For The Sweet Tooth: Oatmeal Apple Crunch

September 26, 2016
The perfect fall breakfast recipe: Oatmeal Apple Crunch! Sink your teeth and start your breakfast with all of your favourite fall flavours. Warm, spiced and extra simple to make, this breakfast treat will become a staple will keep you feeling energized throughout the day. Click here to read more or pin and save for later.

In Toronto the seasons are as fluid and as unpredictable as the rain. One moment your wearing shorts and your hair is constatnly frizzy due to the sweltering heat. The next moment, you're wearing sweaters and sipping on tea to try and keep warm. There's never any in-between or happy compromise between the two extreme seasons -- there is simply a small respite from either the extreme cold or the extreme heat. So, I take advantage of each in-between season as soon as the warning signs begin to appear. In this case, as we welcome autumn back into our lives I've decided to change my breakfast habits so that they fit in more with the chill that seems to linger in the morning hours. So without further adieu, I present to you, the ultra simple (and extremely tasty) Oatmeal Apple Crunch. Enjoy!



Ingredients:



  • Instant oatmeal
  • Almond vanilla milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 apple
  • Cinammon
  • Peanut butter
  • Sunflower seeds 


Pst! : Regular milk will work just fine, but I found that it adds a nice subtle flavouring to the oatmeal without having to add any honey or other flavoring myself (and besides I don't drink regular milk).



The perfect fall breakfast recipe: Oatmeal Apple Crunch! Sink your teeth and start your breakfast with all of your favourite fall flavours. Warm, spiced and extra simple to make, this breakfast treat will become a staple will keep you feeling energized throughout the day. Click here to read more or pin and save for later.

Steps:



  1.  Follow the instructions on the back of your instant oatmeal sack and substituting the milk or water for almond vanilla milk make your designated amount in a small saucepan. 
  2. Clean and peel one apple. Slice it into eighths and then chop those slices horizontally down the center so that you'll have reasonably bite-sized chunks.
  3. Grab a bowl and pour your designated amount of oatmeal inside. Grab the peanut butter and place a heaping spoonful on right on top of it (so it warms up and becomes less viscous).
  4. Now, spread your desired amount of apple chunks over everything (I just ate the leftovers afterwards). 
  5. Use a small spoon to dust some cinammon all over your apples, and then use it to sprinkle some sunflower seeds over it all.
  6. Eat and enjoy!
The perfect fall breakfast recipe: Oatmeal Apple Crunch! Sink your teeth and start your breakfast with all of your favourite fall flavours. Warm, spiced and extra simple to make, this breakfast treat will become a staple will keep you feeling energized throughout the day. Click here to read more or pin and save for later.
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Happy September!



The (Ours, Hers and His)tory of Food

September 19, 2016
The-(Ours-Hers-and-His)tory-of-Food



For as long as I can remember I've loved (and thankfully have always been surrounded by) good food. So, over time it has surpassed being a mere tool of survival, but a key. A key that unlocked different cultures, a connection to my parents' pasts and inevitable my own future. It's been the source of learning foreign languages and ones from my parents' mother tongues, as I learned to pronounce the delicious foods, with intricate names, whose taste and aroma are ingrained in my memory forever.

That's why I have a particular place in my heart for any sort of food related entertainment. Whether it's Master Chef, watching a pizza bake in the oven - the cheese all bubbly as the dough rises and forms a golden brown crust - or baking treats for my family. Recently, TVO (a Canadian TV channel) aired a weekly series called, Eat: The Story of Food produced by National Geographic. I fell upon the docuseries haphazardly, but it quickly captivated my mind, heart, stomach and taste buds.

I will have to watch it again, because I was often distracted by the sizzling, roasting, and frying shown on screen. In between the mesmerizing display, there was an epic tale of how food really is (and was) the driving force of innovation and change all over the world. In each episode, we're plunged into the past and are introduced to unlikely food revolutionaries, who not only changed the way we eat food but the entire course of history. For example, Christopher Columbus and Napolean Bonaparte had huge roles in both.

Narrated and drawing references from modern day food personalities, cooks, authors, scientists and pizza enthusiasts, our journey reaches new heights and flavours with each meal. It reminded me time and time again that the power of food is truly compelling. It brings people together, reminding them through similar tastes and smells that the would is a whole lot smaller than it seems.

~Alexandra XO

For a more interactive tour of Eat: The Story of Food head on over to natgeoeat.com or if you want to find out how to watch an episode or two head on over here.

5 Important Life Lessons The Legend of Korra Taught Me

September 12, 2016

5-Life-Lessons-The-Legend-of-Korra-Taught-Me

Yes, you read the title correctly. Yes, it is an animated show, but no, it is nowhere near being simply childish. It's a gripping, dynamic epic full of depth, delights, conflicting destinies and one powerful, kick butt heroine. It's stolen the heart, imagination, and attention of my family and I. In only a heartbreaking short 4 seasons, we are plunged into the world created by the vastly popular prequel, Avatar. No, not the James Cameron blue Naavi who live on a fictional faraway planet Pandora. It's the Avatar of an equally mythical land separated into four parts, the Fire Nation, Water Tribe, Earth Kingdom and Air Nomads. The Avatar? The world's savior who brings balance and peace, and who is the only individual to master the elemental powers from each part (Earth, Air, Water and Fire).

Introducing Korra, the newest Avatar, in a lengthy several hundred-year-old lineage who is ready to master her final element air and manages to take the world by storm. Cue the ensuing adventures, new revelations, new friends, which make up one amazing storyline that will take your breath away. Beautifully animated, and emotionally invigorating, here's what I've learned from The Legend of Korra.

1. Keep a cool head


It's easy to see that Korra is a bit of a hot-head. She gets inflamed (literally and figuratively) quite easily, which puts her in many uncomfortable situations. She's the perfect example of all the bad things that can happen when you rush into every situation. As the seasons wore on and she gradually matured, she became more level-headed and began to face her problems in a smart way instead of a forceful one.

2. Good friends are everything


They say that "a friend in need is a friend indeed" and Korra was certainly in need of a helping hand during each season. While she started off feeling out of place and alone, once she stumbled upon a good pair of friends she truly began to blossom. Not only did they form Team Avatar, but they stood by her and helped her defeat the most dangerous of adversaries.

3. Family is #1


As an Avatar, she went from zero to hero upon her arrival to the big city. After achieving celebrity status almost overnight, with the fans came the hecklers and "fakes" who only wanted to use her for their own nefarious plans. Luckily, for every person who wanted to use her abilities for bad, her family was there to either save her or steer her on the right path.

4. Follow your instincts 


The choice can be hard and lead you down an unknown path, but ultimately if you're doing it for all the right reasons, it's rewarding. A lesson that Korra learned throughout the entirety of the show as she faced bigger and bigger debacles, and had to start relying on her own intuition in order to save her loved ones (and the rest of the world).

5. Don't compare


Watching all her crime fighting and world saving made me wonder if I could survive doing half the things she does (yes, she's animated, but still). However, in the show, I noticed that despite her amazing abilities, no one ever compared their own to Korra's. They focused on what they could do and excelled at it. Korra on the other hand did compare her skills to those who had already mastered them, causing her a lot of frustration and impeding her learning. When she finally did stop comparing, she realized how awesome she truly was and was able to successfully move on with her mission.


“When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.” -Avatar Aang

~Alexandra XO



A Midsummer's Night Swim

September 05, 2016
Ripleys-Aquarium-Jellyfish


It's well-known that water has a special, mystical power that compels us to build elaborate and simple innovations that allow us to cross it, surf it, and most importantly explore it. The ocean has a magnetic energy that has captivated my attention since I was little.



Ripleys-Aquarium-Crab

Ripleys-Aquarium-Upside-Down-Jellyfish

Maybe it's the feeling of being powerless against the powerful surge that is the push and pull of the ocean's tides. I makes you feel like you're stuck in a sort of gentle tug-of-war against the sea shore and whatever awaits you out in the vast ocean. 

Maybe it's all of the strange fish that live below its depths.

Maybe it's because it's the only force of nature that truly can't be tamed, no matter what we do. And so for eons it has offered a source of healing, intrigue and fear all at once.

Ripleys-Aquarium-Fish-Surface

Ripleys-Aquarium-Fish-Surface


I'm always faced with an overwhelming sense of awe when I go anywhere near the open water. In a matter of seconds, I morph from cautious 18-year-old to ecstatic and curious 8-year-old. I run to the shore eyes glinting, arms wide and feet burning from the sun roasted sand. I plunge my hand into the shore, enacting my own exploration mission; using my bucket like some sort of Nautilus as I search not 20,000 leagues under the sea, but probably about 20 centimetres below the surface.

The bottom line is that I've always admired all of the surprises that the water's depths hold in store. Sort of like a reverse Arielle, I've wanted to see the dark and unusual depths, while she has dreamed of experiencing the bright and equally strange world on the surface.

Ripleys-Aquarium-Underwater-Surface

Ripleys-Aquarium-Underwater

Ripleys-Aquarium-Shark


Finally, I got my chance in the form of an aquarium. Filled with mysterious kelp, fish, sharks, and other strange hydrophilic invertebrates, my family and I descended below the surface and into one of my most fervent childhood fantasies. Mouth agape, phone shutter ready and little sister in tow, it was quite an experience and one that I won't soon forget.

Ripleys-Aquarium-Fish-Surface

Ripleys-Aquarium-Kelp


~Alexandra XO


What's your favourite place by the water's shore?


@itsalamb