11/2017: Beats and Bites

January 02, 2018
11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

November was full of birthdays, midterms, rehearsals, and shivering with the trees as they lost their leaves to the incoming winter cold. It was spent (im)patiently waiting to flip the calendar from November to December when it's socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music out loud. Most importantly, it was a month of creative expression, through song, dance and notably, baking. A lot of uncertainty went in, but a lot of good came out. And every once in a while, like my mom's birthday cake below, something unexpectedly special.

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com
Snickerdoodles with Toasted Shredded Coconuts

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com

11/2017: Beats and Bites from itsalamb.com
Orange Caramel Glazed Pecan Pound Cake

Change is here

January 01, 2018
Change is here via itsalamb.com


~ This was posted originally on my old blog www.mstigerlilly.com ~

As I shed off my title of "teenager" for the age-fitting -- although not the emotional or mentally fitting title -- of "adult", I can feel that subtle tingle of change.

It feels like wearing skinny jeans that are way too tight. You sit down and get a muffin top. You bend over and you feel a cold draft where you really shouldn't.

It pangs in your chest like the Grinch's heart after it "grew three sizes that day".

It itches uncontrollably.

It grates your nerves, like a child impatiently waiting for Christmas day.

It leaves you with cold sweats and hot colds and its all your body's way of saying that change is afoot.

So, here it is, today marks the end of Ms. Tiger Lilly, and the birth of something new... or not quite so new but definitely something different.

I am once again changing the name of my blog to It's A Lamb. It's a play on two special words that I'm sure you'll figure out soon enough. But if not, be sure to join me here, a hop, skip and a click away from the old site, to the blog's current incarnation as www. itsalamb.com. For some of the old stuff, all of the good stuff, and little new stuff is thrown in here and there (or just for fun).

Either way, this is just a long way of saying Thank You, THANK YOU, thank you so much, for reading Ms. Tiger Lilly all these years, and I look forward to catching up with you here on my new site.

Love,

Alexandra
(formerly Ms. Tiger Lilly)

:)

10/2017: Beats and Bites

November 06, 2017
S'mores Hot Chocolate from the Short and Sweet Bakeshop Café

Although the colors of Fall in Toronto arrived late this month, its flavors and aromas made an appearance almost as soon as I flipped my calendar from September to October.

Hesitantly, Fall slowly but surely decided to make itself known. Despite the delay, I was more than happy to embrace what few pops of color that Mother Nature was willing to share as the treetops changed from a persistent green to a shy yellow, to a sleepy orange, to a roaring red, and finally a blushing brown, as they completed their telltale waltz through the Autumn air that has become as crisp as the dried leaves that pave the city streets.

Yet, summer clung on, and the sun hung on so tight that as the days grew shorter, each sunset burned a little deeper and a little longer, stretching the moment between today and tonight and making it feel as infinite as the shadows cast by its rays.

But, finally, we are here. It's Fall. So, cheers to surviving the end of October and all the ghosts, ghouls and grueling midterms that it had to offer. Cheers to the start of the colors of November, and all the green trees, white lights and red noses -- or should I say, one blinking nose -- that it has to bring. 

Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese (Yes! That is Monterey Jack that you see there, and lots of it)





Macaroni and Cheese ... and a whole lot of other good stuff.

Puff Pastry Pumpkin Pie (try saying that three times fast) (Find the recipe for the filling here)

Belgian Waffles (these are super great check out the recipe here)

El Dia de los Muertos

November 02, 2017

I've been enamoured with the idea of the Day of the Dead, since I learned what a calavera was. I would see them in my TV shows (thank you PBS!) and I remember thinking, "How do they make them?" and "I wonder if each color represents a different flavour?" And most importantly, "How can I take part?" But overall, I was just mesmerized by the bright colors, especially in relation to death. It's a word often synonymous with black or white, but never the spectrum in between and I was shook (not shaken, shook). I still am. To my young self, it seemed like the perfect act of rebellion against the invisible force that takes loved ones away from us. It was a way to not vanish from this world like a candle light into thin, wispy tendrils of smoke. It was an opportunity to be remembered leaving the world the way we came in, with lots of noise, joy, and gifts.

Either way, it seemed a lot better than being mummified -- after watching The Mummy and Indiana Jones, 10-year-old me wasn't too fond of the possibility of coming back to life wrapped in (what I mistakenly thought to be) toilet-paper -- and a whole lot more festive than a Viking Burial. I vowed that if I ever got a chance to celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, I would, and I did, and now I can share it with you. I hope you enjoy and that you make sure to check out if you're own city has any festivities going on!

français


Je suis entiché pas El dia de los muertos (le jour des morts) depuis que je suis toute petite et que j'ai vue ma première calavera. J'ai été introduit à la fête quand je regardais la télévision et je me souviens d'avoir pensé trois choses:

Comment est-ce qu'on crée un calavera?
Est-ce que chaque couleur correspond à une saveur différente?
Comment puis-je participer?

J'adorais toutes les couleurs, particulièrement portée pour une situation qui est souvent entourée de couleurs sombres, le décès d'un bien-aimé. Pour jeune Alex, c'était l'acte de parfait de rébellion. Au lieu de quitter ce monde silencieusement comme une bougie éteint, laissant aucune trace sauf la fumée qui s'écroule vers le plafond, tu quitteras avec un grand éclat, avec une telle vivacité que ceux et celles qui restent ne pourrons pas contenir leurs rires, leurs sourires et oui, évidemment leurs larmes. Mais, la différence est que celles-ci ne seront pas pour ta mort, mais pour les souvenirs de ta vie quand vous étiez tout sain et sauf. À vrai dire, pour une fille de 10 ans, tout avait l'air, plus intéressant que d'être momifié ou enterrer à la manière des Vikings. Le jour même, j'ai voué que dès que j'aurais la chance de célébrer El dia de los muertos une que je le ferai. J'ai gardé ma promesse et j'ai amené ma caméra (et ma sœur) pour que je puisse partager avec vous aussi.














In dedication to my papou

#MsBookworm Mash-Up: The Lazy Guru's Guide to Strange Cases and Wandering Stars

October 09, 2017
#MsBookworm Mash-Up: The Lazy Guru's Guide to Strange Cases and Wandering Stars. A review of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Beneath the Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles and the Lazy Guru's Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter.

Let's be real. I'm a student, and between textbooks, novels, and articles, reading one book (no matter how good it is) can sometimes take me months to read. Then when I eventually do finish, it can take me a while to getting around to summarizing it and posting it here. So, I decided to do "crash course" on the books I loved, but since my memory is a little foggy on the details of their contents I don't have enough to write a full-length post about each of them separately. After all, you shouldn't be deprived of a few excellent quotes and reads on my account. Anyway, if you've read them or are thinking about reading them let me know what you think! :)

#MsBookworm Mash-Up: The Lazy Guru's Guide to Strange Cases and Wandering Stars. A review of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Beneath the Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles and the Lazy Guru's Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter.

For the Laid-back Go-Getter: Lazy Guru's Guide to Life: A Mindful Approach to Achieving More by Doing Less by Laurence Shorter


This book is literally like taking a shot of positivity and zen. There are mostly pictures and the words are in a big font, so you can pretty much zoom through this one in under an hour (I finished it on my commute to and from dance class).

The book lays out the bare necessities of life in a quick and concise way. But it does leave you buzzing with positive energy and a new calmer, if not "lazier", way of tackling life's problems, going about getting things done, and chasing your dreams.

Favourite quote:

" 'Shoulds' don't generally help us to feel happier like they pretend to. Instead they tend to work the opposite way. This is because shoulds exist to protect our boxes... so they won't have to get opened (that's why they're so convincing)."  ~ Laurence Shorter, Lazy Guru's Guide to Life

For the Romantic Soul Searcher: Beneath the Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles

#MsBookworm Mash-Up: The Lazy Guru's Guide to Strange Cases and Wandering Stars. A review of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Beneath the Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles and the Lazy Guru's Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter.


We follow 17-year-old military brat Gabi Santiago as she embarks on a multi-week trek through the European countryside. As she fulfills her injured brother's wish for her and his childhood best friend Seth, to walk the camino de santiago. The pilgrimage takes her and us on a soul-searching journey across the lush rural landscape as she tries to explain and understand the meaning behind all the hurt her family is currently experiencing and that people inflict on each other in different ways. All the while learning more about the world she thought she knew and the girl she thought she was. As she and other characters share and wrestle with their inner demons, they grow wiser and lighter with each chapter as romance burbles to the surface and we all learn the importance of family, good friends and following your own path. 

Favourite quote

"Go ahead. Cry. Curse. Get angry. You need to. But afterwards, after you get it all out, you go back to being strong for him, all right?"
~ Ashlee Cowles, Beneath the Wandering Stars


For Your Inner-Sherlock: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson



#MsBookworm Mash-Up: The Lazy Guru's Guide to Strange Cases and Wandering Stars. A review of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Beneath the Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles and the Lazy Guru's Guide to Life by Laurence Shorter.


Honestly, I was completely spooked while reading this. I scare easily (especially when I am reading at night ... alone) but even though I knew the plot-twists of the classic tale, I was still left with that telltale chill down my spine as I flipped excitedly through the pages. But surprisingly, I found myself laughing out loud. The characters can be humorously dramatic sometimes *coughs* Dr. Lanyon *cough* *cough* and unbelievably (if not willfully) oblivious. Mr. Utterson, I'm talking to you.

The curious case follows Mr. Utterson on a wild goose hunt through the upper echelons of Victorian-era London society, as he unlocks dark secrets and even darker pasts, as things are not as prim and proper they seem. Murder and darkness lurk in every corner and as the body count rises, the story that starts as Mr. Utterson's search for the infamous Mr. Hyde, ends up with him trying to solve the disappearance of his longtime best friend Dr. Jekyll. It was a quick and chilling detective story with enough odd clues and twists and turns to pique even Sherlock Holmes interest and throw him off-kilter as the case builds up to a climactic finale.


Favourite quote
"If he be Mr. Hyde," he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek."

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Life enthusiast x Spontaneous dancer x Adventure seeker

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