Foodie Friday : Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad

Happy Friday! Finally the weekend has arrived! Today I will be sharing my current FAVOURITE salad recipe with you. I’ve been making this recipe for a past few months. It was a actually inspired by a yam and quinoa salad I had at the cutest cafe in Fort Langley called Wendel’s Bookstore and Cafe. I loved it so much that I made my own version!

 

QUINOA SWEET POTATO SALAD

 

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cubed (or if you prefer yams work well too)
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of arugula 
  • 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa 
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp of organic agave nectar 

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes. Place on baking sheet and add the olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and red pepper flakes and toss until they are all coated. Place in oven for about 30min flipping them once.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the quinoa at the same time. 
  • Once the quinoa is cooked combine it in a large bowl with the spinach, arugula, cucumber, avocado and the dressing. Then add in the sweet potatoes and Enjoy!

 

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This recipe is meant for about 3 people. I usually just make it for myself so I will mix it all up without the dressing and keep it in the fridge. Then when I want some for my lunch I’ll just take it out and take as much as I need and then add the dressing on. So it lasts a few days which is nice!!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

 

-Nicole xo

 

 

 

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Summer Time is Finally Here..

Hey Everyone!!

Summer is in full swing, especially here in Vancouver with this absolutely amazing weather we have been having! I hope you are all on your way to having that sun kissed glow. I got a head start by going to Vegas in May! I love summer, from the sundresses to the late night beers at the beach. Here are a few things I look forward to in the summer!

 

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I love fruit, so one of my favourite things about summer is the fruit that is in season. Watermelon is my favourite summer fruit. It’s full of Vitamin A and has a high water content so it keeps you hydrated in the summer heat. I can’t wait to head up to the Oakanagan to pick up lots of local fruit!

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Summer and this hot weather is a very good excuse to walk to the beach and get some ice cream. I mean how else are you suppose to keep cool?! My favourite flavour is bubble gum… I know I know, I’m still a child at heart.

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I don’t know why but I enjoy painting my own nails rather than going out and getting a stranger to paint them. Best thing about summer is all the vibrant summer colours that come out. And these Essie colour are right up my alley.

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Spending days at the beach mean you come home with that beachy salt water wavy hair. My favourite hair style to rock all summer long. Since I can’t be at the beach all day long I curl my hair into a similar texture and it lasts a few days until my next hair wash. I don’t even remember the last time my hair was straight!

 

Before you know it summer is going to be over!! (this happens every year!) I hope you are all enjoying your time in the sun so far! 🙂

-Nicole

 

Cacao Breakfast Cookies

Hey everyone!! I hope you are all having a great start to the spring season! It has been absolutely gorgeous here in Vancouver ever since spring has hit and we are finally enjoying some warmer weather. With spring here, summer is just around the corner which for me and most people means going to the gym more often and trying to eat healthier.

I have been obsessed with making breakfast cookies lately, I probably make a batch every 5 days. They are perfect in the morning when you’re trying to get ready for work but don’t have enough time to make breakfast or if you’re like me and love to snack at night these are perfect and stop me from craving unhealthy snacks. These particular breakfast cookies I made a couple weeks ago. Since then though I think I have mastered my favourite breakfast cookie – which I will share later this month. But this recipe is also delicious. So I hope you enjoy!

 

CACAO BREAKFAST COOKIES
Makes 18-20 cookies, approx. 76 calories per cookie.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder – I love and use Navitas Natural 
  • 1 cup of unsweetened apple sauce 
  • 3 banana’s – preferably soft
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal – uncooked
  • 4 tablespoons of ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 
  • 1/3 cup of all natural peanut butter

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel banana’s and mash until creamy, I like to use a fork or a potato masher works well too.
  • Add the peanut butter and mix in well with the mashed banana’s. 
  • Add cinnamon, ground flax, vanilla extract, apple sauce and cacao and mix until blended well.
  • Add in the oatmeal last and mix again until blended well. 
  • Let the dough rest for about 10min.
  • Grease the cookie sheet with coconut oil so cookies do not stick to the pan. You can also use Pam Spray but I think the coconut oil works better and is better for you. 
  • Scoop out dough and drop on the cookie sheet then flatten. It will make approximately 18-20 cookies. 
  • Bake for about 20min depending on the size of the cookie. 
  • Let the cookies cool and a cooling rake and put in a container to keep fresh!

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They usually last about 4 days in my house. Then I usually make some more a day later because they are so convienent!

Enjoy!!

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Blogger Spotlight

I know I’m not the only girl whose Pinterest, Bloglovin and Instagram feeds are filled with images/posts from bloggers, these are the best places to get outfit or styling inspiration. I follow a handful of local bloggers – To Vogue Or Bust, Alicia Fashionista, Bleed For Fashion, The Starving Stylist and Discovering Elegance – the list could go on! (I actually went to Blanche Macdonald in Vancouver with Peter of The Starving Stylist and I remember when he was starting up his blog; keep up the great work love!) Then of course there are those bloggers that everyone knows, who mainly reside in the US, like Man Repeller, Devon Rachel, Cupcakes and Cashmere, Eat Sleep Wear and The Blonde Salad.

One of my absolute favourites though is Julia Engel of the fabulous blog Gal Meets Glam! This beauty is from San Fransisco,  California and has impeccable style. Her outfits are flawlessly styled, capture that classic look and she always looks amazing. Print mixing isn’t for everyone but this girl can pull it off! She also got married a little over a year ago and I definitely have looked to pictures from her wedding as inspiration for mine as well. Also she’s very good at making a ponytail look good (or any updo for that matter) which is something I’ve yet to accomplish. I’ve gathered some of my favourite outfit posts from her blog (there are far too many to choose from!) to share with you. Now it’s time for me to do some outfit planning myself for the work week ahead.

Happy Sunday!

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blogspotlight3All images via Gal Meets Glam’s Pinterest page

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Friday’s Fabulous Five

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Today is the day of looooove! Hopefully you’ll will be spending some time with a loved one or family or maybe a night out with your single girlfriends. My Valentine is a few provinces over so I will have to settle for a phone call. In honour of Valentines Day I have made a list of Friday’s Fabulous Five that are inspired all things Valentines! Enjoy!

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First is these adorable pad printed heart mugs from West Elm. Choose between a large gold heart or the red ombre hearts. They are $9.18 each.

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I just picked this top up at Aritiza the other day. It’s the Pasadena Tank by Talula. It’s the perfect top for Valentine’s day and also comes in Pink and Blue/Grey. It retails at $30.

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This is the Love Beaded Linen Throw Pillow from Jonathan Alder. This glamorous pillow is $198

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A Party Skirt is the perfect attire for a night out for dinner on V-day! This is TEEN VOUGE Red and is $195.

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And last is these conversation heart cookies I found on Martha Stewart’s website. You can get the recipe here ! Yum!

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day and weekend!!

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Workspace Makeover – Inspiration

I am SO desperately in need of my own work space. As you probably already know I am still currently living at my folks place since I just finished school and started my career. So I don’t have an option of changing an entire room into an office. Unfortunately that means I am stuck with turning my bedroom into a bedroom and an office. And that almost makes me not want to do it but I figure I will be living here at least until the end of the year so I might as well do it! I need a space where I can work when I work from home and blog in my spare time.

I find it hard to get inspiration when I don’t have a comfortable work space that can spark up some ideas. I have been looking on Pinterest for some home office suggestions that I can use in my space. I settled on using a lot of white, which will go nicely with my light grey walls. I also want to put something on my wall above my desk, something that will help with brain storming ideas. Here are some inspirational pictures I got off of Pinterest. I will be starting my work space this weekend so hopefully I will be done soon so you can show how it turns out!

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Pantone Radiant Orchid – Part 2

Last week I talked about Radiant Orchid for interiors. Now I want to talk about Radiant Orchid in wedding decor. Purples are a great colour for weddings, there are so many types of different flowers that come in this shade and it’s not as girly as pink – so your fiancé would approve. It’s also a popular colour for weddings so there are tons of options for accessories, bridesmaid dresses and icing for that delicious cake!

Here are some of my favourite decor ideas in Radiant Orchid for weddings.

 

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Day Of Love

At least a month ago, if not more, I  began spotting Valentine’s Day cards, decorations and treats in stores and I remember thinking to myself “it’s too early!” Now here we are only 11 days away from the day of love. (And on the 23rd our wedding will be 6 months away!)

My fiance and I actually aren’t big on celebrating Valentine’s Day but there are lots of couples out there who do enjoy using the day to show each other just how much they love, care & appreciate one another. The possibilities of how you choose to celebrate are endless – the usual dinner & a movie,  keeping it simple with flowers & chocolate or making a weekend trip out of it to a local getaway spot (like Whistler, for us Vancouverites).

Now depending on what you (or your man) has planned, you can’t go wrong with putting on a cute dress, nice jewelry and a pair of heels. Granted it is still pretty cold out so you might want to add some tights and put on a warm coat! Even though we’re just planning on staying in and cooking a nice dinner while enjoying some wine, I probably will still throw on a dress. I love any excuse to get dressed up so why not? We’re also attending one of my dear friends’ weddings the following day so it’s definitely going to be a weekend full of celebrating love!

Here are a few outfit ideas if you’re planning on doing some shopping this week for a new outfit, although some of you may be having a wardrobe change after dinner.

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Dress | Earrings | Flats

vday3Dress | Clutch | Heels

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Pantone Radiant Orchid – Part 1

Every year Pantone comes out with the colour of the year. Emerald is out and Radiant Orchid is in!! I am not the biggest fan of purple but this colour is starting to grow on me. For interiors I think this colour would be perfect as an accent colour with whites and greys. If you are feeling bold though you could paint a room this colour.

Here are some great interior spaces that I think have successfully used Radiant Orchid.

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Peter Pilotto x Target

It was only a matter of months ago that the designer collaboration Phillip Lim x Target hit stores, and here we are again with another one just a few weeks away – Peter Pilotto.

The London based design house consists of the duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos. Their collection for Target is full of colourful prints and includes dresses as well as separates. It’s fun, bright, energetic and the pieces are great for mixing and matching. It launches online (for the US) and in stores for both Canada and the US on Sunday February 9th. One of my favourite things about having Target in Canada now is that we get access to these designer collabs without having to go across the border.

Back in September I went to my nearest Target to line up for the Phillip Lim collaboration. I got there 10 minutes before the store opened thinking that nobody, if anyone, would already be lined up. I ended up being the 7th girl in line – a few of them even had shopping carts. When the doors opened, the girls at the front of the line were taking their sweet time heading into the store and I was adamant on getting at least one purse, so I RAN past a few girls straight to the bag display and snatched two immediately. And then went straight for the BOOM! sweatshirt for my sister-in-law. After trying on a few of the pieces for fun, I decided to buy for myself the navy blue sleeveless top with the ruffled front. I had also decided that I only needed one of the two purses I grabbed (the large satchel was too similar to a purse I already owned so I couldn’t justify buying it) but I couldn’t bear to put it back so I bought it and gave it to my sister-in-law as a birthday gift.

I’m hoping that there won’t be a big lineup, if any, when I go again this time. I have my heart set on one of the dresses and I will definitely run again to grab if it I need to. Here are a few of the look book images for the collection!

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