Kale and quinoa salad

One of my favourite things about living here in Toronto has been getting to know my neighbourhood. I’m told it’s an up-and-coming area, and so far, it seems perfect for me. It’s small enough to feel very familiar already, but also big enough that it has every type of restaurant imaginable, cute boutiques, at least a dozen coffee shops and – one of my favourites – an organic grocery store! I’ve been loving the freedom of picking up fresh produce any time of day, and it’s exactly where I picked up the ingredients for this hearty salad after seeing it on denj’s blog. It’s delicious and makes the perfect lunch!


2 cups fresh chopped kale
1.5 cup cooked quinoa
2 oranges
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, mix and serve!

Source: denj (She also included a 1/2 pint blueberries in her recipe – yum!)


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Hi friends! Some simple snaps to welcome the weekend! XO

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Weekday dish

While I do a lot of experimenting in the kitchen, I do not share even half of the recipes I attempt on my blog. This is because I only want to post items I absolutely love and feel everyone should try. This recipe had me torn – I thought it was good, but not great. That said, I know this dish has many ingredients most of my pals cook with a lot, so I wanted to share it. You may make one adaptation to this recipe and love it. Or you may love as is!  I found this casserole a little dry, and the recipe called for far too many breadcrumbs. I am going to post my own adjusted recipe below, along with the link to the original. Happy cooking! XO


1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups chicken broth
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup kale, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cups grated mozzerella cheese
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. In a large saucepot over medium high heat, add the oil. Once hot, add the chopped bell pepper, green onions and kale and saute for about four minutes, just until bell pepper has started to soften. Add the garlic and continue to saute for another 30 seconds. Add quinoa to the pot, followed by the chicken broth, dry mustard and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir well.

Add the grated cheddar cheese and milk. Stir to combine then pour into a greased 9 x 13″ casserole dish. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and the mozzerella cheese. Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake for about 30 minutes until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: Adapted from eat, live, run

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Sunday dinner

Who doesn’t love a super hearty, homecooked meal in the fall? And one that you can feel good about eating, at that? This stew is divine. My best friend slash person I live the same life as (seriously, it’s weird) Kristin mentioned this dish to me recently and I immediately planned it for my Sunday dinner. I highly recommend!


1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp good quality curry powder (or more to taste)
1 carton broth (4 cups) (I used vegetable)
1 cup red lentils
3 cups cooked butternut squash
1 cup greens of choice (I used kale)
Fresh grated ginger, to taste (optional)
Black pepper, to taste

In a large pot, add olive oil and chopped onion and minced garlic. Sautee for about five minutes over low-medium heat. Stir in curry powder and cook another couple minutes. Add broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Stir in cooked butternut squash and greens of choice. Cook over medium heat for about five to eight minutes. Season with pepper, and add some freshly grated ginger to taste.

Source: Oh She Glows (She included about a 1/2 tsp of salt in her recipe — I omitted it)

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Beauty favourites

Late last spring I became keenly interested in perfecting a beauty routine that works for me. My skin, hair and nails have their own little quirks and I realized I’d been using the same products for years simply because they were … okay. Not because they were spectacular. My routine continues to evolve and my product list continues to grow, but for now, I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far.

These favourites are, clockwise from top left: MarieNatie Cosmetics lip gloss, Smashbox photo finish primer, Prince Reigns nourishing serum,  Moroccanoil hair formula, oatmeal and organix moroccan argan oil lotion.

I’m not even close to being an expert on these items, but from personal use and experience, here’s what I think.

MarieNatie Cosmetics lip gloss: I am a self-professed matte lipstick girl. However, these glosses rekindled an older, glossier-inclined version of myself. A few years ago, you couldn’t find a coat pocket of mine without a tube of lip gloss in it. This line is beautifully sheen without being too thick, and it compliments a matte lipstick as a top coat.

Smashbox photo finish primer: Never again will I wear foundation or concealer without primer underneath. I first purchased this product when I wanted my make up to stay put for hours at an outdoor wedding, and it worked. Primer gives your skin a soft, smooth, even base to apply make up to. Will never go back.

Prince Reigns nourishing serum: I would call this a miracle product. I’m prone to bumps and ingrown hairs on my thighs, especially in the summer, and once I worked this serum into my routine they were completely gone. I can’t recommend this enough if you suffer from the same frustrating problem!

Moroccanoil hair formula: I’ve been raving about this one to everyone I know for years. This treatment allows me to blow dry my hair & go – something I’ve never been able to accomplish without the help of a hot curling iron or flat iron. If your hair is at all frizzy, run to purchase this product.

Oatmeal: I’ve been using this face wash method since it was introduced to me by Jen of Her Waise Choice. She recommend her readers watch this video and I was sold immediately afterwards. My sensitive skin is prone to dryness and uneven tone and washing with oatmeal has eliminated my need to use anything else. Trust me on this one!

organix moroccan argan oil lotion: I literally covet the feeling of moisturizing with a well made, beautiful-smelling product after a bath or shower. This is my favourite. It smells amazing and the scent lasts for hours. I use this as a body lotion, everywhere but on my face.

I hope you enjoyed this new feature! I want to note that I was sent two tubes of MarieNatie Cosmetics lip gloss to try (thanks Jennifer!) and all opinions on it are my own. All of the other products are simply my absolute favourites. I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post. XO

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Snapshots & an update

Have you ever reached a point in life where you feel you have no worthy answer to the question “What’s new?” I worked for years to reach the point in my life where I was financially stable, had a steady job in my career of choice, found a man I loved and a group of friends I was truly myself with. After settling into this absolutely blissful reality for a few short years, I started to feel … something. I was over-the-moon happy with so many aspects of my life, but I yearned for new experiences. There were moments in my day where I could literally see my future, see myself doing the same job, walking the same streets, enjoying the city I lived in while also feeling frustrated by its limits … I decided it was time for change.

I picked up & moved to Toronto three weeks ago. This was incredibly tough for me. I am very comforted by routine, and while I knew I needed to feel positively thrown into something completely foreign, it was and is scary. I now live in a brand new condo in a tall high rise building instead of my centuries-old apartment in Saint John. I am no longer a journalist by trade, but a senior editor at a public relations company. I know absolutely no one when I walk down the street. And the most difficult thing so far, J. and I are apart until mid November, when he and our cat will join me here.

Facing this alone is daunting, but also important for me. If you have a partner you know how comforting and, practically speaking, how helpful it is to have a teammate at your side at all times. Without him, everything feels different and incomplete. I say this knowing how lucky we are and how there are couples that have to face far worse. But it’s thrown me quite a bit, and I don’t think I’ll truly feel like myself until our little trio is back together. I feel this is an opportunity for me to also thank the people in my life for not only giving me the best send off I could have asked for, but also following up with me since I’ve been here. That means so, so much more than you know. Thank you so much!

I decided to share this much because my blog has fallen by the wayside as I’ve become so busy, and I trust that at this point I’m among good friends. So hi :) And thanks for reading! XO

(As for this blog, it will continue to be updated and I look forward to sharing so much more as I get settled in the weeks to come. Muah!)

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