Friday, February 28, 2014

Clean Eating Made Easy {Do's & Don'ts}

Over the last few years there has been increasing awareness on "clean eating". I myself have had a teetering interest in incorporating clean eating into my lifestyle for at the last year at the very least, and if you're like me, you may not know quite where to start.

Here's a simplified chart of "Do's & Don'ts" for clean eating that can help you get started on the right track:

With so much literature out there on the topic, it can be both frustrating and overwhelming when you try to start eating clean. This chart makes things simple and easy to follow, at least as a starting point, until you are comfortable with basic clean eating practices. Eventually clean eating will become second nature and you will do it without even thinking about it.

Always remember, this is a lifestyle change; you are breaking habits that you have developed throughout your life up until this point. Be patient, be persistent, and be healthy.

Take Care,


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Room For Dogs

If you're a dog lover, you are going to love this design idea for your home; a dog room. That's right people, a room just for your dogs; complete with nooks for your dog's bed, a feeding area, and storage for their food, toys, and accessories.

You can't deny that this looks way more aesthetically pleasing than a dog crate in the corner of your kitchen (or laundry room). I consider my dogs a part of my family, and the way I see it, every family member deserves their own space to relax and unwind.

Take Care,


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Easy Cake Mix Cookies

So lately I have been seeing a lot of recipes for cookies made from cake mix; naturally this intrigued me, so I decided to give it a shot. I can honestly say these are the best cookies I have made in a very long time; not only are they soft & chewy, but they also have the perfect amount of crunch to them, and require minimal dishes.

So without further delay, here's my super easy cake mix cookie recipe for Triple Chocolate Cookies!


1 box of Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix cake mix, vegetable oil and beaten eggs together until everything is well mixed.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes.

Drop teaspoonfuls of dough onto un-greased baking trays, keeping them spaced 1 to 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes. 

Remove cookies from oven and let rest on the pans for 2 minutes.
Remove the cookies from the pans and let cool completely.

Serve & Enjoy!

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Binge Eating Recovery

Are you addicted to sugar, or turn to foods that aren't the best for you from a healthy eating stand point in times of distress. I know I've been there before plenty of times; you have a really bad day and turn to comfort foods and then "I'll just have 2 cookies" turns into a whole demolished batch of cookies (or whatever your go to comfort food may be).

Once you go on a binge, I can be very hard to snap out if it, as you will most likely be craving that sugar high the very next day. Here are some tips to help you break that binge cycle and get back on track.

Always remember, do not sit around feeling guilty or bad about yourself afterwards as this really will not help you in the short or long term. Accept the choices that you made and move on with positivity, it's a new day after-all.

Take Care,


Monday, February 24, 2014

Easy Makeup Organization

In one of my weekly pinning sprees on Pinterest I came across this amazingly ingenious ideas for makeup organization that I just had to share with you. It uses the IKEA Alex storage unit, and bristol board (or card stock), and anti-slip mats that you can buy at your local business supply store (or for cheaper choices you can go to Walmart or the Dollar Store).

I'm not going to lie, this projuect is a bit time consuming and will require patience. You will need to measure the interior of the drawers (width, length, and height), as well as the size of the makeup containers that you are trying to store.

Once you have all of this information, you can cut your non slip mats and place them in the bottom of each drawer. Now you can start cutting your dividers; place strips running from the front to back of the drawer, cutting slits  3/4 of the way through in the sections where you plan to divide.
Now place your dividers through the slits of the vertically running dividers, running horizontally in the drawers.

That's it; now place your makeup in the divider sections and marvel at your hard work and enjoy organizational bliss!

Take Care,


Friday, February 21, 2014

Portabella Mushroom Burgers

A few years ago I tried my first Portabella mushroom burger and my taste buds were changed forever! If you like (or love) mushrooms, then you are going to love this recipe for portabella mushroom burgers.

This burger contains no meat, and is full of savoury vegetable deliciousness! Even better, it's quick and easy to make.

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 large red pepper
4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and washed
4 heaping tablespoons softened goat cheese
4 of your favorite buns, large enough to accommodate the mushrooms
Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula or romaine, as needed

Mix mayonnaise, basil and mustard together. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic in another bowl.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Place red pepper on the grill. Brush mushroom caps on both sides with the balsamic oil mixture. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. To start, begin grilling the mushrooms gill side down. When the mushrooms are just tender, turn over and divide goat cheese between the mushrooms, spooning and spreading it inside each cap. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Meanwhile, turn pepper until charred on all sides. Place in paper bag to steam for 10 minutes. Remove from bag and peel off skin. Remove pepper top, cut into quarters, removing membranes and seeds. 

Grill cut side of rolls, if desired. Top the bottom half of each roll with a mushroom, quarter of a roasted red pepper and leafy greens. Spoon some basil-mustard sauce over pepper and top with the other half of the bun.

Now bite into this absolutely delicious creation and enjoy!

Take Care,


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Weighted Hip Thrust

Are you looking to get a leaner and more toned lower body? Are you stuck doing the same old exercises and looking for something new to add into your repertoire?
If so, give this move a try; weighted hip thrusts.

If you're just starting out, you will not be starting out with as much weight as the guy in this picture; you will most likely be starting with a weighted bar (no plates added).

Here's what you need to do:

First, place your shoulder blades on a flat bench keeping your back in a straight line and your feet flat on the ground (legs at a 90 degree angle).

Now place a folded yoga mat on your lap. Place a weighted bar in the center of your lap, holding it with your hands shoulder width apart.

Lower your butt halfway to the ground and hold for a second, then thrust your hips up and squeeze your butt really tight at the top for a few seconds.

Now repeat 10-15 times. Do this for a total of 3 sets.

This exercise will make your butt burn! Not only that, but with dedication and consistence you will see results.

Take Care,


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DIY Copper Penny Art

During one of my usual pinning sprees on Pinterest, I came across this awesome DIY project for wall art made out of old pennies! This is a perfect way to use up any old pennies that you have lying around that you haven't deposited in  the bank (I don't know what your country has done with pennies, but Canada recently got rid of our penny in the summer).

So this post is thanks to blogger Rebecca of The Crafted Sparrow. Have fun and start making your very own copper penny wall art!

What you'll need:
 Paper mache letters
Weldbond glue (or your choice of glue)
Copper acrylic paint
Paint brush
Clear spray sealer

How To:

Start by painting your paper mache letters copper! I did two layers and that was enough to cover the paper mache. After I painted it copper I used a gunmetal silver color with a dry brush technique to give it a bit of a patina.

Then get your glue ready. You'll also want to start picking out your "good" pennies. I picked mostly shiny, but threw a few duller ones into the mix. That creates character.

Then I laid out the pennies on each letter ahead of time. That way I new exactly what pattern, and placement they were going to be in. I put most face up, but did some face down too. Then you just glue until your hearts content. When you've got them all glued on and they are all dry (let it sit for at least 24 hrs) you can spray them with a clear satin or glossy spray paint. I did it to protect the penny's and the copper paint on the paper mache.

That's it! Now enjoy your very own copper wall art.

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Easy Slow Cooker Taco Pasta

If you own a Crockpot, you know just how convenient and amazing these appliances are; you put everything in the pot the night before (or morning of), turn on your Crockpot before you leave for work, and come home in the evening and voila, dinner is ready to eat!
If you do not own a Crockpot, I highly recommend that you go buy one just based on the sheer convenience alone.

Now that I've gone on about how much I think that Crockpots are the best, here's a simple and delicious Crockpot recipe for Taco Pasta.


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef 
1 cup Progresso® beef-flavored broth (from 32-oz carton) 
1 cup water 
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix 
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic diced tomatoes, undrained 
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion 
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 
1 package (8 oz) Old El Paso® chile and roasted garlic Mexican cooking sauce
 4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, soften, cut into 1-inch pieces 
3 cups cooked medium pasta shells
 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz) 

In 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, place cooked beef and remaining Taco Pasta ingredients except pasta shells and Cheddar cheese; stir until well combined.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 5 hours.

About 15 minutes before serving, cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Uncover slow cooker; stir in pasta and shredded Cheddar cheese until well combined.

Cook uncovered on High heat setting 10 to 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Serve topped with sour cream, salsa and/or shredded cheese.Enjoy!

Take Care,


Monday, February 17, 2014

How To Foam Roll

Have you ever foam rolled before?
If you answered "no" then you are really missing out. Foam rolling not only relieves sore muscles, but it also prevents serious (and very painful) injuries.

I can speak from experience; a few weeks ago I had a very painful and tight lower back to the point where it hurt to turn my torso slightly to the right or left (even sitting in a chair was causing me a lot of discomfort). My trainer kept telling me "I really think that your back pain is coming from your glutes and hamstrings being too tight". After spending weeks of not believing this I was ready to believe what he was saying so I spent almost an hour foam rolling out my legs and butt. I kid you not when I say that after 1 hour of foam rolling, focused entirely on my glutes and hamstrings I felt almost no pain or discomfort, and the next day I was back to normal with no tell tale signs that I was ever in pain at all.

Moral of the story, foam rolling works!
So without further delay, here's a guide on how to foam roll like a pro.

Now although I said that I foam rolled for an hour, I assure you that you do not need to spend that much time doing this; a normal foam rolling session for me is usually anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

If you stay consistent and make foam rolling part of your daily stretching routine, I guarantee you will see results; your muscles will be less sore and looser, and you will notice that you will not only be in less pain, but you will over time have a greater range of motion in your movements.

Tip: the firmer the foam roller, the better. Go for a foam roller that when you press your hands into it, you have little to no give in the material. 

Take Care,


Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Candy Candle Votives

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Whether you are in a relationship or not, Valentines Day is a day that you can shamelessly express how much you love the people in your life (whether that be friends, family or a boyfriend/girlfriend). It's also an excuse to decorate your home in a cute way (even if it is just for a day).

With that being said, I have to say that one of the simplest and inexpensive ways to decorate your home for Valentines Day (and without making it look like Cupid threw up all over the place) is this; candle votives filled with Valentines Day candy!

All you need is candle votives (however many you would like), some candles (red, white or pink are best for the occasion), and some Valentines Day candy.

Fill the votive with the candy 1/2 or 3/4 way full, then place the candle securely in the votive, and that's it!
Quick, simple and easy.

Take Care,


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Homemade Margarita Mix

I'm a huge fan of margaritas! This sweet & sour drink takes me back to great memories of my tropical vacation in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. If you love lime margaritas like I do, you will agree with me that the generic store bought mix just doesn't cut it. This is why I felt the need to post this awesome homemade margarita mix!

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (8-12 limes)

For each margarita:
2 ounces homemade margarita mix
2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce orange liqueur
lime wedges/slices for garnish (optional)

To make the margarita mix; heat water and sugar in a small sauce pan until completely dissolved and the water is clear. Let cool. Pour into a pitcher with lime juice. Leftovers will keep 7-10 days in a jar in the fridge.

To make margaritas, combine 2 ounces mix, 2 ounces tequila, and 1 ounce orange liqueur. Shake well, strain into ice filled margarita glass. Garnish with lime slices.

Take Care,


Disclaimer: Decor Lust does not support under aged drinking. This recipe is to be used and consumed by adults of the legal drinking age in your country. Please enjoy responsibly, and do not drink & drive.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What To Eat Before & After A Workout

I think we've all been in the situation where we're hungry before a workout but don't know what to eat (or wonder if we even should eat). Depending on the time of day, some foods may sit heavier in your stomach and weight you down during your workout, so this post is to help you figure out what pre & post-workout foods you should be eating (courtesy of Lauren Conrad).

If you workout in the morning:
“You need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up so you can jump-start your metabolism.” Try having a few bites of oatmeal or half a banana—having something is your system is better than nothing. 
I find if I workout on an empty stomach, I get sick or too tired to finish my workout.

If you workout in the afternoon:
“Eat a light snack if you are hungry before your workout.” Jarett recommends power foods like a small bowl of oatmeal, a banana, apple slices with peanut butter or muscle milk.
 I usually have a small salad with light dressing, or other veggies.

After your workout:
“Eat within 30 minutes after your workout so your body doesn't start burning muscle.” It's important to fuel your body with some form of protein, so grab a handful or almonds or whip up a protein shake. Then, eat small meals every 3 hours throughout. Even If you’re not hungry, you should at least have a small snack. This will prevent you from waiting too long to eat and then overeating because you feel starving.

My favourite post-workout food is a peanut butter protein shake;
Take 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter, and 1 cup of milk. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve & enjoy!

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2014 Paint Colours

It's a new year, and with that comes new paint colour trends. With that being said, here are some of the predicted popular paint colours for 2014 from both the Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore paint lines.

Transitioning from the popular grays and taupes of 2013 comes a new cool colour palette with plenty of grays and blue hues. These muted tones are easy to coordinate with and give a sophisticated appeal to a room. 

My favourites are Sealskin (Sherwin Williams) and  Classic French Gray (Sherwin Williams). What are your favourites?

Take Care,


Monday, February 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Salsa

If you're like me, you've been saying for ages that you are going to make your own salsa one of these days. I said this at the beginning of the summer, hoping to go to the farmer's market up the road and make mine from all fresh local produce. But now it's the dead of winter and I still haven't made any salsa (an definitely cannot buy the fresh produce from my farmer's market now), so instead, why not try out a quick and easy salsa with all ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store.

The following recipe is for salsa made in the blender, and it only takes 15 minutes to make!

1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel (or equivalent)
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it - seeds make it spicier)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. 

Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve & enjoy!

Take Care,


Friday, February 7, 2014

Stretching The Pain Away {Yoga For Back Pain}

Do you suffer from lower back pain and are in need of some good stretches? If you answered "yes", then look no further; I have a total of 6 awesome yoga inspired stretches that will help to alleviate the strain on your back and loosen up your tight muscles.

If any of these stretches are unfamiliar to you and you require a more detailed explanation on how to perform these stretches follow the link above.

Hold each of these stretches for a minimum of 20 seconds (I like to hold my stretches for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how tight my muscles are). And always remember you do not want to stretch to the point of pain; just go as far as you can comfortably and work your way deeper into the stretches over time.

If you perform these stretches once a day you will start to feel the tension leaving your muscles.

Take Care,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Squeaky Clean {Laundry Shower}

Do you own pets that are notorious for getting covered in dirt when it's time to play outside? Or do you have a significant other, or little ones who also get into messy situations?

If this sounds like you, then you are going to love this design solution for your laundry room/mudroom; a compacted walk-in shower!

If you find that you have the extra space (or are looking for a renovation side project), this walk-in shower idea is great. No more splashing around over (and in) the bath tub to give your pets a bath; simply walk them into the shower and do your thing. 

This is also highly convenient if you or your family gets dirty feet on your way in the house; just hop in and rinse off real quick rather than tracking mud or dirt through the house.

Take Care,


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No-Bake Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Marshmallow Bars

A few years ago I went to a friend's cottage for a week in the cute beach town of Sauble Beach. While I was visiting, my friend took me to a small bakery off of the main strip where she had been going all of her childhood and introduced me to what is now one of my favourite no-bake dessert bars; Peanut Butter-Butterscotch Marshmallow Bars.

If you like (or love) peanut butter and are a fan of the sweet taste of butterscotch, this is a recipe that you will enjoy!

2 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup smooth peanut butter
6 cups mini coloured marshmallows (I warn you, these aren't as fun with plain white marshmallows)

Line a small baking tin or oven dish (8x8), with parchment paper. 

Melt together the butter, peanut butter and butterscotch chips, in a glass or ceramic bowl, over a small pan off water, and on low heat till the water starts to simmer. 

Take off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Mix well until marshmallows are coated with the butterscotch peanut butter mixture. 

Pour the mixture into the dish, using a wooden spoon or spatula, and spread evenly into the pan.

 Press some loose marshmallows over the top, and chill in the fridge until firm. 

Once the mixture has set, use a sharp knife cut into bars. Now serve & enjoy!

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fab Ab February {1 Month Ab Challenge}

We are now 4 months away from June, the time when people start sporting their bikinis and swim trunks, but do you feel like your midsection could use a bit more toning between now and then?

If so, then I have a 1 month challenge for you; the Fab Ab February challenge.

No I realize that we are a few days late in this challenge, but it's always better late than never!
This challenge is 6 days of work with 1 day of rest, and goes on for 29 days. Just follow the exercises listed for each day of the week and that's it. 

With this challenge, a bit of cardio, and a healthy diet, you will have a stronger and more firm mid section by the end of the month. 

Take Care,


Monday, February 3, 2014

Encouraging Creativity {DIY Stage/Runway}

If you have kids, or young children in your life, you will know how creative kids can be and how large their imaginations are. With that being said, I like to encourage creativity in children and adults alike which is why I think the following DIY project is perfect for your home if you have children!
DIY Stage (or Runway):
This idea is great for children who like to perform little plays, sing and/or dance, or even practice their fierce walk down the runway as a model. Keep in mid for your little future models out there, you will need a slightly longer runway than the stage you see pictured above.
All you really need is some 3/4" plywood, wood stain or paint in a colour of your choosing, and some nails to hold it all together. If you want to get fancy and add some curtains go right ahead. Be creative and have fun!
Take Care,