Music Monday: Sam Smith “Lay Me Down” (Live on SNL)

It’s been a while since my last Music Monday post… I almost forgot that I did these. It also isn’t lost on me that today is WEDNESDAY, but it’s my blog and I’ll do whatever I want!!

Sam Smith’s acoustic performance of “Lay Me Down” is EVERYTHING right now. The arrangement is divine and doesn’t distract from the insane quality of his voice. FLAWLESS.

He’s a diva, but in the best way possible.

XO, MC

Easy Watermelon Salad

Stampede Week is almost over and I’ve been trying my hardest to stick to regularly scheduled programming! With all the beverages and BBQ’s and TONS OF FOOD in general (ummm deep-fried everything…), it’s so easy to get derailed from clean eating and exercise. As such, I was craving something light and refreshing to balance my gluttony from the weekend.

This watermelon salad is so refreshing and super easy to make; serve it as a side dish at your next BBQ :)

Ingredients (serves 1)
– 2ish cups of watermelon, cubed
– 1.5 tbsps of balsamic vinegar (I used blackberry ginger because I’m fancy)
– A squeeze of lime juice
– Chiffonade 5 (more or less) leaves of mint.. or basil!
– A sprinkle of feta, however much you like

Instructions: Mix everything in a bowl, save some extra feta & mint for garnish. I later sprinkled on some pumpkin and sunflower seeds for texture (…and honestly because I don’t want to risk being iron deficient)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This was also my first time picking out a watermelon and it turned out okay! Not the best watermelon ever, but not terrible either! My parents would be so proud, haha.

XO, MC

Blue Mountains & the 3 Sisters

If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, I went to Australia a few months ago but definitely procrastinated having to upload the pictures onto my computer. I’m finally getting around to writing about it now because… better late than never! (I’ll share pictures from my Belize trip one day… hahaha)

To be very honest with you, Australia was never really on my radar of “places to go”. In fact, I was originally supposed to go Buenos Aires/Argentina but when those plans fell through and the Australia opportunity presented itself (i.e. I needed to use up my vacation days before the end of May) I figured, “aaaah MIGHT AS WELL! Because if not now, then WHEN?” and booked my plane ticket to land of Koala bears (there’s also something very thrilling about booking a last minute trip to a far away place). PLOT TWIST: Australia far exceeded my expectations – what a STUNNING country!!!! If it’s not on your priority list of places to see in your lifetime, you need to add it. Flights to Oz will never be really “cheap” so you need to make peace with that now and trust me when I say it’s worth every penny.

We flew into Sydney and then backpacked up the coast to Noosa/Fraser Island, Airlie Beach, and Cairns. I’ll (hopefully) share those pictures too but for now here are some snaps of our little jaunt to the Blue Mountains.

While in Sydney, we met up with some friends from Alberta who were gallivanting through Australia as well, so we hopped in their adventure mobile, Sam, and drove up to Katoomba for the day.

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters
Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

The clouds cleared for a BRIEF minute and I quickly snapped a few pictures of the 3 sisters!

Katoomba, Blue Mountains, 3 Sisters

Despite missing the memo re: Zombie Apocalypse, this day was one of my favourite parts of the trip! Our heads were literally in the CLOUDS!

XO, MC

The Face Shop

Korean cosmetic retailer, The Face Shop, opened at Market Mall last month, you guys!
The Face ShopI’ve never heard of The Face Shop until it opened, but my asian-skincare-enthusiast friends were VERY familiar with the brand and were quick to convince me that their products are LOVELY. So I did what any proper beauty junkie would do & stocked up on some skincare goodies, which are all made from natural ingredients. Koreans are known for their 1000-step skincare regimes, so I’m pretty sure they know a thing or two about the pursuit of immaculate skin.

XO, MC

Shiki Menya

Shiki Menya, Calgary

FINALLY got around to trying Shiki Menya in Bridgeland a few weekends ago :) I’m not a ramen connoisseur but I do nay settle for mediocrity when it comes to ramen, and not all ramen is made equal! Thankfully, Shiki Menya is pretty comparable to the ramen I’ve had in Vancouver. I tried the kara miso garlic (negi, soft tamago, menma, char siu, corn, garlic “ra-yu” chili oil) with a refreshing glass of cold ocha. Cloudy broth? Check. Hand made noodles? Check.

With the ubiquity of pho restaurants, a new ramen place is a welcome addition to the noodle soup game in Calgary. I’ve read reviews and some people have commented that the broth is salty, but they’re all in regards to the tonkotsu classic so maybe avoid that if you’re not into salty soup? I’ve had salty bowls of ramen before and it’s never fun (I’m looking at you, Nomiya). Should you decide to check it out, I’d recommend getting there early (we waited outside before they opened!) as they only make 100something bowls per day else you’ll be waiting in hangry purgatory.

XO, MC

halfway there…

Remember my attempt at the mile-a-day challenge? I didn’t end up providing any update at the end of the 30 days because it was kind of a fail. *Note to self: don’t embark on any sort of “challenges” if they’re not done by Stampede week. Oops.

Less than a year later, I am back with a better form of self-induced “punishment”: RUNNING A HALF MARATHON (& ANOTHER IN AUGUST). WISH ME LUCK. I’m equal parts terrified, excited, and determined to smash it. My body hurts (hurts so good!) and there are days where I feel incredibly worn out but “the more I run, the more I love my body. Not because it’s perfect, far from it, but because with every mile it is proving to me that I’m capable of more than I ever thought possible.” Dear foam roller, I love & hate you SO MUCH.

I’m ~1.2 weeks away from my half marathon, so it’s been GREATLY appreciated that Mother Nature decided QUIT IT with the snow. I wasn’t sure if my heart could handle snowy weather for much longer!

Edmonton River Valley Stairs

I get serious heart-eyes for the Edmonton River Valley. This (below) was taken in November, a week before my first 10K. If you asked me in November if I ever planned on running a half-marathon, my answer would’ve been a HELL NO. But yet… here we are. Never say never, amirite?

Edmonton River Valley Stairs

Cheer me on on Twitter & Instagram :) If you have ANY tips, please let me know!

XO, MC

Banana Protein Pancakes

I can’t remember the last time I ate breakfast food for actual breakfast. Case in point: these pancakes that I made. For lunch.

Banana Protein Pancakes

I adapted this recipe by Vega, then topped them with maple agave nectar, bananas, raspberries, and chopped walnuts. This was my first time making/eating protein pancakes and the palatable result was surprising; for some reason I was expecting the texture to be really DENSE or dry and they weren’t! I mean, they weren’t fluffy-dreamy-cloud-pancakes, but they’ll suffice after my long runs on the weekend i.e., that awkward time where it’s too late for breakfast but too early for lunch and you need carbs and protein.  I was pretty famished and needed some food in my mouth hole like, ASAP and these were super easy to throw together. Win!

… And then I may or may not have slathered the leftovers with Nutella the next day. FATKIDPROBLEMS.

XO, MC