A Standard Canadian Winter

Currently as I write this post it is a warm 3 degrees Celsius…yup to us Canadians that is warm folks!

Us Canadians (with the exception of B.C and their insanely warm weather this winter) can say we have survived! We have survived the 30 cm of snow overnight, the – 40’s in February, black ice and the countless snow squalls while driving. And you want to know how we do it? We go outside and make the best of it.

How do I make the best of a Canadian winter? You can find me…

but sometimes pictures are better than words…

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Winter doesn’t stop an avid cottager

My family are avid cottagers.

What does this mean? It means you can find us rain or shine, slush or snow, fog or ….I think you get the picture. We love to cottage no matter what the season and in doing so we have some pretty great adventures.

Of course summer is one of my favourite seasons, and fall is a second runner up, but winter has some pretty spectacular scenery that actually makes putting up with the -40 temperatures seem all worth it when you head north for the weekend.

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Blue Mountain Adventures

In Ontario you do not have the biggest selection of ski hills in comparison to the mountains out west in Alberta and B.C, and to the East in Quebec. But us Ontarians manage to get by with local ski hills and our own mini Whistler-like village and ski resort known as Blue Mountain. The hill and resort is located in Collingwood Ontario and is approximately only a 2-2.5 hour drive from Toronto and the surrounding GTA. The close proximity to Toronto makes for a perfect weekend escape to a picturesque winter scene without breaking the bank.

I wanted to share some photos from my past trips this winter as I hope I can help capture some of the resorts’ magic.

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Zuchinni crust pizza

Zucchini Crust Pizza

If I had to eat only one vegetable for the rest of my life, I’d have to say zucchini.

Why?

Because it is delicious steamed, baked, fried or raw.
Because it is super easy to grow in your beginner garden.
Because it is a low calorie vegetable with only 17 calories/ 100 g.
And most importantly you can make the BEST low cal pizza ever! (in my opinion)

After making this delicious zuchinni crust pizza, I made it three additional times the same week because yes…it was that good! So if you are looking for a delicious healthy pizza alternative, look no further, because this may be your saving grace!

Ingredients:

For the crust
3 cups shredded zucchini
1/3 cup flour
1 egg
2-3 TBSP grated parmesan
Tomato sauce (or bruschetta if you are feeling adventurous)
For flavour add seasonings such as garlic powder, Italian seasoning and oregano.

Toppings
Anything you like to eat on a normal pizza will do, so the toppings are endless! Some of my favourites include feta, green olives, hot bell peppers, spinach and tomatoes.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is heating shred your zuchinni in a bowl and soak up as much liquid with a paper towel. Once you have squeezed as much liquid out as possible, combine the rest of the ingredients and seasonings in a bowl. Use a piece of parchment paper to line your baking pan or a low fat cooking spray. After several attempts, the parchment paper works the best in my opinion. Next, spread your zucchini crust mixture in a thin even layer on your pan.

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Place your crust in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. In the meantime you can prepare your toppings. Take your crust out of the oven and evaluate whether most of the liquid has evaporated. If the crust still looks quite moist put it back in for 2-3 more minutes but don’t worry too much as you still have to bake the toppings.  When the crust looks firm enough for your liking, add as many toppings as your heart desires.

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Place back in oven and bake for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Please note that this pizza may require the use of a knife and a fork, yet it does a great job in satisfying your pizza craving when on a low carb diet.

Enjoy!

Total time: Approx. 25 minutes

 

4 Step DIY Succulent Terrarium

Okay so if there is one thing to know about me right now, it is that I am OBSESSED with succulents!

They are adorable, come in several shapes and sizes and also happen to be pretty hard to kill (an added bonus). So I thought to myself, how can I fill my life with more succulents? Well this is where my quick DIY comes in.

Supplies:

  • succulents (1-3 depending on your bowl size)
  • glass fish bowl
  • rocks (or seashells!)

Step 1: Gather your 3 supplies, whether that may be from your local farmers market, dollar store or your own backyard. I was able to score these beautiful succulents from a local farmers market, but I have also seen them available at local grocery stores and flower shops. You can easily find a glass fish bowl, or any kind of glass vase shape that you prefer from a dollar store or department store. A bag of rocks can be found in mother nature the dollar store.

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Step 2: Fill up your glass bowl or vase with your rocks. Save 6-8 rocks that you would like to decorate around the succulent.

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Step 3: Gently pull out your succulent from the container and pour remaining soil on top of rocks. Place and position your succulent(s) until you smile 🙂

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Step 4: Decorate the top soil layer with your remaining rocks, et voila you have an adorable succulent terrarium!

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Top 12 Adventurous Instagrammers

If you read my very first blog post, you will know that I am a big fan of Instagram (my IG laurenmarie_mac). I love how when done right, it is a visual source of imagery that captures exciting and inspirational moments within someone’s life. A photograph has the ability to capture a moment that someone deems to be worth preserving, whether that may be beautifully arranged fresh flowers, a sparkling lake or the local culture of a foreign country. There is a reason we photograph, we may not always be sure why, but in that moment we feel the need to preserve a record of reality.

With that being said, I want to share with you my top Adventurous Instagrammers for 2014. Majority of those listed have some association with board culture (surf and snow), nature, and the overall laid back lifestyle. The reason I find them so intriguing is because their photos capture appreciation of the moment which inspires and motivates me to remain mindful and adventure out of my comfort zone.

1. Flickpalmateer
Felcity Palmateer is a pro surfer from Australia who is incredibly talented at drawing art, especially mandala prints. If you want to see images of the ocean and a laid back surf lifestyle, with an emphasis on creativity than be sure to check her out.

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2. wandertosea
This IGer is a nature adventurer who wanders from Hawaii to Yellowstone, stopping for a scenic yoga pose as she goes. If you appreciate nature, mountain views and yoga, then you will be sure to enjoy her posts popping up on your feed.

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3. misshalimarie
Miss Hali Marie is my most recent IG find that I am currently loving. The majority of her posts feature the true beauty of the West Coast through the eyes of an adventurous hiker. The quality of her photos make nature lovers like myself quite eager to get back outside and enjoy all of the seasons.

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4. natemuskoka
As a seasoned cottager, I had to put a local Muskokan on this list. If you have never heard of Ontario’s cottage country, Muskoka, then you will be in for a treat with this IGer. Get ready for stunning sunsets, peaceful waters and the classic Canadian canoe trip.

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5. izzimeowww
This girl right here lives the life of surf, yoga, board and repeat. Her photos capture her embracing the moment and living life in the now out on the west coast of Canada. Her focus on clean eating might also help with her amazingly fit body.

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6. mountain_adventures
IGer Warren, shares his weekend adventures out in Washington State’s mountains. His summit views are outstanding and make you want to pack up your hiking shoes and head for the nearest trail with a stunning view.

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7. jennabeaann
Canadian Olympic snowboarder Jenna Blasman shares her world travels while training as a professional snowboarder. Her laid back Whistler lifestyle, motivational quotes, healthy eats and insane snowboard jumps, makes for an entertaining Instagram feed.

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8. emilymmasse
Another great adventurer who enjoys hiking to panoramic views of aqua lakes, tall trees and majestic waterfalls.

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9. xococoho
Professional surfer from Hawaii, Coco Ho is a household name in the surf world. Her laid back surfer life showcases beautiful oceans, beaches, waves and of course her smiley personality.

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10. instagramwhistler
If you want an depth look at one of the most magical places on Canada’s West Coast, then Instagramwhistler’s IG account will hit the spot. This professional photographer is able to capture the essence of Whistler throughout all four seasons making it hard for you to resist booking the next flight out to Van. If you are like me, waiting for vacation days, then this IG account will help subside your west coast cravings.

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11. jamieanderson
USA gold medalist Olympic snowboarder, Jamie Anderson showcases her boarder lifestyle with her stunning photos training around the world, yoga poses and lots of action packed GoPro shots.

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12. tayeg
My most recent IG discovery was tayeg’s account. She is a Canadian professional snowboarder who embraces the laid back boarder culture that includes a fondness for surf, yoga, travel and exploring. She also happens to be an incredible artist, often showcasing her commissioned pieces.

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Please comment with your favourite Instagrammers, I love finding new people to follow!

Wanderlust: A strong desire or urge to travel or wander

Lately I’ve been feeling the call of wanderlust. This prompted me to go through some of my hiking photos to see what I could share with you in a photo gallery on my wanderlust page.

Hiking, cottaging and enjoying nature is an essential component of my life. I find that by getting out and exploring what mother nature has to offer, has the most calming effect on my never ending thoughts. Lately, I have been trying to explore what Ontario has to offer since I do not have the finances or vacation time to explore further. Some of my recent adventures this past summer and fall in Ontario included:

Elora Gorge, Ontario.

Elora Gorge, Elora, Ontario.

Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Track and Tower hike, Algonquin Park, Ontario.

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Cheltenham Badlands, Caledon, Ontario.

I already know I will be adventuring in Muskoka and Collingwood this winter, and I can not wait! Bring on the snow because it’s sled and ski time for me! But as soon as I get some vaycay…HELLO WHISTLER!

Where is your wanderlust urging you to go?