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!

Local Love: Bailey DelBigio

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I constantly find myself in awe of my crazy talented group of friends.

All of my friends are not only insanely talented, smart, creative, and kind, but are also constantly looking for ways to lift each other up and support each other in their ventures. 

One of my closest friends from high school, Bailey, is an incredible make up artist in Winnipeg. She's constantly collaborating with amazing other local talents, is heading to Tulum for a month to work out of a new salon there, and has many other insanely exciting projects on the go. Bailey is also one of the kindest, most caring, and beautiful people inside and out I know. Her heart is so huge, and she is always finding ways to make others feel good about themselves. 

She was kind enough to come help me with a project, and I thought why not include her in my local love feature. 

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Q & A Sesh:

What are your two go to must have make up products that you use on a daily basis?:

  •  Benefit good proof brow pencip in shade 2 and Laura Mercier highlighter in indiscretion

What made you decide to start freelancing?

  • I love doing make up, and the best advice I ever received was to find something you love to do and turn it into a career.

What is your skin care routine?

  • Currently I'm using La Hendrix Range. First, I use the clinic toner, and then the La Hendrix youth serum, and finish off with the La Hendrix moisturizer, eye cream, and invigorating night gel. I also use coconut oil on my face and body every day.

Current get ready song? 

  • the new Party Next Door album

What would you say the most critical steps to building your brand are?

  • Before you can begin to build a brand you need to figure out what your style is, and then you can build your brand around it. Be creative, style, collaborate with different friends, models, bloggers, or anyone that you can work with and create content with/for. Put in the work and developing your brand on social media is crucial for exposure as well. 

Five things you always have in your purse?

  • Blistex lip conditioner, coconut oil, highlighter, gum, and a water bottle

Who would you consider your biggest make up inspirations?

  • Emma Chen & Patrick Ta

Who is your dream collab?

  • The model Bella Lucia

You can find Bailey on Instagram at @baileydelbigio 

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!  

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!

Surviving wedding season solo.

It's here...wedding season.

Honestly I love weddings, a lot. I just love, love.

Yes I'm cheesy AF.

BUT I DON'T CARE.

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I love weddings, and as much as I love wedding I love dressing up...and an open bar. (c'mon you were all thinking it too...)

But when wedding season comes and you get the invite with the dreaded +1 and you're sitting over here eating your second grilled cheese polishing off the box of wine wondering if it would be socially acceptable to bring your family dog things can look a little bleak.

And suddenly it seems like everyone has significant others and you're going to die under the pile of empty boxed wines and it will take weeks for anyone to find you...and so the spiral starts.

Fear not all you single ladies (or guys, that's cool too, on a side note if any guys are actually reading this blog that's sweet, write a comment I'm genuinely curious if guys read this) there are tons of options and things to look forward to at a wedding if you're flying solo.

 

1. As much as a date is super fun...so is going with your besties.

I don't know if anyone else is in this boat, but the majority of my girlfriends are a very "for the girls" bunch. When you see those dudes on snapchat chanting "Saturday's are for the boys" most of us are at home thinking "you poor poor SOB's, we don't give a crap if Saturday's are for the boys, the girls didn't wanna hangout with you anyways..."

Rent a hotel room with your other single besties attending the wedding, go there to pregame, post game, and spend the next morning reminiscing over room service and Caesars about the ridiculousness that occurred the night before. Because unless you have a boring group of friends I bet at least one insanely hilarious, dramatic, or outrageous thing happened at that wedding.

2. No shame in your food game

Okay so you know at weddings how you're in your dress and trying to look all skinny and cute and if you're with your date sometimes you get a bit wary of showing how many burger sliders you really can eat in one sitting?

NOT TODAY LADIES, NOT TODAY.

No need to worry about grossing our your date when you don't have one! And realistically, I personally think this is a good way to pick out which guys are the cool ones. The guys that are down with how much you love food, and they love food too are the kinda guys that you (okay or maybe just me) wanna date.  

 

3. Going to a wedding and embracing the fact that you're attending alone not only allows you to meet other people who are attending, but also gives you total freedom to be completely yourself and meet other awesome attendees. Use this as a time to network, make new friends, or even allow the opportunity to meet someone you may not have been able to otherwise. 

4. Finally, just have fun. Regardless you're there to celebrate love between two people you love (hopefully...unless you're a wedding crasher then you should probably just go wild)

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