4 TV Series We’re Excited For in 2014

In cold months like January, there isn’t much to do unless you’re a winter sports enthusiast. In fact, I much prefer the activity of channel surfing. I’m already hard at work training for the upcoming television season, because I must be in peak physical form especially where Helix is concerned.

1. Helix

SOURCE: theverge.com

SOURCE: theverge.com

The new SyFy show is going to sweep the nation. The potential outbreak of a deadly virus will infiltrate the masses and I’m certain viewers will be consumed by the thrilling episodic. The Hollywood Reporter has already hailed Helix as the nextBreaking Bad, just sayin’.

I’m also going to say that the name Jordan Hayes is sure to be on everyone’s lips in the new year. The Montreal-born actor is no stranger to the industry though. She starred and directed the short film Lay Over which debuted at TIFF in 2013. Asides from appearing on many Canadian and American TV series, she’s also shared the big screen with Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Radcliffe. I look forward to watching her fight for of mankind’s future, and you should too.

2. Girls

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SOURCE: People

It’s been quite some time since Hannah’s OCD came back with a vengeance, leading her to get a Q-Tip stuck in her ear. I, like so many other people, have been not-so patiently waiting for the return of Girls. The smartly directed and wittily written series comes alive in this ode to a generation. The HBO show has been referred to as the Sex and the City of today and, with some accuracy, depicts the complex relationships and inner dialogues that torment 20-somethings.

So, will Hannah and Adam get back together? Will Marnie finally find happiness? Will Shoshanna reunite with Ray? So many burning questions! I, for one, am excited to see what its creator and star Lena Dumham has up her sleeve this season.

3. Orange is the New Black

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SOURCE: screencrush.com

The Netflix original series Orange is the New Black took binge viewing to new levels. The realization of memoirist Piper Kerman’s novel-turned-series was an addictive force to be reckoned with on the subscriber service.

We will soon be reunited with the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary for a second season, but perhaps not all of them. Just as a refresher, Piper’s TV counterpart, Piper Chapman, might have ended Pennsatucky’s Jesus preaching ways. Laaawd have mercy!

The insider look into a women’s prison thrilled viewers, and also inspired many a Halloween costume this year, including my own:

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4. The Originals

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SOURCE: vampirediaries.alloyentertainment.com

I must admit this viewer had her concerns about whether The Vampire Diaries spin off, The Originals would be able to follow in TVD‘s successful footsteps.

Without so much as a shirtless cameo from Ian Somerhalder how could the show survive? Well, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) took care of that qualm, or his dreamy persona and impeccable good looks did. And, the captivating plot twists & sexy secondary characters don’t hurt matters.

The mid-season finale had Cami & Davina coming together potentially to conspire against Marcel and Klaus. Hayley and Elijah looked like they are an episode, or two away from hooking up. And, I can’t wait for mid-january when the show returns from it’s mid-season break.

P.S.: The Originals is said to be The CW’s most successful new series which means after the second half of season one next year, we might have a season two to look forward to.

 

As seen on:

d4b00cd75c52e7446de13668af71269e

http://www.andpop.com/2013/12/30/4-tv-series-were-excited-for-in-2014/

Marshmallow snowman cupcakes

CUPCAKES THAT MAKE A GREAT CENTREPIECE

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again, and it’s only made better by these tasty snowmen. Sculpting an edible version of Frosty is super easy with this recipe.

Marshmallow snowman cupcakes | Sheknows.ca

Marshmallow Snowman Cupcakes

Serving size varies depending on cake mix used

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla cake mix
  • Vanilla icing
  • Marshmallows
  • Carrots
  • Icing scribblers

Directions:

  1. Bake the cupcakes, and allow them to cool completely.
  2. Cut the carrots into thin slabs; these will serve as the noses.
  3. Using a piping bag (or resealable bag), form concentric icing circles. Picture the base of a snowman, and create circles accordingly, with a larger circle at the bottom and smaller ones toward the top.
  4. Place a piece of carrot in the centres of the marshmallows, and use the scribblers to make the faces.
  5. Secure the marshmallow heads into the icing by pressing gently downward.

More holiday recipes

Delicious holiday dessert recipes
Nuts and bolts: A simple and tasty holiday appetizer
Blogger traditions: Christmas cookies

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http://www.sheknows.ca/food/articles/960867/marshmallow-snowman-cupcake-recipe

5 Reasons Why We Miss The Originals

You know how a vampire feels when they’ve been deprived of blood for long stretches of time? That’s how we feel. Withdrawal is no fun. We need an Original family fix ASAP.

As you probably know, The Originals is on hiatus. A new episode will not grace our screens until mid-January, and we’re deeply saddened by this. Aside from awesome storylines, here are some specifics we miss about those sexy supernatural creatures.

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1. Witty repartee

Klaus has always had a way with words. A master of puns, we’re sure the memoirs he’s penning in the series is going to be a thrilling read. We wish the book was available to us on Amazon. I suppose, we’ll just have to settle on his weekly quotable quotes.

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2. Pretty boy

Elijah’s face is a work of art. A sculpture chiseled to the utmost perfection makes for a pleasurable viewing experience.

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3. Playlist love

The CW knows how to compliment a script with evocative tunes and indie hits!Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries blended music marvellously, and The Originalscontinues the tradition.

4. Forbidden fruit

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The tension between Hayley and Elijah has this viewer on edge. They’re clearly feelin’ it, but because she is carrying Klaus’ hybrid baby, there’s bro code etiquette to be followed.

5. Suave sinner

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Marcel is one smooth talker. It’s no wonder this beauty ruled the city of New Orleans as this ruthless leader knows how to take charge and make others follow suit. He has our vote any day!

 

As seen on:

d4b00cd75c52e7446de13668af71269e

http://www.andpop.com/2013/12/17/5-reasons-why-we-miss-the-originals/

Personalized Christmas gift bags

Personalized Christmas gift bag | Sheknows.ca

SIGNATURE SACKS,  STITCH BY STITCH

Show you care by personalizing your gifts this Christmas with monograms, names and festive wishes on pretty purses.

Great gifts can be made even more exciting with fun wrapping options.Plus, if the wrapping doubles as a gift too, what’s not to love?

Create carryalls for the people on your gift-giving list. The dollar store or arts and crafts supply store has everything you need to make the perfect purse. Here’s how to do it:

Directions:

  1. Begin by cutting two pieces of material into the same size.
  2. Sew the pieces together. If you have a sewing machine, this will be a breeze, but if not, sew them by hand.
  3. Add the embellishments of your choosing, and secure them onto the fabric with your trusty needle and thread.
  4. Fasten the handles, and you’re on your way.

If sewing leaves you tied up in knots, outsource your handbag needs. Plenty of personalized gift-making services are at your disposal:

Thirty-one knows totes

Utility tote | Sheknows.ca

Thirty-one is a trusted source for your embroidery needs. The company has a wonderful selection of fun and functional items — like this snowman utility tote (thirtyonegifts.com, $30) — just waiting for you to make your mark.

Sailor- and tailor-made

Wine bottle tote | Sheknows.ca

Lands’ End has an incredible history steeped in stylish durability that goes hand in hand with excellent price points. The bottle bag(landsend.com, $20) is a lovely selection for the wine connoisseur in your group.

Eco-friendly and ultra chic

Map totes | Sheknows.ca

The Wedding Shop, brought to you by the good people at The Knot, carries a bevy of beautiful bags for you to choose from. You might be thinking, “The Knot? Isn’t that solely a bridal website?” Yes, but anyone can appreciate the variety and reasonable prices The Wedding Shop has to offer. The map totes(weddingshop.theknot.com, $15) are a must-see!

Pop culture perfection

Wedding date totes | Sheknows.ca

One should not forget the mecca of unique merchandise: Etsy. You might just stumble upon the holy grail of gifts when perusing the site’s many vendors. Aside from this adorable wedding date tote (etsy.com, $16) that would suit a blushing bride, Rachel Walter has a whole bunch of pretty bags — many with hilarious pop culture references — to choose from.

More on holiday shopping

Budgeting for the holidays 365 days a year
5 Ways to save money on your Christmas dinner
Best free Christmas apps to get you ready and excited

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Homemade gifts for the food lover

HEARTFELT GIFTS 
THAT ARE SURE TO PLEASE

Share your secret recipes this holiday season, and give the gift of edible delights to your loved ones.

‘Tis the season for Mason jars

If you don’t have a large jar on hand, then pick up a box of them at the grocery store. Using ribbon, tie bows around the necks of the jars, or print out personalized labels to stick on the jars. Then pour in all the dry ingredients of this festive gingerbread cookie recipe.

Gingerbread cookies

Christmas cookie mix in a jar | Sheknows.ca

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

On a note card, jot down “You will also need” and the following ingredients and directions:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, butter, molasses, egg, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda and salt together until smooth.
  3. Cover the bowl, and refrigerate the mix.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, and cut it into shapes using cookie cutters.
  5. Bake for roughly 8 minutes or until edges are browned.

Baker’s delight

Sugar cookies cut out as stars | Sheknows.ca

While preparing a recipe for your gift recipient is sweet, if you have a little more time, bake the cookies yourself, and place them in a decorative tin. Try this sugar cookie recipe on for size.

Sugar cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the egg, milk and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Divide the dough in half, and chill both sections for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough, and cut it into shapes using cookie cutters.
  7. Using a spatula, place the cookies on a greased baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe wish list

Christmas cookbook gift | Sheknows.ca

If you’re having trouble narrowing down what recipe to make or prepare for your loved ones, then why not create their very own cookbook?

Include recipes you know they’ll love as well as your favourite desserts. Add anecdotes about why those choices mean so much to you, along with memories you’ve shared.

You can have it bound at your local office supply shop, bind it yourself with staples or make a cover and sew the selections together.

This personalized gift will impress any host or hostess.

More gift ideas

Best gifts for a host
Best of Etsy: Personalized gifts
Edible party favours

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