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

 

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.

vday1Dress | Necklace | Heels

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Dress | Earrings | Flats

vday3Dress | Clutch | Heels

stephsig

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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Work/Girls Night Outfit

So apparently I am one of those people that need a vacation after a vacation. Actually I was sick over my entire Christmas break and cracked my rib so technically it didn’t really feel like a vacation. So I am currently resting my rib all week in my home away from home. But before I arrived here I decided to do a outfit post before leaving. This outfit is perfect for when I go to work or out for dinner with some girl friends. And I am still loving the colour berry that was so popular in the fall. Happy Tuesday everyone!!

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THE DETAILS:

Michael Kors – Watch and Purse
Jeggings – Garage
Aritiza – Boyfriend Blazer and Top
Shoes – Sam Edelman

Photo Credit: Brian Poelzer

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Brussel Sprout Quinoa Salad

Every New Year I usually avoid making a New Years resolution. Instead I try to set some goals that I want to accomplish over the year and I am always trying to eat healthy and go to the gym a few times a weeks so I see no need to make those typical resolutions. I am happy where I am in my life and I just want to keep that up! But I am aware that a lot of people make resolutions and eating healthy is one of the most popular. So I want to share one of my own recipes!

This is one of my favourite lunch recipes that I make at least once a week mixing up the ingredients to what I feel like that day. This particular recipe helps you get rid of that giant bag of brussel sprouts you bought from Costco for the holiday season. Most people cook their brussel sprouts but I find them even better uncooked.

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BRUSSEL SPROUT QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Large handful of Brussel Sprouts
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1/2 a Cucumber 
  • 1/2 cup of Quinoa
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • 1/2 an Avocado 
  • 1/4 cup of Hemp Seeds
  •  1tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar 
  • 1/2 of a Lime 

Instructions:

Add the 1/2 cup of quinoa into a pot and add 1 cup of water and bring to boil. Once boiled put on low until cooked, about 15min. Set aside to cool.

Chop and dice the vegetables. When cutting up the brussel sprouts cut off the hard end part and remove any loose leafs. I then try to cut them somewhat thin, usually in 4 or 3 pieces per sprout. Add all vegetables, hemp seeds and quinoa into a salad bowl. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and squeeze 1/2 a lime into the bowl. Mix and enjoy! 

You can also add some nuts or a grilled chicken into the salad if desired for some extra protein . This is good for 2 servings and is 282 calories per serving, unless you are really hungry you could eat it all without feeling gulity!

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ENJOY!!

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New Year, New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

Sorry for the lack of posts, I don’t really have a reason other than I’ve been pretty busy! Bouncing around from house to house over the holidays gets tiresome, as nice as it is to see our families. Also by default from working retail, Boxing Day is always a hectic day too so I took last week off work to spend time with my fiancé and relax. We didn’t go anywhere but did enjoy a nice stay-cation at home and it went by far too quickly.

I don’t usually make resolutions but I have made a couple goals for myself for this year. One of them being to finally get the body I want – specifically flatten my tummy, I’m happy with everything else. I know that sounds so cliché, but I feel that I actually have a reason to accomplish this now. As much as I’ve always wanted a flat and toned tummy like I use to have in high school, I just enjoy indulging too much. However, with my bachelorette party in Vegas, our wedding and our honeymoon in Hawaii happening this year, I feel like now is the time. A couple of my co-workers have signed up for the same gym as me and the three of us have decided to workout together everyday after work, stop hitting up Tim Hortons on our break & have a “no junk food January” (at least when we’re at work). We were suppose to start yesterday when I returned to work but unfortunately both of them have gotten sick. I’ve stuck to the pact though! I’m taking a break from boot camp but will start it up again in March in combination with the gym. I’m sure that with hard work, dedication and determination I can accomplish this goal!

One of my other goals is to run my first 5K. I know that I can physically accomplish it, it’s more about actually signing up and making time for it amidst the wedding planning. Even if it means doing it all by myself.

To quickly sum this post up, because I need to get some sleep, this year is going to be the best one yet. I’m so excited to be marrying my best friend and the love of my life. Just over 7 years ago we jumped into a relationship pretty quickly, which has had it’s ups and downs, but I knew then just as much as I do now that he’s the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed with the wedding planning but I have feeling that’s going to be inevitable. Until that point comes though, I’m enjoying how simple everything’s been so far and look forward to crossing off a few more “big” things off the list.

This is going to be our year!

stephsig