Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!!!!

It's been a long, chilly and rainy week in the Toronto area.

Throw in my post-travel cold and I have been laying kinda low on the blogosphere...

That said, it's been a fabulous two weeks, especially the Easter long weekend which involved great friends, great family and fabulous travel! So let's get started and Wine Down this week with....

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Wok Fried Lamb with Cumin

I Love finding new recipes.

A few months ago, my mom snagged this one out of the newspaper, and it's quickly become one of my favourites! Wok Fried Lamb with Cumin.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

5 Tips For Bachelorette Party Planning

When it comes to wedding season, most women can expect to spend the occasional Sunday afternoon at some kind of luncheon watching the bride open gifts.

If you're in a bridal party, pre wedding events may also include an engagement party, rehearsal dinner, or any number of appointments.

So while the "Big Day" is proceeded by lots of "little days" to get everyone in the mood for canap├ęs and champagne toasts, I will say that above all else the Bachelorette party is my favourite!

I love everything about bachelorette parties. I love planning them, I love the idea of a bunch of women celebrating a friend, I love the raunchy games, the occasional happy tears, and the seemingly endless potential for fun.

Above all though, I love the look on the bride's face mid-way through the night when all the wedding planning stress has melted away and she's just focused on enjoying HER night (without all the decorum of a shower).

having planned a few (ahem: five.. and climbing) bachelorette parties in my day, I want to give you the tools for success to make sure your friend has an INCREDIBLE time!

Here are my 5 tips for planning a great bachelorette party!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Always a Bridesmaid

When you hit your mid-20s, something funny happens, your friends suddenly fall into one of two groups:

1) Those who are getting married/in weddings constantly
2) Those who seem to avoid weddings with a 10 foot pole

Most of my friends seem to fall into one category or the other. They either spend all their time at weddings, or they haven't really started into that yet.

I fall into the first group.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!

It’s been two weeks since the last wine down… I am… well I’m exhausted!

Last week was a whirlwind of travel, wine tours and adventures which I love love LOVED, but boy did it wear me out!

Since getting home I’ve been trying to get back on track with sleep, food and work, leading to some very early nights in bed!

I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend. So let’s get this Wine Down started so I can relax!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Taking 15 Minutes To Improve Your Work Day!

When I got my first part time job my parents offered me this piece of advice: 

Just because your shift starts at 9:00, doesn't mean you show up at 9:00. Arrive 15 minutes early to get ready so that you can hit the ground running the moment the workday starts.

This lesson is one I carry with me to this day. It energizes me to be one of the first people in the office, and to streamline the first part of my work day so that I am my most efficient self all day long!

Today I want to share with you my process of taking 15 minutes at the start of the work day to make your WHOLE day better!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The PERFECT Tomato Chicken Sandwich

There's nothing better than eating something with fresh ingredients. 

The flavour, the texture, the colours; all of these things are amplified when your ingredients are fresh. It's the difference between a bland meal, and an exciting one.

Which is why, when I go to make a sandwich, I pick the freshest ingredients possible. 

I look at sandwiches the same way that I look at salads, which is that they come in one of two ways: boring, or AH-MA-ZING! There is nothing worse than a boring sandwich, in the same way that when you eat an incredible sandwich you want to share it with the world.

So today, I'm going to share this amazing sandwich the world. Not just amazing, the PERFECT tomato chicken sandwich.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cajun Fish Tacos

In our house, we take Tex-Mex VERY seriously!

Quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos with guacamole, fajitas.. all of these are regular fixtures in our diet. I buy cilantro on a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) basis.

Of course, one of our absolutely favourite things to make is fish tacos!

We've tried different variations on the fish taco through the years with great success, but our recent favourite leaves them behind in the dust. Breaded, a tad spicy and all around delicious, Cajun Fish Tacos.

These pan fried beauties are SO quick to make, you can easily pull this meal together in 20 minutes including the prep time. This is good since you'll scarf them back faster than you can imagine and need to make more PRONTO (provided you aren't totally stuffed of course!)

So let's get started.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Wine Down!

Happy Friday Everyone!

We're about to launch into the first weekend of Spring and I already have a wedding shower to attend.

Off. To. The. RACES!

This has been a week filled with ups and downs, excitement and stresses, warm weather and snow (sigh) and general spring fever mixed with vacation brain (I'm leaving for Key West on MONDAY!) 

So with SO much going on, I think it's high time we Wine Down this week! Grab a Cocktail (like this one!) and join me.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pretty in Pink Cocktail

Let's face it: Spring is the best season to feel fresh and pretty!

Something about the weather, the feeling of newness, the soft sunshine and the feel in the air always makes me feel my most feminine and pretty.

But there's more to Spring than meets the eye. It's a season of amazing change, strength, growth, rainstorms and cold snaps. 

If the seasons had genders, Spring is as powerfully feminine as you get.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maple Salmon Asparagus Pasta

Sometimes in cooking (as in life) collaboration is the key to success!

You take two good ideas and combine them to make something wonderful. A culinary team that is both surprising and delightful to the palette.

Today I want to talk about a culinary collaboration that came about when a friend of mine had taken leftovers I'd made from the night before and threw them all together in a pan to make the MOST delicious pasta!

I want to talk about Maple Salmon Asparagus Pasta.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!  And Happy St Patrick's Day!

Guys, two Wine Downs in a row? I am feeling so accomplished!!!

It's been a long, cold week in the Toronto area, and I'm looking forward to the snap of warmer weather we're supposed to get this weekend.

It's been a great week so lets get started. Grab your Guinness and your Green shirt and lets Wine Down!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Picking Nail Polish Colours For Spring

Spring is around the corner and the warm weather is FINALLY on its way!

It's time to peel off those socks, look down at your toes, and realize you need a pedicure. Desperately.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Wine Down!

Happy Friday!!!!!

It has been a loooooooooooooong time since I last did a wine down; I think it's because the monotony of winter gives way to the same post every week...

"It was cold... we stayed in and ate curry... I am fighting off winter weight..."

But now that Spring is in the air (even though it's -10C/14F) I have been re energized! So let's Wine Down this week!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lessons From My Literary Heroines

I've always been a big reader. As a child, teenager and now as an adult you can most often find me with my nose in a book, curled up in a big chair with a cup of tea.

My books are my friends. I have favourites that I read every year, specific books for certain seasons, and get more value from my Indigo points card than anyone I know.

My love of books stems from an early age. My parents always read to us from the time we were small. Some of my favourite memories are sitting up before bed with my Dad while he read to me from the Narnia series. 

So it should come as no surprise that my books impact me in a way that some young women are often impacted by actresses or musicians. The girls and women who I modeled myself after were found more often between the pages of a book than on my TV screen.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Arranging Your Own Spring Bouquet

It's March! It's March! And I have to say, I'm pretty excited that it's nearly Spring!!!

Nothing makes me happier at this time of year than throwing open my windows, giving the apartment a good clean, and then decorating with some spring touches!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Five Ways To Save Money Daily

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar

You woke up this morning late, so you jumped out of bed, got ready quickly and ran out of the house.

No time to walk to the train station, you hop in the car instead;  don't forget to stop for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks since you didn't have time to eat at home. Grab a bottle of water too, since you're really thirsty.

Of course that's not going to keep you full ALL day, when your tummy grumbles at noon you run out and grab lunch since you hadn't managed to pack one that morning (and darn it, you were just so busy last night!). Don't forget to grab a drink with your lunch!

With the work day through, you head home and then straight to the grocery store. "Are you a points member" they ask?... No. "It's free and it only takes a minute"... I just don't have time.

You head home, looking back on your day favorably. You ate good food, had a productive day at work, the cute barista winked at you in the morning...

It's too bad you just lost SO much money!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Ginger Chicken Dumplings

I don't think I'm alone when I say that I find something so enjoyable about bite sized foods!

Spring rolls, sliders, shrimp cocktail, caprese bites, two bite brownies, mini quiches... there's something so fun about little food (especially if you're eating all different kinds!)

Though I think my favourite bite sized thing to eat, is dumplings.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Simple Steps To Make The Most Of Your Weekend

It's unfair isn't it?

Of the 7 days of the week, we only get 2 to enjoy ourselves, get stuff done, clean, shop, see friends and family... and then before you know it it's Monday and you're back to the grind!

Well today, I want to share with you how to make the MOST of your weekends, to maximize on fun and effectiveness, so you always feel accomplished rolling into your week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why You Should Eat Chicken Wings On A First Date

One of the annoying things about becoming an adult is that you look back on all the advice your parents gave you (and you ignored) and realized they were 100% right.

I can't even tell you how many times over the past five-or-six years that I've had a "If I'd listened to my parents, I could have skipped all that nonsense I just put myself through" moment.

Of course, part of growing up is figuring stuff out for yourself, but I am so much more willing now to seek out my parents advice than I ever was as a teenager or university student.

There is one thing though, one piece of advice that to this day I tell my mother she is wrong about.

"Laura" she'd say to me, "when you're on a date with a man, never order anything messy. The last thing you want is for his first impression of you to be anything but ladylike."

I disagree entirely with this statement, which is why I always order the same thing on a first date:

Chicken Wings.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Keeping a Happiness Journal

In these early days of the new year, glistening with opportunity and hope, many people are still working on their resolutions. 

If you're anything like me this might include something like “working on a happiness project” or “learning to appreciate the good more”. In fact, life/self-improvement is second only to fitness goals when it comes to making a new years pledge.

Frankly, with a year like 2016 behind us (oy-vey!) I think we could all use a little bit more happy in our lives. Today I’d like to share with you my favourite tool to recognizing that feeling:

A happiness journal.