Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Late Favourite Five. :)

HELLO BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! Thanks for stopping by! I quickly just want to thank everyone who has read my post on loving yourself/body and being kind to it and to others. It's my most popular post yet! It makes me so happy that people care about what I have to say and are getting something from it! You guys are the best!!

Now onto the business of the day. But not really business - it's actually fun! My favourite five of the week!! Woo!

Favourite Knowledge:

Seriously! Do it!

Favourite New Band:

TWIN FORKS! I went to see Phillip Phillips last night and they were the openers. Blew my mind. So talented. Plus I talked to them briefly after and they were super chill and genuine - very grateful for their fans. They've only been around for about a year, but I expect them to get big soon. Check em out!!

Favourite Snack Idea:

What, what!? Homemade fruit roll ups!! It's like my childhood!

Favourite Escape:

Currently we're having a second winter. Not cool mother nature. So I like to dream of places like this:

I'd be down for Bermuda. 

Favourite Quote:

I think most of us have heard some variation of this before, but it's true. Celebrate the little successes. And when things are less than ideal, think about how you're growing. :)

Love you guys!


Try-It-Tuesday: No Dessert for 6 Months

Call me crazy. I kind of feel that way. I have grown up loving and enjoying chocolate. Maybe a little too much! It's hard to control when my Dad has a large chocolate stash he always updates. And I know exactly where it is.

Sometimes on Pinterest I'll see something about cutting sugar out of your diet (which is actually a bad idea - your body needs sugar! Just make sure it's the right kind), and I've always been like, yeahhh, okay, that's a joke. I never would have thought that I could be the person to stop eating sweets or cut out bad sugar from their diet, but.....

I've decided to do an experiment of sorts. On Sunday, after coming home from our grandparents house, my brother and I were talking about all the dessert we eat. It's so tasty, and really hard to resist when you have a mom who bakes like a madwoman (in a good way!). She makes the tastiest food. Don't even get me started on her Death By Chocolate. But anyway.... he and I are really trying to get fit, especially lately, so we decided to challenge ourselves and limit our dessert intake. And when I say limit, I mean completely get rid of it from our diet.

I know, it's that shocking. 

So yes. We are crazy. But so far so good! I haven't had dessert since Sunday (we started on Monday), which to you may seem like nbd, but trust me, that's a BIG deal for me! I usually have some kind of treat every day, wether it's chocolate, some kind of baked good, and mostly chocolate again. Let me just say, that having treats IS NOT A BAD THING! I repeat, treats AREN'T a bad thing. I just want to see if I can go without them for a while. I'm making sure that I nourish my body with the necessary nutrients and such, so that I don't feel like I'm depriving myself. 

So when I say "no dessert", what does that mean exactly?

It means: no chocolate, no candy, no pudding, no cinnamon buns, cake, cookies, pastries, or other baked goods (I'm still deciding on muffins - obviously not all muffins are good for you). Although my brother and I decided that we can have dark chocolate. So, I plan on having fruit and dark chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth while doing this challenge. I have a seriously great recipe for banana ice cream that's totally guilt free and I would 100% allow myself to eat it while doing this. Also, when it comes to dark chocolate, I've never really been a huge fan. That's why I made sure to have good quality chocolate, that's a little over 50% cocoa. I'm sure I could get used to darker chocolate but I don't really want to, because I love the sweet taste of it!

So far, I've found this to be true! I haven't even craved chocolate since starting. Let's hope it continues!

Exceptions include: weddings, birthdays, and the like. I mean special occasions class for a little indulgence! Still not sure on vacations, but I'll update you once I figure it out. 

So, now that I've publicly broadcasted this, I have to stay accountable! I'll keep you updated on my progress too. I don't recommend this for everyone! You have to be careful so you don't deprive yourself so much that you start binging. Sadly I've done that before, on a small scale, but I realized the importance of treating your body well, ie giving it proper nutrients. It's extremely important to give your body what it wants (even if it's a treat), but I'm trying to do it in a healthier way (ie. fruit and dark chocolate). I just want to be less dependant on it for a pick-me-up. So guys, wish me luck!!!



Friday, 21 March 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Greek Yogurt!

I felt like I'd been having the same breakfast for a while last week and so inspired by this smoothie (I still need to try), I decided to mix up this concoction! Basically I just threw whatever seemed tastiest in a bowl! And voila! It's delicious my friends. Give it a try!

1/2 cup unsweetened plain Greek Yogurt
1-1.5 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
3 tbsp Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Rolled Oats/Oatmeal (either works)
1/2-1 tbsp real Maple Syrup*

*You can also substitute for brown sugar or 1 pack of stevia

Mix all of that deliciousness together and you'll have yourself a dang tasty - and wayyy easy - morning treat! Enjoy my friends!

Peace and Blessings,


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I Have a Beautiful Body.

Seem like a bold statement? In all honesty, that's a hard thing for me to admit. It is a foreign phrase for me. I have a beautiful body. 

I'm all for positive body image. But as much as I am an advocate for it, I kind of feel like a hypocrite sometimes. I'm learning too though. I think it's easy to just say "everyone is beautiful!" without really meaning it. When you see someone overweight walking down the street, do you judge them? Do you see someone with a thigh gap and skinny legs and judge them? Do you judge people based on their weight? I'm willing to bet that the majority of us have done this. I'll even admit to it. And especially having to admit it online, I feel terrible about it. Why do we do it?

I'm sure there's more to it than we realize, but this is the best explanation I can come up with. I think it's a perpetual cycle. We are hypnotized by the media. We love to see beautiful people. But the thing is that usually aren't seeing real people. Although I'm sure you all know about photoshop. Yet, despite our knowledge, it still affects us. I think that when what we constantly see around us and in the media is one way (ie. toned, skinny, curvy - whatever we aren't), we subconsciously take it in and compare ourselves.

I hate to break it to you, but homeslice over here isn't even that hot. He's attractive in both pictures, I think, but the one on the left creates an unrealistic expectation.

Also, Kourtney didn't even look as good as the magazine cover made her look! Just look at the placement of her left arm in both pictures. That's absurd. I actually hate to think that they photoshopped her baby in any way. That baby is a perfect little guy, and there is definitely NO need to retouch him. I digress though. Ladies, if you are post-preggers right now, please cut yourself some slack! 

ALSO! If you exercise, do it because you want to show your body LOVE! Because your body deserves to be healthy! Not because you "need to lose weight" or because you think that your body isn't good enough. 

You might think this is a Fit Friday post, but it's not, and that's because I want you to try something new. I'll be doing it to, right along with you!

I challenge you all to do something. Well, three things, but I'll start off with this one. I want you to start being consciously aware of what is going through your filter of attention and realize how it is affecting you negatively. Identify what it is that is directly and exactly affecting you. We say the "media", but what does that mean to you? For example, if you catch yourself looking at magazines that are full of toned, skinny, or curvy people, stop it. You don't need to compare yourself to anyone (more than we already do - which we shouldn't!), especially superficial and retouched people. Or worse, those body-bashing magazines. I hate seeing those in the grocery store line up. What worse way to teach us to love ourselves, than to see people making money by hating on other people's bodies, and saying things like "You won't believe who this is!", "Top 10 WORST Bikini Bodies", or "Cellulite Alert!" You can't expect to love yourself when you constantly criticize and find flaws in others. You could even flip those magazine covers over so that you and other people don't have to look at them.

Challenge number two: I want you to start looking for the good in other people. Men and women. Compliment them! Receiving a compliment is an amazing way to cheer someone up and make them feel more confident. Plus, studies show that people like people who compliment them! Duh! You'll make more friends this way. Who could say no to that?! And next time you're with your friends and you see someone who you think doesn't measure up, zip your lips! You have no right to judge them. Instead, replace that mean comment with a positive one! If your friend starts saying something negative, reply with something positive about that person. You don't need to chastise your friend. Just lead by example. If you're by yourself and you hear yourself think a negative thought about someone, be aware of it, forgive yourself, and replace it with something positive. The more you do it, the better you'll become!

Third and final challenge: Change the way you talk to yourself. Either the way you talk outwardly or the way you think about yourself. Watch the video below. When these women started talking positively about themselves, it became contagious. There was so much joy. When you compliment yourself and others, you will be happy! Even watching this video and hearing these women talk so positively made me smile. Start telling yourself that you have a beautiful body. Say it everyday, until it becomes no longer foreign to you. Say it with me right now, I have a beautiful body! 

Now watch this video please!!

Now remember that, and you can change the way you think about yourself! You are beautiful, m'kay?

I want to know, what do you love about your body? And, when do you feel the most beautiful/handsome? I'll start. I love my legs, especially my thighs! I realize that may be really random, but they are strong and beautiful. Also, I love my hair! You can love more than one thing!! I feel the most beautiful when I am helping others or laughing.

Let me know your answers and what you think in the comments below! 

Sending you love,


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Favorite Five

Happy Humpday friends! You may have noticed that I didn't post last Wednesday. Well I intended to, and I made this post, but then Blogger did something wonky, and it didn't show up. I finally figured it out though!

Alright! You've made it halfway through the week, so how about a break? M'kay! Sit back, relax, and enjoy my favourite five this week.

Favourite recipe:

Holy yum! These are super easy and look way tasty. Plus they have avocados, which are a really healthy (not to mention tasty) fat! Bonus! I would just switch to a whole wheat tortilla, because it keeps me  full longer. 

Favourite destination: 

Santorini, Greece. TAKE ME THERE! I would love to escape the cold right about now. 

Favourite funny:

I know we all hate Juan Pablo now, but this was hilarious!

Just go to  0:52. That killed me. Haha so great. 

Hard pass.

Favourite quote: 

Good perspective to remember. 

Favourite art:

How cool and beautiful is this?!

Happy Humpday! Love you all!



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Tasty Taco Soup! A Fiesta in your Mouth

The weather is warming up, which means that there's only a few weeks left for warm soups and chilli! So here's a great recipe that is perfect for a cold day (or really any other time). I came by this recipe from a girl at church. I was in charge of putting together a large dinner for people last Thursday night, and I met with a few people who came up with a bunch of great ideas, but we ended up doing Taco Soup because it's in a crock pot - i.e. it's super easy (especially since we had to feed ~100 people)!

It turned out great! It was super tasty and we got plenty of compliments on the meal. Shout out to all those seriously amazing people who came through and helped me make it (especially my brother Chris)! There is no way that I could have done this by myself! Although, this recipe does make a lot, but based on my pictures, I'd say you could go easy on some of the ingredients. I have a large crock pot, and it got filled to the brim!

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb Ground Beef (extra lean preferably)
1 large Onion, chopped
2 packs of Taco Seasoning
2 cans diced Tomatoes
1 jar of Salsa
2 cans Corn
2 cans Black Beans
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Brown Beans (optional)

-The recipe is super easy, it just requires a little bit of prep. You'll just need to brown the beef and cook the onions. 

Step 1: Chop up the onion into small pieces. I personally chopped it up large and then threw it into the food processor in 2 intervals.

Random side note: while I was cutting the onion up and my eyes were burning, I genuinely started to wonder who was the person who thought, "Hey! This plant is making my eyes water and burn. This is great, I should totally eat it!" - I can't be the only one who's wondered. Moving on...

Step 2: Brown the ground beef on medium heat, mixing regularly. Add both packets of taco seasoning to meat. Then add the onions to the mixture and cook until translucent.

Step 3: Open all cans and place into the crockpot. Pour meat and onion mixture into pot also. Add water if needed for some liquid/if you have room, haha.

SEE! Look how freaking full it got!! And then I remembered I forgot to add the salsa...

So yeah, there was a lot of food.

Step 4: Set crockpot on high for 4-6 hours, and wait until done! Serve with sour cream (or greek yogurt), shredded cheese, and taco chips. This recipe also goes nicely with a garden salad.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know if you try it!! 



Friday, 7 March 2014

Easy Dinner - Brown Sugar Garlic Chicken and Sesame Toasted Veggies!

It's the weekend! I for one am very happy it's finally here! I could use a break! But really, who couldn't? Midterms are the worst. I feel like being in school is a constant state of stress. You get like 3 weeks at the beginning of the semester to chill, and then the last week of that month you start preparing for midterms, and then a month later you have another midterm, and then a month after you have your final. And then you get the joy of group presentations, papers, and other assignments in between. 
But I really shouldn't complain. First World Problems right here. I get to learn so much. Anyway, I'm digressing. No one wants to hear about school when it's the weekend! What you DO want to hear about is food!! And so do I! Win-win. 

The other night I was supposed to make dinner, and I really just wasn't feeling it. After looking in a few cookbooks and realizing my current ingredient list was slim, I decided to go with an oldie, but a goodie. And that is Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken with Toasted Sesame Veggies. So tasty! And seriously guys, SO dang easy! You can thank me later. 

You can kind of eyeball this recipe, but I'll give you basic measurements to go by. You can give or take a bit of each ingredient. It's inspired by this post by Taralynn McNitt (She's amazing! Check out her blog!)

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken:

2 chicken breasts
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 drizzle of olive oil 

Like I said, basic measurements. If you like more garlic, go for it. If you like more sweet, add some more brown sugar! You really can't go wrong with this one.

1. Thaw chicken breast. Once thawed, set oven to 405 F.

2. Slice it into bite-size chunks. Place pieces into a baking pan. 

3. Sprinkle brown sugar and garlic powder to your liking, and drizzle olive oil on top.

4. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the meat is no longer pink in the middle.

Once you've got your meat going, here's an easy side you can make in no time!

Sesame Toasted Veggies:

a buttload of veggies (I know, I'm real specific)
1 tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil
2 tsp sesame seeds

Thats all the ingredients! How great! So you can either steam these puppies and then bake them, or just do one or the other. I like the texture if I do both, but it really depends on my mood.

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil, with the steamer attached. 

2. Once boiling, add frozen veggies to pot. Steam until they are thawed, about 5-10 minutes.

3. Pour veggies evenly out onto a lined baking pan and drizzle oil on top. Follow with a generous sprinkle of sesame seeds.

4. Bake at 405 degrees for about 10 minutes.

And there you have it! Easy, peasy, pie! I like to add quinoa or wild rice as a side to this dish. Both are ridiculously easy to make. 

(Ignore the burnt pancakes. If you want to know the story, click on the picture, haha. Meal 5 is what you should be looking at!)

HAPPY COOKING! (I swear I can...despite the pancakes!)



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Herbed Garlic Shrimp!

So the other day I tried something that slightly freaked me out. It was totally irrational, I know. But still. It was weird. At least at first. Black shrimp. Am I the only one who thinks shrimp should just be pink? Maybe it's just what I'm used to.

Either way, I found this really tasty new recipe for shrimp. I got super excited to make it and then I looked in my freezer and all I could find was this black tiger shrimp. It looked questionable to me. But obviously it's sold in stores for a reason. So without much luck in finding regular shrimp, my hunger pains told me that I needed to suck it up and try it. 

I'm happy to report that it's not weird!! It tastes the same as regular pink shrimp. In fact, it actually turns pink once you cook it. Bonus. 

This recipe is super savoury and has a perfect blend of subtle flavours to make it suitable for pretty much any side dish. I planned on making sweet brussel sprouts, but didn't have time. That's a story for another day. 

Soo here is the slightly adapted recipe from the lovely ladies at Tone It Up! It turned out great you guys! Serves 4.

1 1/2 lbs shrimp*
4 tbsp grapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/5 tsp dried rosemary
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup white wine**
salt and pepper to taste

* I'm pretty sure I didn't have that much in the above picture...whoops. It still worked out fine. 
**I didn't have white wine, so I used white wine vinegar and diluted it with water. I ended up doing 2/3 of the measuring cup vinegar and 1/3 water. 

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Whisk together oil, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes. 

2. Add mixture to a baking dish, toss shrimp in, and evenly coat with herbed oil. 

3. Add salt, pepper, and white wine (vinegar) to the dish.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Be careful to watch, because shrimp can easily overcook! (Not from personal experience or anything....).

5. Serve over fresh greens or veggies and drizzle the remaining sauce on top! 

This was after I ate a few. SUPER tasty guys! (Ignore that they may or may not be slightly overcooked, it was still delicious)

Enjoy! And make lots, because they will go fast! ;)


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