Monday, July 24, 2017

Music for Monday: Singles You Up

Happy Monday! I am so excited to be writing this post from the beach! I had the most wonderful day at the beach yesterday and I am so excited to do it all over again today! I discovered this song a couple of weeks ago and I have had it on repeat ever since!
Single You Up - Jordan Davis

See you tomorrow with a fun & absolutely delicious vegan recipe!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites: Birthday Edition

Happy Friday, sweet readers! Today is my 21st birthday!! I am celebrating before heading off to my favorite place in the whole wide world tomorrow - the beach! Since it's my birthday, I figured I would share my very favorite things about birthdays...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Board Games Galore :)

Yesterday, I got a text from one of my most loyal blog readers (my Auntie Norma!) asking if I could share some Board Game recommendations on my blog! I love, love, love board games and was so excited about this post idea! I considered making this part of my little 'Top 5' series but I have way more than 5 board games that I love, so I'm just sharing them all!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pie Crust (day 2): Lattice Top

I've experimented with Lattice Pie Crusts in the past, but I've only recently had success. It is surprisingly easier than it looks and once you get the hang of it - it somes together so quickly! Yesterday, I talked about making pie crust (you can read that HERE) and today, I'm expanding a little bit!
Once you've lined the bottom of your pie plate with a layer of crust, and filled the pie - roll out the remaining crust. The shape is less important at this point, you could roll the dough into more of a rectangular shape.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pie Crust: Video Tutorial!

Today and tomorrow, I'm talking all about pie crust. I've shared a few pie recipes in the past and I've always included the recipe that I use for pie crust. I often get asked to share tips and/or more detailed instruction about how I do pie crust - so that's what I'm doing today!

When I shared my apple pie recipe, I shared a little about pie crust. I'll copy paste those pictures and instructions here instead of sending you clinking around! Here is the pie crust recipe that I use (it's from America's Test Kitchen - I love it!).

Monday, July 17, 2017

Music for Monday: Hozier

Today, I'm talking about Hozier!! I was listening to a Spotify playlist the other day and 'Work Song' came on. I hadn't heard any Hozier in a while, but as soon as I heard 'Work Song,' I remembered how much I love his music and I have been listening to so much Hozier since! Here are a few of my favorites...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites: 1 week 'til the beach!

Happy, happy Friday! In exactly one week, I'll be celebrating my 21st birthday before heading off to my favorite place in the whole wide world for a little beach time! I know next week will be full of good things but here are the best parts of this week...
1. This week, I got to see my friend Lauren! We had big plans to make some sort of summer-y dessert but were side tracked but the chilly weather and our craving for fall. So, we made these most delicious pumpkin rolls! I do realize that it's not October but these were to die for even in July!! I really am soaking up these summer days and enjoying a little sun, but I am so excited for the fall! If you are craving a little fall in your life too, I highly recommend these rolls! You can find the recipe HERE !

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Strawberry, Quinoa & Cashew Salad

This salad just screams summer to me! When I made this last week, my family enjoyed it with some Italian Sausages on the barbecue - it was sooo good! The Bean has loved lending a hand in the kitchen this summer, but all she wants to do is stir!! She was thoroughly unimpressed with this salad, because there is very little stirring to be done! I was worried she wouldn't eat the salad (she tends to be less willing to try if she isn't involved in the process!) but she loved the salad! This got rave reviews all around!

I found the recipe on Julia's Album, you can find it HERE. I swapped out the peaches for Nectarine (an intentional change) and used much less spinach than called for (an unintentional change), but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nanaimo Bars

On Canada Day, I was wanting to make a festive treat for my family to have. But I didn't want to go crazy with white and red - I wanted it to be festive and a little patriotic without screaming Canada :). Nanaimo Bars are named after a city on Vancouver Island in British Columbia called Nanaimo! They are one of my favorite treats and they are so fun to bake!

Nanaimo bars are composed of 3 layers - the bottom is a mixture of chocolate, coconut and graham crackers, the middle layer is a custard then the top layer is made from melted chocolate -so good!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (a.k.a. the easiest dinner ever!!)

My family had this casserole for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I have been anxiously waiting to share it! This is the easiest recipe, so easy that I only took 6 (SIX!!) pictures while I was making it!! I found this recipe on Jo Cooks, you can find it HERE. I found the recipe a little bland - it was tasty but just lacking a little something! In the future, I would chop up some avocado and serve the casserole with a little avocado and salsa on the side.

Start by cooking 1 cup of dry Basmati rice (to end up with 2 cups of cooked Basmati rice) and cooking 1-2 chicken breasts (I used 2 small chicken breasts). I boiled the chicken until it was cooked through then removed it from the boiling water and let it cool in a mixing bowl. Once the chicken is cooled, shred it using 2 forks.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Music for Monday: David Gray

I have been all about David Gray lately! I love so much of his music - I especially love it when my crew is outside enjoying a fire on a cool summer evening! Many of his songs have been on repeat lately! Here are a few of my faves...

Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday Favorites: 2 weeks 'til the beach!!

These summer days are so much fun. Today, I'm sharing the best things about this first week of July - Enjoy!

1. I made some delicious salads this weeks - on Wednesday night, my family had an Apple, Cranberry and Walnut salad for dinner (you can find the recipe HERE).

Thursday, July 6, 2017

My Latest Cricut Projects

The Bean has been scoring big time with all of the cricut crafting I've been doing lately! She requested a shirt that said 'Killin' It' and I said 'huh?' I was confused! She said the shirt needs to be black with an outlined white rectangle with Killin' It written inside. I just followed her careful instructions and the shirt turned out so cute! It came together so easily - I picked up a black shirt from Michael's and used some white vinyl that I already had!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Walk Around Taco Salad

I have heard this fun dip called many different things - 7 layer dip (this just makes me yawn), trash (this grosses me out! Who wants to eat trash!?) and Walk Around Taco Salad (it's a mouthful, but I think it's the most fun of the three names I've heard!). So, I'm sticking with Walk Around Taco Salad, but what do you call this dip? Have you heard a different name!?

I don't follow a recipe when I'm making this chip dip. I just layer some yummy taco seasonings in a pyrex dish and call it a day! You can exclude any of the layers or substitute a layer with something you prefer. You could even add a whole extra layer! I love how flexible this dip is and how easily it comes together!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers

As I was cooking these stuffed peppers last week I realized - Almost everything I cook has Italian Sausage in it! I mean, I love Italian sausages but I didn't realize how much I love them! As much as I love them, I'm making a serious effort to track down recipes that don't include them! These stuffed peppers were soooo delicious! I found the recipe on Will Cook for Smiles, you can find it HERE. I stuck pretty close to the original recipe but I will detail the changes I made below.

Start by cooking 1 cup of dry long grain rice, to end up with 2 cups of cooked rice. Let the rice sit while you make the rest of the filling.
Heat half a tablespoon of live oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice up a medium yellow onion and saute it with 1 minced clove of garlic.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Music for Monday: Rainbow Connection

Happy July! I heard The Rainbow Connection by Sleeping at Last a few months ago and it instantly became a favorite of mine! My mom used to sing The Rainbow Connection to me when she was putting me to sleep as a baby; so it will always be close to my heart! Until hearing the version by Sleeping at Last, the only other rendition I'd heard was by Kermit the Frog - which is not something I want to listen to on a regular basis! I love many other covers that Sleeping at Last has released but Rainbow Connection is my all time favorite!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday Favorites: Happy Canada Day!

Tomorrow is Canada Day and Canada is turning 150!! On Canada Day, my family typically goes to a local park that hosts activities and outdoor concerts. At dinner time, we walk home for a little barbecue - often with family friends! And then we head back to the park for fireworks! Canada Day means summer to me and I am so excited to kick off summer with my favorite people! Since it's Canada Day, I am talking about my favorite things about being Canadian today!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lemon Squares

This recipe is a long time coming - one of my best friends, Alex has been making these lemon squares forever and I have been begging to have the recipe! Alex claims that this recipe is a big family secret. She finally agreed to let me in on the secret recipe on the condition that my readers keep it on the down low ;)

A couple of weeks ago, Alex and I got together for a little bake day and we made these lemon squares. After baking, I uploaded all of the pictures onto my Google drive but I deleted the pictures before they had a chance to upload - so I lost all of the pictures. I texted her in a panic and she said she had to make more soon, so I could join her again! I am so excited to finally be sharing this recipe - it is one of my favorite desserts of all time!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Chicken & Sausage Cajun Jambalaya

I made this Jambalaya a couple of weeks ago for my family and we all fell in love! It is so easy to make and results in very few dishes! I found the recipe on Gluten Free with LB, you can find it HERE. In the future, I would half this recipe - we're only four in my house so we had so much left over Jambalaya!!

Start by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil a large pot. Then add 12 ounces of Italian Sausage - I used 4 Italian sausages. Cook the sausage for 2-3 minutes until it starts to cook. Then add 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Cook the chicken and sausage over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through (about 8-10 minutes). Then, remove the chicken and sausage from the pot and set it aside.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What I did instead of writing this post...

I had every intention of posting the most delicious Jambalaya recipe today. But instead of doing blog work yesterday, I just enjoyed the day. I did a yoga class, I enjoyed some tea on the back deck and I read. It was such a perfect day after a full week and weekend!
I grabbed Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon when I was at Target a few weeks ago because I had heard great things about it! I started it yesterday morning and I finished it last night! I could not put it down! It was so captivating! The main character and narrator of the story allows the reader to look at life from a very different perspective while still be relatable. This book is the main reason there is no recipe post today - I just wanted to read all day!!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Music for Mondays: Good To Be Alive Today

This weekend was so full of goodness! My sweet friend, Hannah came into town at the end of last week and her parents joined the party over the weekend! We got to do a breakout room (so much fun!), go a to a climbing gym, celebrate St-Jean Baptiste (Quebec's national holiday), and I was introduced to some great new songs!! Hannah's parents had just seen Michael Franti in concert and they were raving about it! I have heard a few of his songs before but I am much better versed in Michael Fanti after this weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites

This week was one of the very best I've had in a long time. It was busy, but oh so good!

1. The Bean' school had its closing ceremony this week and after the ceremony, we stopped by a place called the Diperie downtown. It was so much fun! The Bean got her ice cream dipped in oreo chocolate then topped with gummie bears - I mean, I would never go for this combination but she was in ice cream heaven! I got vanilla ice cream dipped in mint chocolate and rolled in oreos! It was such a good combo and the most delicious dessert!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Berry Tart

I made this tart over the weekend for a dinner with family thinking it would be a great summer dessert. Well, not only was it a great summer dessert, it was delicious! The crust was just like a shortbread cookie, the filling is light with a little bit of orange flavor and the berries on top just put it over the edge! I found the recipe on Simply Recipes, you can find it HERE.
Start by making the crust in the food processor - Pulse 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/8 teaspoon of salt together.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beach Themed Summer Banner

Happy, happy summer!! I love how much sunlight we get during the summer and I have really been enjoying the longer days! This banner is one of my more recent cricut projects and it's not strung in my house because I actually made it as a gift! This banner was so much fun to make, here's how I did it:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Collagen: How & Why (among other things!)

Before I start talking about collagen, I should preface with how this all started... As a young teenager, I straightened my hair every single day (ugh!), I had my nails painted almost all of the time (but I didn't do it properly, I just put two coats of nail polish on and called it a day) and I just couldn't figure out a routine that minimized acne! At 16, I had really thin hair, super brittle nails and acne scarring - awesome right!?

A couple things have helped in the nails, skin & hair departments...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Music for Mondays: Halsey

Back in January, I shared a guilty pleasure song and I still have moments where I think ah! I should not have put that on the internet! But the purpose of these Music for Monday posts is to share music that I am really listening to! Part of me is so uncomfortable sharing music that conveys a message that I do not support at all. But the other part of me just gives in to the fun of the music. So although I do not support or partake in anything Halsey sings about, I'm giving in to the fun today and sharing 3 songs that I just cannot get enough of!
Bad At Love - Halsey

Eyes Closed - Halsey

Heaven in Hiding - Halsey

I should warn that all three of these songs are explicit, but with this warning I want to share one of my very favorite memories...

Once when I was 4 or 5 years old,  I was in the car with my mom and she was singing along to Sunday Morning After by Amanda Marshall (Side note: I can't believe I've never posted about Amanda Marshall as a Music for Monday! I love her! I just noted in my planner to do that soon!)

Sunday Morning After - Amanda Marshall
 This song is still one of my favorites to this day! :)

Well, my mama sang the line "It's the Sunday morning after and baby who the hell are you?"And I remember being so shocked it took me a second to recover and ask her why on earth she would swear. She looked at me in the rear view mirror and said "If you're singing along to a song, you're allowed to swear." We have laughed about this so much since, but I so clearly remember my little self trying to process this rule in my head.

Keep my mama's rule in mind while listening to Halsey, ok? ;) Have a great Monday, sweet readers!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! It's finally starting to feel like summer around here and I am getting so excited for all of the summer festivities - barbecues, bonfires, the beach and more!! Here are some of my favorite from this week:

1. A few months ago, I mentioned that I started adding Collagen to my Smoothies and lately I've able to notice the impacts it's having! I especially notice the impact in my nails - they are crazy strong! I was talking to a friend recently about collagen and she was so intrigued! She suggested I do a blog post to talk about how and why I use it! So, I have that planned for next week and I am so excited to share one of my new favorite finds!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chocolate Chip Cookies [updated]

About a year ago, I shared a chocolate chip cookie recipe that at the time was my favorite. I had spent months (maybe years!) trying out different chocolate chip cookie recipes and that one was my favorite. So I used it over and over again and eventually it just stopped being great - the cookies would burn badly around the edges or spread out to be really thin. The recipe was just so inconsistent for me! It might still work for you & I had several great successes with those cookies but I decided to switch!

I decided to try the recipe that comes with the bag of Toll House chocolate chips. Mainly because in the movie ELF, Buddy says "Then, we'll eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough!" Well, I totally get why Buddy wants to eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough because these cookies were perfection! I will be sticking with this recipe from here on out!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Today, I'm sharing another exciting gluten free recipe. I've shared several strawberry rhubarb recipes in the past, so the only thing that is really different about this is the gluten free crumble. You can easily sub regular flour and oats into the crumble for a not gluten free treat! Last year, I tried a strawberry rhubarb pie for the first time and I fell in love! For the longest time, I thought rhubarb was just glorified celery :) But it is so much better than I expected! I am now the biggest strawberry rhubarb fan!! I found this recipe on a blog called Texan Erin Baking, you can find it HERE.
Start by mixing 2 cup of hulled strawberries (I slice mine into smaller pieces) and 2 cups of chopped rhubarb together in a medium mixing bowl.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Bacon & Spinach Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

I've been trying so many gluten free recipes lately because my mom has gone gluten free and this was my very first success!! I've had a few successes since this yummy quiche and I am looking forward to sharing all of my gluten free adventures! I have to say, I like this quiche even better than quiche with regular crust! The sweet potato compliments the filling of the quiche nicely! I would really encourage you to try this even if you aren't gluten free!

I found this recipe on Rachel Cooks - you can find it HERE.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Music for Monday: Kris Allen (again!)

Last week, I stumbled upon Kris Allen's most recently released acoustic album and it is all I have listened to since. On a Music for Monday post back in September, I gushed all about Kris Allen (you can find that post HERE) and today, I'm just adding to that collection! Also, I finally got around to changing up my Music for Mondays graphic!! I was never really into the old one and it bothered me every time I used it! So, I'm very excited to be using a more subtle graphic and to be sharing more Kris Allen!!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! As usual, I'm linking up with a few other bloggers to share the best things from my week!

1. In between the Bean's shows last weekend, I got to open my Erin Condren planner!! I was so excited to unbox it and it did not disappoint at all! Every little detail in the planner is just stunning & so well thought out! I'm really looking forward to using it over the next year!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Baking with the Bean: Breakfast Omelet Muffins

The Bean is in exams right now and was looking for a little break from studying and suggested a little Baking with the Bean segment! I was happy to oblige especially because I've had these fun muffins on my 'to make' list forever! So, with my sidekick in toe I made some muffins that I am so excited to share with you today!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Candy Bouquets

In my Friday Favorites last week, I mentioned that I was working on a fun treat to give the Bean after her dance recital. Well, it as it turned out, The Bean got a candy bouquet but so did her three dance teachers and her favorite dance friend!

This idea came to be as I did not want to give her the typical flowers after her recital, but I wanted to get her something! And I wanted it to be something good and memorable. Well, this girl loves candy, so what better to give than candy!? I did a little Pinterest research then I put my own twist on these fun candy bouquets!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Personal Narratives in Second Grade

Teaching is something that I didn't initially intend to post about on my blog. When I started to develop the lesson that I'm sharing today, I thought it might be a fun one to share. But when I got to teach the lesson and see how effective it was, I knew I had to share it! This lesson was developed with inspiration from Pinterest as well as guidance from my cooperating teacher! We used several ideas from True Life I'm a Teacher while developing this lesson.

The second grade classroom that I was in were coming to the end of a unit that focused on situating themselves in place and time. Throughout the unit, they discussed time zones, they made personal timelines, they read books about people who live in different parts of the world and people who lived at different times throughout history, they explored vocabulary to help them express where they are in place and time and more! To close the unit, the students had to write a personal narrative to add to their portfolios and I got to teach the lesson to introduce Personal Narratives! Here is how I did it...

First, I wrote this out on a flip chart at the front of the classroom. I did this before the kids got to school - most times, I think it's effective to make the flip chart with the students present, but in this case, I did it before.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Music for Mondays: Moana!

On Friday evening, I finally had the opportunity to see Moana! It was such a good movie & the music is especially magnificent! If you have yet to see Disney's latest flick, I highly recommend it for a family movie night - so good!! Here are a few of my favorite songs from the movie...
How Far I'll Go - Auli'i Cravalho
I had heard this song several times before seeing the movie and out of context, it made no sense to me. I was actually reluctant to see the movie just because this song had me so confused! However, once I understood the story, I totally understood this song! And it's beautiful! It is reprised several times throughout the movie and just as good each time!