Browsing Category

Lifestyle

Food Lifestyle

Spending Time With Toronto’s Best Cupcake!

March 29, 2017

I am a foodie and not ashamed to admit that I can eat more than my boyfriend. He often teases me about how much I can eat but when it comes to delicious desserts, I’m not shy to dig right in. During my most recent trip to Toronto, I decided to try Dlish cupcakes after reading so many great online reviews.

Dlish Cupcakes

Dlish cupcakes

Dlish offers freshly baked cupcakes every day of the week! They have a flavour schedule you can check out before you go in and find that your favourite cupcake isn’t available until tomorrow. All of their cupcakes are handmade right before your eyes!

A variety of cupcakes are made every morning with pure Madagascar vanilla, bittersweet Belgian chocolate, Argentine milk caramel, sweet butter, fresh carrots, ripe strawberries, natural citrus zests and rich chocolate sprinkles from France to create their original artisan cupcakes and creamy frostings. Dlish offers scratch-baked desserts that are handcrafted without preservatives, gelatine, artificial flavours or hydrogenated oils and are baked on-site in small batches throughout the day.

One of the most important things that I noticed about this gourmet shop is the presentation! The simplicity and design of each and every cupcake drew me right in!

dlish cupcakes

I had the chance to try the chocolate cupcake which features pure chocolate sprinkles imported from France, Belgian chocolate cake and Belgian chocolate frosting. This flavour is available every day for those of you who can’t resist chocolate.

Dlish also offers customized decorations for your cupcakes for any occasion in mind.

Dlish Cupcakes

Dlish Cupcakes

Dlish Cupcakes

Dlish cupcakes

Are you drooling yet? If so, next time you’re on West Queen Street or Yorkville in Toronto, don’t forget to check out this gourmet bakery! They were voted best cupcake in Toronto for a reason! Most importantly, the staff was very friendly and was willing to explain and answer any questions that I had. Thank you so much! 🙂

I always treat myself after a long day of work and trying a cupcake at Dlish was certainly the best way to go during my last trip to Toronto.

xo, Yvonne K.

Lifestyle

5 Steps to Loving Who You Are

February 21, 2017

Sure, makeup can hide imperfections, plastic surgeons can fix what we don’t like on our faces or bodies, but at the end of the day, how do we love ourselves when we are surrounded by a media culture that preys on fear, and an advertising culture that keeps enforcing the idea that you’re irrelevant if you’re not up to date with all the latest trends.

Growing up, I was bullied in grade school for having crooked teeth, a nose that was broken after a classmate hit me in the face with a football and did I mention that I was socially awkward?

I spent most of my childhood and teenage years behind books trying to escape reality. I loved writing because it was something that made me feel better after getting bullied and laughed at. Singing was also something I used as a tool for blocking out the negative people in my life. I used to drown myself in songs like “Hero”, by Mariah Carey or that one by Randy Newman, “You’ve got a friend in me”. I always remember crying myself to sleep wishing life would someday get better in my new Jeep and dream home out in California where the sun is always shining and people are always smiling. It was helpful having an escape or a fantasy world that I made up in my head so that I would feel better about myself but that  wasn’t enough for me as I got older.

I’ve learned so much since the days I cried myself to sleep hating my teenage self. Since then, I’ve learned so much and have fought many battles along the way. If you are having trouble loving yourself, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s a side effect of our crazy times filled with false images of beauty and public figures that rose to fame for no good reason. Fortunately, loving yourself means mastering the skill of learning exactly how important you are and without you, the world wouldn’t be the same.

5 Steps to Loving Yourself

Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You

Relax. Just learn to relax. Do what you want and stop living for other people because you’re so worried about what they’ll think of you. One of my friends who wanted to pursue a music career ended up ditching that plan and focused on pleasing the family instead of being happy doing what they love. Is that person happy today? Probably not. Some ‘problems’ in life, such as not really knowing for sure what others think of us, are not really meant to be solved. How people perceive you may have more to do with them than you anyway.

Make Time For Yourself Each and Every Day

Value your time and what you do during your spare time. Try meditating, reading, listening to music or spending time alone working on your goals. Make sure you are taking care of yourself: prioritize sleep, eating healthy and exercising. It is so important to make time for yourself even if your friends want to hang out. Focusing on yourself and learning to clear negative thoughts from your head after a long and stressful day is crucial when you are on the road to learning to love yourself.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

Let’s face it, we live in a world of selfies and picture filters which only adds to the unrealistic ideal of beauty we are surrounded with on a daily basis. Do you think that the girl you are obsessed with on Instagram looks the same in person? Chances are very slim. Filters these days make everyone have flawless skin, hair that looks healthier because you set the contrast way up, and don’t forget the makeup techniques that can instantly slim your face and take you from 0 to 100 real quick! Stop comparing yourself to the celebrities on social media, chances are, they have had plastic surgery and have been sitting in a makeup chair for hours trying to get that perfect contour.

Accept Who You Are and Share Your Gift

To be human is to be both stormy, cloudy and sunny. You won’t always love yourself and that’s okay. Learning to share your talents and gifts with others is a process. We all possess unique qualities that are meant to be shared with others. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you mess up, simply move away and take something with you; a lesson.

Treat Yourself

The more you act like someone who loves yourself, the more you’ll feel like someone who loves yourself.

Treat yourself to a delicious mocha latte. Watch a few funny videos guilt free. Go for a walk with your dog. Take that trip you’ve always wanted to take. Wear your favourite shirt. Giving yourself small gifts throughout the day signals to yourself that you’re an awesome person worthy of a good and happy life. Appreciate yourself by treating yourself as much as you can.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You’er than You.” Dr. Seuss

xo, Yvonne K.

Lifestyle

How to Accomplish Your Goals in 2017

February 13, 2017

img_1144-1

It’s February and some of you may be thinking “ah, there’s no point in trying to change this year”. I used to make “resolutions” and they always failed. I remember promising myself that I would get to level 3 in piano but I just ended up failing myself because it was an unrealistic goal that I wasn’t ready to work hard for. The most important thing is to set goals all year round, not just on January 1st.

Forget Your Past

Holding onto the past can be poisonous to our lives and it keeps us from moving on. I used to bring up my past all of the time and my friends would get upset with me for it. It’s easy to remember a hard time that left a mark on us but if we continue to grasp the past then a better future is impossible.

When I was younger, I imagined myself having everything figured out in my late twenties. I never realized at a young age that nothing ever falls into place without working towards a goal and even though setting goals can seem easy, achieving them can be the trickiest part. I know people in their forties who still blame their parents for their lack of love, for being too hard on them or for not caring enough. Well, the truth is, we’re all a little messed up in some way or another. However, that doesn’t mean we should let that stop us from getting what we want out of life. I remember being so hard on myself when I couldn’t please my parents so I eventually broke down and I was unable to achieve my own goals such as travelling to Europe after high school or taking a year off from school to focus on music.

Sometimes it’s not the past that holds us back but ourselves. There are times we get ourselves into horrible situations and we can’t seem to forgive ourselves. For example, wasting time with someone that we know isn’t good for us. We sometimes get so caught up in beating ourselves up if we forget to go to the gym, eat more pizza than we intended or don’t spend enough time with family. If we always focus on the “why did I do that?”, we will never get a chance to ever allow ourselves to say “I did it”.

Yesterday is gone. Your future starts now. Some things can be hard to let go of, but there comes a point when you have to drop the past and look towards a better future.

Stop Making Excuses and Please Stop With the Complaining

I used to be a person who would make excuses when it came to getting things done. Stop being afraid of what might go wrong and just do it. Excuses are holding you back, nothing more. Don’t let where you are today stop you from going where you want to be. Put your excuses aside, stop complaining about how “life is so unfair” and focus on everything that can help you accomplish your goals. Let go of those limiting thoughts and chase your goals this year even if it means taking baby steps to get them checked off your to do list.

Find Motivation Within Yourself Before Anything Else

Create a clear vision of what motivates you to accomplish your goals. If you can’t see yourself motivating yourself then you need to start finding motivation within yourself rather than in your surroundings. If you are not motivating yourself then you will get discouraged easily. You will find ways to excuse yourself from accomplishing your goals if the motivation is someone else. You must love what you do or else your goals will be useless to you. Start setting goals that interest you so that you will actually want to accomplish them.

Lastly, it’s never too late to go after what you love, even if you’re in your 50’s. The only way to accomplish any goal is to put the work in instead of hoping and wishing for them to come true.

xo, Yvonne K.

Lifestyle

10 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples

February 12, 2017

img_1141

 

If you’re like me, then you wait until the last minute to make plans for Valentine’s Day. Luckily, I’ve gathered 10 different things to do with your loved one without looking like you rushed your plans.

  1. Take your sweetheart on a scavenger hunt. Ask him/her to answer riddles to find the clues to items that you placed somewhere around town. The last item should give instructions that lead to your Valentine’s Day activities.
  2. If possible, go on a date with your loved one to a restaurant that you enjoyed when you first met. After you order your meal, take some time to write down favourite memories from the past year. Then share your lists.
  3. Order food from a take-out restaurant if you feel like staying in. Add wine or a fun board game to play once you’re done eating.
  4. The easiest way to get into the Valentine’s day spirit is to dress the part. Meet your boyfriend for a day date in skinny jeans and a pink or red top and wear a red mini dress for your night together. For after hours, try Victoria’s Secret‘s Valentine’s-themed lingerie.
  5. Go ice skating! Have yourself a Serendipity moment and spend the day ice-skating with your BF/GF—don’t forget the hot chocolate!
  6. Buy tickets to a sports game – if you’re still stuck and simply cannot find anything do, this is a great idea for couples who equally loves sports. StubHub is a great place to look for discounted tickets.
  7. Have an indoor picnic! To decorate the space, you can add string white Christmas lights to the room, buy snacks such as crackers, mini sandwiches, and cheese. Don’t forget to pop some champagne!
  8. Cook a meal right at home!
  9. Watch a romantic comedy and pig out on your favourite junk food.
  10. Take the time to appreciate one another. Valentine’s day can get stressful especially when you’re on a budget and can’t afford the fanciest dinners or the most expensive gifts. Appreciating one another and taking the time to spend that extra time together that day is what should matter most.

Lifestyle

100 Things to Be Thankful For

February 5, 2017
Source: Etsy.com

Source: Etsy.com

 

A chai tea latte on a cold winter day, a friendly smile from a stranger as you walk down the street and a pair of gloves that keep your fingers from freezing; these are all small but important things that make us happy. Instead of chasing the “better” or “bigger” things, try focusing on what you already have to be thankful for. Make a list of 100 things that you’re thankful for!

Here’s my list:

1. Lazy Weekends

2. Uplifting Movies

3. Comfy Bed

4. Chocolate (Kit Kat, Snickers)

5. Favourite Books

6. Coffee

7. Bras

8. My dog Charlie

9. Raindrops

10. The song “Here Comes the Sun”

11. Cafes

12. Travel/Vacation

13. Strawberries on a hot summer day

14. Blogs

15. Photography

16. Warm Blankets

17. My GPS

18. Scentsy wax

19. First days of summer

20. Music Festivals

21. My past – for what it taught me

22. Dream and goals – they keep me working hard

23. Dominos Alfredo Penne & the Garlic Sauce Pizza

24. Honesty

25. Good friends

26. Fresh Bread

27. Canada

28. Feeling safe

29. Generosity

30. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC

31. The Movie “Rear Window” by Alfred Hitchcock

32. Old Picture Albums

33. Instagram

34. Learning to face my fears

35. Selfless people

36. A hot shower in the winter!

37. Clean water

38. Dog walks

39. Musical instruments (piano is my favourite)

40. The sun

41. The moon

42. Women’s activists such as Gloria Steinmen and Rosie Batty

43. Vintage shops

44. Vinyl

45. Food banks, shelters for the homeless

46. Science

47. 8 hours of sleep

48. Roadtrips

49. Breakfast Diners

50. Long Weekends

51. Wood Oven Pizza

52. Laughter

53. Good hair days

54. Classrooms

55. Netflix

56. The book “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte

57. My best friend

58. The movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

59. Beach days

60. The show “Gilmore Girls”

61. My slow-cooker

62. Friendsgiving

63. That feeling I get after giving someone a gift

64. Wool socks

65. Peppermint gum

66. A letter from someone I love

67. Belly laughs

68. The colour purple

69. When the sky is filled with stars

70. Cheerful people who remind me that life isn’t that bad

71. New beginnings that are scary at first but the best things that could ever happen

72. Live music

73. Not taking things too seriously sometimes

74. That feeling after doing a load of laundry

75. For people who see more in us than we see in ourselves

76. For teachers who made learning fun

77. That feeling when you’re finally home

78. For the people who fight for animal rights

79. For songs that I play over and over again and can’t get sick of

80. Kind neighbours

81. For people who put their differences aside

82. Snapchat for those boring days

83. My pen pal during elementary school

84. National parks and for the people who maintain them

85. Newspapers

86. Grade 11 History class

87. Ice Cream

88. The first snowfall of the year

89. Different cultures and ethnicities

90. Spending time alone

91. For the basic things we take for granted like our ability to walk or see

92. Broadway show “Phantom of the Opera”

93. For fireplaces

94. Christmas movies

95. Lipgloss

96. Food delivery

97. Memories

98. Dancing

99. Sunsets

100. Brownies

What are you thankful for?

Lifestyle

5 Supplements I Cannot Live Without

January 25, 2017

The following supplements have improved my hair, skin, nails and overall lifestyle; however, you should consult your doctor before taking any of these vitamins!

Omega-3 

If you’ve never tried taking Omega-3, I recommend that you start! I love this supplement because it helps prevent heart disease and stroke, helps reduce symptoms of depression, helps joint pain, arthritis, aids in controlling anxiety, eye disorders, immune function and helps hair and nails. Here is the one that I take regularly: Natural Omega 3 Supplement.

Vitamin D

I take this supplement during the winter time because I am not out in the sun as much. I take 1000 IU every other day during the winter and I find that it boosts my energy levels and I feel happier. Vitamin D has been linked to reducing your risk to multiple sclerosis and heart disease. I use this one: NOW Foods Vitamin D3 1000 IU

Vitamin C

Have you ever been told that if you take Vitamin C on a regular basis you are less likely to catch the common cold? So have I and that’s why I started taking this supplement in the first place. I used to get sick every two weeks and my immune system just wasn’t doing a good job at fighting even a simple cold. The benefits of taking Vitamin C include helping skin age gracefully, ease stress, helps prevent upset stomach and diarrhea, builds collagen, strengthens your teeth and is linked with preventing cancer. I take this one: NOW Foods Vitamin C-1000 .

Vitamin A

I used to suffer from mild acne until I started taking this supplement. I take it for this purpose only but it certainly has other benefits! Vitamin A helps improve your vision, plays a role in cell division and cell growth, supports the immune system, supports skin health and most importantly, has antioxidant properties that neutralize free radicals that cause tissue and cell damage which helps decrease inflammation. I take this one: Now Foods Vitamin A, 25000 IU .

B 12

I’ve been taking B12 for a year and I can’t say enough good about this supplement! I used to feel extremely tired throughout the day and would need a nap after work every single day. I discovered Vitamin B12 and it has drastically changed my energy levels. Vitamin B12 also benefits your mood, memory, heart, skin, hair, and digestion. I use this one: Now Foods B-12 2000 mcg.

I hope you enjoyed this post, please share with me some of the supplements that you take in the comments section!

xo, Yvonne K.

Lifestyle

5 Steps to a Happier Life

January 18, 2017




happiness

If you’re like me, you tend to worry about the smallest things.

My mind can get preoccupied with apprehension and sometimes I get anxious or uneasy when life isn’t going my way. I also hate the feeling of not having complete control over my life.

A while ago, I was feeling quite stressed and overwhelmed. I’m talking about one of those days when nothing is going your way and you feel like just going home and sleeping the whole day away. My anxiety levels went way up and I couldn’t stop thinking and worrying about the problems at hand. I don’t always feel this way but that was a particularly tough time in my life. I realized that if I had the right attitude about things then maybe I would be less anxious, less worried and less stressed.

Happiness is a Choice

This is the most difficult step. I know this because I have been there. Many unfortunate events that occur in our lives are beyond our control but we can control how we respond to these situations. You can spend a lifetime complaining about everything that went wrong or you can use those difficult times as inspiration. Having a positive outlook on life doesn’t always mean that your life will be perfect. It is okay to feel like giving up for a brief moment but you need to understand that you might have to struggle, you might have to endure some tough times that will allow you to appreciate what is good in your life. I treat any struggle as a lesson.

Change is a good thing and if that means changing the people you surround yourself with then you just have to do it. Get rid of toxic people from your life because they will only bring you down. Think about it: if you’re always around people who talk about their problems, complain too much, gossip or throws judgement around like it’s no big deal, then your energy will always be down. Surround yourself with people who have the same life goals and people who focus on the good in their lives.

Find Your Passion

Find something that brings you joy and helps you escape a bad day. I love to go for long drives, sing, play piano or have a great conversation with people who enjoy and partake in similar hobbies as I do.

Focus on the Good in Everything

It can be hard sometimes, I know. Try to see the good in the smallest things. I recently asked my Facebook friends what happiness is to them and the majority listed simple things such as food, people, pets and songs they love. Happiness is simple and you definitely don’t need extravagant things to be happy. Remember that someone else in the world would wish to live the life you are living. Be thankful for the simple things and try to focus on the good rather than focusing on the bad. There was a time in my life when I constantly allowed negativity to rule my life and that only kept me from progress and achieving my dreams.

Spread Good Vibes

You know that one person in your life that always smiles, makes you laugh all of the time, keeps your spirits up, never gossips or never nags? It should be you. If you don’t have that kind of person in your life then you be that person for others. I believe that making other people feel better about themselves is one the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Let Go

This was the hardest thing for me to do. You must let go of the things you can’t control and do not deserve you. I know some people may shrug at this suggestion but I do believe in forgiveness and also forgiving yourself for making mistakes. I’ve had my heartbroken and I blamed myself time and time again. I eventually realized that during that time, it was incredibly easy to just blame myself because everything was making no sense at all and I was trying to make sense of it the wrong way. That time truly taught me a lesson – to let go of the past and move forward. Worrying about things that have happened in the past or things that might happen tomorrow is a waste of our energy. Take life one day at a time, this isn’t a race and you should understand that how others have treated you should never change the person you are and will become.

Be Grateful, xo

Yvonne K.

Lifestyle Travel

Travel Diary | A Day in Toronto

January 3, 2017


15878998_10156143005974572_1391999521_n

I’ve been to Toronto about a dozen times and I wanted to stay away from all of the tourist attractions during my latest visit. Even though I was only in Toronto for a day, I still had the opportunity to check out some of the shops, the ice rink near city hall and had the pleasure of walking down the streets gazing into the windows of some of the city’s most unique shops and boutiques.  Toronto offers top shopping locations for people who want to buy something out of the ordinary as well as something that is trendy and popular. I had a blast window shopping for outfit inspirations as well as exploring some vintage shops that I never even heard of before. I can’t wait to visit Toronto once again because this city is full of unique and exciting for bloggers, stylists and people who just need a little getaway.

nyx in toronto

Of course, I had to step inside the NYX store in Toronto, which is located on 363 Queen Street. This store looks small from the outside but you will be amazed once you walk in because it is FULL of makeup! I spent an hour just looking at products that I was curious about.

This is the ombre blush by NYX and it is highly pigmented. The tone is incredible and it feels incredibly soft on the skin.

The Black Market: this was my first time and I was amazed at how cheap everything is. This is a vintage shop that sells old vinyl, clothing, shoes, handbags, leather jackets, sunglasses, hats and the list goes on. The store is located on 265a Queen Street West in Toronto.

Next stop: Original.  This is a one of a kind type of store located on 515 Queen Street West. They sell designer shoes, jewellery, clutches, dresses and I am sure the list goes on.

Alice in Wonderland Shoes!

This dress was upstairs and it was displayed right before walking into a warehouse of handmade dresses. The details are to die for!

I had to check out a place called Off the Wall which is located on 450 Queen Street in Toronto. Not only does this shop sell cool art, they also provide custom framing, offer printing services and do art consulting. I didn’t take too many pictures here because it’s better to see all of the art in person and I didn’t want to get kicked out lol

Last stop: Nathan Phillips Square Ice Rink! This was the highlight of my day in Toronto and I was lucky enough to share that experience with my boyfriend. I had such an incredible time in Toronto and like I said at the beginning of this post, can’t wait to visit again!

Food Lifestyle

What’s for Dinner? Easy Lemon Pepper Salmon

October 18, 2016

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Looking for a quick dinner idea? Lemon Pepper Salmon is a light and healthy meal option you can have on the table in under 30 minutes. Fresh buttery, rich tasting salmon is topped with fresh slices of lemon. Baked in the oven this  is so easy to make, it just may become your new “go-to” favourite salmon recipe.

I love staying in and preparing a healthy meal at home. Staying in, watching a good movie and eating a delicious meal is always a great idea. I love salmon because it is a good source of Omega-3 so I decided to share this recipe with you. As you can see in the picture above, I added shrimp to the mix as well as garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and rice! This is definitely a quick and healthy meal for you to enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 salmon fillets (approx. 6 oz. each ,skin on)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

2 cloves of garlic diced

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon of salted butter

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 lemon wedges

Fresh parsley, if desired

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Preheat the oven to 35oF

Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel

Arrange salmon on a foil, skin side down

Add the butter to both fillets

Sprinkle the salt, pepper and fresh parsley

Add the diced garlic

Add the lemon juice and the lemon wedges to the top of the salmon

Bake until salmon is cooked through to your liking or for approximately 15-20 minutes

Allow the salmon to cool for 5 minutes (outside of the oven) before serving. (Salmon will continue to cook during this time so keep this in mind when removing salmon from the oven)

Serve with a side of your choice, I prefer rice and garlic mashed potatoes alongside grilled asparagus

Simple and quick!

Enjoy!

Lifestyle

Inspired by Fall: Apple Picking

October 3, 2016

What a beautiful day for apple picking. I’m hosting a Thanksgiving party this week so I need some fresh Mutsu apples. I decided to go to Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery.  This year they have a large crop of Gala, Mutsu, Empire, Red and Gold delicious apples. I’ve never been to an apple orchard before so this was definitely fun for the first time.

The Look: I decided to go with comfortable attire. I am wearing a sweater denim jacket that was purchased last season from American Eagle Outfitters. I paired the jacket with a simple black t-shirt from H&M and black slim fit pants from H&M as well.

These are Empire apples. They are perfect for eating as a healthy snack.

Here are my Mutsu apples, perfect for baking an apple pie.

Cute. Marvin Gaye is one of my favourite singers, this is a line from his song titled “How Sweet it is” .

A little pick me up at the orchard.

At the end of the day I had a great time and I recommend to those fortunate enough to live near a public orchard to check out the experience themselves!