Post-Summer Thoughts

September 1st happened today. It is bittersweet. I love summer. I enjoy the heat, the adventures, long weekends, bbq’s with friends, and tanned boys. Summer makes me feel like I’m somewhat care-free and have no schedule to adhere to. While I sometimes enjoy that, I tend to crave routine.

I have so many goals or things that I want to accomplish this fall/winter. Probably because September seems more like the beginning of a new year than January does. And who sticks to their NYE resolutions anyway?

I would love to take a few classes to learn how to cook better, or maybe learn how to sew and knit fun things. I want to join a sports league, go to the gym everyday and make healthy meals. I would love to be more invovled in my church, read meaningful books, and volunteer.

Are you tired thinking about all those things? I am.

I have so many ideas floating around in my head! Did I mention I also want to discover YouTube fame and wear purple lipstick everyday?

Amy is moving in with me this month and we have been so excited discussing all the new things we want to get after. I hope we can laugh along the way when things don’t really go the way we’ve envisioned in our heads. Life is too unpredictable to take every little detail so seriously.

I want encourage you to find something that makes you smile and get after it this season. It could turn out to be the worst idea or you’ll find something that inspires you for a long time.

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Just some of my thoughts this Labour Day.

xo

Summer Salads

I am so lucky to be able to escape to my parent’s cabin on Shuswap lake in BC during the summer months. Although it takes about six hours of driving to get to, once I am there it feels like my own little peaceful oasis (although the water sports can get a bit intense…).

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My family and I all live in different cities, so it’s such a blessing to be able to all come together for a week or two at the cabin and spend some quality time together with the most gorgeous backdrop.

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I think one of my favorite parts about being at the lake is getting to cook up some fabulous summer meals with my mom. This last trip we grilled some killer pork tenderloin on the BBQ and even made some deep-fried chicken wings one night in my dad’s favorite toy – the turkey deepfryer.

One thing I am usually in charge of in the kitchen is the side dish or the salad, and some people may say this is the crappy job…but I disagree! I like to keep it interesting and surprise people with some creative and tasty dishes that have a summer vibe to them.

Check out these two awesome summer salads that are perfect for a dinner on the deck or as an item to bring to an outdoor BBQ potluck.

XOX

BrennaSignature

Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or 1 cup chopped, seeded, tomato
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped

    I threw some black olives on the top because I LOVEE olives :)

    I threw some black olives on the top because I LOVE olives 🙂

  • feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • 10 cups mixed greens

Balsamic Dressing Ingredients: 

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • pinch of salt

In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the quinoa. Give it a stir, put a lid on it, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Allow to cool until room temperature.

To make the dressing, just measure everything into a jam jar, put a lid on it, and give it a good shake. Set aside.   Meanwhile, chop your tomatoes, cucumber, and onion, then toss them in a bowl with a little bit of your dressing. Toss with the cooled quinoa and some feta cheese.   In a salad bowl, layer the greens, and then the quinoa mixture. Top with a little more feta and then sprinkle over some fresh oregano. Drizzle the rest of the dressing over the top.

Recipe from YMC

Chickpea Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped green beans
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 ml) black beans
  • 1 sweet red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) corn kernels
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander

Chili Lime Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lime rind
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) lime juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

In saucepan of boiling salted water, cook green beans until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water; drain and set aside.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and black beans; drain well and place in large bowl. Add red pepper, corn and onions; set aside.

Chili Lime Dressing: Whisk together oil, lime rind and juice, chili powder, sugar and salt ; pour over beans and toss to coat. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate salad and beans separately for up to 24 hours.)

Add green beans and coriander; toss.

Recipe from Canadian Living.

 

Green Goddess Dressing

Ahhh…Summer is upon us and life is filled with BBQs and sangria nights. For me, there is nothing better than a fresh summer salad on a hot summer day. I am a huge fan of creamy (ish) dressings, but without all of the calories. I wanted to share with you one of my favourite light, healthy and DELICIOUS salad dressings (taken from the amazing Gwyneth Paltrow). Hope you enjoy!

Green Goddess Dressing
Makes 1 1/2 cups

2/3 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
¼ cup cilantro
2 scallions, roughly chopped
¼ cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
½ jalapeno, roughly chopped, or a drizzle of hot sauce
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. The dressing can be kept in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

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Pair your salad with a delicious white wine and enjoy with some friends! Cheers 🙂

xo Erin

 

Day At The Races

This Canada Day the Betties decided to try something a little different….steering away from the typical red & white outdoor festivities and fireworks, we attended an exclusive horse racing event at the Millarville Racetrack, and let me tell you – it was quite the scene.

Quoted as “the most sophisticated and playful event of the summer”, Packwood Grand is an event for Calgary’s socialite society to get dressed up the old fashioned way and take in some exciting thoroughbred horse racing. Think Kentucky Derby style, complete with big hats, mint julips and a cigar bar.

Although we did miss most of the actual horse racing, we did win a collective $2 on our bets and did some serious mix & mingling with some extremely well-dressed individuals.

The event had a hugeeee emphasis on fashion, partnering with Holt Renfrew and some of Calgary’s top fashion stylists, they took the term ‘fancy’ to a whole other level. And although I think I hit the mark with my red lipstick and pleated dress, I felt out of place without a gigantic hat or fascinator on my head… unlike my fellow betties, I definitely missed that memo!

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Packwood Grand was most definitely a distinct social experience, and although there were a few hiccups as there usually are with debut events, overall it did not disappoint. And next year I will NOT be forgetting a hat or fascinator… I might event make my own….

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Too much?

Xox
Brenna

Ohhhh Canada!

As a proud Canadian, our nation’s birthday is one of my absolute favourite holidays! It is a time to kick summer off with family & friends, enjoy BBQs and cottage nights, and celebrate the true North strong and free! To top it off, red and white is an UNREAL colour combo…am I right?

However you will be spending this Canada Day, here are some of my fav red and white combos for any occasion:

Fancy Dress-Up:
Channel your inner Kate Middleton and wear a fancy white dress with red accessories!

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Cottage Chic:
Haven’t you heard that overalls are all the rage? Chill out on the lake in the cute outfit from Top Shop!

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Urban Patio Hopping:
Staying in the city? Patio hop wearing this super amazing dress from Club Monaco. Psssss…..it’s on sale!

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Happy Canada Day, my loves! Hope you celebrate in style!
Xo Erin

Patio Lovin’

It’s summer time and the living is easy! There are a lot of things I love about spring and summer, but entertaining outdoors is definitely a highlight. My fiancé and I love to BBQ and enjoy long, sangria filled days. If you are like most twenty-somethings, entertaining outdoors can sometimes be a challenge on small apartment balconies. Here are some easy ideas to make the most of your summer entertainment space:

Perennials
I love the idea of having a lush, beautiful garden. The only problem is I don’t have a green thumb WHATSOEVER. That’s why we opt for perennials – bright, fun flowers that last ALL SUMMER LONG. No fuss, no muss and easy to maintain.

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Make it Cozy!
The more comfortable your guests feel, the longer the party will go on! Depending on your budget, decide what’s important to you. Do you love the look of tea lights all around? Do you want to invest in a heater? Or is high end furniture the way to go? There are so many different ways to personalize your space!

 Define your Style
Your outdoor space should also be a reflection of you! Spice it up with fun accessories like outdoor rugs or cute trinkets. Homesense has tons of affordable options that fit all kinds of spaces!

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Happy patio-ing!
Erin

Summer Lovin’

Being new-ish to Calgary from Vancouver, I knew I was walking into a colder climate and a much longer winter. I try my best to embrace it, but I blame my mild weather upbringing on not being able to adjust that smoothly. Not that it was all horrible, because it was pretty easy to pick an outfit all winter: black boots, leggings and a large jacket.

To get in the summer mood, I wanted to talk about some things I’m most excited for! I also think I really love lists…so just amuse me and let me know what you are most pumped for!!

1)      Tanned skin. Not just for me because, let’s be real, we don’t swoon over tall, “dark” and handsome for no reason.

2)      Sangria on the Patio. I adore the question us girls ask each other every time, “should we just get a pitcher?”

3)      Stampede. This is my second year. Last year we contemplated wearing go-pro cameras on our hats…glad that didn’t pan out.

4)      Hiking and exploring. Lake Louise, Waterton, drives to Vancouver and many other places I want to go. Open to suggestions!!

5)      Long weekends at the cabin. Lakes, boats, summer games, and meeting new friends. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?!

Love xox

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