I woke up super-early on Saturday morning, even though the night before warranted a proper sleep-in until noon. But I had a singular purpose in mind and that was to do all my holiday shopping before the madness descended on the mall. And I can dutifully report, “Success!”
Here are some of my tried and true ways to keep your sanity and give them what they want, what they reallyx2 want this holiday season:
- Make a list & check it twice – Now that I’m older and wiser, I have no time for diddly dadlling. I create a short list of the presents I need to buy and the shops I need to go to get them. Pick up the easy items you know first (like a specific book) and leave more time for the difficult (that perfect holiday sweater). Even if you don’t get everything in one shot, at least you will leave with a sense of accomplishment.
- Wear lightweight clothing – Even if it’s bone-chill cold outside, shopping is a calorie-burning exercise. I tend to feel overheated and irritable if I pack on the layers while maneuvering many bags.
Remember, to give how you live. I don’t think it’s about how grandiose the gift but the intention. Getting someone something they would never think to get for themselves is always a crowd-pleaser. And sometimes you don’t need to buy presents. Perhaps organizing a holiday brunch or dinner is plenty to spend time with close friends and family. The best part of the holidays is celebrating.
December 1, 2013 No Comments
If you’ve been following the LC, you know I’ve been on this #juiceodyssey of late. Quite simply, I’m feeling juicer’s remorse discarding all the leftover vegetable and fruit fibers. Surely, my compost is another person’s treasure! The easiest thing I could think of making was a carrot cake, which is a cozy Sunday afternoon baking session. I asked my sister for a recipe because she is one of the best bakers I know and she referred me to an easy recipe in her Joy of Cooking. I made some modifications because I’m on a health kick and if I’m going to feed my colleagues carbs, I’m going to sneak in some healthy ingredients because I care about them. *wink*
Carrot Cake (via The Joy of Cooking)
- 1 1/3 cups whole-wheat flour (originally all-purpose flour)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (originally 1 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon all-spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup shredded pineapple (original 1/2 cup canned pineapple)
- 1 teaspoon Chia seeds (say yes to Omega-3 goodness), flax seeds would be fun too (surprise!)
- optional 1 cup raisins (no thank you)
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine all dry ingredients. Gradually fold in dry ingredients into wet. Add in carrots, pineapple and chopped walnuts.
Use a 13×9″ round or square pan. Line the bottom of the baking tin with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking oil to easily take it out when serving.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out dry. Let stand to cool and serve to your friends!
November 24, 2013 No Comments
My fashionistah bestie C was celebrating a milestone birthday and she requested that we venture east to her neck of the woods. Being completely clueless on restos in this quadrant of the city, she suggested her fave Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant (1220 Queen St. East). This is a long standing hidden gem in Leslieville, marked by a giant nose housed in a former bank. It was a wonderful choice for its eclectic décor, lively ambience (Lenny Kravitz, Biggie, oh yeah) and most of all its excellent Italian food. We tried a number of appetizers to share - the risotto balls, brussel sprouts with prosciutto and crustini. My entrée was a nicely prepared salmon with a side of rapini. We finished with a birthday platter of chocolate molten cake, tiramisu and goat’s milk cheesecake. Sooo delicious!
I lovex3 buying birthday presents for my girlfriends, especially clothes. I know it sounds really weird but I love dressing my friends. They say that I’m the only person that still buys them clothes as gifts. But I am pretty spot-on when it comes to making sure my gift choices match their styles. Dress you up in my love. Trust.
November 23, 2013 No Comments
Hmm, not sure that I know anyone that isn’t kind of, sort of, obsessed with Beyoncé. And if you told me otherwise, I would serve you some talk to the hand, “Girrl, you be craaazy.” My Ticketmaster alert did not go off because, duh, I forgot to set her as one of my favourites. Sometimes I can be such an imbecile *wink* but I didn’t waste any sad faces when I found out her shows were sold out. With my sunny disposition, I had a profound belief that if there’s a will, there’s ALWAYS a way. Trust. (the secret)
Mentioning my lack of Beyoncé tickets at the lunch table, my friend S was all about it. Step 1 Find a concert partner in crime accomplished. A few weeks later, in a follow up chat we decided we should probably be putting more effort into finding tickets. Then as luck should have it, new tickets were released. Step 2 Get tickets close enough to see B booty shake, hair flip, sweat, etcetera, etc. A done deal. Such are the spoils of fate. Never give up!
Perhaps you want to brush up on your hip hop – See 47 of Beyoncé’s Absolute Best Dance Moves on Buzzfeed.
November 17, 2013 No Comments
They said, “You’re crazy going on a detox during the holidays!” But alas, dear friends, as a lacto-ovo vegetarian, I really don’t partake in a huge turkey dinner. The only vice I truly lament is a wheel of Brie paired with those delicious Raincoast Crisps…ok maybe I’ll indulge in the occasional chocolate molten cake for dessert.
Nothing is better than winding down on a Sunday afternoon with a yoga class, cutting fruits and veggies to indie-rock and juicing. Yes, juice is a verb. While it seems radical to some to go on a juice detox, I think that adding fresh juice to my current diet will have many health benefits. Plus, it’s ridiculously fun to throw veggies down the chute. Delicious and nutritious.
Here is an easy Detox Juice Recipe:
- 2 apples
- 2 carrots
- 2 beets
- 1 orange
- 1/2 lemon
- 1″ ginger
It’s recommended to drink juices immediately to get as much nutrients as possible. Remember to store in an air tight glass container and refrigerate immediately. For a fun game, get your friend to guess the ingredients. Amazingly, my friend D named every single ingredient correctly. I was super impressed. Alas, she has a very refined tasting palette. Enjoy!
If you don’t have a juicer, you can try a lovely organic juice or smoothie from Sunshine Wholesome Market (942 College St.) This is a family run business that uses organic and local ingredients as well as sells natural health food products.
November 10, 2013 No Comments
Little French cafés are so mignon (cute, dainty), non? Today, me and A went for petit déjeuner (breakfast) at the most darling patisserie housed in a Victoria row house. The food was deliciously French and so were the waiters. It’s the kind of place where they serve you lattes with the foam shaped in a heart. And where you say no béchamel and you end up saying yes to brioche and crepes with nutella. I can’t divulge its name for fear of it becoming too popular. Sorry darlings. Some secrets have to stay in my hair. We had a very French afternoon punctuated by flirty girlish giggling. Those are the days my friend!
If you don’t know much about my French muse Catherine Deneuve, I insist you really must read on Parisian Bombshell Chic: Catherine Deneuve. Trust.
November 3, 2013 No Comments