A Podcast for Every Mood

Podcasts seem to be popping up everywhere.

I constantly hear people saying “everyone and their dog has a podcast.”

To be honest, there can’t be enough podcasts for me - keep them coming! I love podcasts primarily because they’re something I can listen to the car, while I’m cooking, there’s a Podcast for any mood and when I’m alone it kind of feels like I’m hanging out with people.

Ya I’m a loser I know.

Inspiring podcasts, interviews, crime, humour. The options are limitless.

I thought I’d share a couple of the ones I’ve been listening to lately. These ones are a bit more interview style and comedy (because that’s just what I’ve been in the mood for lately), but I’m going to make a point of updating what I’m listening to on here every couple of months (because it changes all the time).


Name: Believed

Genre: Crime

Description: This is a podcast that covers the stories of victims and prosecution of former team USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. This is a heavy podcast, I’m not going to lie there were moments I shed a tear or felt genuinely moved listening to the stories of the women and girls who were abused for years as children. It’s a really interesting and relevant story and I would for sure recommend it.


Name: Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard

Genre: Interview style

Description: Dax Shepard is an American actor and comedian who is married to the amazing Kristen Bell (who I happen to be a big fan of, and she is a guest a few times this season). I find this podcast interesting because they bring on high profile celebrities in a casual setting and talk about their careers, their passions, and I find that I typically listen to this podcast feeling informed and educated.


Name: Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Genre: Comedy

Description: Yes, every person who has been on the Bachelor franchise seems to have a podcast. However, there are a couple that are actually pretty darn good in my option, this being one of them. Kaitlyn may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think she brings on interesting guests and it’s really quite funny. Kaitlyn’s podcast has the ability to make me feel like I’m sitting right there having a glass of wine with her and her guest and that’s my favourite kind of podcast.


Name: Scrubbing in with Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad

Genre: Interview/Comedy/Feel Good

Description: Yes, I know another Bachelor person. This podcast just makes you feel good. Tanya is Ryan Seacrest’s on air radio co host and Becca has been on a couple shows in the Bachelor franchise, but their friendship is something honestly inspiring. It’s really hard to keep genuine friendships with your girlfriends as you get older, but these two have such great conversations between themselves and their guests that will make you laugh and think at the same time.


Name: Serial (season 2 because if you haven’t listened to season 1 you’re living under a rock)

Genre: Crime

Description: Season 2 of Serial is finally here! Serial season 1 took the podcast world by storm and now season 2 is available and focuses on criminal justice system as a whole. I found it interesting to listen to, however it’s pretty different from the style of season 1.

So this is what I’ve been listening to lately! Have a recommendation? Leave it in the comments below.

My HelloFresh Review

Happy Sunday readers!

How nice would it be on a Sunday knowing you have a WEEK full of meals coming on Tuesday so you only have to prep for Monday? Pretty great hey? That’s how I felt when I got my HelloFresh box. I was excited to not have to think about dinners for the week because I’d already picked them out and only had to worry about picking which one I wanted that night.

I want to start this post off by saying this isn’t sponsored in ANY WAY. I got a lot of feedback requesting to hear more about my experience with HelloFresh, so here it is.

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I’m not going to go through every meal - because that would be really boring. So, I’ll just give my overall thoughts.

I really liked the option to pick your recipes and to see the upcoming recipes. I was able to pick four different meals so you have a good variety of options throughout the week.

When you get the box, (I had four meals in my Pronto box), you will have however many meals you ordered in bags, the recipe cards and instructions, and underneath that will be your protein on a cooler pack. I’d recommend getting everything into the fridge as quickly as possible, but if you aren’t able to HelloFresh does a good job of keeping your ingredients as fresh as possible.

My immediate favourite thing about HelloFresh was they do a really good job of making sure they’re only using necessary packaging. You see so many companies failing miserably at this, so it was really nice to see that they are conscious of it.

The meals over all were really easy to complete. The steps are carefully laid out and they provide everything you need and for the most part it only requires a couple prep steps on your part to be ready to go.

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Overall, all of the meals were good. There were ones I LOVED (The Miso Pesto Shrimp Raman…wow.) and some that weren’t my favourite, but there weren’t any I thought, “wow that was a real fail”. My real only feedback for HelloFresh is that they don’t currently provide the option to substitute for a vegan or gluten free option (there is a vegetarian option!). I got a lot of people asking me if this was vegan, if I was vegan, or if there was a vegan alternative. I’m not vegan or gluten free, however I do try to substitute when I can or want to. I wouldn’t be surprised if HelloFresh had this on the horizon.

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Would I do HelloFresh again? Absolutely. This service is a really great option for people who just don’t have time to buy and prep ingredients, don’t want to spend time scouring the internet for tasty and healthy meals, or people who aren’t great at cooking and want to get better.

I’m looking forward to trying more HelloFresh recipes! Have you tried HelloFresh? Let me know your favourite recipes below!

So, that was 2018?

Lol, lets talk about how my last post was at the start of 2018…

Does that happen to anyone else? You set out your year with the intention to start something, this crazy unheard of thing that everyone actually does called a “new years resolution” (if you don’t sense the sarcasm here, please re read with a sarcastic tone), then all of a sudden it’s almost December and you’re still watching Grey’s Anatomy season 5.

 My oops I skipped 2018 face.

My oops I skipped 2018 face.

My intention for 2018 was to enhance my career while also maintaining my blog, and the reality was that this didn’t happen. 2018 (I get that it isn’t over yet, but up to this point) kind of kicked my ass, in good ways and bad. Everything really seemed to be going somewhat swimmingly until a week ago when my newish job didn’t work out and suddenly everything changed, and it was a major kick to my ego.

I mean, HUGE.

Up until last week, I was kind of on auto pilot. I had changed careers leaving a place that I really loved to move into something that allowed me to fill my day with challenging work that had an amazing work/life balance (this is extremely important to me because, you know, I’m a millennial), But, when that suddenly came to a halt…it really shook me. I’d never experienced this kind of rejection in my career life so far (it really felt like getting dumped), and I really didn’t know how to handle these emotions.

I took a couple days to be sad, and then I really started to think about how I wanted to handle this situation. The truth is, this situation SUCKED. Mucho, big time. But, I also realized that this can either be a learning experience that I grow from, or something that I allow to drag me down. And I wasn’t willing to let that happen.

I was having conversation with a friend the other day about how I was in a rut and, and was feeling down on myself after this happened. I start to get stressed out towards the end of the year, questioning myself about the things I’ve accomplished in that last 300 ish days. Have I done enough? Did I improve myself enough? Did I do enough for others? Did I take the time to make my boyfriend and friends and family feel important? Did I spend enough good quality time with people? Did I improve at work? Am I happy?

Somebody sedate me.

My friend looked at me and said “Emma, that’s too much pressure to put on yourself,” and she’s completely right. If I look at what I have accomplished this year so far, in my LIFE so far, and I shouldn’t look at the fact that I didn’t go on luxurious trips or launch an empire or got let go from a job, but at the fact that at 25 years old I’ve found myself good at the work in the field that I am in, I have amazing friends and family, and I’m finally starting to find a balance of making time for myself, and the relationships in my life that are important to me. (I’m going to talk more about this in an upcoming blog). For one year, that isn’t even over yet, I’ll take it.

No it isn’t earth shattering or overly exciting, but for my mental health, tbh I’ll take it.

I guess the two points I’m getting to are:

A) Yes, 2018 has flown by insanely fast. But that’s okay! If you find yourself like me, stressing out about not accomplishing enough in a year, think about the things you DID accomplish. It doesn’t have to be launching a billion dollar lip kit line. It can be as simple as, you have maintained going to the gym three times a week, you cut a toxic relationship out of your life, or you donated clothing to a shelter or thrift shop. Take these small wins, because they’re a lot bigger then you think.

B) I’m back bitches! (For now, I mean who knows I may not post again until 2020)



Hey there 2018

And another year bites the dust.

I know that everyone says this, but holy mack that year flew by. I honestly cannot believe we're in 2018 already - did 2017 even happen?

2017 was an interesting year for me. It honestly was such a roller coster but I feel like by the end of the year I was completely balanced out.

Leaving one relationship, entering a new one, a new job, trips to Montreal, Chicago, and Ottawa (more specifically Deep River Ontario...Nicole time to move home), friends getting married and having babies, the list goes on and on. 

I have to say, looking back on 2017 as quickly as it went by, I feel like this was a big year for me. 

I left a relationship that was a huge part of my life for a very long time, and entered a new one with someone that I could not be happier with. He is honestly a perfect angel and that is really the best way to describe him in a nutshell. He's everything I didn't know I needed until I had it, and I couldn't be more grateful. 

I started at a new job that has been challenging, different, and completely out of my element for a company that I had no idea I would enjoy working for as much as I do. 

I took trips and made memories with my friends that I'll remember forever, I have the most amazing friends.

When I look back, did 2017 have some really shitty moments? Absolutely. But it was also a year that I feel like I needed. 2017 completely challenged me in ways that I wasn't sure that I could handle, but I did and I'm better for it. 2017 was a year that really helped form me as a person, (cliche I know) and although I don't know what 2018 holds, I'm looking forward to it!

So what are my goals for the new year?

Honestly..they're pretty basic.

Get in shape (blah blah blah whatever). K honestly, yes this is something I tell myself I'm going to do every year and it's like well no I'm probably not going to be drinking a green smoothie Jan 1 I'm hungover and tired and I want fries. However, I am going to make a conscious effort to do more yoga. I think yoga is an amazing way to turn your brain off, stretch, and exercise all at the same time. PS. does anyone have any hot yoga studio recommendations in Winnipeg? thx. 

Tying in with the whole yoga thing my second goal for myself is to reduce my stress and anxiety levels. I am a ball of stress 99.9% of my day. I find it impossible to just sit still, turn my brain off, and relax. Honestly impossible. I always feel like I NEED to be doing something or cleaning or working and I have a hard time reminding myself that sometimes, it's okay to just chill the eff out. 

Finally, I'm going to make more of a conscious effort to spend time with my family. I do already spend a lot of time with my family, probably more then most. But I only have one family, and it really is important to soak up as much time with them as possible.

So those are my goals - what are yours? Feel free to share them below. Now I'm off to attempt to wake up my boyfriend without him yelling at me.

Cheers to 2018!

Why living on my own was so important to me: 1 YR down.

Happy Sunday Readers!

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I'm sitting on my living room floor, coffee beside me, candy cane candle burning, listening to the Hansen Christmas album, and can't believe how quickly this year has gone.

A year ago on December 1, I packed all my stuff into a moving van, and eight hours later with the help of my amazing friends and family, I was completely moved in to my first little place of my own. 

I've been asked so many different questions about this decision over the past year and before I decided to make the leap of living on my own.

Why?

Why don't you just live with your parents? You have it so good at home.

Why do you want to live alone?

Why would you waste money renting?

Living on my own was always something that for some reason was really important to me. I can't exactly pin point why, but it felt like something I needed to do at some point in my life.

I've been super lucky, growing up with really supportive parents who did everything they could to make sure I was always happy and provided for. When I graduated University, I felt the need to kind of figure things out on my own, and as weird as it sounds, "adult". I found I was starting to resent my parents, just for being good parents, and I craved independence. (Don't get me wrong I love my parents and we had & still have an amazing relationship)

Figure out paying bills, manage a budget of my own, decorate my own space, be able to WATCH CABLE in MY living room without having to fight with my dad about why I HAD to watch the Bachelor franchise shows in real time or it would be ruined for me by social media. 

You get the point. 

I had finished my degree, got my first "big girl job", and for me, it just felt like the next step. And TBH, I could not be happier with the choice that I've made.

Are there moments I look back on the past year and think about the amount I've spent on rent and almost have a mental breakdown? 100%. However I wouldn't trade the last year of independence and memories back. The countless nights on the floor drinking wine with my girlfriends, learning out how to actually cook chicken in my oven, my quiet Sunday mornings listening to music or watching my favourite shows, brunches on brunches on brunches (Tia - no more Champagne "swords" in my kitchen, ever.), the list goes on and on.

 If you didn't already know I really, really love my living room.

If you didn't already know I really, really love my living room.

Mainly, I think living on my own has also reminded me how important time on my own is to me, and honestly that being alone is okay. I love surrounding myself with friends and family, as often as I can honestly, but there are times that I find spending time with myself to be so energizing.

I find that a lot of people are really scared of the idea of being alone, and sometimes it's something to embrace! 

So my advice is, if you're considering living on your own but are worried about all the other small factors, just do it! From my experience, you won't regret it.

How to Give Back this Holiday Season

My friends are always making fun of my crazy love for Christmas. not in a mean way or anything, but honestly I'm kind of fuelling their fire. I'm a Christmas junkie, as I've mentioned in recent posts, and I really just love the feeling the holiday season brings.

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Ya I love the parties, the decor, and the food that comes with Christmas, but there is also something about this season that reminds me of how lucky I am year round.

I have a crazy amazing support system of friends, a boyfriend, and family in my life, a great job, a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and so many other small things to be grateful for every single day. But this season always reminds me that there are a lot of people out there who aren't in the same situation that I am.

So as hectic as the holidays are, I always try to find some way, big or small, to help a family out, make someone feel special, or give back to the community in some way. 

Here are a few ideas of how you can give back this holiday season:

1. Christmas hampers

Christmas hampers seem so simple, but they are an insanely great way to give back during the holidays. You're helping make an entire families Christmas come to life, and that's something to feel pretty kick ass about. I've been lucky enough to join a couple friends of mine who this year are organizing hampers for THIRTY families this Christmas season. (If you live in the Winnipeg area and want to contribute, reach out to me!)

So, talk to your office, your gym, your group of friends, and then reach out to your local cheer board and get a hamper together. When you do it as a big group, it's completely reasonable and everyone can contribute a bit to make it happen!

2. Donate your time

Sometimes we aren't in the financial situation to donate money or gifts during the holidays, but volunteering your time is just as effective. Go help bake at your local mission, volunteer to wrap gifts at the cheer board, or work a shift for Operation Rednose (If you live in Winnipeg you know what this is).

Volunteers are always needed throughout the holiday season, and your time is extremely valuable to those in need!

3. Reach out and remind someone they are special

For some, the holidays can be an extremely lonely time. I know I've felt years where I didn't think I had anyone, and it was really tough to remember how many great things and people I had in my life.

So whether it's going and visiting an old folks home with some baking and chatting with a few of the tenants, handing out coffee to those living on the streets on a cold afternoon, Christmas carolling, or sliding a "Happy Holidays" card under the door of your apartment neighbours, there are a lot of small ways you can remind someone that they aren't alone, now, or during a time that everyone should feel a little bit of love. 

I know as much as anyone else, the holidays are HECTIC. But there is always a little bit of time to do something, no matter what size, it will always make a difference to someone.

Have any ideas of your own?! Comment below!

Winter Outfit Staples

I am a big, big fan of the oversized sweater. Any wintery clothing honestly.

Hoodie, crew neck, knit, I love them all, I don't discriminate. 

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Partially because I consume so much food and wine around this time of year it's a great way to hide anything I need to hide if you get what I mean. 

YOU WILL NEVER KNOW OUR SECRETS. YOU'LL NEVER KNOWWWW! (How To Be Single reference. Anyone? Anyone?)

However it isn't always appropriate to wear my massive East Coast Lifestyle hoodie out and about, so I typically turn to the oversized knit. 

Most of my knits come from two places, Zara and Urban Outfitters. These are two of my go to shops, and about 80% of my wardrobe is from there. 

Here are a few of my favourite knits this season (all from Urban Outfitters besides the red turtle neck, it's from Zara). They can easily be dressed up for a dinner out, worn to a cozy Sunday brunch, or just around the house relaxing. They're great for most occasions, and will absolutely keep you warm this winter!

As for other winter wear here are a couple of my other staples:

Again, all from Urban Outfitters - besides the sweats. Scrunchies are a staple for me year round, however particularly in the winter. I have super thin hair, and the scrunchy is a great option for me because they reduce creasing in my hair.

Typically, I'm a silver jewellery person, however during the winter I find myself more drawn to dainty gold options. I think gold is so feminine and sort of old fashioned so I like to swap it in every once in awhile. 

As for the sweats, they are from Lululemon, and I can already feel a crowd of eye rolls coming on.

I've invested in two pairs of sweats in my life, both from Lululemon and man oh man were they worth every penny. In specific, the above pair is so so great because they look nice enough that if you want to wear sweats anywhere in public (THE AIRPORT CAN I GET AN AMEN) these are the perfect piece. Comfortable, form fitting, stylish, these are one thing I think every lady should have in their wardrobe. 

Must have staples for you during the cold months? Comment below!

Holiday “Potpourri”

For those of you who aren’t big on the holidays, maybe take a break from my blog until January. 

One of my favourite things about the holidays are all of the different smells associated with it. The smell of a Christmas tree, cookies baking, even just that generic “Christmas” smell (you know what I mean).

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I’ve seen the idea of festive “potpourri” around for years and have really wanted to try it. It was an easy and fast way to have my home smelling like the holidays in a matter of minutes.

What you will need: 

- a bag of whole cranberries  

- oranges

- cinnamon sticks

- whole cloves

- rosemary (I did not use this for mine because I could not find it anywhere - anyone know where to find whole rosemary this time of year let a sista know) 

Instructions: 

- pour the desired about of cranberries into the bottom of a large pot on top of the stove. Add two cups of water. 

- thinly (not super thin though) slice the orange into wedges and put into the pot with cloves, cinnamon sticks (I did four) and rosemary (if you can find some...) 

- turn the heat to about a 4 to get things going. Once the potpourri heats up a bit and starts to smell, turn it down to about a 1 or minimum. 

- leave going for desired about of time adding water here and there. Make sure you keep an eye on it stirring every little bit.

I kept mine going an entire afternoon, so really depending how long you want it on for add or subtract the amount of ingredients you use!

This is great before entertaining, or even if you’re just at home getting in the holiday spirit. Enjoy!

How to stay up to date on more than just the best memes

 

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 I’ve always tried really hard to stay up to date on the news. My dad is a journalist and we grew up watching the news every night during dinner, and now as an adult I do my best to know what’s going on in the world. 

As a young professional, it’s hard to sometimes know what the best source to go to is, and sometimes don’t have the time to scour the internet to find exactly what’s going on all at once.

So here are a few tips and tricks I use to keep up to date on what’s going on quickly everyday!

1. www.theskimm.com

The Skimm has been a go to of mine for years now. I was introduced to it by a friend and I find it so easy to read. It’s like your best friend explaining the news to you in a way that makes it easy to understand (because sometimes, honestly, I don’t have a hot clue) . They have updates every morning during the week (quick and easy to check at work) and you can subscribe to get emails sent to your phone every morning with exactly what they post! 

2. Snap Chat

Snap chat now provides shows that are really great to watch before creeping all your stories. As tempting as the Cosmo and E! News ones are, try to also watch the CNN or other news ones offered as well to stay in the know on current world wide events!

3. Have an IPhone? Swipe right. 

If you have an iPhone and swipe to the right on your screen when your on your usual home screen, a bunch of local and world wide news stories will appear. I like to try my best to read these in the morning to not only see what’s happening in the world but also in my city.  

Like I mentioned, it’s important to stay up to date about what’s happening in the world. Do you need to be an expert in everything? No. But these quick resources will at least help you to carry on a conversation about what’s happening in the world (or at least for a little).

Have a tip or trick of your own?! Share it below!

DIY "Merry Christmas" banner

Christmas spirit is in full force over in my apartment!

I usually try really hard to wait until after Remembrance Day to start decorating because Remembrance Day is a is a special day for my family, and we like to fully honour it. 

But now it's onto Christmas in my apartment and I love everything that comes with it. The music, the decorating, the baking, giving back, and especially CRAFTING!

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I decided I really wanted a "Merry Christmas" banner for my apartment this year and I searched high and low for one and couldn't quite find exactly what I was looking for. So, I thought to myself, why not make your own?

I talked to my friend Lindsay (@modernmommy_ on Instagram, if you're in the Winnipeg area you need to check her out for any personalized clothing, glassware, ornaments, etc) and she was able to cut the letters for me. If you don't have a service like this accessible to you, you just need iron on letters!

I found the burlap banner pieces at Michaels (on sale I might add, if you aren't on Michael's email list, JOIN IT, they're always sending out 50% off coupons and have TONS of amazing items!) and they actually came with the string as well! 

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i just ironed the letters on, I would recommend ironing for a solid two minutes on a high heat to make sure they fully stick and then peel back the plastic very slowly to make sure you don't mess up the letters. Let cool, cut tiny holes into the burlap pieces, string together, and done!

That's. It. It was seriously that easy. I plan to do a couple more DIY's this season and hope to share them here! I know this is a brief post but I felt the need to share this quick and easy DIY for the holiday season that was not only simple to make, but saved me money on a costly banner anywhere else!

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Can't wait to share more crafting with you this season! DIY of your own? Comment below!

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Alright, so crock pots are pretty much one of the best things ever for people living on their own who want to meal prep for a full week, am I right?

I'M RIGHT, RIGHT?!

I got a crock pot last Christmas and have used it a few times, and oh man does it make my life a lot easier when I have a bunch of other things to do but would also like to eat at the end of the day. To be honest, I'd never made soup in the crock pot, so I was a little unsure how it would turn out. So many questions...

What if I didn't like the taste in the end, am I too far gone?

Could I add more ingredients or would that ruin it?

How do I pour this soup into my blender? 

Why did I decide to make all this damn soup I live alone?

Should I just order a pizza and call it a day?

Anyways so I went ahead and made the soup and am I glad I did! Not only was it insanely easy but delicious! This is now going to be one of my staple soups moving forward into the colder months and it was great to have on hand for quick lunches for the week.

Ingredients:

  • Two cups of chicken stock (I make my own using the Epicure chicken broth, it's delicious)
  • GARLIC (I like a ton of garlic, so this really depends on how much you like)
  • 1 carrot - peeled and diced.
  • 1 granny smith apple - cored and diced
  • 1 medium to large (uncooked) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 white onion
  • a pinch of salt, or a bit more to taste
  • ground black pepper (again I don't like to give an exact measurement as I like a lotttt of pepper)
  • 1/8 tsp of cayenne, or a bit more to taste
  • a pinch of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened coconut milk, or cream if you're really crazy)

Instructions:

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  1. Add chicken stock, garlic, carrot, apple, onion, butternut squash, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the crock pot. Toss to combine.
  2. Either cook for 6 - 8 hours on low, or 4 - 6 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and you can easily pierce it with a fork. 
  3. Stir in almond milk
  4. Use whatever blender you have to blend the soup until it is completely combined and smooth. Taste, and season with additional cayenne, pepper, salt, milk/cream, etc. 
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Like I said, it's that easy! I like to add lots and lots of pepper, garlic herb salt, and a little extra cayenne for serving. Have a favourite fall soup to share? Link it in the comments below!  

Homemade (Healthy?) Reese's PB Cups

With Halloween just around the corner there are tempting treats popping up all around me. It feels like everyday there is a new bowl of candy out at work, or more and more Halloween candy flooding the isles of the grocery store.

It's the worst and also the best.

My personal fave? Reese's PB cups (that and sour patch kids). It's almost impossible for me to pass these by without grabbing one (or ten).

When I go to anywhere in the states that has a Trader Joe's I like to pick up a bag of their 99 cent dark chocolate PB cups and keep them in the freezer, they're delicious and the perfect craving killer. 

But, since I haven't been able to get to the US in a few months, I've been looking for an alternative and have yet to find one. Until now.

I made my own version of these tasty treats the other night, and ohhh man are they good! Almost a little too good...make at your own risk.

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You will need:

- Dark chocolate chips

- Coconut oil

- Vanilla Extract

- Honey

- All natural peanut butter (I used Krafts Sea Salt all natural pb and it was game changing - you can also use regular pb if you prefer)

Instructions:

- Start by lining a muffin tray with cupcake liners

- Put 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1/4 cup of coconut oil into a liquid measuring cup (or microwaveable bowl) and heat for 45 seconds in the microwave. Take out, add 1 tsp of vanilla extract, and stir until completely liquified. 

- Pour the chocolate mixture evenly into the cupcake liners, I'd recommend doing a fairly thin layer. Put into the freezer for 15 minutes.

- Put 1/2 a cup of the PB of your choice, 2 tbsp of honey, and 2 tbsp of coconut oil into a liquid measuring cup and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds. Take out and mix until completely liquid.

- Take the muffin sheet out of the freezer, pour the PB mixture evenly onto each of the frozen chocolate pieces, and put back into the freezer for 5 minutes.

- Repeat the first chocolate mixture and put the muffin sheet back into the freezer for an hour or more. And then you're ready to start snackin!

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Like I said, super easy, but SUPER tasty and addicting.

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Have a candy craving killer of your own? Comment below!

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bun Casserole

By popular request!

The cinnamon bun casserole.

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This recipe comes from my friend Sam whose made this many times at girls brunches over the years, and I took it for a spin myself this weekend while hosting a brunch for some girlfriends.

It's this simple:

- 2 packages of Pillsbury cinnamon buns (I get the smaller sized ones)

- Butter

- Cinnamon 

- Sugar

THAT'S IT.

Start by combining the desired amount of cinnamon and sugar. What you need to do is rip apart the cinnamon bun dough, rolling into balls. Roll the balls in butter, and then the cinnamon sugar combination. 

Put the pan or dish into the oven at the heat listed on the cinnamon bun packaging. I put mine into the oven for 12 minutes, however I have an unusually strong oven, so for others I would recommend 12 - 14 minutes.

Wait two minutes after taking out of the oven, ice, and you're ready to serve!

It's. that. simple.

Serve this at your next brunch, you're welcome. 

Zucchini Muffin Recipe

Is it just me or the cooler the weather gets the more all I want to do is bake and cook? I'm not sure if it's a comfort or a warmth thing, but I love fall weather so I'm not complaining.

Personally I like to make muffins, soups, pies, loaves, that sort of thing around this time of year. When it comes to muffins, I typically learn towards a zucchini or a pumpkin muffin since this is the perfect time of year for it!

I thought I'd share one of my favourite zucchini muffin recipes, because, they're just so damn good. Simple, fast, and healthy, this recipe is the perfect way to start off your fall baking.

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Zucchini Muffins:

  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat (or spelt) flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1/2 C almond milk (or regular milk if you prefer)
  • 1/4 C melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C grated fresh zucchini
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats (plus some extra for sprinkling on top)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pan (I use a coconut oil spray)
  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, set aside.
  • Combine egg, maple syrup, milk, coconut oil, and, vanilla. Mix until combined and then add the dry ingredients. Mix together, but be sure not to over mix them!
  • Add zucchini and oats until just combined.
  • Portion the batter into baking cups, depending on the size of muffins you like, this recipe should make between 12 - 16 muffins.
  • Put into oven for 18 - 20 minutes, I do 18 and find this to be perfect.

It's that simple! The one slight downfall of these muffins is I find that they start going bad only after a couple of days, so I recommend either serving them fresh or freezing. For the most part, I freeze mine and will grab one to throw in my lunch and they still taste as great as they do fresh!

Enjoy!

Transitioning into Fall

We're coming to the close of the last long weekend of the summer and suddenly it feels like it's already fall.

As much as I love the fall, this was a really great summer and I'm a little sad to see it go. We also barely get a fall season in Winnipeg, so I plan to milk this one for as much as I can. 

 From September long weekend at Shoal Lake

From September long weekend at Shoal Lake

There are always a few thing's I like to do around this time of year to make the transition into fall a little easier (and less depressing), and no, I don't mean drinking Pumpkin Spice everything. (TBH I really do not like pumpkin spice lattes...)

The first thing I'll do is gut my closet. Move the summer stuff to the side, pull out the plaid shirts and knit sweaters, and get rid of anything I do not wear anymore.

I am the absolute worst for being like, "maybe I'll wear this shirt again in four years". If that thought goes through your mind, spoiler alert, you will not wear it again. It's time to part with the piece, and really it's taking up valuable closet space.

What I'll do is collect a bunch of the stuff that I've realized I no longer wear and I'll take it into a consignment store. The one in Winnipeg I usually go to is Plato's Closet over near Polo Park. They're really fast at going through your stuff and will pay you a really reasonable price for it! Whatever they decide they don't want I'll donate to my local church rummage sale. 

The other main thing I like to do around this time of year is pre make healthy soups and muffins to prepare for the chillier weather. As I've mentioned, I went a little off the wagon this summer with indulging. And that's okay! But although I'm not going back to school, I find it a lot easier to stick to a healthy food and workout routine when the colder months roll around. 

 Finally, moving into the fall routine I usually try to create a budget. Over the summer it's really easy to get carried away with going out for dinner and patio drinks with friends. I find it a lot easier to create a budget moving into fall to try and follow and get back on track moving into the colder months. One good way to stick to budget and try to save some moolah is by taking out cash and organizing it into envelopes and only allowing yourself that specific cash for what they're labeled for on the envelope - going out, groceries, bills, etc. Whatever you have left - you save! 

These are just some of my tips for moving into the fall season, have some of your own? Feel free to share them in the comment section below!

Costco Hack Trail Mix

Hi there!

Ya, ya, it's been a hot minute since my last post.

I've been busy, and to be honest, summer really has got the best of me. Not only have I been crazy busy at work, but I've been going out way, way too much. Which sort of sparked this post. Going out constantly, having fun with friends, and indulging, my diet and workout routines sort of took a nose dive (okay, a full blown nose dive) and I went a litttttle off the deep end.

So, I decided I needed to get my act together, starting with healthy snacks to keep with me at work. I'm a big snacker throughout the day, and have always had a soft spot for trail mixes, in particular the one's from Costco.

However, I don't usually buy them because they're so damn salty and if they're around I will demolish the bag. If you aren't (or are) familiar with what I'm talking about there are two types, one with the m&m's that are insanely addicting, or the one with yogurt chips. 

So, when I decided to make my own version of the kind with yogurt chips so I could control the salt content, I had a bunch of people asking me, "hey, what the heck did ya put in there?"

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Let me tell ya, it is SO simple. I went to bulk barn and stocked up on the following items: (obviously how much you buy depends on how much trail mix you want)

- a small amount of salted cashews

- unsalted natural cashews

- unsalted natural peanuts

- unsalted natural almonds

- greek yogurt chips

- crains (dried cranberries)

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Essentially I put them all into a bowl, mixed them up, and put them into a glass jar to keep on my counter. These are something I'll grab as a quick snack on my way to the gym or bring them to work to snack on at my desk. It's very filling, and this way you can control the amount of salt you have in your mix!

I'm planning to test out some other trail mix recipes and will continue to share them here! 

Happy snackin'!

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Oh Baby!

It's crazy that it's suddenly Tuesday night! I started writing this post Saturday night, got distracted, and suddenly was too busy until this moment to finish it off!

However, I can't really complain. This weekend was great, and we had best day with a bunch of my favourite people on Saturday, celebrating my besties new baby girl Adeline. She is the sweetest little thing, and I was so so happy to be able to host her Sip & See while the two of them were in town.

We decided on a Sip & See because my friend Nicole (Adeline's Mom) moved to Ontario last year, and lugging a bunch of stuff back from a trip wouldn't have been ideal. We had sent her a big care package full of new baby goodies before A's birth, so we thought this would be the perfect way to party and socialize with our new mini crew member. 

My friend Sam pulled a major hero move and we worked the morning away on this amazing balloon arch, but she really was the brains behind the operation. We wanted to do something cute and fun but not too difficult to clean up later and would stay up if it was windy or hot (however the balloons did start to pop from over heating - it was insanely hot outside!) 

We decided to cook burger sliders as the main food because they were simple and delicious but wouldn't have you feeling overly full throughout the afternoon. Honestly I love sliders, and usually end up eating way to many, and try to play it off like it doesn't count because they're so little so this plan didn't really work for me. Spoiler alert, they all count. But I'm going to take some logic from my favourite chick flick "How to be Single" - and that seven mini meats equal one big meat, so I can for sure have 7 sliders, right? RIGHT?!

My friend Lindsay (who has started an awesome local business called Modern Mommy on Instagram - if you're looking for super cute custom items or pre made baby, home, wedding, style, and more for sure check her out!) made this adorable sign for her own Mother's Day celebration - and was kind enough to let us use it for the shower! It tied our "Momosa Bar" together perfectly.

So we popped the bubbly, had tons of snacks, and all sat around getting to know our new girl gang member! Hosting a Sip & See after the baby is born is a really great way to get to know the baby without having to worry about getting the new mom a gift (or another gift if she's already had a shower before the baby was born). Because trust me, SHE WILL GET A LOT OF GIFTS AND ONESIES. NO MORE ONESIES....even if they're super adorable. Okay...fine buy the onesie. If you feel like you should bring something, bring another bottle of champs! Because realistically...that's what she needs!

Trips on Trips on Trips

aaaaand we're back!

 Spent this past weekend celebrating the babe in the middle!

Spent this past weekend celebrating the babe in the middle!

Holy man, these last couple weeks have been crazy town. Like I mentioned in my previous post, I was recently away for work in Edmonton and then a couple days later jumped right into vacation mode. First with a girls trip to Chicago (again, in the previous post), was home for a single day, and then was off to Ottawa to visit with one of my besties Nicole, her husband Dan, and their new adorable addition baby girl Adeline. At the end of the week we drove to Montreal to join an amazing crew to celebrate our friend Sam at her bachelorette party!

 Sam's Babelorette Crew

Sam's Babelorette Crew

Needless to say, I have zero voice, am exhausted, and am really not ready to get out of vacation mode. These last couple trips have been so so fun, and honestly it makes me feel really lucky to have such solid and fantastic girl friends.

Montreal was wild...there were strippers, drag queens, more alcohol and food then I can even talk about without being embarrassed, and honestly I don't know if I have laughed that hard, well, ever. We had such a solid group on this trip (19 of us actually!), and I already feel weird being alone back in my apartment (if any of you are reading this, feel free to come over, I miss you all!)

Getting away to go on trips like this as exhausting as they are really recharge me. I find that when I have the chance to get away and spend some quality time with some of my favourite people it gives me a chance to unwind from everyday stresses that I usually work myself up over and just relax my mind a bit. 

Now it's back to reality, and man, I honestly feel like I shouldn't leave my apartment again for about a week. I also may need to sell my soul on the black market after all these trips because this has not been easy on the wallet (or my dignity). SO WORTH IT THOUGH.

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These are memories that will last forever, and as much as sometimes it can be stressful to leave responsibility behind and spend the money the older we get, the more I think about it this is 100% the time to be doing these things. Before kids, before needing to be responsible for anyone but myself, before my metabolism really hits rock bottom.

So, if you're ever in the boat of wondering "oh man can I really afford this trip" "should I take the vacation time?" the answer is YES. DO IT YES! Worry about the rest later, and pour yourself another glass of wine (or 9 a.m. travel coffee cup of gin but hey your choice).

 Sam's getting married, so we got drunk.

Sam's getting married, so we got drunk.