Saturday, 6 December 2014

Drink Up!

It's become a phenomenon over the past few years: green smoothies. I've been drinking them for a few years and can proudly say that I have turned some friends and family members on to them (whether or not they've stuck with them is another story...). Nevertheless, my number one, no-fail recipe for beginners or non-believers is a Blueberry-Mango smoothie. It is my favourite smoothie recipe! It also uses spinach as opposed to kale so the taste isn't nearly as strong. 

Green smoothies are a great on-the-go drink - in the summertime, I would take five minutes to make one before I left for work at 7:45, pour it into a mason jar, and drink it on the way! I know this may sound cheesy, but I firmly believe that people do feel good after drinking one! That's not to say I wouldn't rather a buttermilk waffle with maple syrup, berries, hot fudge sauce, and whipped cream some mornings (okay, most mornings). BUT, this recipe isn't so bad either ;) I have a Magic Bullet at school and it is perfect for me. The single serving size allows me to take it on the go and is also much easier to clean. 

Because this recipe uses a large blueberry portion, it turns out purple! Nice for people who are turned off by green drinks. 

Mango Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
1 cup Spinach (or any other green, i.e. kale)
1/2 cup Water 
1 cup Blueberries 
1/2 cup Mango   **make sure at least one of mango and blueberries are frozen
1 Banana
slice of lemon (seeds and peel removed)

Blend together spinach and water until smooth. Add in blueberries, mango, banana, and lemon. Blend until smooth. If the frozen fruit is not blending, add more water (measure 1/2 cup, then add in intervals until smooth). Enjoy!

A great website for recipes is Simple Green Smoothies. They have tons of recipes! 

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Holly Jolly Christmas Time!

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose..." The wonderful time of year when it is officially acceptable to play Christmas carols non-stop is here!

It hasn't been that consistently cold lately, probably averaging around 3 degrees Celsius. But the holiday spirit is very much alive! I have been swapping out my usual study playlists for Christmas study playlists and I could not be happier. Although, there have been a few instances when I've found myself humming along - sort of embarrassing in the library (especially when the song is "Santa Baby"). A few things are fuelling up my excitement: carols (of course), outfits, and baking! I probably could have split this post up into multiple separate posts, but I was just too excited to share all of this :)

These are some of my favourites:
One of my roommates made this fun playlist on 8tracks! One of my go-to study Christmas playlists is this.

Carly from The College Prepster put together this amazing, but simple, outfit a few days ago and I am in love! It has totally inspired me.

In terms of being prepared for winter weather, I recently got the UGG Adirondack boots in beige. They are as cozy as regular UGGs but much better equipped for outdoor use! It is certainly an investment piece but I know I will have them for many, many years to come.
A little outfit that I think would be great for wearing to multiple events and running around over the holidays would be this:
HandbagCedar Street Maise in Ballet Slipper Dress: Talula Lambeth dress from Aritzia NecklaceCause a Stir Mini Pendant Necklace in clear Glasses: Warby Parker Watch: Movado (though the Kate Spade Gramercy is more affordable...) Booties: Laine boots 

Alas, baking! Probably the best part, right? My younger sister and I have a tradition with my Granny of baking over the holidays. Such great memories! A staple in our baking day was shortbread cookies with red/pink and green colouring. My sister typically got the pink colouring and I was stuck with the green. BUT being the wonderful big sister that I am, I tried not to complain :) We had interesting little decorating patterns - loads of silver balls and sprinkles - and they were marvellous.

A restaurant down in Florida, Flemings, has this ridiculously good chocolate walnut pie. Really, it is heaven. My family will be heading down there for the holidays and I cannot even explain how
excited I already am to bite into this masterpiece. My sister recreated it at home last year with wonderful results too!
My brother's birthday falls around Christmas time so last year I baked dark chocolate cupcakes with mint icing! Everyone loved them too.
(these weren't the exact ones I baked, but you get the idea ;)

Hope everyone has a great start to their holiday season! And good luck to students everywhere, we certainly need it this time of year :)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Take Notice

Monday was a great day. Not totally, I mean if I wasn't in class, I was at the library. Going hard. BUT it was December 1st. Which means.... ADVENT CALENDAR TIME! Woohoo. My mom sent me over a Lindt advent calendar and opening up the little door Monday night after a long day was so wonderful that I actually savoured the chocolate. And it also means one day closer to Christmas. And yesterday was the last day of classes. BOOM that went by fast. It is still unfathomable to me that in less than two weeks (11 days to be exact) I will be at home with my family free from school work. But literally every hour until then will be crammed with work and planning.

Does anyone remember those "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books? I have no idea where mine is now, but I believe I had an original and a "Chicken Soup for the Horse Lovers Soul". I remember going through multiple stories through one sitting because they really were so endearing. Well, a few days ago I came across a screen shot on Buzzfeed with a story that, although I'm pretty sure was fiction (and by pretty sure I mean when I clicked the link, it says that the story is fiction), instantly brought me back to those books. Here is the link and the story is #19, but I suggest reading all of them :) The story was about a boy who was befriended by another boy in freshman year of high school and how they became great friends. But years later at graduation, that boy revealed that his friend saved him that day they first met. I won't go into details how, but it just puts into perspective how we all struggle and you may not realize it, but a simple act of kindness could help someone make it through the day.

I found some videos within the past few days that easily put a smile on my face and hopefully they put one on yours too!
Does he look like the nicest guy or what? 

This little pairing just makes my heart melt! 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mid-Week Notices

Hello Wednesday! How are you here already? The weeks seem to be going by faster and faster as November passes. There have been some bits of the internet that have caught by attention lately - Winter fashion is coming in full-swing; award hopeful movies and big-budget movies are starting to release trailers; and Christmas joy is filling the air! Here are some links that I'm loving at the moment:

Who doesn't love a Downton Abbey-Game of Thrones mashup? Also Cate Blanchett is in it and she is just simply amazing. Can't wait until March to see this!

Idina Menzel and Michael BublĂ© 
I've loved Idina Menzel for a long time. Like, ever since I heard the soundtracks to Wicked and Rent which was around 6 years ago (though it feels so much longer), so it is thrilling to see her gain a wider audience! "Baby It's Cold Outside" is in my top 5 favourite Christmas songs and I love the combination of Idina and the always gorgeous Michael Bublé together. His voice is like a blessing to mankind. The boy-meets-girl story in the video is also very cute :)

J.Crew Winter Arrivals
The majority of my wardrobe (or at least the wardrobe I wear the most) is J.Crew. It just fits so perfectly into my style! I love the Chateau Parka and the Cocoon Coat but they do have a decently large price tag. I picked up this really cool sweater last week:
It's a catchy pattern and extremely cozy! It's a sweater that can be used in most situations. It is great piece that can keep you looking "fashionable" (I don't really like that word, but I don't really know how else to describe it - chic, perhaps?) and be extremely comfortable. On the days when I wake up and go to the library (putting no effort into my look) this is something I would grab.  
This sweater is not something I would normally just pick up in the store (and I probably wouldn't have gotten online) but it is amazing in person. Highly recommended!! 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

On it Goes (Chocolate Included)

It's finally the end of midterms. Preach! With now just four weeks to go before heading home for Christmas break, crunch time is sort of in effect. There is a strange hybrid of panic and relaxation: panic because, obviously, finals are soon upon us. Most aren't until December... But December is really just around the corner. Relaxation because we are through with multiple week (or more) long periods saturated with studying and tests and assignments AND classes. 

Although I haven't done much since the start of the semester, I LOVE baking. LOVE. I have a sweet tooth like no other (I think chocolate runs through my veins). I love trying new recipes, and will use any excuse to bake. To commemorate the end of midterms (and a roommate's horrible week), I decided to bake chocolate caramel (though really butterscotch) cupcakes. There are many ways to de-stress, but baking really is a great way. I love reading; LOVE watching TV or movies; when I have (or put aside) time, yoga; horseback riding; even jogging; and just hanging out with roommates! I guess there are a ton of ways to de-stress, though I'm sure most people resort to a screen. I am guilty. But back to the cupcakes:

They were delicious. End of story. The batter used buttermilk with a butterscotch filling, and I used a dark chocolate icing recipe, then drizzled (...or poured) butterscotch on top. They didn't last long. In a house of seven girls plus frequent visitors, no baking really does. I didn't snap any pictures so here are some to enjoy instead! 

Here is the recipe used for the cupcakes, and the icing. I only used 2 cups of powdered sugar, and added in a few extra teaspoons of cream. For the cupcakes, I swapped the Rolo toppings out for more butterscotch. 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Thanksgiving: University Edition

Happy Belated Thanksgiving fellow Canadians!

 Unfortunately for this university student, I was not home for the festivities. Academia called! Yes, midterms and assignments were still on my radar for the next few days. Although they have more content, I think I prefer finals. No classes, and a time period actually dedicated to studying! Not trying to study and go to lectures, do readings and weekly assignments.
Even though I wasn't home with my family, I still had a turkey (well, chicken) dinner. The roomies and I did a little Thanksgiving shindig with veggies, chicken (a 15lbs turkey was a bit too much to handle, I did miss the taste though), sweet potatoes (awesomely covered in marshmallows) and I of course baked la tarte a la citrouille, and if room for extras, we also had apple pie. I'd say it was a success! This Thanksgiving, I was in yoga pants and a hoodie - I can certainly say that's a first (along with everything else).
If I were home, my outfit would look something more like this:

Sunday, 5 October 2014

October 5 - First Post (!)

I am finally doing it. I am creating a blog. (Well technically I've already created it, now I am blogging). It has been suggested to me a few times over the years, but never something that really piqued my interest. Now that school is in full swing, I hope to use this blog as somewhat of an escape from the madness that ensues.

Post #1:
Summer seemed like it was going to last for a few more weeks here in Halifax! Unfortunately over the past few days, the weather did a 90 degree turn (not snowing or below 0, but cooler, windier, and rainier - I don't think it justifies a 180). Due to this shift in weather, I am constantly craving 3 things: my bed, hot coffee drinks (and tea), and exercise. Bed: my bed is comfy. Very comfy. Brand new, stay-in-bed-for-a-week comfy. So when all I can see outside are trees shaking and grey skies, bed sounds like a viable option. Hot drinks - need I say more? Yummy flavours warming up your body is always nice. I am partial to Vanilla lattes and Tazo Zen green tea. I start and end nearly every day with a cup of green tea. Lastly, exercise. It's not often you will find me at the gym. I do like to stay active but I prefer being outdoors (or swimming). So laying in bed for what feels like a lifetime and filling up on lattes can give me an urge to do something good for my body. Okay, I will go for a run after I'm finished here.

Have a wonderful Sunday! I hope it's sunny somewhere.