Art to go

Hello everyone!

I hope you are doing well on this cold Friday (in Montreal anyway). A few hours left before the weekend! I CAN’T WAIT! Not that I’ll be resting much since I have a lot of work to do, and I also happen to have a lot planned with friends. Not to mention that between all that, I’ll have to find a way to fit the word ”studying” in my vocabulary… Oh well. 

Anyway, I’m not here to complain about my busy schedule, but to share with you another CAPTURE DAY! Yay! This time, I am focusing on culture, more specifically Art. You probably didn’t know yet, but I used to be a Ballet dancer for 8 years (I stopped dancing when I was 15). Dance was a big part of my life: I was rehearsing 4 days a week, all year long. I loved it so much!!!!! 

I never really understood why I stopped. That’s another story though…

Art used to be really important to me: not only was I dancing, but I also used to draw. Unfortunately, I stopped that too 😦 I guess I am not that much of an artist after all… hahaha. However, I like to think that I am somehow still involved with Art. Every year, I like to go to an OSM concert (which is the Montreal Orchestra), see a Ballet or an expo at the Museum of Fine Arts. I’m definitely not going as often as I would like to: With work, school and my social life (yes, I still have one, believe it or not), I barely have time for myself… 

Since I might not be the only one in this situation, I fell like sharing with you a good compromise I’ve recently found: to enjoy art, ONLINE. No the same thing, I know, but so much more schedule friendly!

Therefore, I dedicate this Capture Day to art. I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do!

– Hailey xox

(To Follow me on Pinterest, click here. – Note that All these paintings/pictures were found on Pinterest. For more, go check my board Art to go ! )

 

art1

art7

 

art5

art9

art8

Advertisements

A bit of Classic never hurt anyone!

 

I’ve told you recently how bored I was. Now that my exams are over and that I work full time, I kind of felt into a little routine, which can be a bit boring… You all know that I’ve chosen to start another undergraduate degree, while I still have the energy and the ”time” to do it. I’m not married, I don’t have any children… the timing is perfect! Anyway. On top of all that, I’ve also decided to start a personnal reading challenge. At this very moment, I am not following any special list. I’m going wherever my books bring me. I can however say that I have a little something for classical literature. So here is my top I’ve read/Currently reading list. The first 2 are books that I’ve just finished reading, and that I strongly recommand. The last 3 are the ones I am aiming to read in the next few weeks.

1. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

photo 2

 

2. The Stranger  – Albert Camus

photo 3

 

3. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

(I am currently reading this one!)

photo 5

 

4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

photo 4

 

5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

photo 1

 

————————————————-

Stay tuned! I will soon post my reviews on the first 2. In the mean time, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts on these books!

Enjoy!

– Hailey xox

Sunday, Capture day!

 

Capture day

Hello everyone!  – Remember in my last post, I told you about this new category for my blog… well let’s officially start it! Here are some inspiring pictures I’ve found on Internet. Most of them are from Pinterest  (To Follow me on Pinterest, click here .)

infinite

Today, I feel like showing a bit of fashion in a Black and White theme, so here are some of my favorite styles! (You can find all the original websites by visiting my board My Style on Pinterest. Click here for more info).

black and white 1

black and white 3

black and white 4

blackwhite1

 

Dress white

 

Stay tuned! I’ll soon be posting some links above each picture, so you can reproduce this style too 🙂

– Hailey xox

Something different

Hi guys!

Longtime no talk! I can’t believe it’s been 6 or 7 months since I’ve written something… A lot has happened in my life since the last time I wrote : remember the big accounting exam I had to write in order to get my CPA, CA license? Well, guess what? I did it! I passed!! I am officially done with my studies, and I can now focus on my carreer as an auditor – which I love by the way.

Since I got my results only 2 months ago, I didn’t really realize that it was all over, and my life as an ”adult” could officially start. However, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been craving for more. I don’t know if it has happened to you before, but you know when you’re living at a crazy fast pace for so long and it suddenly stops? You’re happy because you were so exhausted and now, you can finally see the light, thank god!  Well, that’s how I felt when I got the good news about my exam! I enjoyed myself so much for the first couple of weeks: I got to officially start working full time as an auditor, I spent amazing holidays with my family, I got to rest and sleep in the morning! It was amazing! But somehow, I felt a bit bored… It’s like if I was addicted to the adrenaline I was on for so long. At first, I thought I could just buy some books and read about everything, so I went to Chapters and bought a bunch of books. It kept me busy for a while, but I still felt like I had to do more. That’s why I made the big decision of starting my second license, the CFA (which means Chartered Financial Analyst, for those of you who wonder). The main reason for this decision is that I think it’ll bring my career to another level. It is also very relevant since I am already in accounting…

With all that said, I can honestly say that I feel really good about myself, even though I’ve never been that busy in my life – which is super ironic if you think about it. But that’s also why I wanted to get back to this blog: to share all of this with you. This time, I’ll do it differently though. As much as I would like to write everyday, I have to face the truth: it is a huge commitment, and I don’t think I could do it full time. Thus, I’ve decided to keep it simple, and to write on a weekly base. So today, not only am I making commands for my absence, but I am also introducing two new categories: 1- Reading, in which you’ll find my latest reviews on books I’ve read and 2- Captures, in which you’ll only find pictures (about fashion, art, traveling, anything!!)

As usual, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts. I would also like to know which books you have read, so I can go on and read them myself 🙂

See ya!

Hailey xox

Strawberry & Kale Salad

gjoerg

Today, I felt like sharing this amazing recipe with you guys! It’s a simple one that will give you lots of vitamins and antioxidants! Also, it’s the opportunity to discover an amazing green: Kale (if you don’t already know it). Rich in vitamin K, it is filled with antioxidants and helps lower cholesterol levels. Trust me, just Google it, and you’ll see why Kale is my BFF for quite some time!  

Ingredients:

  • Kale (raw)
  • Strawberries
  • Few Almonds
  • Feta cheese or Mild Cheddar
  • Lemon dressing (see my recipe below)

Lemon dressing (for a bit more than one serving):

  • The juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
  • 4 tablespoon of Olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard

indexPreparation:

Wash and dry the kale. Remove the stems and chop it into strips by rolling the leaves into a ball and making thin slices.

In a small jar, mix the lemon juice with the olive oil and the mustard. You want to have the perfect dressing, which is not too lemony. You may want to add a bit of mustard to balance it.

Then, in a plate or a bowl, add the strawberries, the cheese and the almond thinly sliced to the greens. Add the dressing and toss to combine (you may not want to put all the dressing at once, depending of the quantity of salad you have prepared).

cannellini-kale-soup-2-kalynskitchenRaw kale can be a bit bitter, that’s why I opted for strawberries and a light cheese. Mixed with a lemony dressing, trust me, it is the PERFECT match!

Enjoy 🙂

– Hailey xox

 

 

Stay fit in the comfort of your home

exercise_at_home_thumb

Training is my passion. I’ve been in the industry for 10 years now, sometimes training for fitness competitions, sometimes to lose weight. In 10 years, I’ve been through lots of up and downs, sometime losing motivation and avoiding the gym for months. Most of the time, it made me happy and I felt great about myself, but I have to admit it also made me lose my temper. However, I’ve never stopped loving it.

Studying as hard as I have been for the past couple of years didn’t help either. Since I was working part time while studying full time, I didn’t get much time for the gym. Each minute spent at the gym was a minute I couldn’t study, and it got worst when I started my master. I had to choose between the sport I loved the most, and my career. Since finishing my master was more important than training (after all, my real dream was to become an auditor), I started to slow down, feeling guilty about it. Then, I start realizing that I was acting exactly like the members of the gym I was working at a couple years ago: I was finding excuses! I kept telling myself my studies were more important, so it would justify the fact that I didn’t have time to train. My favourite excuse was ”it takes me 20 minutes to get to the gym, so it’s a total of 40 minutes lost, and I haven’t started training yet. I could use this time to study instead”. Wow, I was in total denial.

Of course, time was really an issue for me. I was always thinking that having some equipment at home would be amazing! I wouldn’t need to drive anywhere neither respect a gym schedule. I could train whenever, and for only 20 minutes if I wanted too. Let’s be honest here: who wants to drive 25 minutes for a 20 minutes training? So I started looking for home equipment. The thing is, being a student, you don’t necessarily have $2000 to spend that easily. That’s why I went with some basics, to eventually get a complete -in my opinion – equipment. Lucky you, I wanted to share with you my homemade gym, in case you too are caught in the ”I have not time” pattern.

So here are my ”Must Have” if, like me, you finally chose to train in the comfort of your home, without spending too much money.

(Note that this is my real equipment, and the prices I paid when I bought it, which is a year and a half ago.)

First, you need a medicine ball (approx. $15, depending of the weight), a step ($50) and a medium size gymnastic ball ($10). The 3 accessories will help you achieve a multitude of exercises, whether you want to improve your balance, you strength or even your cardio.

eegwegg

As you can see in the picture below, I also recommend buying some non-latex Flex-Band. Not only they are cheap ($10), but you can do multiple exercises with them. They are good for stretching, toning and flexing, and you can bring them with you anywhere (they are very light). I also suggest you to get some adjustable ankle weights (also good for your arms – $29 for a pair of 10lbs each), and a speed jump rope ($15-$20, make amazing cardio training, toning all you body in once).

 

3t3g

Then, you have to get the famous yoga mat. Do I really need to tell you why? That’s what I thought 😉 I usually spend $20 for a mat. I say usually, because I use it a lot: after a while, it crumbles, so I need to buy a new one (thinking about starting yoga classes but don’t want to spend on a membership? I have the perfect solution for you –> Click Here.)

yoga mat

This is probably the most expensive part, but the most important one: dumbbells. I went for PowerBlocks ($375 – I have the first stage Urethane U-90, which goes from 5lbs to 50lbs), but you don’t have to buy that if you don’t lift over 20-25 pounds. In that case, you rather want to buy individual dumbbells. Of course, the PowerBlocks are very versatile, since you can use them on a barbell and then switch to squats exercises (you need the bar that goes with the PoweBlocks set. See below for more info).

gym dumbbells

Who says dumbbells, says Bench! This one cost me $50 at Walmart, and is very good so far! As you can see in the picture, you can even work your abs with it (since you can incline it). Best of both worlds 😉

bench

That’s the bar I was telling you about previously. I cost me $138. As already mentioned, you don’t need to buy another set of weights! You use the PowerBlocks as shown above, and you fix them to the bar (it replaces up to 41 barbells). What I highly recommend with the barbell, is investing in a basic squat stand. Mine cost me $148. The quality is good and it is strong enough, but you can’t use it with a bench (as a bench-press station). Not a real issue since you can use dumbbells, or ask someone to ”spot” you.

feqgege

The last but not the least: a cardio machine! I decided to buy an elliptical machine since I don’t like running… It’s also better on your joints, and it is cheaper than a treadmill. Mine has 10 levels of intensity and 3 different programs, so it is perfect for interval training. I paid $200. It is a second hand one, found it online from a person who had bought it few months ago, but had never used it. I know! Crazy right! Original price: $400 on sale at Canadian Tire. Gotta admit that the person didn’t assemble it right… So it might have been the real reason why she sold it in the first place! She had reversed the handles, so you can imagine why it was not working… Hahaha still laughing at this one 😀

3ioihoih

The entire equipment cost me a total of $ 1065 (it took me few months to gather all this equipment). It can be cheaper if you buy second hand equipment (like I did for my cardio machine). Of course, if you can afford all this, it’s better, since you have everything you need for a complete work out. But if you have to chose, skip the cardio machine (in my case, the elliptical machine). The reason is pretty simple: with dumbbells, you can easily work both your strength and your cardio, not to mention you can always go for a run outside, or use a training app on your smart phone (I will soon post an article about Training apps. Stay tuned!). However, if you think it’s still expensive, keep in mind that this amount represents a year membership at the gym (maybe 2, if you know a really cheap place). But knowing that you will use it for more than 24 months, it’s really worth it.

You are now fully equipped to rock your work out without wasting time on  the road! So now, what are your excuses not to get in shape?

– Hailey xox

excuses

noexcuse

 

Summertime treats

summer wouh

For many of us, summertime is awesome. We get to go to the beach, we enjoy dinner on the BBQ, we fill our body with vitamin D, we get that perfect tan… Actually, lot of people are looking forward to it, and they are even planning this time of the year weeks and months before, in order to get nothing less than their perfect bikini body! But what happens next? What happens once you’ve seen that magic number on the scale, or that perfect reflection in the mirror? Are you going to allow yourself to cheat a bit?

If you are living in a country like Canada, you are probably dying to see winter go and see the thermometer hitting 35ºC! For you, summer rimes with heat, sun, freedom, beach, outdoor, pool, bikini, Sangria, ice cream, milk shake, ice pops….. Ho no, CALORIES! Then, you realize you’ve worked so hard on that treadmill to get that perfect bikini body, but you know how much you’ll want to enjoy treats that are not very appealing when it’s -10ºC outside! Well, I have the perfect solution for you: healthy alternatives that will make you want to tell your favourite blizzard from Dairy Queen ”Good riddance”!

This is only one of many articles I’ll publish, and I want to start the series with the delicious ice pops I showed in my last post Stay tuned . So enjoy these recipes, and leave a comment!

HAILEY’S RECIPES FOR A PERFECT ICE POP!

These are really easy recipes that are healthy and will give you a boost during your day without making you feel guilty. Of course, feel free to modify them as much as you want. Be creative, change fruits if you don’t like the ones I’ve suggested, and don’t hesitate to share your experience with us!

*Please notice that these are suggested quantities! The idea here is to create a flavour YOU will like, so you want to taste before filling the moulds with the final mixture, and adjust the recipe if necessary. Usually, I go 50-50, but if some flavours are stronger, I put less, and I will put more of the lighter ones, to ”equilibrate” the taste. Also, you will notice that I use a bit of sugar in each recipe. Actually, sugar helps prevent the pops from freezing to much.

Greek kiwiGreek kiwi

For this recipe, you will need :

  • 1 Kiwi
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Greek yogourt
  • 1/2 cup of Orange juice
  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

Mix the yogourt, the orange juice and the sugar in a recipient, and put in the refrigerator. Then, peel the kiwi and cut it in thin slices. Stick a slice or 2 on the side of each mould, and freeze for 30 minutes (see the section ”HOW TO” IN A FEW STEPS for more info). Finish by filling the moulds with the mix, and freeze until it’s solid.

Yummy Melon³

  • 1/2 cup of Watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of Cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup of Honey melon
  • Cranberry juice
  • Water (if needed)

Mix all the ingredients together using a blender. Fill each mould with the preparation, and freeze until it’s solid enough.

The Classic

  • 1 cup of Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Greek Yogourt
  • A dollop of Vanilla extract
  • 1 tea spoon of sugar

Mix all the ingredients using a blender. Fill the moulds, and freeze until it’s ready. If you have some mix left, add few ice cubes in the blender for a delicious protein smoothie.

The Ultimate Mango Creamsicle

  • 1 Mango
  • 1/2 Pineapple
  • Orange Juice
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogourt

Blend the mango, the pineapple and the yogourt first. Depending on the consistency of the mix, add some orange juice to liquefy the preparation. Fill your moulds with the preparation, and freeze for few hours.

popsBerry Fever

  • 2 Strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of Raspberries
  • 1/2 cup of Cranberry juice
  • 1 cup of Watermelon

 

First, cut few strawberries in thin slices, and stick them on the side of each mould. Put the moulds in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then, mix the raspberries, the water melon and the cranberry juice using the liquefy option on your blender, and fill the moulds with the mix. Freeze until it’s ready.

Note that if you have some preparation left, add few ice cubes in your blender, for an absolutely delicious smoothie!

 

”HOW TO” IN A FEW STEPS

Step 1: Gather your equipment

As you noticed, for some of the recipes above, you will need a blender. You will also need pop moulds and utensils such as a whip, and 10 minutes of your time. That’s pretty much it! So easy!

Step 2: Chose the ingredients

The options are infinite when it comes to making ice pops! You can use yogourt, milk, cream, juice or simply fruits and water! Of course, if you like it a bit creamy, I suggest using Greek yogourt since it has protein in it, and it is a low fat option.

As for the fruits, you can chose one, or 4! It is totally up to you! My favourite ones are kiwi, orange, mango, watermelon and banana!

Step 3: Freeze

There are different techniques whether you want to be more creative and play with the colour/design of your ice pops, or not. In any case, you would fill each mould about 3/4 full. You don’t want to overfill them because the mixture expends when it’s freezing. Then, place the pops in the freezer for few hours (3 to 4, or until it’s solid).

For some funky ice pops, you can play with the layers or stick some fruits on the side of the moulds (as in the Greek Kiwi recipe). It’s very easy to perform, and it makes the pops more appealing! Of course, if you go with the layers, you need to make a 2 flavour ice pops! To recreate this, you need to put the first flavour in the mould (you fill it as much as you want, but leave some space for the second layer obviously). Then, you put it in the freezer for 45 minutes, or until it’s half solid: you want to make sure that the first layer is strong enough to hold the second one. Otherwise, the two layers will be mixed together, and your creativity will be gone with the wind! Once it’s consistent enough, put the second layer on top, and freeze until the pops are ready! You can even add a third layer if you feel that adventurous 😉

If you prefer sticking some fruits on the side of the mould, it’s even easier! You first want to make sure you slice the fruits thin enough, so it will hold on the side of the mould without slipping (I recommend using kiwis or strawberries. They are the stickiest ones). Once you have placed the fruits on the side of the moulds, put them all in the freezer for 30 minutes. After, take them out and fill the moulds with your mix, and put it back to freeze until it’s ready!

Step 4: Enjoy!

If the stick doesn’t come out easily, put the mould under water for 30 seconds! You are now ready to enjoy a treat you don’t have to feel guilty about! 😉