Inspiring Interior

Happy Summer 2017 Everyone!

Well the warmer weather has finally arrived (let’s hope that it sticks around for a while). While I don’t have any vacation plans this year, a part of me is dreaming of taking off to a sunny and exotic locale with great food, a welcoming culture and beautiful beaches.  I recently came across this gorgeous vacation home that fits my vacation dreams to a T.  Located in Spain, this stunning villa was designed by Ana Bejar Interiorismo and offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.  Cleverly decorated with a bright white colour palette and Moroccan influences, this beautiful abode blends in seamlessly with its environment.  This vacation home is designer chic at it’s finest.  Love it!

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I hope that you have a beautiful and sunny day! XXS❤️

Spicy Turmeric Zoodles

I may be studying nutrition but there are moments that I really struggle with eating healthy.  There are days when I am running on very little sleep and feeling a little stressed out, and I find myself craving a huge bowl of pasta or a cupcake (or three).   The last thing that I want to eat is an apple, a salad or a green smoothie.  There are times when I indulge my cravings as I firmly believe that life is about balance, but there are many times when I resist or find an alternative solution.  Today’s recipe was a happy and spontaneous dish that I created one day when I was particularly hangry (not in the best of moods due to overwhelming hunger and exhaustion).  I was craving an indulgent bowl of pasta but I was determined to resist.  With a few veggies left in my fridge I decided to put my little spiralizer to good use and created a simple and delicious dish that delivered some guilt free satisfaction.

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For those of you that are not familiar with the term zoodles, it is zucchini in the shape of a noodle.  Small handheld spiralizers like the one that I have are inexpensive and very easy to use.  You can also just use a peeler to cut thick ribbons of zucchini.  Zoodles are my favourite of all of the veggie “noodle” variations.  The texture and taste is most similar (in my opinion) to a regular noodle, so when I eat them I don’t feel deprived or that I am missing out.

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This dish uses two of my favourite vegetables – zucchini and asparagus.  I find both vegetables very easy to work with and they don’t require much prep or cook time which makes them perfect when you are short on time.  If you are not completely sold on zoodles, you can substitute any noodles that you prefer or mix the zoodles with a regular pasta to create a more hearty dish (just be sure to save a bit of the pasta water to add to to the pan when you putting this dish together).   To achieve the rich buttery taste that I was after, I decided to use a combination of olive oil and ghee.  When used in moderation, both are healthy fats that will help your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins from the vegetables, as well as give the dish an indulgent taste minus the guilt.  Serrano peppers up the heat factor of the zoodles (omit if you are not a fan of spicy food) and turmeric adds beautiful colour and increases the health benefits for this simple and delicious dish.  Pair this dish with a simple poached egg, a piece of wild salmon or toss with some shredded chicken breast for a delicious, healthy and well balanced meal.

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Spicy Turmeric Zoodles 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized zucchini spiralized

1/2 a bunch of asparagus (aprox 6 stalks) chopped

1.5 tsp of high quality olive oil

1.5 tsp of ghee

1 serrano pepper (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (minced)

1/4 tsp of turmeric powder

Lemon

black pepper

salt to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized frying pan melt the olive oil and ghee over medium heat

Add the garlic and serrano pepper to the olive oil and ghee combination and gently fry for 1 minute

Add the turmeric and a pinch of black pepper to the mixture and stir to ensure that the ingredients are well combined

Add the asparagus and toss to coat in the oil, cook for 1 – 2 minutes

Add the zoodles and stir to ensure that the zoodles are well coated.  Cook to your desired consistency, I like my mine with a slight bite so 2.5 mins is generally sufficient.  Please note that the longer you cook the zoodles, the more water the zucchini will release.  Season with salt and pepper and squeeze some fresh lemon juice onto the veggies.

Plate and top with your desired protein

Enjoy!

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I hope that you have a beautiful day! ❤️XXS

Sandals, sun, matcha and buns

We have made it to June! Hopefully the sun will come out a little bit more and we can begin to enjoy the new season! My mood board for June has me dreaming of new adventures, sunny memories, yummy food, gorgeous shoes and unfussy hair to help motivate me through the month.  Enjoy!

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Photo credits: Instagram (@alltrueist_btq, @pepamack, @city_fashion_blogger, @theclassbytt, @bodyism, @whatscooking, @oliviaculpo), http://www.theyallhateus.com, http://www.pinterest.com

I hope that you have a fabulous (and sunny) day! XXS❤️

Inspiring Interior

Hi Everyone!

Summer is FINALLY here…….well at least according to the calendar.  Now that we are officially into June I find myself daydreaming of sun, sand and vacations a little bit more then usual.  Today’s Inspiring Interior is the perfect modern beach getaway.  Located in Tel Aviv, this gorgeous abode perfectly blends minimalism, city living and beach dreaming all in one beautiful apartment.  With large windows, breathtaking beach views, clean lines and wide open spaces this home is a work of art.  I love the glass walls and shelving that seamlessly divides the rooms without forsaking the natural light that streams through the entire space.  Wood paneling, neutral tones and materials perfectly balance the glass walls and shelves.  It’s clear that the designer and architect thought very carefully about the layout of the space when designing this apartment, and successfully managed to bring the beauty of the outdoor views into the interior of the home.  It is absolutely stunning!

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I hope that you have a beautiful day! ❤️ XXS

Clean Beauty Product Review

It is becoming easier to be a clean beauty product junkie.  I discover a new line almost every week!  While not everything that I use is “clean”, I have made a concerted effort over the past few years to minimize my toxic load from chemicals in cleaning and personal products.  It’s not alway easy as clean beauty is a fairly unregulated industry, and the term is often just tossed around as a buzz word to attract attention.  Many products are not as “clean” as they pretend to be.  While I haven’t found all of the clean beauty products that I have tried to be effective, there are some great products out there.  I recently picked up two new clean beauty products to try out:  Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask and Farmacy’s Honey Savior.

Herbivore Blue Tansy Resurfacing Clarity Mask

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Herbivore is a brand that has been on my radar for quite a while, but this was the first opportunity that I had to actually try a product from the line.  This beauty line is well known for it’s oils, clarity mask and body scrub.  Founded by a husband and wife duo in their Seattle kitchen, the line is made with organic, high quality and food grade ingredients.  I chose to try the resurfacing mask first because exfoliating has always been one of my favourite beauty rituals (seriously, I am obsessed).  The Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask is advertised to exfoliate, smooth and resurface the skin and it’s active ingredients include Blue Tansy Oil  (natural anti-inflammatory), White Willow Bark (natural BHA), fruit enzymes (natural AHA) and aloe leaf (natural complexion soother).

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I was a little skeptical when I first applied the clarity mask.  There was not really any tingling and the texture was completely smooth.  I generally prefer a manual exfoliant so I was hoping for a bit of “grit” in the mask.  Nevertheless, I left the mask on for 20 minutes then washed it off with warm water and a clean wash cloth as per the directions.  My face felt smoother but the effect wasn’t anything spectacular.  There is a tip sheet that comes with the mask and it suggests to use the mask everyday for 3-4 days (on the website it says every other day) and then reduce usage to a few times a week.  I decided to use it everyday for four days in the hopes of seeing some great results.  By day three the results were noticeable and by day four my skin had a softness to it that I hadn’t seen in a very (very) long time.  I am so impressed with this product!  I am hopeful that it has positive long term effects as well – I will do a follow up post in a few months.  The price ($48 CAN) is fairly average for a chemical exfoliant from Sephora and a little goes a long way so the jar should last quite some time.  I can’t wait to try more products from this line in the future!

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:   4.5/5

Honey Savior by Farmacy

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I have been a a fan of the Farmacy brand since I first discovered it a Sephora early last year.  There is a lot of science behind this brand, and I absolutely love how much information they provide about the brand on the packaging.  According to the box the products are cultivated by farmers and activated by scientists (there is even a picture!).  Free of parabens, formaldehyde and artificial colours many of the Farmacy products are powered by their trademarked Echinacea Greenenvy Honey.

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Honey Savior is advertised as an all-in-one skin repair slave that is rich in amino acids and B vitamins to help smooth dry skin giving it a renewed, healthy and nourished appearance.  Honey is a great natural hydrator so it makes sense to have it in it a salve.  I love using a salve to moisturize my feet before bed, and given my love of the Farmacy brand I was more then willing to give this one a try.  In terms of quality, the texture of the salve is a slightly more liquid then others that I have tried which would make sense as it’s primary ingredient is castor oil.  The less viscous texture means that a little bit of the product goes a long way, and it’s easier to use then a thicker version. I found it surprisingly helpful with helping to revive my tired aching feet after a long day – within 15 minutes the aches and pains were a distant memory.  I am not sure why it was so helpful with this issue, but I am grateful nonetheless.   The one downside of this product is the price ($44 CAN)! That is a lot of money to spend on a salve even if it is clean beauty.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time as you only need to use a very small amount at a time.

Stylishly Zen Beauty Rating:  4/5

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Overall I was happy with both of these clean beauty products aside from the price of the salve (clean beauty needs to be more affordable).  If the Blue Tansy Resurfacing Mask continues to be effective then I would definitely repurchase but I am not sure about the salve.  As much as I love the Farmacy brand, the higher price point a little hard to justify.  I am hopeful that this tube will last a long long time!

I hope that you have a beautiful day!  XXS