Wellness Wednesday: The Lean Machines

Hi All!

By now I am sure you have noticed my slight obsession with british YouTubers. And part of that obsession includes my favourite fitness channel: The Lean Machines.

I actually found this channel through the Pixiwoo sisters (BEST MAKE-UP ARTISTS EVER), and it is their younger brother & friend who are The Lean Machines. John & Leon – And let me tell you, they definitely live up to their name.

They make great, short, home and gym based work out videos some of my favs include: How to slim down your waist and strengthen your core!How to tone, shape and lift your bum and I loved their Christmas advent!

But more importantly than the fact that they are incredibly fit themselves and obviously know a thing or two about fitness (being personal trainers)- they are the most cheerful and encouraging guys ever!

They have such a great sense of humour and despite being incredibly fit- they don’t make you feel overwhelmed or intimidated- just really positive about the fact that you have goals and that you are doing something, rather than doing nothing. Which to me is the most important because I feel easily intimidated and insecure about my fitness level – and to have the message that ‘everything counts and doing something is always great and better than nothing’ is really good and motivational!!

Beyond their fitness videos they also have great videos about food and nutrition, and I think that their ideas and philosophy of food is spot on! They are also really good at explaining things in a way that is very informative while being informal and relatable. Some of my favourite nutrition based videos are: What should I be eating?, and Stay fit & healthy with our breakfast ideas!

They also do some fun bonus videos- just for entertainment and kicks- which are always nice to watch since they are funny and cheerful guys- and they are pretty interactive with their audience in the comments! Not to mention they are great at regularly uploading! What more could you want!

So that has been this Wellness Wednesday- I would highly recommend that you check these guys out!

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday!

xo erin

Tipsy Treats Tuesday: Boozy Brownies!

So this Tuesday, my alcohol-related post is about these delicious treats! 

These cocoa brownies are so good! I have to say that I am generally a much bigger fan of cocoa based brownies, as I find them to be more fudgy and chocolate-y than ones that are made with chocolate.

These are SUPER simple and you can whip them up pretty quick!

Boozy Brownies

I got the basic recipe from one of my favourite food blogs Smitten Kitchen, but then I boozed it up!

10 tbsp of butter melted (which halfway between 1/2 a cup and 3/4- if you are like me and too lazy to actually measure 10 individual tbsps of butter)
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or other liquor) 
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Mix the sugar and the cocoa powder and salt together in a large bowl. 

Add the melted butter and mix until it is all smooth and combined. While you are doing this it is also beneficial to play your favourite dance music extra loud and dance around your kitchen- or perhaps even take a shot of the liquor you are using on the brownies. 

Then add the booze and the eggs, mixing until combined. Salivate heavily over the smell coming from the mixture.

Then the flour goes in- mix until just combined. Pour into a greased 8X8 pan

You know what to do with that spatula! 

Bake at 325 F for 20- 25 mins, or until the outsides are a little more firm but the center is still soft!

Now this is a totally optional addition- 

While they are still quite warm, poke holes all through the top of your brownies & pour a shot of Grand Marnier all over them, letting it seep into the holes.

Make sure to use your favourite shot glass- mine happens to be one with the canadian flag on it that lights up when you hit it on the counter

Just to give them that EXTRA booze… lol 

These are SO SO good. If you are not into the whole orange-chocolate combination (you are crazy), you could use other liquors like baileys, or I don’t know- go crazy add a shot of tequila in there! lol

complimentary close-up of chocolate-y goodness:

Hope you all had a terrific Tuesday!! 

xo erin

Supper Sunday: Dinner at the Malt Shoppe!

This Sunday is a dinner I made for a girls night with my sister & friend! And I felt like going with a theme: Fast Food- but more like 50’s diner style with the malt shakes! 🙂

I have to say that I’m really not a lover of fast food. I don’t know if it’s because I spoil myself with really nice home cooked food all the time, or if it was that one time I threw up on the kindergarten room floor after going to McDonalds for a birthday lunch, -but it’s really never been my thing.

Consequently I rarely eat hamburgers or fries or milkshakes- and I was thinking that it was high time that I did my own version of these things- as I am sure there is some reason for the hype.

There definitely was- it was SO GOOD!

Burger, Fries, & Malt Shakes

This is pretty straight forward – I am sure everyone knows how to make burgers…. But this is what I did and they turned out amazing!

For 3 burgers I used:

just over 1 lb medium ground beef
1/2 of large onion grated
2 tbsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper

3 chunks of medium cheddar cheese

Mix the meat, onion, mustard salt and pepper all together, then divide into 3 balls. Press the cheddar cheese into the top of the burger, smooshing it (technical term here) into the burger.

Then push the meat around the top, enclosing the cheese in the middle of your burger. MMMMMmmmm

I wrapped them in saran to wait because I made them a little early.

Then to cook the burgers I put them into my cast iron frying pan on high heat, searing them to get some good colour on both sides, then I threw them in the oven at 400 F for 15 minutes until they were cooked all the way through and oozing cheese 😀 .

This was the BEST way to cook burgers ever (unless of course you have a BBQ) – but for indoor burger cooking this was SO easy and cleared the stove top for the fry making! I got the idea for the burgers entirely from this SORTED FOOD youtube video!!  I just love them so much- they are so funny and friendly and they make good food and the accents *swoon*- they should all marry me 🙂 anyways…

For the fries:

4 large russet potatoes peeled or unpeeled (I did half and half)
enough canola oil to fill a frying pan 1″ deep

Salt to your taste

After you peel and cut your potatoes evenly into the fry shapes you want (avoid making them too thick as it will take a lot longer to cook) rinse them in cold water

then pat them dry with a paper towel before gently placing them in the HOT oil- make sure it is hot- like 350 – 375 degrees.

I did them in batches, making sure I didn’t overcrowd them, then I put them on a cooking tray into the oven (with the burgers at 400) to wait for the next batch.

For 3 Vanilla Malt Shakes:

4 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream (or any flavour you want)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Ovaltine (alternatively you can use actual malt syrup if you can find it)

BLEND IT ALL! and serve with a straw!

What an excellent combo- I feel so all-american right now- lol

On top of the burger I opted for a simple tomato, lettuce and pickle, along with some mayo on the bun- which was a sesame seed kaiser bun I got from a bakery. And of course some cold Heinz ketchup to go with those fries!

I hope you all had a delicious Sunday!

xo erin

Sew Saturday: Striped Sweater

Hi all- so I have been doing some sewing!

I decided for this project I wanted something that I was going to wear a lot. I know it is always nice to make that fancy top or dress- but let’s be real, I spend 94% of my time in my sweats (when I am at home). And I figured that I should make a possibly more fashionable alternative to my university hoodie. 

I instantly knew that I wanted to make a raglan sleeve pullover hoodie (because of the ultimate comfort of this shape of sleeve), I also knew that I wanted to use this grey and white striped knit. Which is a slightly lighter option to a fleece, since I get overheated easily.

I used the only raglan sleeve hooded sweater pattern I could find in my stash, which happened to be in the October 2004 issue of BWOF, clearly a good year for patterns, as I also used a 2004 BWOF to make the Orange Top

(seen here most unhelpfully in this pose…)
(This blue no-hood version shows off the raglan sleeve a little better) 

Then I realized that I only have a small amount of the grey and white striped fabric- so this has to be a colour blocking project…. 

I had the choice of this red polo fabric or a navy fleece- I opted for the red because it was closer to the weight of the white/grey striped stuff. I really underestimated the amount of the grey/white stripe I had, so I had to prioritize and use it only for the front, hood and front pocket- making everything else in red. 

I made quite a few adjustments to the pattern- Firstly I made it a pullover instead of a zip up (by cutting the front pattern piece on a fold instead of cutting two), then I made it a more breezy loose fit by changing the side seams- essentially angling out at the under arm.

(do these patterns make your brain hurt a little too?)

(this is essentially how I adjusted the back pattern piece,- using the trusty eye-balling method)

I made it much longer in the back, so that it would scoop and a bit shorter in the front, kind of the high-low trend. 

Then I had to make a slit in the front to acommodate my large head, and the fact that the pattern was designed to be a zip up. I finished the edges of the slit and hood with a wide binding in the red. (I would call it bias binding, but it wasn’t cut on the bias since it is stretch, you don’t have to cut on the bias when it’s stretch right?!?) Also finishing the raw edges under a triangle of red in the front. 

Then I also finished the front pocket opening edges with the red to give it a little style :), and so that the pocket didn’t entirely disappear on the front of the sweater (because I am a bit of a stripe matching perfectionist).

This was pretty simple overall to whip-up, mostly with my serger except for the details, and I left the bottom edge raw too! Ah lazy sewing 🙂

I love the sleeve on this, it is so well shaped, so comfy– LOVE IT. 

Awkward camera-timer selfie photo shoot: 

I love how the whole thing turned out, with this colour combination it almost has a nautical feel. I really had to hold myself back from embellishing it more- I just had this crazy urge to put cat ears on the hood, or put a big red applique heart or cat face on the front pocket. – maybe for my next sweater.

I actually feel like this is cool enough that I can wear it out and look presentably chic. Although the reality is more like me on my couch browsing the internet like this:

I have to admit that I have been living in this, so it took me a while to get off my butt and actually do a post about it, and I am dreading having to give it up for a few hours to wash it.

Hope you are all being creative while simultaneously comfy!

xo erin

Wellness Wednesday:Sneaking veggies into breakfast- Pumpkin Oatmeal

I love oatmeal- apparently I always have (mom says she couldn’t heap the spoon high enough for me when I was a baby). I suppose some things never change- but lately I’ve been ramping up my morning oats by sneakily adding some extra healthy ingredients. 

I am one of those people who absolutely adores fruit- I can eat fruit constantly, I love every fruit, and I can literally eat baskets of it. But veggies- are… well.. for the most part a little bland and boring, as well as more time consuming to prepare, which means I generally only eat them with my dinner meal- which I do realize is not enough.

So to solve this vegetable problem I’ve been having- I devised a way to sneak an extra veggie serving into my day- and an orange vegetable at that (which you are supposed to have one serving of everyday apparently)


and it is so good I should call it pumpkin pie oatmeal. 

I generally make it with these ingredients:

I know this looks like a lot but most of it is spices/toppings. Also in this pic I have the two types of oatmeal I prefer – steel cut oats or quick oats (depending on my level of laziness in the morning)

Usually I opt for the steel cut though and I will make a full batch which means that I am left with ready-made breakfasts for the next couple mornings. 

I cook my oats the usual way – 1 cup of steel cut oats and 4 cups of water- simmering away until you have that wonderful porridge consistency and the oats are all cooked and creamy.

Then to the batch I add:

1 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil (I find eating this helps my dry skin in the winter) Also if you want to watch an amazing video on the benefits of coconut oil click here!

1 1/3 cup of puree pumpkin (I use the canned stuff because it is easy and a good consistency)

– this will generally make about 3-4 servings – meaning that you get at least a full (1/3 cup) serving of pumpkin in each bowl!! giving you all your vitamin A for the day along with other healthy things 🙂

Then I generally top my oatmeal off with this:

A little cinnamon, ginger, pinch of sea salt, generous drizzle of honey and evaporated milk (because it is like cream but a little better for you- but let’s be real, if I have cream in the house, I will use it). Here it is again along with some for tomorrow and the next day (YAY for planning ahead!)

it is so creamy and delicious- not to mention the topping choices are endless some of my other favs include toasted coconut, nuts & apples!

This is what I am doing while I write this blog post! 

Hope you have a Wonderfully Well Wednesday! And if you have any tips on how to sneak more veggies into your diet — let me know in a comment!!

xo erin

1 57 58 59 60 61 66