Food & Drink · Uncategorized

If we were having tea…

I have to admit, I have been having tea without you for the last little while and it just feels wrong! I’m sorry!

It has been such a busy summer for me and it doesn’t look like fall is going to be giving me a break either. If you weren’t around the last time we had tea, jump over here and catch up and then come right back!

Before I go put the kettle on and grab us some cute mugs, I want to take a hot minute to introduce you to Preserve Co.

Growing up and even now as an adult, I split my time between my hometown in Bradford, Ontario and visiting my family on the Canadian east coast in Prince Edward Island. People say that Canadian’s are the nicest people and that may be true but I think a large amount of that compliment comes from the east coast residents. If you’ve never been over there, I would defiantly suggest looking into a vacation for next summer! I know that island like the back of my hands so if you need any travel tips, get at me!

One of the things I adore about PEI is that there are so many successful and amazing local businesses there that are thriving without living in the shadow of big box stores. One of my all time favorite spots to visit whenever I am on the island is Preserve Co. I stock up on their teas, honey and jams every time I’m there.

On that note, sit tight for a second while I put on the kettle and make us a pot of my favorite – black vanilla tea.

the preserve co 1

There, now let’s catch up!

If we were having tea I would tell you that I have been having a bit of a hard time lately. My friends are amazing but are probably sick of my depressing texts and urgent calls lately pleading for them to calm me down. The truth is, I do this every year at the end of September and start of October. My birthday. I love the idea of my birthday and a whole day dedicated just to me but, it freaks me out! I feel like my life clock is just ticking away while I stand still and watch it go by. I know once the days passes and the mess from the party is cleaned up, I’ll wake up and be back to normal but it’s getting there that is the hard thing.

If we were having tea I would tell you that besides being in my October funk – there are things happening that I am super exited about! My boyfriend and I are hosting our 4th annual Thanksgiving dinner at our place. There is something about having family over (both human and 4 legged) that just warms my heart. Plus, being in the kitchen is my happy place! Which remind me, I should probably wrap up the rest of my shopping list this evening!

If we were having tea I would also tell you that I have a girls trip to New York coming up in a few weeks that I am really excited about! I have never been away with only my stepmother and my sister before but I already know it is going to be amazing! I love New York so much and plan on running my debit and credit card until it melts! Also, on the vacation topic – my boyfriend and I have booked our winter get away now and decided on Cuba this year!

I would probably refill my mug at this point, a touch of sugar and a fair amount of milk.

If we were having tea I would tell you that I had a liberating moment in my personal life lately and I feel I really evolved. Without oversharing the details, I learnt the value in forgiveness and that sometimes we need to forgive someone or their actions more for ourselves than for the other person. Instead of carrying that anger and burden from being wronged, I was able to shake it off and understand that their blunder has nothing to do with me or who I am, so why should it bother me? If you want to read more on that, click over here.

If we were having tea I would ask you how you were doing. I would say I hope everything is going well and that if things weren’t I am here to listen to you too. I would ask you if you needed anything, if there was any way I could help and I would hope you would tell me if there was.

I would ask you if you have any travel tips for me and my trip to either New York or Cayo Caco, Cuba. I would drink the last of my tea, the sugary part that collects art the bottom. I would thank you for the chat and tell you this was really nice. I would tell you to have a good day and a great rest of the week. I would say we should get together like this more often. I would walk you out and wish you good luck.

Oh, before you leave! Even if we weren’t having tea, I would also tell you that Preserve Co. and I have put together a promo code for you! Use the code LiveLaughLearn at check out and automatically receive 10% your purchase of $50.00 or more. Honestly, their products would make the perfect hostess gift for Thanksgiving or that special someone on your Christmas gift – believe it or not, the holidays will be here sooner than you think!

If we were having tea, what would you tell me?

Until next time!

the preserve co 2

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Food & Drink · Uncategorized

Pumpkin Sweet Potato Bites.

pumpkin dog treats 1If you are new to the blog, welcome! There is something you should know about me though before you read on and explore and further. Here it is… I am completely obsessed with fall! The holidays, the scents, the colors, I love it all!

That being said, it really shouldn’t come as a shock to you to know that I get everyone in on the action, Winston included!

Here in Canada, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which in my mind is the kickoff to the holiday season and it’s a reminder that my birthday is only a few days after. While I have been busy planning Thanksgiving dinner for our families, I have also taken into account all of our family pups that will be coming over for dinner as well. Everyone deserves a good meal on Thanksgiving!

pumpkin dog treats 2

This year I’ve made a batch of pumpkin and sweet potato bites for our 4 legged family members. Keeping the ingredients both festive but beneficial I jam packed them with brown rice flour, pumpkin and sweet potato.

pumpkin dog treats 3

Sweet potato is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals but please be sure to only give your pup unseasoned sweet potato to avoid accidentally giving them any non-approved dog spices and herbs. Pumpkin is also considered one of the best super foods for our canine cuties. I used 100% pure pumpkin purée because it is loaded with fiber which is excellent for digestion and weight management and contains potassium and a moderate amount of protein.  Although, please don’t get this confused with pumpkin pie filling which is all sugar and spices that aren’t exactly safe for your pups.

pumpkin dog treats 4

Here is what you will need:

1 1/2 cup of brown rice flour

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of mashed sweet potato

1/2 cup of 100% pure pumpkin purée

1/2 cup of water

1 egg

1 tablespoon of maple syrup


Here is what you will need to do:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper before setting them aside.

In a large mixing bowl, which together brown rice flour and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, mash the sweet potato.

Add pumpkin, water, egg and maple syrup to the sweet potato and mix until thoroughly combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon until you’re left with a thick batter.

With your fingers, pinch off a small amount of the mixture (approximately 3/4 teaspoon amount) and roll into little balls. Place balls on the baking sheet and leave about an inch apart from each other.

After all the treats are on your baking sheet, gently take a fork and press down to flatten the balls. This step is optional but I like to do it since we have smaller dogs that will be eating this and I’m worried they would try and swallow the ball whole but for the larger dogs I left them round.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes before flipping over and putting them back in for another 10 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container or freeze for up to a month.

Do you anything for your fur-babies over the holiday season?

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Real Talk · Uncategorized

Can we talk about stress for just a minute?

Usually, once I decide on a topic I want to pursue, I spend days and even weeks pouring over the internet reading as much as I can or talking to friends and family on the subject, trying to learn everything I can about it. I find the best articles tackling the topic, I take notes, and then I start to formulate my own answer to the question in a way that resonates with me and that I hope will translate properly to you.

But I had this crazy thought late last night while I was out walking Winston:

What if I let you into the process?

Instead of coming to you AFTER I’ve written this full-on blog post outlining the “answer” that I’ve come up with, how about I bring you into the finding-out stage. Instead, I can start presenting certain issues or struggles I’m experiencing and we can talk about it together and how they’re affecting our lives. Then, maybe together, we can formulate (via the comments here and on Instagram) ways that we’ve been able to get past the struggle – or just what has proven helpful. But the important part is that we are TOGETHER in the struggles. Do you think this is weird or are you here for it?

So today I want to start by talking about stress because I’d like to write a value-add blog later on easy-to-apply coping strategies for dealing with it on a daily basis. I think it’s safe to say that we all deal with stress, right? But, stress looks very different for everyone. I’d be willing to bet that some of you might even be stressed out right now, right this minute and not even know it. I know that’s definitely been the case for me before. Last week I posted a little bit about it on Instagram and let you in on where my head is and I was honest when I said I was a mess – trying to do everything and nothing all at once!

Here’s what got me thinking about it

well, other than the fact that it’s a very common human struggle…

A few months ago, I was reading a random article about something I can’t actually remember (sorry, I have no idea which article this was or even where I found it) and they mentioned the physical manifestations of stress. For whatever reason, this was the only part of the article that stuck with me; and it has continued to occasionally pop up in my weird little brain since then. Basically, the article discussed the physical effects of stress – like how our bodies (literally) physically respond to it. And this was fascinating to me! I’d never thought about it before and there’s a lot to learn here.

So ever since then, I’ve been paying more attention to my body’s warning signs of stress. And just thinking about stress in general – like, what is it actually?

As I’m sure you probably know from your own experience, stress can be a good thing if used correctly and carefully. It can motivate us and kick us in the butt to get things done when we need it most. But too much of it (like most things in life) can be a bad thing. In a sense, being “stressed” is sort of like being in 911-emergency-mode. It’s our body’s way of responding to threatening or demanding situations in an effort to protect us.

What is actually happening when you’re stressed?

When you feel threatened, your body responds by releasing stress hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which throw you into emergency mode (aka fight-or-flight). Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, your muscles tighten, your breath quickens, and your senses become a little sharper. Coupled together, these physical changes increase your strength and stamina, improve your reaction time, and even enhance your focus. Your body responds this way in order to prepare you to either fight or flee the “dangerous” situation.

How do I know when I’m stressed?

For me, I can feel it in my shoulders first and foremost. But, I did a little looking around and here’s what I have come up with. Not only can it cause physical aches and pains, but It can also begin to impact just about every system in your body. It can totally suppress your immune system and upset your digestive and even reproductive systems. I also read that (wow this is intense) it can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, etc. Yikes!

Okay but I don’t really want this article to be one where I’m talking AT you.

Talk to me!!

Instead, I want to get the conversation going and see – what aspects of STRESS are we interested in? Here are a few things to get your brain moving but PLEASE add and discuss in comments below:

  • How do you know when you’re stressed?
  • In what ways does your life fall apart when you’re “stressed”?
  • How does stress impact your brain? Is this interesting or not so much?
  • Why do some people pretend it’s cool to be stressed and busy and scrambling around all the time?
  • How stressed is too stressed?
  • Can you chime in?

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