Friday Favorites



Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



It’s Friday!!! Woohoo!

Can I get an AMEN?!!

Ok, I might’ve had a bit too much coffee this morning. Please excuse me.  😯

Anyhoo, Happy Friday Everyone! This weekend will be filled with gelato, festivals and…..Women’s World Cup Soccer!! This Sunday here in Vancouver, it’s the final match between Japan and the U.S.  Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go to the Canada vs. England game. Too bad they didn’t win, but holy what a game!

Okay so this weeks Friday’s Favorites starts with something I will be indulging in tonight. Gelato! A summer staple here. The best place here in Vancouver, hands down is Bella Gelateria! Wanna know how good it is? James Coleridge (owner of this yummy establishment) actually won “World’s Best Gelato” in Italy.

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites www.paperandbirch.comPhoto Courtesy of Montecristo Magazine

Yup, it’s that good.


Ok, next is the Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner by Jane Carter. My hair being naturally curly, tangles easily. This stuff has not only stopped that in it’s tracks, but has made my hair much softer!

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



Now, I don’t know where you are, but here in Vancouver, we’re having an unbelievably warm summer. And it’s been like this since May. Not sure if you’ve heard, but we’re kinda known for our rain….not this year! Well, if you need a way to cool down, these Fresh Raspberry and Gin Slushies from the uber-talented Joy The Baker will definitely do the trick!


Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



The next one on my Friday Favorites list has to be one of my favorite quick & easy dinner ideas. This Provencal Pan Salmon from Chatelaine is so good yet so easy to throw together on one of those busy days.

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



Ok, since the weather is so warm right now, this next one is a must for all of you make up junkies like myself. This Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base from Nars keeps your eyeshadow from melting right of of your face! Now, who doesn’t want that?

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



I go to the gym probably about 3-4 times a week. And while I love strength training, cardio is my arch-nemesis. Partly because of my asthma, but also partly because I find it utterly boring! Enter in Aisha Tyler and her oh-so entertaining podcast called Girl on Guy.  Her interviews are both HILARIOUS and thought provoking. It takes all the muscles I have sometimes not to burst out laughing while on the treadmill at the gym. She says whatever’s on her mind and I love it.

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



Now, if you’re looking for a dessert but don’t want to add to the heatwave in your home, these No-Bake Cookies & Cream Meltaways from Lemon Tree Dwelling are it! I mean you really can’t go wrong with these.

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites



Last but not least on the Friday Favorites list is sunscreen! Now, I’m not one who slather’s it daily if I’m just out and about, but if I’m going to the beach, park or just going to be outside for a long time, then sunscreen it is. This Sensitive Side 3-1 Sunscreen from Kiss My Face is my favourite right now. It’s easy to rub in to your skin and doesn’t feel greasy or heavy either. And most importantly, it doesn’t have the harsh chemicals in it that most sunscreens do.

Paper & Birch - Friday Favorites





Happy Friday!


Paper & Birch

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)
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One response to “Friday Favorites”

  1.'/Cakespy says:

    I’m inspired by the gelato fest (and want to eat that gelato!), thankful for the conditioner (I have long hair that tends to dreadlocking itself if I don’t attend to it frequently) and hungry from those cookie bars. YUM.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares


Paper & Birch - Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares


Oh yeah, it’s FRIDAY!

The week is over.

It’s quittin’ time!

Bring it on!

Can you feel my excitement???

Have any of you moved recently? If so, you have my sympathies. It always amazes me how much “stuff” you can acquire over the years. I’d lived in that apartment for almost 8 years. I thought I was doing pretty good too. I’d regularly go through and get rid of things (me+clutter=unhappy lady), but still there was so much stuff to get rid of.

I also thought, having a month to move everything would make it easier. Oh hell no! It just drags it out. Everyday I was heading to the old place, going through this and going through that. Trying to sell things or give things away. Everyday thinking oh yeah, I’m making progress and yet turning around and finding more stuff! Next time, just gettin’ it done – one day or I’m giving it all away!

Funny story. You know how when you move into a new place, it comes with some….let’s call them “quirks”. Well, the oven in my new place, has a big quirk. I was making some double chocolate chocolate chip cookies – they were gonna be sooooo good. Notice how I said “gonna”? Yeah, well about 4 minutes into baking, smoke is coming out of the oven. I opened the door and the cookies are burnt beyond recognition! And this being an older building, there ain’t no range fan. The smoke alarm goes off the cats run for cover and here I am holding a pan of cookies out the window to try and get the smoke outta here.

Do ya know what happens when you hold a hot pan for too long? Yep, it starts to burn ya, so since I always am so quick to think (LOL), I launch the cookies, parchment paper and all, out the window of my second floor apartment. Yup, I’m great under pressure!

I tested the oven later to find that 350° on my oven is really 475°!!!! Yup, that’s one hot box.

Needless to say, I ain’t using that thing until it’s fixed so instead I thought I’d make some rice krispie squares instead. No baking required. And who doesn’t love a good rice krispie square? But don’t think these are just your old school, run of the mill, rice krispie square. Oh no, no, no. There has to be chocolate involved her. And what goes better with chocolate, than peanut butter?!

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

So, go buy some rice krispies and whip up a batch of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares….STAT! 😀

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white corn syrup
  • 2 cups all-natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups rice cereal
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening


  1. Line 8x8 inch pan with non-stick aluminum foil or regular aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Stir syrup and sugar in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves - approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until well combined.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal in a large bowl and mix well. Mix well and pour into prepared pan. Press down until top is smooth and even.
  4. Melt chocolate and shortening in small bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Stirring occasionally until smooth. Pour over cereal mixture in pan and spread quickly until thin and even. Allow chocolate to harden for approximately 30-45 minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Call Me PMC.


Paper & Birch - Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares


Happy Friday!

If you make these or any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture on instagram and use the hashtag #paperandbirch!

Paper & Birch

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)
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One response to “Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Squares”

  1.'/thefolia says:

    What a great idea to use peanut butter…trying this tonight!

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Marshmallow Pops!


Paper & Birch - Marshmallow Pops


It’s Thursday, which is pretty much my favorite day of the week. Some like Fridays or Saturdays or even Sundays, but me, it’s Thursdays. I like the anticipation of the weekend. Knowing that the next day is Friday just makes the day, that much better.

Last weekend some of my friends and I got together and had a games night. Have any of you ever played Cards Against Humanity? Oh my. The dirtiest game ever.


In case you haven’t played. One person draws a card with a statment on it and then each player has to give them a card that they think that person will pick as the best match or funniest or whatever.

Here’s an example:

“While the United States raced the Soviet Union to the moon, the Mexican Government funnelled millions of pesos into research on___________.”

1. A balanced breakfast
2. Getting really high.
3. A bag of magic beans.
4. Figuring out how to have sex with a dolphin.

See what I mean??

I dare ya to try and keep a straight face while playin’ this game. You just can’t.

So, my contribution to games night is treats and this time it was Marshmallow Pops. Fool-proof. These things disappeared lightning fast! And they’re super fun to make.


Paper & Birch - Marshmallow Pops


Marshmallow Pops!


  • Milk chocolate melting wafers
  • White Chocolate melting wafers
  • 12 regular marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker baking crumbs
  • 1/2 cup oreo baking crumbs
  • Assorted sprinkles
  • 1 package of lollipop sticks


  1. Melt the milk chocolate and white chocolate separately in a double broiler. Stir them until they are nice and smooth.
  2. One by one, dip the tip of each lollipop stick into one of the chocolate coatings. Then stick that end of the stick into a marshmallow, almost half way through. Stand them up as you go.
  3. Roll each marshmallow in one of the coatings. Then tap the stick gently on the side of the double broiler to get rid of the excess chocolate.
  4. Let each coated marshmallow set for a minute (but not too long as if they dry, the toppings won't stick) and then using your fingers, sprinkle the topping of your choice all over the coating.
  5. Stick the marshmallow pops into florist foam (that makes flowers stand up) or set them stick side up on a piece of waxed paper.

Recipe adapted from The Food Network.


Happy Thursday!

If you make these or any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture on instagram and use the hashtag #paperandbirch!


Paper & Birch

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)
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8 responses to “Marshmallow Pops!”

  1.'/Melissa says:

    These look so delicious! I’m not a huge fan of marshmallow but I think I might have to try this out. Not to mention they’re absolutely beautiful!

    The White Corner Creative

  2. I was just discussing with my husband that I wanted to make dipped strawberries for one of the treats on the dessert table for the twin’s first birthday…but they always get gross unless you make them the day of. And then I came over here and DUH! Marshmallows!

    P.S. Saturdays are the best ever.

  3. I have played it….just have to make certain you don’t have anyone nearby when you play. Like, no young children! These marshmallows look like a lot of fun! And THESE would be perfect for young children!!!

  4.'/Mary says:

    I make homemade Marshmallows every year for Christmas presents, I love the idea of Marshmallow pops. I don’t eat them but I know my friends and family will.

  5.'/Julie says:

    I love Cards Against Humanity! I also finally enjoy marshmallows – a child friendly foodgroup that I hated as a kid. But these look fantastic and festive – and easy, so important :)

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Cinnamon Streusel Bread

Paper & Birch - Cinnamon Streusel Bread


How ya all feeling after the clock moving forward? Do ya feel normal yet? It’s crazy how one silly little hour can make such a difference? The husband and I spent that whole day in one continuous haze. I do prefer this time. It’s a little lighter in the morning and in the evening. It really does make ya a little happier with that little extra sunshine. 😀

We’ve been looking at houses lately, just trying to see what the market is like out there? It AMAZES me how freakin’ expensive it is to buy a house in Vancouver. Do you know that if you spend $800,000 in Vancouver, that you’re buying a tear down? Yup, a house you will have to tear down and then build your own! How crazy is that?? $800,000!!! BUT, you go just across the border into Seattle and you get a gorgeous home!


Just to put it in perspective for you…



Paper & Birch - Cinnamon Streusel Bread


Paper & Birch - Cinnamon Streusel Bread

Isn’t that NUTS??

I need to buy a lotto ticket…or 10.

Ok, onto yummier things. :)

When I was a kid, one of my favourite breakfast treats was toast with cinnamon sugar on top. I mean, what kid wouldn’t love that? Sugar for breakfast. Still a no-brainer to this gal. 😀

I had come across a few of Cinnamon Streusel Bread recipes a while back. I love Cinnamon Streusel Bread but have never made it.  I had tried a couple and they were either not cinnamon-y enough or too dry. I adjusted this one ever so slightly and it’s OH SO YUMMY. I ain’t kiddin’ ya.

No really, go make it. :)


Cinnamon Streusel Bread


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • Streusel:
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter


  1. Streusel: In small bowl, stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry blender (or 2 knives), cut in butter until in coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of buttermilk.
  6. Scrape half of the batter into non-stick foil lined 9- x 5-inch loaf pan. Top with half of the streusel. Scrape remaining batter over top; sprinkle with remaining streusel.
  7. Bake in 325ºF (160ºC) oven until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, approximately 55- 65 minutes.
  8. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Canadian Living


If you make these or any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture on instagram and use the hashtag #paperandbirch!

Paper & Birch

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)
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One response to “Cinnamon Streusel Bread”

  1. I actually laughed out loud when I saw the picture comparison. It’s crazy how different real estate can be depending on the location. Hopefully your house hunting is successful! Cinnamon Streusel Bread is delicious. I haven’t had it in years, but am eager to try your recipe!

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies



Paper & Birch - The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie



It’s March.


This winter has just flown by. We’ve been having some crazy weather the past month. Oh, I don’t mean mounds and mounds of snow and sub-zero temperatures. Oh no, not here! It’s been 10-15° ABOVE zero.

Yup, I said above. Don’t hate me.

The cherry blossoms have bloomed, the landscapers are back in business & my winter jacket has a layer of dust on it. :)

Yesterday, the husband and I went hiking with some family & friends. We hiked for a good 2 hours. However, the first 20 minutes…..nearly killed me.

Seriously. Me and hills, we will never be friends. My asthma makes it super difficult. They’re all having conversations, one of them is speed walking up the hill.

Show off.

Then there’s me, summoning up the Little Engine That Could, chanting “I think you can, I think you can” all the way up that dang hill. My husband every spring/summer does the Grouse Grind (a.k.a hell on a mountain). It’s a 3km trail straight up the side of a mountain. Apparently there’s parts where you literally are climbing with your hands and feet.

Yep, it’s THAT steep. The only way I’m going up that thing is by a Gondola.

Any other way is just crazy talk.

BUT, that hike yesterday did justify the cookies. Oh, the lovely, chocolatey, chewy cookies.

I have been testing different recipes the past while, trying to come up with Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. I hate it when ya make a batch of cookies and they either flatten or are hard the next day. So, I was determined to come up with a cookie that would be thick, chewy and stay soft. If it has all of those components, to me, that’s the perfect chocolate chip cookie.

And that’s exactly what these cookies are. They are thick, chewy & soft. Still soft almost a week later. To me, that’s pretty darn perfect. I will warn you, if you make them, you will be eating them every day. They’re just that good.



The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

12 -16 cookies


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder & salt.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Mix in egg and pure vanilla extract.
  5. With the stand mixer on low, add the flour mixture and mix until fully combined.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop out dough. With your hands, shape into thick discs.
  8. Bake for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven. The centre of the cookie will still look a little undercooked, but that's ok.
  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to cooling rack.
  10. Once cooled store in an airtight container.

Slightly adapted from Life Love and Sugar
If you make these or any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture on instagram and use the hashtag #paperandbirch!
Paper & Birch

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)
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11 responses to “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies”

  1. These look beautiful! I’ll never turn down a cookie :)

  2.'/Danelle says:

    I am always in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie! I will be trying these for sure!

  3.'/Christine says:

    Haha – hills aren’t my thing either, but cookies are! 😀 They look awesome!

  4. I am always looking for more cookie recipes! These really do look perfect!

  5.'/Lily Lau says:

    I totally agree with you, these cookies look perfect! 😀

  6.'/Kendra says:

    nom nom nom nom Love finding new ways to make choc chip cookies! Love that idea of corn flour genius! I always love sprinkling a little bit of salt on top of mine delishhhhh!

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