Healthy Banana Muffins

I’m definitely a snacker when it comes to eating during the day. I love most snacks, but especially love snacks that are more on the unhealthy side (kettle chips are a serious weakness!). While I do enjoy fruit or veggies, sometimes I just need something with a little more substance for snacking. For me to keep healthy, it’s essential that I have healthy snacks on hand so I don’t find myself munching on chips or candy in-between meals.

I came across this recipe on Pinterest, which is where I find recipes for most things these days and it’s been a huge hit. My boyfriend and friends have tried them and all request the recipe so they can make them at home themselves. These muffins have no added sugar, so they are great to have in-between meals or even to have for breakfast with some fruit and Greek yogurt. They are full of flavour and not too dry which I love. I like to add some berries, dark chocolate chips and a scoop of protein powder to mine as it gives them a little sweetness and they keep me full for longer with the added protein.

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Some of my other favourite healthy snacks include roasted chickpeas, homemade energy bites and kale chips! Recipes coming soon 🙂 What snacks do you like to keep on hand? I’m always looking for new ideas!

xoxo

-Rena

The Boyfriend Jean

I am only becoming more obsessed with the “boyfriend” trend that has emerged over the last few years. The boyfriend jean, the boyfriend top, the boyfriend jacket. They all offer a certain level of comfort while still remaining stylish and chic. I recently purchased a new denim jacket that was a boyfriend fit from Levi’s and I can already tell it’s going to be one of my wardrobe favourites. These boyfriend jeans I got several years ago from H&M and they are the perfect fit. I like to pair my boyfriend pieces with something a little more girly and feminine to balance out the outfit. I paired these jeans with with a fuchsia peplum strapless top and my leather jacket. I topped it off with a pair of black patent leather pointed toe heels. This look is idyllic for date night or an evening out with friends. It’s also great for when the weather changes and you can start shifting away from heavy coats and sweaters and transition into light leather and denim jackets to pair with your outfit.

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Outfit Deals

Boyfriend Denim from H&M (similar here)

Peplum Strapless Top – originally bought from Century 21 in New York (similar here)

Faux Leather Jacket from Dynamite (similar here and see previous post here)

Black Patent Leather Pointed Heels from Aldo (similar here)

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What is your favourite way to wear your boyfriend pieces? I’m always looking for new ideas to spruce up my outfit combinations!

xoxo

-Rena

Seattle in 12 Hours!

I realized early last week that Friday was a holiday, meaning I would have another day off in addition to my normal Thursdays free from work and school. I had mentioned to a few of the girls in my class that we could rent a car and drive down to Seattle just for the day. I figured if we hit the road early enough we could spend the majority of the day there, plus the weather was forecasted to be fantastic so we could enjoy the drive there and back.

I had heard a lot of great things about Seattle, and being so close in Vancouver it’s an opportunity I wanted to take advantage of while living here. The day started out great! We left the airport around 8:30am thinking we could make it there by around 12:30pm. I figured the line up at the border would be long, given it was Easter weekend but I didn’t expect to spend an hour and a half waiting in traffic. Just when we thought we turned the corner where we could see the gates we would hit another huge line of traffic. Either way, we made the best of it, got out of the car to take some pictures and waited patiently for our turn to come. As soon as we crossed the border, we hit up the tiniest little coffee shop in Blaine, Washington to fuel up on caffeine to help us survive our 12-hour day ahead. From there, while the traffic was still hectic, we made our way to downtown Seattle by around 1:30pm. We knew we wanted to visit the first Starbucks ever, check out Pike Place Market, explore the Waterfront and then end the day with some pictures at Kerry Park. Luckily, most of the items on our to-do list were in the downtown area so once we found parking we could get everywhere by foot.

It was a beautiful day, about 17 degrees celsius, which was fantastic! We walked around the market, and got to check out the vendors and all they had to offer. From fresh fish to jewelry to lotions and soaps, the market had an amazing selection of items. We found a restaurant just above the market to sit down and have a nice lunch. We then decided to walk down to the Waterfront and take in some sun and a break from the crowds of people at the market. As we were about the leave downtown and drive to Kerry Park we found this ice cream shop that was serving frozen yoghurt soft serve. We each got the twist, and it was heavenly. We ended the day by taking a short drive up to Kerry Park to check out the skyline. The view was breathtaking and totally worth the drive from downtown. We got the entire Seattle skyline. We enjoyed our ice cream while taking in the view and then decided we should head back. We had a beautiful view of the sunset on our drive back and the line up at the border wasn’t nearly as long as it was in the morning.

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The border between the U.S and Canada.

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Blaine, Washington.

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The cutest little coffee shop on the side of the road just after the border.

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First ever Starbucks.

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Seattle Waterfront.

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Fresh crab cakes for lunch.

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Touristing around downtown.

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View of downtown from the Waterfront.

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Seattle Great Wheel.

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Shy Giant Ice Cream and Frozen Yoghurt in the Pike Place Market.

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Chocolate and Vanilla twist.

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The perfect view of the Seattle skyline.

Although it made for a long day, the trip was so worth it. While I would have loved to be home in Newfoundland with my family, our day trip to Seattle was definitely a nice alternative. I hope you all had a great long Easter Weekend! I’d love to hear the special things you did to celebrate with friends and family?

xoxo

-Rena

Spring has Sprung

Although the weather today isn’t exactly screaming Spring (it’s grey and raining in Vancouver), we’ve had an amazing past few days filled with sunshine and definite signs of warmer weather to come. The cherry blossoms on the trees are perfectly pink and make for beautiful scenery throughout the city. I took advantage of the weather to snap some photos around my neighbourhood and enjoy some time with friends.

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I’m not a huge dress person, especially during Winter and Fall. While I have a few dresses that go great with tights I find I am most comfortable in jeans, leggings or black pants. However, once Summer emerges, I love embracing skirts and dresses into my wardrobe. I purchased this dress at the Aritzia Warehouse Sale (similar here) this past September. I wore it paired with tights over Christmas but I love it with my white converse and a great denim jacket this time of year. The material is soft and comfortable so this outfit is great for school, work, or running errands on the weekend. My denim jacket I got from Levi’s 7 years ago (similar here), and while I still love the fit and wash, I’m on the hunt for another denim jacket to add to my closet (I’m thinking a lighter wash and oversized).

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I’ll be spending the remainder of my day catching up on schoolwork and housework. I hope you’re all enjoying the first day of Spring and have a great start to the week!

xoxo

-Rena

Chunky Knits and Converse

One of my goals in the New Year was to take one day a week and book that day completely off. The idea was to give me a day to plan lunch with friends, book appointments, dedicate to schoolwork if needed, or even take a day to do absolutely nothing. Since I made the move in August my schedule has been a bit uncertain and hectic as I was getting my work schedule the week before actually working. I found that booking appointments and planning dates with friends was getting tricky. With school, my internship and working, I decided to dedicate Thursdays to be my “me” day each week.

This particular Thursday I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to take some photos and meet two girlfriends for lunch. I had been raving about this amazing Lebanese restaurant in Gastown called Nuba, so I was excited to take them there and indulge in some authetic food.

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Outfit Details 

Sweater – MINK PINK (similar cardigans here)

I love the colours in this sweater. They really contrast each other and I always get complimented on this sweater when I wear it.

Jeans – J Brand (similar here)

The wash in these jeans is perfect for a casual mid-week lunch date. With signs of Spring showing everyday, I like seeing the transition from dark wash denim to lighter washes of denim around the city.

Shoes – White Converse (short) (see here)

I bought these last summer and have never looked back! My white Converse are a major staple in my closet right now.

Top – Topshop T-shirt (see here)

The shirt is simple and very versatile. I love that I can wear it with jeans, a skirt, or shorts and it seems to go just perfectly on it’s own or even under a cardigan or jacket.

Purse – Matt & Nat (see here)

About a year ago I went on the hunt for the perfect backpack purse. I found this one in a store back home and it really has been a great investment.

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Hope you are all off to an excellent start of the week! Do you have any particular habits that you use to dedicate time to yourself? I’m always interested in new ideas!

xoxo

-Rena

The Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox

I recently completed the Wild Rose Herbal 12 Day D-Tox. Like most people, once to holidays come to an end, I usually try to clean up my eating and give my body a little bit of a detox to start the new year. I’ve tried several different ones over the last few years including the master cleanse and various juice cleanses  To date, The Wild Rose has definitely been my favourite!Garden-of-Life-Wild-Rose-Herbal-D-Tox-Kit-658010116671

The cleanse is a 12 day program and you can purchase the kit online (pictured above) or at your local health and wellness store. I got mine after speaking to a few people who had completed it and had heard it was by far the most popular cleansing program in the country. I had done a lot of research online before starting so I could have some meals planned ahead of time. While you can eat during the cleanse, your foods are pretty limited (you essentially eat vegan during the cleanse). No dairy, no gluten, and nothing processed. That being said, I came across a lot of really creative recipes which were so delicious I have been incorporating them into my diet even after completing the cleanse. If you want to read more about the cleanse and how it works, check out the website here.

Below I have listed a few of my favourite dishes, that became staples, during the 12 day D-Tox.

Baked Oatmeal 

Baked Oatmeal

(image via Pinterest)

Oatmeal is definitely a perfect breakfast during the cleanse. I started making just regular stove top oatmeal, with berries and almond milk (no honey, maple syrup or sugar allowed), but I got a little bored by day 3. I decided to look up an Oatmeal Bake recipe and found one that was berries (of any mixture), gluten-free organic oats, 1 egg and almond milk. It was delicious! I ate this most mornings topped with organic almond butter.

Almond Butter

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(image via Pinterest)

Almond Butter was definitely a saviour during the cleanse. Peanut Butter (even organic, 100% natural) isn’t permitted so Almond Butter was a great substitute. I ate Almond Butter and rice cakes topped with blueberries as a snack during the day.

Lentil Soup 

Lentil Soup

(image via Pinterest)

I’m a pretty big fan of lentils anyway so when I found out they were permitted during the cleanse I was very relieved. I made a vegetable lentil soup which lasted me for about 5 days of lunches during the cleanse. It was fresh, filling and gave me a lot of energy throughout the day. I didn’t use any broth but mixed lentils, a variety of vegetables (including carrots, tomato, and spinach) with water and spices and let it boil for a few hours.

Popcorn

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(image via Pinterest)

Popcorn was 100% my favourite snack during the cleanse. I was shocked to see it was even on the list of foods permitted. I used the non-buttery regular microwave popcorn, and even tried adding various spices to give it more flavour. During the D-Tox you can be really creative with spices as they are another ingredient that you’re encouraged to experiment with.

Overall, while the D-Tox was definitely a challenge, I am happy with the results and the overall process. It not only made me feel refreshed and ready to tackle the new year, but it made me more aware of foods I eat on a regular basis. For anyone looking to complete the cleanse, I recommend going out a few days beforehand to make sure your fridge and cupboard are stocked with all the foods that are permitted. If you find yourself out in the middle of the day without snacks on hand, finding good, healthy snacks that are allowed during the cleanse is definitely a challenge. I found it easiest to stick to home cooked meals and avoided restaurants.

Once you have completed the cleanse, it’s important to very slowly incorporate the foods you had avoided during the 12 days back into your regular diet. Your body isn’t used to digesting those foods so if you got out and eat a burger and fries on your first day after being done the cleanse, it probably won’t make you feel so great.

Questions, comments or concerns about cleansing? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!

xoxo

-Rena

Black Leather

Happy Monday!

It’s been a very crazy, hectic few weeks for me, from starting a new semester at school to starting a new internship the weeks have just flown by way to quickly. The weather in Vancouver has been warming up quite a bit, and last week we had a few amazing days where the sun was shining and it really seemed like the city was in overall good spirits. I took advantage of this and snapped some shots down in Coal Harbour with the beautiful view of the North Shore in the background.

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A few weeks ago, as a treat to myself, I purchased these brand new black moto boots. They are Sam Edelman’s secondary line called Circus, see here. I paired them here with a lighter pair of denim (similar here), a basic grey V-neck (similar here) and a faux leather jacket (similar here).

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I topped off the look with a neutral Kate Spade tote (similar here), my favourite Stella and Dot necklace (see here), and some sunnies.

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Close up of my new boots! You can really see some of the little details, such as the bronze coloured elastic on the side, that make these special.

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The beautiful North Shore from Coal Harbour! Shoutout to The Blonde Waffle (a.k.a Veronika) for the photography. Check out her blog here!

Hope you all have a great week!

xoxo

-Rena