Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Adult-ish


The last few years have been huge for me when it comes to developing my emotional and psychological maturity. As someone whose interests lay closest to those of a thirteen year old girl, it can sometimes be confusing to know which qualities to let go of and which ones I should hold on to. Though I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with my Disney Princess obsession, or being the only person over 11 on the playground with my cousins, I think it's important to find balance between acting like a kid, while also having a good grasp on adult responsibilities and behaviour.


With that being said, what do you call yourself when you feel like you're getting a hang of the whole 'adulting' thing, but still have a closet full of stuffed toys? What do you call yourself when you're not a teenager anymore, but you're still not sure what it means to be in your mid-twenties? When I saw this t-shirt, I knew exactly how to describe this current stage of life: adult-ish.


My definition of adult-ish means I wake up early every day to go to work, but turn on Riverdale or read a young adult novel the second I get home. It means that my idea of fun is no longer partying until 2 a.m., and instead I choose to stay in and bake or read or watch Netflix instead. Adult-ish means I can sit down and have a deep and mature conversation when necessary, but that I still don't take myself too seriously. Adult-ish means that I find just as much pleasure in skipping down the street to get ice cream as I do strutting in a pair of high heels to a nice restaurant.


I've always thought that it was silly to use hobbies and interests to classify age. When you think about it, age is really just a perception of time, and you are only as young or as old as you truly feel. Up until last summer, my signature outfit was a dress with ice cream cones all over it and a pair of heart-shaped sunglasses. I still have songs from Hannah Montana and High School Musical on my dance playlists, and Disney marathons are something my weekends know all too well.


So here's what I want to know: If I'm working a 9-5 job, paying my own bills, living relatively debt free, and have settled into a mature relationship at the age of 25, who's to say I can't act and feel like a kid every now and again? We possess some pretty incredible qualities when we are children that could do us a lot of good as we grow older. Innocence, creativity, curiosity, fearlessness - those are things we should hold on to, not leave behind. Sure there is a line to be drawn in terms of how naive or childish or youthful one should act, and there's definitely a time and place, but in my opinion it is possible to keep a sense of adolescence without developing full-blown Peter Pan syndrome.


I like to think of myself as an old soul with a young spirit, meaning I have the ability to view life with a mature mind, while still maintaining a demeanor that is playful, and even slightly naive at times. I'm not ignorant, but I consciously choose to see the world through rose-coloured glasses, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Being adult-ish is my favourite state so far in life, as I have found perfect balance between learning how to mature and grow, while still staying young at heart.


What is your definition of adult-ish? Do you agree that it's important to hold onto those core child-like characteristics? I would love to know your thoughts, so comment below with your answers! xx

Shop the look: T-shirt - Styles by Strut // Pants - Zara (similar here) // Heels - Christian Louboutin (and here) // Bag - Louis Vuitton // Sunglasses - Little Burgundy (similar here) // Hat - Holt Renfrew (similar hereand here)

With love,

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably noticed yesterday's post where I talked about my latest source of inspiration - blogger and Youtuber Mimi Bouchard. I was following Mimi because she just joined one of my favourite TV shows, Made in Chelsea. She's originally from Toronto, and the first Canadian to join this British series. While looking at her Instagram story last week, I noticed she had posted a video on why people judge, and how to deal with online bullying. At the time, I wasn't even aware she had a Youtube channel, so I was instantly intrigued. After watching some of her videos on changing your mind, keeping your health on track, and training tips, I felt this wave of motivation take over my body - something I had recently been lacking.

As a blogger (and just a human being in general), I go through ups and downs of motivation boosts. Over the last couple of weeks, I started to get into a slump where I wasn't as motivated as I wanted myself to be. But I wasn't unhappy. In fact, that was the problem - I was just a little too comfortable with everything in my life as it was. You know when you hear something and you realize that it's exactly what you needed to hear at that exact moment? That's what happened to me when I watched Mimi's videos. Best of all, it was so unexpected. I definitely didn't think I would come across something so deep from someone I discovered through what I would call the British version of The Hills (on that note, if you loved The Hills and haven't watched Made in Chelsea you definitely have to check it out.)

One of my favourite motivational Mimi videos.

I'm the type of person that when I'm really interested in something, I get so absorbed in everything about it. I might be biased because of how much I love Made in Chelsea, but all in all I honestly just related to a lot of what Mimi was saying. I started reading the articles on her online magazine, and started browsing through the health and fitness section to see if she had any recipes. Whenever I admire someone, especially from a health and fitness perspective, I always want to know what they like to eat. Cause really, is there anything more important in life than food?


When I came across this cupcake recipe on Mimi Bee, I knew I had to make them. Not only do I love chocolate, but I especially love it when it comes in the form of a guilt-free treat. These cupcakes make the perfect dessert if you are trying to eat clean and healthy. They are dairy-free, gluten-free, and (almost) refined sugar-free (seriously - have you ever tried to find chocolate chips that are both dairy-free and sugar-free). I haven't tried to make a vegan version of these, but I'm guessing you could probably substitute the eggs with 'flax eggs' to make them 100% plant-based. As I talked about in my last blog post, when I visited Sweet Hart Kitchen, I love eating guilt-free sweets. It's so important to be able to give into our cravings in a healthy way, and clean desserts really help to accomplish that.


These cupcakes were so delicious, and even my boyfriend who doesn't normally go for the healthy dessert trend loved them. His favourite part was the icing, and he couldn't believe it when I told him that it was made out of avocado. It sounds weird, but avocado makes the best base for healthy chocolate icing, chocolate mousse, and smoothies. As long as you don't eat too much of it in a day, it's one of the best healthy fats to incorporate into your diet.


To top everything off, I sprinkled extra chocolate chips and coconut chips on top of the cupcakes, giving them an even sweeter and crunchier texture. The toppings are optional, but a delicious touch. I actually hadn't tasted coconut chips prior to making these cupcakes and was impressed with how tasty they were! Since lately I've been baking more adventurous, pastry-like desserts, I forgot how easy basic, healthy treats are to make. If you like these healthy dessert options, comment below and let me know.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
Original recipe from Wellness by Stella

Ingredients
CUPCAKES:
-¾ cup coconut flour
-½ tsp baking soda
-pinch sea salt
-¼ cup cocoa powder
-1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
-6 eggs
-1/3 cup agave or honey
-1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup raw carob chips (or semisweet organic chocolate chips)

ICING:
-1 avocado, mashed well
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-½ cup cocoa powder
-½ cup honey or agave

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin tins with parchment liners and set aside. In a bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until completely combined. Add the coconut oil, the sweetener of your choice, and the vanilla extract to the eggs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Fold in the carob chips until evenly distributed. Let sit for a few minutes or until the coconut flour has absorbed most of the liquid. Scoop batter into prepared muffin trays filling each one almost to the top. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

2. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the icing. Place all ingredients in a blender or mixer and beat over medium-high speed until it is creamy and smooth, with no visible avocado lumps left over. Cover and chill until ready to assemble.

3. Once the cupcakes are done, allow them to cool completely before icing. Top each with a generous helping of the avocado frosting and garnish with coconut chips and/or more carob chips.

I love finding mounds of motivation all at one time and in one place too! Where do you get your motivation? Do you prefer healthy desserts or ones full of sugar? Who are some of your favourite YouTubers? I would love to know your answers to all of these questions, so comment below and let me know!

With love,

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Friday, May 12, 2017

Spread the Joiy


I was so excited when I received an invite to attend the Joiy luncheon at Wish Restaurant last week. Before then, I had never heard of Joiy wine, but I was instantly blown away by the beautiful, robin's egg blue packaging the second I looked them up. The event could not have been held in a better setting. Wish has always reminded me of a rustic, British cottage, with an atmosphere that is casual, yet cute. The venue, which was already a favourite of mine, truly showcased the fun-loving, bohemian feel of the Joiy brand.


For those of you who have never heard of Joiy wine, it is a sparkling wine made up of a blend of grapes from New Zealand and Australia. When I drink wine, I prefer something that is light and fruity, which is probably why I loved the taste of Joiy from the moment I took my first sip. As I was looking at the slim and stylish cans, I realized that they really didn't even look like alcohol - which would make them the ideal drink to bring to the beach or boating at a cottage. From an environmental  and safety standpoint, the can is such a great idea because it reduces waste, as well as the risk of broken glass.


Though it tastes great on it's own, I loved the Joiy-based cocktails that were served to us. My favourite was the St. Joiy, which is a combination of Joiy, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur and lemon, served over ice. The second drink, the Aperol Joiy, was a nice twist on the classic Aperol Spritz. Sparkling wine based cocktails are my absolute favourite, so this was such a treat for me. You can find both recipes over here on the Joiy website.


The drinks went perfectly with the eclectic three course meal that was served to us. It was so hard to choose from dishes like crab cakes, wild spot prawns and smashed avocado toast, but ultimately I settled on the arugula salad, mussels (in Joiy nonetheless) and frites. I was so full by the end of the second course, that it was nearly impossible to finish my apple crumble parfait.


It was so nice getting to know the Joiy crew over lunch. They had come all the way from Australia and New Zealand to promote their drink here in Canada. To me, it makes a difference to meet the creators behind a brand, and even more of a difference when they turn out to be so warm and friendly like Joiy Director and Founder Chris Archer and his team were. My friend Jessica from Diary of a Toronto Girl (check out her blog if you haven't already heard of it!) had an amazing time and were so blessed to be a part of this lovely afternoon.


Joiy wine can be found at the LCBO and I would highly recommend giving it a shot this summer. Personally, I know I'll definitely be stocking my fridge with it. Joiy and Carlaw Communications, the co-hosts of the event, also sent us away with our very own personalized Joiy flutes. When I looked at mine, I thought it would be such a cute gift to give in a Bridesmaid box, or for a Bachelorette party. If you want to get one for yourself, or gift a friend with one, you can get one over here.


Thank you again to Joiy and Carlaw Communications for hosting such an incredible event! It's days like these that make me so happy I'm a blogger and make all the hard work worthwhile. Everyone needs an afternoon to unwind, relax and have fun, which is exactly what I got out of this day.

With love,

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