Winter Outfit Idea

This outfit is the perfect shine meets casual look for the winter season. I love pairing blouses with denim – it’s my go-to outfit no matter the occasion! Take a look at the outfit below with our pups, Ace & Koda. You can follow their adventures on Instagram here.

Here we took the pups for a nice little stroll before it got too dark outside. This was a little time ago at the beginning of November when Koda was so much smaller! She is almost 4 months now and a lot more light in the face! She’s growing into her paws and we are so curious if those ears of hers are actually going to stand up! And not pictured here – it was 3 degrees and cold! That scarf kept me nice and toasty, but my nose was chilly by the end of it!

Special thanks to Christina Davis of Magic in Colours Photography for the mini-shoot! Check out her social pages here: Instagram and Facebook link above!

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The Outfit:

  • Coat is from Forever21 last season, find a similar one here from the Gap
  • Blouse from Anthropologie
  • Denim from the Gap, similar pair here
  • Chunky Infinity Knit Scarf from the Gap a few seasons ago, similar one here (right now under $12!!)
  • Necklace from Anthropologie, similar one here
  • Shoes from Call it Spring, similar ones here

What are some of your go-to winter outfits? Let me know in the comments below!

Love,

lxiv

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Top 10 Cozy Picks for Winter

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I’ve had to update my “cozy” wardrobe recently as I just did not have the selection of warm and fuzzy pieces for winter. I thought I would share my favourite picks for this season as well as some non-apparel pieces that put me in the cozy spirit! There’s nothing better than a cozy sweater, a cup of hot chocolate and a nice warm blanket during those cold winter nights. All of the picks would also make great gifts for the holidays! Take a look at my top 10 picks, I have linked each of them below.

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1. Plunging Chenille Sweater – This sweater is SO soft. I love the fact that this sweater isn’t a crew neck and the shape of the sweater is nice because it’s not boxy!

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2. Cable-Knit Pom Pom Beanie – Okay, who doesn’t love a cute Pom Pom Beanie for winter? I am so drawn to red this season and love adding that pop of colour since my winter coat is black. Winter can be colourful too!

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3. Lace Up Textured Sweater – My go-to sweater at the moment! The lace-up detailing adds a simple and classic touch to an otherwise plain cream sweater. Perfect with denim and cute booties!

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4. Torridon Sweater – This sweater from Anthropologie is amazing because there is 0 wool in it! Don’t get me wrong, I love wool. But my skin hates it. This red sweater (yes, red again) is so thick and warm, you’d never know there wasn’t wool in it. Other than, you know, the fact that you don’t want to scratch your arms off. *insert upside smile face emoticon here*

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5. TOPSHOP Dolly Faux Flip Slippers – I do not own these, yet. But c’mon – FUZZY FLIP SLIPPERS! These look amazing and I love that they are open toe.

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6. Desert Gold & Pink Mug – I love that this mug has a unique quality to it. The shape and the colouring on the inside make it special. Perfect gift for someone on your list!

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7. Open Front Boucle Sweater – A cute and affordable layer that goes with literally anything. Yep, perfect piece to have in your winter wardrobe!

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8. Plus Size Loved Graphic Sweater – Eyelash sweaters are so on trend this season and coupled with a graphic makes this sweater so unique! I love how soft this feels. I love that this sweater is so flattering on! I sized up because I wanted a more relaxed look.

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9. Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment – I have yet to try this product out. So if anyone has – let me know in the comments below! I love Argan Oil and know that it would be very nourishing for the winter months! Plus, it’s so multi-purpose! You can use it on your face, hair, hands and body!

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10. Faux Fur Throw – Black Bear – Last but not least, this amazing faux fur throw! I love this brown colouring. It instantly warms up any space and would look beautiful thrown over a couch for decorative purposes. Again, another great gift idea and very on trend this season!

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Hope you found some inspiration with my cozy picks for the winter season! Make sure you snag these before they are gone over Black Friday – they may not last!

What’s on your wish list this year? Are there pieces that you need to add to your wardrobe for a little refresh? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Love,

lxiv

 

Budget Friendly Christmas Decor

It’s cold and rainy on this Saturday morning here in Toronto. All I want to do is snuggle in bed and watch YouTube videos all day; but I’m supposed to be putting up all of our Christmas decorations. I specifically book this weekend off work every year to do it, but I’m not quite in the mood. So to try to put me in the holiday spirit, I figured I would post my newest pieces that I added to our Christmas decorations this year. And the best part? All budget friendly and inexpensive!! I purchased everything below from the Dollarstore and Canadian Tire. I am really, really loving the Canvas collection from Canadian Tire. Year after year they come out with some classic pieces that are decent quality and for a great price.

Follow along below to see my favourite new pieces this year. I’ll be posting a full house tour in the coming weeks to show you how I decorate our apartment for the Holidays! So, stay tuned for that!

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This year we’re going for a farmhouse/rustic vibe with very little pops of red. I want the space to feel cozy with a ton of lights and more neutral metallic accents. Check out my Pinterest Board “Christmas 2017 Decor” for my inspiration.

The total for all of these decorations came under $40! You don’t have to spend a whole lot of money to achieve a festive atmosphere! Some Christmas music and good cheer go a long way!

Now that I’m feeling a little more inspired, I’m going to get started with my decor!

Merry Christmas and Happy Decorating!

lxiv

Easy Meal Prep Ideas for Lunch or Dinner!

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Yesterday I participated in my first ever CrossFit Competition for our box, CrossFit Canuck, who turned 5 years old today! The gym hosted a in-house competition, “The Canuck Games”, in true CrossFit fashion to celebrate this milestone!

The Canuck Games was an all day event with 5 partner WODs total and let me tell you – it was HARD. I would consider myself fairly athletic, but I was never part of any sports teams during High School or University (even though I was asked to join a few). Instead, I focused on Student Council, my singing and my studies. I never thought I had time to work out or join a sports team. But since I’ve been doing CrossFit, I can’t tell you how happy I am! Sure, there are bad days and good days like anything else, but I can’t explain how wonderful it feels when you lift something above your head that you never thought you could. The strength portion surprises me every time I step up to the bar.

I’ve been a little more aware of how I’m fueling my body since joining CF. I knew before joining CrossFit that I didn’t feel like I was getting the proper amount of nutrients (honestly, I still don’t feel like that 60% of the time) and I’ve been putting in a lot of time into researching this and ensuring that I’m nourishing my body properly! Meal prep has been a savior for me since I’m a very busy person and want to do a million things all at once. If I don’t meal prep,  I am so so guilty of picking up fast food because with a billion excuses like “time is of the essence” and/or “I’m too tired (or lazy) to whip some actual food together”. This is a continual challenge for me and something I will keep working on!

Since I’ve been doing so much research myself, I figured I would share with you my meal prep for this week. Mind you, it isn’t everything that I will eat all week and I did make some Healthy Oatmeal Cinnamon Cookies to go with this that I will post in a later blog post, but it does give you an idea of some of my go-to favourites for meal prep.

The amount of food I made today will last my hubby (I can finally say that now!!) and I about 2-3 days of lunches or dinners. I usually will pre-pack the food and then leave some extras in separate containers to mix in with different meat or different sides for variation because I can get really bored, really fast and I am definitely the type of person who will leave food in the fridge for months because I didn’t feel like eating it….

IMG_0259On the menu this week was Italian seasoned Chicken Breast with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Green Beans. For snacks this week I packed Veggies with Roasted Red Pepper Hummas, some Dark Chocolate and Cherry Kashi Granola Bars, Vanilla Greek Yogurt and Fruit!

IMG_0260I used the Club House Italiano seasoning blend as a dry rub on the chicken breasts and cooked them in the oven first. Then for the sweet potatoes and carrots, I peeled them and diced them, used about a tablespoon of olive oil and seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper. My favourite way to prepare the sweet potatoes is by Grocery Girl. I season the potatoes differently and add other vegetables, but the cook time is how I prepare them! Finally, nothing fancy for the green beans – they are boiled and seasoned with salt and pepper. You could easily add some Parmesan and Garlic for some extra taste.

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I usually roast beets with the sweet potatoes and carrots, but opted to boil them this time and then peel the skin off. I seasoned them with garlic, salt and pepper, diced them and put them in a separate container in the fridge to grab as a side for any other meal.

IMG_0262Below is the recipe breakdown for how I made our meals this week.

Italiano Chicken Breast

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Club House italiano seasoning
  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place chicken breasts on sheet and season both sides of the breast evenly.
  3. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then flip the chicken and place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes. The time may vary depending on your oven!
  4. Allow to cool, and cut into desired sizes for meal prep!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Carrots

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  1. Peel and dice the potatoes and carrot.
  2. In a bowl, mix the potatoes, carrot, olive oil and seasoning until well combined and all of the vegetables are coated.
  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Ensure all of the vegetables are flat on the baking sheet and ensure you don’t overcrowd the veggies!
  5. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then give them a little mix with a spoon for even baking and bake for another 10 minutes. I usually test the vegetables with a fork to see if they are the right tenderness for me, so adjust your cook time for your preference!

 

What are you go-to meal prep foods? Share them with me below!

lxiv

Gettin’ Cozy

What a crazy year it has been! Our wedding was last weekend, and we had the most amazing weather. Hard to believe last weekend was sunshine and 20 degrees when today it is 6 degrees and rainy. Now that things have settled down for us, I actually have some time to get back into blogging. My goal is to blog at least once or twice a week! What better way to get this started than to jump right into the cooler weather and talk about how to achieve “cozy” when the temperature starts to drop!

We picked up our newest furry addition, Koda, to our family on Monday and with taking her out 1000 times per day, I am definitely embracing layers and cozy scarves. This is truly what has inspired me to start blogging again, so you’ll see a lot of her on this blog! In the meantime, you can follow Ace and Koda’s adventures on their Instagram here!

Follow on to see my best tips for getting cozy!

Add a blanket or a layer. There’s nothing better than being able to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket. Here are a few of my favourite picks right now.

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 1.23.10 PM1. Faux Mongolian Throw Ivory
2. Hudson’s Bay Company Polar Fleece Throw
3. Madeira Chunky Knit Merino Wool Throw

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Light a fall scent to get you feeling cozy. My favourite right now is the Pumpkin Soufflé candle from Anthropologie. It fills our apartment up with warm yummy scents that puts your right into the cozy spirit.

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Create a cozy vignette! Add some shine to the abundance of cozy faux fur and pillows in your home for a nice contrast. It adds such a nice touch when the candle light catches the glimmer from the shine.

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Last but not least, warm up with your favourite hot beverage. I ususally buy Apple Cider around this time of the year, but I love a good Hot Chocolate too!

Let me know in the comments below how you get cozy during the late fall/early winter months?

Love,

lxiv

Recipe: No Bake Energy Protein Balls

Hello again!

I’m sorry for neglecting this blog. Life has been busy planning for the wedding and keeping busy this summer. I’ve also been dedicating quite a bit of time to eating well and going to Crossfit (which I am totally loving by the way!). I have seen what a huge difference eating well and exercise has on your mental health along with your physical health. It has not been easy, that’s for sure. And according to the scale, I haven’t lost too much. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing since I can see changes in my body and that I’m gaining more muscle. I will more than likely share some of the things I’ve been doing to help guide me on a healthier lifestyle! For now, here’s a recipe I made a long time ago but never had the time or drive to post. Follow along below to see the full recipe!

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 Cup of Oats
  • 1 Cup of Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup of Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (not pictured)

The beauty of this recipe is that you can add/subtract whatever you want from the ingredients!

Mix all of the ingredients together, roll into balls and refrigerate! I typically will place them in smaller containers or little bags so that they are ready for me to grab and go!

More to come on this little blog of mine, and I will promise to try to post more regularly! I have a lot of content ideas and can’t wait to share!

Let me know below if you’re going to try this recipe in the comments below.

Happy Healthy Baking,

lxiv

Recipe: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Last week, I was in the mood for baking! I feel like after Christmas time everyone goes on a baking hiatus from sweet baked overload. Now that the spring weather is slowly creeping in, it felt like the right time to make something yummy.  After searching Pinterest for what seemed like hours, I finally found this recipe: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Um, yes please! I used Sally’s Baking Addiction’s recipe, but did change a few things.

For instance, I used Funfetti Cake Mix instead of vanilla and did not add white chocolate chips. I didn’t need to chill the dough either, it was thick enough that I was able to just roll the dough onto the baking sheet. However, Sally’s technique with rolling the dough more vertically worked really well and I will definitely continue doing that in the future! A couple of additional tips: If you’re using the funfetti cake mix, don’t use as many sprinkles! And two, use parchment paper instead of just an ungreased cookie sheet. The cookies came out much more fluffy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Funfetti cake mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sprinkles

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Mix the melted butter and sugars together. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough!
  4. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Scoop rounded balls of dough onto baking sheet. *This is where you can see Sally’s Baking Addiction’s great tip!*
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Happy Baking!

lxiv