Friday, November 29, 2013

Home Office & Study Room

Do you or your kids have trouble concentrating when you're trying to get work/homework done, or studying done at home? Do you find that you don't have anywhere that is free of distractions and a productive work environment?

If this sounds familiar, then the following study room/office design is prefect for your home!

This design utilizes a narrow room perfectly, and the added bonus is that this room has doors to close off the rest of the room. Study and/or work in peace and quiet (or as much as possible if you have kids). Just be careful not to create a lot of countertop clutter, which often happens with so much work surface (clutter creates disorder and will distract you from the tasks at hand).

Take Care,


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Now that winter is upon us, I find that people are really starting to dig out their recipe books and are making soups and stews for meals.

After last weekend`s snow storm in my area, with temperatures that started to dip quickly, I decided to make 2 different soups. The most recent one was Tomato Tortellini Soup.

Here`s my quick and easy (not to mention frugal) recipe:

 1 16oz can of tomato sauce (I used mushroom)
2 tomato sauce cans of water
1 cup milk (or cream if you wish)
3 Tbsp chicken bouillon powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/8 Tsp ground black pepper
A dash of white pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tsp Oregano
1 small pkg of frozen tortellini, cheese or beef filled (I used cheese filled)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

In a large pot add tomato sauce, milk, water, and seasonings. Whisk together.

Add frozen tortellini and frozen mixed vegetables to the pot. 

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes, or until tortellini is no longer frozen, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat, and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serve & Enjoy!

Take Care,


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tone Up Tight Routine {Quick Total Body Workout}

Are you looking to get toned and fit but only have a few minutes to spare a day (or night when you get home from work) to do it?
No problem with this quick, but challenging routine, that only takes 16-18 minutes and targets all areas of your body.

Just follow the arrows and complete each set of exercises without resting between them. Once you've completed the workout, rest for one minute and repeat for a total of 3 times.

So to recap:
Do 10 push-ups, immediately followed by 25 crunches, immediately followed by 25 squats, immediately followed by 30 lunges (15 per leg), immediately followed by 50 jumping jacks, immediately followed by a 60 second wall squat.

*Hint: the closer your legs are to a 90 degree angle, the more challenging this will be.

Now that's one round complete. Take a rest for 1 minute, then repeat 2 more times!

Take Care,


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Home Spa Shower Enlosure

Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you're done taking a nice relaxing bubble bath (or bath with oils and salts), there's not many buzz kills as annoying as having to drain the bath to shower off any post-bath residue. You're wet and cold and just want to get dried off, but instead you find yourself fiddling around with shower dials to get the right water temperature.

Solve that problem with a bath and shower enclosure that are combined together like you see pictured above. So quick and easy, and no more waiting for the tub to drain; just step directly out of the bath into a nice hot shower.

This is a wonderful at home spa feel that is so efficient, and not to mention, beautiful.

Take Care,


Monday, November 25, 2013

Balsamic Mushroom Skewers

Mushrooms; I find either most people love them, or they hate them. For the people who love them, you really love them; in soups, stews, entrees, and best of all appetizers.

So for all of my mushroom lovers out there (myself included), here's a delicious Balsamic Mushroom Skewers recipe that will be a hit at your next social gathering or dinner party.


1/2 tbsp hot chili sauce (I like to use Sriracha) 
1tbsp olive oil
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
8 oz baby portobello mushrooms, halved


Whisk the hot chili sauce, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and oregano together in a medium bowl.
Add the halved mushrooms and toss to coat them well. Marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or Preheat the grill, if grilling.
Thread the mushrooms onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Roast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or grill them, 5 minutes per side.
And that's it! A quick and easy appetizer that's sure to please the mushroom lovers of your friends and family.

Enjoy! I know that I will be making these for my family's Christmas dinner.

Friday, November 22, 2013

No Space Required Workout

Whether you're living in a dorm room, or just have a small apartment/home, you may not have a lot of space to workout in. On top of that, it can be hard to find workouts that either don't include gym equipment, or a lot of space to move around in.

If this sounds like you, or if you just like to have a workout that requires minimum space (gyms can get crowded at peak times and this can make it easier to get your workout done with out rest between sets), here's a body weight workout that you can blast through in no time.

Although this is a body weight exercise, you can add weight to challenge yourself. I typically will do this workout once, then rest for 1 minute and repeat 2-3 more times.

Take Care,


Thursday, November 21, 2013

DIY Mail Organizer

Recently I was out looking for a mail organizer, because my boyfriend likes to leave mail pretty much on every surface of the apartment and I was hoping if he had a designated area to place his mail, the problem would either fix itself or diminish.

However, as I looked around I either found that mail organizers are hard to find (not many stores carry them anymore), or the ones that I could find were not very pretty (think tacky varnished wood with roosters painted on it). So with that being said, here's how you can turn those not so pretty mail organizers into something a little more to your taste.

What you will need:

Mail Organizer
Fine Grain Sand Paper
Medium & Small Paint Brushes (you'll need a small one for nooks and crannies)
Paint in the colour(s) of your choice


Take your mail organizer and sand the surface down with fine grain sand paper to remove any existing finish/paint.

Once the surface is free of the previous finish/paint, "paint" the entire surface of the wood with water. This is to prep the wood for painting.

Once the wood feels dry to the touch start painting in the colour(s) of your choice.

Let Dry completely in a well ventilated area.

And just like that, you're done!

Take Care,


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Better For You Jalapeno Poppers

If there's one thing that people love to eat at parties and pubs, it's jalapeno poppers. They're just too good to resist, but if you're trying to watch what you eat then you may feel guilty for eating deep fried food. Well not anymore with these baked jalapeno poppers.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 12 Jalapenos, halved & seeded
  • 24 – six inch pieces of bacon, uncooked

Preheat oven to 350F.
Combine cream cheese and spices in small bowl.  
Spoon mixture into each pepper half, until level. 
 Wrap each in bacon, and place on baking sheet. 
 Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Remove and enjoy!

Take Care,

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

15 Minute Body Weight Workout

As we've all heard, time is money. Alright, maybe not always in the literal sense, but the point is that time is very valuable. With that being said I find that there is more and more of a demand for quick and effective workouts so that people can workout but still get the pile of things that they need to do done in the day.

With that being said, while I was searching for quick workouts on Womens Health Magazine's website I found a great whole body workout that will challenge you and give you results, and the best part is it only takes 15 minutes.

I will be trying this tonight, and will let you know how it goes (and how to make things more challenging if need be). Stay tuned to the comments section!

Take Care,


Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY Scarf Storage

I find that scarves can be a pain to store sometimes. Whether you have a few, or many, there's always the question of "how do I want to store these?".

Recently I stumbled upon this image on Pinterest and couldn't believe I never thought of this before.

Not only is this a cheap way to store scarves, but by having individual rings for the scarves to hang on you prevent them from tangling together.

All you will need is a coat hanger with a bottom bar like you see above (metal, plastic, or wood), and some shower rings.


Take Care,


Friday, November 15, 2013

Homemade Creamy Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Now that the snow has started to fall here in Canada, I am in soup and stew making mode. It is the season for comfort food now.

With that being said, I find that nothing makes a soup/stew better than simmering all day in the Crockpot: the vegetables are perfectly tender and not mushy, and the meat (if you choose to put it in) is so tender that it flakes apart in your mouth. Absolutely delicious!

So this past weekend I made my first ever Crockpot Creamy Chicken & Vegetable soup.
Here's my recipe that literally took me only 15 minutes to put together before walking out the door for work Saturday morning:



4 cups cold water
4 tbsp chicken boullion powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
3 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts, chopped into 1" chunks
2 large carrots, sliced into "dollars"
4-6 small roasting potatoes
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 medium white cooking onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup milk
4 tbsp all-purpose flour

  1. Pour cold water and boullion powder into Crockpot and stir with a wire whisk until granules appear to be dissolved.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cover and cook in the Crockpot on Low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Transfer soup from Crockpot to a large pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and flour. 
  5. Slowly add milk & flour mixture to boiling pot of soup while stirring.
  6. Bring to a consistent boil until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
I hope you will enjoy this soup as much as I know my boyfriend and I did (even our dogs couldn't stop sniffing the air and wanting a taste).

Take Care,


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Challenging Stability Plank

Recently I have learned a new form of planking, and I have to admit, it's pretty challenging.

Single leg stability ball planks:

The way I was taught how to do this move is: 
  1. Get into plank position with your shins placed on the stability ball (the further the ball is away from your knees, the more challenging this move will be)
  2. Place your hands directly under your shoulders.
  3. Bring your right leg in at a 90 degree angle with your knee pointing towards the ground and toe pointing to the wall behind you.
  4. Now hold for 30 seconds.
  5. Switch legs and repeat.
It sounds easy but I assure you this can be quite challenging. For an added challenge my trainer makes me do 10 pikes on the ball after my 1 minute of planking (see picture below). 

These moves are so good, and I can always feel my abs working throughout this. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll see (and feel) that it's working.

Take Care,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

DIY Holiday Wreaths

Do you find more and more that when it comes to shopping for holiday decorations, that some items are either too over the top, or just not right for your liking? If so, I'm right with you on that one.

I've been looking around fo a wreath for my apartment door that I find fits my style but isn't too generic: so far nothing has caught my eye, at least that I'd be willing to spend my hard earned cash on. So now I'm thinking of DIY. That's right, I will be making my own holiday wreath.

I will be personally using this wreath as inspiration for my own DIY candy cane themed wreath.

You will need the following:
1 x Polystyrene ring
Collection of contrasting ribbons in different sizes
Wired ribbon
Dress making Pins
Buttons (I used sequins and pinned them into place)

Now that you have everything that you need, here's how you make your very own wreath:
1. Start by pinning the end of your chosen background ribbon to the polystyrene ring. Begin to wrap the ring with the ribbon until completely covered. You can use pins as you go to make it more secure.
2. Choose a contrasting coloured ribbon and again wrap around the polystyrene ring, this time leaving a 5cm gap between each wrap.
3. Lastly wrap a thinner ribbon between the gaps of the last ribbon.
4. Using wired ribbon make a bow and pin on to the polystyrene ring (or skip a step and buy a pre-made bow from the dollar store)
5. Add some buttons (or sequins like I did)  to complete the design. I glued mine but you could pin these too.
6. To finish, pin a piece of ribbon to the back of the polystyrene ring.
Congrats, you've now made your very own wreath!

Take Care,


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Delicious Naniamo Bars

So recently I've found myself craving sweets like crazy! One night when I was thinking of what I wanted to have/make to satisfy my sugar craving I suddenly remembered an amazing dessert bar that I used to eat at my Nana's as a treat: Naniamo Bars.

These bars are absolutely delicious! They are in my opinion the best thing to curb a sugar craving.


  • Bottom layer: ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1¾ cup Graham cracker crumbs
  • ¾ cup fine coconut
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • Middle layer: ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Top layer: 5 squares of semi-sweet baker’s chocolate (or ¾ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  1. Bottom Layer: Melt first 3 ingredients in a medium sized saucepan on medium-low heat
  2. Add beaten egg and stir till thickened, about 1 minute
  3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients
  4. Press firmly into a 9″x9″ ungreased pan
  5. Middle layer: Cream butter in a medium sized bowl
  6. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute
  7. Spread evenly over bottom layer
  8. Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes before adding top layer
  9. Top layer: Melt chocolate and butter over low heat in double boiler until just melted
  10. Pour evenly over middle layer
  11. Chill in refrigerator
  12. Once the chocolate is set soft, cut into bars and return to fridge.

**Make sure you cut the bars before the chocolate is set firm or the chocolate will crack. These freeze very well.  

I you find yourself with a major sugar cravings. I highly recommend that you make this recipe. It will be worth the work.

Take Care,


Monday, November 11, 2013

Legs For Days Workout

On another one of my weekly quests for quick and effective lower body workouts, I came across this great workout on the blog "Back On Pointe". It's called "Legs for Days".

As you can see, this workout is made up of simple and well know moves that I'm sure most people are familiar with. Although this routine may seem easy, it is still very effective. And, as always, you can always add weight/resistance to make this routine more challenging for you.

Take Care,


Friday, November 8, 2013

DIY Lamp Makeover

Do you have an old lamp in your room that has seen its better days? Or maybe you're re-decorating your space and the existing lamp that you have just doesn't go with the room anymore?

Better throw that lamp away or give it to a thrift store right? No way!

Save some money by keeping your existing lamp and make it like new by redesigning it.

I am currently working on my own DIY lamp for my bedroom (I will be buying my supplies this weekend and working away), and have an old ceramic brown glazed lamp that I will be painting in a metallic gold finish and replacing the existing taupe shade with a black one.

It can be so simple to redesign your existing fixtures and accessories in your home. Why not give it a try?!

Take Care,


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crisp Chicken Salad Appetizers

What's better than fresh chicken salad?
Chicken salad served on a thinly sliced, tart granny smith apple!



1 cup  shredded rotisserie chicken
1 Green Onion
1/4" cup chopped walnuts
2-3 tbsp light mayonnaise
Dash of Black Pepper
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1-2 medium granny smith apples (finely sliced)
Whole walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries


Take apples and finely slice into disks (works best if you cut the apple with the stem pointing upwards). Set aside for later use.

Mix remaining ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.

Top apple slices with prepared chicken salad and place 1 whole walnut on top as garnish.

Serve & Enjoy!

This is so refreshing, perfect for a summer picnic or gathering. When you add the cranberries to this recipe, it essentially becomes a leafless waldorf salad. Delicious!

Take Care,


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Runner's Boot Camp Workout

Now that it's gotten pretty cold out, and I haven't been able to properly update my running gear, I'm sad to say that I've haven't been running lately in fear of getting sick.

So due to my slacking (I'm human too) I'm glad to say that I came across a boot camp routine made for runners. This is perfect for those days where, if you're not a die hard runner yet and it's too cold out for you, you can do this routine inside and still get in your physical activity for the day.

This routine works all of the muscles groups that you use while running: your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and core.

I cannot wait to start doing this routine in the meantime while I save up for winter running gear!

Take Care,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Foyer Decor {Wall Mounted Console}

If you're like me, you don't really like vacuuming. But if you're really like me, then what you dislike most about vacuuming is having to move furniture to do so; the key pieces of furniture that require moving in my house are tables.

It may seem so small, but I find moving tables to be a nuisance. So what's better than a wall mounted table to eliminate this issue all together?

A wall mounter "console table" is my perfect solution to the floor clutter and furniture moving predicament.
It's so easy and pretty cheap as a DIY project as well; you can get everything that you need from your local Home Depot store.

All you need is a plank of wood, decorative (or plain if you choose) support brackets, screws & wall anchors, and paint or wood stain of your choosing. Just make sure that your support brackets are large enough and sturdy to be able to support your countertop and any items that you plan to place ontop of its surface.

Take Care,


Monday, November 4, 2013

Crustless Skillet Pizza

Have you ever had a craving for greasy pizza with gooey cheese, but stopped yourself because you didn't want to break your diet by ingesting extra carbs?

Well no problem, I have a healthier alternative for you: crustless skillet pizza.


Mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup to 1 cup should be enough)
Toppings of your choosing (be careful not to overload)

  • Set pan over medium high heat. Add a layer of Mozzarella cheese to the bottom of the pan. When the cheese starts bubbling, add toppings being careful not to overload them.
  • Start watching the edges of the cheese. When the edges start to brown, you can use a spatula to lift the them.
  • Once the edges are browned all the way around, you can carefully slide the spatula under the “pizza” and slide it off onto a plate.
  • Now you just have to let the pizza cool a bit so the cheese will firm up (2-3 mins). Then you can use a pizza cutter to slice it up.

This is a great recipe; not only is it simple & easy, it's also a bit better for you than getting a large slice from your nearest pizza joint.

Take Care,


Friday, November 1, 2013

Pike Push Ups {Challenge Yourself}

If you are bored of doing push ups and want to do something that's going to challenge you, try this:

Pike Push Ups:

Here's how it works:

Begin in push-up position, with hands wide facing the middle (fingers pointing towards each other).  Bend at waist, lifting hips up and coming onto toes so body forms upside-down “V”, pike position. Bend elbows to lower head toward hands.  Press back up.

These are really hard! I tried them for the first time a few weeks ago and could only do 5 before losing proper form and feeling like my arms were made of jelly. I highly recommend that you try this out.

Take Care,