Instagram Round-up 

Here is my mid September Instagram round-up, it’s been a busy one. 

Captions are from left to right, top to bottom. 

Sleepovers with my sun and stars|name art for a little man| lots of cupcakes for a little man| early morning baking |work life| glitter cookies| cheers| down by the water| long hair don’t care, last of the birthday celebrations| 25 with bae| besties for 25 years| birthday dinner number one 


Good hair days| summer reads| pizza on the barby | kitty snuggles| corn roasts| summer dinner| popcorn and toonies|rouge|pretending it’s fall


His and hers| feeling like fall| plaid on plaid stag and doe| shameless selfie| mani| new favourite lip colour| healthy eats| tea quotes| beavertails 


Pup pics| on point outfit| fall mushroom soup | glitter card holder| sleepy kitty| pumpkin candle time of year| dark hair dark lip and sweater| brunette|business cards. 

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Eats and Exploration

Last weekend I met a friend from work who I hadn’t seen in a few months. We had a lot to catch up on and we’ve been talking about going down to the “hip” part of town. She lives downtown and I live in the country so we met it the middle and she showed me some of her favourite places. 

We partially became good friends because we both have a slew of allergies. So she took me to a couple vegan/gluten free bakeries and then went out for lunch at one of our favourite vegan restaurants. 

Neither of us our true vegans but we are both dairy free. I still eat meat (can’t live without bacon!) but I gravitate to vegan food because it is certified to not have dairy and therefore not make me sick. 

Our first stop was a little bakery that offers vegan, gluten free and nut free treats. I had looked up their website and was excited to try their cheese cake but they didn’t have any that day. So instead I opted for a brownie which was AMAZING, and a Queen Anne cake which is basically  similar to a coffee cake with syrup and coconuts on it (I found it a bit dry). 

 Our next stop was a little vegan coffee shop. I was familiar with this shop because one of the local dairy free ice creams I’ve been wanting to try is offered there. So we went in and chatted with the owner and then decided to come back later and get some ice cream (I wanted a pint obviously). 

The ice cream is called oat and mill and it’s a dairy and gluten free ice cream derived from locally grown oats. It’s super delicious and a little healthier then the alternative, even if your not dairy free. They deliver ice cream right to your door! (If in the Ottawa or Montreal area!) 

Next,we started to walk down to the little vegan restaurant we both love, we realized we were about ten blocks away and decided to go and get my car.  

A true representation of our similarity and friendship is that we both got the exact same thing to eat, with the exception of a gluten free collards wrap for her.

We enjoyed pineapple mimosas, “blt” with tempeh bacon and avocados and kale caesar salad (don’t get me started on how delicious this is, I’m obsessed).  

   
Then we went back to the coffee shop for ice cream! We got a scoop to share of chocolate and salted caramel! It was so delicious! And I bought a pint of the salted caramel! I enjoyed some of it the next day with the brownie from the bakery.  

   
Overall, it was a great day and I want to go back and get a bunch more treats. It’s so exciting to explore new areas in the city you live in. So many gems that I never knew existed. 

*If you are from Ottawa or in the Ottawa area and want to know more about any of these amazing spots let me know and I’ll give you the deets. 

Pop the Champagne, she’s changing her last name 

My best friend, my sister from another mister, my goofy other half is getting married in 13 short days. HOLY CRAP. I’ve known her since we were fetuses, well I was a baby but she was a fetus. We met because my parents and her parents were neighbors and my mom was her day care provider, and so our relationship started with a lot of biting and fighting over my moms attention (she won most of the time). But we never grew apart, not when I moved out to the country, not when we got boy friends, not ever. We will be friends forever and I know that for a fact. 

Okay enough with the mush, as one of her maids of honour (she’s different and had two) it was mine and the others and bridesmaid to plan her last night of freedom as a non-married woman. She loves going to the casino, she collects cards, she loves gambling, and she loves champagne (who doesn’t). So we decided to rent a hotel room across the road from the casino in hull. Since I am the more creative one of the group (although mrs.Z out created me with the wall poofs… See here) I took it upon myself to make some adorable things for the shower. 

First I got  shirts made for me and the rest of the bridal party. 

  Then I used the same saying to make us our own individual champagne bottle and then one for us to share.  

 I really wanted to do before and after pictures of us the night before going out and then the morning after. We didn’t get to the after picture, for self explanatory reasons. 

 And I also made is some bridal taboo to play. 

Also it enlisted the brides aunt to make us some adorable cookies.  

 And finally I made champagne flavoured, casino decorated cupcakes.  

   
Overall it was an amazing night, but we were all a little slow the next morning and I still feel like I’m recovering. Man we are old. 

Homemade Fondant 

I hope you all had a lovely Easter. I for sure did, filled with wine, chocolate and lots of food. I spent the entire day Sunday cooking since my family decided to have both a big brunch and dinner for Easter! My tasks for the day were to 

  1. Make waffles 
  2. Make mini egg cupcakes 
  3. Make stuffing 
  4. Make escargot (yes that means snails) 
  5. And clean the kitchen every fine minutes…. 

Had I known I was being voluntold to make all this food I probably wouldn’t have taken it upon my self to try and make fondant from scratch for the cupcakes but I did! And surprisingly it was one of the easiest parts of my day! 

I found the recipe on this lovely blog and her instructions are super clear and easy to follow. Therefore, I was kinda worried it was going to be an epic fail but it wasn’t! 

I decided to make a half batch since I was only making toppings for the cupcakes and not covering an entire cake!

Here’s what you need! 

8 cups of mini marshmallows 

A couple teaspoons of water

Appx 1 kg bag of icing sugar 

Food colouring of your choice. 

*at first I was like there is no way I’m going to need a whole bag of icing sugar for a half batch but YEAH YA DO! 

Step 1: using a double boiler system melt the 8 cups of mini marshmallows, this took about ten minutes and you need to constantly stir the marshmallow to prevent them burning it is also at this point that you add a few teaspoons of water to help the marshmallows become more liquid-ey (I used 2 teaspoons) . You can also put them in the microwave for 30 second intervals but this felt like too much work.  

 Step 2: once melted, remove from heat and add your icing sugar, I added about 3/4 of the bag and stirred it in, then added the remaining and took the ball out to knead. Make sure that you put some sugar down on your counter before you start kneading or it will stick like crazy!  I also had to add more sugar as I went to prevent it from sticking. 

   
Ps. Kneading the fondant is actually such a rewarding process because the “dough” becomes basically like playdough and it’s super fun.  

 Step 3: add your colour. I was making little bunny ears so I made one ball of pink and kept one ball white. 

Step 4: roll out your dough. I have yet to make a cake covered in fondant but here’s how I made my ears. Roll your dough to about 1/4 inch thick and then use cookie cutters or free hand to cut out your shapes. I used a carrot shape to make the ears and cut off the bottoms to make them look like ears.  

 

Step 5: make your shapes. I made he pink stick to the white by simply putting a little bit of water in the back of the pink and letting it dry onto the white. To apply the ears to the cupcakes themselves I used a little dollop of butter cream to hold them in place. 

   
   
Et voila! My little bunny cupcakes! Ps they were delicious and had mini eggs in them!  

Side note: since the fondant is made of icing sugar and marshmallows it actually tastes pretty delicious unlike store bought fondant! 

 

Dairy free cheesecake 

Dairy free, gluten free,nut free and vegan, cheesecake lovers rejoice! The heavens have opened up! I found a dairy free cheese cake that I can eat, that actually taste like cheesecake!  

 I was at my local grocery store and was about to leave because I was so mad that they didn’t have the cheese I like or any pizza I could eat… Then I looked up and my dreams came true … There staring down at me was Daiya Cheezecake. If you read my post about Daiya Mac and cheese you know that in the past I haven’t been a big Daiya fan (particularly their cream cheese) but lately I’ve been changing my mind. 

I did some research to see what people had to say about the Cheezecake and the reviews were pretty good. They have four flavours, I’ve seen 3 of the 4 in my health food store (chocolate, New York style and key lime). I’ve only tried the New York style but it’s great because you can put your own spin on it!  

The first thing I tried was just the cake by itself. The flavour is spot on, the consistency is the only thing that is a bit off but if you haven’t had cheesecake in three years that’s the least of your issues. 

  The next thing I tried was putting blueberry jam on it. Blueberry cheesecake is like my favourite thing ever and I’m pretty sure it always has been, their is a home video of me as a two year old with blueberry cheesecake all over my face. 

   

 I used crofters organic jam cause it’s amazing and it was the perfect sweetness for the cheesecake. 

The next thing I tried was salted caramel, I had some caramel sauce left over from these and then added some kosher salt on top!! Soooo good. 

Lastly I put some fresh raspberries on top and that was just as good as anything else. 

  (In all seriousness this is how I ate it!) 

I recommend this 100% as you can tell, I’m really excited to try the chocolate one! 

Have you tried this?? Why did it take me so long to discover this!!

Thanks for reading! 

   
 

Health Food Haul 

I have three posts lined up for you this week, whether or not I actually get them all out this week is something else. I have a pretty important interview on the weekend that I really need to prep for as well as a few assignments due for my online course so we will see how everything adds up. 

Anyways…. In addition to all that I’m trying to keep track of eating better and going to the gym more since I have a dress fitting in a couple of weeks and I’m no where close to where I wanted to be at this point. I have a really hard time not snacking so I decided to go to the health food store and pick up a few things that’s might be better to snack on than chips and cookies. 

We have two health food store in a 20 minute radius from where I live and I’ve actually been going to one over the other because the customer service is so much better. My last two visits have been super informative and not in a pushy way.  

 Here’s what I got : 

Daiya Mac and cheese: I’ve been dying to try this and wrote a small review on the Alfredo one here, I’ll let you know what I think about this one! 

Hemp heart bites: there are great for on the go! They are little bite size crunchy pieces packed with protein! 8 pieces is 10 grams of protein! They are high in fat but I like that you can eat one or two and really feel full for a while! They are great before a work out! 

Coconut cocoa chips: these are amazing! I mostly crave crunchy and sweet food so this hits the nail on the hard! They also have other more savoury flavours I’m excited to try. 

Digestive detox tea: this doesn’t taste awful which is a plus, I don’t think you want me to keep you posted on this one 😉 

Blue monkey coconut water: this was recommended to me by the last because it is 100% coconut water. I add it to my smoothies in the morning. Coconut water has amazing health benefits and putting it in your smoothie is a good way to get it into your body if you don’t love the taste. 

Tofutti sour cream: my mom made delicious tortilla soup and it just isn’t the same without sour cream.  

 The best part of all this is that I left there and only spent 27$! That’s a steal for all this stuff! What are your favourite healthy snacks?? 

Hole guacamole! 

What’s this? a post? It’s been a few days, to be frank I’m lazy as fuck and have been laying in bed watching the Mindy Project all week. But let’s get to the point! GUACAMOLE! I’ve been told a time or two that I make a pretty good guacamole so I thought I’d share my recipe with you guys. 

I bought a bag of avocados for 5$ at Costco and was basically having one at every meal so I decided to make some guacamole! 

What you will need 

2-3 avocados 

1 tomato 

1 onion 

2-3 cloves of garlic (I like garlic!) 

Salt and pepper 

** I don’t use lemon juice because I have a sensitivity but if you want your guacamole to last a few days add a splash of lemon juice. 

   
 Finely chopped your onions (I used a slap chop) 

  Finely chop your garlic and place both in a bowl.   

 Remove the pit out of your avocado, score it and then squeeze it into the bowl. 

  
Once all your avocados are in the bowl use a potatoe masher to mix the avocado, onions and garlic! Add your salt and pepper at this point to! 

  
Once your guacamole is all mixed up, remove the seeds from your tomatoes and choppy them! Then add them to your bowl and stir it. Adding the tomatoes last will prevent them from getting all mushy and slimey.  

   
Serve chilled with tortilla chips!    
 
**if you want to keep your guacamole fresh take a piece of plastic wrap and press it down into the bowl so it touches the guacamole and then put the lid on over top, this will help the air stay out and prevent the avocado from browning.

Enjoy! Let me know if you try it! Or how you make your guacamole… Maybe I’ll give it a try! 

Also! Add me to snapchat to see some quick meal ideas and more!! simplylove.life