Spring Refresh

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Now that Spring has made it’s grand return, I am preparing for the warmer days ahead by refreshing my daily routine – mostly by starting each day with a fresh, healthy, meal. In the winter months I mostly eat avocado toast for breakfast. It’s an almost daily occurrence. Other days I might switch it up with some oatmeal, but truly I am very boring with my meals during the fall and winter months.

Once spring and summer roll around, I like to have something fresher and lighter to start my day – and I get a smidge more creative. Today I am sharing a few of my favourite quick and easy vegan** breakfasts that I love to keep in rotation.

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Old Navy Floral Blouse | Old Navy Overalls | Vionic Wedge Sandals c/o | Ray-Ban Aviators

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First up, smoothies.

One of my favourite quick and easy breakfasts on the go is a berry smoothie. The one I have in this post is from my favourite smoothie and juice shop, Fresh Addicts, though most days I make one for myself and bring it with me to work in a mason jar.

I make my morning smoothie with:

1 banana

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/2 cup soy or coconut milk

1 tbs hemp hearts

1 tsp coconut oil

I am by no means a nutritionist, though I have had some who have recommended a few things to me when it comes to having smoothies in the morning. Having blended fruit in the morning can spike your blood sugar, which is why I add the hemp hearts and coconut oil to my smoothie. Having these healthy fats slows down how quickly your body processes those sugars, meaning less of a chance of spiking your blood sugar then crashing shortly after.

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Acai bowls are another one of my morning favourites. I tend to have these on the weekends since I tend to spill on myself half the time I eat a smoothie bowl. When we get them from a restaurant I find they are much thicker so I don’t tend to make such a mess, though they are much more expensive.

When making them at home I use:

1 Acai packet from Sambazon

1 banana

1/4 cup coconut milk

I then top my Acai bowls with fresh berries, banana, granola, and coconut chips

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The breakfast I’ve eaten the past two mornings are this vegan yogurt parfait.

I use:

1/2 cup Silk vegan coconut yoghurt

1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries

1/4 cup granola

I also top this with a small handful of coconut chips

I love these light, refreshing, and easy to make vegan breakfast to renew my daily routine and get me into the swing of springtime. If you have any easy vegan (and nut free) breakfasts you enjoy, I would love to hear them!

** I’m not vegan, though I try to mostly eat plant based since I have a dairy allergy

This post is brought to you by Vionic, all opinions are my own.

Holiday Hostess Gift Guide

Holiday Hostess Gift Guide

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

Happy November! I love this month, mostly because it’s the beginning of the Christmas season, and it’s my birthday this week!

Josh and I, like many others, already have many weekends packed with dinner parties. With all of these parties around the corner I rounded up some of my top picks for hostess gifts. I love to bring little things that are both useful and fun, particularly the wine and dinosaur planter – I’ve had a love of dinosaurs since I was five, broke my collar bone, had to stay in during recess while it was the dinosaur unit.

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Apple Picking

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Turtleneck Sweater c/o Tobi | Denim | Booties | Sunglasses

Over the long weekend Josh and I headed to one of our local farms, Chudleigh’s, to pick apples for Thanksgiving dessert. One of the things I love most about where we live is that it is such a short drive to many local farms and farmers markets, while also being able to quickly hop on the highway and get into Toronto within in hour. Though I spent a number of years going to school and working in downtown Toronto, I definitely prefer this slower country life (never though I would say that).

With fall like weather earlier in the weekend I was in the mood to finally break out some of my cozy knits, and bake all the apple pies! This blush turtleneck was perfect for the brisk temperatures we had and would be so cute layered over a blouse!

With a couple Thanksgiving dinners, and the very full bag of apples we picked up at Chudleigh’s I decided to whip up a couple vegan apple pies. If you’re vegan, or dairy free like me, apple pie is such a simple dessert to make! I didn’t tell my in-laws that the pie was vegan until after they told me it was better than store bought 🙂

Below is my recipe (for a larger size pie dish):

Pre-heat your oven for 375 degrees

For the dough:

  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1.5 cups Vegan Becel
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Mix flour and sugar, add in half of the Vegan Becel, mix with the flour and sugar mixture, then add in the other half. I find it easiest to mix this with my hands.

Once the Becel and flour/sugar mixture turns to coarse crumbs, slowly add in the ice water, continuing to mix.

When the dough forms into a ball, wrap it in Saran Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

For the filling:

  • 8 cups (approximately 5-6 large) apples
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all spice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Core and thinly slice the apples.

Mix all ingredients in a large pot, cover, and cook on low to medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the apple slices have softened and are coated in the spice and sugar mixture.

Once the dough has been refrigerated for 30 minutes, take it out and unwrap the dough. I find it easiest to cover my counter with piece of Saran Wrap covering slightly larger area than the size of my pie dish, I also put a layer of Saran on top of the dough before rolling it out. Section out half the dough, roll it into a ball then flatten against the Saran as best you can. Cover with the other layer of Saran and roll it out to slightly bigger than the pie dish. Repeat this step for the top half of dough.

Place this first half of the dough in the pie dish, fill it with the apple mixture, then place the top half of dough on top of your pie, cutting slits in the center for vents.

Place the pie in the oven at 375 for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 for another 25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown. Enjoy!

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Lavender Love

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White Lace Dress (similar, all lace option) | Sandals (similar & available in more sizes)| Aviators | Glassware

One of my favourite places to go during the summer is the Terre Bleu Lavender Farm. It’s such a beautiful and relaxing place to visit! We went last year right before the end of the season when some of the lavender had already been harvested, and it was rather busy. This year, we went on a Friday right at the peak of the season and it was such a great experience.

When you first arrive at Terre Bleu you go through their shop full of lots of goodies. There are a number of products available for sale, all of which looked great, my favourites being the lavender bath bomb and lemonade. You would think that lavender lemonade, ice cream, or ice cream sandwiches might be a little strange but they are SO good!

Though I can no longer have dairy (tear) I can still enjoy a good lemonade, one of my favourite summer drinks. The week we went to the lavender farm I happened to go to a restaurant that has an adult version of this lemonade, it’s so dang delicious and pretty simple to make.

Recipe:

  • 2 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 tsp. Dried Lavender
  • 1 tbsp. Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz Sparkling Water or Club Soda
  • Garnish with lemon slices and more lavender if you please 🙂

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