Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Happy Holidays!!

We here at Provoke would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Looking forward to sharing more with you in 2009!

Until then,
Kristyn & Jessica xx

Favorite Books in 2008

This list will work a little differently seeing as we’re not quite on top of this area as we wish we could be – just not enough time! Our list will consist of our favourite books that we’ve read in 2008 not necessarily what came out in 2008.

Last but not least here are our favourites:

What were your favourite indulgent this year?

Friday, 19 December 2008

Best Of 2008 - Music

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again already. No I’m not talking about the Christmas festivities, I’m talking about the ‘best of’ lists being compiled by bloggers around the globe as we speak. There are so many categories to go through (I’m pulling my hair out just thinking about them…), here at Provoke we’ve decide to tackle 3 – books, music and movies our favourite indulgences. I’d like to start with music.

I find it hard to even narrow down the albums let alone the songs I like so I hope you’re not expecting exact songs as that would be virtually impossible for me to do.

Okay here we go, in no particular order my top 20:

Check back with us Monday for our favourite movies

Monday, 15 December 2008

Those are Somee Cards!

Photo Credit: NOTCOT

I love cards. In fact, they are my favorite part of every gift. Chances are, I already have your gift picked out, and I am just struggling over which card to buy. Sure, I can go to Hallmark or the Dollar Store and pick you up a sappy birthday card. Or even a funny one..tho I must say..it wont be THAT funny. In the spirit of giving, and being green, I introduce Some e-cards

I know, I know, an e-card? Really?? Ok, you can STILL go out and get a REAL paper card for your next gift. But I promise you, it won’t be as thought provoking or hilarious as the cards you find on this site. In fact, they have cards for every, and I mean EVERY occasion.

Warning: This site is a TAD addictive and may just inspire you to send others cards for no reason. Awww how thoughtful!
Just be careful to double check who you are emailing the card to. After all, you don’t want this one going to your CEO.

Monday, 8 December 2008

When did ambition stop?

As kids we dreamed of being astronauts, inventors and actors. We were always trying to be better as we strived to get A’s, make the track team or score a part in the school play. We had wild imaginations, ambitious dreams and the desire to be whoever we wanted to be.

What happened? Did we finally wake up and realize our dreams were too unrealistic to be reached? Did we decide to give up on those aspirations? Or did we just settle into the humdrum boring day to day life that was comfortable and easy?

I ask because I don’t know. This past year I have been awfully restless, wondering what is the cause of my lack of ambition. I can’t think of the last time I set a goal and achieved it. Or the last time I learned something. When is the last time someone recognized you for something you accomplished? Not lately? Because you probably haven’t done anything except, eat, work, sleep and shop.

We fall into these routines trying to make ends meet without realizing we aren’t meeting any ends. What has changed since we were kids? We think we are busier. But are we? I was in school from 9-5 every day and I had swimming or some other sport twice a week and skiing on the weekends. I had crazy school projects that involved mapping out India or designing my own apartment. I had social obligations (sleepovers and birthday parties) as well as chores around the house. If I was able to watch 90210 (the old and better one) on Wednesdays, it was a good week.

I don’t think we are busier now, we just aren’t as motivated. We say we don’t have the time or energy. Yet we also lack the desire. The desire to learn a new sport. The desire to do well in a new subject. We are scared to step out of our comfort zone and accept that there are tons of things we could learn to do everyday.

When you ring in 2009 and you are looking for resolutions for the New Year. Sit down and make that list. You know…the list that you have had in your head since you were five years old. The list that included trips to Australia, knowing another language and owning a purple unicorn. Ok, maybe not the purple one. Start small and don’t put off tomorrow what you can start working on today. Give yourself the gift that kept you young and energetic, the gratification of accomplishing something.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Staying Healthy During Flu Season

As the temperature decreases and we’d rather be inside by a log fire, the ugly and infamous flu season kicks in. We’re all pretty familiar with the ‘joys’ of having the flu but it seems every year before it starts I forget exactly how baldy these germs can effect our lives. Example in point: My boyfriend has been pretty sick this week struck by hot and cold flashes, weakness, coughing, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing. Diagnosis, the flu! Poor guy has been in bed and drinking more liquids that I drink in a week. I’ve been pretty good – making him soup and tea constantly and checking his temperature. Giving him medication every 4 hours as instructed. But now that we’re living together it not only affects him but me as well (I know, woe is me, he’s the one in the pain…I know, I know but hear me out). As he lays awake sneezing, coughing and blowing his nose I’m constantly awaking up, tossing and turning, trying to get back to sleep. End result, we’re both exhausted.. I’m trying desperately not to get sick, which brings me to my next point (the meat of this article if you will)…how do you stay healthy while those around you are sick? I’ve devised a list (I love lists, can you not tell?) of the basic things that I do. So here we go…

1. Getting enough sleep I usually try to sleep for at least 6 hours a night but mostly I get my dose of 8. This helps your body’s restoration process (mainly affecting your immune system and metabolism) and memory processing.

2. Eat your Fruit and Vegetables Your parents were right, it’s important your body has the nutrients to fight any external germs. The rule of thumb is 5 portions a day. My trick is to have a bottle of fruit juice at work that I'll have in the mornings. Try Innocence Juice, they’re packed with goodness and account for 3 portions/glass.

3. Get the Flu Jab I was against taking these but my doctor insisted I take it (funny story, as I was persisting that I didn’t want it, she got my mother from the waiting the room to weigh in her influence, while discussing it w/ my mother my doctor poked me with the needle….). I’m glad she did as I haven’t had the flu (knock on wood) for 3 years now. I get it every year.

4. Stay Active. We never want to do anything in the winter, there’s loads of excuses – too cold, too far, too much hassle etc…but it’s important that we still keep our bodies active, doing physical activity for at least an hour/week. Join a team, or try a winter sport. Whenever I feel the cold coming I head straight to the gym and sweat it out.

What do you do?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

More Bark For The Bite

My aunt makes this every year and despite all will power I just can’t get enough of it. Its quick and tasty and will be a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Plus the pieces are easy to share with all.

White Almond Christmas Bark
  • 1 cup Almonds; whole
  • 8 ounces White chocolate; chopped
Spread almonds in a single layer in shallow pan. Place in cold oven; toast at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted. Cool. Melt white chocolate in top of a double boiler over very low heat. Remove from stove, and stir in almonds. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until cool and hardened. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Keeps up to 2 weeks.

Serves 12

Monday, 1 December 2008

Put Me In Your Closet….NOW

Talk of a recession and possibly a depression in the near future has caused us all to be a bit more frugal. Do we really need that new pair of shoes? Maybe we will wait for that cashmere sweater to go on sale. When looking through my closet this past weekend, I found some gaps in my wardrobe that I keep filling with similar items. Yet, I haven’t managed to get the STAPLES of my wardrobe in place. Here is a checklist of items that you should splurge on or save up to get within the next year. After all every girl needs….
  1. Yep you guessed it: A Little Black Dress. Nothing crazy or too sparkly. A simple elegant black dress that can be thrown on in 5 minutes for a cocktail party, worn underneath a blazer or jacket for a funeral or work function.
  2. A tailored Trenchcoat. Burberry? I don’t think so, at least not for me anyway. A nice fitted trenchcoat will take you from April – October or for Londoners like Jessica….pretty much all year long 
  3. 4 Belts (flashy, trashy, skinny and fat) - sorry you will have to use your imagination on this one ladies.
  4. A Long Light Knit Cardigan (black, beige or grey) to throw over a tank-top with jeans, to use as a shawl at a wedding, you get the drift.
  5. 3 Pairs of Boots (well four if you want!). One pair of long black/brown leather dress boats, knee high. One pair of casual boots and either a pair of flashy rubber rain boots or pair of slouchy ankle/low rider leather boots.
  6. A Full Length Wool Coat – white, red, black, brown or grey
  7. A Shorter Bomer Jacket - leather or suede
  8. 3 Scarves. Wooly and warm, sleek and sophisticated and one that looks like it came out of the Queen’s closet
  9. A Well Tailored Pair of Dress Pants. Grey or black
  10. 4-6 Casual Dress Tank-tops
  11. 2 Pairs of Jeans that make your ass look great. One light blue, the other dark
  12. 2 Blouses. One white shirt blouse (think male style) and one feminine blouse preferably with a bow tie neck)
  13. A Gold or Sliver Shimmery Sweater
Ok that’s a good start, if you are able to add a couple casual tops and a pair of cords/casual pants to the mix. By rotating through these items you’ll have enough clothes to last you months. Spend more on fewer items so they last longer and you can always give away/sell old clothes to make room for your staples.