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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Make This! St. Patrick's Day Cocktail

By: Lisa Ng

What are you drinking on St. Patrick's Day on March 17th this year?

If you're not into the green beer, whip up this delicious Kiwi Piña Colada developed by Caribar at The Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico. You won't find some sweet mix out of a box or bottle here. This is the real deal!

The original piña colada, the official drink of Puerto Rico, was created at Caribe Hilton just over 60 years ago and they've given it a St. Patrick's Day twist. No food colouring necessary. The natural green colour comes from the kiwi in this recipe.

Kiwi Piña Colada

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 oz. rum
  • 1 oz. coconut cream
  • 1 oz. heavy cream
  • 6 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • ½ cup crushed ice
  • 6 oz. Kiwi tropical fruit
PREPARATION:
  1. Add the rum, coconut cream, heavy cream and pineapple juice together in a blender.
  2. Add the ice and blend for about 15 seconds or until smooth. 
  3. Serve in a 12-ounce glass. 
  4. Garnish with a fresh pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.



Monday, March 2, 2015

Millennial-Gen Y Travel Trends

By Wendy Kam Marcy

In the last few years, hubby and I have taken some great vacation with our parents and in-laws. Yes, this sounds mighty scary but it's really not! With careful planning and strategically choosing a destination that offers a balance of adventure and relaxation, cultural immersion and of course, diverse activites, we've all managed to not step on each other's toes too much and always come home with happy and fun memories.

As I start to think about travel plans and where I would like to take my family this year, I came across some interesting trends in a 2015 report created by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) along with some beautiful and really cool places to stay.

When it comes to identity, 23% of Millennials say they want to stay in hotels that say something about them, versus 11 % of Boomers. This doesn't come as a surprise since 31% of Millennials share their travel pictures online, versus 11% Boomers.

This exotic beach resort in the heart of Patong, Phuket's most famous beach definitely resonates with me. I love contemporary design and dining in expansive airy spaces - hello photo opp and selfie stick! Holiday Inn Resort Phuket is definitely on the top of my list. Let's hope the rest of the family agrees!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Make This! Easy Avocado Toast

By: Lisa Ng

Avocado toast is currently running heavy in my breakfast rotation.

It's fun to make this recipe super fancy with all kinds of things you could add, but I dial it down on my busy weekday mornings and whip together something quick and easy. Here's what you need for Easy Avocado Toast:

INGREDIENTS

  • Slice of sourdough bread
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • Salt & pepper
  • Lemon juice
  • Spices (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Toast your slice of sourdough bread
  2. Heat up a small non-stick frying pan and spray with a bit of olive oil
  3. While the pan is heating mash 1/2 of your ripe avocado in a bowl
  4. Crack your egg, sunnyside up into your pan. Cook for 5 minutes
  5. While your egg is cooking add a pinch of salt, pepper, a small squeeze of lemon juice and your choice of spices to your avocado mixture.
  6. Spread on toast, top with your over easy egg

Get fancy by adding freshly chopped rosemary, sliced radishes, fresh sprouts, red pepper flakes, tomato slices or anything you can think of. Enjoy!


Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Pull yourself away from the concrete jungle, hop into your car for a 2.5 hour drive heading North West and you will find yourself in a forested mecca where doing nothing but floating in pools of tranquil water and day dreaming is perfectly acceptable.

I recently made a retreat to Scandinave Spa with hubby to unplug and relax. There truly is no better way than indulging in a Nordic bath experience to unwind and reset!

This outdoor spa is situated on 25 acres of forested land - it's as tranquil as it can get so make sure you turn off your phone and use your spa voice! The experience begins with sitting in a wood-burning Finnish sauna or eucalyptus steam room for about 10 minutes. This helps open up pores and begin the detoxifying process.

Next comes the cold plunge or in the winter, you can lie in the snow and make snow angels! Yes, it's wickedly cold but the purpose of the plunge is to enhance blood circulation, increase heart rate and close the pores. The key is to step right into the cold pools rather than taking your time to meander in.

The third phase is my favourite - ahhhh relaxation. Take your time and melt your worries and stress away in one of the 3 hot baths, soak in the thermal and nordic waterfalls or rest in one of the solariums with a magazine.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Green Living Show

By: Lisa Ng

Spring is in the air and The Green Living Show will be returning to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 27-29, 2015 and will kick off Earth Month. Find way to live a healthier and greener lifestyle with over 400+ exhibitors showasing organic food, eco-fashion, natural beauty, fitness, hybrid and electrical vehicles and more. 

Flash your March Metropass, your Presto Card or your Live Green Card at the door and receive free admission! 

The Show Runs:

Friday, March 27 - 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 28 - 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 29 - 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

For more information visit: www.greenlivingshow.ca

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.


Monday, February 23, 2015

WIN Tickets to 2015 OOAKS Spring Show

Spring is around the corner and so is the OOAKS!

We can't wait to shop the handmade creations of more than 450 artisans on March 25-29. Other things we are looking forward to include late night shopping, the special Etsy section and of course, the Hands-On Workshops - Rejoice DIY Fans!

We are giving away 10 PAIRS of tickets!!

Just leave a comment below telling us what you look forward to the most in spring. We'll select 10 lucky winners on Wednesday, March 11 at 11pm. Remember to leave your email or Twitter so we can contact you.

For more information about the show, visit www.oneofakindshow.com and follow the Twitter conversation #OOAKS15.

Wendy is a New Mom to a curious and rambunctious little boy. Plugged in she is the Co-Founder of HUG and the Director of Marketing at Adfluent Media - an Ad Agency that specializes in Online Marketing, Google Adwords and Affiliate Marketing. She also teaches the Business of Blogging and Content Marketing workshops at Camp Tech.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Make This! Moscow Mule

By: Lisa Ng

I am currently obsessed with the Moscow Mule. 

It's my go-to drink right now and I know it had it's big moment in 2014, but I love the taste of ginger and when this cocktail is done right - it soars. When it's made with ginger ale or some sort of lime bar mix, it goes way down on the express train.

So in my quest for the best Moscow Mule ever, I've tweaked along the way and this has become my go-to recipe for mixing at home. The copper mugs are a stylish add for this classic cocktail.

  1. Fill glass with ice cubes
  2. Squeeze in half a lime (I enjoy a heavier lime flavour)
  3. Add 2 shots of vodka
  4. Top with cold ginger beer (I like Reed's Ginger Beer)
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel, a sprig of mint or candied ginger

This cocktail is so ridiculously easy to make at home and requires a minimum amount of ingredients on hand and isn't overly sugary. You'll wonder why you'll ever need to pay $15 for a Moscow Mule again.

Cheers!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.





Thursday, February 19, 2015

Bloor Yorkville Icefest


By: Lisa Ng

Make the most of winter as the 10th Annual Icefest returns to the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood in Toronto on Saturday February 21 and Sunday February 22 in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. The 'Frozen in Time' theme will showcase Egyptian-style ice sculptures and a 3D pyramid along with ancient Egyptian gods.

You can expect live ice carving demonstrations from 12-6 pm daily with a live DJ and a food tent with tasters from Bloor-Yorkville restaurants. For a $2donation, sample traditional Maple Syrup Taffy from 1–4 pm on Cumberland Street.

The event has raised over $54,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

For more event details visit: http://www.bloor-yorkville.com/icefest/

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women.




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Guiding Stars: Nutritious Choices Made Simple - Giveaway!

By Wendy Kam Marcy

When our mind and body feels healthy, we feel happier overall.

For me - as a new mom juggling a career, blogging and managing what's left of my social life, I find that there are days when I almost forget to eat! So at the start of this month, I made a commitment to start planning out my meals and really try to cook more.

To keep me on track, I met up with Shannon Richter, the Dietician at my local Loblaws to chat about nutrition, how to save time in the kitchen without sacrificing health and the newly launched Guiding Stars program - that helps you sort through your nutritional confusion! We also have a contest to win a $50 grocery card so read on!

W: Let's talk about cooking for one or two. Hubbie and I are always throwing out food because it goes bad before we can finish it or we've simply had way too much. Seriously who can eat kale salad for 5 days in a row?!

S: I highly recommend batch cooking. Find 3 recipes using the same ingredients to avoid wastage. That way you have 3 different dishes to enjoy that week or freeze and store it away for next week. If you suddenly find you have a plentiful supply of fruit, juice it. If it's vegetables, throw it in a pot with a few bouillon cubes and make "bottom of the fridge" soup. For leftover kale, you can make kale chips or blend some in a green smoothie. Got too many beans or chickpeas on the go? Whip up some hummus!

W: What are must-have pantry staple spices?

S: Basil, garlic powder, chilli flakes, dill, oregano, turmeric, paprika, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and of course, salt and black pepper.

W: I honestly would cook way more if I didn't have to worry about the prep work. How can I save time prepping for meals or at least make it more fun?

S: Grocery stores are the busiest on weekends so if you can, do your shopping on a weekday. Perhaps even on your lunch break and consider it a mini workout (win/win)! Always plan ahead by making a list - not only of what you need to buy but also what meals you plan to cook (both lunch and dinner) and on which day. A grocery list is so cliché but it works in helping you save time and money! And of course, the Guiding Stars are there to help you make quick nutritional choices.

When I get home, I immediately clear out my fridge and get rid of foods past their due dates. I then wash/chop all my fruits and vegetables and store them in containers. That way when I'm on the go or cooking, I can just grab what I need.

If I buy fresh herbs, I freeze them in an ice cube tray. You can do this with water or olive oil so when you are cooking, you can just pop one in.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Wardrobe Magic: How to Dress 5 lbs. Thinner

Fitness and healthy eating regimes are now in place but you don't have to wait a month to shed the first few pounds. Here are 5 simple tweaks to your style that will yield instantly slimming results: 

Tweak #1 - Stop hiding under that sweatshirt: Our natural instinct is to hide extra pounds under baggy layers, especially on weekends as as we run errands. My local grocery store is evidence. If you're guilty as charged it's time to put a STOP to this practice; you're actually making yourself appear larger! Instead, go for pieces in flattering silhouettes that skim your curves and hint at a waistline. 

Tweak # 2 - Belt it all...carefully: Cinching your outfit shows off your best features and helps create that coveted hourglass figure, but finding the right belt and placing it correctly is key. As a general rule, long torsos look best in skinnier belts placed a few inches below your belly button while the short-waisted will look great in slightly wider styles that are in the same colour as your ensemble.