meal planning tips

Now that I'm heading back to work things around our house are going to change a little. Especially on the domestic front. This has been stressing me out the most because I like to make sure we're all eating healthy homemade meals. We have a slow-cooker, but I'm not sure I can stomach shloppy stews every night. So when Knot PR asked if I was interested in chatting with Writer, Fitness and Nutrition Coach Darren Stehle I was like hell yeah I am! This was a sign - thank you.

My chat with Darren was awesome and he gave me tons of advice from drinking enough water, to working out, to meal planning tips but for this post I'm going to stick with the meal planning tips. They're brilliant! His secret? Precooking meals on the weekend for the week ahead. Why didn't I think of that?

Here are a few of his reccos:

1. Prepare the night before. Make your lunch for the next day and get all the breakfast stuff (bowls, spoons, juice glasses) out on the counter before bed.

2. Bulk grocery shop on the weekends. This way you have everything you need for snacks, lunches, and dinners throughout the week. You just might have to nip out at some point for fresh produce.

3. Pre-cook meat on the weekend. Grill a bunch of chicken breasts and throw them in the freezer so they're available for stir-frys, salads, and sandwiches during the week. Make a big batch of chilli or beef stew. 'Nuff said!

There you have it. Check out Darren's website or go see him at the Adelaide Club for some personal training. He's full of great ideas.



day 6: dinner & day 7: buttons

I realized I had forgotten about photo a day challenge after the fact so this was my interpretation of dinner - our dirty dinner dishes. Blech!

My stylist - Leesa Berry - just opened her own hair cutting shop in Parkdale and this is her button, so naturally I snapped a pic of it for my day 7 photo. She's located behind Capital and is honestly the best hair cutter I know of in the city. I've been following her around for the last few years from Steinberg to Cabinet and even when she was cutting out of her apartment I followed her there. Give her a holler if you need a cut.

Happy snapping!

some things never change

People come and go in your life and it can be difficult to reconnect when the opportunities present themselves, but sometimes it just works and you end up picking up right where you left off.

This weekend I had a throwback to the 90s and reconnected (thank you Facebook) with parts of my old high school gang. We grew apart, as you do, pursuing different interests after high school and in different parts of the province and country. Thirteen years later, we're all a little more settled it seems - married, careers, houses, kids (well just me with the kid) - so more time to think about the past.

I, along with everyone else was nervous about the reunion. As my stomach flip-flopped on my way to the restaurant I was wondering if we would still have anything in common, if it would be awkward and if I was going to have fun. As everyone started to arrive my nerves quickly settled because everyone was EXACTLY the same. Everyone looked the same (add 13 years), acted the same, talked the same, laughed the same. Despite all of our "new" lives we were more or less adult versions of our sixteen year old selves.

Over steak frites, duck confit, and scallops at Delux we reminisced, laughed, apologized and gave updates on our lives to-date. I had a blast and didn't want the night to end. I left feeling reconnected and headed back to my life with a bounce in my step. Will we do it again? I'm sure we will, but if we don't it was a great way to spend a Sunday night in January. So, all I'm saying here is reach out to your besties from high school. It's an awesome pick-me-up and who knows where it will take you.

I miss you guys already, but it's comforting to know that you're just a mouse click away.


snow day

If you're a city slicker like me you'll likely be schlepping home through the snow and slush to get to your cozy home tonight. TO got a rocking 3 cms of snow and it's cold! To stay warm this eve I'll be curling up with the Hubs and watching a movie with a belly-warming cocktail. It is Friday afterall!

I've been scouring the web looking for some toasty tipples, but none of them are very appealing.  I did find one that I might test drive - The Chai Toddy. If that's a bust, there is always red wine or Bourbon on the rocks!

The Chai Toddy!

You'll need:

  • 3 oz. spiced Rum
  • 8 oz. chai tea (hot)
  • 1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • Honey to sweeten

Then you:

Add all ingredients into a wine glass and stir. Voila!

Stay warm y'all!






date night

Last Saturday the Hubs and I went out for dinner and to the Leafs game (Toronto 4, Detroit 3). What once was just another night out, is now "date night". Anyway, we had dinner at The County General and it WAY exceeded my expectations. The menu is very casual and it's the perfect spot to go if you're heading somewhere afterwards or if you're just looking for a quick and dirty, but good meal. Oh and the cocktails are awesome (I indulged in a couple).

So first, the drinks! I honestly could have just sat and drank there all night, but we had a game to catch and thank God for that (I would have regretted it with L'il E's 6:30 am wake up call). They are stacked with a selection of aged rums and small batch bourbons and the bartender knows how to mix a good sipper. They also have microbrews and local Ontario wines, but I would stick with the hard stuff if you're going to check this place out. I had the Sunday Picnic (El Dorado 5 yr, Averna Cinnamon, Vanilla and Jones Root Beer) and the Private's Order (Havana 7 yr, Basil, Pomegranate, Lemon and Angostura over ice). What can I say I'm a sucker for some good rum.

For dinner I had The General's Reuben. I broke my gluten-free rules and paid for it the next day, but man it was a good sammy! The Hubs tried their Fried Chicken Thigh Sandwich and it looked deelish, but he wasn't sharing. After all of that we were still hungry so we ordered a Big Salad and capped it off with a couple of espressos.Yum!

I will definitely be going back, not just for the food and drinks but for the good vibe. It totally reminded me of a cozy bar at a ski hill. But just so you know they don't take reservations so get there early!

Bon apetit!


my winter secret


The temperature is mild but if you're a whitey like me your complexion is definitely looking a lighter shade of white.  The nice summer glow has worn off and if you're not lucky enough to be heading south you're stuck with that pasty pale skin. In years past I would buy the odd session at a local tanning bed (I know, shame on me!) but I wouldn't set foot in one now. I've also dappled with bronzers and bronzing moisturizers but they always leave my skin an unnatural shade of orange. What's a pasty white girl to do?

Fortunately I found the magic product at Jacob & Sebastien on a Sunday walk along Queen Street West. Tan Airbrush in a Can by Model Co.! All you do is give a light spray all over your face or body (I just do my face) and it works with your natural skin tone to deliver that oh so bronzed look. No more orange hands, streaks, or Jersey Shore complexion.

Here's my winter perk-me-up routine:

I give my face a light spray once a week (usually Sunday nights after I exfoliate) and it's just enough colour for me. Then, on the daily I apply Benefit's You Rebel tinted moisturizer (includes SPF) and Nars' Blush in Orgasm to keep my skin looking glowing and bright.

It might sound HM, but to me it's worth it.

Happy bronzing!

the truth

Well yesterday was my intro into the crazy land of craft fairs. I had a good day, it was a good experience and I made money BUT let's put it this way...I'm glad I have a day job. The fair wasn't as well attended as I had anticipated and most of the people just touched all my stuff and then would walk away - they weren't there to buy. My stuff is better suited for the Queen West craft crowd and thank you to my friends who came and bought stuff, I know it was tough being sandwiched between ugly jewellery and airbrushed jean jackets (who wears that stuff?).

I'm setting my sights on City of Craft for next year. That will be my goal for 2012. In the meantime I have lots of eye pillows left so if you want one just holler.


smokey eyes

Friday night the Hubs and I hit the town while L'il E was being entertained by a trifecta of grandparents. Our destination was a romantic evening wedding at the Berkeley Church. To get glam for the fancy affair my friend and make-up artist Erin gave me beautiful smokey eyes and nude lips to go with my classic black dress. I love being made up and she did a fabulous job. I felt stunning and the Hubs and I had a super fun night complete with a trip to Poutini's to finish it off. Yum!

If you're looking for a make up artist Erin is your girl. You can contact her at eringuenter [at] yahoo [dot] ca and tell her I sent you. She does it all! The vanity shots prove it!





For the passed couple of years I've been envious of The Hubs' Camper Slippers, so today I finally broke down and bought myself a pair! They're a slightly girlier design and I'm totally digging them. Now my feet won't freeze on these brisk Fall mornings.

I bought them at the NEW C Squared location on Queen Street West. Yep they have opened a new store on the west side of Spadina. So now us west-enders have everything we need in our little western bubble! Even Camper!



new bling

The annual Outdoor Art Show and Sale was on in Trinity Bellwoods Park last weekend so our little fam made an outing of it. The show was huge this year and included a lot of great art as well as jewellery and crafty stuff (my fave!). I went with the hopes of finding a simple necklace and I found just what I was looking for at Melanie LeBlanc's booth. It's a fine chain with the sweetest little pendant that looks like a little twig. I love it and it was affordable!

Check out Melanie's work. Maybe next year I'll go back for something else, but I hope to be an exhibitor.

I better get sewing!