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Personalize Your Love & Holiday Wishes With Staples

We are in the fully swing of the holiday season, which still seems to blow my mind. I’m just not so sure where the time this year? You all know I got started on all my decorating and gift buying super early this year, so I had some extra time on my hands to do some things I never get a chance to do; like getting my hands into a little holiday baking. As the holiday season is a time to share love and best wishes with those around you, I decided that I also wanted to send out holiday cards for the first time ever. I guess having a baby and feeling a bit more domesticated will do that to you!

Here’s the honest truth…I am by no means super crafty and knew if I was going to tackle this whole holiday card idea, it needed to be simple and affordable or else it just wasn’t going to happen. For years Staples as been my one stop shop for all my home office needs and figured their dedicated print team would be the best place to go to help me get this done. Their state-of-the-art equipment and certified “Print Pros” guarantee that any personalized gift idea you can dream up (canvas prints, puzzles, paper invites, gift labels or even professional place settings – if calligraphy invite design isn’t your thing!), can come to life.

Photography by Elaine Fancy

For our holiday cards I decided to keep it simple and use a photo of Maxie. I felt this was a much better option as our friends and family are always insisting I send them photos of her and just never get around to doing it. You can always go to your nearest Staples location to meet with a certified Print Pro if you feel like you need in person assistance, but seriously you can easily create just what you need online from the comfort of your home like I did on StaplesPrint.ca. There’s a dedicated “Holiday Solutions” section that displays all their service offerings from photo gifts to labels. In under just 10 minutes I was able to find a card template that fits my aesthetic, choose card stock, upload the photo, create a personalized greeting and place the order. This is a perfect solution for some of your holiday needs if you’re looking to avoid malls and crazy long lines this month. To make sure your personalized items from Staples make it in time for Christmas, orders need to be placed by December 10th. Head on over to StaplesPrint.ca for more information and gift ideas!

My Indigo Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is right around the corner and I am getting in the spirit early this year seeing as though this will be our first Christmas as a family with baby Maxwell. Once a self-proclaimed last minute shopper, I have now become that woman who has her tree up at the beginning of November and has already started purchasing gifts for family and friends. Trust me, I barely recognize myself.

Indigo is by far one of my favourite stores for gift giving, especially during the holidays. It’s the obvious choice for gifts for the avid readers in your life but they are so much more than just books. They have become the perfect destination for decor, novelty gifts, clothes, electronics and even the cutest stuff for babies. And who wouldn’t love a place that’s a one-stop shop for the entire family. Here’s a sneak peek at what I will be gifting my loved ones this year from Indigo.

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

For the Littles

Over the last two years our little family has grown as we’ve welcomed three babies into our clan. Indigo was one of my go-to’s when I was designing Maxwell’s nursery and I place I often shop for adorable onesies, books and baby decor. For Maxie, I love  Indigo Baby’s Cabin Cozy Bath Robe and “Snow Cute” onesie. For my baby niece Liv, we found the perfect  Jamie Baby Knit Pom Pom Hat in black by Lizette Handmade.

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

For the Guys

I always find gift giving for guys more challenging but I still think I will knock it out the park with these items for the men in my life. When I can get Réjean out of running gear into streetwear, his style is simple and classic. Keeping accessories to a minimum, he prefers to just stick to a watch when he’s not busy training. The Fossil Q Gen Smartwatch couldn’t be more perfect for Réjean. It has a classic design but also has a built-in fitness tracker. On the go, he’s able to check text messages, email, social media notifications and much more. Every few years author Dan Brown blesses his fans with a new best selling novel. My dad, a huge fan of Dan Brown will be more than happy to find the newly released “Origin” under the tree. What do you get a guy who has four kids under the age of seven (2 step kids and 2 of his own)? Well that would be my sleep deprived brother who will probably enjoy having a glass of whiskey or two during the holiday season to take the edge off his busy household with these Teroforma Whiskey for Two set. And I can’t forget my little guy Leilan. My nephew has become a book lover at the early age of two, preferring to have one of us read to him than play with his toys. I love the idea of gifting him one of the books my mom used to read to me every holiday season as kid “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, by everyone’s favourite childhood author Dr. Seuss.

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

For My Mom & Mother-In-Law

Gifts for my mom and MIL (mother-in-law) couldn’t be easier thanks to Indigo. For my mom, I’ve chosen this Quilted Weekender and the 25th anniversary edition of Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words by Andrew Norton. A nod to my mother’s English background and love of who Brits fondly referred to as “The People’s Princess”. Réjean’s mom loves easy to wear, cozy clothing and I can just see her hanging by the fire wearing Indigo’s Jules Shawl Collar Cardi this winter.

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

For my Girls

Rupi Kaur stole every woman’s heart with the 2015 release of Milk & Honey. Her poems of love and heartbreak are relatable to any female with a pulse and the fact she’s homegrown talent from Canada is the icing on the cake. I’ve scooped up a few copies of this new age classic for a few ladies in my life. For the best friend who always has my back and is so old fashioned she often forgets she has an Instagram account…the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera is just what she needs to capture moments that don’t make it on the ‘Gram. Maxwell’s arrival into this world wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing Doula Leah Jackson, who we will turn to for postnatal support and care for the baby in lieu of a nanny. She’s a legit star in my eyes and couldn’t have thought of a more perfect gift for her than Indigo’s “You’re a Star” jewelry tray, which in my opinion is a multipurpose tray also great for change and other small items. Last not least, call me selfish…but I always add myself to my gift giving list because I deserve something fabulous too! Coffee table books are my fave and I love collecting ones on fashion and photographer. There is no way I am not adding Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 to my current collection.

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter

Indigo Holiday - Sasha Exeter
Photography by Elaine Fancy

This post has been sponsored by Indigo as part of the Indigo Holiday Blogger Shop, however all thoughts and opinions are my own

For more gift ideas this holiday season check out Indigo’s Holiday Blogger Shop.

7 Ways to Avoid The Festive 15 This Holiday Season

It has arrived. The time of year that I like to refer to as the “Danger Zone“.  Sure, we’ve attended a handful of pre-holiday parties and most of us have done a great job in pacing ourselves when it comes to our food and cocktail intake. Until now. The weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years is when most people are likely to succumb to their weaknesses and over indulge. And how can we not…? If you’re lucky, during the holidays you are spending more time at home if you have taken a few days off, however that can mean unlimited access to the kitchen. Family and friends you go all year without seeing, invite you over and how could this not be a cause for celebration, right? Pair that with the temperature dropping far below zero, hectic holiday schedules, cocktail parties, dinner parties and missed workouts – it’s virtually impossible to escape the dreaded Festive 15. Ok, so calling it the “Festive 15” may be slightly dramatic because who really gains 15 lbs in the span of two weeks BUT by the time the New Year rolls around, it can sure feel like you have.

After feeling like complete and utter crap come January 2nd due to self induced food comas, a couple years ago I vowed to never start off the New Year feeling like I have to put in work to get back to my pre holiday weight. So, consider this my prezzie to you all, here’s 7 full proof ways to avoid weight gain during the holidays:


START YOUR DAY WITH PROTEIN

The way you start your day, is the way you live your life. Eating a protein-rich brekkie combined with some complex carbs, is like a match made in heaven.  Not like you need another reason to devour some Avocado Toast with Poached Eggs, otherwise known as the most popular meal posted on Instagram! This approach will help you feel full longer, prevent you from unhealthy snacking and give you the energy to tackle the day. You’ll also have enough energy to exercise and have the confidence to say “No” to unnecessary sweets.

A SHORT WORKOUT IS BETTER THAN NO WORKOUT!

Let’s not fool ourselves, most find fitting in daily workouts a challenge, so when the holiday season rolls around it seems virtually impossible to get to the gym. The only way to avoid skipping workouts when your schedule is tight is to make them both convenient and accessible.  For those days you can’t make it to the gym or your favourite class, make sure to have a backup plan to workout at home using your own body weight and minimal equipment. Exercise videos and apps, like my faves on AppleTV, are amazing options too. Invest in a medicine ball, resistance bands, skipping rope and/or a kettle bell that can you give you an effective total body workout right in the comfort of your living room.

AVOID BANKING CALORIES

I remember my younger days when I somehow convinced myself that if I cut back on my calories throughout the day, I could indulge at an event later that night. DUMBEST IDEA EVER! This theory, fuelled only by ignorance, just leads to pigging out. Why? You’re effing starving! It’s easy to get out of control when you’re faced with so many delicious options at a party. Always, and I mean always, eat a little something prior to leaving the house. First and foremost, if you’re a picky eater or have food restrictions, you won’t die of starvation for example if the hostess forgets that you’re a vegan or gluten intolerant. More importantly, it will take some of the hunger edge off but still leave you with some room to eat only what you need and nothing more once you arrive.

A mini plate of protein and veggies are my go-to; a salad with chicken or a piece of salmon with veggies. In my personal opinion, this is single-handedly the most underrated tip to avoid a weight gain, bloating, indigestion and binge eating during the holiday season.

CUT BACK ON BUBBLY BEVERAGES – OF ALL KINDS

Yep, I bet you never believed me – the lover of all champagnes and Prosecco, would be saying this however sadly it’s true. Bubbles are not our friends and is the biggest culprit of belly bloat. Even soda and sparkling mineral water like my current obsession Bottle Green, can be an issue. The carbon dioxide trapped in the bubbles of fizzy drinks causes a build up of air, which can often lead to gas.

AVOID MORNING-AFTER FOOD

Are you hosting family and friends at your place this year? Allow yourself to enjoy the meal you prepared or the items your visitors brings as part of a potluck but be sure to send your guests home with food filled tupperware. You may feel as though the tasty leftovers should be your compensation for being such a gracious host, but believe me, it’s the leftovers that will do you in!

BREW SOME HERBAL TEAS

Photo by Jess Baumung

This one should come as absolutely no surprise but research shows that herbal teas like peppermint and ginger, in addition to chamomile,  can help calm stomach muscles and reduce gas. No teabags in sight in your pantry? Boiling a knob of raw ginger in a pot of water or a cup of hot water with lemon can also do the trick.

DON’T SWEAR OFF DESSERTS

Remember that time when Mariah Carey was doing the “morsel diet” a decade ago where she would literally eat only three bites of any food she wanted, before discarding it to limit her intake of calories? Definitely not a healthy or recommended approach for weight management, but this method is quite effective and the perfect plan of attack for the dessert table during the holidays for people like me, who have a wicked sweet tooth. You’ll get that amazing first taste, a satisfying middle one and then the lingering third bite – that should have you satisfied.

7 Ways To Avoid Weight Gain This Holiday Season

weight-management-scale

The holiday season is here and with it comes copious amounts of calorie laden drinks, home baked goods and carb filled sides. You don’t have to stay away from these items completely, but you will need to at least be conscious of your “holiday habits if you want to come out on the other side the same size.  Here’s 7 tips to help you keep off the extra weight during the holidays!

1. Never go to a party hungry. Eating a small snack or even a piece of fruit before heading to a holiday party can certainly take the edge off hunger and help you from overeating on carbs. Drinking 1-2 large glasses of water can also be beneficial.

Holiday Spread

2. Scope out the buffet table. Check out the healthiest choices before filling up your plate. Then, aim for filling half your plate with veggies and the rest with lean protein like skinless roasted turkey or seafood.

3. Escape the couch and get outdoors. Get out of the living room and get active with your friends and family. Choose fulfilled activities that encourage you to venture outdoors such as skating, sledding or venture for a walk to take in the neighbourhood lights.

Equinox TorontoPhoto by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)

4. Get moving inside. If staying indoors is the only option, there are plenty of ways to stay active.  Hit up a class at your gym that you’ve never tried before. Having an instructor and fellow classmates will help keep you motivated. No access to a gym? Try one of the “Get Focused” 15 minute workouts on the Nike NTC+ app. Hosting a holiday party? Get in a good workout prepping for guests arrival…did you know heavy duty cleaning can burn up to 300 calories an hour?

5. Try the one-a-day program. Limit yourself to one indulgence per day. Don’t deprive yourself of all sugar for the entire holiday break, that will just lead to a binge disaster between now and January 31st. Be moderate in your thought process – one cookie, one eggnog, one slice of cake, just not all at once.

Eggnog Getty Image

6. Be mindful of the liquid calories. Festive drinks may be fun to sip, especially the bubbly kind but make sure to drink in moderation as they can be full of empty calories and tons of sugar (it pains me to admit that one cup of eggnog contains 340 calories).

7. Sleep. This is so underrated. Studies show that a lack of sleep can actually slow the metabolism and increase cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that prompts your body to store fat and gain weight. Sleep isn’t just for your mental health, but also for your physical health so be sure to get 8 hours of rest a night.

Guilt-Free Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Beans…turns out they are not just for burritos and salads like I once believed! I am always on the hunt for guilt free treats to satisfy my infamous sweet tooth and my friend Chef Adrian Forte thankfully introduced me to his Guilt-Free Chocolate Chickpea Brownie recipe, which I highly suggest you try making at home over the holidays.  Never in my wildest dreams would I think garbanzo beans would yield some of the most fudgy, rich and healthy brownies I’ve ever had – and highly addicting may I add. And if you’re wondering if these brownies taste like beans, they most certainly do not.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 large organic, free range eggs
  • 5 cups of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of unsweetened chocolate – melted
  • 1 cup of shredded almonds (optional)

 

Chocolate Chickpea Brownies

Pre-heat your oven and set it to 350 degrees. Start by placing the almond flour and brown sugar into a large bowl and whisk together.  In your blender or Vitaminx, blend the chickpeas and coconut oil and puree until smooth. Combine the pureed chickpea to flour and brown sugar mixture, then add the eggs and whisk aggressively to mix. Once smooth, add in the melted raw chocolate and blend until the mixture is lump free. In a parchment lined baking pan or individual mini baking cups and bake for 15 mins. Remove brownies from the oven, drizzle 1/2 cup of melted unsweetened chocolate and top with shredded almonds.

Chocolate Chickpea BrowniesPhotos by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.com (@amillionminds)

Looking for other inspiring dishes to serve during the holidays? In case you missed it, check out this Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus recipe also from Chef Adrian Forte.  For more information on Chef Forte’s personal chef services, culinary consulting and catering, head to AdrianForte.com.

2014 So Sasha Holiday Gift Guide For Him

2014 Holiday Gift Guide For Men

Coming up with your own personal wish list is always easy and fun, however not so much when you need to buy for someone else – especially when it’s for your beau who has everything. I have carefully curated a small list of  items from my favourite stores and online shops that will no doubt make your man extremely happy (and very stylish!)

1. Aether Cone Wireless Speakers ($399).  Wireless speakers are nothing new but Cone’s capabilities will blow you away. It learns what, when and how someone likes to listen to music. When it’s turned on, it will automatically play what the listener loves with amazing sound quality. Small enough that it can be brought anywhere. Simple to use. Beautifully crafted and if that’s not enough, it even responds to voice commands.

Aether Cone Speaker2. Rag & Bone Cashmere Beanie ($135).  Crafted from extra soft ribbed cashmere, this grey beanie from cult contemporary brand Rag & Bone is a fall/winter wardrobe essential. Both comfy and snug, you will have to beg him to take it off.

3. Nike Flystepper 2K3 ($125). Whether he’s a lover of basketball or simply likes the swag and off court fashion of a ball player, there is no doubt he will be into this street wear sneaker inspired by the basketball shoe with the same name.  The Nike Flystepper also comes in a Black/White/Grey colour way but the all black version is classic and can be dressed up or down.

Nike Flystepper 2K3

4. Rimowa Topas Multiwheel 55cm Carry-On Case ($875). Perfect for the savvy traveller who believes that style should still exist when traveling, Rimowa’s compact rigged aluminum carry-on case is the ideal hand luggage choice. It’s spacious, light, has 360 swivel wheels and an extendible handle for easy  manoeuvring. Crafted to the German company’s high standards, it makes an outstanding gift for any man with a case of wanderlust.

5. RW&Co Reversible Puffer Jacket ($140). Not every single day during winter calls for a parka. Some days call for a lighter jacket that your guy can layer over his go-to cashmere sweaters for a casual yet chic look. And the bonus, this topper from RW&Co is reversible, so it’s basically two jackets for the price of one!

RW&Co Reversible Puffer Jacket

6. Byredo Sunday Cologne ($250). I am not sure why Byredo called this scent Sunday Cologne because I am pretty damn sure he will want to wear it every day of the week. Buying a scent for someone else other than yourself can be a bit challenging but this one is so versatile and timeless, anyone can easily make it their signature scent.  With a patchouli base and mixed notes of incense, lavender, cardamon and bold bergamot, it’s the type of cologne you want to spray on your clothes as a reminder of your guy when he’s not around.

7. RW&Co’s Canvas Knapsack ($70). This versatile backpack from RW&Co is ideal for both weekdays and weekend getaways with tons of room. For those who have a laid back office style, it could even be used as a computer bag. The canvas and vegan leather details on the exterior will be sure to grab some attention but not to be out down by the unique paisley print interior.

Men's-Blue-Theme-BackPack-

8. Leica x “Edition Moncler” Camera ($2,950). The ideal gift for your gadget loving dude or fashionable friend who prefers to capture images with a real camera instead of his iPhone. With a leatherette stripped cladding in the classic Moncler logo colours, 16.5 megapixels , this cam also includes a special edition white leather carrying case.

Leica x Moncler Camera

2014 So Sasha Holiday Gift Guide For Her

So Sasha Holiday Gift Guide For Her 2014

Another holiday season is upon us and during this time it’s easy to get sidetracked by year end work deadlines and an obscene amount of  seasonal parties. So where does this leave the task of purchasing gifts for your loved ones? I think it’s safe to say that it falls pretty low on the list of things “to-do” and when left for last minute, it can lead to a lot of anxiety. Although I can’t physically go out and buy the gifts for your loved ones, I can certainly help out with some gift ideas that may be helpful when you begin your shopping. I’ve rounded up a lust list of items that would make perfect gifts for the gals in your life and perhaps you will even find something you want to add to your own wish list!

1. LITTLE BLACK DRESS  A crucial part of getting through the holidays is having the right pieces in your wardrobe and the perfect “LBD” can be a lifesaver. Although you may be a busy bee in the coming weeks shopping for family and friends, I am a big advocate of buying a little something for yourself  along the way…it’s harmless.  Whether it’s a work holiday party, cocktails with girlfriends, a chic Christmas Day dinner or a New Year’s Eve fete, the  textured dress with plunging neckline I’m wearing above from the Elle by RW&Co Limited Edition ($169.99) collection is perfect for any festivity and can be worn for seasons to come. View the entire fashion forward capsule dress collection here.

So Sasha Holiday Gift Guide For Her

2 & 3. FOR THE BEAUTY OBSESSED Every beauty obsessed babe has a fave scent and “go-to” beauty makeup products that can make them smell and look fabulous in a pinch. My adoration for Diptyque candles has now turned into love for the brand’s perfume. Eau Duelle Parfum by Diptyqye ($165) is currently my favourite and has rich and deep notes featuring a sensuous bourbon vanilla scent. Makeup is a great as a stocking stuffer and Make Up For Ever’s “Beauty Kit” ($45) offers 6 of the brand’s iconic products that can create the perfect holiday look. Enclosed is the Mini HD Microperfecting Primer, Mini HD Microfinish Powder, Smoky Extravagant Mascara, Mini Aqua Eye and Lip Pencils and the perfect red lippy.

4. CAN’T GO WRONG I don’t think it matters whether a woman lives in a city with four seasons or it’s hot all year round, if she’s seriously into fashion then she will need a statement leather jacket. And seriously who does moto’s better than Scandinavian brand Acne? Their Shearling Trimmed Leather Biker Jacket   ($1,950) is a modern classic. It comes with a detachable shearling collar, luxe oversized hardware and premium lambskin leather. It will no doubt bring a smile to whomever receives it and they will be set to start the new year in style.

Holiday Gift Guide For Her Luxe City Guides

5. FOR THE HOSTESS OR SAVVY TRAVELER The ideal gift for a hostess, co-worker or a fashionista who is a well heeled traveler. This LUXE City Guides gift set ($60) will assist in navigating the fashion capital cities of the world; London, Paris, Milan, New York and Sydney. These pocket (or clutch) sized guide books advise on the best shopping, eats and drinks each city has to offer.

6. FOR THE COOL DOWNTOWN GIRL The right pair of sunnies sometimes is just the thing you need to transform an outfit and it’s better than any beauty secret when you want to cover bags under your eyes or go makeup free.  Sure, traditional black sunglasses are cool, but nothing is cooler than The Row’s Tortoiseshell Round Framed Acetate Sunglasses ($400).

Bathnogg Holiday Bath Bomb Gift Set

7. BATHROOM BLISS There is undoubtedly items that we don’t necessarily buy for ourselves but would LOVE to receive them or would definitely purchase for someone else. Bath Bomb’s products are my latest obsession and I couldn’t think of a more thoughtful gift for someone you know is in desperate need of R&R during the holiday season.  Dense in essential oils, butters and other rejuvenating components, adding one of their bombs will transport you to a beautifully smelling parallel universe. BathNogg Holiday Gift Set ($25.95).

8. SPORTY SPICE There is not much of a separation between fitness apparel and street fashion these days. For the “Sporty Spice” in your life, Nike’s Tech Pack Butterfly Hoodie ($160) is the perfect gift. It can be worn to exercise in or can be a transitional piece to take you throughout the day paired with her regular street wear. *Can be found in Nike Retail Stores, Sport Chek, and Sporting Life locations in Canada.

9.  SECRET SANTA Always get stuck with when it comes to Secret Santa gifts? I will be honest, it can be tricky to find something chic to give to someone for under $20. RW&Co has come to my rescue this season with their extensive accessories collection with luxe looking jewelry. These Vintage Inspired Button Earrings ($16) has a stunning faceted center stone flanked by a micro pave rhinestone hailo border.

Make sure to stay tuned as I will be launching a contest to give away one of these amazing gifts to a lucky follower. The giveaway will be announced on Monday December 1st at noon.

Haute Pan Recipe | Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus

Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus

By no means would I call myself an amazing cook, but this year I’ve been dabbling in the kitchen a bit learning a thing or two about healthy cooking. Last week I joined a group of gals at Haute Pan, an intimate event in Toronto where women, like myself, can learn to make delicious meals at home rather than make “reservations” – which I used to do four nights a week. The event’s concept was created by my pals Chef Adrian Forte and Jennifer Lau Founder of Fit Squad Training and the focus of the evening was on three healthy dishes, which was prepared in front of us by Chef Forte, so we could learn how to easily replicate the dishes at home. The stand out of the evening was the tasty Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with homemade Red Beet Hummus served as an appetizer. It is incredible how easy it is to prepare, making it a perfect starter to share with your guests during the holiday season.

Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of tiger shrimp (raw, peeled and deveined)
  • 2 fresh lemons (juiced)
  • 3 fresh limes (juiced)
  • 5 medium red beets (sliced)
  • 2.5 cups of chickpeas
  • 1 bunch of cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium red onion (diced)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cracked pepper
  • 3 teaspoon of sea salt (for hummus) and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt (for ceviche)
  • micro greens (as a garnish, optional)

Start by removing the shrimp’s shells, rinse and chop each shrimp into quarter inch pieces. In a glass, stainless steel or enamel coated bowl add diced onions, shrimp, chopped cilantro followed by the citrus juice and 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Mix well and refrigerate for 45 mins to an hour. *The citrus juice actually marinates the shrimp, so it’s crucial to not leave the mixture in the fridge for longer than 60 minutes or else you will end up with shrimp with a rubbery like texture. While the ceviche is chilling and marinating in the fridge, you can create the beet hummus. Take the chickpeas, beets, sea salt, pepper and garlic cloves, then add them to your blender, food processor or Vitamix and pulse while pouring in coconut oil. Add brown sugar and continue to pulse until mixture is lump free and smooth. Once complete, spread the hummus mixture on your choice of corn or rice based chip. Chef Forte is super fancy so he made homemade tostadas but store bought ones or tortilla chips also work fine and is definitely a faster alternative. Spread hummus mixture on the chip, add a spoonful of ceviche and top with micro greens to garnish and serve.

Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet Hummus

Tiger Shrimp Ceviche with Red Beet HummusPhotography by Nathalia Allen – AMillionMinds.ca (@amillionminds)

For more information on Fit Squad’s personal training services, nutritional consultation, food delivery service and future Haute Pan events, head to FitSquad.ca

Dressing for the Holidays With Pink Tartan Part Two

Anna Sui Green Burnout Velvet Dress

As part of my “Dressing for the Holidays” series with Pink Tartan, I headed to the brand’s Toronto flagship location to find festive looks with the help of my favourite employee/stylist Shane Coleman and immediately fell in love when I set my eyes on this dress. As anticlimactic as New Years Eve celebrations can be, it can be a magical evening if it’s spent with the right group of people and copious amounts of champers. The uniform for most women on this night is usually an LBD or something with sequins…although both are classic choices and usually fail proof, I find it to be a bit too predictable for my liking. Why blend in with the crowd when you can make all the female guests at the party green with envy (literally) with this stunning Anna Sui dress.

Anna Sui Green Burnout Velvet Dress

Anna Sui Green Burnout Velvet Dress

Definitely a showstopper, this A-line mini stays true to the designer’s retro-style, rocker chic aesthetic. Detailed with a burnout velvet pattern, this vivid green number is super sexy because it allows me to show off my stems but is still covered up enough on top to still look classy. The stand-up collar and long sleeves with buttoned cuffs is an added bonus during December’s minus degree temps. I’ve styled my look with open toe shoes and a timeless Brunswick & Co clutch made from heavy weight waxed leather (that is actually large enough to fit an iPad) but when folded over transforms into a chic evening piece. For a more edgy look, the dress can also be paired with opaque tights, ankle boots and a moto leather jacket.

Anna Sui Green Burnout Velvet Dress

Anna Sui Green Burnout Velvet Dress

Photography by Talya Macedo

What I’m Wearing: Anna Sui Burnout Velvet Dress c/o Pink Tartan // Heels (old) c/o Aldo Shoes // Clutch by Brunswick + Co

In case you missed it, check out most with Pink Tartan Founder Kimberley Newport-Mimran’s top picks for holiday dressing and part one of my Dressing for the Holidays With Pink Tartan series.

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