31 Days Later

31 days ago I committed to drinking at least one smoothie a day for the month of August. I’ll admit that I was primarily motivated by Charissa’s Colourful Smoothie contest. I wasn’t even sure I’d be stick to my goal because I was going away for 11 days and blenders aren’t exactly easy to pack in a suitcase, but after just a few short days of drinking colourful smoothies I found myself craving these produce creations. The challenge quickly turned from hoping to win prizes to wanting to improve my eating habits such as incorporating bigger breakfasts into my diet. I can tell a difference in my energy levels, sugar balance and overall well-being since starting to drink liquid nutrition.Colourful-Smoothie-August-2013-Challenge-Copy-510x253While smoothies can easy pack in unnecessary calories or added sugars, if you stick to a 40:60 ratio of greens to fruit you’ll be sure to have a nutrient dense and tasty beverage. If you ever find spinach to be overpowering, add a banana, more milk or chocolate to mask the flavour! I found myself drinking smoothies for breakfasts and snacks because those were the times I needed to prepare meals that were not only easy to make but quick to clean up. What’s great about smoothies is that they can keep in a refrigerator for up to 3 days so you can make them in advance for times when you are hungry but in a pinch. When I wasn’t in the kitchen I opted to snack on a Starbuck’s Strawberry Vivanno (1/2 the protein, non-fat milk) or the Raspberry Rapture blend from Booster Juice. Charissa also had a lot of low-sugar variations, my favourites being the Wild Blueberry Shake, Lemon Meringue Smoothie and Dark Chocolate Protein Shake.Smoothies 1Most of my combinations included a banana, spinach, skim milk, vanilla protein powder, ice and another fruit such as strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, mango, orange or kiwi! I enjoyed switching it up with the addition of frozen cucumber/peaches instead of ice, cinnamon, cacao powder, shredded coconut, instant coffee granules, vanilla, cottage cheese, silken tofu or even tea (chai or green). For “how-to” breakdown of making smoothies be sure to check out my WIAW: Smoothie Edition post.

Smoothies 3So even though I learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work (complimenting flavours, the ripeness of fruit and blending techniques) I still haven’t quite mastered photographing my creations. Even nice bowls or unique garnishes (fruit sections, oats, cereal, seeds) don’t mask the weird colours created using the most flavourful combinations.

Smoothies 2I really enjoyed this challenge and I hope Charissa makes it an annual event. I can only imagine how much work Charissa put into tracking everyone’s consumption and for that I am truly grateful. ♥ Molly

“Those who think they have no time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley

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Myrtle Beach: Final Recap

Myrtle Beach’s warm temperatures and abundant sunshine left me spending most of my days by the pool or on the shore. No need to stay indoors since the weather cooperated leaving us without a drop of rain. Clearly we picked the week well because other vacationers complained that the days leading up to our arrival were dark and dreary.111111111 1333 133333

We stayed at the Sea Watch Plantation Resort located on a private beach with very friendly (and attractive) lifeguards. Our balcony overlooked the ocean so we frequently saw fireworks at nighttime. The resort was neither busy nor noisy, so I often fell asleep while reading in a reclined chair by the pool. I guess that is the advantage of traveling when summer holidays have ended for most Americans. 14 62

While I enjoyed lounging in the heat, my fair skin can only take so much sunshine so I did enjoy endless shopping, delicious dining, and plenty of tourist attractions. Some of my favourite activities included seeing salt water taffy being made, product surfing in Kroger and Lowe’s, go-karting, jet skiing, beachwalks by the pier, seashell hunting and of course card playing. I’d recommend stopping in at Barefoot Landing which had chain stores and one-of-a kind boutiques. I really enjoyed the “Natural Life” paper products at Ron Jon Surf Shop and the jewelery at Francesca’s. If you are looking for an afternoon adventure, try visiting Broadway at the Beach which is a combination of gift shops, eateries and kid-friendly activities such as Ripley’s Aquarium, Planet Hollywood, WonderWorks, MagiQuest and even Dragon’s Lair Mini-Golf. I really enjoyed “It’s Sugar” which was a candy shop with oversized Wonka products and a large assortment of gummies, M&Ms, jelly bellies, soda (I called it pop by accident) and other sweets. e2wwew 12212121212

The most entertaining piece of the trip was Pirate’s Voyage. The dinner show, sponsored by Dolly Parton, featured a combination of acrobatics, acting, singing, dancing and even performing animals such as dogs, sea lions and parrots. They did a great job rewarding and treating the animals with respect, which to me is very important. If you can get over drinking soup out of a cup or eating a quarter chicken with no knife, then you will really enjoy the show. They even got children involved in mini contests.144444 11111111 31312121185205_330724617063323_797455069_n

I would definitely recommend Myrtle Beach as a family vacation location, however if I returned to the Carolinas I might visit Charleston, South Carolina or Outer Banks, North Carolina instead. While the resort we stayed in was clean and updated, parts of North Myrtle Beach were a bit run down by tacky tourist shops. You know something is fishy when seafood buffets are only $6.99 for all you can eat. Overall I really enjoyed myself. Nearing the end I did miss my own bed and my family, but for the most part the time flew by and I was sad to say goodbye to the coast. I am so grateful to have been included in Caitlin’s family’s annual trip. I couldn’t have asked for a more welcoming group of people, although I did get laughed at for all of my food shots and selfies.

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I feel behind in blog posts and blog reading but it was nice to take a break from texting and facebook. I had many firsts for instance being stung by a jelly fish, seeing a pelican in flight, finding a lettered olive (South Carolina’s State seashell) and successfully running 2 miles on the beach without stopping. As I said before, there really is something for everyone whether that be golfing, playing tennis, riding the skywheel, visiting the theatre, or investing in some new clothes. It is an affordable destination and there really never was a dull moment. ♥ Molly

“To find a seashell is to discover a world of imagination.”  – Michelle Held

Myrtle Beach: WIAW

This post was intended to be published on Wednesday, August 28th 2013.

Today was my last morning in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While I am sad to be back at home I must admit that I missed home cooked meals, my own bed and of course my family. I have so much to look forward in the upcoming week that I haven’t had time to dwell on the fact that I no longer overlook the ocean from my balcony. Blogging has also hit a low but I promise to update you on all of my adventures, starting with good eats since it is WIAW after all.WIAWbutton

With the exception of this morning and Cracker Barrel, breakfast was typically a smoothie, yogurt or cereal with fruit! I had the pleasure of dining at Cracker Barrel which was overwhelmingly busy but delicious none the less. It isn’t exactly fine dining but I did enjoy my scrambled egg, yogurt parfait and fried apples. In my opinion, fried apples are essentially the filing of apple pie. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t have the granola in the parfait since it was pre-made with nuts. Oh well! This morning I ate at the resort’s breakfast buffet. They had an omelette bar but I didn’t think I could stomach eggs before getting on a plane so I opted for an assortment of fresh fruit and mini waffle instead. I also had a bit of french toast that was just alright and I sipped on hot coffee throughout my meal.4 1208925_329880783814373_1198689563_n 13

Lunch was usually eaten in the room with an assortment of crackers, cheese, shaved meats, buns, salad, veggies and fruit. Surprisingly we found ourselves at the Tilted Kilt for a quick bite to eat one afternoon. It’s an interesting venue, probably meant more for males, but if you can get over the crop tops, short skirts and knee high socks the food is good. I ordered the Chicken Tendered Salad, which was served with a mustard vinaigrette. I wasn’t fond of the fried chicken but the dressing had a neat tang, which complimented the mandarin oranges well.6 15

Snacks included chips, popsicles, fruit and a drink from the tiki bar. Not my typical eating but it was vacation so I wasn’t expecting to eat purely clean. I am proud that I can finally order foods that aren’t necessarily grilled (fried) or bland (no seasoning or dressing). 10

Dinner was where the fun began. The Carolina Roadhouse was recommended to us on our flight down and it did not disappoint. In fact we ended up eating there twice. They are known for their croissants and prime rib, neither of which I am fond of, but I ordered a Grilled Rosemary Salmon Salad which came with a croissant that changed my outlook on white carbohydrates. Usually I pick breads with more sustenance but this was flakey and flavourful and when it melted in my mouth it also took with it my heart. I enjoyed my meal so much that I ended up ordering a similar meal the second time around. I was feeling a bit nauseous from the long car ride, so I just got a house salad but switched out the almonds, bacon and ham for shaved turkey. I am glad that the restaurant was so accommodating of my allergies and preferences. I also had a few onion rings and nachos prior to the meal, and a spoonful of Caitlin’s potato soup. I’d highly recommend this restaurant to anyone but be sure to book a reservation since it is very popular and overly crowded. Others at my table really enjoyed the prime rib, but be warned that medium is still very raw and red.8 16

We also ate at the Olive Garden twice because it is a family tradition to begin and end the trip with an Italian meal. On the first visit I enjoyed the soup (minestrone), salad (garden) and breadstick combination. The second time I ordered a plate of mussels steamed in a garlic wine sauce. I devoured them and still had room for a few BLANK which are Italian dognuts that we drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce.1 5 2 3

Other meals included take in pizza from Hungry Howie’s, shrimp and chips from Finn McCools and even a pirate feast at Pirate’s Voyage. The feast included a vegetable soup, chicken, corn, potatoes and an apple turnover. I tried my first glass (which turned into 4 glasses) of Unsweetened Cold Tea. It was so refreshing.14 88 7

We had a kitchen in our suite so we cooked two of our meals. One night we made fajitas which I ate without the tortilla as a mexican salad and the other day we had freshly caught shrimp. When the kids and dads were jet skiing the mom’s flagged down a shrimp boat and purchased 7lbs of headless shrimp. They then spent 2 hours de-veining which couldn’t have been fun or pleasant but it was well worth it because our meal of veggies, ceasar salad, old-bay seasoned shrimp and rice was delicious.9 12

Taking a break from reality is what a vacation is all about and that includes venturing out from home cooked meals that you are familiar with. So while I couldn’t have southern Pecan Pie because of my allergies, nor did I eat pan fried-pork, fatback or biscuits and gravy, I am glad that I was able to try a few southern favourites! ♥ Molly

“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.” – Erma Bombeck

Myrtle Beach: MIMM #7

I still can’t believe I am here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina soaking up the sun from the beautiful coast of the Atlantic Ocean. This past week has flown by since the days have been jammed pack with excursions. I am sad that I only have two full days left before I fly back home. It’s Monday though, and what better way to highlight some favourites than by participating in Katie’s Marvelous In My Monday.MiMM

Marvelous is running on the beach before the golden sunrises so that I can beat the humidity and hot temperatures. It’s allowing the waves to splash my feet as I search for seashells and sand dollars and it’s walking along the moonlit beach at nighttime to make room for dessert. 7 4

Marvelous is finding good deals in Outlet malls as I shop until I literally drop. It’s treating myself to a familiar beverage such as Starbucks iced coffee and wishing Canada had Trenta size cold drinks too. I had never heard of Orange Spice Iced Coffee until this week.11111111

Marvelous is exploring grocery stores such as Kroger and Target to find unique products.  I did not locate Arctic Zero or actually purchase anything that out of the norm for me, but it was still neat to discover foods such as white chocolate KitKat and M&Ms, broiled peanuts and cinnamon Teddy Grahams. Canada is missing out on so many varieties of gold fish crackers, greek yogurt brands, gum and even chips.2 3

Marvelous is visiting tourist attractions such as Broadway on the Beach and Barefoot landing. It’s being a kid in a candy shop and it’s watching taffy and fudge being made. 10

Marvelous is playing games and not being ashamed of my competitive spirit. What can I say, I like to win! I’ve played Skip Bo while sipping tea at night, Corn Hole while waiting for dinner at Finn McCools, ladder ball while waiting to jet ski and peg puzzle while waiting for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.5 6

Marvelous is the sun kissed glow being taken on by my hair and skin. My hair has naturally lightened to a blonder shade and while my SPF 60 sun screen has prevented me from burning I have gotten a bit of a tan.1111

Marvelous is go-karting with the boys.  Again, I don’t think they realized just how gung ho I am about coming in first and my petite frame (in comparison to 6’0 feet tall boys) allowed me to soar through the course at a faster pace. I paid close attention to which cars were the quickest and often lucked out in getting the vehicle I wanted. There was also an arcade and rock climbing wall but I stucked to go-karting which reminded me more of bumper cars because of all the collisions that led me to spin out of control. Colin shot some hoops and gave me the stuffed elephant prize that he won. Thanks again!9 8

Myrtle beach is marvelous, to say the least. It’s obvious that I am having the time of my life with daily outings but I am equally enjoying relaxing on the beach or by the pool. I’m going to miss having someone else to make my bed and the convenience of eating out, although I have also liked the meals we prepared for ourselves. It’s going to be a shock when I return to Canada’s cooler climate, especially with fall on it’s way. I’m trying not to think about the fact that my vacation is coming to an end because I still have many marvelous memories to make before heading home. What was marvelous about your past week and weekend? ♥ Molly

“Beach House Rules: Relax, Unwind, Enjoy”

Myrtle Beach: 5 Days and Counting

Myrtle Beach. It’s the place where time loses its meaning and cares slip away with the tide. I can wake up each morning to the bright golden sun and drift off each evening to the soft sound of the ocean. Each day is filled with a fun excursion, a new memory and sun kissed cheeks. There are picturesque beaches, luscious green palmetto trees, cloudless skies and an abundance of seashells. There really is something memorable for everyone which is probably why my friend Caitlin and her family return year after year.2222222 33333322222

I am so grateful to have been brought on their family vacation, and even more so since they know the best activities to adventure on. Monday and Tuesday were very relaxing since we were just settling in. At the resort we are staying in Tuesday’s are “Pool Parties”, so there was a DJ playing music and hosting contests. I entered a Hula Hooping competition and came in third out of over 30 kids. I made it into the finals but lost my hoop when I spun left instead of right and tried to correct myself too quickly. They had me hula hooping on one leg, while doing funny faces, while jumping, while people splashed me (not fun since I was wearing a dress), while kneeling, while balancing on my toes and while spinning around. The prize was ice cream so I bet you know why I was so disappointed when my hoop fell. Oh well. Tuesday night we also visited Barefoot Landing which has many quaint shops such as Purpleologist and Christmas Mouse. I really enjoyed the “Natural Life” collection from Ron Jon since it featured many inspirational quotes and lots of owl designs. 4444441111111 111111111111

We all needed a break from the sun so we spent Wednesday shopping at Tanger Outlets. It reminded me of the new Toronto Premium Outlet since it was outdoors as well but very protected with awnings. I found a cute pair of Nine West flats on sale from for $14.00 originally $75.00. You bet I used a 10% off coupon to bring the price down further. The States has so many bargains. I now know why they have a show called Extreme Couponers. I also got a pair of jeans since I desperately need pants for the fall. They were only $12.00! I had my eye on a Kate Spade purse but I opted to wait since I knew there was more shopping to be done later in the week. Thursday was also spent at a mall because the clouds looked threatening. I found another pair of Nine-West shoes at Belk on sale for $25.00 from $80.00. My mom and Emma already have this style so now we will all match. To conclude the night I watched beach fireworks from the balcony of our room. I’m not used to Red, White and Blue sparkles.55555PG.NWVOODOO.JJ169A0.PZ 111111

Thankfully the weather cleared up because we had booked Jet skiing for Friday morning. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins but riding the waves both as a driver and passenger was pretty neat. Usually dolphins follow shrimp boaters but the fishermen were all docked because of the low tides. In the afternoon we continued with our water themed day and tanned on the beach. The sun was so hot I decided to take a dip in the ocean but after only a minute of floating a jellyfish stung me. I didn’t cry but let it be known that it hurt more than anything. It caught me by surprise since the jellyfish was clear not purple like I am used to from P.E.I. I’ve never been stung by a bee but I can tell you it hurts more but isn’t as itchy as an allergic reaction. I was told to rub the wound with salt water, sand and finally vinegar. The first hour was brutal but by the evening the pain had dispersed and the hives subsided. My friend’s mom treated me to a Raspberry Daiquiri which made up for the pain I was feeling – not that it was her fault I got hurt. 3344434422333 2222333

Overall I am really enjoying my time in Myrtle Beach. I hope someday I can come back with my family, maybe when Lottie is old enough to build a sandcastle. It has a bit of a southern feel, not only in the setting and food, but also in their “accent” and slang. My iPhone is taking some nice photos but I do wish I had my DSLR for shooting the sunrise and sunset. I suppose that’s just another excuse to return. Happy Saturday. ♥ Molly

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Myrtle Beach: Salt Water

Most people would agree that salt has a bad reputation. Correlations between eating salt and raised blood pressure are very much present. High blood pressure poses a threat for putting a greater strain on one’s heart, arteries, kidneys and brain which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.45

But is all salt bad? Not in my books! While I don’t add salt into my baking or cooking, sodium isn’t the first item I look at on a nutritional label! I’m not going to get into a debate as to why sea salt may be better than table salt because we are all entitled to our own opinions and the most notable differences are within the taste and texture. The fact of the matter is that swimming in sea salt does have some tremendous benefits for our bodies and since I’m vacationing on the ocean I feel compelled to share some fun facts with you. After all, I have to live up to my “healthy living” blog motto.22

There’s no doubt about it, salt water is cleansing to the skin because it increases moisture retention. By detoxifying your skin, your whole body automatically feels rejuvenated since your skin is the largest organ in your body. Overtime, swimming in salt water can help to treat skin disorders such as eczema and acne.33

Not only will swimming help keep you beautiful on the outside, it will also help in keeping you healthy in the inside. One’s mental state may be renewed from swimming in salt water since it is a way to relieve stress and release endorphins. Salt water contains bromide, which helps reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles, which in turn lessens muscle pains. Salt water also has higher buoyancy so it is easier to float within. Studies have proven that salt water can restore the body’s natural balance, which promotes self-healing and can make you feel and look younger. When you swim in salt water, it stimulates your blood circulation, which is great for your health. Your nervous system benefits from the magnesium present in salt water, as are potassium and sodium. Calcium is also present which we know is great for your bone health.66

In contrast to chlorine, which has the tendency to cause red eyes and itchy skin, salt water is better for your overall comfort. I must admit I’ve really been enjoying the salty water of the ocean. Swallowing a gulp isn’t fun, but my hair is feeling silkier than ever. In Ontario we are blessed with Great Lakes, but you won’t find ocean water anywhere. I’m not used to watching out for jellyfish or sharks but I think I could get used to looking for washed up beach glass, seashells and sand dollars. I can’t wait to go jet skiing later in the week so that we can flag down a fishing boat for fresh shrimp. I brought an underwater camera to document the excursion. I’ll definitely be sharing photos from my trip so far later in the week because I have to many funny stories to contain until I get home. Bye for now! ♥ Molly

“The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.”  – Dinesen, Isak 

Myrtle Beach: Peace and Serenity

It’s almost surreal to walk on an empty beach amidst a cloud of fog. The sound of the waves crashing against each other, the sand between your toes and the blazing sun heating the water so that it is just bearable to touch.

7:00 a.m. Fog

7:00 a.m. Fog

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We arrived safely, on time, to a newly renovated airport just 20 minutes from our resort. We drove by many attractions including Pirate’s Voyage, Go-Karting, Broadway Beach and the Tanger Outlet Mall all of which I look forward to frequenting later in the week. Yesterday was mostly spent in air, but we did manage to buy some groceries and go for a midnight swim. I’ll never get tired of finding new food products only featured in the States. There are some pretty packaged foods, although I’m not sure I would actually try and of them. I went for a walk on the beach this morning, which is by far one of my favourite forms of exercise. Today is a beautiful sunny day which means that we will most likely be relaxing on the beach and by the pool. The only probable destination is the Tiki Bar – non-alcoholic of course because I am only 20 and the drinking age in the States is different. I found it so surprising to see alcohol in the grocery store yesterday. The prices are also so low in comparison to what I remember from Canada.  1098007_326937960775322_1732407465_n

I haven’t even been in Myrtle Beach for 24 hours and already I have experienced true bliss. We are on a very relaxed schedule, flexible with weather changes or input from others. While I am not on vacation with my own family, I feel just at ease and am equally included in the decision making progress. It’s nice to be given the option as to whether or not I want to do a particular activity or eat at a certain restaurant and for that I am extremely thankful.934732_326937847442000_1684804581_n

I know that I had intended to blog on my vacation, but I am slowly realizing just how needed a break from technology really is. While I plan on documenting my trip through a recap, I am not sure that I will be keeping up with blog updates, e-mails or facebook on a daily basis. We will see, there is definitely enough down time to write, but I also want to make the most of a vacation by just being. Just lounging, just reading, just soaking up the sun free of unnecessary thoughts, worry and guilt. My inner perfectionism hates that posts will not be frequent or scheduled for 5:00 a.m., but I am using this trip as a challenge for myself both mentally and physically. It’s kind of nice to be forced to take a step back from the busy lifestyle I was living and I am so glad that I opted not to get a phone plan for the States.

That is all. I challenge you to find peace and serenity in your “today”. ♥ Molly

The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh 

MIMM #6: Packing

I hope everyone had a marvelous past two days! I’ve gotten into the habit of taking Saturdays and Sundays off from blogging and I think that makes my Monday posts even more marvelous. Weekend recaps are fun to write, although this weekend was pretty low key as I was packing for University and my trip so I don’t have too many things to share. It sure was hard turning down offers for Ice Cream and Coffee but I knew my focus had to be preparing for school so that I could be worry-free throughout my vacation. I don’t think it would be marvelous to spend my trip sick because I wore myself out with gatherings, nor would it be marvelous to be thinking about all of the things I had to buy or do to get ready for school so I mustered up the courage to say no, because packing had to be my priority. At 3:30 p.m. I will be landing in Myrtle Beach! If that isn’t marvelous in it of itself, I don’t know what is! I have yet to visit a beach this summer so 10 days at an ocean front resort will certainly make up for what I have been missing out on. But just because I spent most of my weekend folding clothes and organizing supplies doesn’t mean nothing was marvelous!44

On Friday I visited Joyce and got to meet Honey, her bunny. Honey is a Netherlands Dwarf Rabbit which is just like me, Dutch and “Miniature”. It’s always nice to see Joyce she inspires me to be the best version of myself. I’m so fortunate to have her in my life as a friend, supporter and great advice-giver. Our visits are never complete without a bowl of Frozen Yogurt so not only did we chat over coffee in her apartment, but we made a much needed marvelous stop in at Yogurty’s. I tried Mochi bites for the first time!555 2

Saturday morning was spent running errands and packing. Despite my clothing fitting in a medium sized suitcase, I opted to bring a large suitcase because I knew I’d be needing space for my purchases. Thankfully my clothing is light because I am terrible at narrowing down which dresses (or how many) to bring. There’s a slight chance I packed my entire closet! Let’s be real I could also use the extra space to fill with Chobani and Arctic Zero if they didn’t need to be kept refrigerated or frozen. I spent the evening with my friend Caitlin, confirming travel details and baking cupcakes. Whenever Caitlin goes on a trip she bakes something for her boyfriend. This year she made him ocean themed cupcakes using blue icing, graham cracker crumbs, teddy grahams, lifesaver and fish gummies. There is one marvelous cupcake for each day we will be gone. She seriously deserves an award for being the best girlfriend ever.1111

The best part of Sunday was driving – I’m being half serious, I find driving marvelous and I cannot wait until I no longer need a supervisor with me. I’ve been eligible to drive for 4 years now, but I’m only just realizing how convenient it would be to have my license. In all honesty though, the real highlight of Sunday was when our neighbours dropped off live lobster that they brought back from the East Coast. I thought it was pretty brave of them to drive to P.E.I since they’ve only lived in Canada for a month! My dad has been helping them to adjust to the culture and language since they moved from China. Not only did they provide us with 4 lobsters, but they completed our meal with P.E.I. potatoes and fresh corn on the cob as a thank you for watching over their pool and house. We served the meal with watermelon, beets and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. A true lobster feast!

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Other marvelous things I am thankful for are:

  • Insurance Plan: I didn’t have to pay a cent when refilling my EpiPen prescription. Normally it would cost over $200.00 for 2 but thankfully my Dad has great benefits in combination with the Ontario Health Plan. I am even covered in the States which is reassuring just incase of an emergency.
  • Nail Polish: I gave myself a home manicure and pedicure last night. I used Essie “Bikini So Teeny” and “Secret Story”. I’m not sure if they go well together (One is periwinkle the other is pink), but I figure my feet and hands are far enough apart that nobody will judge my colour coordination or style.
  • Warm Weather: Earlier in the week I mentioned the weather being too cool for my liking. It seemed to perk up this weekend so I managed to soak up some sun while swimming in our pool. We also got to eat dinner on our deck! Hooray for Vitamin D.MiMM

Thank you Katie for putting a positive spin on the “dreaded” outlook many have about Mondays! What was marvelous about your weekend? What will be marvelous today in your Monday? ♥ Molly

“When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.” – Dr. Seuss

Warm Potato Salad

My family knows how to cook potatoes well which doesn’t surprise me since this humble vegetable is very versatile. My grandmother is known for her amazing mashed sweet potatoes (which really only shares the same name, since it’s a root vegetable not a nightshade), my nana has a great scalloped potato recipe, my dad can make melt in your mouth twice-baked potatoes and my mom sure knows how to toss a warm potato salad. While I don’t love potatoes in any form, the preceding dishes are far too tasty to pass up. The heavy consistency of potatoes leaves me feeling almost too full which is perfect when I need extra comforting. IMG_6845

It’s been rather chilly (okay, cold for my liking and for it being Summer) this past week which has left me craving warmer foods so I couldn’t have been happier when my mom suggested making her warm potato salad. I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather and an extra helping of carbohydrates was exactly what I needed, or so I’m choosing to believe. Besides, potatoes are technically vegetables it’s just that their high content of starch makes them taste more like rice or pasta, not that there is anything wrong with eating copious amounts of carbohydrates.IMG_6849

I couldn’t let my mom have all of the fun in the kitchen though, so I offered to help which ended up consisting of a lot of picture taking with a tiny bit of chopping. Whoops. Just a forewarning, this salad tastes much better than it presents! Regardless, here’s the recipe we came up with based on a very tattered and torn recipe from Canadian Living back 1992 (the year before I was born). It is an excellent source of fibre and iron and even contains a fair bit of protein. What’s your favourite way to cook potatoes? Do you enjoy fried potatoes in the form of hash, chips or french fries?  ♥ Molly

Fun Fact: The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. That’s enough for 73 portions of medium fries at McDonalds. Did you know that potatoes have also been grown in outer space and that they did not originate from Ireland despite the popular belief?IMG_6853

Warm Potato Salad

Serves 6 as a Main Course, GenerouslyIMG_6832

Salad 

  • 2 lb red potatoes, quartered
  • ½ lb green beans, halved (3 large handfuls)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans tuna packed in water, drained and chunked (368 g)

Dressing 

  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • Pinch of ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In a small measuring cup, whisk together white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, Dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Let dressing sit for 10 minutes to allow flavours to intensify and combine.IMG_6814
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add potatoes and simmer on medium high for 5 minutes or under potatoes are almost tender. Add green beans and continue to boil for 3 minutes or until beans and potatoes are fully cooked. Drain water and transfer potatoes and beans to a serving bowl.IMG_6807
  3. Drizzle dressing and toss in chopped green onions, celery and red pepper. Carefully mix in tuna trying not to break up chunks or mash the potatoes.IMG_6820
  4. Serve on top of a bed of spinach. Enjoy. IMG_6847

Alphabetically Speaking

Nothing was flowing as I typed this morning. I tried to write about my recent efforts to meditate, but I couldn’t come up with inspiring words to help you see the benefits of finding peace within your mind. I was going to talk about how I am packing for University, but posting pictures of my messy room wouldn’t be eye appealing and I don’t have a DIY project for dorm rooms quite yet. I thought about sharing a recipe, but recently my cooking and baking haven’t been out of the norm or anything special. There was also the idea of writing a book or restaurant review, but my words weren’t doing either justice. So instead, I chose to take an easier route by completing an alphabetical questionnaire that has been floating around the blog world lately. I’m not sure if you’ll be surprised by any of my answers but it’s a great way to find out a few additional fun facts about me. ♥ Molly

“Stay true to yourself because there are very few people who will always be true to you.” 

A. Attached or Single? Single!

B. Best Friend? I have quite a few and I am confident that they know who they are. I also consider my siblings and parents to be some of my closest acquaintances since they have supported me my entire life.IMG_3788

C. Cake or pie? Does cheesecake count? I’m not keen on pie crust but I do love lemon, rhubarb, apple and pumpkin filling!

D. Day of choice? I like Fridays because I have the schedule of being in school, but I can look forward to being able to rest on the weekend. There’s also no pressure to get things done since I have two school-free days to complete tasks. Saturdays are second best because I can relax but it doesn’t mark the end of the weekend.

E. Essential Item? My iPhone. It allows me to create lists, take pictures, stay connected through Texting, Facebook, E-mail, Instagram and Twitter, write blog posts and can even be used as a Calendar, Calculator or GPS.

F. Favorite color? Pink! Although turquoise is quickly catching up!DSC05383

G. Gummy bears or worms? To me gummy bears and worms taste the exact same. I do enjoy stretching gymmy worms and the neon flavours are pretty neat!

H. Home town? Peterborough, Ontario!

I. Favourite Indulgence? Ice cream although I’d hardly consider it an indulgence since I eat it on a daily basis.Yum

J. January or July? I love the weather in July although January marks the beginning of the year which is always refreshing.

K. Kids? I hope to have 3 to 4.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Steadtler Fine-Tip Markers! I’m only kidding… Happiness.20

M. Marriage date? I used to say I wanted to be married by 24 but that only gives me 4 years to find my Prince. Let’s just say the distant future, most likely during summer.

N. Number of brothers/sisters? 2 sisters, 1 brother and 1 brother-in-law! I’m the youngest followed by Emma, Nathan and finally Caitlin (the oldest).

O. Oranges or Apples? Apples because I like a good crunch plus oranges take longer to prepare. I’m all for convenience. Pink Ladies or Royal Galas to name a few.IMG_8338

P. Phobias? Loud chewers and Spiders. They both make me cringe.

Q. Quotes? “You is kind, You is smart, You is important” – The Help, Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

R. Reasons to smile? Because it takes fewer muscles than frowning, because it’s the cheapest thing to wear, because it spreads positivity, because it makes others happy to see, but most importantly, because I genuinely can and haven’t always been able to.IMG_0485

S. Season of choice? Spring tulips, Summer hydrangeas, Fall leaves and the crisp snow of Winter. In terms of temperature, Summer for sure! I hate the cold, brrr.

T. Tag 5 People. Anyone and everyone.

U. Unknown facts about me? I can curl my tongue into a three-leaf clover. My hair colour is natural, it hasn’t ever been dyed. I’ve always worn a homemade (Thanks Mom!) halloween costume (or recycled dance costume).  My favourites include Madeline (Age 6-7), Pippi Longstocking (Age 8-9), Paper Bag Princess (Age 12) and a Peacock (I made this one myself – Age 19).IMG_0605IMG_0592

V. Vegetable? It’s harder to name a vegetable I don’t like. If I had to choose, I would probably pick red onions as my favourite.

W. Worst habit? Never feeling good enough. I often have trouble believing in myself because I can’t seem look beyond comparisons long enough to recognize my own potential.

X. Xray or Ultrasound? I’ve had both done!

Y. Your favorite food? Everything in moderation right? Except sushi! It’s labour intensive but I do enjoy making it! IMG_7441

Z. Zodiac sign? Cancer. The Crab. Water element. Moon planet. Sensitive, dependable, romantic, creative and protective. Hypothetically I should like the colour silver and my lucky day is Monday which completely contradicts the above statements!