Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goodbye Summer with BlueBerry Lagoon

I'm looking at my agenda...and I'm crying. How did 4-months of summer just fly by?! The weather was so crummy and wet for the most part and I just don't have the motivation to go back to school. 

My schedule have been packed the last few weeks since everyone is leaving - just cramming a little bit of everyone in my life before we all go our separate ways for the next 8-months. 

With that being said...I neglected tea for some time. I never found the time to brew myself a cup and just sit down to enjoy it. So, today - I chose Blueberry Lagoon by Tealish Tea to let the last taste of summer sink in. 



Just as the name suggest, this tea has a very sweet scent to it. It smells amazing and the taste is very light and subtle. To make the tea stand out, I added a hint of honey to it. And it was a perfect cup of tea. Unfortunately, my boyfriend's house didn't have any ice - otherwise I would have made an iced tea for summer. 



Hot or Cold, this tea is perfect to remind me of the summer months. 

love & light,
Susan

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rehydrate with Vanilla Coconut Water

The cold weather in Canada ruins all the good stuff we have in the world. I always wish I could grow coconuts in my backyard! You'll see tons of coconuts on your grocery store's shelf during the summer months to quench your thirst, but how about the winter months? Well, good thing they make packaged coconut water - not as good and beneficial as the fresh coconuts themselves, but what else can we do? 

Coconut water is so hydrating - it's literally super water; perfect for an after workout drink. It has full of potassium and natural sugars (none of that processed stuff in sport drinks!) to reboot you after an intensive workout. Along with this, it has great electrolytes that your body needs - calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. 

Already, coconut water is literally perfect hydrator on its own - let's make this even better! 

Raw Cacao Powder - we all love chocolate and this is the rawest form. It's full of great antioxidants and is a girl's best friend during PMS week! 

Chia Seeds - packed full of omega-3s!!! 

Protein Powder - I usually use Vega One, but in this photo, I used Raw Meal by Garden of Life. They both are packed full of other great nutrients that is similar to if you had a complete meal - especially being a student, sometimes we forget to feed ourselves all the nutrients we need. This is perfect for an after workout drink! 



Vanilla Coconut Water 

1-2 cups of coconut water
1 banana (to thicken the drink a bit)
1 scoop of your favourite vanilla protein powder 
1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional)

Put all your ingredients into your blender and blend! 

It's really that easy - a quick drink to rehydrate and refuel for the rest of your day after your workout! 

love and light,
Susan

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Your Feel Good Soap Bath Soak

Have you been to this hidden gem? Your Feel Good Soap is a little soap shop located in Trinity Bellwoods neighbourhood of Toronto - tucked away from the busy Queen St. W. What makes them so unique? Everything is customizable!!! You put your creative and personality in your body products. Anything that is liquid/creamy can be customized - body wash, body lotion, body balm, and shampoo. And that's not all - they are 100% natural! Just the way body care should be. 



When I popped in the store a few weeks ago, they have just launched their create your own bath soaks

So, how does this work?

1. Begin with an empty mason jar! 


2. You begin with choosing the bath salt you want - Epsom, Pink Himalayan, and Dead Sea. You can even choose all three if you want! 

3. Choose your flowers and herbs (this was my favourite part!) - Chamomile, Rose Buds, Lavender, Rosemary, Spearmint, and Oats. All have different benefits - don't be afraid to ask Karina, the owner, to let you know what each is good for. She has little pouches to put all the little flowers/herbs in. You can either choose to throw the whole pouch in your bath and it's reusable. Or you can straight up just throw them in your bath and let it float around you. 


4. Injecting the essential oils. They have a handy guide for scent blends depending on what you are looking for in a perfect bath soak blend. She'll put the perfect amount in the mason jar with your bath salts and mix it up for you; you'll get a perfect consistent bath each time!


5. She'll assemble the pouch and mason jar together - and there it is...a personalized bath soak for your beautiful body! 

It was such a fun process to go through. If you're indecisive like me, she's prepared. There's a station set up for you to smell all the essential oils she has in the store...at your own pace! She even has stools set up in front of the station if you are like me. 

I ended up getting:
  • All three salts
  • Flowers and Herbs: chamomile, rose buds, lavender, and oats
  • Essential Oils: Lavender and Ylang Ylang (such a strong and relaxing combination!)
I told Karina about my extremely dry skin and she even put coconut oil and almond oil to the blend to make it extra moisturizing! 



The experience itself is so relaxing and fun. Definitely a de-stressing activity and with your new personalized bath salts, you can take the same feeling home!!

So, if you're in Toronto, take a trip down and give them a smell! They do have an online store that sells most of their homemade products. However, they have yet to add the bath soak to the website - it's the experience of customizing your own that makes it so special! 

love and light,
Susan 

Disclaimer - I have purchased this bath soak and wanted to share my fun experience. As always, these opinions are my own and always genuine.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Non-caffeinated good - ROOIBOS TEA

My name is Susan and I am addicted to tea. 


ROOIBOS. The word that gets everyone going like "what is it? say that word again". This cup of tea is not your typical one. 

So...what is rooibos? 
Rooibos is a plant from South Africa that is also referred to as "red bush". If you search photos up on Google, you'll see that it looks like needle-leaves - definitely not like any of your everyday teas. But, don't be fooled by its' difference. It makes a perfect cup of herbal tea! 

Why is it so good for you?
  • Antioxidant - just like the other types of tea, rooiboos has antioxidants that helps keep your cells strong! In particular, rooibos contains high concentration of aspalathin and nothofagin, which fight against free radicals to protect your healthy cells. 
  • Caffeine free! - so drink up! The rooibos plant grows naturally with no caffeine, so it's a perfect choice for everyone...even for children. 
  • Minerals - this plant is packed full of good minerals to fuel your body. Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc...it's all there to assist with building strong teeth, bones, support for immune system, and distributing oxygen around your body. Rooibos increases iron absorption in our bodies...a definitely plus for females!
  • Happy tummy and gut - another high concentration of flavonoids helps with relieving any upset stomach, indigestion, and cramps. 
  • Post-workout drink - a great drink to enjoy after a workout that is different than the good old water. The minerals will help bring your body back to equilibrium. 
  • Golden sleep - with absolutely no caffeine and high mineral content, it's found to be a very relaxing tea for night time! 
This is just a mini list of the great benefits of rooibos tea! There are tons more out there for this powerful plant. 

Even with the great benefits tea offers, we tend to overlook that tea leaves/plants are big targets for pesticides and herbicides. Especially for someone like me, who consumes large amounts of it on a daily basis, it does add up. It's very important to really consider switching to organic tea if you are a frequent drinker! Another important factor to look into is the tea bag - many companies may be using organic tea leaves, but the tea bag may not be organic! All the chemicals that you are trying to avoid is seeking in your cup of tea. That's why I love Numi Organic Tea - they use organic tea to protect farmers, the planet, and the consumers. They even go as far as making sure their tea bags were not produced with any GMOs or plastic. Double bonus.

I hope you enjoy this cup of tea!

love and light,
Susan

Disclaimer - I have purchased this tea (and highly recommend it to all my friends and family!). As always, these opinions are my own and are always genuine!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

UPDATE...I'm back on blogger!

Hey.

I've been gone for a while. I haven't blogged for about two months now - but, I'm back! 
I got carried away with life...all the good, the bad, and the everyday the last two months.  
  • I actually tried re-vamping my blog by moving it to another hosting website. That didn't last very long - I realized it was much easier to blog with Blogger and I knew my way around the website. So, here I am...I never left! 
  • When I started this blog last year, I shared that I went to my first ever pilates class. Never been super active in my past life, I was instantly hooked onto the mat. When I found out about a mat teaching course, I was a little sceptical on my ability and knowledge to actually join the field. With a little push from my brother, dad, and boyfriend to go for it, I'm happy I did. Today, I finished the mat intensive teaching course and can't be more excited to get the full certification soon! 
  • I love trying new things. After the mat course, I wanted to try something different to go along with pilates. Strength and Conditioning. Something that everyone is aware of is so foreign to me. I've been loving the new experiences and exercises - but, I know, nothing will replace pilates for me. 
  • I got hired for a summer job at a local retail store and quit. The job started out very well - the store was full of great products and items that was different than what was sold at your big box companies. The customers were all very friendly. Also, it was my first retail job, so I was excited to learn. Unfortunately, after a few weeks, it twisted around. The boss and I did not sync in any way - our communication was on different ends of the spectrum. No matter what - words was always shoved in my mouth. I tried my best to let the boss know that she's interpreting me differently and I never mean to offend her in any way. However, it starts to turn ugly when she would tell me things like - "for your age, you're not worth anything" or "your positive attitude has to stop". Eventually, as hard as I tried to make it work since it's understandable that people have bad days - it got to the point where she would make me feel terrible on every shift I worked, so I knew the work environment was no longer for me. So, I left and have not dreaded waking up any more summer mornings.
  • I'm still interning in a natural skincare company and I've been loving it. Learning how to mix oils for the perfect recipe to the positive energy around the workspace, it's one of the best thing I've done this summer. Something that I count down the days till I go back in!
  • Dancing taste buds! I've been loving Toronto and all the food it offers. Along with this, I miss the great company of my friends back at home. I love the dinner and breakfast parties we cook up - I have another month of my Toronto friends before I'm back to university. Soaking in the happiness!
And last, I have to share what made me giggle this week. Even though it's the middle of summer, Frosty never melts...


Looking forward to sharing new posts for you on a regular basis. The inspiration have hit me to share snippets of my life with the world...again! 

Love and light <3
Susan 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Food: Homemade Almond Milk

I LOVE MAKING MY OWN ALMOND MILK. Yes, I had to write that in caps, because who knew it could be so easy to do? Seriously much more healthier since boxed almond milk always have additional added ingredients that does not need to be in your almond milk! The first time I tried, I had quite a malfunction - I tried it with a cheesecloth...and it was messy. The cheese cloth kept tearing up on me and the little ground almonds kept getting into my milk when I didn't want that to happen. So, I went back to buying boxed almond milk for another month until I moved back home for the summer and tried making it again using a strainer instead. BEST. TOOL. EVER. Made the job less stressful!

I usually sweeten mine, but you can easily just take out the last two ingredients to make it simple, unsweetened almond milk. 

Here's a simple and easy recipe to make your own almond milk.
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1-2 medjool dates (remember to take out the seed beforehand!)

1. Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight or for 8-10 hours.


2. Drain the water from the soaked almonds. Pour the almonds into a blender. 

3. Add 3-4 cups of water.

4. Blend! Blend! Blend! Blend until the water becomes a milky colour and the almonds are all grounded up.


5. Add the vanilla extract and medjool date(s).



6. Blend for another few minutes, so everything is well incorporated. 

7. Get a big bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer (my strainer is very small, so I have to separate the straining into three different batches). Once you strain everything, there will be tons of almond grounds - using a fork/spoon, push the almond ground to make sure you get every last drop of the milk through the strainer.


8. Once you strained the whole amount, your amount milk is now complete! Pour it into a cup, a container, and enjoy.


I usually keep my almond milk in the fridge for no longer than one week - which isn't a problem, since I drink it daily. 

My parents usually get almonds in bulk, so making your almond milk is much more cost effective and cheaper than regularly purchasing store-bought, boxed almond milk.

I hope you enjoy this simple DIY!

<3

Susan 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Favourites: MAY MAY MAY



May have been a great month so far - moved back home and kept myself busy this whole month! What made me happy this month?

1. Toronto

It's so weird that I wanted to leave home so f*(&ing badly when I was back in high school. Biggest mistake - never felt more comfortable than being in my own neighbourhood that I grew up in and the city that I know so well. It's so nice and relaxing just moving back home - only two more years left in university and then I can settle back into the city!

2. Banana Spinach Smoothie

Find the recipe here! I blogged about it earlier this month and it's my easy, go-to recipe for most days!

3. WARM & SUNNY WEATHER

We got snow back in April and then we got tons of rain in the beginning of May...Susan hates rain. I'm a walker - I love walking everywhere and rain really does ruin my parade. So, it's so nice that the last two weeks of May was just sunshine and comfortable weather.

4. Numi Tea

Organic tea that is perfectly prepared - even the tea bag doesn't have harmful chemicals! I love the bold and rich quality of Numi Tea. Pricey, but each tea bag can be re-steeped and still taste amazing. Happy I discovered this brand a few months ago and of course, I went overboard and bought two boxes of 100 tea bags on Amazon.

5. Food

Relating back to the first point....being back in Toronto gives me this wide selection of amazing food. I love the small, local restaurants, bakeries, and cafes around. I love trying new bites and my food is my biggest weakness to my paycheques.

Overall, I've been really happy to settle back home for the summer. Enjoying it as it lasts!

<3

Susan