I hope you dream big!
I hope you dream big!
It is no secret that I love to eat…but when it comes to cooking, I find it really hard to find the time and energy. Especially when it comes to cooking well (no burning allowed!!) and healthy. How many times have I simply opted for another frozen pizza, you ask?? Well, I won’t go there. So when I spent some time with my cousin Jacqui in Canmore, I was blown away at her culinary skills. Ryan and I hadn’t eaten that well in ages! And now, (drumroll please…) you all (including myself, yay!) get to benefit from some of her amazing recipes right here on the blog!! I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her to Inspired by Lynne! So without further ado, let me introduce you to Jacqui!
“I am so excited to be contributing to Kristina’s blog. It turns out we share a love of food, as well as some family tendencies that have my family leaning hard into eating healthy, whole foods as often as possible. We head for the hills when we see processed foods and we embrace a holistic attitude about feeding our bodies. The recipes that Kristina will share in the coming months will have some things in common: they will be delicious, healthy and largely gluten and sugar free. When I do share a recipe with gluten or sugar, I will provide substitutions where possible. All of these recipes are embraced by my loving husband and adorable 6 year old daughter, Madeline. Madeline is convinced I should go on a cooking competition show and ‘win it all’ as she has learned from a very early age “nothing beats home cooking.” I look forward to sharing my recipes with you and hope they bring your family together around the dinner table as they do mine. J xx”
This recipe is a staple in my home. We love to do this in the summer and serve it with a light salad. The salad shown here is a blend of greens, homegrown radish sprouts, blueberries, walnuts, goat chevre, sweet white onion and warm roasted beets topped with a homemade Dijon vinaigrette. Yum.
1 lb. ground lamb
1 small handful mint, leaves picked (approx. 1/4-1/3 cup)
1 large handful cilantro leaves and tender stems (approx. 1 cup)
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
2 cloves garlic
Throw the cilantro (stems and all), mint, garlic, and coarse sea salt into a food processer. Pulse until chopped roughly. Add to lamb. Be mindful not to overwork the lamb mixture at this point as you want to keep the kebabs juicy. Form into kebabs and grill. Keep an eye on the grill as ground lamb has a tendency to flame up as the fat drips down. This is the hazard of grilling but also what gives these kebabs that amazing smoky grilled flavor. If it is too cold outside to grill (as is often the case where we live) you can easily cook it on your range using a grill pan or large skillet. You do not need to add oil to cook your kebabs as the ground lamb will render off plenty of fat to make for juicy kebabs.
The lamb is cooked at 150F if you use a thermometer. Most sites will tell you to cook ground lamb to 160F. We buy organic ground lamb from a local, trusted source and find that 150F works just fine for medium lamb kebabs.
1 cup natural greek yoghurt
½ English cucumber (seeds removed, diced fine)
2 cloves minced garlic (or to taste)
Juice of ½ fresh lemon
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill (to taste)
Salt to taste
Combine the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.
Peel fresh, organic beets. Cut them into quarters. Reform your quartered beet and wrap in foil with 1 tsp butter. Roast at 400C on the convection setting of your oven for 45 minutes or until tender. If you do not use convection, you will have to lengthen your cooking time accordingly.
Thank you so much Jacqui! Now to see if I can actually do this recipe justice…
Stay tuned to see more incredible, organic, delicious recipes on Inspired by Lynne!
The votes are in! We had a great time watching the Oscars last night and celebrating the fashion bests and worsts along with the incredible films from the year. We had to weigh in today on our thoughts for the night. We all agreed that the best dressed goes to….
And special congrats goes to Jared Leto for not only winning, but for his dashing look on the runway. Bow ties have never looked this good.
And of, course, the worst, most awkward moment of the night, without a doubt, goes to John Travolta for his embarrassing introduction. How can you be involved in Musicals all your life and not be able to get Idina Menzel’s name right? Shame! At least she killed the song though.
What were some of your bests and worsts??
Silly me for thinking that winter may be on its way out! This weekend we have some veerrrry cold temperatures headed our way which makes me realize how 100% ready I am for spring…really any time now would be great.
So with this frigid weekend ahead of me, I don’t really want to leave the house at all…I’ve got coffee, tea, hot chocolate and a great book to read. AND, the Oscars to watch!! So I’ll be packing it in and hunkering down inside my little home for most of the weekend. Today I do have to venture out though, so I am bundling up!Headbands, scarfs, and warm sweaters to the rescue! Even Shya is trying to find the sunny spots inside our house!
Happy weekend everyone!
Since we opened a Crate and Barrel store in Edmonton, I have gone in so many times, buying little trinkets here and there. I have drooled over a lot of bigger items but, alas, the prices were always a bit too high for my budget. But recently, I was pulled into the store when a gorgeous blue green sofa caught my eye and when I saw the price I was pleasantly surprised! It was a part of the new Best & Buys collection! Have you checked this out yet?? There are some really great items…that my wallet can afford!! Rejoice! Check out some of my faves here…
1. Linen is so lovely and at $48.00 this pillow makes a great neutral addition to my sofa or bed. You really can never have too many plush cushions….or can you? | 2. I can always get on board with wire storage solutions ($20.82) | 3. You all know how much I love white and this lightweight cube table is a great side table option. I could see myself buying two for a clustered coffee table. They also stack! ($97.42) | 4. The couch!! Isn’t it beautiful? I love the curved lines and how it brings the perfect amount of colour to a living room ($1252.11) | 5. This modern striped runner makes me wish I had a long front entryway! ($59.12) | 6. I do love my Keurig, don’t get me wrong! But I have always wanted to try a fresh drip coffee at home. This coffee maker is stylish and affordable at $83.50 | 7. Retro chairs are so trendy right now and these ones come in white, black and walnut ($111.52) | 8. Great absorbent Micro fibre Tea Towels? Yup! ($13.86) | 9. I will always love mason jars and juice jars. These Weck juice bottles are adorable and easy to use/clean ($8.29)| 10. Spring is on its way and these colourful dishes are so fun! ($4-6.00)
So what do you think of their Best & Buys line? Do you have some favourite items?? Check it out and let me know!
We had some difficult losses this past week in our family and so this weekend I am especially reminded of the importance in living life to the fullest. To try and make each second count. I wish you all a very fulfilling weekend!
It has been almost two months since Ryan and I got engaged and this past weekend we took some major steps in the planning process for our wedding. YAY!!! We decided to start our journey down the aisle with a trip to our picturesque mountains to scope out some Canmore venues. The great thing about being trapped in a vehicle together is that it gives you ample time to talk…and specifically talk wedding. I know, I know! That is exactly what every guy wants to do on a trip to the mountains…but really, it was great to voice our opinions, feelings, ideas.
By taking the time to listen to one another, we made some great decisions and realized what was important to both of us. During our drive, we figured out that we wanted our ceremony to lead right into our reception, we agreed on what we were comfortable spending (and what we were NOT comfortable spending), and we decided that no matter what(!!!) we wanted to go on our honeymoon in the summer of 2015, so the wedding would either have to happen before then OR we would do one other thing a bit backwards. The point is, the more you know about how you want to spend your big day, the better you can communicate to the events coordinators at the venues and it will become easier to eventually CHOOSE your venue. Plus, it was great to know that we were both on the same page. We both hate when people assume the wedding is being planned and executed by me only. I love that Ryan and I are both on board about OUR day!
Looking at too many venues in one weekend can get a little crazy. Right off the bat, we were able to cross a lot of places off our list because they couldn’t accommodate our party. We only went to the ones we loved and could actually see working for our big day. There’s no reason to add more options because it starts to get tiring and a tad overwhelming!
At first, we were both pretty shy about asking a lot of questions when viewing the venues, which is understandable. No one wants to feel like they are inconveniencing someone else. But you have to speak up. After the first couple of visits, I became a lot more comfortable with clarifying any costs, asking about ceremony locations in the event of rain and even addressing things like food and alcohol. So don’t be afraid to ask, especially if the venue is a strong contender. Besides the obvious, here are some good questions to ask when touring a venue:
We learned some valuable lessons in Canmore. Newsflash, a mountain wedding IS NOT BUDGET FRIENDLY! I mean, duh, right? But seriously, our eyes were opened to how much it would cost to have our ideal wedding in the mountains. What we did find though is that the venues do offer low season pricing. So having the wedding from October to May could be a viable option. True, we may not have the most ideal weather but a sudden weather change could happen at any time in good ‘ol Alberta. So we started that discussion…is it worth the change of season in order to have our mountain destination? Which then prompted more questions that forced us to start to prioritize. Should we have a smaller wedding? Should we look in the city instead? Should we change the format from formal dining to casual appetizers/drinks? What are our major priorities?
And so the wedding chronicles continue. We have decided to start another small search in the city to compare and go from there. But the good news is, we have communicated really well about what is important to us. And that’s what matters.
Have any other pointers when it comes to venue searching?? I would love to hear them if you do
Recently I took notice of just how many tags said Loft 82 in my closet. I have long been a fan of this small, Canadian store and was a little surprised to hear about their recent name change to Noul. Loft 82 has a special place in my heart because the Edmonton store is located just off our beloved Whyte Ave. which is 82 ave. and I have lived in the area for some time. I will probably keep calling it by its original name for a little while yet, but I can definitely get on board with the new store front if it means online ordering, and more amazing clothing and accessories! I support the decision for expanding and reaching more lovely ladies around the globe and really, a secret doesn’t stay hidden forever anyways.
If you aren’t in the Edmonton or Vancouver area and want to check out some of what Noul has to offer, take a look online. And if you order before midnight tonight, you pay zero shipping! Woohoo!!
Here are some of my faves on the site:
A great basic white tee, a delightful flannel button up, a gorgeous checkered sweater and a simple dress I wouldn’t mind having for warmer weather on the horizon.
So have a look! What are some of your favourites?
Congrats Noul on the new name and site! I can’t wait to make some spring purchases (sssshhhhh, don’t tell Ryan!)
A lot of people don’t know where to start when it comes to tackling a makeover, especially a nursery makeover. There are so many fun possibilities! When my dear friend Erin told me she was expecting a little boy, I immediately started to find design inspiration (see my previous post). But before I could get too ahead of myself, she had a few stipulations. To spend the least amount of money as possible (not surprising), to use this beautiful chevron pattern she had found and to avoid painting the space if it could be avoided. Oh, and she wanted to recycle her furniture from her previous baby. And that was a great starting point. For your own space, I say: decide on a budget, have a list of wants vs. needs and then start with something special to build off of. For Erin it was a fabric but it could be a beautiful piece of artwork, a specific wallpaper or even a stuffed animal.
For baby Novak’s room, we discussed one other important factor. The need for the room to be timeless! Erin wanted the space to feel cozy, warm and delicate but above all, she wanted it to be a space this precious baby could grow into. So naturally I gravitated to a neutral palette of white, cream, grey and a bit of brown – making the existing paint colour and furniture work just fine. We pulled in a variety of textures from soft drapery to wooden letters and chose artwork that was not “baby” in the slightest. We actually avoided anything that screamed baby boy…
The chevron changing pad and wooden storage basket were added to the large, white dresser. And above the changing station, we added picture ledges to store books and bring in small pops of colour. It’s the perfect place to store little figurines and stuffed animals too. We also framed a neutral tree print that we found at Ikea. Again, don’t be afraid to stray away from the typical nursery prints.
We covered a magnetic bulletin board with fabric. Erin can easily change up her photos, letters, words…whatever! And on the other side of the window we added a shelf with some handy hooks for added storage. The chalkboard will be full of adorable sayings I’m sure!
You are my sunshine!
Since we had to work with the existing furniture, the glider stayed which is understandable when you see their price tags! But we did manage to purchase a new side table at a great price from Ikea. The grey brown wood fit perfectly in our design. Tin pails and wooden baskets store everything away easily and we added some task lighting with this steal of deal table lamp from Target (6.99!!). And Erin found the same chevron pattern in a pillow as well to tie in the change pad.
My favourite part of the room has to be the crib area. I absolutely love the reclaimed wood letters we found at a small boutique shop in Kensington. Our one splurge in the space, really! Instead of spelling out baby’s name (which was yet to be determined), we went with the word Dream, perfect for a peaceful, sleeping baby. And dangling above his sweet little head, we hung our owl mobile. Instead of buying one, I found some wooden owl shapes and a hoop from Michaels and secured it all with fishing wire. The easiest DIY ever and really, really affordable.
So what do you think? Just because you may not have a huge budget, doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a great nursery. I think we really achieved a subtle, neutral space that could work for any baby boy or girl. Instead of focusing of colour, we looked at textures, we varied the tints and tones of our neutral scheme and we found accents that can stand the test of time. Dream can easily become READ one day for a little reading nook in a young boy’s room, for instance. And the books on the picture ledge that teach the alphabet can be replaced with comic books one day.
When one of my best friends approached me about helping her design her new baby boy’s nursery, I got pretty excited! And when she told me she wanted the space to function as both a nursery and a little boy’s room down the road, I was even more excited. I love the idea of designing a space that will stand the test of time. So we decided to try and put together a look that was a bit more mature and had pieces that could stay in the room as the little one grew up.
Here is my inspired nursery decor for this beautiful baby boy:
1. Aden & Anais Bamboo Muslin Wraps are pretty much the softest swaddlers out there
2. I love this picture ledge for storing beautiful books. The more books in a nursery, the better!
3. Such wonderful prints at the Animal Print Shop that will definitely suit any age. I love both the elephant and the soft owl
4. Add a touch of wooden texture with this adorable mobile
5. Every nursery needs some accent lighting and I absolutely love this geometric shaped fixture
6. Some open shelving below is great to add a storage basket or two – this nightstand is lovely
7. A great basic crib, no need to break the bank!
8. White and grey Organic cotton sheets wear beautifully over time and are oh so soft!
9. Add a touch of vintage with this delicate wooden music box
10. Chevron patterns are still going strong, especially when it comes to a darling nursery. This pillow has a soft palette, perfect for a neutral space
11. I love the lines of this heather grey rocker, though it may be hard to get out of!
12. Storage a plenty! A little locker inspiration
What do you think? I can’t wait to show you the before and after photos and how the whole room came together!