Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Pin-Spiration: Holiday Outfit Guide!

It's the most wonderful time of the year: Party Season!

With the holidays all around us, the champagne corks about to pop to signal the start of a new year, and everyone around you getting engaged, there are SO many parties to attend!

Work functions, shindigs with friends, family dinners and visits, church sing alongs, and good old fashioned "meet up after work drinks"!

Whats a girl to do but make sure she stays prepared?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Rosemary & Honey Crusted Pork Loin

The word "crusted" doesn't delight the senses in the same way that the words "bubbly" or "juicy" or "savory" do.

I am bound and determined to change that.

I love cooking pork loin. tenderloin, center loin. This delicious section of pork can be pulled, baked, medallion-ed and, yes, crusted.

A crusted pork loin is not only easy to prepare and delicious to eat, but it presents beautifully! This particular recipe with the rosemary crust makes for a beautiful green presentation, why not garnish with some sauteed red apples and rice around the holidays for a festive Sunday meal?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!!!!

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, I didn't even get to writing a Wine Down last week (I'm SORRY!) so I am very happy the weekend is here!

I'm off tomorrow for the day with my Brother's Girlfriend Dana for some Christmas shopping in Niagara on the Lake (We were there six months ago for her birthday). But before that holiday fun can begin, it's time to Wine Down the past TWO weeks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tips for Styling Really (really) Fine Hair!

Today I want to talk about something that is an ongoing struggle in my life: my incredibly fine hair.

Since my teenage years I've been struggling for more volume, curls, beach waves, fancy up-dos... anything to make my hair look photo shoot gorgeous. 

I get SO SICK of reading "sure fire ways to boost your volume" from girls with nice textured hair; these tips NEVER work for me.

If you can relate to this, hopefully you'll enjoy the tips in this post... if you can't you can at least laugh at my struggles!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tomato Stuffed Blackened Chicken

Some nights when you get home, all you want is to make a quick and easy dinner, without too much fuss or clean up; but just because you don't want it to take too much time, doesn't mean you don't want it to be tasty!

One of my favourite meals to cook when I don't feel like spending hours in the kitchen is Tomato Stuffed Blackened Chicken.

First chop to table in about 30 minutes, I generally serve this dish with some rice and a cooked vegetable or salad, and the chicken is cooked entirely on the stove top.

With a spiced and tasty coating, juicy chicken, and a Caprese-inspired filler, this dish is perfect for busy nights when you're craving something delicious!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mulled Wine

With the holidays approaching and snow on the ground (sigh) it's time to get into the Christmas Spirit!

If, like me, you find yourself with plenty of baking, decorating, shopping and wrapping to do, a fabulous way to stay festive while you check off your Christmas List is by brewing up stove-top-pots of mulled wine to sip on during holiday activities!

Mulled wine with its spicy and citrus flavours, filling your house with the smells of the season, makes for a great beverage for parties or to share with a loved one on a cold night.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cuban Mojo Sauce

One of the negative stereotypes about Cuba is that their food isn't particularly great.

If you're staying on a resort, and expecting the same kind of food you get at home, it can be lack luster due to trading restrictions which impact both ingredients (spices, supplies, etc) as well as knowledge.

However, actual Cuban cuisine, with Spanish, African and Caribbean influences, is actually delicious! 

We're down on the Island right now (hopefully having a blast) but before we left, I whipped up a Cuban inspired meal to get us excited for our trip: Shrimp in Mojo sauce!

Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Books for the Beach!

There is nothing better than sitting in the sunshine with a good book.

I'm in Cuba this week on a much needed beach vacation, but before I left I made sure to fill up my e-reader with all sorts of good books to enjoy while lying in the sand.

A mix of funny, romantic, informational and intriguing, I'm ready for whatever mood strikes me! Here is a list of my current Books for the Beach!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!!!

Today is my first full day in Cuba, so everything is going pretty great (provided that by the time the next Wine Down comes around I'm not completely sun burnt)

While basking in the sun is super lovely, there is still a week behind me to Wine Down, so let's get to it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Pin-spiration: Christmas Craft Round Up!

When I was a kid, every year my mother planned a Christmas Craft for us to do.

She'd sit my sibs and I down (and sometimes our cousins) in an assembly line format and we would churn out tree ornaments, that we would then give to family members.

Some of these ornaments were really cool! Some... clearly show that we weren't so skilled in our crafting yet. But each one was handmade with love, by increasingly tired little fingers.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Packing Tips! For An All Inclusive, Beach Vacation

There's nothing more exciting than packing for a trip. 

Adventure awaits you! What will you need to bring with you to look fabulous and be prepared for EVERYTHING?

That last thought is usually what leads to not being able to close your suitcase, or getting hit with an overweight luggage charge.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!

I'm pretty excited today because this time NEXT WEEK I will be in Cuba!

But before I can do that, there is still another Friday, weekend and week to get through.

This week's Wine Down has an unintentional theme of Women! Women I admire, women I'm thankful for, women in politics! 

I am woman, hear me roar, then watch me drink some wine ;) 

Let's wine down this week!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dealing With, And Overcoming, My Blogger Burnout

Lately I've been struggling with Blogger Burnout. 

I can't seem to come up with post ideas that excite me, I'm not working on my Instagram account, I'm being a bad participant in my blogger Facebook groups (for which I feel very guilty).

There have been a few times in recent weeks where I wondered if maybe it was time to call it quits. Cook, Wine and Thinker is about a year-and-a-half old and I've lost sight of it a little bit.

Here's the thing though: I love blogging. I love the community, I love writing, I love coming up with new recipes and trying new things so I can post about them. I even love tracking analytics (because apparently I'm a sadist), so why then did I sink into Blogger Burnout?

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Instagram Roundup

How great was October!?

October is one of my favourite months. We celebrate Thanksgiving (in Canada), baseball playoffs dominate TV, the weather is beautiful and we cap it off with Halloween!!!

There were some awesome posts on Instagram this month, so I decided to do a roundup of some of my favourites to help us springboard into November! 

Of course I sneaked in some of mine too!

I hope you enjoy the below, clicking on an image will take you to the Instagram account it's from! Be sure to check out some of these awesome accounts (seriously, awesome).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!

It's been somewhat of a hectic week for me (Blogging really took a back seat unfortunately) and I'm quite eager for the weekend to begin!

The weather is starting to turn cold, but the wine will keep me warm! Let's Wine Down this week!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Zucchini Noodles in Shrimp Bechamel Sauce

Lately, I've been hearing and reading a lot of hype about zucchini noodles.

I love pasta, but I'm also only 25 days away from a beach vacation, so I'm trying to find low-carb, low-fat meals to enjoy. So when my best friend INSISTED I needed a zucchini-noodler, I thought "what the heck" and bought one.

on one of those fun nights where I cook just for me, I let my taste buds guide me and came up with this delicious (and healthy) zucchini pasta dish in a homemade bechamel sauce with shrimp and chili peppers.

Well done taste buds! This meal was easy to make, light, fresh, delicious and filling. Plus it was tons of fun to use the noodler!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!!!

I'm really looking forward to this weekend. Kris is out of town (which I'm not thrilled about) so I've arranged for lots of time with some of my favourite ladies to eat, drink and be merry!

While the cat's away, the mice will play!

It's been a busy week, full of family, feasting, long car rides and baseball excitement, so I'm pretty excited to Wine Down this week!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8 Things No One Tells You About Moving Out

The first time I moved away from home, I was 17 and heading off to a dorm room. For the next four years I was back and forth on weekends and during the summers while my costs were largely covered for me.

After university, I moved a LOT farther from home... to Scotland in fact, where I spent a summer bar tending, travelling and partying. When it was over, I was back at home for a few years working and saving money.

The next time I moved out, I had just turned 25 and bought my first car. I'd been working full time for two years, and decided that it was time to take my first big, financially independent step in this world. I moved out permanently (so far).

I'm an organizer. I love to prepare and budget, I'm also fiercely independent and determined. But I was so naive about moving out, I really had no idea what was ahead of me. 

Here are the things no one told me about when you REALLY move out on your own.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Sisterhood Of The World Bloggers!

Blogging is really such an unusual hobby to partake in. It can be stressful, rewarding, challenging and provide you with rewards you never suspected.

One of the most incredible things about blogging is that you make connections with people all over the world who also share your passion. The blogging support network spans the globe, and is a never ending source of love and encouragement that lets you do you!

I recently was nominated by Hollie at Alexie Ricrac for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award. Hollie and I connected through a shared blogging Facebook group (#blogpassionproject) and were paired up through a meet-and-greet mail swap!

In fact, today I'm putting a care package for her in the mail... Did I mention Hollie lives in Australia?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

It's the weekend!!!

Not only is it the weekend, and a LONG weekend, but it's also one of my favourite long weekends of the year: Thanksgiving!

Let's Wine Down this week!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Meat and Cheese Manicotti Crepes

I love savoury crepes. A sweet delicious crepe with a hearty filling makes for an incredible meal.

Recently, I made a few lasagnas for "freeze and reheat" lazy cooking nights. In the aftermath I had a bunch of leftover ricotta, mozzarella and ground beef!

What's a girl to do but make manicotti! The problem? I didn't have any manicotti noodles, and didn't really want to go buy them.

The solution was simple. Instead of a pasta noodle, I would make crepes and roll my own manicotti delights. An Italian meal with a French twist!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

Happy Friday!!!! It's been a busy week and I'm ready for the weekend! 

I'm hoping to hit the gym, do some studying, and get my Christmas shopping started (oh yeah, that's happening). 

But before I can do any of that, it's time to wind down this week with the Wine Down!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy October! Instagram Roundup

I can hardly believe it's October first! I mean, where did September GO?

It's a crisp and cool 14C in the Toronto area today, which means I have transitioned to fall coat weather (which makes me so happy, I love my fall coat!) 

There's been so many great posts floating around the internet from bloggers about fall date ideas, fall comforts, fall fashion and fall food that have made me so happy this month. More than that, my Pinterest feed is full of decorating tips, and my Instagram is full of gorgeous shots!

I wanted to do a round up today of all my favourite Fall themed Instagram posts from September that I've come across (and some of mine as well of course!). 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The holiday season is RAPIDLY approaching in Canada! Our Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, with Christmas following closely behind.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

It's Friday, Friday... Get get down on Friday...

You're welcome for that, and happy Friday!!! Lets Wine Down this busy week!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cozy Fall Favourites

The first day of fall is officially here!

When the trees start to change colour and the weather starts to get colder, there's nothing I love more than embracing the season and giving in to cozy comforts.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wednesday Pin-spiration: Fall Recipes

Are you sick of blog posts about fall yet?

Well too bad! I have a few more excited ones left to go! (You know you're still excited).

Lately I've been spending more time on Pinterest, scoping out fall fashion, decorating ideas and, of course, recipes!

Here are the recipes I'm currently drooling over on Pinterest that are sure to get you in the fall mood! Click on the images to be taken directly to the pin!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cocktails n' Canvas

Picture this: a glass of wine, one of your favourite friends, a gorgeous restaurant and an empty canvas that will come home a beautiful painting.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

7 Breakfast Smoothies To Help You Slim Down

We've all been there. You have one of those weeks where you over indulge on food and wine.

Monday, September 7, 2015

10 Ideas for Fall Fun with your Girlfriends!

Fall can be such an inspiring time to spend with your loved ones. 

I'm forever reading lists about activities you can do with your significant other, or your kids, but what about your other loved ones? What about your best friends!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

Happy Friday!

It's labour day weekend, but I'm refusing to give up my whites just yet... It's so hot and summery out!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Diner en Blanc Toronto, 2015

On a warm evening in August, I attended an event known around the world as "Diner en Blanc", Dinner in White.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Homemade Gourmet Pizzas

I love homemade pizzas

Monday, August 31, 2015

DIY Hair Accessories: Feathered Comb

Recently, I attended Toronto's annual "Diner en Blanc" event; a pop-up picnic with a strict all white dress code.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Toronto Goodlife City Chase

Have you ever thought to yourself "I could be on the Amazing Race".

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

I can't believe it's the last Friday of August!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

New Planner for Fall and 2016

There's something about "Back to School" season that I just can't quite outgrow. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups!

Last week, I took a crack at making something I've been dying to make for a while: Zucchini Lasagna Rolls.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

Happy Friday! Summer may be winding to a close, but there's still plenty of sunshine about!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

St Jacobs Farmers Market Day

With summer winding down, I finally made it out to do one of the activities I've been meaning to check off my Summer 2015 Bucket List: visit St. Jacobs Farmer's Market in Waterloo, Ontario.

Monday, August 17, 2015

White Wine Peach Sangria

This weekend, the temperature spiked. When that happens there's really only one sure fire way to keep cool: White Wine Peach Sangria!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday Wine-Down

It's a rainy Friday here in the Toronto area, but WHO CARES! It's the WEEKEND! 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wednesday Pin-spiration! Early Fall Fashion

I recently decided to start curating my Pinterest boards.

Monday, August 10, 2015

ATV Birthday Adventure

This year for Kris’ birthday, I was determined to give him an activity gift that required us to wear helmets and sign a waiver.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Chicken Kiev in Arrabbiata Sauce

When I was a young kid at camp, every summer they served us a meal which we affectionately called “exploding chicken”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday Wine Down

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Letters to Myself

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and relive a certain moment, knowing what you know now?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Summer Sundresses

It's been a hot hot week in the Toronto area, which means it's been a fabulous week to rock sundresses!