Vacation Vibes

fullsizeoutput_3102.jpegA linen button-up is a summer staple for me. Over the years, I have always had a classic white one ready for the summer heat but this year I’ve slowly been adding coloured ones to my wardrobe and I’m so happy I did! I love the effortless look of it. It’s such a key item to have because it’s great for so many looks whether it’s more sophisticated (buttoned up and tucked in), a chic beach cover-up for vacation or even a cute day-time look like this with it tied up.

Speaking of vacation, I’m headed off to Italy and Spain in a little over a week! I could not be more excited which I think is showing through my outfits. Lately all my shopping has been based on the sole qualification of whether or not the item is “so Italy” or “so Spain”. Although I’m still in Toronto and this look might be too hot for Italy and Spain this time of year, I love dressing the part and planning out my outfits well in advance! Call me crazy, but packing and planning outfits for a trip is SO much fun for me. fullsizeoutput_30f5fullsizeoutput_30f8fullsizeoutput_30e3fullsizeoutput_30fa

Hat  /  H&M

Shirt  /  Aritzia

Pants  /  Aritzia

Basket  /  MUR Lifestyle

Shoes  /  Soludos

xox,

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Summer Days at the Market

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   One of my favourite things to do on a summer day is head to the market. I live about 5 minutes away from the St. Lawrence Market so I’m always dropping by to pick a few things up whether it’s flowers, a few groceries, a sandwich, or a coffee. Although I have my set spots for specific items, I still do a tour of the market every time I go because it has such a cute, homey vibe to it that I just love!

For a great selection of flowers and succulents, I love the Greenery Patch. It’s affordable, good quality and has the best variety!

For groceries, my go-to is Family Food Market. They have a large selection of gourmet produce. It’s a little more expensive than say, Loblaws or Metro, but the quality of the fruits and vegetables are so worth it. On top of that, the sweetest people work there providing great customer service.

I don’t get this often because it isn’t the healthiest option at the market, but it is DELICIOUS – the peameal bacon sandwich at Carousel Bakery. I promise you, it’ll be worth it. (Side note: it’s apparently “world famous”…pretty cool).

And of course, coffee. I normally grab a coffee or latte from Balzac’s which is just outside of the market and has a cozy atmosphere for a coffee date!

Now that I’ve listed my St. Lawrence Market go-to spots, naturally, I must move on to my new french market basket which is PERFECT for a trip to the St. Lawrence Market. It’s from MUR Lifestyle, a brand I was introduced to a few weeks ago and I’m already so obsessed! Their goods are carefully sourced from small scale manufacturers, artisans and designers so you can always count on a unique offering of beautiful, high quality products at a reasonable price. I also love the idea of supporting a Canadian husband and wife duo!

fullsizeoutput_3065fullsizeoutput_305cfullsizeoutput_3066fullsizeoutput_3054Basket  /  MUR Lifestyle

Dress  /  H&M

Shoes  /  Zara (similar here)

Hat  /  H&M

Sunglasses  /  Ray Ban

xox,

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Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

There are few foods as comforting as pancakes.  My dad used to make them for my brother and I every Sunday morning when we were younger.  Except his pancakes were made with white flour, white sugar and milk.

When I found out I had an autoimmune disease in highschool, I had to eliminate all of the trigger foods from my diet (gluten, dairy, sugar).  These “trigger foods” cause inflammation in the body which cause autoimmune diseases to flare up.

Fast forward many years later, I’ve slowly been able to incorporate grains back into my diet in small, gluten free amounts.  I have tried many pancake mixes as well as different flour blends and these are by far my favorite. These pancakes are made with a mix of buckwheat flour and ground oats.  They are super fluffy and light and you really wouldn’t know they were gluten free.

Recipe

1 cup of gluten free rolled oats

1/2 cup of buckwheat flour

2 eggs

2 ripe bananas

2 tbsp of almond milk

1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend on medium high speed for 1 minute
  3. Heat a non-stick or cast iron pan and add some of the coconut oil
  4. Place two spoonfuls of the batter into the pan
  5. Once you see bubbles forming on top of the pancakes, gently flip
  6. Store in a preheated oven until you’re ready to eat

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Homemade Vanilla Bean Almond Milk

I stopped buying pre-made/packaged almond milk a few years ago.  Conveniently around the same time I invested in a Vitamix. Store bought almond milk contains thickeners and emulsifiers such as carrageenan which are not the healthiest.  If you own a blender I highly recommend you set aside time each week to make your own.  You can add it to smoothies, make lattes or enjoy on it’s own.  Because there are no emulsifiers it will tend to separate in the fridge so you will need to shake it before using.

Recipe

1 cup of soaked almonds

4 cups of water

2 dates

1/2 vanilla bean

pinch of salt

  1. Rinse the almonds well with cold water
  2. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with water.  Soak over night or 8-10 hours minimum
  3. Drain and rinse the almonds and transfer to your blender.
  4. Add 4 cups of water, 2 dates and half of a vanilla bean and salt
  5. Blend on high for 1 minute
  6. Slowly pour the mixture through a nut milk bag over a bowl.  Squeeze the bottom of the nut milk bag until all the liquid is separated from the almond meal.
  7. Transfer to a 1 L mason jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Polka Dots & Ruffles

fullsizeoutput_2e31It’s finally starting to feel like summer and I couldn’t be happier about it! I get so excited when seasons begin to change – it always feels a bit like a fresh start.

I’m really looking forward to wearing flowing summer dresses and skirts all summer long. I’m normally not a huge skirt person but this polka dot and ruffled skirt has officially begun a new obsession. It’s so easy to throw on for a cute daytime look with sneakers and a tee, but would be so ideal for a dressier look paired with a white blouse and espadrille wedges! As you already know, I’m all about those versatile pieces.

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Sunglasses  /  Illesteva

Jean Jacket  /  Vintage Levi’s

Skirt  /  Topshop

T-Shirt  /  H&M

Sneakers  /  Adidas

Bag  /  Saks Fifth Avenue Collection

xox,

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Matcha Matcha Match

Matcha has been in my life for years and quickly became a morning staple due to all of the health benefits.  It’s rich in antioxidants, boosts your metabolism and tastes amazing. I absolutely can not drink coffee because it makes me super jittery and anxious so this has been my alternative.  There are two types of matcha, culinary grade and ceremonial grade.  For drinking purposes, always go with the ceremonial grade.  It’s less bitter and has a different flavor profile than culinary grade.  There’s a pretty large price difference between the two so for baking or smoothies I usually use culinary grade which has the same health benefits and is still a high quality tea it’s just slightly more bitter.  Ceremonial grade matcha is meant to be consumed without added sweeteners or milks.

On my recent trip to Montreal, we were lucky enough to stumble upon a family owned tea and spice shop in the Jean Talon market.  We met one of the daughters who is in charge of all the teas and her knowledge on the subject is incomparable. She studied tea in China for 6 years and now imports all of her teas from China and Japan.  If you ever find yourself in Montreal you must stop by.  This shop is magical.  I ended up purchasing some matcha which you can also buy online.

I also drink ceremonial grade DoMatcha which you can purchase here.

For those that don’t know, matcha is made from grinding up the whole green tea leaf.  So you are essentially getting the entire benefits of consuming the whole leaf compared to steeped green tea.

You can read up on all of the health benefits here.

 

Wrapped Up

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I am absolutely obsessed with this wrap top from Lioness. I was debating whether to get it in the gingham print or black but I am so happy I went for the black. Don’t get me wrong, gingham is one of my favourite prints lately, but I love how the solid colour accentuates the detail of the sleeves and wrapped bow. It’s so easy to dress this top up or down. This is a perfect look for a night out with friends but I can’t wait to wear this top with my slip on loafers and high waisted jean shorts when the weather warms up (Mother Nature, I’m talkin’ to you).

fullsizeoutput_303afullsizeoutput_3041DSC_0217DSC_0206Top  /  Lioness

Jeans  /  AGOLDE

Heels  /  Nine West

Bag  /  Rag & Bone

Earrings  /  Forever21 (similar here)

xox,

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