Feature Fridays

Welcome to our first Feature Friday series, a series where I share with you some new weekly favorites that have made me smile throughout the week!

Zodiac Animals
Continuing with the Chinese New Year theme, Zodiac animals play a huge role in the lunar calendar. The concept is very similar to our Zodiac signs, except this time we’re talking about animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit,  Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. The story of the Zodiac Animals goes that a race was organized by the Jade Emperor and the order of the animals were determined by the order of who crossed the finished line. There are many versions to this story, but this one is my favorite!

Fun Fact: I’m the Year of the Rooster!
Source: Travel China Guide

Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice
This drink is certainly not new on the Starbucks menu, but is my classic go to winter drink. This drink is literally tastes like liquified apple pie and always satisfies my sweet tooth. The sweetness paired with the tartness of the apple is absolutely scrumptious and I highly recommend it to anyone who needs their sugar fix for the day.

Kumquat Lemon Bubble Tea
This citrusy but sweet drink is the most heartwarming drink on a gloomy day. Kumquat and lemon are both tart fruits, but mixed in with some honey and simple syrup – this makes such a great combination for a hot drink. Kumquat is also high in Vitamin C, so it’s a scrumptious and nutritious drink all in one! Yum!! My favorite place to visit to get this drink is Vivi’s Bubble Tea. It does also help that this place is all decked out in pink!

Kumquat picture source

Xoxo, Chrissie Carly

What made you smile this week?
Have you tried any of the above drinks? What do you think?

P.S. I’ll be in Ottawa this weekend so follow me on Instagram to follow my adventures and feel free to recommend me some of your favorite places to visit!

Chinese New Year Food, Festivities, and Traditions

Happy Chinese New Year (or Happy Lunar New Year)! 新年快樂! 恭喜發財!

Chinese New Year is probably one of my favorite holidays during the year! It’s a time of wishing prosperity and good luck & fortune to those around you, spending time with family, and of course – for those who are not yet married – receiving 紅包 (hong bao) or red envelopes filled with money.

Chinese New Year lasts for a month, but in my family, we celebrate it for 15 days. As of today, we’re in the 2nd week of the Lunar New Year. During this time, we eat plenty of good food ranging from little snacks like little turnip cakes and 湯圓 (tang yuan) which are little sweet glutinous rice balls to elaborate 8 – 12 course family style dishes. Usually, when visiting someone’s house, the host will have a big red round or flower shape container with different compartments filled with an assortment of candy and nuts. In my house, we keep it less traditional and simply use a three-tiered glass plates to hold these goodies.

During Chinese New Year, it is tradition to decorate the house with red decorations since red is seen as a lucky color. Red Chinese Lanterns are hung around the house and in the streets. In my house, we are a bit less traditional and we simply have huge red flowers (gladiolus) as the centerpiece on our dining room table. We also will have a plate of candy specifically Ferraro Rocher chocolates, pistachios and oranges (or tangerines) throughout the house. Oranges and tangerines were common food symbols for wealth and good luck. It also meant abundance and happiness. It’s also custom to give oranges and candy (Ferraro Rocher in my family) when visiting family members and in exchange they will give you oranges and some sort of candy when you leave.

Now my favorite tradition is receiving 紅包 (hong bao) – usually when visiting a family members house! These red envelopes contain money and are given to younger family members who are not yet married. Once married, you then start giving out red envelopes. That said, some employers may give their employees red envelopes during this holiday to wish them luck and fortune in the new year. The red envelopes come in many beautiful design with gold lettering or cute cartoons and sometimes, it even comes in pink!

The festivities that take place outside are joyous, loud, and everyone from little children to grandparents will come out to celebrate as a community. Dancers perform lion dances at different stores and businesses in hopes to bring them good luck and prosperity in the new year. Some places will even hold a fireworks ceremony to scare away any bad luck and evil spirits that may be lingering in the new year.

Chinese New Year is an exuberant and fun holiday meant to bring families together to welcome in the new year together. I look forward to it every year and I wish every one of my readers a prosperous year filled with good luck and fortune!

**Please note: the traditions listed above are traditions in my family. Each family’s traditions may vary.

Xoxo, Chrissie Carly

Do you celebrate the Lunar New Year? What are some traditions you follow?

If you don’t celebrate the Lunar New Year, what’s your favorite holiday to celebrate?

Holiday VLog: Chinese New Year Makeup

Happy Chinese New Year Fashionistas,

Happy chinese new year card rooster

For today’s special event, I filmed an extra video for you guys this week in celebration for Chinese New Year!

Youtube Link

Face:
L’oreal Lumi Magic Primer
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer
NYC Smooth Skin Pressed Face Powder
NYC Sun + Bronze Powder
Benefit Dandelion Blush
Tartiest Pro Glow
Urban Decay Setting Spray

Eyes:
Tartiest Pro Eyeshadow Palette Kit
Mac Cosmetics Pigments + Glitter

Lips:
Mac Cosmetics Lipstick – Peach Blossom

Xoxo,

Chrissie Carly