Silken’s Summer 2020 Bucket List!

Hey beach babes- happy August! Can you believe it!? We have one month left of the summer before all of the pumpkins, flannels & lattes begin!

I’m not gonna lie, I’m one of the people that consider it to be fall once the kids go back to school in September! (I know, I know! Don’t judge me!) As much as I love the colourful leaves, cool mornings & scary movies I do appreciate our short-lived Canadian summers! In the three-ish months we have to soak up the sun, I try to jam pack my days off with as many outdoor activities as I can! (Because the minute I see a flake of snow- I remind myself that the humidity and sweat summer glow is all worth it!)

To be honest, I thought Summer 2020 would be a write off due to COVID-19…but if anything, I think I’ve been putting in so much effort and creativity that it’s become *surprisingly* one of my favourite summers yet! This year I’ve truly learned to appreciate the little things, focus on the positive and make the most of any situation that life throws at me! Bring on all of the kayaking, camping, picnics and beach days!

I’ve come up with a (social-distance friendly) Summer 2020 bucket list- filled with things that are all a-okay to participate in this summer! I hope I can encourage you to get outside and make the most of August before we blink and it’s over! (And hey- although everything I’ve come up with has been approved within stage 3 of our provincial government’s regulations…there is zero judgement if you want to stay home and soak up the sun in the comfort of your own backyard! There’s nothing quite like your favourite summer playlist, a bbq & drinks on the house!)

  1. Drive-in
  2. Beach day
  3. Ride a bike
  4. Camp with friends
  5. Have drinks on a rooftop patio
  6. Go on a picnic
  7. Make s’mores
  8. Visit the farmer’s market
  9. Tan by the pool
  10. Hike somewhere new
  11. Eat ice cream for dinner
  12. Mini-golf
  13. Host a BBQ
  14. Book a cottage trip
  15. Kayak
  16. Nap in a hammock
  17. Plant a garden
  18. Go fishing
  19. Stargaze
  20. Pick strawberries
  21. Visit a flower field
  22. Take a road-trip to a waterfall
  23. Tie Dye an old t-shirt
  24. Watch fireworks
  25. Go on a boat

While I’ve made a solid dent in making the most of summer 2020, I still have a few things I’d like to do before I commit to swapping out my summer home-decor for fall home-decor! What do you still have on your summer bucket-list!? Let me know if there’s anything you’ve been doing that I’ve missed!

P.S do you know anybody with a yacht!? If so I’ll supply the snacks + booze in trade for a sunny day cruise! ☀

Today’s Mantra: “The only B.S. I need is bikinis + sandals!”

Holy Guacamole!

Hola Chicas!

What better way to start a fresh week than by sharing a recipe filled with fresh and healthy ingredients!?

I recently picked up Joanna Gaines cook book “Magnolia Table” and had been patiently waiting to host a girls night so that I could attempt her Guacamole recipe! (I seriously have half of the recipes bookmarked…everything looks so good!) As I picked up the ingredients at the store, I had to use all my willpower to wait to make the first batch. And let me tell you- it was well worth the wait (+ so easy to make)! Out of all of her recipes I decided to go with making the guac first (because who doesn’t like Mexican food) and I thought it would be a perfect summer night app to share! (One perk of adult-ing: get togethers over the age of 22 always include great snacks and drinks that actually taste good!)

If you don’t already have her cookbook, (you need to go pick it up! I found it at homesense for a great price…like everything else I own!) I’ll share the recipes I attempt on my blog, rate them & give you my tips! Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Hass avocados
  • 1 medium vine ripened tomato
  • 2-3 tbsp of minced red onion
  • 1/2 of a jalapeños pepper
  • 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp salt + pepper
  • (I added 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder to Joanna’s recipe!)
  • Tortilla chips (I like using the black tortilla chips)

Instructions:

  • Peel, pit & smash the four avocados in a serving bowl! Leave them chunky for texture.
  • Mince the tomato, red onion, jalapeño and cilantro (and garlic if you choose to add it like I did). Add the ingredients to the serving bowl. *Your kitchen will smell SO fresh at this point!
  • Measure your salt, pepper (and garlic powder if you choose to) and add it to the bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients ensuring that they’re evenly distributed throughout the entire dip.
  • Grab your tortilla chips, do a taste test.
  • Serve with your favourite summer beverage + enjoy!

I’d rate this recipe a 9.5/10…but a 10/10 with the added garlic! Let me know what you think if you try it!

Today’s Mantra: Don’t let anyone treat you like free salsa. You are guac!

My Go-To Summer Salad Recipe!

It’s official, I’ve found the recipe that has *shockingly* turned me into a salad person! (Just call me Martha-freakin-Stewart!)

NGL, I’ve never been one of those “I love salads” people. I’m more of a “Can I order a burger + fries?” on the first date type of gal (because life’s too short to pretend I don’t know what I really want!) But I’ve debatably come up with a new go-to for the summer and it’s hands down the best salad I’ve ever had! Side note: Jake says I make the best homemade turkey burgers! *Between my salad + burger recipe’s you’ll be set to host any BBQ coming your way this summer!

My go-to summer salad recipe has the perfect ratio of sweet + savoury deliciousness that will fix either type of craving. Between the salty walnuts and sweet strawberries your mouth will be watering at this bowl filled with healthy greens!

Ingredients:

  • Baby spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Strawberries
  • Dried cranberries
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Feta cheese
  • Kraft poppy seed calorie wise dressing

Directions:

  • Wash + chop your fresh produce adding it into the bowl first
  • Top the salad with your dry ingredients
  • Drizzle the dressing on top
  • Mix, serve + enjoy!
  • (To avoid turning a low calorie meal into a high calorie meal, be sure to measure out your ingredients! Toppings can quickly add up. Or eyeball your ingredients and call it a day…whatever works for you! Remember that life’s all about balance!)

Pair this recipe with something on the BBQ + a glass of white sangria and your guests will be begging you for seconds! Let me know if you try it + cheers to becoming the hostest with the mostest!

Today’s Mantra: Eat well, live well, be well!

Think Big, Shop Small!

Me: Should I buy it? 

Brain: No

Wallet: No

Husband: No

Universe: No

The girls at Clothz: Yes

Me: Sold!

Hey smalltowners- I wanted to take a minute to rave over a hidden gem in my hometown! Today I followed my heart and it led me to Clothz in Alliston, ON! Clothz is a retail store filled with the trendiest brands for both men and women! When they first opened up in Alliston it was great to finally have somewhere to shop without having to go far for awesome styles and prices (NGL, the sales are my weak point!) I’ve always been one to grab a coffee on my lunch break and browse the cute shops (that are in my opinion, completely underrated!) on Main Street *Victoria st., Clothz always being my first stop! You’ll never miss it because they always have THE most aesthetically pleasing front window…typically filled with lots of colour and items that will catch your eye- giving you no choice but to go in! If you’re not in Alliston your next best chance to window shop is through their instagram feed/stories! Typically, their instagram posts are what get my credit card out of my wallet the fastest (Head says no, heart says confirm checkout on clothz.ca!) because they review their products honestly as well as show their clothing on different body types! Today I took a trip to town and I’d love to share the things I picked up because #1 they’re adorable and #2 I had the oppourtunitiy to support local- win win! (I’m not telling you to go check out their summer styles…but I’m telling you you should go check out their summer styles- sorry not sorry!)

The first thing I picked up was this classic Levi’s Varsity Tee:

  • I’d describe the colour as a fuchsia pink that will make you look golden and tan (even if you’re not!)
  • Levi’s is a brand that will never go out of style and the quality is great- I can speak to it because this is the second Tee I’ve picked up and love it as much as the first one!

The second item I was able to snag was this RVCA “Flux top”:

  • I found it on the sale rack…hence why I used the term snag! How could I not!? I love the navy blue and plaid…it gives me all of the summer vibes!
  • The fit of it is a perfect crop and sits great with high waisted jeans…giving you a flirty feel without being over-exposed!

Saving the best for last- I finally caved and picked up a Pixie Mood bag in the style Christy Crossbody in the white-croc print:

  • The size is perfect- it fits my iPhone and will fit a small wallet (I regretably left the matching mini at the store)!
  • The exterior is made from vegan leather (I’m not vegan due to a pizza addiction- but you’ve gotta start somewhere right!?) and the interior is made from recycled water bottle lining (saving the planet one impulse shopping spree at a time)!

Now all I need is to make two reservations for patios…One for each outfit- hello girls night + date night!

Not that I need to influence you anymore (I’ll let you decide if I’m a positive or negative one) but I encourage you to shop local and Visit Clothz in the heart of downtown Alliston- “every time you buy from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance!”

Today’s Mantra: I could give up shopping, but I’m not a quitter.

Hello World.

Have any of you been presently experiencing life at several (excuse my language) WTF’s per hour?

Lately I’ve been feeling all of the feels. Between a global pandemic and now experiencing a worldwide revolution each one of our lives has changed drastically in a rapid timespan. I can hardly articulate my words to effectively describe the series of unfortunate events each person in the world is in some way experiencing. Overwhelm. Fear. Anxiety. Stress. Mad. Sad. Hopeful. (Whatever it may be, this is a supportive reminder that your feelings are valid.) The list goes on. Because of this, I have felt a disconnect with writing because I truly just don’t know what to say. While I cannot speak for others, I can speak for myself when I say I’m hopeful that the outcome of what we have been experiencing will only bring some form of positivity and change at the end of all of this. I truly believe that while we may not be able to identify what the reason is yet, everything happens for a reason. While I’ve been trying to brainstorm what my current role should be to impact the world in a positive way, I know that I cannot properly address the issues going on without the background knowledge many of my peers, influencers or the true leaders who have recently stepped up will have.

What I do have, is years of practice dealing with feelings of anxiety and emotions (where are my fellow empaths?) along with a toolbox full of tips that I can share to encourage others to deal with their feelings in a constructive, healthy, gentle and positive way.

  • Water. Drink it, look at it, soak in it. Water has been proven to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety along with increase feelings of relaxation with its natural calming properties.
  • Nature + sunshine. Go outside, bask in the sun, breath in fresh air. Your body will naturally increase it’s levels of vitamin D (a vitamin sourced from the sun) and serotonin (an important chemical produced in our body) that will regulate your mood and overall sense of well-being.
  • Clean. While many of our brains feel cluttered with the amount of information we are absorbing right now the last thing we need is a cluttered environment. Studies show that a de-cluttered, tidy and clean home will allow us to rest, recharge and improve our focus in our every day lives.
  • Disconnect to reconnect. While I advocate for staying informed on current events, I encourage you to spend more of your time disconnecting from technology. Have you ever checked your daily average screen time on your phone? I was shocked to see how many hours I was spending mindlessly scrolling my feed. I realized that I was not effectively using my time to focus on my goals, priorities or being present in the moment with people I care about.
  • Talk to people. Never underestimate the power of an intentional conversation. Call, FaceTime or visit someone close to you. While many people claim to be personal or feel more comfortable keeping their thoughts/feelings to themselves, it’s not healthy to bottle up your emotions (male or female)! While we all deal with our feelings differently, I can guarantee you that having an open conversation with someone close to you will bring you some form of comfort and relief that you didn’t know you needed!
  • Move your body. Walk your dog, run, practice yoga, lift weights, swim, dance, play with your kids. Whatever it may be, get moving every day. It doesn’t have to be intense and it shouldn’t be a chore, it just has to be something! Exercise will release serotonin (the same chemical developed from sunshine) and your endorphins! Both of these reduce stress and other symptoms related to anxiety or depression!
  • Self-reflect. Journal, practice meditation, use daily affirmation cards. Whatever it may be, take time each day to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. I never realized how big of an impact, taking a small 5 minutes of each morning to practice self-reflection would impact my perspective on life.
  • Sleep. Sometimes anxiety can cause lack of sleep and other times lack of sleep can cause anxiety. It’s important for adults to get 7-9 quality hours of sleep each night. A good nights sleep will improve your well-being and help reduce feelings of anxiety!
  • Prioritize/learn to say no. “Whatever is on your plate is there because you said yes to it.” When you’re feeling overwhelmed, prioritize what your needs vs. wants are. Of course, we want to say yes to everything…but it’s important to decide what we need to get done. Anxiety can stem from having too much on our plates, by learning to say no we are minimizing our responsibilities to what is a priority at the time.

After reading the list of coping mechanisms I have created, I want to call your attention to two key points- both are free and both will benefit your overall sense of well-being throughout these unprecedented times. Please take into consideration using some of these tips and please take care of yourselves!

Today’s Mantra: “Be the energy you want to attract.”

Let’s talk dirty!

Hey plant people- happy Monday! (Friendly reminder: you can handle whatever this week throws at you!)

With warm weather on the rise I have been quickly establishing my summer bucket list! Bring on everything outdoors-y: campfires, hiking, kayaking, (does sipping sangria on patios count?) and my newest hobby- gardening!

Six months ago while creating my 2020 dream board I had a vision that I would attempt a veggie garden this summer. (Side note: Can you believe the year is already almost half way over?) I’ve *shockingly* managed to keep my house plants alive long enough to feel like I could take on an entire garden! This past weekend, I turned my veggie-garden-dreams into a reality and I could not be happier with the outcome! Did I just type out that I had dreams of a veggie garden…is this what it’s like to admit you’re adult-ing? (Honestly, I have no shame in my *crazy plant lady* name!) With a little research and a whole lotta hard work I now have what looks like a mini farmers market in my own backyard! I planted: green beans, snap peas, leaf lettuce, kale, yellow & red peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, broccoli, brussel sprouts and strawberries! Go big or go home am I right? I cannot wait to see what turns out! *Wish me lots of sunshine, rain and good luck!*

There are so many reasons why I want to encourage you to just go for it if you’ve been debating starting a garden…

  • Gardening is great for the mind, body & soul!
  • Giving your plant-babies a drink of water every morning will encourage you to go outside and get some sunshine before you officially start your day!
  • Backyard or apartment balcony- you can create a garden customized to your space!
  • Gardening is a great activity for every age group! My nana has been gardening for years and last summer we attempted gardening at the childcare centre with our pre-schoolers who couldn’t resist getting their hands (and feet and sand and toys) all over it! Everybody loves it!
  • You will save $$$ on produce for the entire summer up until fall!
  • Food just tastes better when you know where it’s coming from! Bring on all the organic fruits & veggies!

If I’ve done a good job convincing you to start researching more about creating a garden for your own space, I have a few of tips on how to get started:

  • Find a space in your backyard with full sun that you’re willing to dedicate to your new veggies!
  • Decide if you want to create a raised garden bed or a in-ground garden bed…this is a completely personal preference! (Do your research on the pros/cons of both!) I went with a raised garden bed & had someone local build it for me! If you’re brave- Pinterest has plenty of step by step DIY instructions that you can take advantage of!
  • Measure out the amount of space you’re planning on using for the garden…this will help calculate how many veggies you can plant according to the space you’re providing! (Different vegetables need different amounts of space- be sure to do your research on this as well!)
  • I bought ready-to-plant veggies from a local farmers market for a great price! You can decide if you want to go the same route or if you’re patient enough to plant seeds!
  • Before you get down-and-dirty- research what type of soil you want to use…I used a mixture of compost + garden soil!
  • If you want your plants to thrive, research what plants grow best next to each other! (Some can be toxic to one another- who knew!)
  • Plant + water daily + be patient!

If you have experience gardening and have developed a green thumb please send your tips my way! I’m going to need all of the advice, sunny days & wishful thinking I can get! I cannot wait to see what will turnip! (haha- I had to!)

Today’s mantra: If plant hoarding is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

The Greater the Storm, the Brighter the Rainbow!

Hey Sunshine, happy Thursday! That’s right, I said h-a-p-p-y Thursday in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Why? Because today, I choose joy. The minute my alarm went off this morning I instantly wanted to cancel the day and stay in my warm, cozy bed. (This never happens to me, I’m a morning person who jumps up at the smell of coffee!) But as I’m sure many of you can relate- adjusting to the world’s new “normal” can be hard some days! Even as someone who has a million things to be grateful for- I’m human! Instead of staying in a funk, I decided to brew myself a cup of Joe, snuggle my puppy, make myself a healthy breakfast and bring my laptop outside to write my weekly blog post while soaking up the sun! This week I’m focusing on finding things that make ME happy. This week’s “Happiness Project” was completing a quarantine craft! I wanted to create something that would be a constant self-reminder that you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. (And at the end of this quarantine, maybe the world will become a better place!) So I did what I do best and scrolled Pinterest until I came upon this adorable D-I-Y Rope Rainbow! If you’re like me and thrive off of self-care or girl time, grab yourself your favourite bevvy…(in this case it was 5’oclock somewhere so I poured myself a glass of wine!) and let’s get started!

Step One:

Gather your materials! You will need:

  • Yarn (x4- you will need a different colour for each arch in your rainbow! Feel free to add more or less!)
  • Rope
  • Crafting Wire
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Tape (I used painters tape!)
  • Wine (optional- but definitely recommended!)

Step Two:

Prepare your arches!

  • Use the scissors to cut four equal pieces of rope! The rope will be the length of the rainbow’s arches- the longer the rope the bigger your rainbow will be!
  • Tape the ends of the rope! (We don’t want the ends to begin to fray until our final step!)

Step Three:

Add your wire!

  • Cut four equal pieces of craft wire. Aim to cut the wire to be the same length as the rope that is exposed! The wire will help shape the rope into a rainbow!
  • Attach the wire to the rope using tape! (My wire conveniently blends well with the rope… but feel free to use any type of crafting wire you can find!)

Step Four:

Bring colour to the rainbow!

  • Start by using your first piece of rope and first colour of yarn!
  • Hot glue a small dot onto the end of the rope and secure the end of your yarn into place. Wrap the yarn around the end of the rope, attempting to cover/hide the glue completely!

Step Five:

Be patient! This is the most time consuming step…

  • Wrap the entire piece of rope tightly with yarn! Attempt to ravel the yarn neatly so that the rope won’t show through. (Repeat this step with the next three pieces of rope/colours of yarn).

Step Six:

  • Repeat step four! (But at the opposite end)
  • Hot glue a small dot onto the end of the rope and secure the end of your yarn into place. Wrap the yarn around the end of the rope, attempting to cover/hide the glue completely! Cut the end of your yarn as closely as you can!

Step Seven:

Shape your rainbow!

  • Begin to see your hard work come together by placing each fully covered piece of rope in order of how you want the rainbow to appear! This step is a personal preference and there is no right or wrong way to do it!
  • Shape the rope into arches! I used the edge of a bowl to round the edges evenly…next making the final adjustments on my own!

Step Eight:

You’re almost done!

  • Before hot gluing the arches together, measure out a piece of string to transform your rainbow into a wall hanging! I used a generous piece to make room for adjustments! You can either loop the yarn in between the first and second arch…or wrap it around the entire rainbow!
  • *Optional Step: If you want all of your arches to appear the same length, unravel the yarn on each arch until the colours line up evenly! Re-glue the yarn into place.
  • Next, one by one begin to hot glue your arches into place. Use a small amount of glue so that it doesn’t seep through as you secure each arch together!
  • Once your arches are glued together, remove the tape and fray the ends of the rope- trim the ends so that they appear even!

Final Step:

  • Find somewhere to hang your masterpiece as a reminder that good things come at the end of a rainbow!

Today’s Mantra: Choose joy.

I’m nicer when I like my outfit.

Okay ladies, let’s cut to the chase. Who else feels personally victimized by the amount of promotions filling their email inbox? I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t even last a week in quarantine before my online “window shopping” turned into an aggressive amount of lounge wear showing up at my front door. It got to the point where I debated adding a “please hide packages from boyfriend” delivery-request before placing my order(s…). One minute I was “just browsing” Aerie’s clearance section and the next minute I had every “trending now” item in my cart being shipped to my house in 5-7 business days (no regrets). I’m talking joggers, tie dye, graphic t’s, bike shorts & matching sets. Because…why not show up to the living room looking like my best self every day? In my defence, I’ve been wearing the same rotation of outfits for the last (I’ve lost track of how many) days while at home…so at least I’ve got my money’s worth! If you have self control when it comes to shopping- keep scrolling for my outfit details. If you’re anything like me (each time you “like” an outfit on instagram you wish it would end up in your closet!) than close this weeks blog post…or don’t and just treat yo’self! Side Note: my style is good quality for a good price! I have no shame in my shopping game- you can find me at Platos Closet or Walmart just as often as you’ll find me browsing at the mall! If it’s cute, I don’t care where I find it!

Outfit #1

Joshua Tree National Park T: American Eagle (Currently sold out but I linked something similar!) https://www.ae.com/ca/en/p/women/t-shirts/graphic-tees/ae-beach-graphic-t-shirt/0531_9625_700?menu=cat4840004

Women’s Joggers: Walmart (10/10 for the fit, price and quality! They feel similar to Lululemon) https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/athletic-works-womens-joggers-navy/6000198593651

Adidas Sneakers: Costco (Amazing price!) https://www.costco.ca/adidas-women’s-grand-court-shoe.product.100539088.html

Scrunchie: BHB (Always!) https://www.bringinhomebaby.com/shop-online

Outfit #2

Tie Dye Sweatshirt: Old Navy (True to size & perfect for spring/summer as it’s not too thick!) https://oldnavy.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?pid=484420143&cid=1018146&pcid=72808&vid=1&grid=pds_2_44_1#pdp-page-content

Women’s Joggers: Walmart

Adidas Sneakers: Costco

Outfit #3

Tie Dye Sweatshirt: American Eagle (Currently sold out- but I linked the same sweater in another colour! It’s very oversized but equally as comfy!) https://www.ae.com/ca/en/p/women/hoodies-sweatshirts/oversized-hoodies-sweatshirts/ae-fleece-oversized-vintage-crew-neck-sweatshirt/1457_9839_256?menu=cat4840004

Women’s Joggers: Walmart

Slippers: gifted! (Talk to Santa if you want the deets!)

Outfit #4

Sports bra: Old Navy (It feels more like a bralette and has a really pretty mesh back!) https://oldnavy.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?pid=451179063&cid=1034328&pcid=1034235&vid=1&grid=pds_0_7_1#pdp-page-content

Leggings: Old Navy (Currently sold out but I linked a similar style!) https://oldnavy.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?pid=553280043&cid=1084204&pcid=1031032&vid=1&grid=pds_25_156_1#pdp-page-content

Outfit #5

Long Sleeve Top: American Eagle (Cute, but oversized and I would recommend another colour! The “Peach” is more nude…unless that’s your thang!) https://www.ae.com/ca/en/p/women/hoodies-sweatshirts/classic-hoodies-sweatshirts/ae-long-sleeve-henley-top/2353_2021_823?nvid=pdp%3A2353_2021_309

Bike Shorts: American Eagle (Currently sold out but I linked a similar style- also oversized, but also comfy!) https://www.ae.com/ca/en/p/women/shorts/aerie-shorts/aerie-chill-high-waisted-bike-short/6493_4682_073?menu=cat4840006

There you have it…my current favourite sweatshirt & sweat-pant combos that I like to wow my S/O with while I *eat, sleep, Netflix, repeat* every day!

Today’s Mantra: Life is short, click confirm order!

Our Family Has Grown by Four Paws!

J in January: “We’re not getting a puppy.”

J in February: “If you ever try bringing a puppy home, he better be cute!”

J in Quarantine: “Okay, let’s get the puppy!”

They say you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a puppy…and that’s pretty damn close! Everybody meet our new sidekick- Nash! Nash won our hearts with his blonde hair, freckled nose and eyes that change colour! (Typically I like a guy to be tall, dark and handsome…which is J to a T! But this little guy is pretty darn cute, NGL.) While researching different breeds of dogs, we settled on one that both of our families have had in the past…a Shih-Poo! Shih-Poo’s are a small-ish breed of dog, typically growing between 10-20 pounds. Nash was less than two pounds when we picked him up from the breeder on his “gotcha date” (who we connected with over kijiji for anyone who is wondering) and right now we’re just enjoying taking in every minute of his baby face! We decided on going with a smaller breed because we wanted the puppy to fit our lifestyle. We needed to keep in mind the size of our house, backyard and what type of adventures our new furry friend would be coming on. J wanted a puppy that was small enough to fit in his car/kayak and I wanted a puppy that would be big enough to go on long walks or come camping. Somehow we ended up with the perfect compromise…which ended up being Nash!

Lot’s of people have asked us how we came up with the name Nash. Nashville was the very first trip we went on as a couple and I loved the city almost as much as I love J- which is a lot! The name just seemed fitting, we didn’t even consider any others! (especially not the suggestions from friends “Covi…Quarry” etc. *Insert major eye roll here*) Side note: If you want to read my travel guide for Nashville on the blog let me know! I made a bomb itinerary for exploring music city.

While Nash has filled our hearts with so much love already, having a puppy isn’t always as adorable as the pictures on my instagram or the snuggles I get from him 3/4 of the day! I want to give you a fair warning: so far he’s been an amazing & easy-going pup to train and hang out with! BUT, yesterday I felt like I was starring in the movie Marley & Me…I’m talking 4am wake up call, biting everything but his chew toys and let’s just insert the *poop emoji* right here. To give you a not so offensive visual, J was in the backyard wearing my “take the dog out” flip flops yelling loud enough for the neighbours to hear about the fact that Nash was covered in his own you know what. In that moment, I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. But I laughed, because this is us and these are the (not so) funny memories we will always look back on!

For all my friends who are currently debating if they should add a fur-baby to the fam while in quarantine I recommend thinking long and hard! J and I talked about getting a puppy for 5 months before we *compromised* and got a puppy. The deciding factor for us was when my school announced all classes would be online for the summer semester- guaranteeing me enough time at home to train Nash! In the process of making our decision we had to decide if we were ready for a long term commitment to things such as finances, work schedules, house training, responsibilities, lifestyle changes etc! (A piece of advice for my ladies: once you open up this conversation with your S/O you need to start finding puppy ads…after you convince your other half to go see a puppy in person it’s game over and they won’t be able to say no! At least that’s what worked for me!) All jokes aside, in the end we decided that we’re at the right stage in our lives to provide a fur-ever home for our new family member! And honestly, I can’t wait for all the adventures we’ll get to go on together!

If everything goes according to the “you-cant-say-no-to-a-cute-puppy-or-girlfriend” game plan and you get the a-ok to buy/adopt a pup I’ve created a list of things to organize before you get the dog:

  • Puppy-proof the house! Make sure you have safe spaces indoors and outdoors for the puppy to hang. You’ll want to consider if there’s any plants, decor or electronic cords that they shouldn’t be getting into! Block off any areas (like the stairs or under your fence/gate) that wouldn’t be safe for your pup while they’re still little!
  • Create a cozy space! Nash has a crate/bed in both our bedroom and the living room (filled with chew toys, you will need these in every room!) I also have a couple puppy blankets/towels that I use for him while he’s laying on the couch or at the end of the bed! I would recommend using a crate while they’re a puppy because it keeps them safe (and lets you keep your side of the bed!) In the kitchen I set up a placemat and his dog-bowls to attempt keeping my floors clean-ish!
  • Buy quality puppy accessories! I looked at different pet stores and brands before deciding what I wanted to invest in! Having a puppy will be expensive in general so you want to make sure that whatever you chose for a leash/harness etc. is good quality and will last!
  • Research a vet/groomer! The day that we got Nash home I made an appointment for him to go to a vet that was recommended to me/had great reviews! I wanted to make sure I was organized in advance so that I wouldn’t be trying to make a last minute appointment! I also researched puppy shampoo/grooming tools for at home- different dog breeds will need different products! I suggest starting with puppy shampoo, a brush and puppy wipes!
  • Buy cleaning supplies! Hopefully you won’t have to use them- but you’ll be thanking me later if you do! We got puppy pads and carpet cleaner- fingers crossed there won’t be many accidents here!
  • Establish a routine! If you want your pup to be trained, you need to keep them on a routine! Let your dog outside consistently throughout the day and night, get them used to the leash as soon as possible and don’t let the puppy dog eyes fool you while crate training!
  • If all else fails- don’t blame me! I’m new to this too 😉

From one dog mama to another- please spam your social media with pictures of your pets right now! The world needs all the cuteness and positivity we can spread!

Today’s Mantra: Be the person your dog thinks you are!

Life happens, coffee helps.

Rise ‘N Shine coffee drinkers! Today I’m serving you a recipe that will change your at home coffee game! Say goodbye to your six dollar Starbucks drinks and hello to a ready in 5 minutes cup of frothy deliciousness! Quarantine has sparked quite a few trends on social media and I’m totally here for the “Whipped Coffee” pictures that have been filling my insta-feed! (Partly because the photos are so satisfying to look at, partly because what else should I be doing at home besides finding new ways to support my caffeine addiction?) I knew I wanted to start sharing recipes on the blog, so it only made sense to write about how easy it is to whip up this iced-cup-of-joe that will be my new go to drink while staying safe at home! Side note: where are my year round iced coffee drinkers at!? If you’re ready to get hooked on a new cold brew- follow my recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp instant coffee *I used Nescafe RICH instant coffee!
  • 2 tbsp sugar *I used brown sugar!
  • 2 tbsp boiled water
  • 1 cup of ice cubes
  • 1 cup of almond milk *I used unsweetened vanilla almond breeze!

Instructions:

  • Mix the instant coffee, sugar and boiled water into a bowl.
  • Use an electric whisk on the first setting (or hand whisk if that’s what you have!) to mix together the ingredients. If you are using an electric whisk the ingredients should turn into a caramel coloured-frothy-whipped consistency in about 5 minutes! (If you are whisking it by hand this step will take longer!)
  • Once your mouth starts to water from looking at your whipped coffee topping, it’s time to get your coffee cup ready! (Use a clear glass or mug if you want to get the satisfaction of seeing your whipped coffee and almond milk blend together!)
  • First, put your almond milk on-the-rocks in your mug. Then add your whipped coffee on top!
  • Allow the ingredients to blend on their own or use a spoon to stir your cold-brew together! *Just be sure to get your insta-photo before stirring!
  • Drink your coffee in the morning before talking to humans and proceed with your day!

After taste-testing the internet-viral recipe I can easily give whipped coffee a 5 star rating! The opportunities are endless with this coffee-concauction…should I add powdered peanut butter? Should I add Baileys? Should I add both…? I already can’t wait to drink it again tomorrow this afternoon! Leave a comment below with how yours turned out, cheers friends!

Today’s Mantra: I don’t need an inspirational quote. I need coffee.