We’ve Moved!!

Thanks for stopping by! We’ve moved – you can now find the blog at: www.lavenderandpaper.com 

See you there!

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See you soon!

BRB

Hi friends,

You might have noticed that posts have been a little scarce lately! I definitely have not forgotten about this little blog, but I am working on a lot of things behind the scenes over here.

Remember when I said that things would be changing around here? Well I am working on all of those changes, and I am happy to say that in a few weeks I will be unveiling a new site for this blog! I am really excited about the changes that are coming, and I hope you are too!

I appreciate your patience over the next few weeks while I work on redesigning the blog and starting up some new and exciting things for you.

In the meantime, while you’re waiting for the new and improved site, feel free to follow along on Instagram: @joyfulandwhole

Until next time,

Sam

Cherry Icecream Recipe to Celebrate the Last Glimpse of Summer

Can you believe it’s September already?! I am amazed at how quickly this summer has gone by. I know that fall doesn’t officially start until September 21, but having been a student for so long, in my eyes, fall starts right after labour day.

I absolutely love fall – it’s my favourite season, but I also love summer and am trying to enjoy the last little bit that’s left before I say goodbye to my summer favourites: hanging out by the pool, sandals, and icecream! You already know I love icecream, and I shared this chocolate icecream recipe with you – but this cherry icecream is even better.

So, in celebration of the last glimpse of summer I will share my favourite “icecream” recipe with you.

Cherry Icecream

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups frozen cherries
  • 2 small scoops protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ cup almond milk

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Just a warning: I usually don’t measure the ingredients for the ice-cream, and I just experiment with the ingredients until I get the desired consistency, so the measurements are approximate.

Alright friends, enjoy this icecream and soak up the last little bit of summer, then let’s jump in to fall!

Until next time,

Sam

DIY Stationery

As promised, for anyone who is stationery obsessed like me, here is a quick and easy DIY stationery project.

Stationery DIYStationery DIY

You will need:

  • Set of blank cards or cardstock paper (Heads up: if you use coated paper this will not work. Some of us learn the hard way… I may or may not have tried)
  • Koolaid
  • Sharpie marker
  • Long, short plastic container

Fill your plastic container with kool aid. You can use any colour you like; I tried purple, red, and orange, and all of them worked well, but I found red gave me the best colour on the cards.

Stationery

Option 1 – Straight Line:

Holding your paper as straight as possible, dip into dye solution to desired line. Keep paper in dye until it turns the desired color.

Option 2 – Ombre:

Dip your paper into the koolaid to desired darkest line. Hold for 60 seconds.

Push paper deeper into the koolaid solution and hold for 30 seconds, then quickly dip further (to desired final line).

Option 3 – Diagonal line:

Dip paper in to desired line along the bottom. Turn paper and dip diagonally.

Let your paper dry flat overnight, then use your sharpie and write any message you like on them.

If you’re feeling adventurous you can also use a paintbrush to create any design you like – the possibilities are endless! Have fun!

Stationery DIY

Mindfulness for the Daydreamers (Like Me)

Hi friends!

I hope you had a fabulous weekend, and if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering how the weekend could possibly be almost over…seriously where does the time go??

In my last post I talked about how I use my mandala colouring book as a meditative/mindfulness practice. Today, I’m going to give a few other tips for you on practicing mindfulness. I don’t pretend to be an expert. Seriously. I am one of those people who is always thinking about what’s next, so I need a little bit of help staying in the moment. The tips I’m going to share with you might not be helpful for someone who is already well on their way to practicing mindfulness, but for people like me, who sometimes struggle to keep their mind from wandering, these tips just might just help.

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

  1. Recognize when your mind is wandering. Pure and simple. Just observe your thoughts wandering, without judgment. Don’t label your thoughts as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but simply observe your thoughts and then gently bring your mind back to the moment.
Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

  1. Take a moment to truly take in your surroundings. Next time you are sitting on your back deck, at the bus stop (or anywhere for that matter), take a second to truly take in your surroundings using all of your senses. What do you see? Smell? Hear? You get the picture…
Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

  1. Find a hobby that will help you focus. I use my mandala colouring book, but it can be anything, as long as it is something you can focus your energy on.

So, the next time you find yourself at a red light, instead of letting your mind wander, take a moment to take it all in, and appreciate where you are.

Until next time,
Sam

Things I’m Loving Lately

Hi friends!

I hope you are enjoying your week so far! Today Cam and I did a fun little road trip to Ikea. I bet you didn’t expect to read “Ikea” after “road trip”. What can I say we’re pretty wild… Seriously though, Ikea is kind of awesome. When I see the closet organizers they have I momentarily think I would be capable of keeping my room clean if I had a fabulous Ikea closet.

Anyways, it’s been a while since I’ve done a round up of highlights or things that I’m loving lately, so here we go!

AgendaAgenda

  • My new agenda: I think I will always be one of those people that keeps a paper agenda, even if it is redundant. I love being organized, have a terrible memory for important dates, and I have a little bit of a stationery hobby/collection… ok let’s be real – it’s a bit of an obsession. Ok, now that we have that out of the way, take a look at my amazing new agenda. I seriously love it. It is full of cute surprises, including secret codes. No joke. It’s like it was made for me…

candle

  • This adorable candle that my mother-in-law gave Cam and I: Cam and I have candles going all the time, and I love vanilla-ish scents. This candle is called confetti cupcake, which is just awesome on it’s own, but the icing on the cake (see what I did there…) is the cute sparkly lid. I am a little bit like a cat…I love sparkles and shiny things.

Mandala

  • This awesome mandala colouring book: I know the benefits of mindfulness meditation; I don’t need convincing, but I honestly just have trouble sitting still and clearing my mind. Enter mandala colouring book… a book made for people like me who want to reap some of the benefits of meditation, but have trouble with traditional meditation techniques. This book is filled with mandala circles, which, for those of you who don’t know, are symbols of the universe, used as instruments of meditation. You pick whichever mandala speaks to you that day and sit down and colour it in. I find it helps me focus and is quite relaxing, and the book even has a legend of colours to tell you how the colours you chose reflect your mood. So, to summarize, you can revert back to your childhood momentarily while still doing yourself some good!

Stationery

StationeryNote

  • Making my own stationery: we’ve already covered the fact that I have a stationery obsession, so it’s only natural that I take on the hobby of making my own, right?! And yes, I know, you can buy stationary, but I really am having a lot of fun making these simple greeting cards, and there may even be a how-to blog post coming up for those of you who are quirky like me and want to try making your own.

Loving Lately

Happy Thursday!

Until next time,

Sam

Explore

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Well, it’s been a while again. And it’s time to talk. And no, we’re not breaking up. But, I do need to redefine what this whole blogging thing means to me.

So here goes…

I started this blog with the intention of writing about fitness and nutrition and exploring these interests of mine. And, the truth is, I’ve really enjoyed writing about these topics, but here’s the thing – I want to explore more than just these two interests – I want to explore other interests too, and I want to share this exploratory journey with you too.

Having been a student for most of my life, I was always focused on school, and saw myself as a student first. Exploring interests or hobbies outside of school was not high on my list of priorities. If someone were to ask me “What do you do for fun?”, or “what are your hobbies?” my go-to answer was always related to nutrition and fitness, largely due to the fact that I grew up as a swimmer and didn’t know I had any other hobbies – it hadn’t crossed my mind to even try other things.

Now that I have graduated and am no longer a student, I have an opportunity to explore other interest and hobbies that I never did before.

This summer has been the first one in a long time that I have been able to just sit back and enjoy myself without the nagging worry about research papers, due dates, and exams, and I’ve been able to take advantage of this time to have fun and try new things and explore who I am, and what I like to do “for fun”. I want to take advantage of this momentum and continue exploring, and share this journey with you on the blog.

I will continue to share recipes and nutrition/fitness related posts with you, because I do still enjoy them, but I am removing the parameters I put on the blog, and expanding on the kinds of thing I write about. This blog is about life, and life is made up of MANY different components, and my blog will reflect this.

One of the things I promised to you when I created this blog, was that I would be authentic, and part of being authentic is letting your whole self shine – that is what this blog is about.

So, I hope that you will continue to follow along in this journey as I keep exploring the little joys of the day to day.

Source: Pinterest

Source: Pinterest

Until next time,

Sam

Happy Monday! Weekend Recap and A Super Quick Recipe

Hi friends! Happy Monday evening (yay you made it through Monday)! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Even with the weird weather we had,Cam and I had a really nice weekend.

Cam and I started our weekend with an amazing seafood feast. Seriously so good. I could eat seafood everyday.

Seafood

Cam and I went to the movies yesterday to see Mad Max. It was so nice to go – we love going to the movies together, and it’s been a long time since the last time we went (between the two of us we couldn’t even remember which movie we saw last!).

Movies

Cam and I did a crazy clean up of our apartment yesterday too, and our place feels so fresh now! I love it!

Cleaning essentials when you have a puppy...

Cleaning essentials when you have a puppy…

And, I created a super easy summer treat recipe! It might be a strange time to create a refreshing summer recipe given that the temperature was only 8 C, and it was raining, but I’m sure I will keep revisiting this recipe when it gets warm again! Also ‘recipe’ is perhaps too strong of a word for this… that’s how simple it is. But, it was delicious enough that it’s still worth while to share with you.

Peanut Butter Banana

You will need:

  • A banana cut in half length wise (or quarters)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 4 dates (chopped)

Spread the peanut butter over your banana and add your chopped dates to the top, and then put the banana in the freezer for an hour, then enjoy!

Until next time,
Sam

Remember me?!

Oh, hey! Remember me? Well after a longer-than-planned break I am back in action!

So what the heck have I been up to over the past month? Here’s the highlight reel…

Trying out some new smoothie recipes

Smoothie

…and more smoothies

Smoothie

Eating my eggs and plantain fries…what else is new…

Eggs and Plantains

Trying out some new recipes… say hello to dijon salmon

Dijon Salmon

And cherry ‘icecream’ with chickpea brownie pieces

Cherry Icecream

Drinking this beauty of a drink in the mornings

Morning drink

Having a kombucha ‘pop’ when I go to my favourite local natural foods store

Kombucha

Wearing some pretty outrageous workout pants…what can I say, I like to keep it fun!

Pants

And did I mention I’ve been drinking a lot of smoothies? 🙂

Smoothie

There you have it – some highlights from my month of being MIA. As you may have suspected from all of the pictures… there may be the odd recipe coming your way soon!

And, on a completely separate note, you might have noticed a few changes around here! I may have been away, but didn’t forget about this little blog! I have lots of exciting things planned, starting with this new blog design!

It feels good to be back! Thanks to everyone who stuck around despite my being away!  🙂

Until next time,
Sam

Inflammation Fighting Foods

Inflammation is a natural part of life – it’s the body’s way of trying to protect and heal itself when something is out of balance, but when inflammation becomes chronic we start to have problems and various diseases can occur.

Chronic inflammation is not fun. This is something I know well having experienced colitis, but inflammation is definitely not exclusive to the digestive tract (even if that is where it may originate for some people). In fact, inflammation can be at the root of everything from arthritis to asthma. 5 million Canadians suffer from a chronic inflammatory disease – that is a staggering number!

So how do we alleviate symptoms associated with inflammation? How do we help our body heal when we experience inflammation? Or better yet, how do we help prevent chronic inflammation in the first place?

I’m not saying that there’s a magic bullet solution here, but one of the ways we can feel better is through nutrition. What we put into our body is so important, and an anti-inflammatory diet has been linked with lowered levels of C-Reactive Proteins (a marker of inflammation).

So what does an anti-inflammatory diet include? Here’s a tip sheet to help you pick out some inflammatory fighting foods to incorporate into your diet:
FoodsthatbeatInflammation

Until next time,

Sam

Sources:

http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/49032.html

http://www.naturalmedicinenewsletter.com/anti-inflammatory-diet.html