I first discovered Eat Grain products at one of my favourite local boutiques, Walrus. I bought a bunch of Eat Grain’s one step bake breads as holidays gifts. I also had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of Eat Grain, Shira McDermott in the store while shopping. She has a food blog, focused on budget friendly, easy to prepare, vegetarian foods called In Pursuit of More. I HIGHLY recommend you follow her and try out some of her recipes!
Today, I’m sharing a very yummy hummus recipe. I know what you guys are thinking, hummus? Really, that’s it? But in all seriousness, this hummus has a secret sauce and that secret sauce is the creamy cilantro dressing (which I’ve used with a few other recipes as well!) So let’s start with the cilantro dressing first:
Creamy Cilantro Dressing Recipe – The Secret Sauce
What you’ll need:
- Blender ( I surprisingly used my magic bullet and did this in smaller batches)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups fresh cilantro (about 1 bunch)
- 1 fresh scallion
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 fresh jalapeño
Take all off these ingredients, toss them into a blender – Blend until smooth! Taste and taste some more to adjust the heat, (if you want to add more jalapeno or not). Trust me, you’ll want to put this sauce on everything you cook! Now on to the hummus.
White Bean Hummus
What you need:
- 2 cups (cooked, pre-cooked) white kidney beans
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 yellow pepper, roasted
- 1/4 cup cilantro dressing (*Recipe above)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 c lemon juice (*A squeeze of lime juice – personal preference)
- chile flakes
- green onions for topping
- olive oil for garnish
First thing, you need to roast the bell pepper. Set your oven to 400 degrees. Slice the pepper in half and place it on a flat baking tray, seed side down (no need to seed the pepper first). Roast the pepper for about 15 – 20 minute. Keep you eye on it. Roast until the skin is black and starting to rise off the flesh of the pepper. The more char, the easier to remove the skin of the pepper when done. Once done, remove from oven and let cool to handle. Remove the seeds and the cahr skin the best you can, It;s ok if you can not get it all.
*TIP – Now, if you are pressed for time, you can cheat and use roasted yellow bell pepper from the jar. You just have to make sure to drain and wash off as much of the olive oil or else the dip can turn too oily.
Now that the peppers are ready, combine all of your ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy (yes, this is where add that cilantro dressing!!).
*TIP – I added a squeeze of lime and a little less lemon to my recipe as I like a more tart taste. If you don’t just stick with the lemon.
That is all, you are done. Serve in a bowl, topped with chile flakes, sliced scallions, and a dash of olive oil (and black pepper if desired).
Hope you love this dip as much as I do. Let me now how it goes!
Love & Light, S
We really packed in London on day one, not sure if we had enough energy for day two! We decided to take day two at a slower pace and decided to walk ( a lot) and do a bit of shopping and people watching.
We started heading towards Chiltern Street, and I fell in love with this quaint shopping district. My husband was especially exited because this shopping street was primarily focused on menswear, sprinkle with giftware and bridal boutiques and a gorgeous flower shop (life gaols). We stopped into the Monocle cafe to grab a coffee and starting scoping out the street. Just to highlight some great stores: Cire Trvdon candle store, Sunspel, Trunk Clothiers and a men’s only Club Monaco boutique.
As my hubby took some extra time chatting it up with the staff in the Club Monaco boutique, I sat outside on their bench to take in the view and got my fill of people watching. Right across the street from the Club Monaco boutique is the Chiltern Firehouse.
The firehouse was one of the first purpose-built fire stations in London, dating from 1889. It was restored by hotelier André Balazs, offers 26 elegantly restored bedrooms and suites with one or more working fireplaces. There’s also a restaurant attached lead by Michelin star chef Nuno Mendes. As I sipped on my coffee, I sat there watching all the posh and khaki wearing folks coming in and out for bunch. I think I counted 8 men with sweaters thrown over their shoulders and about 8 women who looked like they walked out of a Ralph Lauren ad.
We continued our way towards Oxford Circus, dropping into Liberty (a must do). I just love the old department building, it has so much character. I was also on a mission to drop into a COS and & Other Stories store because we don’t have one in Vancouver. I really liked the COS stores, they offered very clean, simple garments. As for & Other Stories, the store was so busy…my head was spinning. There was just too much too look at and too many people to even have a good shopping experience. Tip: Go in the morning!
That pretty much covers our short 2 day adventure in London. Until our next travels!
Love & Light, S
It’s been so many years since my last visit London and this time I still only had about 2.5 days! However, it was a fun packed 2.5 days of London and I am forever grateful! My (now Husband) and I decided to elope in Portugal (more on this later), and London was a stop over. Luckily, we have some super duper friends that live there and kindly hosted us for our one night in London.
In 2 days we packed in quite a bit. First day we took a stroll on Portobello Street, it wasn’t too a busy of a day but I got the chance to see some cool antique shops and hundreds of market dealers selling everything from t-shirts to spoons.
Best part, our hosts asked if we wanted burgers for lunch…my husband and I can NEVER say no to a HAMBURGER. They took us to Honest Burgers. What can I say, good ol’ simple, burgers made with good ingrediants and sided with rosemary fries – YUM. I truly hit the spot after a long day of traveling.
We continued to stroll and ended up at Kensington Garden. I think that is where Prince William and Princess Kate live, or maybe they stay on the grounds every now an then, not sure. Either way, gorgeous gardens of course packed with tourist, even on a somewhat dreary day.
We continued towards the Victoria and Albert Museum (VAM) where our hosts treated us to the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibit, (which has now ended). I was not stealth enough to take a bunch of photos because the security was watching everyone like a hawk, but my husband was able to take one! Needless to say, it was amazing, especially the black room where all his accessories, detailed jewel and head dresses were displayed.
After the VAM, it was off to dinner we go! We met up with a few more friends and dined at Blue Bird in Chelsea. A busy, happening, two – three floor space, with a outdoor front patio to be jealous about.
Phew, what a long day. That’s about sums up day one. Day two will have to be another time.
Love & Light, S
Keeping things real and simple is my mantra for 2015 and I like to keep my beauty regime this way as well. I’ve been able to pair down the the number of products I keep in my bathroom to a bare minimal. If the goodies are 100% natural, even better! Here are my top 5 beauty must haves that I am using every day right now:
1. Tart Creaseless Concealer – This is Tart’s best-selling concealer and I now know why after using it. It provides full coverage and it doesn’t crease or flake. It’s super light weight on the skin, which is super important for me because I like to wear the least amount of make up on my face possible. It’s also a waterproof formula with skinvigorating™ skincare benefits. *See main image.
2. Bite Luminous Lipstick Duo - Love love love the mini sized duo lipstick by Bite. Mini enough to carry in a small clutch and the duo contrasting lip colors provides you with options. Love it! There’s a plus side as well – Besides radiantly colourful lips, with every application, antioxidant Resveratrol fights free radicals with potent long-term age-repair benefits.
3. Herbivore Botanicals Mint Lip Balm - I don’t leave home without it. These lip butters are 100% Natural. They are made with moisturizing shea butter and essential oils – no artificial fragrances or flavors – and moisturize beautifully. They are also available in other scents like rose and blood orange. YUM.
4. Pure Heat Earthstik Flat Iron – Firstly, did you know that you can buy everything from baby stuff, luggage, kitchenware, furniture and beauty products on the Best Buy Canada shopping site called VIVA by Best Buy? That’s right, not only do they specialize in consumer electronics, they’ve entered the “lifestyle” market. I was in desperate need for a new flat iron. The old one I had was ruining my hair. I found this one by Pure Heat and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to use. I stopped using curly irons a long time ago, I find I get a much better “wave” with a flat iron. My hair passes through smoothly because of the nano tourmaline infused ceramic plates. No more rough spots, chemical stains or chipping with superior Ceramic Fusion Technology from NASA. One more great thing, Pure Heat donates a portion of the sale to EarthShare - A national non-profit federation with 25 years of experience in connecting people and workplaces with effective ways to support critical environmental causes.
5. Multi Task Body and Shave Oil - I’m a huge fan of soul sunday’s 100% natural multi task oil. Especially one that is a combination of nutrient-rich natural oils and essential oils that do more than one job. I use this use this nourishing oil to moisturize my skin, shave my legs, remove my eye makeup, and deep condition my hair too! Trust me, you’ll find it addicting.
Love & Light, S
Who do you call “mom”? I ask that because nowadays I don’t think of mom’s (and dad’s) in the traditional sense. Either way you cut it, mother’s are the people in our lives that provide us with that unconditional care and love. They check in on us randomly. They always ask if you’ve had enough to eat. Even when it’s 20 degrees and sunny out side, they always say “be sure to bring a jacket!” Here’s to all the mom’s out there, doing their thing. So, if you are thinking about spoiling that special person in your life, I’ve curated a few gift ideas to help you out.
1. This lariat style necklace by local designer Lisbeth, features two vermeil linked bar pedants and it’s simple and elegant. Comes in both silver or gold.
2. Mom’s have many brilliant ideas. This brilliant idea notepad is perfect for documenting all your brilliant thoughts and quick reminders.
3. Who doesn’t like a cute letter press greeting card? Even if your mom wants nothing, a pretty note telling her how much your love her will warm her heart and give her smiles.
4. All natural goodness is the best kind of kindness to moisturize your skin. This jasmine body oil is heaven! In contrast to cream moisturizers and lotions which tend to be high in water and emulsifying agents but low in effective ingredients, body oils contain no fillers and are formulated with only effective natural ingredients.
5. My favourite way to relax is by having a bath. This coconut milk bath powder is life changing.
6. Does your mom love sparkly things? These earrings would be the way to go. A beautiful combination of old and new; vintage and modern. Silver, Vintage Rhinestone Earrings with post and Vintage Brass Stick Beads.
7. When I travel, I try to travel light. Especially for those quick weekend jaunts. Nothing is more frustrating than having to organdie all your beauty products into small TSA/airport security approved travel size for your carry on. For the mom that ravels frequently, this palette of five soul sunday essentials makes the perfect gift. Ideal for the traveler and includes: Mini cool down body scrub, 1oz / Mini multitask body + shave oil, 1oz / Mini ricewash facial cleanser, 1oz / Mini tokai aloe mist, 1oz / mini pits deodorant, 1oz .
8. If you live in Vancouver, you’ll know what I mean when I say this. It’s a layering city. Be prepared for yo yo weather and always carry a scarf. Designer Mona Sultan unites colours, distinct graphics and composition to create vibrant collections that have strong urban attributes. The scarves come in several colours but I think the red is stunning. *See main image.
Everything in this gift guide you can find in the SHOP! Until May 1o, you save 25% with promo code LOVEMOM25. Be sure to give yourself some time for the goods to ship.
Love & Light, S
I hate working out. I get bored very easily and it’s difficult for me to stick to one thing for a long time. But I may have found the thing that I love and it makes me sweat buckets – Spin cycling. You basically are on a stationary bike, spinning at fast speeds, with some added off and on saddle movements, in a room with awesome music and a super hyped up instructor that can keep your energy levels going. I’ve tried a few in Vancouver (not all) and each of them have a different flavor, so it really just comes down to what you prefer.
Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary - Located in the edge of Gastown, this studio is a sanctuary and the interior design has a Moroccan theme throughout. The studio is spacious, airy and calming. When you enter the studio you are greeted with a lobby and retail space; the studio is straight through behind the blue doors. Down stairs is where you will find the change rooms, bathroom with 2 showers, lockers and lounge area. My favour instructor is Jess Brock. she’s got great energy, reads the crowd well and she plays great music. She teaches a class called the “Detox” which is a 45 minute spin class that takes you on a even ride of cardio and strength building. Eastwood also offers unique classes like the “Mamacita” with Child Care and “The Boxer”, which includes 30 minutes of kick boxing. *All images below are from Eastwood Instagram page.
Ride Cycle Club - If you are interested in a sweaty, dirty (in a good way) version of spinning, I suggest Ride Cycle located on the edge of Yaletown. Probably some of the more difficult classes I have taken, most of the time you are completely off saddle for the entire duration of the class. The studio is small and you snuggy up in a dark room and they really love to pump their music ( I kinda feel like I’m in a night club). With the smaller room, you really get a good sense of what it feels like to ride in a tight pack. Everything is on one floor, they have lockers lined up along the wall, however they only offer one shower in their bathroom. Kick ass teachers I recommend are Julie, Ashley and Brooke. You can not go wrong with these 3 ladies and they will #werk you. I come out like a sweaty hot-mess every single time and hungry for more. *All Images below are from Ride Cycle Club Instagram page.
Spin Society - Fresh, clean, modern design space located downtown Vancouver, just off the Granville bridge at Drake street. It’s in a little bit of a dead zone, but it makes this spin studio a hidden gem. They have stations at the front desk so you can log in yourself, infused water for your bottle and treats on the counter for after your ride! They have a 3 shower bathroom (very convenient) with Saje products for freshening up. Some high energy instructors with some sass and attitude, give Bridgette and Shannon a whirl. *All Images from the Spin Society website.
Ride, rest repeat. Hope you all get the chance to give these studios and their workouts a try.
Love & Light, S
Just like when the seasons change, you feel like you need to change your entire wardrobe. Let me tell you, this is NOT necessary. I got through the winter season with just a handful of new basics and you can do the same for spring!
1. The Simple White Shirt or Shirt Dress – Simply put it goes well with jeans and dresser bottoms. Now of you are like me, (I’m clumsy with spillage), then I suggest keeping a few in stock. The classic white shirt is a staple in everyones wardrobe, so don’t feel bad if you need to purchase a few. Also, I say invest in few Tide pens and keep them in your purse for those “food splatter” accidents. Image below: Karla Spetic Dress from Shopbop.
2. Long Cardigan or Light Jacket (whatever you want to call it) – I’m all about transitional pieces and layering. My body temperature changes on a daily, going from freezing to a sweaty hot mess in 0 to 60 seconds. I always have scarves, shawls and cardigans around that I can slide on and off quickly. Keep it light, buy a basic color and go with a slightly more loose fitting look. Cozy is the best thing since sliced bread. Image below: Oak and Fort.
3. Squeaky Clean White Sneakers – When it comes to white sneakers I’ve always been a Converse gal and if you have a pair, keep them around. White sneakers are a necessity this Spring/Summer. In my teens I was a big fan of Adidas and it seems they have been getting some more attention from the fashion industry. Their classic Stan Smiths have been seen all over fashion weeks around the world on and off the runway. Now, the only issue I have with the Stan Smiths is that they are too wide for my feet and the toe cap is too short. They look like mini boats on my feet – Not a good look. If the Stan Smiths don’t fit, you would then lean towards the Gazelles which are typically a more narrow fit, but they don’t look like a court shoes. Images below: Via Pinterest and Harpers Bazar.
So guess what? I think the design team at Adidas must have read my mind because this year they launched the “Miss Stan Smith” called the Proilian. It’s a narrower, longer toed version of the Original Stan Smith and they fit skinny feet! Hooray! I found mine at Little Burgundy. Image Below: #OOTD #viewfromtheop #viewfromabove @TheSunnyShum
4. A Skirt With a Slit – Go with at the knee and longer this season. The slit can go to the front or the side, but just enough to show some some leg, NOT all of it, please and thank you. Let’s keep it rated PG ladies! Image Below: Aritzia.
5. The Jogger – Not quite a sweat pant but a morph of a cargo and a jogging pant. In most cases I think sweat pants need to stay where they are meant to be – At the gym or lounging at home. But, if you can find a jogger type style pant made of a non-sweatshirt type of material, you can dress them up a little bit and pull off a super chic casual look. If you’re on a budget, the Gap has some really well priced ones in their collection now. Image Below: Style Blogger #inspo found on Pinterest + the Gap.
Main Image: Photo by Paul Melo - #OOTD details / Hat from Beyrnie Utz Hats in Seattle / Sweater from the Gap / Mesh Leggings from Lululemon / Cardigan from Oak and Fort / Purse by Lizzie Fortunato from Violet Boutique / Sneakers by Adidas fro Little Burgundy
Love & Light, S
I’ve always had problematic skin and I spent too much time in the sun with no protection and I’ve learned that there are no quick fixes. However, with a little bit of guidance and professional support, the journey of finding harmony with my skin has been made easier. That person for me is Rita Moldavanos from Pure Light Laser. She’s been nothing but supportive and she’s also very informative on all things about skincare. From IPL treatments to microdermabrasion, she’ll find the right mix of treatments well suited for you and your skin. I wanted to have this opportunity to ask her a few more questions so we can all get to know her a bit better:
Q: How long have you been in the industry of skin care and cosmetic laser?
A: I started in the industry when I was 18 years old. My mom was a skin care specialist and when I told her I wanted to be a police officer she smiled and put me into esthetics. I am truly happy she did that because I embraced the skincare field and truly love it today. That was 22 years ago .
Q: What do most of your clients come to you for ?
A: I have a large number of clientele for acne and scar revision and love seeing their skin transform. It is truly rewarding. I was one of the first laser techs in Vancouver. Many do come to me for laser hair removal because a friend has referred them to me but more and more people are coming in for smoother clearer skin.
Q: What are the top myths about skin care ?
Myth #1 – Moisturizer removes dryness . Fact: It can at times make it worse or just mask it. Exfoliating is the key to removing dryness.
Myth #2 – The more expensive the skin care product the better it is. Actually price has nothing to do with the quality of product. At times you can be paying a lot of money for low quality ingredients and may be paying higher prices for the advertising and the packaging. There is a company out there I won’t mention, states that the ingredient in the product is mainly aloe vera and they charge over $80 a bottle. That is very expensive because aloe vera should cost more like $13 . Always look at the ingredients and see where it is on the ingredient list to make sure you actually are getting your moneys worth.
Myth #3 – If your skin is sensitive you should not put anything active on it (active ingredient). Fact: Actually if your skin is sensitive it is usually a symptom of something else that is going on. It can be dryness that needs to be exfoliated. By babying your skin you can actually make the symptoms worse. Work your active ingredient in slowly like Vitamin C serum or a low percentage glycolic and work your way up with the exfoliation. It actually is the best way to lift off sensitivity.
Myth #4 – Old scars can not be treated. Fact: Does not matter how old a scar is; most scars can be treated very successfully.
Myth #5 – Getting a peel on your skin at a clinic can leave your skin very red for days. Fact: Most times people are only red for a few hours to two days and the redness subsides within 24 hours so the redness is truly not bad and could be covered with a little bit of makeup.
Myth #6 – All laser machines are pretty much the same and give the same result. Fact: Medical grade lasers will give you the best results and the experience of the person running the laser. Many lasers out there come from overseas and are not FDA approved or tested . You have to do your research and always make sure to research the laser and the person who is running it.
Top 5 Tips For Healthier Glowing Skin:
1. Drink lots of water,
2. Exfoliate exfoliate exfoliate,
3. Get plenty of sleep,
4. Eat healthy,
5. Use an anti-oxidant like a vitamin A and C topically.
Q: Why do you do the kind of work you do?
A: I truly care for my clientele. They are amazing and after awhile they do become like family. I love seeing them smile after I’ve helped them reach their goal. Some of my clients I have been seeing me for 20 years. They come in for microdermabrasions to exfoliate their skin, we chat about life and catch up. It is actually the best job in the world. It is like visiting with so many different varieties of people and I get to help them and I enjoy their company as well.
Q: What is your favorite skin care product?
A: 10% night cream by Pro-derm. It is one of my favorite creams that I discovered 8 months ago. It truly brightens up your skin over night and smells extremely yummy.
Thank you Rita for answering all my questions and for being there me me! If you have any other questions or would like to book a consultation, you can contact Rita directly.
Unit# 606 – 777 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4J7
[View Map ]
Love & Light, S
This week has been a very busy week for me. I was drowning in reports and projects that were consuming my days and nights. I finally got some time this weekend to catch up and also to literally catch my breath. Between all the craziness, the endless meetings and triple shot espresso coffees, I’ve found a few things this week that brought me some smiles. Now, I’m not sure why but most of the stuff that I am loving right now are in hues of pink. Perhaps because Valentines Day is just around the corner. Either way, I am currently finding the color pink inspiring, which is very weird for me because I admit that I am that person that LOATHES the color pink. I guess you can still teach an old dog new tricks.
I very recently brought on a new letterpress card brand called Egg Press. Their cards are adorable and express exactly my thoughts without over communicating. I think this “DAAAANG” card has the right amount of spunk and in just one word, it speaks volumes (main image). You can see the rest of the selection for sale here —-> www.shutupilovethis.com
I’ve always had an obsession with lip balm and lip plumpers. I think I may have been addicted to plumpers one point in time. I also don’t typically like spending a lot of money on lip goodies but I am very glad that I splurged on the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm. This sheer balm enhances your natural lip color while moisturizing and protecting the skin with SPF 10. You can get yours at your nearest Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart of course!
This past year, I was lucky enough to be gifted with two Auxiliary leather hand bags by Aritzia. I have a medium sized one in black and a larger tote version in burgundy. The black Bega bag I use for every day and the tote version I carry during the week for work. It fits all my note books and papers with out compromising fashion. I’m impressed by the quality of these hand bags and they are the optimal shape. I’m happy to see that they’ve now made it in a mini version, even more optimal for everyday use!
The most colourful stationery store opened up in Pacific Centre Mall called Campo Marzio. They offer up a wonderful selection of note pads, tech leather accessories as well as gorgeous ball point and fountain pens. I’ve never owned a fountain pen, let alone written with one and my fiance gifted me one as a present for my work anniversary. It takes a little getting use to but once you get the handle of writing with a fountain pen, you’ll love the characteristics of the ink to paper better than a regular ball point pen.
Last but not least….Nothing beats fresh flowers and this pretty bouquet caught my eye from Celsia Floral located in the heart of Kitsilano. This pretty number is appropriately named, “Strawberries and Cream”. This would be a home run for any time of the year, not just for Valentines Day!
Love & Light, S
I have to be very truthful and admit that I am not into “goal setting”. When I say this, I mean in the “hard core” kind of way. I know advanced goal setting and vision boarding works for many people and I applaud everyone that can set and sketch out their 1, 2 , 3 , 5, 10, 20 year goals. Don’t forget to follow the S.M.A.R.T. rule of thumb! Are your goals Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic and do they have a Timeline? Does this all sound way too familiar?
I am a list maker. I always make two lists…I make these lists first thing in the morning when I get to the office. One list is what I like to call “the priority list” – This list needs to get done because the stuff on this list will have direct impact to my overall happiness and well being (at the office it’s the stuff that will ultimately make an impact on my performance and bottom line). The other list is the “would be nice but definitely not in a rush” and if I don’t end up doing any of this, the world is not going to come to a crashing halt.
I think we place too much pressure on ourselves with all the goal setting and we don’t place enough time on reflecting and appreciating all the great stuff that has happened over the past year or two. In looking back…I got engaged, I started a new job that has challenged me greatly, I discovered my new found love for spin cycling, I became a new auntie many times, I became a teacher for a few months (first-timer), I watched two very great friends get married…the list goes on and on.
So this year, I have made a list and I call it my “2015 PREDICTIONS”. I don’t have any particular talents in fortune telling but I have been blessed with great intuition (I get this from my mom). Here’s my list, in no particular order and as you can see, I have already ticked one prediction off! I say this is a really good start to 2015 already! *CLICK on the list to enlarge.
*Main image photo by: Paul Melo
Let’s get SOCIAL & CONNECT!
Love & Light, S