See you in September…

As the song goes, summer has come to a close and another fall is ushering in. As much as we are sad to see the summer end, the fall can be seen as the season of renewal and a way to bring refreshment to your year. School years may be far behind for some of us, but there is always something about September that gives one a sense of a fresh start. With the change of colours in the leaves comes many new and exciting possibilities, several learning lessons we have not experienced yet, and a brand new autumn to set the new tone for the new season.

Welcome to Fall, Autumn, the season of orange, red, and yellow leaves!

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Perfect Picture Pic – Barrels of Fresh Coffee

I am a big fan of coffee, and not just for the caffeine jolt. From deep roasts to lighter blends to dessert-like flavours, I love settling down with a hot cup of java. With my significant other living in Chicago temporarily, I spent at least one quarter of each month in the Windy City and together, we have found a great coffee and tea store that sells freshly roasted coffee beans in huge barrels. When I say barrels, I mean TONS of barrels with flavours and flavours galore!

For anyone who is a fan of fresh coffee beans like I am and are visiting Chitown sometime soon, try to swing by The Coffee & Tea Exchange. Aside from their huge selection, the pricing is amazing.

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A Domestic Recipe – Simple Homemade Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Nothing is better and more comforting in the morning than a nice, warm, gooey bowl of oatmeal! Yes, oatmeal has a mixed reputation – some people swear by it for breakfast, while others are not into the texture or taste. However, I find it is a sweet treat to start my day with and even better, it is PACKED full of whole grains and nutrients, and has been deemed at a heart healthy food item as it has been proven to assist in lowering cholesterol.

This morning, I was debating on what to have for breakfast, so I began to brainstorm what I could make that would be quick and easy. I noticed there was a large tin of plain oats from Quaker Oats in the cupboard, so I grabbed the tin and came up with my own homemade recipe for Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal – a DIY version of the pre-made oatmeal packages you can actually buy from Quaker Oats. The only difference – it tastes even better because it is homemade!

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Here is my quick, easy, delicious and nutritious oatmeal recipe:

HOMEMADE MAPLE & BROWN SUGAR OATMEAL

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 Cup of Quaker Oats – Old Fashioned Oats 
1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon of White Sugar
1/2 Cup of Hot Water
2 tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup 

Optional:  You can add in nuts, cut-up bananas, peaches, apples or berries to the oatmeal once the oatmeal is fully prepared.

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DIRECTIONS:

1) Put water into a kettle and heat it up to a boil.

2) While water is boiling, combine the Quaker Oats, the brown sugar, and white sugar into a cereal bowl.

3) Once the water is boiled, measure out a 1/2 cup of the water and pure it into the cereal bowl. Stir the oat mix and water together until you get a thickened and gooey oatmeal. 

4) After you get the oatmeal to a consistency of your liking, stir in the maple syrup until it is fully absorbed into the oatmeal.

5) Let the oatmeal cool for 2 minutes, then enjoy!

6) If you are a nut and/or fruit fan, feel free to add in nuts, cut-up bananas, peaches, apples and/or berries to the oatmeal. 

This recipe makes 1 breakfast serving

For the previous Domestic Recipe post on the Tangy Sweet & Sour Meatballs, CLICK HERE

Land of Amazing Leggings & More: UNIQLO

I was in New York City this past weekend and after finishing an overdue catch-up brunch with friends who live in The Big Apple, I asked them one of my key travel questions – What store would you recommend to shop in? To my delight, these friends know me and my style well – half trendy, half comfy – and instantly recommended this store called Uniqlo. Uniqlo is a retail store that originates from Japan, which produces, showcases and sells fashion basics in gorgeous shades, cool prints and my favourite – comfortable fabrics to wear!

After hearing my friends rave on and on about this store, I walked over to Fifth Avenue and walked into Uniqlo. This is the first amazing floor that I step into – a colourful and vibrant space, filled with funky fashion displays:

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After getting lost in the various displays, racks and shelves of clothing, I became immersed in a world of soft, comfortable and wonderful basics that come in beautiful, bold colours! As a regular legging wearer, Uniqlo was a haven for me! They had 30+ shades of leggings that look like denim pants or dress pants  but are actually slip-on, comfy leggings. The brand also produces printed pants for each season that reflects on the latest trends and styles. I cashed in on this by purchasing a pair of Uniqlo’s houndstooth legging pants for the great low price of $22 – appears dressy but fits like a comfy legging:

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Aside from these amazing pants that combine style and lounging, here are some of my other basic favourites that I found while walking around Uniqlo:

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The clothes speak for themselves. Much needed basics in tons of colours, trendy prints, soft and comfortable fabrics, and at great prices. Pants start at $19; sweaters start at $22; dresses start at $49. All I can say is my fingers crossed for a Canadian location to open up soon!