Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Finding reasons to be thankful

Ever notice that if you're having a bad day and someone asks you "what's the best thing that happened to you today?" or heaven forbid, "what are you thankful for today?" your first response is a snarky "NOTHING"....or maybe I'm the only one that feels like that on a bad day! Well, even if you are one big ball of sunshine, this post still applies to you! 

I've been really trying to get a hold of negative thinking lately, to capture the thought immediately and think, is that ACTUALLY true? It's SO easy to stew about the crap in life or the negative things people have said, or the negative things you feel, but in the end where does it get you?......feeling REALLY negative. Now the secrets out! you now know that I am not some freakishly happy, chipper person all the time!! ; ) It's really amazing and quite remarkable though, how immediately evaluating negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones has been changing my perspective on life. I am so much happier! I have so much, so much to be thankful for. And that made me think of a very Martha Stewart of me. Haha : )

This is what's been sitting in the entrance way of our home the last few weeks, and will stay there until thanksgiving. 

At Christmas I usually have tiny little ornaments hanging from the branches, which was kind of the inspiration for this. I just thought it would be fun to take note of some of the things we have to be thankful for, big and small and write them down. 

I thought the entrance way would be a good spot for it, and that way people that come into our home are able to add some too! I cut a bunch of circles out of orange scrap booking paper (I contemplated cutting out leaves...but that quickly passed!) and used Christmas ornament hooks to hang them on the branches. Nothing crazy or fancy, but kind cute right? Even the branches are leftover from a friends wedding, pulled out from our Christmas decs. Being creative with what you have is the name of the game here folks! The letters are from Dollarama and the vase is filled with acorns I collected and brushed with leftover gold paint.

I just stacked a bunch of random black books together, but I love how His Needs Her Needs is
 right on top of Frankenstein ; )

We've been slowly filling the tree as we think of things. It's amazing how many things you have to be thankful for if you take a moment. Now, before you go thinking my life's all awesome and perfect which is why I can find a million things to be thankful for, it's not. It's not perfect, it's a little bumpy at times, we've had major disappointments, we struggle...but I do have a ton to be thankful for!! The majority of the things we have hanging on this tree aren't huge I-was-just-given-a-million-bucks kind of things, they are the everyday things we overlook. It's about appreciating life. 

Just noticed now there are two baby ones in this shot.  It IS baby season!! my goodness

We're having fun doing it (it's always fun to see what the other person wrote) and I think we will make it a yearly tradition. How fun would it be to save all of the circles in a little ziplock bag each year, and then reminisce about the past years (and laugh I am sure) when you read the old ones? It will be fun when there are kids and "I'm thankful for my little peeing pony" makes it on the tree ; )

How about you? Have any thanksgiving traditions that you've started with your family? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

He's preeeetty sneaky....

I had to laugh when I looked out the window and saw this's the wreath hanging on my shed

Yep. You're sneaky lil squirrel alright. No one with ever find that one ; )

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

AKA the best thing you've ever tried!! Often I feel so frustrated because I just want something "good" (which usually means something dairy or something junky, but it tastes good!) Sometimes I just feel like chips. Or cheese on everything. Or dip with my veggies. And sometimes I do decide to just have a tiny bit....and it takes about 5 mins to realize it was a TERRIBLE and very regrettable choice.  : ( If you struggle with allergies or food intolerances, you know that feeling!

I won't lie, I get that "I just need something good" feeling a lot, and I am most excited to tell you that THIS dip actually hits the spot. It's delicious, packed with flavour (not to mention protein!) and so suuuuper creamy....I can almost pretend there is feta in there! This is a recipe you must try, not only because it tastes amazing but it because it contains a magical ingredient that will ward off the colds and flus that are going around! Gooo garlic! Everyone I know seems to be getting something, so I have been adding garlic to everything imaginable! haha, did I mention it can ward off husbands and friends too? If you need some alone time, a good helping of garlic should do the trick! ; ) Just for your info:

People have been using garlic for centuries (think Egypt at the time of the Pyramids) to prevent infection, but it’s only recently that scientists isolated numerous sulfur-containing compounds in garlic that have potent antibacterial and possibly antiviral effects. These sulfur compounds destroy germs' ability to grow and reproduce, much in the same way as penicillin fights infections. A well-designed study of nearly 150 people supports the value of garlic for preventing and treating the common cold. In this study, people received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during “cold season” (between the months of November and February). Those who received the garlic had significantly fewer colds than those who received placebos. Plus, when faced with a cold, the symptoms lasted a much shorter time in those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebos.

 Great huh? Anyways, here is the recipe!

adapted from Oh She Glows recipe


2 cloves of garlic, roasted OR minced and sauteed
2 1/2 cups of chickpeas (or 1 can) drained, but reserve 2 tbsp of liquid
2 roasted red peppers
1/4 C tahini
3 1/2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (I've made it with and without, both are amazing)
1tsp sea salt

Directions: Roast red peppers whole at 400, turning until browned (close to blackened) on all sides. Cool slightly, then place in a ziplock bag for a while. The steam will help the skin of the peppers to slide right off. Remove skin and seeds. If you are going to roast your garlic, do it at the same time with the peel on. It will just slip right out once roasted. You can also add it raw, but this way it gets rid of the garlic "side effect" : ) Alternately, saute it a few minutes until slightly brown.

Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the salt and cayenne, and blend until smooth in a food processor. Add salt and cayenne to taste. Grab a bunch of cut up veggies, pita wedges or chips and ENJOY!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't waste a moment

My heart feels so heavy tonight. We just received news that the husband of a good friend of ours died suddenly tonight. No warning, nothing. I just can't even BEGIN to imagine the devastation and loss his family must be feeling right now. The futility of life has been on my mind and heart a lot lately...specifically after the anniversary of September 11, listening to one heartbreaking story after another. You just never know when this moment is your last. When it's your husband's last. Or friends. Or mom's. You can never take the moment you have for granted, because that may be all you have. Life is just too short. It's too short to be selfish and self-absorbed.

It's been on the forefront of my mind the last few days as I prioritize my day and get caught up in the craziness of work and life and house and bills. We pass up so many moments for something that we would have never wasted our time on, had we only known that this was our last, or our spouses last.

I would call my mom to tell her how much she means to me and how I appreciate her SO much, instead of cleaning the house
I would go to bed and snuggle with my husband, instead of staying up late on the computer for pointless things
I would resolve the petty disagreements and make up, instead of hold a grudge
I would love more, instead of protecting myself or being reserved
I would tell more people about what Jesus has done for me and about eternity, instead of worrying about being too forward or offending someone
I would have people over for pizza, instead of NOT having them over because I didn't make a home cooked meal
I would spend money on vacation and spending time with my family, instead of fixing the house that I can't take with me
I would greet the love of my life at the door, instead of yelling hi from the other room
I would love more. Spend more time with the people I love and less time with "things" and cleaning "things" and fixing "things

Would of, could of, didn't. I don't want that to ever be me. I don't ever want to live with regrets. And I don't want you to go hug the person you love. Make up. Tell them you appreciate them. Don't put it off for "later", because later may never come. Savour the moments you have.

Sarah xo

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some Fall Lovin'

I have a confession
. I've been drinking Tim Hortons Pumpkin Spice tea for the last couple of weeks. I made pumpkin lattes the last three mornings...and last night.  James and I have had pumpkin pie oatmeal for breakfast the last two mornings....It's my favourite time of year!! The coffee shop even started serving their new fall "Maple" coffee today! *YUM* 

I walked home after work today and couldn't help but get excited about the beautiful leaves changing and the crisp fall air...I just LOVE it (I love it more than christmas *gasp*), I savour every second of fall!! I brought my cozy sweaters, fall candles and fall decorations out to celebrate : ) 

Mantle BEFORE fall swept through....


Enjoying the candle light

*We will now take a brief intermission to appreciate...

10 AWESOME things about fall!!

1) Tim Hortons Pumpkin Spice tea and donuts 
2) crisp evening walks
3) 99 cent lined paper & pencil crayons on sale! (that used to be my fav part)
4) carving pumpkins and roasting the seeds
5) apple picking and hot apple cider
6) cozy sweaters and boots
7) gardens are bountiful and ready for harvesting 
8) there is now an entire year to work on getting in shape for swimsuit season, haha
9) fall fairs!              
10) endless corn and corn mazes

Come on, you know you love it!!

yummy fall candles...

What are you doing to celebrate fall?? Or am I the only who gets crazy excited about it?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

realize what you DO have. realize all of the blessings around you. appreciate the little things. let go of the things you can't control and just TRUST GOD, it's not like things get any better stressing over them. if you keep waiting for the "right moment" or things to "get better" that may never come, so seize the day, stop waiting! life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. and's perspective : )

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

vegan latte
It's beginning to look like fall!! And that calls for a cozy sweater and a crisp morning walk....and maybe a warm latte....and pumpkin anything. I'll admit, when it comes to this time of year it's pumpkin everything around my house! I've been dreaming (yes, actually dreaming) of Pumpkin Spice Lattes for days now. You know, the ones that I always see on the Starbucks sign that I can't have? Yeah. Those ones. : ( It gets me down every year. They are my absolute favourite!! So this year, I thought I would search the internet and play around in the kitchen to find the perfect pumpkin spice latte, sans dairy and sugar. The end result....DIVINE!
pumpkin spice latte
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(Serves One)
  • 3 T canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 scant tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cup of coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 ounces of espresso (or strong coffee)
  • sugar, maple syrup or stevia to taste

Whisk everything but the espresso in a small pot until hot, but not boiling. Add the espresso, sprinkle with a pinch of pumpkin pie spice if you like and ENJOY! The espresso covers a bit of the pumpkin pie taste, but it still comes through with incredible flavour. If you don't enjoy coffee or just want a nice fall drink (just like pumpkin pie in cup!), skip the espresso and it is equally as delicious.

AND for an extra special treat, try making this dairy-free whipped cream and top off your drink!

Coconut Whipped Cream 
(sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • sugar, stevia, or powdered sugar to taste
  • optional: fruit (banana whipped cream, anyone?)
  • optional: cocoa powder (for chocolate whipped cream!)
Open your coconut milk, and leave the can (or transfer to a bowl) uncovered in the fridge overnight. It should get very, very thick. (If it doesn’t, you’ve gotten a bad can that won’t work for the recipe. I highly recommend Thai Kitchen Organic or another brand that doesn’t have “water” listed as an ingredient.) Once thick, transfer to a bowl and whip in your sweetener with a fork, or even beaters, if you want to be really fancy. Stored uncovered in the fridge, the mixture gets even thicker!
I promise you, once you taste this lovely drink you will be happy to make the transition from summer to fall!! 

Happy pumpkin dreams to you! xo

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Outfits of the DAYS

Sorry, I have been away at the cottage for the last few days, and with starting a new job today it might not get a heck of a lot better!! Here are the pictures of my outfits the last couple of days:

3 of 100

4 of 100

5 of 100
on the dock with Guapo!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie

This is hands-down, one of the most amazing smoothies I have made to date. Well, that and a carrot cake one I will share later ; ) It's healthy, filling AND chocolatey! Chocolate AND healthy?! Yep, a heavenly match you thought you would never see.  I've definitely eaten it for dinner on a few occasions, appreciating the fact that I am kid-less for the time being and can eat a chocolate smoothie for dinner if I want to! Haha, I love it!


I always love finding something that is healthy (and that I can eat, and not feel sick) AND equally as satisfying and hits the craving. I'd admit, those miraculous discoveries are few and far between, but when I find one it is glorious! This completely satisfied my chocolate craving and gave me the nutrients and energy I needed. 

Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie

2 Cups of Chocolate (unsweetened) Almond Milk or cow's milk if you'd rather
1/3 Cup rolled oats
1 frozen banana
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla
1 dropper full of liquid Stevia (did you know Stevia is an antioxidant?)
1 HEAPING tbsp of organic cocoa (organic seriously makes a difference with this stuff!)
1 tbsp of cashew or almond butter (it gives it a batter taste)
1 tbsp of chopped dark chocolate 
2 ice cubes

In a measuring cup, mix the oats and the almond milk. Place in fridge and let it soak for at least 1 hour to soften, this prevents the oats from feeling too gritty in the smoothie.

After soaking, add to blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except chocolate pieces) blend on high speed until smooth. Pour and add chocolate chunks. Serve, guard, and enjoy!

So next time you are craving a chocolate milkshake, give this a try! It's a healthy option you can feel good about, and you won't feel like you are missing out an a's the people who decided not to have it for dinner that are missing out!  ; )

Friday, September 2, 2011

Outfit of the day-2 of 100

Outfit: Shoes $25- Brit and Bro's, Tracy Porter necklaces, looped twice, belt- Aldo, jeans $13- Winners, shirt $8-Winners
earrings $3-random antique/junk stand :)

I just found out I'm hired at the little coffee shop in town today.  I'm pretty excited about that! : )  I got  thinking outfits might get a little ghetto soon when I start working there....I am not wearing decent clothes that will get wrecked by bleach and coffee, I destroyed half of my things the last coffee shop job I had! But then...when you spend 80% of your time working, you are always wearing crappy "work clothes" and then none of your other stuff really gets worn anyways. *Dilemma* 

What do you do? Wear the clothes you love and chance them getting trashed, because you work most of the time anyways? At least you'd look nice all the time! OR, do you have your designated "work" clothes?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

23 Outfits. 1 Dress.

To kick off our challenge I thought I would (hopefully) give you a little inspiration and a few ideas on how to stretch your wardrobe as far as possible. I love love love dresses! I used to hardly ever wear them, until I decided I needed to find things to wear that were comfy (come on, just admit it. you probably take off your tight jeans as soon as you step in the door) AND stylish. Dresses really fit the bill. So comfy and so easy to look "put together" without really having to try. You can make the same dress go from summer to winter just by adding a jacket and stretch pants. So. Many. Options.

Option 1: 
boring, but it's an outfit. made even better by no shoes! haha

So here is the dress. I got it when Banana Republic was clearing out their summer dresses last year (it was like 80% off!) and it was $39. Cute, but nothing awesome. Figuring out all of the different options I had with this dress was a really great exercise for me to do. It was a bit of a challenge to come up with 23, but I really had no idea I had so many possibilities with just one dress! Once you start playing around with your wardrobe, you will be amazed at how many outfits you actually DO have. So here they are, this was my first attempt at outfit photo's....and it felt really awkward, which is evident in some of the pics, but I did my best!

Option 2:
gold necklaces-Tracy Porter and cuff, bee ring, MK shoes,  Aldo belt
Option 3:
silver necklace $8-Aldo and bracelet, black sleeveless tank, Payless shoes $20,
tie belt from a sweater : )
Option 4:  Wedding??

Payless shoes, crystal earring from The Bay, silver bangles and ring,  tie belt (like above)
with an old broach (my family will be laughing about the broach) pinned on
Option 5:
tie belt with broach, silver hoops $2 and bangles-garage sale!,
black pumps $25-brit and bro's and tights

Option 6:
dress pulled up as a tunic, stretch pants-H&M, MK shoes, chain purse, bee ring,
 Aldo belt, gold angel wing earrings $5

Option 7:

black boots $25 Sears clearance, black leggings and jacket H&M,
Aldo belt, gold necklace, looped twice -Tracy Porter, angel wing earrings $5

Option 8:

leather boots-Tracy Porter $60, grey tights, army jacket $5 and belt $2-Plato's Closet
gold bracelets (stolen from my mom's "dress up pail") and earrings $3-Suzy Shier 

Option 9:

Belt $2 and Jacket $15-Joe, boots-Tracy Porter, grey tights, gold bracelets-mentioned above,
earrings $3-Suzy Shier, necklace-gift

Option 10:
sweater-the Gap, boots, grey tights, hat-gift, gold earrings

Option 11:

belt, bracelet $8, earrings $4-Aldo, blazer $15-Joe, Steve Madden shoes
(bought when I was single,  probably for a stupid price!) red scarf-le chateau I think?

Option 12:

earrings and jacket $22-Winners, lace scarf-my great grandma's,
everything else is mentioned above

Option 13:

black tie belt from another sweater, tied at the front this time, sweater $30-Winners

Option 14:
black tie belt, layered with grey belt-Winners, sweater $8-NY&C, XOXO watch-Winners

Option 15:
black tie belt, velvet blazer $40-Jacob, everything else already mentioned above

Option 16:

jacket $35-H&M, boots $40-Nine West, chain purse, chain necklace- Rachel Zoe
bought on Ebay

Option 17:

orange blazer $10-Smart Set, everything else previously mentioned
Option 18:

dress tucked under elastic and then belted with silk sash from dress pants,
dress pants-gift, black pumps, necklace $10-NY&C

Option 19:
velvet blazer $15-Suzy Shier, pink scarf, necklace wore as a bracelet, boots-NineWest

Option 20:

silk shirt $10-Alfred Sung, everything else previously mentioned

Option 21:
cowl neck sweater, black pumps, belt $40 & necklace-gift, both from Tristan & America
Option 22:
black sweater (from high school I think!)-Le Chateau, black pumps, watch with bangles
Option 23:

scarf $8-Le Chateau, sandals $8-Aldo

So that is how you get 23 outfits from 1 dress! I love how as the pictures progress, the sun starts to set and it just gets darker and darker, haha. I tried to put where I purchased everything, but if it doesn't say where it is from it is because I have had it so long, I don't even remember!

Now if only my house looked as good as all the outfits I came up......

the aftermath of hurricane Sarah.....

Now I know I can make it almost an entire month in the same dress! and if you count sleeping in it too, I could even have more outfits! : ) I have seen people wear a dress or a jacket a million ways, and then think "yeah, well that is because you just happen to have the most versatile dress ever" Don't think that! I would have never thought this dress would give me as many options as it did, so I KNOW that you must have pieces like that as well! Now go raid your own closet and see how many options YOU have!

Sarah xo

The Start- 1 of 100 & the outfit of the day

Happy September 1st!!  Here is my outfit of the day

But then you couldn't see my here's another

photo credits to my BFF Michelle and Jonathan for letting us use his camera!

The dress is from somewhere in the States (sorry I can't remember), the wedges were $20 at stitches, $2 for this little boy's uniform jacket that worked as a shrunken blazer, belt was from a friend who was getting rid of it, (gotta love that!) and my jewelry is always collected from all over the place so I couldn't tell you. Cheap + original + cool jewelry = LOOOOOVE! Maybe that is why I have to post about fixing my jewelry! ; ) haha

I think the thing that I will find challenging is that we committed to wearing 100 DIFFERENT outfits....and when I find a cute, comfy and cozy one that makes me feel good, I just want to wear it again!

Can't wait to see everyone's outfits of the day!! You can either comment and leave a link below or join our facebook page (anyone can join, and at any time in the challenge!) or both!

I warned James that as soon as it is Sept. 1st I am cracking out all things fall! Fall decs are going up today and I am burning my maple pumpkin candle as I write this. Oh happy day! Are you as in love with fall as I am?