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

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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

August Favourites

Can you believe it is August already? I typically fall culprit to saying that “time flies” at the beginning of a week or month, but I just can’t get over the fact that we are over half way through 2013.

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At the start of July I set a few goals for myself. I am happy to announce that I have accomplished most of them and feel pretty satisfied with the progress I that have made on the others. When I found myself in a pinch as to what to blog about, I fulfilled the objective of creating two DIY posts. I successfully participated in MIMM (#1#2, #3, #4) and WIAW (#1, #2) by adding a personal twist to each! I also really enjoyed commenting on posts as I got to know fellow bloggers on a more personal level. Blogging is a learning curve and I’d love to hear what sorts of posts you enjoy reading or find boring. I really do value the insight some of you share through remarks.

With September fast approaching I am going to cut myself some slack and go easy on my August goals so I am only setting 6 as opposed to 10. After all, I am headed to Myrtle Beach mid-month so I don’t know how much free time I will have between packing for my trip and buying items for residence. I’m also planning on continuing to soak up the sun, stay active and maximize my social gatherings with friends from home before I move away. I’m going to try to pre-write a few posts although I will have my laptop with me on vacation. If anyone would like to do a guest post I’d love to feature your writing. This being said, come September I won’t be able to blog every weekday like I am used to, so I should begin transitioning to fewer posts. It’s hard to practice scaling down because I like sharing my finds, eats and activities on a daily basis. Sigh.

Anyway, it is August which means it is time for some “favourites”. I noticed that I do things a bit backwards by posting my “favourites” at the beginning of the month as opposed to the end (recap format), but I can’t help myself from getting excited about the new fashion trends and cool décor. Here are some items I am hoping to purchase this month!

August Favourites1. Crocheted Fruit Coasters 2. Full Steam Ahead Nail Polish 3. Catherine Street Pippa Purse 4. Instant Mom 5. Anchor Necklace 6. Pinterest 7. Strata Dress 8. Garmin Swim Watch 9. Handwritten Quotes 10. DIY Headband

As for my goals, here are some realistic endeavours I hope to achieve this August:

Blog Goals

  • Editing: My posts have been getting pretty long which I know can be discouraging for followers. Not only are they time-consuming to read but they also take a while to write. I am hoping to cut out unnecessary details so that I am able to focus on improving my grammar and spelling mistakes. The perfectionist in me despises the fact that I always have at least one error in every post. I haven’t been very thorough about re-reading before publishing. This being said I am not an English major, so don’t hold your breath on complete accuracy!
  • Photography: Lately I have been skimping on my photos by using my iPhone instead of my DSLR. Some people can capture great shots with their phones but mine never seem to be in focus. As a result, the quality of my photos is lacking so I would like to get into a routine of bringing my camera with me on more excursions. I am also hoping to read a Food Photography E-Book so that I can become more creative when capturing pictures of my recipes. Even though I have Photoshop I don’t actually know how to use it, so for the month of August I am going to try and learn how to do basic colour enhancing and photo editing. When I began my blog my intent was to showcase more photos than words so to match this desire my posts need to be switched up a little!
  • Schedule: I recently purchased a new agenda and I am going to sit down and pre-plan some blog posts. I want to create a schedule so that each day features a different type of post. This way I can continue to offer posts including DIY projects, Recipes, Nutrition Facts, Everyday Living Topics and even Reviews. Come September I know I will be thankful if I already have a topic for each day of the week. It would become very monotonous if each post was about the same subject or in the same format.

Personal Goals

  • Exercise: On my vacation I will naturally be living a more active lifestyle so I don’t expect to be swimming laps in the ocean. This being said I don’t want to forgo the exercise regime I’ve created this summer so I am going to challenge myself to run on the treadmill or beach even though I am not a natural, fast or very good runner. I would like to focus on increasing my endurance level in running since my swimming stamina is already pretty good. This will also be beneficial come September. It will be a lot easier to run outside or on the treadmill than to try and work around the available free-swim time slots at the gym.
  • School: School used to be my “constant”. It was something that went well despite everything else that was going on in my life. Even when I was dancing 24/7 I managed to keep great grades and stay on top of my homework. People tell me I am “naturally” smart although I am not very confident in my academic abilities. Since I took time off from University I am a bit anxious to return. My intent is to mentally prepare myself so that I don’t go into University with an all-or-nothing mindset. I am used to getting over 90% but I have decided to take this year as a learning curve and to set my standards lower. In reality, first year doesn’t really count towards your final GPA.
  • Nutrition: The reality is I don’t like breakfast. I yearn for the day that I will wake up hungry but I always seem to crave coffee or protein shakes instead. Eggs, bacon, French toast and waffles have never been my thing. I admire the people that can eat cold pizza or dinner food, in the morning! Sure, I enjoy oatmeal but I much prefer eating it as a snack. This month I am participating in a Smoothie Challenge hosted by Charissa from “Colourful Palate” so I hope to have one each morning. Be sure to join in the fun! Lately I’ve been seeing some pretty interesting combinations and I am intrigued to try them for myself (Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Oats). After all, breakfast is suppose to be the most important meal of the day and with school on it’s way, I need to practice fuelling my body so that my concentration remains is enhanced to it’s peak.Colourful-Smoothie-August-2013-Challenge-Copy-510x253

Well that was long winded and went against my goal of keeping my posts concise. Whoops : ) Happy August! Do you have any travel plans for this month? Have you set any intentions for yourself? What types of posts do you enjoy reading most? Would you like to see more recipes, DIY projects or personal messages? ♥ Molly

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” – Henry Ford

Fourth of July Celebration Snacks

Happy Fourth of July! Provided I can do math (2013 minus 1776), 237 years ago today, the United States declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. While I haven’t visited every state, I have enjoyed visiting New York (NYC and Buffalo) on multiple occasions, California (L.A and SanFrancisco), Maine (Freeport) and Florida (Orlando). I am also going to be exploring South Carolina later this summer! I am headed to Myrtle Beach with a friend and her family, any good recommendations?

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(Throwback Thursday to NYC 2010, Overlooking Central Park and The Busyness of Time Square)

Since I am Canadian and celebrated July 1st earlier this week, I’ve have already had my fair share of themed attire, BBQs and of course fireworks. This being said, I don’t think I can ever get sick of “party food”.

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Summertime gatherings tend to be filled with beverages and munchies, so in hopes of keeping my snacks on the healthier side, I came up with a new recipe. I absolutely love Guacamole, but Avocados can add up in price. To cut costs and please my dad’s taste buds (can you believe he doesn’t like Avocados?) I decided to substitute in green peas.

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Green Pea GuacamoleIMG_5756

Makes approximately 2 cups

  • 3 cups frozen green peas, completely thawed
  • ½ cup Vidalia or green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, sliced
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice (Approximately 1 limes)
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Set aside 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro for garnish
  2. Place all ingredients into a food processor, and pulse until smooth or desired consistency. Approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Refrigerate for half an hour, allowing flavors to blend.
  4. Serve alongside crackers, nacho chips, or crunchy crudités such as snap peas, carrots or cucumber. Garnish with remaining cilantro, a slice or lime or extra cayenne pepper.

Disclaimer: While this dip is rich in flavor, it isn’t quite as creamy as your typical guacamole since it contains very little healthy fat. One “switch up” you might want to make, is cutting down on the peas by 1/2 cup, and adding in 1 avocado that is peeled, pitted and chopped. Also, you can hardly taste the cilantro so don’t despair if it isn’t your favourite flavour. My sister doesn’t like cilantro but agreed it was needed in this recipe.

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(Sorry about that piece of cilantro on my mini latte bowl, it kind of ruins the picture. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it when taking the photos! And yes, I have two sizes of the same coloured bowl. I didn’t eat it ALL in one helping – I only came close!)

It’s affordable, it’s easy (especially since you don’t have to finely chop the ingredients before pulsing them) it’s tasty and it’s healthy! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. I decided to mix in some red onion and tomato after it had been pureed, to add a bit more texture. They were great additions, as I am in love with onions of any kind. Maybe this recipe can be something you bring to a future gathering when you are asked to bring an appetizer?? I know I wouldn’t hesitate to bring it to a girls night!

Happy Independence Day Americans! Did you notice I omitted the “u” in flavour out of respect for your spelling? ♥ Molly

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  – Elmer Davis

Summer Solstice

Yesterday marked the first official day of summer. Hooray! I can’t say I enjoy any other season more than this one. Here in Ontario, Canada the rhyme  “April Showers” came true for the entire spring season. While May brought flowers, it also brought torrential downpours. I am hoping that summer brings warmth and sunshine so that those threatening clouds get the memo to head elsewhere. (I am thinking positive thoughts for those currently struggling in Alberta that search to find dry land and  escape the flooding.)

I love summer for so many reasons. It tends to be the warmest season, the days are longer, it’s the perfect time for summer “reads”, clothing prints are always brighter and the materials are lighter (Hello Summer Dresses), my birthday falls within it, bike rides are more enjoyable, popsicles become more popular, as a student I get it off from school and it is typically the month in which my family travels. My parents must have had a hectic job coordinating summer day trips and weeklong vacations when I was younger. As one of four, not only were vacations expensive but very busy! I have fond memories of driving to the east coast, visiting Montreal and touring Ottawa. As I have gotten older however, we’ve caught the “Travel bug” and have gotten out of Canada more often! I’m fortunate to have ventured through California, gone to New York City, and have even seen a fair bit of Europe. Last summer we spent a few days in Paris France before heading to the South of France where we rented a house. It was the perfect opportunity to experience french living and culture.

I wonder what is in store this summer!  My hope is for a sandy beach covered in seashells, warm water for swimming and interesting boutiques. I think I’ve had my fair share of museums and site seeing these past summers, so my wish is to go to a relaxing location with minimal walking. Lazy? Maybe! Peaceful? Definitely! To be truthful I don’t know if I am the type of person that can read by the ocean but I am definitely willing to test my patience and try! Someday I hope to stay in a resort in Hawaii so in the meantime I will have to work on lounging by a pool (coated in SPF 50 sunscreen of course).

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Officially 4 months old!

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Emma and Lottie!

Of course the first day of summer wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t swim in our pool! Yesterday was also special as it was Lottie’s first time swimming. She was so brave and loved the water. I think it reminded her of a big bathtub. She is already following in my footsteps and becoming quite the water fish. Summertime is just asking for memories to be created. ♥ Molly

“Some of the best memories are made in flip flops.” – Kellie Elmore

Molly Smiles

While you might know a bit about “The Happiness Recipe”, I haven’t really given you much history on me. My name is Molly and my middle name is my mom’s name,  Martha. Over the years though I have gained many nicknames and am used to responding to almost anything. Perhaps it is because I have a big personality, a good sense of humour, am quirky and am fairly small in height. Here are just a few: Molly Mouse, Molly Moo, Molly Dolly, Molly Pocket, Molly Moushka, Molls, and so on.

Emma is proudly holding me!

Emma is proudly holding me!

I was quite the ham!

Emma and I! I was quite the ham!

I still have similar style. I love bows, dresses and headbands!

I still have similar style. I love bows, dresses and headbands! (I am second from the left).

I grew up in a small community called Peterborough, Ontario. As the youngest of four, I followed in the footsteps of my siblings attending French Immersion. I started my dancing career at the age of three, learned how to play the violin and made true friends as there were only 8 of us in my class. Soon after I celebrated my 10th birthday, my family and I moved to Oakville, Ontario.

Fast forward ten years, and here I am today.  Attending the University of Western Ontario at Brescia College, in pursuit of becoming a Dietitian. No wait, Neurosurgeon or maybe even a Psychiatrist? I am not quite sure so for now I am focusing on completing an Honours Specialization in Food and Nutrition with a Major in Psychology. Brescia is my home away from home as the professors really take the time to get to know you. I participated in a Speech Competition focusing on a Female Leader and as a result, have attended many luncheons with the Principal and fellow contestants. I really feel part of the community and it offers so many engaging volunteer opportunities which enables me gain experience in the profession of my choice. Brescia is sort of like a sorority (without the drama that is) since it is an all girls residence (Boys can attend classes on Brescia, but they would either be a Kings, Huron or Main Campus student).  Brescia  reminds me a bit of my roots (Peterborough), as the class sizes are quite small. In contrast to the 500 faces I meet in my Chemistry course on Main Campus, I am able to really get to know the 80 or so students in my close knit dietetic stream.

Grand Central Terminal, NYC!

Grand Central Terminal, NYC!

Fao Schwarz in NYC!

Prom 2011!

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Fall, Thanksgiving!

South of France, Summer 2012!

South of France, Summer 2012!

Halloween, DYI Costume, 2012!

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Al Gore, Me to We, 2012!

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Christmas, 2012!

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Speaking alongside Clara Hughes! March 2013!

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May, 2013!

The things I value most in life are simple gestures. I love it when someone politely shakes my hand, holds a door, asks how my day is going or does a random act of kindness. I enjoy conversing over coffee with friends, shopping (Especially for groceries), crafting, reading and of course blogging. If I had enough people to feed, I would spend my days in the kitchen baking and cooking. Bike rides, swimming, running, dancing, yoga posing and even walking are the ways in which I stay fit. Some days I wish money wasn’t an important factor in traveling, as I aspire to visit Hawaii, Australia and British Columbia in the near future. To date, my favourite place in the world is Amsterdam; my Nana and Grandpa’s birthplace. While I like to keep busy, I can’t deny that I have days where I sleep in. Dinner is my favourite meal as it is one that is always spent with my family. I wish every day was “Games” day as I am fairly competitive and love playing Cards, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Catch Phrase and Ellen DeGenere’s iPhone application, “Heads Up”. I’m definitely not afraid of making a fool out of myself (In a good way of course), I go out of my way to help others and am a great talker (I once had a shirt that said “I got an A+ in Talking”).

I believe the best things in life are homemade. I believe smiling makes me happier. I believe tea parties aren’t old fashion and I believe flowers bloom from their roots. I believe wearing dresses makes me feel pretty. I believe life is about creating experiences and I believe in celebrating each accomplishment. I believe crafts aren’t just for kids. I believe that meal time brings a family together. I also believe that there is a recipe for happiness that is waiting to be cooked in each of our lives.

Want to know more about me? Send an e-mail to thehappinessrecipe@hotmail.com, follow me through Instagram (mollyschoo or thehappinessrecipe), read my Tweets (mollyschoo) and keep subscribing to this blog! ♥ Molly

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson