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

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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

Bedroom Refresh: DIY Wall Art

Hello!

Thank you for all patiently waiting as it has been quite some time since I have blogged. Not going to lie, I felt a little uninspired after Christmas and didn’t quite know what to blog about. With the weather getting warmer (It’s currently 12 degrees here in Toronto!!), I felt inspired to change some things up in the house to give the space some new life.

I am not an artist by any means – I couldn’t draw to save my life, but being crafty – well that I can do! I’ve been searching for new art to put in our apartment to give the space some life, but haven’t found anything that I loved. I’m also incredibly indecisive when it comes to decor, so spending upwards of $200 on a canvas that I wasn’t head over heels about was just not realistic. The one thing I knew for sure was that I loved water colour! Light bulb moment – I could DIY that myself. See the photos below to see how it turned out!

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Originally I had the grey pillows on the bed, but to pick up more of the blue from the canvas, I switched them out for the baby blue pillows that you see in the other photos!

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All you need to recreate a similar DIY is:

  • Canvas
  • Acrylic paint
  • Water
  • Paintbrush

I mixed 1 part paint with 3 parts water in a cup and painted! I was still able to get deeper saturation of colour by simply adding more paint directly on the canvas where I wanted it, then used water to blend it out. I’m no expert at water colour painting, but there are plenty of tutorials online. I just kept painting until I was happy with the final product. There was truly no rhyme or reason for how I achieved the final look.

Happy Painting!
lxiv

12 Days of Christmas: Oh, Christmas Tree

Can you believe only 5 more sleeps until Christmas? How has December flown by this fast? And, only 5 more days left to post for the 12 Days of Christmas!! I hope you’ve found some inspiration and joy from the posts so far. A huge thank you to those of you who have been following along! For today’s post, I will be sharing our Christmas Tree and some of the ornaments I added to our collection this year.

img_2056_2img_2057img_2059_2img_2062img_1814Our theme this year was metallic (lots of warm golds, bronze and silver) with classic red and green plaid with flecks of gold.I purchased the ornaments (in order) from Anthropologie (both “Merry” and “falala”), Urban Outfitters and Winners! The Christmas tree is from Canadian Tire from a few years ago.

I feel like everyone puts on their ribbon differently on the tree and at different times of the entire decorating process. I started my decorating by placing the ribbon, then adding the shiny, matte and sparkly ball ornaments and then added my special pieces in areas that were highly visible! I continue layering until I like what I see…it’s never about making it perfect – trees should be unique!

As you already know from previous posts, I love sparkle during the Holidays. It reminds me of the look of freshly fallen snow on a crystal clear night that sparkles when you look at it. I’ve also come to realize that Winter is my favourite season…Don’t be too mad at me for that!

What’s your favourite theme/colour story to decorate for Christmas? Let me know in the comments below!

Merry Christmas!

lxiv

12 Days of Christmas: The Toronto Christmas Market #tcm16

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I always found it so interesting that people tend to already live in such amazing cities or towns but choose to travel around the world. I have lived in Toronto my entire life and have to admit that I do not know my city very well when it comes to what makes people want to travel here. I’ve been making a serious effort to explore my city and to visit some amazing places at home! This year, I was determined to go to The Toronto Christmas Market at the Distillery District. So, my finance, fur-baby and I ventured out on the coldest night (so far) and explored!

I was so happy to discover that dogs are allowed and welcomed at The Christmas Market! Ace was definitely a crowd pleaser in his cute little Christmas sweater. We couldn’t get very far without stopping for people who wanted to say hello to our handsome little fellow.

Our first stop (no doubt) was a Grilled Cheese station. I can’t even express in words on this blog how yummy our grilled cheese was. We ordered “Christmas Dinner” grilled cheese, which was turkey, cranberry sauce and brie. I promise to post about how to make this amazing sandwich. I have a few favourite food groups and grilled cheese is absolutely one of them!

We wandered around some more, looking at the different markets and new light displays. Overall it was a beautiful sight. I just wish there was a few more things to do…as it got a tad boring by the end and only ended spending just over an hour there. I think it would have been too cold to stay any longer anyways!

But, it’s definitely worth checking out and will certainly put you in the Christmas spirit!

Next on my Christmas Market list is Nathan Philips Square (somewhere I also have never visited!!).

Take a look at some of the photos I snapped (in between trying to keep my fingers warm – I definitely need the touch gloves for Christmas).

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What are some of your favourite places to visit during the Holidays?

Merry Christmas!
lxiv

12 Days of Christmas: How to Wrap the Perfect Gift

Now that my Christmas shopping list has been checked once and almost twice, it’s time to start wrapping them! I love selecting beautifully designed wrapping paper, tying the gifts with ribbon and finishing it all off with a bow! After the final touches, I add my homemade gift tags so that I know who gets what! Gift wrapping is not always easy, so I’m showing you my tips and tricks on how to wrap the most beautiful gift!

What you’ll need:

  • Wrapping paper of your choice
  • Box
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ribbons and Bows (optional)
  • Candle and hot chocolate for a festive touch (also, optional!)

img_1826Step 1: Roll out your wrapping paper and place your box on top. Ensure that your paper completely covers the box.

img_1827img_1829Step 2: Once you have measured, make the first cut length-wise.

img_1831Step 3: You will now make your second cut to ensure that the wrapping paper will not be too wide to make your fold for the sides of the box. My rule of thumb is that the sides of your paper should hit at approximately half of the height of the box.

img_1834Step 4: Ensure that the box is flipped upside down. Then take the longer side of the paper, fold around the box and tape to secure in the middle. Repeat with other side.

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img_1836Step 5: Turn the box so that one side is facing you. Fold down the top edge.

img_1838Step 6: Now take the right corner and fold towards the center (follow the folds that will naturally be made from Step 5). The top and right edges of the box should be smooth. Repeat for the left side.

img_1839img_1840Step 7: To make a nice, crisp point on the bottom, you can fold the excess paper (the paper that sticks out beyond the nice line you created) underneath the one fold, or you can just simply cut it out.

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Step 8: Fold the bottom point upwards towards the center and secure with tape!

img_1843Step 9: Repeat steps 5-8 on the other side!

Step 10: Final step is to use ribbons and bows to add your special touches!

img_1845img_1848Attach the tag to the gift by using the ribbon you added, or simply tape it on the box. I chose to leave extra ribbon, cut it in half and use that to tie a small knot!

img_1850img_1851There you have it! I chose to attach the bows and ribbon onto the “side” of the box to make that the top since it was a cube. However, you would normally flip the box over (especially with a rectangular shape) so that the side without any folds or tape is on top. You can repeat the same steps for any shape or size. The most important step is measuring the paper to your gift box!

What’s your wrapping style? Do you like to decorate with ribbons and bows? Or do you prefer a gift bag and some tissue paper? Let me know in the comments below.

lxiv

12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Gift Tags DIY

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Every time I go to buy Christmas tags for all of my thoughtfully purchased gifts, I can’t get over the price tag! Tags are SO EXPENSIVE! I’m not just being frugal….I genuinely think that they are overpriced (yes, I know you can get some at the Dollar store…but they aren’t as pretty!). My sister and I decided last year that we were going to try to make our own tags! We loved the way they turned out, so I’m going to share how to make them with you!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • Bristol board (white…or whatever colour you want)
  • White glue
  • Loose glitter
  • Foam brushes
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Sissors
  • Hole punch
  • Hairspray (yes, hairspray!)

Step 1: Trace out a tag template (you can find them on Pinterest for free or just hand-draw your own. Cut out the template and use this to trace onto the rest of the bristol board.

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Step 2: Cut out each tag.

Step 3: Paint each tag with the colour paint of your choosing! We chose gold as it made the tags look like they had a wood grain finish! No need to be precise – and this WILL get messy! Make sure the one side is completely dry before painting the other side of the tag.

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Step 4: Once the tags are dry, use the foam brush to apply the white glue where you want your glitter to go. We opted to only apply the glitter to the bottom of the tag. However, we have done polka-dots or other designs in the past!

Step 5: Apply the glitter! Ensure that the glue you applied is completely covered by the glitter. Tap off any excess.

*TIP* We used a plastic bag to “catch” the loose glitter so that we didn’t waste any and so that there wasn’t as big of a mess!

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Step 6: Hairspray! With an aerosol can of hairspray, spray the tags where you applied the glitter to ensure it stays in place and sets the glitter.

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Step 7: Last but not least, hole punch where you will want your ribbon or string to go through.

Simple but cute DIY and easy to get the whole family involved!

Alternatively, you can use the glitter paper that I mentioned in my Garland DIY post and cut out the tag templates. You can still paint it if you would like or leave it white!

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Stay tuned for the next 12 Days of Christmas post where I show you how to wrap the perfect gift with these tags!

Let me know if you’re going to try this DIY! I’d love to see your creations in the comments below!

lxiv