February 07, 2017

chai tea

i would like to take this time to welcome myself back lol. oh, it feels.so.good.  i took a much needed hiatus from my precious blog but am thrilled to be back.  let's get back into things.  our weather has been so out of whack lately for this part of the island.  we have been stuck in what feels like a snow globe for three days.  it has been snowing non stop since Friday. my beautiful daffodils and fresh buds on my rhododendron bushes are now covered in a fresh blanket of snow.  although i was in spring mode (i bought my seeds on wednesday...) i am loving the snow.  i don't think i really have a choice. here are a few things I have been up to lately.

let's start with saturday. let the snow storm continue.  i use the term "storm" very lightly.  it was not windy, but boy did it snow.  i started off my day with a simple fruit salad of dragon fruit, kiwi and cara cara orange.  those colours though!

after breakfast came the star of the show. there is nothing i love more than a hot cup of chai on a cold, winter day.

my go-to chai recipe is made with whole spices and fresh ginger and has such a rich flavour.  it is a chai tea concentrate so you only have to add 1/4 cup or so to each cup.  i sweeten mine with local honey already flavoured with nutmeg and cinnamon.  this just makes it extra yummy. thank you the prairie homestead for a recipe i go back to time and time again.  i added some steamed milk and sprinkled cinnamon and grated nutmeg and orange zest on top.

after a nice, hot mug of chai, my mom, bri, harley (my pup) and i ventured out into the trails for a snow shoeing adventure.

it was an absolutely perfect afternoon spent with three of my favourite people.  harley is pretty much a person. at least we think he is.



April 02, 2015

Chocolate Peppy Squares

These squares are out. of. this. world.  They are quite pepperminty, which is great for a huge peppermint lover like me!

They are extremely easy to make and keep well for a long time, especially when kept in the freezer.  Please make them.  Your boyfriend/girlfriend, family, co-workers will thank you!

Chocolate Peppy Squares
Adapted from www.ohsheglows.com


2 cups oats (blended into fine flour)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
5 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp soy milk/almond milk
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp peppermint extract (depending on taste)
1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup mint chocolate chips (ohhh yeahhhhh)
1/2 cup mint chocolate chips (for topping)
1 tbsp coconut oil (for topping)
flaked coconut (for garnish)


1. Blend oats into flour using blender or food processor.  Put into bowl (I used my stand mixer)
2. Process nuts until semi-fine consistency.  The consistency is a personal preference.  Add nuts to oats mixture.
3. Add cocoa powder, sea salt, milk, maple syrup (make sure you add all 5 tbsp as this helps bind the "dough"), peppermint extract, oats and 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips.

4. Mix until well combined.

5. Line an 8 by 8 baking dish with wax paper.  Add mixture to dish.  Press down using your fingers until everything is firmly pressed together.

6. Melt 1/2 cup mint chocolate chips and 1 tbsp coconut oil in the microwave until melted.
7. Pour and spread over top of mixture.

8. Sprinkle with coconut.  Put in the freezer until chocolate topping has set.

This is why wax paper is so amazing! Comes out clean without any sticking.

9. Cut into as many squares as you'd like. 

10. Freeze and enjoy!

And yes, I realize I am a huge nerd considering I labelled the bag, but I mean, come on...who doesn't love labelling? Am I right? Please tell me I am...

April 01, 2015

Great Greek Salad

It's that time of year again. Out with the comfort food, in with the fresh food.  During the winter months, I tend to gravitate towards more comforting food, as I'm sure we all do.  Sure, they're delicious and yes, I try to make them as healthy as possible and get my greens in different ways (thank you green monsters) but after awhile it gets old.

The sunny, warmer weather we have been having has inspired me to create meals using much more fresh produce. I love this time of year for that.  

This greek salad is as simple and delicious as can be.  It was supposed to go alongside homemade spelt pita bread...but, as you can see by the pictures below that didn't happen.  Note to self: Read ALL instructions before you begin cooking.  As I was cooking the chicken, I realized the pita dough needed 2 hours of rising time.  Whoops.

Great Greek Salad


1/2 cucumber
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 tomatoes (or 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes)
1 shallot
1 romaine heart
feta cheese


1. Cut up all vegetables and put them in a large bowl.
2. Top with feta cheese, olives and fresh basil.
3. Toss with dressing (recipe below).

Red Dressing
adapted from www.howsweeteats.com


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves or 1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp herb de provence
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil


1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend (rocket science, I know!)

The wonderfulness that is olive oil becomes creamy when blended, so this is actually more of a yellow dressing than red...oh well, I'm going to keep the name!

A simple dinner for two

Fresh salad with baked chicken on the side! Mmm...

What do you like to eat your greek salad with?

March 31, 2015

It Finally Hit Me!

It finally hit me.  I am officially on Spring Break.  It hit me yesterday morning when I didn't have to get up hours before the sun.  Those of you who know me know that I am a huge early bird, but sometimes 5:00 am is just a tad too early to get the worm everyone's always talking about...

Yesterday I got up at 7:00 am, made some breakfast and plunked myself on the couch where I slowly enjoyed my breakfast while watching some Netflix!  Ahhh...no better way to spend my first real day of holidays!

I have no real plans for the next two weeks, which I'm kind of loving.  At first, I was a bit disappointed I wasn't going anywhere but now I'm perfectly content with my decision!  I plan on doing some Spring cleaning (i.e. going through cupboards, closets and drawers), getting my gardens ready, building a kitchen table (pretty excited about this one) and going to as many classes at the gym as I can!

Now, back to the food!  Here's yesterday's breakfast.

Acai bowl with all of the toppings!

Acai Bowl

1 package of sugar free acai pack

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/8-1/4 cup almond milk (I used homemade but any will do)


1. Blend in blender/food processor. The stronger the better!  Add more liquid to reach desired consistency.

2. Have fun with your toppings!  I added banana, blackberries, leftover granola from yesterday's breakfast, walnuts and raw buckwheat groats.

Now, I have never had an acai bowl before, nor do I know what it is them...but this one was phenomenal! 

Do any of you make acai bowls? Or if you don't, have you ever had one?  

March 30, 2015

Roasted Tomato Soup

Rewind to dinner last night.  Simple ingredients, easy prep, minimal clean up and tons of flavour!

Roasted Tomato Soup
adapted from somewhere that I can't remember...


6-8 tomatoes on the vine cut into quarters
1 yellow onion cut into quarters
head of garlic
fresh basil
fresh thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut top off of garlic head.  Put head down on cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until lightly brown.

2. Put tomatoes, onion, fresh herbs (to taste), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper (to taste) and cayenne pepper (1-2 pinches) into large bowl.

3. Mix with hands until combined.

4. Put on cookie sheet.  Bake for approx. 30 minutes.

5. Add all tomato mixture to blender.  Squeeze out roasted garlic into blender.  Blend until it reaches your desired consistency.  I blended until it was completely smooth and creamy!

6.  Serve, garnish and enjoy!

Have you ever made tomato soup this way? 

March 29, 2015

I'm Back!

Well, well, well...look who we have here.  Yes, I'm back.  Yes, It's been over a year.  I still can't believe it.  No major excuses and no, I am not going to write a novel about what I have been up to because I have a granola recipe to share with you, and let's face it granola recipe > my whole life story.  But, here is a quick little list to get you all up to date:

  • I am currently teaching at the same school as last year (K-2 class), which is in a very remote community
  • Francis graduated from UVic with his Engineering degree and moved to Campbell River.  He now has a great job working for the Hydro Dam project as a Field Engineer!
  • We (my dad, Francis and I) renovated and moved into a house on a large piece of property 
  • I am still baking and cooking up a storm
  • I haven't been running much at all lately but have been going to group classes at the gym (zumba, spin) and keeping up with my pilates!

Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to business.

This granola *drool*.  So easy, so quick, so healthy, SO delicious.  Make it, like now!

Five-Minute Granola


1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tbsp coconut oil
1-2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used maple syrup but actually prefer agave nectar)
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven (I used a toaster oven) to 350 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together.  
  • Note: it is easier to use coconut oil at room temperature than liquid
2. Spread granola onto non stick cookie sheet or onto a silpat.
3. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until slightly golden.
4. Allow to cool and enjoy (if you're impatient like me you can put it in the freezer)

I love this granola so much that I sometimes make it at 5:00 am before I head off to work.  

Served on top of 2 % greek yogurt and topped with banana, apple, peanut butter coconut oil drizzle and unsweetened coconut flakes!

How do you like to eat your granola?

October 19, 2013

It's been a very long time...

HI EVERYONE!!!!!!  I am so excited to be back.  I know it has been a super long time since I have posted but the last few months of my life have been some of the best/worst months of my entire life!  I won't go into too much detail because there isn't enough room on this page, but I will give you a bit of an update!

Let's start with June...Francis and I were in the middle of looking for jobs for September.  A lot of areas were on our radar: Quebec City, Calgary, Vancouver area etc...  It was a really hard time for us.  We were trying to find jobs in the same area, which let's face it is nearly impossible.  I made a very difficult decision in June to put in my notice at my job.  I realized that I needed time to really focus on applying for jobs and wasn't giving it the time that it deserved.  After 7 long years at University, I owed it to myself to really concentrate on my future!  It was a fun 6 months working with awesome people and having fun but I had the rest of my life to look after!  Francis had also applied for a job in Calgary...a VERY good opportunity for him...so I wanted to try to go with him.  If he got the job I was going to move there regardless if I got a teaching job or not.  We just wanted to be together...

On my last day of work I got a call from the school district in my hometown!  They wanted me to come in for an interview.  Umm...what??? I didn't even know what to do!  I was so excited and so flipping nervous at the same time!  Of course, I said yes.  Francis also had an interview at a job in Vancouver!  Francis' interview went well and he found out that he got the job (woo hoo).  My interview went well but I wasn't offered the job...super bummer, but you know what?  I got over it and I realized that it wasn't the end of the world.  I was so nervous for the interview that I ended up crying...yup, you heard that right.  It was a combination of nerves and getting emotional over the relationship I had with the students in my final practicum class!  I'm not embarrassed about that anymore...I did my very best and I was happy that I was completely myself!

That same day the school district called me again...they wanted me to come in for another interview the next morning.  I almost turned it down because I didn't want to be nervous again...but I realized that that would be a huge mistake and that I should just go in there, give it my all and not be nervous.  I looked at it as a learning experience and told myself I probably wouldn't get it but that I was very fortunate to have been giving an interview (getting on the sub list is very hard, let alone getting a teaching job with little to no experience).

Later on that day, the principal of the school called me and said she was trying to get a hold of my references but couldn't.  Ahhhhhh she was actually calling my references?  I gave her the numbers and became extremely nervous.  Over the weekend I was very relaxed because I knew they wouldn't call me to tell me the good or bad news.  Monday rolled around and I had just come in from my morning run when the phone rang...I didn't answer it.  I was WAY too nervous.  I called back and was expecting to be told that I didn't get the job but I was prepared for it.  She told me that they would LIKE TO OFFERING ME THE POSITION I INTERVIEWED FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I couldn't believe it!  I got super chatty and the lovely lady on the phone had to ask me...after about 5 solid minutes of my chatter...she said...so, do you accept the position?  OF COURSE I DO!!!!!  It was such an amazing moment that I will never forget!  Completely surreal....

The rest of my summer consisted of packing, shopping for my very first car (eek) planning lessons, shopping for my classroom (SO FLIPPIN' FUN!).  We officially moved out of our place at the end of August and I am now settled into my new life in my hometown.  Francis is in Vancouver and we see eachother most weekends, which we both really look forward to!

My new car :)

Teacher supply store my good friend, Nicole and I went to in Van!  SOOOOOOO overwhelming...I walked out with some stickers...

Oh the chaos...

Moved in trying to unpack and get settled asap!

Starting to come together...walls are still bare but that will change once I make a trip to Emporia for some beautiful prints!

My bedroom...yes, I have a view of the ocean! I am SUPER lucky!

The stunning view the very first morning of my new job :)

View from my office!  Seriously?  So gorgeous!

The forest I take my class to everyday...we have so much fun in there!

There is only ONE stop on the way to my school...and she makes the LARGEST cinnamon buns EVER!  This doesn't do it justice...it is the size of my head...not even kidding!  It fed about 6 people...

The beautiful Elk that I get to see at least a couple of times of a week... they are the most majestic creatures I think I have ever seen.  They are beautiful.

And just one of my little B-man looking all cute...he has settled in to his new home quite nicely :)

I am in love with my career...the people, the atmosphere, the village (yes, it's a village, not a town...it's that small :) and of course my absolutely wonderful class!  I look forward to seeing them every morning...the smiles, the hugs, the laughter!  It is THE most rewarding, fun career I could have ever asked for and I am so beyond grateful that I was given this opportunity!  We have only been in school for 2 months but it has gone by super fast and I feel like that will continue throughout the year!  The best part is that I always know I have weekends off and so does Francis...so I work very hard during the week so that I can look forward to a relaxing/fun weekend away or at home!

I PROMISE I am going to get back to some more regular blogging...and I will include more running/exercise updates and food recipes, of course!  I am sorry it has been so long but I have also had a rough few weeks as I have lost a very close family member unexpectedly and it has been extremely tough...trying very hard to cope and I think that just getting back into the swing of things will help...having an outlet like blogging will also be very good for me!  Sorry for such a ramble but I had a lot of share obviously!  I hope I haven't lost any readers...but if I have I am sorry and maybe I will gain some new ones! :)

Have a great Saturday night!  I am having a nice glass of wine by my fire watching some Gilmore Girls overlooking the ocean with my kitty... perfect!