I'm feelin' 26...

Next week I’m turning 26.

Lilac Bakery...if you haven’t been START the car.

Lilac Bakery...if you haven’t been START the car.

I’ve always loved my birthday. Coming together with friends and family to celebrate is something I enjoy, especially if whatever we’re celebrating includes food.

So many people constantly say to me “you’re so young!” - and they’re right, I am.

However, this birthday has been a bit more difficult for me to wrap my head around. While 26 is so young (I KNOW), I’ve had a difficult time coming around on the fact that I’ll now officially be closer to 30 then 20.

While I’m perfectly aware that age is just a number, it was difficult in my mind to wrap my head around where I’m at in my life at the age of 26.

When I was younger (by younger I mean like, high school) I always thought I’d be married by 24, having kids by 26, and completely have it all figured out.

Good joke 16 year old Emma.

While I was struggling a little bit thinking about those things and how far I am from having anything figured out, I also took a moment to think about the massive changes that have taken place in my life in the last year, the person I’m growing into, and the things that I truly value and cherish.

I can confidently say that I’ve come more into myself in the last year then I think any other year. I’m trying to truly value things that make me happy and trying to put myself first more. Both things I struggled with in the past.

I also stopped giving so much weight to what people thought about me. This used to drive me INSANE, and while this is a work in progress I absolutely have improved on it.

I’ve also really started to look forward into my future, what I want out of it, what kind of jobs and companies I want to work for, what causes I’m passionate about, etc.

When I think about these things, it makes me excited for 26, and proud of the progress I’ve made up until this point. I’m excited about the person I’m becoming the older I get, and TBH if I think about the future I thought I should have at this age I’m so grateful I’m not quite there yet.

Every new year in our lives provides the opportunity to grow, and that’s something we should try our best to be excited about! No, we may not be where we thought we’d be by a certain age, or where our friends are, or the girl you stock on Instagram. But making the most of where you are currently and being proud of what you HAVE achieved is so so important.

So, cheers to 26, cheers to continuous growth, and cheers to what’s to come!

Do more of what makes YOU happy.

What makes you happy?

Not spending time with your boyfriend (cause like ya obviously that’s great and of course that makes you happy I’m obsessed with mine!) what makes YOU on your OWN truly happy?

This is something I’ve had a hard time figuring out in my early 20’s. For a long time, I was in a relationship that I let define my happiness, and I lost a lot of myself in that.

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Now, I’ve been trying to find things that make me, on my own, genuinely happy. Things that I do for myself, and not things that are based on other people to provide.

This is something I’m writing about because it’s something I’ve been struggling with a bit lately, and may need a bit of a reminder about to myself. I hope this can help you remember a few of those things for yourself as well!

R e a d i n g

I’ve always loved to read. Since I was little I would get so wrapped up in a book and completely forget that I’ve been reading for hours. I love a thriller, comedy, or biography, but really I’ll read just about any genre as long as I’m feeling captivated by it. I finished a book cover to cover for the first time in SO long the other day, and it felt amazing. It felt so good to find something that helped me genuinely disconnect from the world, and also my phone. I went onto the library website and put my name on the hold list for a bunch of best sellers. I know, the library seems old school, but honestly it’s such a great way to get books and have another one waiting for you right away, for free!

B l o g g i n g

Blogging is another thing that really does bring me genuine happiness. it’s a really great outlet to write about just about anything that’s on my mind, and connect with other amazing Winnipeg creatives. I completed a rhetoric and communications degree in university, and have always enjoyed writing, so blogging seemed like the perfect fit when I was missing writing as much as I did during my time in university.

C l e a n i n g

Ya this one is a bit weird. I have a really hard time sitting still and relaxing. Trust me, that’s also something I really enjoy doing, but it takes a lot for me to just sit still and do absolutely nothing. Cleaning is a task that allows me to completely turn my brain off and really accomplish something. I love the feeling of cleaning a room and looking around and having it just look better then it did before.

W o r k o u t

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There are times where just getting your ass up and getting to the gym is a lot harder then the actual workout. Once I get there and get it done, I always feel so much better then I did before. While working out isn’t exactly a passion of mine (wine, wine is a passion), once I do a workout I can truly admit I feel so much happier and ready to take on the day.

These are just a few of the things I do specifically for myself to bring myself happiness. What do you do for YOURSELF?

Sweet Potato Turkey Burger Sliders

This year I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat more at home, and learn some healthy and delicious new recipes.

Last night, my boyfriend and I made these sweet potato turkey burger sliders, and they were SO good I knew I needed to share them right away.

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When you look at some of these recipes online, they can seem super intimidating. Obviously, some of them I modify (Like I did with the original recipe that I found for these) because there are times where you can’t find the called for ingredient, or just don’t care enough to try and find it (for example, when a recipe asks me for like nitrate free bacon…I just use normal bacon…)

Also, this may be annoying but some of my measurements aren’t exact…but you get the idea.

So! Here is what I used for this recipe:

Sliders:

  • One pound of ground turkey

  • About 1/3 of a chopped up yellow onion

  • About 1/2 a cup of panko bread crumbs

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp of taco seasoning (I used epicures)

  • a ton of minced garlic

  • a bit of Himalayan pink salt

Additional needed ingredients:

  • Avocados or guac (I made guac, which is why lemons and garlic are on this list, the amount of avocados also depends on how much guac you’d like, I used 1 and a half)

  • 1 Lemon

  • 1 large Sweet potato

  • More garlic

  • Salt

  • Olive Oil

  • Siracha maya (I made it, 1/4 cup of light mayo, 1 tbsp siracha sauce, a squeeze of lime)

  • bacon (turkey if preferred)

Instructions:

sweet potato rounds

sweet potato rounds

  • Preheat the oven to 425

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice your sweet potato into rounds, and brush a bit of olive oil on each side. I also seasoned with a bit of pink salt, and a garlic and onion nutritional yeast (also Epicure)

  • Put into the oven for 15 minutes, flip, then back into the oven for another 15 minutes.

  • While the sweet potato is in the oven, combine all of the turkey burger ingredients and make small patties. Heat a pan over medium to high heat on the stove, add a bit of cooking oil or spray (I used an olive oil spray), and cook the patties until they’re cooked through (I’d say about 4 minutes on each side give or take)

  • Make your guac and siracha mayo in the mean time, as well as cook your bacon (we made two pieces) and wait for your sweet potato and turkey burgers to finish cooking.

  • Once cooked, stack in the order of sweet potato, turkey burger, guac, a bit of siracha maya, and chopped up bacon. Then you’re ready to eat!

I understand that my instructions aren’t exactly precise, but that’s just how I cook! I add different things here and there depending what I’m in the mood for, and encourage you to too! If you’re interested in the original recipe, you can find it here. Happy eating!

Carry On Essentials (So you don't hate your life if you lose your luggage)

Me in Mexico living my best life

Me in Mexico living my best life

I recently went on a trip to Mexico and this was the first time I actually sat down and carefully packed a carry on bag.

Typically my “carry on” is just a purse. Rookie. Move.

Here’s the thing. Since you can bring both a purse and a personal piece of luggage on a plane, why the hell not?!

Before I went on my trip, a good girlfriend of mine went to Costa Rica and they lost her luggage for four days.

FOUR.

She had a couple of items in a carry on, but really struggled to find items in Costa Rica that could tide her over until she got her full luggage back. This inspired me to make sure that the next time I travelled I would be prepared with a solid carry on just in case of emergency.

*she was going to send me a picture of the really ugly bathing suit she had to buy while waiting for hers but she didn’t document it because it was too ugly. Thanks for ruining my content, Britt.

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First things first, my recommendation is to invest in a solid carry on bag. Something easy to carry, that’s large enough and has any components that are important to you (for example, extra pockets, a long strap, wheels, etc.)

I purchased this Mat + Nat bag a couple of years ago, and it’s been my go to weekender bag for sleepovers, weekends at the lake, etc. It’s a great size, light to carry, and comes with a shoulder strap.

For another amazing weekender option that I have my eye on, click here. For the Mat + Nat bag - click here.

The essentials

These are things you seriously cannot go a day without. For me - these items include:

  • Dry shampoo

  • Lipchap

  • Make up remover of some variety

  • Moisturizer

  • If I have my period, tampons.

  • Phone charger

  • Head phones

  • Some kind of snack (on a plane it’s usually Welches Fruit Snacks because I’m a 5 Y/O)

  • Ipad

  • Water Bottle (empty reusable one, it’s 2019 people let’s save the planet)

These are just my basic, cannot live without items. Typically, I’ll go to Dollarama and buy the little travel sized round containers and separate a small amount of my hand cream, face cream, etc. into them to bring onto the plane. This is also where I will buy my fruit snacks.

You’re in this for a few days…

Next come the items that if, god forbid, your luggage gets lost, you’re glad you have. This will A. Depend on your destination and B. Depend on how extra you are. For me, these items include:

  • Underwear (if you go commando obviously ignore this…)

  • Facial routine products (separated into small containers and labeled)

  • If you’re going to a hot destination, body sunscreen, sandals, and a couple small sundresses that you can fold up Marie Kondo style

  • If you’re going somewhere cool, extra socks, a pair of sweats, a couple smaller sweaters, all folded up Marie Kondo style

  • Tooth brush, deodorant, etc (whatever toiletries are most important to you basically)

  • Make up/hair ties

Again, this stuff honestly depends on what is the most important to you every day. Things that if you didn’t have your luggage for three or four days your trip may be in shambles or your wallet may be crying.

If you’re extra

These are some additional items that I make sure I have on the plane because I am a tiny bit of a psycho!

  • Face masks (sheet masks typically, this also includes a lip mask)

  • A small travel sized blanket (this depends how far I’m going, but I’m always cold on planes so I’d say it comes with me about 99% of the time)

  • Sanitization wipes (NO ONE WANTS TO GET SICK!)

  • A bag full of medications

    • Typically these medications include advil, gravol, BC, anything random for random illnesses that may occur

    • NO ONE WANTS TO GET SICK! pt 2.

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So, cheers to your next vacation, enjoying your time, and (hopefully) never being without your daily essentials!

Love Yourself this Valentine's Day!

February seems to be flying by and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. I honestly can’t believe we’re almost half way through February - crazy!

I friggin love fresh flowers

I friggin love fresh flowers

A lot of people think of Valentine’s Day as something to dread. Either you’re single and don’t feel like you have anyone to celebrate it with, or you’re in a relationship and it seems like there’s a lot of pressure to go above and beyond for the person you love (and spend a shit load of money).

My boyfriend and I are doing Valentine’s Day the day after, and keeping it fairly simple. Dinner, cards, no gifts (ok, maybe flowers?), but honestly neither of us are hugely into Valentine’s Day. In my opinion (this may sound a bit extra) I think it’s important to show the person you’re dating, engaged, or married to that you love them as often as you can, and that doesn’t need to be with a day filled with huge gestures. It can be as simple as cooking them breakfast in the morning, filling up your gas tank for you, them bringing home your favourite bottle of wine, or remembering to pick something up for you at the store. For me, it’s the little stuff that counts the most.

On actual Valentine’s Day, I’m spending it with my best friend whose boyfriend happens to be out of town. There will be a baked brie and lots of wine in our future.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, there are a lot of different things you can do this Valentine’s Day to show yourself a little self love, or show someone else that you love that you love them. This could be a friend, family member, YOUR DOG, a random (you don’t need to love this person, this would just be for the sake of being a good person) or yourself. Here are a couple of my ideas to show some love this V-day.

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Treat. Yo. Damn. Self.

Feeling a little low this v-day because you don’t necessarily have a special someone to share it with? Do something for YOURSELF. It’s so easy to get caught up in the week day hustle, plan that evening to do something to pamper yourself. Go get a mani pedi, order yourself some dinner and pick up a bottle of vino, hit a hot yoga class, do your favourite face routine and have a relaxing bath.

Or if you have a couple other single gal pals, invite them along too (or just hit happy hour together, whatever makes ya feel good)! Just because you aren’t in a relationship doesn’t mean you can’t share this day with yourself and a little self love!

Have a significant other but you’re both broke as hell?

I feel ya sister. Plan a stay home date night! A couple of my favourite things to make at home for a date night is pizza or pasta. Recently, my boyfriend and I made a seafood linguine and it was so fun to make it together.

Still want to get out of the house? Wait a week and then celebrate Valentine’s Day. A lot of places have jacked up menus on the actual day or weekend of V-day, and if you wait a week then you can hit a happy hour for date night or look up a spot that offers a special on the day you want to go (for example, buck and shuck oysters, or half off wine night).

Make someone ELSE feel good - spoiler alert: you’ll feel good too!

This Valentine’s Day, go out of your way to make someone else feel good. Does your grandparent live in an old folks home? Go around their floor with Valentine’s Day cards for the other tenants and the nurses. Pay for the person in line behind you at the coffee shops order (is he cute? for sure do it), or buy a girlfriend who is going through a hard time some flowers. Regardless of what it is, Valentine’s Day can also be about making someone else feel good!

Here are just a couple of my ideas to make Valentine’s Day into just all around love day. What do you like to do on LOVE DAY?