is your parachute?

made by littlekokomo.comNot sure who the original author of this last quote is, but I recently read it in “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Feel free to use these as your own desktop backgrounds if they are helpful to you! If you repost them, please link back to my site. Thanks and Happy Friday! xo.

Getting my hair did: Two Horses

2horses littlekokomo.com

I want to share a unique place in Montreal that always leaves me a happy customer: Two Horses on Jean Talon. A hair salon, tattoo shop and some pop-up vintage clothing all-in-one, my visits are never short of inspiring.
A little background: I only get my haircut a maximum of twice a year. It grows incredibly slowly and I like to stick to a certain length, since the fine and frizzy texture usually requires a bit of weight to keep me from looking like Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich. I’ve experimented over the years: undercut/shaved sections, short out-of-bed cut, bowl cut, baby bangs…. These days I like to keep it kinda long and low-maintenance, since it just agrees with my life currently.
My experiences at Two Horses have been relaxingly pleasant, and I think it’s mainly due to the fact that the hairdressers really listen and make sure that we’re on the same page. There’s definitely a system of a good system of trust going on;  I never feel like I’m being boring by asking for a subtle cut. Add to that an incredible décor, good music and sometimes a friendly dog (belonging to one of the owners), and you can guarantee I’m overstaying my welcome.

I took these photos last time I went in. How awesome is this place?
2horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.comAbove: enviable gallery walls, the most beautiful wallpaper (from Poland!) and a touch of taxidermy on every wall.
Below: waiting space flooded with natural light, some vintage finds, tattoo outlines and framed art for inspo. 
2horses littlekokomo.comIMG_70862horses littlekokomo.com2horses littlekokomo.comVisit their website
Two Horses Salon and Tattoo: 170 Jean-Talon W, suite 306 (upstairs from the Atlas lighting store)
See some of their work on their Facebook Page

Hide your kids, hide your wallet: COS opens in Montreal

Cos, I love you, but all your beautiful clothes make me look like a child wearing a painting smock in kindergarten art class. Or as if I just ran out of the hairdresser’s while still wearing that polyester cover-up thing. At 5’3″, I’m far from the tall, slender Scandinavian body type that the flowy, high-end cuts look flattering on. You know, with swan-like necks, long torsos, ballerina limbs. This may actually be a blessing, since the new flagship store is said to open Friday October 9th in Montreal, and the price range doesn’t fit my current budget (not that this usually stops me). Still, I know myself, and I know that I will be in there regularly trying to find the one item that makes me look and feel like I own an art gallery. I’ll try to admire you from a distance! Let’s see how long I last.
http://www.cosstores.com/gb/
1310 Ste-Catherine West
cos2cos3(All images taken from the COS website)