Mental Shifts

Its been quite some time since I’ve made any sort of post - and this likely my first ever post where I feel like exposing some of my thoughts.

Now that the beginning of January has come and gone, the resolution I made no longer feels like a resolution. It is an intentional goal and new way of how I want to live my life. My resolution wasn’t to lose weight, make more money, or gain more followers - although I wouldn’t mind accomplishing those things. My resolution, and now intention, was to do less. Thats it. Do. Less.

2018 was a crazy year. When I say crazy, I mean, it was a crap year. I was unhappy at work, felt stuck in a rut, and over the course of a few months, lost two people who were so important to me. I mostly just felt…sad. A lot. And instead of enriching my life with meaningful moments, I filled it with clutter. Instead of pushing through issues, I piled on bandaid. I worked late every night, signed up for online interior design courses, took baking classes on weekends, joined a softball team, started a mini candy business, and just filled every waking moment of spare time that I had. I have always loved being busy, but over committing to things stopped me from doing things that mattered. My commitments forced me to turn down time with friends and family. My commitments made it easy to find excuses to neglect my mind and body. My commitments took my time, energy, and money without giving much value in return.

Doing less for me in about prioritization. Focusing on things that truly make me feel happy and healthy - giving the much needed TLC to my mind on body. This will be a year filled with great memories with family and friends. I’ll save more money for things that matter, like travel, my health, and my future. I’m excited to not burden myself with time commitments, financial commitments, and deadlines. I’m excited to give my career the best of me every day, and take care of myself the way I deserve.

I’m looking forward to sharing more as I clear the way for exciting things to happen!

Trader Joes Staples

other title ideas for this post included:

  • I have issues

  • I complain how hard it is to save money yet spend all of mine at Trader Joes

  • came for one thing, stayed for everything

  • help, I been Trader Joe’d

I am in the camp of people who truly believes that we, as Canadians, deserve a Trader Joes. Pirate Joe is a personal hero of mine (see: google). I don’t particularly enjoy being asked at the US & Canada border if I bought anything. I find that they don’t share the excitement of the “haul”. Therefore, as Canadians, I feel that we should be able to go to a Trader Joes in our own country and geek out over everything we purchased but didn’t need with like-minded individuals.

That being said, I bought some things. I was in the States overnight which meant I was allowed to spend some money and bring things home. Here are some staple-ish items I love lately.

These dressings are so damn good. I’m a hyooge fan of the almond butter turmeric one.

These dressings are so damn good. I’m a hyooge fan of the almond butter turmeric one.

so I know this is seasonal. But if I put it out into the universe that I want this forever, then maybe it will happen. Listen closely universe, because this is really great as a pizza sauce and I’d like to continue using it.

so I know this is seasonal. But if I put it out into the universe that I want this forever, then maybe it will happen. Listen closely universe, because this is really great as a pizza sauce and I’d like to continue using it.

It is rare that I don’t like a cheese. I like almost all cheeses. From stinky blue cheese all the way to cheese strings that I’ve peeled into wacky hair dudes, I’m about it. But then you take two great cheeses and blend them into one cheese…and THEN you put it on pizza with the aforementioned harvest alfredo and some pancetta…well then we’re gonna have problems.

It is rare that I don’t like a cheese. I like almost all cheeses. From stinky blue cheese all the way to cheese strings that I’ve peeled into wacky hair dudes, I’m about it. But then you take two great cheeses and blend them into one cheese…and THEN you put it on pizza with the aforementioned harvest alfredo and some pancetta…well then we’re gonna have problems.

these are so great. I always buy multiple bags of these when I’m at TJs, or ask other people to buy them for me. Throw them in a trail mix, yogurt, or eat them as is. Baking with them is a dream because they perfectly capture the raspberry flavour without adding a bunch of water (think: pulse them into a powder and mix into a buttercream…yum).

these are so great. I always buy multiple bags of these when I’m at TJs, or ask other people to buy them for me. Throw them in a trail mix, yogurt, or eat them as is. Baking with them is a dream because they perfectly capture the raspberry flavour without adding a bunch of water (think: pulse them into a powder and mix into a buttercream…yum).

just…buy these in multiples of 3, and thank me later

just…buy these in multiples of 3, and thank me later

these are a delicious, low carb snack. The only thing that really pisses me off is that like 2/3 of the bag is air, and I haven’t figured out how to turn air into more crispy broccoli florets.

these are a delicious, low carb snack. The only thing that really pisses me off is that like 2/3 of the bag is air, and I haven’t figured out how to turn air into more crispy broccoli florets.

this can UP your hot sauce game

this can UP your hot sauce game

ou ya you bet I’m basic but this is a STAPLE

ou ya you bet I’m basic but this is a STAPLE

21 spices that I cannot identify when all mixed together, however taste great on tuna

21 spices that I cannot identify when all mixed together, however taste great on tuna

onion is great and so is this

onion is great and so is this

the sesame in this is so crunchy and lovely and just not a common chocolate flavour. I approve

the sesame in this is so crunchy and lovely and just not a common chocolate flavour. I approve

I dont like Reese’s but I like these. Buy these and keep them in the fridge and eat them cool..mmm

I dont like Reese’s but I like these. Buy these and keep them in the fridge and eat them cool..mmm

not TJs, but what is a visit to the U.S without a trip to target? Bonus points for buying all the sparkling water, and convincing your sister to carry it in the house for you.

not TJs, but what is a visit to the U.S without a trip to target? Bonus points for buying all the sparkling water, and convincing your sister to carry it in the house for you.

what are your staples? what are your favourite seasonal items?

Disney Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2018

When I was able to convince both my dad AND my boyfriend to go to Disney for a day, I thought I was being tricked. It seemed highly unlikely that two grown men (one who doesn't do particularly well in the heat, and one who groans at most things Disney) would agree to go in the scorching Florida heat.

epcot

They also let ME pick the park. I watched enough YouTube videos of the parks to drive my boyfriend absolutely mental. It ended up being a tough choice between Epcot and Magic Kingdom. Epcot had the neat World Showcase with pavilions from tons of different countries. Each country has different food specialties, and there were a few neat rides in the future world of the park. But, it seemed that Magic Kingdom was the best option for the true Disney experience with the big castle, parades, and characters walking around. But then I remembered who I was going with and so thats how we ended up at Epcot. I woke them up with the Disney playlist on Spotify, and my most spastic dance to supercalifragalisticexpialadocious (sp?). And we were on our way.

It ALSO just so happened to be the Flower & Garden Festival. AKA all my favourite Disney Characters (minus Mulan) in greens and flowers.

 

There weren't many rides that we went on other than the Test Track and Soarin'. In Test Track we designed our own car and then took a "race" around the track. T'was cool. The ride Soarin' was prettyyyyy fricken neat though. We sat in our seats, suspended in air and the simulator brought us to the Taj Mahal, a castle in Germany, and over the Eiffel Tower. We moved beside lions running in Africa where we could smell the grass, and flew over water in Fiji where we could smell the beachy air. I have some new travels spots on my list.

While Epcot is known as the park for foodies, the heat really just zapped our appetites. Of all the great looking choices  (tacos! lamb! sushi!), we didn't really eat much except for a quick sandwich in the air conditioned Italian restaurant. However, I did get the infamous pineapple soft serve - that seemed like a very ~important~ staple based on my intensive Disney research. Cant say I get the hype... I was okay to share this one.

To cool off,  we went into "Club Cool" which is a fan club started in my honour. In there you get to taste sodas from 8 different countries. I'm not a soda drinker, so most of these weren't my thing. But I'm super into trying different things from different countries, so I was glad my fan club was able to pull this one off.

All said and done, the day was a lot of fun. We clocked a lot of steps on our fitbits, and nobody got in a fight - the markers of a successful day. We are ready for Magic Kingdom.

Key Lime Greek Yogurt Mascarpone Tart

key lime greek yogurt mascarpone tart

I have a key lime obsession.

Regular lime is great, but key lime has just a lil extra somethin' somethin'. An extra almost ~creaminess~ to it. Key Lime Pie has always been one of my favourite desserts. 

So when there was a damn two-day long ice storm in April, and I saw key limes at the grocery store, I grabbed them instantly. It was time to add a little extra comfort and brightness into the kitchen.

The greek yogurt brings a nice smooth tartness, and the mascarpone is a super creamy and lightly sweet. Plus the limes and some honey to round out the flavours, this is an all around win. I like to keep a less-sweet cream that really compliments the sweet crust. 

Sweet Crust:

This recipe is enough for 2-3, 8” tarts. If making a single tart, you’ll have some left over but this freezes incredibly well for up to 6 months. I usually make a double batch and freeze it for whenever the occasion arises! Pull it out a day or two before you want to use it, and keep it in the fridge. Or let it warm up on the counter (but not too much, you still want it to be cool when you work with it).

150g sugar
250g shortening at room
4g salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
60ml milk
435g pastry flour, sifted

  • Cream together the sugar, flavours and shortening until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the milk to the shortening, mixing on high speed until fully incorporated.
  • Add the egg to the shortening and scrape down the bowl
  • Add the sifted flour into the mixture gradually and blend until smooth
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a short log shape, then chill in the fridge until use
  • When chilled, roll the dough out without making it too thin, and place it in the tart pan. Make sure to gently press the dough into the edges, and then trim the top
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 375F until lightly golden

 

Key Lime Cream:

60ml whipping cream, whipped
3 TBS honey
10 key limes
225g full-fat greek yogurt
225g mascarpone

  • Zest 5 limes and juice all 10 limes
  • Mix everything together until smooth
  • Yup, that’s it
  • Taste it and adjust to your preference.
     

Assembly

Dark Chocolate

  • Once your crust has cooled completely, melt down dark chocolate and brush it onto the tart shell and let it harden. This is important to prevent the crust from getting soggy, and the dark chocolate is amazing in this recipe anyway. So don’t skip it.
  • When the chocolate is fully hardened (important!!!!), smooth the key lime cream into the shell
key lime greek yogurt mascarpone tart

Now, go make this!