April 30, 2014

Nutritious and Delicious


It's no secret that I like to indulge in sweet treats, but lately I have been trying to stay on a more healthy track and prioritize eating whole foods that are naturally good and delicious, and ideally save those sugary treats for special occasions. Even though it doesn't always happen, I always start my day with something filling, fruity and delicious. My mornings seem to rotate between variations of these three meals because really the possibilities are endless (they are also great for a power snack). Here are my three favourite morning meals that not only provide energy, but are just as wholesome and nutritious as they are sweet! Try them out! 

Oatmeal Parfait:  I usually have oats in the morning, which people think are boring and bland. But really I can never get sick of them thanks to all the yummy fruits, nuts and seeds!  If I cannot decide between eating oatmeal and a parfait (big decision, I know!) I combine them to make a delicious layered concoction. My go-to is a raspberry oats bottom layer, followed by a layer of fruit, then a layer of greek yogurt, topped with an abundance of delicious additions! The parfait above is topped with spiced pumpkin quinoa granola, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and a sprinkle of coconut. You can customize the recipe below to your liking. 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup fruit
drizzle of agave necture 
greek yogurt 
granola & toppings (hemp hearts, seeds, nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut, etc.)

Directions:
1. Cook oats according to packaged instructions. I cook mine on the stove in 1 cup of water.
2. Using a fork mash up the oats with 6-8 raspberries in a separate bowl. I also add a drizzle of vanilla agave nectar. Spoon mixture into the bottom of your jar. 
3. Cup up 2 strawberries and layer on top of oats. 
4. Spoon desired amount of yogurt on top of berries. I usually use plain greek yogurt, but any flavour will do. 
6. Get creative with the toppings. 
7. Dig in and enjoy! I promise you'll be full for hours! 

Green Smoothie & Almond Butter Toast: Is your mouth watering yet? I have been trying to have one green shake a day. I don't need to go into all the details of why they are ridiculously good for you, but they are. And I prooooooomise you won't taste any greens! For curiosity sake I am always trying new combinations, but this mango-apple-kale-celery mixture seems to be my favourite (mango-peach is a close second)! So creamy! And don't worry if you don't have a fancy-shmancy blender or juicer- I use a Magic Bullet and they are always blended completely. Pair the shake with a slice of chia superseed toast, topped with a tablespoon of almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut flakes and you have one delicious breakfast (or snack or lunch). Again, feel free to alter to your preferences. 

Ingredients (smoothie):
1/2 ataulfo mango
1/2 green apple 
2 strawberries
1/2 cup almond milk
5 ice cubes
2 bunches of kale (de-stemmed)
1 stalk of celery

Directions:
1. Blend all ingredients together.
2. Add a tablespoon of water if too icy, and a few more ice cubes if too watery.
3. Sprinkle hemp hearts on top. 

Açaí bowl: I saved my favourite for last! I have actually become obsessed with açaí bowls. They are typically a Brazilian dish, as the fruit is native to the Amazonian region, so it's a tad difficult to find them around town. I literally have been stalking the health food stores to find these Sambazon  smoothie packs, which I did successfully find (at Nature's Emporium)! I could eat these for breaky, lunch or as a dessert!  Anyways, once you have the frozen fruit (I'm sure powder would work too), the bowl (or in my case, jar) is simple to put together. 

Ingredients:
1 Sambazon frozen açaí pack
1/4 cup almond milk
1 banana
3 strawberries
1/4 cup granola (& any other toppings you prefer)

Directions:
1. Blend together açaí pack, almond milk, 3/4 of the banana and 2 strawberries.
2. Spoon half of the granola mixture in the bottom on your jar. Slice remaining strawberry and layer on top of granola. 
3. Pour smoothie into jar. 
4. Add rest of granola mixture on top of the smoothie.
5. Garnish with remaining granola and any other fruit, seeds, coconut, etc.!

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April 28, 2014

DIY Headboard


A while back I re-decorated my bedroom, but felt as though it was impossible to find a headboard that I loved enough to justify spending the crazy amount of cash. With the help of the best boyfriend ever, I decided to make a headboard that would be personalized to my liking. Really this project can be completed in a weekend, as long as you already have all the materials. Unfortunately, if  you are as picky as me, it will take months to find a fabric with the right texture and colour. However! A few weeks back the project finally came together and I couldn't be more excited! I'm obsessed with the colour and how soft the fabric is. Not to mention that it feels like a big pillow when I prop up against the headboard! My room is finally complete (yay!… for now), and I feel like I'm sleeping in a bed fit for a queen!

Instead of confusing you with instructions I'll let you read here, or watch this video, and you can get a solid explanation of the process. There are so many tutorials out there, just google it! And, I know it may seem like a daunting task but the hardest part really is getting all the materials together. I promise! If you have any questions feel free to ask away! And let me know what you think of it!


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April 23, 2014

European Agenda

It's safe to say that I am overcome with joy every time I think of where I'll be in one month's time! For the next two weeks I will be planning out the remaining details of our European adventure, but I would love to hear if you have any recommendations. Our itinerary is as follow: Amsterdam --> Barcelona --> Nice --> Positano --> Capri --> Florence --> Rome. It was so hard to narrow down destinations, but really there's not a place in Europe I wouldn't be happy to see. So, we'll just have to save some of our other top destinations for the next trip! Here are a few things that I am really looking forward to. 

See my tips for trip planning here

{photos via pinterest}
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April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend


This Easter weekend was filled with tulips, yummy treats, being thankful for my beautiful family and enjoying some much anticipated warm weather. Looking through the P&P archives I found my beloved Bunny Bark recipe and knew I had to make it. I may have indulged in it for breakfast, as a snack and as an after dinner treat. It's too good!  I hope you had a lovely Easter long weekend! 


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April 17, 2014

Blinking


Sometimes all it takes is a blink of the eye to jump from month to month, and that's exactly what has been happening around here! So what have I been up to lately? Well, I've been catching up with friends at some Toronto favourites, such as The Drake and Bolt Fresh Bar. Indulging in pastries from Nadège and ice cream sandwiches from Home of the Brave. I can't forget celebrating with my lovely cousin on her bachelorette night at The Reservoir Lounge, and also at her bridal shower brunch. I've been finalizing my plans for Europe (countdown is on- only 23 days!) and finishing a post-grad certificate. All while embracing some Spring weather with flats, fresh cut flowers and light jackets. 
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