May Update and April Intentions

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I’ve been really absent from this blog and for that, I apologize. When I (re)started it, I committed to posting twice a week – a goal I sustained until quite recently. However, I found that I was often posting just for the sake of posting, not because I had something to say or something interesting to share. And blogging for blogging’s sake is no fun for anyone. I’m going to try to be a little more genuine in this space which likely means less quantity, but hopefully more quality.

With all that said, it’s time to check in with my May intentions.

Get back into running. I managed to run exactly once and I paid for it with a week of knee pain. Now that I’ve rested my knee for a good long while, it’s time to revisit this.

Be kind to my skin. This was surprisingly hard. I didn’t realize how habitually and mindlessly I pick and prod at my skin. It’s good to recognize this problem and I will continue to work on it.

Blog about food. Success! I blogged about a favourite meal and was really happy with the results.

June Intentions

Run (at least) once a week. When my goals are concrete, I tend to do better with them. I think I’m ready for this.

Paint the hallway. After getting some serious electrical work done on my house, the whole place needs re-painting. Kevin and I have already tackled the living room and dining room and this month I’d prefer to do something a lot less time consuming. The hallway should be a nice, easy project to complete.

Cook or bake one new thing (and blog about it?). I tend to get stuck in a rut of making the same things over and over again. It’s time for something new.

That seems like a decent amount to tackle this month.


Shoppers’ Splurge

I finally did it. After over 10 years of using my Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Card, I reached the maximum number of points! Add that to a spend-your-points event and that equals $200 of free stuff! Here’s what I got:

First a couple of skincare bits:

And now on to make-up, etc.:

  • Quo Brand Face Contour Brush. I have a couple of Quo brushes and I find them quite good.
  • Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in UnapologeticI have one of these in a much more neutral shade and love the long-wearing formula. This colour is super pink and perfect for spring.
  • Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon. I’ve talked before about my love of these lip butters. This is a beautiful watermelon shade that is super moisturizing.
  • Revlon nail polishes in Lily (purple) and Dreamer (blue). Some nice spring shades.
  • Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Midnight. I’m sort of getting back into eye liner and have heard great things about this one. Thought I’d switch it up a bit and go for navy instead of black. Looking forward to experimenting with this one.
  • Benefit They’re Real! MascaraA cult favourite and my first high-end mascara purchase. Will it live up to the hype?

Phew! That’s a lot of stuff. Can’t wait until this happens in another 10 years!

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Banh Mi Bowls

Of all the cuisines, Vietnamese has to be one of the hardest to make at home. I think it has something to do with that combination of cooked and raw ingredients, the mysterious (and delicious) sauces and marinades, and the cooking techniques that are too involved for home cooking (charbroiling, anyone?). This banh mi bowl may by the exception. A riff on this recipe by Budget Bytes, this is a bit of a take on bun, but with meatballs instead of spring rolls or assorted meats, and rice instead of vermicelli. Add some fresh cucumber and cilantro, and a simple pickled mixture of carrot and onion, and you’ve got a super satisfying meal.

First, you gotta pickle your veg. You create a simple pickling liquid and add it to grated carrots and thinly sliced onions. Stick it in the fridge and let it do its thing for at least 30 minutes.

Next up – meatballs! The original recipe uses pork, but I use turkey instead. Add an egg, breadcrumbs, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onion, ginger, and garlic, roll those puppies up, and put them in the oven. They take about 25 minutes.

While those are cooking, I make rice, slice up some cucumbers, and wash some cilantro.

Once the meatballs and rice are done, it’s time to assemble. Rice at the bottom, the rest on top. I also like to add a squirt of sriracha for some heat.

Though it’s a few steps, it’s totally worth it.

Banh Mi Bowls, adapted from Budget Bytes

pickled carrots

  • two mediums carrots
  • one small yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • rice
  • cucumber
  • cilantro

Make the pickled carrots. Add vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a small saucepan and heat over medium until sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from heat. Grate carrots and thinly slice onions and place in a bowl. Add pickling liquid (it cover the vegetables), cover bowl, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Pre-heat over to 400. Combine all meatball ingredients and mix well (I like using my hands). Line a baking sheet with silpat (or just spread some vegetable oil on it). Make meatballs (I end up with 25ish) and place on sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.

While meatballs are in the oven, make rice. Wash cilantro and thinly slice cucumbers.

Assemble bowl with rice on the bottom and everything (don’t forget the pickled carrots in the fridge) on top. Add sauces (sriracha, soy sauce) of your choice and enjoy.

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The New Bag

Since last October, I’ve been on the hunt for a new bag. I needed something that was big enough to bring to work, but small enough that it could also be a general all-purpose bag. I wanted something simple, something that would go with everything, and something that could go from day to night. Introducing….

my new bag, the Madewell Mini Transport Crossbody.

The size is perfect, the design is classic, and the colour is interesting without being boring. It’s not perfect though…the leather is nice, but the bag feels a bit flimsy and I’m being mindful to not pack it full as I don’t want the straps breaking on me. I also wish it had another pocket or two….an exterior one would be perfect.

Thie bag will more than do for now, but the quest for the perfect bag continues…

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It’s Time to Play…

What books does Toby have checked out from the library!

You reading anything interesting lately?

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Review: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Face Wash

I was stocking up on some essentials on Vitacost when this face wash caught my eye. It was pretty affordable, so I went ahead and ordered it and I’ve been using it for my evening cleanse for a few weeks now.

Though it has coconut water and coconut oil, unfortunately, it does not smell like coconut. However, it’s still pretty great. The smallest amount produces a really soft, luxurious lather that leaves my skin feeling clean, but not dry.

This same range has many more products and I may have to pick up their toner or lip balm one of these days. Have you tried anything from Alaffia?

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April Update and May Intentions

These were my intentions for April:

Get thee to an eye doctor. Done and done. My eyes have changed a little bit and I could get new glasses, but I think I’ll hold off for now.

Continue my yoga practice and work on healing my knee. I did some, but not a lot of yoga. However, my knee seems to be better! I’m going to be very very gentle with it over the next month.

Be mindful. I’ve definitely done a much better job this month of being mindful of little and big things. I’ve also managed to fit in a bit of meditating which always does wonders for my mental health.

Get some new basics. Yep, completed this one as well. Picked up some new undies from the Bay and got some new bras from an amazing shop called Diva. Remember when I measured myself and was shocked to discover I was way off on my bra size? Well, turns out I was not far off. I measured myself to a 30DD and at the shop was fitted to a 30D.

May Intentions

Get back into running. I’m going to hold off on this until near the end of the month as I want to make sure my knee is 100% before I start running again. In the meantime, I’m going to continue with yoga and try to go on some bike rides.

Be kind to my skin. I have a really bad habit of picking and prodding at my skin and I always notice a huge difference when I’ve willed myself to stop.

Blog about food. I think I could be an excellent food blogger if I dedicated the time to it. The problem is, when I’m making something (or Kevin is), I want to eat it as soon as possible. Pausing to stage and take photos is difficult, but this month, I’m going to make it happen.

The weather is getting beautiful and the days are getting long and I’m feeling motivated. How about you?


Sunday Links

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope your week/end has been excellent.

Have made this cucumber and avocado salad twice already. So quick and perfect for spring.

I finally bit the bullet and bought myself a new bag. I think this will be perfect to take to work.

Have been searching high and low for a Canadian retailer who sells RMS Beauty products and I finally found one. I have my eye on the living luminzer and one of their gorgeous lip2cheek tints.

I’m sure everyone has already seen this hilarious Friday Night Lights spoof. Is this the first time a rape joke has ever been funny?

I just finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant. I’m also working my way through The Naked Investor to increase my knowledge of money matters.

Eagerly watching the last season of Mad Men and can’t, for the life of me, figure out where it’s going. I’m also re-watching the second season of Twin Peaks with Kevin as he hasn’t seen it. Gosh, do I ever love Agent Cooper.

What have you been up to lately?

The Best Concealer (That I Have) Ever (Tried)

I was excited to run out of the previous concealer I was using as I knew exactly what I was going to replace it with. I’ve heard so much praise for the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I got the brightener/illuminator shade and it absolutely, 100% lives up to the hype. When I applied it under one eye and showed Kevin, even he was amazed at the difference, remarking that one eye looked bright and wide-awake, while the other one looked like I hadn’t slept very well.

The product is a pinkish shade that blends super smoothly into the skin. While it does crease a bit by the end of the day, I don’t know if there is a concealer that doesn’t. As this has a brightening effect, I wouldn’t use this on other areas of my face, but honestly, I feel like when I apply this under my eyes, my whole face looks better for it, spots and all.

Any product blowing your mind these days?

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The Wedding Album

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Remember way back in December when I made it a goal to make a wedding album? Well, I finally did it!

I made it through Shutterfly and I am super happy with the results. I loved the book and layout options and it was really easy to put together.

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I can’t wait to make some more albums.

Have you used Shutterfly?

p.s. Meghan from Blue Bird Creative did our wedding photos.

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