Friday Feel Goods

Yay for Friday! Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

I’m turning 31 tomorrow and my wonderful friends are having a brunch in my honour and then a date night with my hubby to be. Feeling very grateful for everything in my life and looking forward to all the adventures 31 are going to bring. Photo is a throw back to my first birthday with my dad.

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So, this exists. It’s a dating site matching Americans with Canadians to avoid a potential Trump nation. Hilarious.

Vodka juice boxes exist. 37.5% alcohol, and comes with a straw. All portability vodka problems solved forever.

Bullet journaling– looks up my alley.

I really felt the love and support for my article about not having a bridal party (check it out here if you missed it). Turns out, I’m not alone… there are heaps of articles online of brides doing the same. This article had some other points that rang true for me, except the getting ready with her fiance bit. No thanks!

Lastly, need a Halloween costume but you have no ideas and feeling lazyish? Buzzfeed to the rescue. These made me laugh out loud. Who wants to be #10 with me?!

xo  J

 

Why I won’t be having a bridal party

*Disclaimer: These are MY opinions and it is alright for you to disagree with my stance on this matter.*

I am choosing not to have a bridal party for my wedding. And here is why.

Inclusion

Once upon a wedding, a friend of mine got married. I was not part of the bridal party, but I wanted to pop by and briefly see her as she was getting her hair and make up done. I didn’t want to stay for long, but I truly did want to nip in, touch base and see her for the last time as a single lady. The bridal party made it quite clear I was not welcome to stay past a few minutes and could I please shuffle on.

I understand why I ‘shouldn’t’ have been there as it was a day for the bridal party. However, I hurt because I wasn’t there to steal the spotlight…I merely wanted to give her a hug and wish her well. I wanted to compliment the hell out of everyone looking glamorous and keep on with it.

img_1991 We are getting married here! Yayy!!

Cost

Since we are having a destination wedding, Yellowknife, it is going to cost people a decent amount of coin to get here so I truly want everyone to feel welcome for every aspect of our wedding week. I want my momma, sisters,friends, cousins, and everyone else to feel that they can pop by on wedding day to see me.

I am #blessed enough to have an amazing group of friends. I think there are a few ladies in my life that would be amazing MOH’s. So, why not just make them my bridal party? Because I don’t know how I would choose, I would rather them spend the money to come to YK and enjoy our city then worry about cost of dress,shoes,hair,makeup..and the list goes on.

We are aiming for a casual, low key wedding week that focuses on close friends and family.

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Photos

Am I worried my pictures are going to look ‘weird’?  No. Jeff and I have discussed wanting just a few photos hanging in our house from our wedding (maximum 3-4) and otherwise we want a fabulous coffee table book for people to look through if they so desire. We actively do not want our home turning into an art gallery from our wedding day.

Speaking of photos, we want to get lots of family photos throughout the week in our favourite Yellowknife places and not just from our wedding day.

Countdown is on!

To sum up, I am choosing not to have a bridal party. I am absolutely not passing judgement on brides who do. These are a few of the reasons why I am choosing to be bridesmaids free. 282 days until I get to marry Jeff !

Any other brides out there not have a bridal party?

 

 

 

 

Friday Feel Goods

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It’s back to Friyay! Enjoy a few articles I’ve stumbled into over the week.

A hot ticket item these days (as it should be) is teaching children about consent. This is an interesting article for parents, teachers, educators, and the average bear. Good reminders- teaching consent starts young!

As I’m creeping closer to the age of 31, I feel pretty great about life. The author of this article compares her turning 30 to that of Rachel Green’s (for non ‘Friends’ fans, I don’t understand you) fictitious birthday 15 years ago. Rachel was working for Ralph Lauren, had an assistant and thought her life was over and since she was so old she had to break up with her 24 year old boyfriend. The times have changed…and this article has some food for thought.

I love Ellen. And these new dads to triplets are funny and in for a lot of work with three babies!!! On flying with babies, one of the dads said, “We played a game that was really helpful called watch Daddy drink a vodka”. Worth a watch.

I can’t wait for Saturday to make this recipe. Everything from this website turns out amazing and is delicious. I am a massive Oh She Glows fan.

Enjoy the weekend  xo

P.S. Did you catch last weeks round of Friday Feel Goods? If not, catch up here. 

 

 

The Skinny on Tea

The idea of a tea having super powers is certainly not a new concept. From cancer fighting to fat eating and energy boosting, teas have been a one stop shop for health benefits. The latest craze, thanks to the Kardashians and social media mavens alike, is getting your tea on to shed the pounds.

What’s the skinny?

Oolong tea  The difference between green tea, black tea, and oolong tea is the fermentation process. Oolong tea gets to sit around for a while in humid temperatures for a while after it ferments.

Claims for this teoolong-teaa: Lowers cholesterol, reduces body fat, increases energy
The research: Many of the studies focusing on oolong tea and weight benefits have studied mice only, albeit the mice did seem healthier. However, we all know the risks of applying information we learn about mice to humans *cough* Dr. Oz *cough*. A study in 2009 showed that after 6 weeks of oolong tea daily, the subjects lost between 1-3kg. Another study shows that regular oolong tea consumption can help lower triglyceride levels after eating a meal containing fat by blocking the absorption of fat. What happens to fat if it is not absorbed you may ask? It makes a rapid exit out of your body. Until a few months ago the only approved weight loss drug in Canada was Orlistat which, operates by the same mechanism causing very unpleasant, fat malabsorption.

Matcha Tea
This is the tea to be right now although it has been around for more than a hot minute, no pun intended. Think- drinking your green tea and then eating the leaves. “Matcha” literally means powdered tmatcha-teaea and consists of green tea leaves turned to powder. Because the entire leaf is consumed, the amount of caffeine goes way up making one cup of matcha almost equal to your morning cup of Joe.

Claims for this tea: Protection against heart disease and cancer, blood sugar regulation, reduced blood pressure, and boosting metabolism. Whoa.
The research: The research on this topic is thick. There is research that shows both positive and inverse associations between various chronic diseases and green tea consumption and very few studies to show negative outcomes on account of green tea intake. One study showed a 4% boost in energy expenditure. However, some negative side effects reported include insomnia, racing heart, restlessness, and lead poisoning. Yes, you read that last one right.

Skinny girl tea:
I find this tea hilarious so I have little to say other than one of its ingredients is Senna. Senna is a laxative used for people who have constipation. I know I always feel skinny after a round of the flu!diarrhea

All in all, if tea is your thing I totally support that.  Especially if it replaces sugary beverages and calorie laden lattes. However, I don’t think we have discovered the magic key to weight loss just yet!

The Search for a Wedding Dress Part 1

wedding-1 Ahhhhh the wedding dress.

I have been engaged for about nine months and have searched online for wedding dresses no less than four million times. It’s always fun, sometimes terrifying and there is certainly a massive range of dresses on the market. It took me awhile to get serious about what kind of dress I actually want.

In an attempt to find ‘the’ dress I have a few things to sort out.

Wedding Dress Boutiques

There are no wedding dress stores in Yellowknife. So, I am going “down south” (which is anything south of the NWT for us northerners… Grand Prairie is down south, not Jamaica). Calgary is where I am heading and I will have a small and wonderful entourage with me. I have some ideas but really leaving into the hands of the professionals to help a girl out. Any favourite stores in Cow town?

Colour and Style 

I am torn – do I want to go traditional? more modern and fun? white, ivory, blush, champagne… lots of options and I have no idea at this moment what I am thinking colour wise.  There are some things I know I don’t want- strapless, cupcake or mermaid style, or long sleeves. I know I want to feel good in my dress and I want to be able to breathe/move. Well, breathing is less important than moving/dancing.

Online vs Real Life

I am not opposed to buying a dress online, but don’t want to miss out on the experience of trying them on in a store. Some of my favourite sites to dress creep are bhldn, JLM Couture, Nordstrom, and Catherine Deane.  I would love to have maybe 5 dresses and change it up every hour or so throughout the day. Somehow I don’t think 5 dresses are in our budget…

Help!

If anyone has advice on wedding dress shopping, please let me know! I am open to any and all suggestions! I am serious. Give this bride-to-be some tips!

Bread basket

What the eff is gluten?

Gluten has been a major hot topic for way too long. Poor, poor gluten. So misunderstood, yet such a common buzz word! And the worst part is that the majority of people truly have no clue what gluten even is. Check out this hilarious video where Jimmy Kimmel actually proves that statement to be true! I find it interesting how different aspects of nutrition are so widely accepted and other messages are completely lost. People are totally willing to accept that aspartame causes seizures, egg yolks cause high cholesterol, and gluten causes weight gain, irritable bowel, acne, bloating, unicyclism, and largeelbowism, plus one million more really horrible things. Okay maybe I made some of those up. Point is, we hatin’ on gluten big time.

Okay, so stop wasting my time and just tell me what gluten is.

Well, simply put, gluten is a type of protein found in wheat. You may notice the word gluten sounds very similar to the word glue, and that my friend is no coincidence. Gluten holds everything together which is why it is found is some very unsuspecting places sometimes like sausages or toothpaste. It is there to hold everything together in one tight form.

Have you ever noticed when baking that one of the recipe directions might be to stir for 20 strokes or some random number that seems impossible to actually mix things within? Well that direction is actually helping your from overproducing gluten. Should you forego the direction and use 100 strokes, you’ll notice some very misshapen baked goods! If your cupcakes or lemon loafs always come out with huge cone like shapes on the top and you then are forced to go buy one and play it off as your own, then try a few less strokes!

Where is gluten found?

Since gluten is a protein found in wheat, you can assume everything made with some sort of grain-wheat, barley, rye, triticale, etc. contains gluten. That pretty well covers every single thing that comes from a bakery (that’s twice now I’ve stabbed you in the back delicious cinnamon rolls, sorry), breads, cookies, cakes, all baked goods, cereals, pasta, most sauces and gravies, beer, and that is just the start of the list!

Why would anyone avoid gluten?

If someone has an autoimmune condition called celiac disease, then they absolutely need to avoid gluten. This is a black and white diagnosis, you have it, or you don’t. There are tests your doctor can do to confirm this diagnosis but the best way is to do a scope of your intestines. If you have celiac disease, choosing not to follow the diet is not recommended and even dangerous for your health. There is also a condition called gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, this one is more of a grey area. There is a lack of consistent research on how to diagnosis and treat this condition and a lot of overlap between symptoms caused by irritable bowel syndrome. Going gluten free has also been brought to the attention of media in recent years in relation to autism spectrum disorder thanks to our famous health specialist, Jenny McCarthy. Research certainly lacks in this area to say the least.

Can avoiding gluten cause weight loss?

That is a complex question. In short, yes. BUT. And there is most certainly a but. It depends on your approach. If you cut out every food listed in the “where is gluten found” section, of course you would lose weight because it essentially eliminates all processed sweets and treats, and turns the focus of the diet to proteins, fruits and veggies, and dairy.  However, you can certainly take the same approach to weight loss with gluten included by reducing your portions of the gluten containing foods and focusing the diet on protein, fruit and veggies, and dairy. Thanks to the trend of people going gluten free and turning it into a booming money making business, you can now happily buy gluten free baked goods of all kinds,  gluten free pizzas, pasta, you name it, and it exists. For a pretty price I may add as the gluten free products often they run 1.5-3x the price of their gluten containing counterparts.

I’m not hating on you gluten free’ers who have gone down that road by choice and not out of necessity, and if it helped you than even better. However, for all of you out there who believe it will be the next big weight loss secret, I would keep following the yellow brick road.

H

Friday Feel Goods

Friday again!

Four day weeks are the best. And here are a few links to keep you reading and thinking over the weekend.

Let’s be clear. I don’t love pets… I have a fish and I barely tolerate him. Why I have a fish is a whole other story. The short version is one of my students got some fish and then I was jealous. So I bought some, thinking it would double as cheap therapy. Turns out, I should have stuck with my gut instinct and avoided all pets. Anyway, this article actually made me think that dressing up a dog for Halloween would be hilarious. I mean, UPS dog… how can you not laugh out loud!?

buzzfeed-dog

As a healthier option, I made these for Thanksgiving. The chickpea taste was non existent and they were mega easy to make- I threw everything in the magic bullet and they were ready in about 10 minutes. They are not as healthy as watermelon, but a step up from pumpkin pie.

This is an interesting read about babies and ipads. Essentially- our kids are addicted to screens. Check out the article here. Disclaimer: I am not a parent and realize sometimes parents need screens to get those 5 mins to shower, etc. I am not judging…. just sharing an interesting article. I am noticing the screen addiction in our students and wanted to spark a conversation.

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To further that up, this article talks about leaving the phone alone during meal times. It was written over two years ago, so take it with a grain of salt, but it claims that 9% of adults use their phone during sex?!!! and 12%  in the shower. Umm… maybe it’s time to start asking other questions….

A $500 hair dryer? Say whaaaaa! The chick who reviews this Dyson product says it’s worth it.

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My friend Micheline is brilliant. Lucky for us, she has a blog and it’s awesome. Check it out here.

 

Have a great weekend!

J & H

Queen of the Gadget

I will admit, I love gadgets. When I watch those infomercials showcasing the most amazing kitchen tools that cut your vegetables into origami swans and then wash your car, I instantly fall in love. I show major restraint at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond with their shelves piled high with shiny items designed to make your life 1% better. Here are some that I have bought and loved!

1. The salad dressing shaker. If you are someone who likes to make your own salad dressing then invest 15-20 dollars in a good mixer so that your ingredients actually mix together, there are also some neat bottles that have recipes all around the outside showing you how much of each ingredient to add. Handy. Also a great item for a wedding or baby shower registry. What baby doesn’t love salad dressing!

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2. Silicon salad dressing container. Salad dressing is clearly a near and dear topic to my heart. If I’m going to eat salad, the dressing best not be problematic. I have tried many little bottles and containers to transport my salad dressing and if they do not leak on day 1, they leak after a few washes. For whatever reason, this little gem has gone ages without a single loose drip. And its easy to clean! Do not underestimate its simplicity, it will rock your world!

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3. The Slap Chop. My heart. I absolutely hate chopping things especially when its for a small serving size. The slap chop showed its true colours during my obsession with homemade guac but I hated chopping each of its ingredients: tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños, and garlic. The slap chop revolutionized this. Except for the tomatoes, it squished the shit out of those so they unfortunately still get chopped by hand. Next, the most delicious rib rub I’ve ever tried but uses 12, yes 12, cloves of garlic. It is no match for the slap chop!

4. Tupperware Turbo Chopper. Okay I admit this is slightly cheating on my slap chop but I have found a place in my heart for both items. It is easier to keep your items slightly chunkier in the slap chop whereas the turbo chopper gives a finer dice. The blade is so sharp and fast that it literally takes seconds to finely chop up a red onion with almost no tears at the end. Granted you cannot just throw an entire onion in there but cutting it into quarters is certainly less emotional that finely dicing an entire onion.

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5. Wine aerator. These wildly vary in price and level of fanciness. An aerator helps infuse your wine with more oxygen to help bring out the flavours in that $11 bottle of wine you’ve purchased for your very important Tuesday evening watching Netflix. If you plan to drink the whole bottle you can just use a decanter (see #6), but if you’re going glass to glass, an aerator is where its at. A wine maker once told me any wine that has been produced within the past 7 years could certainly benefit from one of these handy gadgets.

6. Wine decanter. This is where you bring out the big guns and infuse an entire bottle of wine with air so that even your fancy dinner guests don’t realize this came from the seconds bin at the liquor store (imagine if one of those existed though!). To be clear, this is not a case of ‘the more air the better’ so do not pour this wine into the decanter the day before your dinner party hoping people will think you’re a baller buying such expensive tasting wine. After a few hours, its headed to flatville.

wine-decanter

7. Corn holders. Okay I am not sure if that is their formal name but it should be if not. Those days of burning your finger tips or dropping your buttery goodness are over with this next handy gadget. I am sure I have 10 of these sets although sadly I have never found ones as awesome as the ones photoed below.

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8. Soda Stream. This is truly the best gadget ever. I started a love obsession with delicious Grapefruit Perrier a couple of years ago that majorly escalated while I was pregnant. I feel super strongly about not drinking your calories so carbonated water is the best way to add a refreshing variety of flavours to your day. It also cuts way back on the amount of cans and plastic bottles in my recyclable bin which suits my selective environmentalist heart just perfectly. It is definitely a bit more of an investment at $100-$150 to get set up and after that it depends on how quickly your work your way through the C02.  To make it more affordable, ask your parents to give it to you as the Santa gift that you know you are definitely too old to still be getting.

We would love to hear about what your favourite gadgets are, I know I am always looking for an excuse to buy a new one!

Unplugged Thanksgiving

Jeff and I hosted Thanksgiving dinner on Monday for our Yellowknife family. I believe the final count was 16 adults, two toddlers and a baby. We wanted a casual, laid back meal with no screens.

This stemmed from a recent date night when we left our phones at home and went for supper. There was a couple sitting close to us and her phone kept dinging. It was hella annoying. She barely looked up from the phone when she was ordering food, and hardly glanced up at all the whole time. When we left, they were both on the same side of the table watching videos on her phone. Perhaps we are jumping to conclusions and she was on her phone to book flights home for an emergency, or perhaps she was on a horrible date and videos were more tolerable than actually engaging in conversation with this dude. Who knows. But, as a general observer, it looked like they were more into the phones than each other.

We then decided that we would go unplugged for Thanksgiving. We messaged the gang and told them our plan and everyone was on board. Some left the phones at home, others left them in their bags and I’m sure there were a few in pockets.

It was such a nice night. There were certainly moments where I thought, “oh this would be a funny snap chat” or “this could be a cool insta pic”, but I opted to be present in the moment and not touch my phone.  We relied on good old fashioned conversation. Everyone agreed it was awesome, and we hope to have more unplugged get togethers, and leave the TV off despite whatever game may be on. * True confessions: this is all fun and games until I end up missing a game from my boys the Green Bay Packers….then I will be the one sneaking into the bedroom to check scores *

As we reflected on our phone free night, one of our friends said she saw some phone cheating, and there were a few guys checking their phones as the event dwindled down. However, we are chalking it up to a success with our first attempt to go unplugged.

J