Monday, 24 March 2014

Recipe | Chia Seed Pudding

Not going to lie, when it comes to healthy "desserts" my first reaction is to scoff and opt for a Reese's peanut butter cup. I always come across recipes that will "satisfy your sweet tooth" and it's typically a bite sized rice cake variety with cinnamon on it (I'll pass...thank you). So now that I'm trying to eat healthier - or cleaner I should say, I'm always on the hunt for easy, innovative recipes that don't consider kale to be an alternative to a Mars bar.

That being said, you can take my word for when I say this recipe makes for a perfect little snack and an excellent breakfast option! I for one, am not a pudding person. I'm pretty indifferent towards it, but with the added fruit toppings this makes for an awesome breakfast leaving you feeling awesome about starting your day on a healthy note!

For those that aren't too familiar with chia seeds let me just give you a mini run down on these little guys. Chia seeds are an awesome source of omega-3 fats, they actually have 3x the omega-3s that flax seeds have! They're also a great source of fiber, calcium, protein, manganese & phosphorus. Basically, they get you full faster, are great for your heart health, fight off pesky belly fat (can I get a woop woop!), and are a cholesterol free way of adding protein to your diet. Best of all? They're tasteless and super easy to add to your meals. I even sprinkle them in my grilled cheeses. 

What you'll need:
2 c.        almond milk (You can also use coconut milk or soy milk)
1/4 c.     chia seeds
2 tsp.     vanilla extract

Last but certainly not least, toppings of your choosing. I opted for a sprinkle of cinnamon and a handful of raspberries!

Other toppings I recommend:
- granola
- mixed berries
- chopped nuts (almonds and pistachios are delicious with fruit)
- a sprinkle of brown sugar for added sweetness

Attention chocolate lovers: You can even mix in some cocoa powder to make this into a tasty little chocolatey treat!

Once you mix all the ingredients together, you want to make sure your chia seeds are evenly mixed in with your pudding mix. Unfortunately for us impatient type, you have to let this sit for around 8 hours. I tend to make mine at night so I can dive into it the next morning!

Once your pudding has settled overnight, go right ahead and add your toppings and you're good to go!


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Spring Cleaning | Closet Clearout

It's almost that time of year again, folks. The time of year where we shove our Winter wear to the back of our closets and bringing out our brighter Spring colours. While I was sorting through my closet I began finding articles that I pretty much never wear, have had for far too long, or were of no interest to me anymore.

A friend of mine kept telling me of a place nearby that bought gently worn clothing. I've always been a bit skeptical about selling to consignment shops because my past experiences have been a bit shady. Store owners would only pay you once your item sold and would never notify you when it did, you would have to keep coming in store to check in. The amount you waste in gas making these visits outweighs the benefit of selling the clothes in the first place, so when I was told this consignment shop sorts through and pays you for your contribution up front, I was sold!

Keep in mind, many of these places are typically looking for name brand apparel and of course, nothing with stains, holes or pilling.  So, after sorting through my closet of clothes I no longer wanted to keep, I then sorted through those piles for the articles I figured would be of interest to the consignment shop. I was getting a bit hoarder-esque in the beginning but then began to formulate a break down to help in deciding what's to keep and what's to go.

- Have you worn this in the last 8 months?
No? Chances are you aren't going to wear it anytime soon. Toss.
- Does it fit? (Alannah, stop telling yourself it will if you REALLY REALLY try)
No? Toss...seriously, TOSS IT.
- Does it fit in with your current style?
No? Then let it go. Time to evolve.
- Would you buy it today, if it was sold in stores?
No? Do I have to say it? Toss.

I ended up with 2 duffle bags of items to take to consignment. I went in, handed them over, waited around 20 minutes and to my surprise, they had taken almost everything I had brought over! I made $74.25 for pieces I had pretty much forgotten I even owned! Anything the shop wasn't interested in taking was added to the Salvation Army donation pile.

It felt pretty good to not only clear out my closet for the new season and make space for some new items, but to earn a few dollars in the process! I would definitely recommend looking up consignment shops in your area for a little added motivation to start your spring cleaning early!

Happy Spring Cleaning!


Friday, 10 January 2014

Rave | Nars Soulshine Blush Palette

During the Christmas shopping season, I was in Sephora grabbing a few gifts when I saw the Nars Soulshine Palette. One thing led to another and next thing you knew I was leaving Sephora with a cheeky new purchase for myself. I couldn't help it, it's just such a gorgeous palette! This palette comes with three blush tones: a shimmery golden apricot, a deep rose, and a gorgeous coral with gold overlay. The neatest part about this palette is the formatting. NARS is actually embossed in the powder with a gorgeous gold shimmer that when swirled all together adds that perfect highlighted touch to your cheeks. This palette is sizable enough that you are able to use each blush shade individually or all together. I find that the pigmentation when swirled together is quite bold, so I opt for a duo fiber brush (I use the MAC 187).  Each shade is gorgeous on it's own but when combined you achieve such a unique, beautiful colour.

I am absolutely obsessed with this palette at the moment and truthfully, I haven't reached for any other blush since this found its way into my collection! If I had to name a negative, my only "complaint" would be that the gold embossing seems to only be at the initial surface level. However, as you can tell by the pictures above, the gold shimmer more or less mixes itself into the other shades the more you use it. Because of the richness and variety amongst the shades, I would say this blush is suitable for just about every skin tone!

What is your go-to blush at the moment?

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