Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Meal of the Day: Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa, Ground Beef and Vegetable Medley


Student cooking at its finest folks.
So I've seen this concept of Stuffed Peppers around for a while, and although they look enticing I hadn't gotten around to trying it out until this week.

That being said, I want to tell you, right now, to go ahead and make this at home. I'm pretty sure this is one of those idiot proof meals, that is just so easy to make but so delicious.

I'm not a cook, what I do is look around at a few recipes (usually the first few on google) see what they usually have in common and just go ahead with that.

So here's all I did:

Ingredients:
Bell Peppers
Ground Beef
Quinoa
Frozen Vegetables
Onion
Garlic
Tomato Sauce
Oil (Coconut or whatever normally cook with)
Cheese
* I haven't listed proportions because it's really up to you, how hungry you are, or how much you are planning to prepare.

  1. Cut out the seeds and the inner core of the bell peppers (any color. Put them in water, let it boil and stay for a few extra minutes.
  2. Prepared about half a cup (dry) of quinoa. It's a 1:2 (quinoa to water) ratio according to the package. I just do this in my rice cooker and wait til all the water has been absorbed and it flips the switch from 'cook' to 'warm' but I'm sure boiling this on the stove works exactly the same. This actually made more than I needed - so I just ate the leftover alone the next day.
  3. Meanwhile, put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on a frying pan. Pour in a cup of frozen vegetables, minced garlic, chopped up onion and let everything cook (let the flavours mix around and vegetables thaw).
  4. Cook some ground beef (I didn't really even put that much, only about 100g). Make sure that it's all cooked and everything, and then pour maybe 1/4 of a cup (if not less) of Tomato sauce just to jazz it up with some more flavour.
  5. Mix everything together and place aside while you cut your bell peppers either into halves (as shown with the green peppers) or simply slice off the top like I did with the red pepper.
  6. Now pour your mixture into the peppers.
  7. Grate 1/4-1/2 a cup of cheese. I honestly don't know how much I used, I just used enough so that I could get a thin layer across the surfaces! Do so - cover the peppers.
  8. Place peppers in a tray and into the oven at 350-400 degrees. Let it stay in for 10-15 minutes or however long you wish so that the peppers roast and the cheese melts.
Please note, this is extremely filling! :) I actually ended up having it with a sweet potato and left probably about half of it as leftovers.




Saturday, 27 September 2014

Backpack Recommendation: The North Face

Hi! So I know the back-to-school sales have all past, and people are already settled int their day to day school routines, but I thought I would write this anyway.

I mean some people keep the same bags from previous years right? Anyways, if you are deciding or have been looking for a new backpack for a while I would recommend The North Face - Borealis. 

It's kind of expensive. I mean in the past from elementary - high school, I cannot actually remember a time where I have paid more than $30-40 for a backpack. I used Jansports and actually thought they were a bit much at the time. I also used one of those Swiss Army ones for a short period before I realized that it was a ridiculously heavy bag itself - even without containing anything. Anyways so I slowly opened up to the idea of paying more for a backpack, I mean the PINK (by VS) backpacks seemed to cost a bit more as did the Herschel backpacks.

I ended up going to an outlet outside of Seattle last month and went from store to store with a mission: to find a good backpack. I mean I went to all of the following: Adidas, Nike, Under Armor, Reebok, only to end up with nothing. It was only at The North Face that I found the Borealis backpack ( I had previously read about online).

It's pretty cool in the sense that my backpack is so unique I have yet to see one available in my colour. It is black, but it is also really bright because the straps are neon! At first I thought it was a bit much but I warmed up to it.
The North Face Borealis Black with Neon Straps Electric

The North Face Borealis Black with Neon Straps Electric

Within the first few pages of google images I didn't see any look these so I had to post my own! Now here is what I like about the backpack:

  • It has water bottle pockets! This is something extremely practical and necessary. I can't even count the amount of times that liquids have spilled inside my backpacks. I mean I could have chosen an extremely stylish and fashionable backpack (I mean there are sooo many nice rucksage-styled leather bags) but none of them had these water bottle holders - and I was determined to get it.
  • It has a small storage/pocket compartment near the top, here I use this to keep my bus pass and keys. It's so useful I used to spend about 5 minutes per day looking for my bus pass because I would always lose it but with this dedicated slot it's no longer an issue.
  • It's certified - by the American Chiropractic Association. At first I thought this was a useless bonus, something that they just stuck on to a tag to help it sell better but no, I was wrong! The weight distribution is actually so different. It never feels truly heavy because it sits so comfortably!
  • This leads me into the next point. As you can see from the side profile it's a super 'compact' bag. I mean there's no large overhanging pocket (you know.. most bags kind of have this this particular shape to it that's has a mixed side-profile between a \ and a ) it's basically rounded with all the stuff being carried near the outer bottom?). Because of this, the weight falls directly/straight-down on your shoulders and doesn't pull backwards on you.
    • At first I thought the shape was kind of strange because it wasn't more typical, but now I really like it!
  • It also has a fantastic laptop holder compartment. See, I never had one of these in my old backpacks. I thought they were 'extra', like why would you need an extra designation for it? I realized now how helpful it is now, built into this slot at the very bottom is a lot of cushioning. That way when you drop your laptop in, or your drop your backpack on the floor it doesn't slam into a wall of impact (it offers a lot of protection). My roommate actually just got a High Sierra backpack but I noticed that TNF had a lot more cushioning, it feels about 2" thick!
Anyways I was lucky enough to get this on sale at the outlet. Instead of being $80-100 like it is regularly (from what I can see online) it was around $60 which I think is quite a steal. The only thing that seems to bug me a little are the pink straps see at the bottom. They're attached to the arm-straps and so those are always visible when you're facing something and seem to clash with my outfit 95% of the time! I'm honestly thinking of just grabbing a permanent black spray paint and just using that.

So, what backpack are you using right now? Do you love it or hate it? 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Running and some Great Apps

Hi Guys!

Here are the Two (Free iPhone) Running Apps I like to use:   RunKeeper and 'Interval Timer'

RunKeeper: Provides you with a log as it records all the handy information from your run. It includes

  • GPS tracking, you can see the route that you run
  • Verbal indicators of the distance ran, pace, and duration of run
  • Estimation of Calories Burned
  • Optional reminders to 'go for a run'
  • Allows you to have a playlist (music) going on in the background
Interval Timer : Specifically this one , it's simple without all the bells and whistles of other complex apps. I did find the set up very confusing though. If you want it to do something similar to Garmin's, set up a 'Long Duration' of your running cycle and then the 'Short Duration' to be one minute. Also make sure to choose the "Start Interval with: Long" setting or else it might mess you up/confuse you a little bit.

If you have both these running at the same time it works similar to the Garmin Forerunner without a heartrate monitor- hope this helps!



Saturday, 13 September 2014

Aritzia Warehouse Sale 2014 - Experience, What I Learned and Tips!

Aritzia Shopping Bag from Aritzia Warehouse SaleHey guys!

 I haven't posted for quite a long time. School has started, I've moved back into my student house (with 4 amazing rroommates and am getting back into the school year grind. But before that all happened, I was in Vancouver, B.C. for just over a week moving in my sister- who is going into first year at UBC!

Just after I arrived, I was shocked to see Aritzia's instagram post. They were promoting their annual Warehouse Sale! Although I have heard about this famous (or infamous) sale, I had never attended it. I mean it was on the wrong coast, the opposite coast of the country! I had actually been in Vancouver about two summers ago, but as luck would have it - the sale happened right after I left. I had checked the dates earlier in the summer and thought that I would miss it once again, so I had pretty much accepted it. The excitement slowly started to build inside me as I realized that I would finally get to go!Here are some photos and a blurb about my experience.

Aritzia Warehouse Sale in Vancouver

Aritzia Warehouse Sale in Vancouver

The warehouse sale takes place inside the Metro Convention centre. It's extremely large but nonetheless it cannot contain the amount of excited shoppers and loyal customers on its 'Grand Opening'. Although this sale is open for a range of days, of course most people will try to show up the first day (I mean, that's when you can get all the good stuff right?) 

Be prepared to wait. On Day 1, people are known to start lining up early. And that means that there may be some people eager enough to start the night before, or simply during the wee hours of the morning - I am talking before 5 am. I believe that the sale started or opened at 7am, but if you choose to arrive then don't be surprised to see a line. I think I lined up at 8am, and by that time the way had made its way outside of the convention centre, and around all the way to the part near the Teardrop ( I think that's what it was, near all the cafes?) The line moved quite quickly from the outside but seemed to slow down after we got in - in total I think we (me and my sister) waited for about 1.5h. 

Just to let you know, I actually went back a second time later on that week. Apparently this is quite common, because the hype occurs primarily on day 1. The rest of the time there is essentially no wait and no line - that's right, no waiting in line for 1.5h, while news cameras and people take photos of the enormous line. But of course you might miss out on some of those finds such as Kenya Mackage jackets (amiright?). Furthermore, what the staff will constantly remind you is that new stuff is released onto the floor each day.

When you first get in, they actually require you to check in your purses, bags or backpacks. Honestly they just have a few rocks of shelves where everything is left in plain site (of course only with employee access) but I'm not sure how much I would really trust it. You should probably leave your favourite purse at home unless you bring a very small clutch, although I definitely did see a LV just sitting there. I went two times with the same cross-body swingpack and the first time they insisted that it be checked in where as the second time they simply let me walk right by (so I guess it's really subjective). 

After you get in it really is just overwhelming. Think about what it feels like when you walk into a Winners, now think about that multiplied by like 50. There are what feels like over 50 racks of clothing there: some racks have 30 of the same pieces of clothing while others will be completely miscellaneous - hold on to an item if you like it because you may not find another one. Now imagine the messiest your bedroom has ever been, this is the warehouse sale. It feels like 40% of the floor is covered in clothing. It's overwhelming and kind of discomforting. Along every single wall are piles and heaps of clothing that people have either decided against, or are going back to as their 'home base'. 

It actually gets really tiring because you have to hold on to everything that you want, meaning you can only buy as much as you can carry. You might think that this is insignificant but walking around and searching through racks, and digging in piles of clothing is a lot more difficult if you're trying to walk around with arms full of clothing. It was pretty funny because you could see that there were some tricks that the more 'experienced' shoppers had developed for themselves. Around the sale you will find some empty cardboard/carton boxes. People would use these as makeshift shopping carts, I even saw some people stick clothes hangers (you know the hook part that looks like ?) into the box and use that as a handle to drag the box around.

Another heads up: there is a communal fitting room. That means you are going to see a lot of skin: bras, undies, stomachs, butts - everything. Be prepared to go in something you don't mind wearing infront of hundreds of strangers. I know you might like to wear thongs, but like for the sake of those around you I'm not sure everyone else wants to see your cheeks! Wearing a skirt is pretty helpful for such a situation and allows you to slip things on underneath quite easily. 

So of course I found a few items, but overall from my trip I would say that I had two amazing finds. I got a Verbier Aritzia Winter Jacket for $125 (initially $275) and a pair of TOMs for $20. You definitely save a lot of money at this sale, but as a whole most people will definitely spend over $100 (probably a few). They also had a great jean selection from 23/24s to probably size 32s+. For any denim fanatic this would be a dream come tree. There were J brands ($75), Rag and Bone (I got a pair for $30), Citizens of Humanity and more. Although the jeans start off initially organized by size, by the end of it the tables may have them stacked in neat piles but you will need to look at each one by the sticker/tag/label to check each size because each table will have a plethora of sizes arranged in no order. It is slightly chaotic.

Anyways, that is about all I can ramble about this sale. If you have any questions please leave a comment below! Furthermore, if you did attend the event tell me how you found it, and what your best find was!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Getting into the swing of things!

Now that it's summer, I am so grateful to have a break from school. If anything, I have all this extra time to seek out activities I enjoy, watch TV and explore the blogaverse out here!

 I feel like I'm just starting to discover the blogging community and am so excited to see everyone's hard work. It's honestly like any other social media out there, if you have no one to follow on Twitter or Instagram it loses half of its functionality, you get bored and never go back! I've realized that with so many people commenting on everyone else's posts that their signature blog links make for a great way to explore and discover new bloggers. So if that's how you found this post, it's really great to meet you ! Believe me, I'm probably following you via Bloglovin or Google and can't wait to see the content that you upload. I've noticed that I tend to like smaller blogs more, I feel like with a smaller community and following you can actually get to know one another whereas with others youre just in 'one in thousands'!

I'm going to try to actively post a bit more these few months and am just as excited to meet more of you :) . This is more of a scrapbook, a mix of this and that. I'm going into my third year at UWO for Biomedical Sciences in Canada, and love all things food related, fashion and makeup.

Please leave a comment, I'd love to know where you are from!