Monthly Archives: February 2014

Twist Tubes for a Delicious Health Boost!

Does anyone remember the vitamin water craze of a few years ago?  They became really popular my freshman year of university, and I remember Frosh Week (sorry, “O-Week” at Laurier) and everyone guzzling it like it was liquid crack. I’ll admit, I did kind of get hooked on this stuff.  I mean water’s always good for you, but nutrient-enriched water that tastes delicious?  Count me in!  The only thing I wasn’t excited about was paying so much money for a bottle of, well, water.

But then I tried these Nutrilite Twist Tubes, and they were my happy place on this issue.  The best way I can describe them is like a cross between Mio or Crystal Light Singles and Vitamin Water.  They basically come in little plastic sealed vials, and you twist off the top, and then pour/squeeze the contents into a standard 500mL bottle of water.  Then close up the bottle, and shake to disperse.

I really like them because they’re convenient and easy to use.  They have very low calories (like 10/tube), so you know they’re not loaded with sugar.  Instead they have really good servings of nutrients that are good for you.  They taste great though, so I’ve definitely made a big pitcher before, which is nice for a meal (2L of water would need 4 tubes).  There are four flavours available, based on what you like and need.

Raspberry Flavour (Joint Health) – has glucosamine and vitamin C, helps to relieve and prevent joint pain

Strawberry Kiwi (Immunity) – has huge vitamin C boost, as well as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, to help boost the immune system and fight off infections

Mango Citrus & Twisted Berry (Fruits & Veggies) – contains 2 servings of fruit and vegetables in one tube

I drink all 4 flavours regularly, and they are basically a nutritional supplement, they’re that good and high in nutrients.  Plus they pretty much taste like juice, so this would be a great option for kids or people who don’t like taking vitamins.  Sometimes I’ve even put two into a bottle to mix flavours, or added a bit of lemon juice to make it like flavoured lemonade!  Can I let you in on a little secret?  I’ve even mixed the finished drink with a little bit of rum to turn it into a bit of a cocktail, pretty yummy!

Here’s a picture of an individual tube.And this is what it looks like once mixed with water.

As for price, they’re a steal.  The Fruit & Veggies ones are $23 for 20 tubes ($1.15 each tube), and all the Joint Health and Immunity flavours are $23 for 30 tubes ($0.76 each tube), which is peanuts compared to almost $3 for one bottle of vitamin water at the store, and you can buy them here.

Have you tried these tubes?  Thoughts on them?

(Photo of VitaminWater bottle from VitaminWater Canada website at http://www.vitaminwatercanada.ca/varieties/mega-c/?lang= )
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Effortless Entertaining – Class Up a Quick Dinner

Few things in life are better than sharing some good food with some good friends, I’m sure most of us can agree on that.  I think that’s why so many of us like entertaining… or at least the idea of entertaining.  Pinterest is full of gorgeous table settings and centrepieces, adorable little party favours, fantastic recipes that are great for crowds – you get the idea.  And I’ll admit that I would love to host an elegant themed soiree like that sometime.  In the meantime, though, we all want something easy and simple.

Recently we had some dear friends over for dinner on a Friday evening.  Usually, Friday nights are when we are most likely to order or make a pizza, enjoy some wine, and just relax.  My initial idea was a similar vibe, something quick and easy and relaxed.  One good dish, a good amount of wine, and great friends.  Instead of pizza, I was going to whip up some chicken fried rice, but with quinoa instead – this is one of my favourite dishes to cook because it’s ridiculously easy and quick, but also delicious!  As I started to plan out my grocery list for the next week, though, I thought why not class it up a little?  Surely I can find an effortless appetizer and dessert to frame my main dish, and then it’ll feel a bit more elegant. So that’s exactly what happened!  Here’s our menu for the evening:

Starter:  Wong Wing Frozen Spring Rolls

These babies are ready to pop in the oven, and pop out when it’s time to eat!  I took a pic of the box because I knew they’d be gone in a flash, and I was right 🙂

Main: Chicken Fried Quinoa

A delicious, simple go-to that satisfied comfort food and takeout cravings – recipe coming soon!

Dessert: Strawberries and Chocolate

Literally no effort here.  I washed the strawberries, and set out some dark chocolate sea salt caramels and broken up chocolate bars.

Drinks: A good supply of a white wine, as well as your staples of coffee and water.

And there you have it!  Simple, easy, delicious.  Just the way a casual Friday night dinner should be.

What are your entertaining go-tos?  Friday night staples?

Romantic Red Styled for the Office

Just recently as I was getting ready for work, I ended up creating a look I rather liked, one I wanted to keep in mind in the future.  So I figured what better way to document than to share it here!

The photo is portrait style because I’ve basically been living in black office pants all winter in terms of work outfits.  With the weather we’ve been having, I made the mistake of nylons and a cute skirt or dress exactly twice, froze my legs off, and called it a day.

The funny thing is, this outfit was actually inspired by my sweet husband.  I usually wear a nice and somewhat dressy top to the office, but seeing him wear more blazers and suit jackets in the morning made me think of my own blazers, and how cute some of them are.  So I fished around my closet, and found this cute short sleeve blazer from Garage I’ve had for years (it was a gift!), and decide to layer it over a bright cami.  I love layering blazers and sharp jackets over something a bit lacier and more feminine!  I decided on my red cami, since I guess I’m still in a romantic mood after Valentine’s Day.  Neutrals, a pop of colour, and cute tailoring? Check!  I wore a sweet delicate pendant with a red gem heart that Nick bought me for our first wedding anniversary.

I felt great and sharp once I saw myself in the mirror, and then noticed that the type of curls I had done, coupled with my deep side part, looked a little 40s-ish (as in the decade) to me, so I decided to give my makeup a similar twist.  I did my eyes using the Artistry Galaxy Eye Shadow Quad (which I raved about here), using the highlighting shade on the top of my lids, the deep brown below the crease, and then the shimmering black shade along my lash line as a soft gradient, making it just a touch darker than usual.  Keeping in line with the warmer palette, I used Artistry Cheek Colour in Sun Kissed on my cheeks.  And to finish off the look, a dramatic red lip.  I rarely wear red lips as a daytime look, but I think it worked here.  I first lined and filled in my lips with Rimmel London 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Spice, which I use so rarely that I’ve had it for ages.  Then I layered on a bold red lipstick that I’ve also had for years (a sweet purchase from my visit to Cuba).  I applied a coat, blotted, applied another coat, and blotted again, which made for a nice long-lasting look.

All in all, I think this was a cute look, and one I’ll keep in mind for the future.  That said, I am itching to bring out fun colours again for spring!  What are you guys wearing in this last stretch of winter?

A Lovely Valentine’s Day

Hello, sweet friends!  I hope you had a lovely Valentine’s Day, and keeping warm in the (hopefully) last few weeks of winter!  We had a wonderful evening, and really a fantastic long weekend, since it was also Family Day on Monday here in Ontario.

So Valentine’s Day fell on Friday, and needless to say I had hearts and sappy love songs dancing around in my head all day – what else can you expect from a romantic like me? 🙂

When I got home, my sweet husband surprised me with the perfect low-key romantic night.  I was greeted by Il Divo music playing, and all the candles lit with their glow and sweet fragrance filling the apartment.  Nick also gave me a beautiful red rose, he’s so wonderful!

Next was dinner.  He whipped up an amazing steak dinner all by himself, which we enjoyed with his selected red wine, by candlelight.  I’ve gotta say, Nick’s steak done restaurant style at home is one of the best I’ve ever had, so this is always a treat!

For dessert, he had picked up amazing chocolate and raspberry cupcakes from one of my favourite bakeries in town – The Cupcake Shoppe!  (This was the same place I got our anniversary cake)  They were delicious!!

The evening was perfect and romantic 🙂

Thus commenced a perfectly relaxing and restful weekend.  On Saturday, we definitely scooped up some deeply discounted Valentine’s chocolate – a Lindor heart box, and a Ferrero Rocher one – and they’re both gone 🙂

Sunday, Nick’s parents were in town for the weekend, so after church we met up with his brother and had lunch at a dumpling house in Chinatown, which was so tasty and oh-so-filling!  Nick’s sweet mother also surprised me with an amazing pink trench coat and purse set for spring, so I can’t wait to start wearing those, they’ll get a feature post for sure!

After all the excitement, Monday was spent lounging around, relaxing, and planning for the future – because that’s what us weirdos do when we have spare time 🙂

Did you guys have a lovely (haha) Valentine’s Day?  I’d love to hear all about it 🙂

Small Ikea Upgrades

Hi guys, sorry for not posting for a little while, life off-screen has been a bit hectic lately, and I’m trying to stave off a cold!  Anyways, on to the fun stuff 🙂

A while back, we went on a trip to Ikea for smaller items.  It was lots of fun, especially starting with the Deluxe Breakfast (eggs, sausage, homefries, and french toast for $1.99!) and carrying on to some fun items.  Over the past few months, they’ve really made us smile quite a bit, so we’re sharing those with you.

1. Cute soap dispenser – We’re the type that buys the big refill of hand soap and then refills the bottle over and over, and needless to say, the dispenser was getting a bit dingy.  We brought home the pretty little Mogden soap dispenser, and I really like the crisp white and stainless steel, plus the sleek shape.

2. Archway draping – The lovely arch over our bed was the one we were married under, and for the wedding it was draped in tulle identical to my veil.  It felt a bit bare to me without some draping, so we picked up some of the awesome Lill curtain sheers for a similar effect.  As a bonus, they are the same as the sheers on our windows.

3. Towel hooks – In our sweet & petite bathroom, the one bathroom towel bar wasn’t cutting it for both bath towels as well as face cloths, so we picked up a pack of Lillholmen hooks, popped them on the door, and now have beautiful hooks for towels, face cloths, bathrobes, etc.

4. Patio table – This was less about addressing an issue and more about adding joy.  With the lovely summer weather and phenomenal view, we bought a cheap Melltorp table that perfectly seats two with our Laver chairs so we could enjoy sitting outdoors and eating there.  Since we shopped early on a Saturday, we’ve already used it a fair bit (when it’s warm out), and both Nick and I felt like we were on vacation, enjoying the view while sipping our morning coffee.

5. Photo frames – We got a large Ribba frame for an anniversary photo project, and have since realized we’ll be going back for a few more frames to hang.

6. Ironing board – we picked up this cute little Jall tabletop ironing board, which we can easily place on the coffee table for some ironing while watching TV.  We also picked up a basic Black & Decker iron at the Canadian Tire right next to Ikea.  It’s almost sad that we’ve gone almost 2 years without an iron (though we have a steamer, so we are still civilized), but it’ll be nice to have crisp pressed clothes again, especially for Nick’s dress shirts.

7. Lighting – We love our Not floor lamps, so we picked up another one to illuminate the dining area (gotta love having no ceiling light fixtures in a rental).

Whew, that was a lot!  But these are some of our little upgrades that just make life feel so much better, more functional, and happier.  

Have you guys done any little upgrades around the home, or got any cool shopping finds?

(All catalog photos from Ikea Canada website at http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/)