May Goals Completed

May was the last month of serious school time constraints so those were the major goals. Over the summer the goals will be much less time-dependent.

Goals completed this month

Blog

  • Continue to monetize the blog. There will be posts on how I am working on monetizing the blog in the future!
  • Have over 1,000 followers. There are currently about 1,200. Very exciting!

School

  • Finish the current courses. Finally finished them :’)
  • Hear back from the university on my application. You can read about the school’s response here!
  • Get ready for finals and complete as soon as possible. Currently working on studying for the finals, but have to wait to complete the tests.

Fitness

  • Start lifting. It’s so satisfying to lift and now my favourite workout. My current weightlifting routine is Ashley Conrad’s 21 Day Clutch but only the lifting part.
  • Begin running outside. It’s so different?! It’s not my favourite but it’s good to get outside and fresh air and enjoy the weather.
  • More yoga!! I HAVE NOT BEEN STRETCHING. But now that it’s warmer it’s much easier to stretch since muscles are not constantly cold.

Fun and random

  • Make a summer bucket list so I won’t be too bored. The Summer Bucket List can be found here!
  • Start drawing more. I have drawn twice (I think???) but that’s much more than before so I’m looking forward to drawing more and improving my technique.

 

This is also the 100th post on the blog!! Thank you for following everyone!

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Piña Colada Smoothie Recipe

Piña colada smoothie is my current favourite. It’s a subtle flavour and very creamy. The coconut milk has healthy fats which are satisfying so it’s a good choice for breakfast. I posted a picture on Instagram the other day of my piña colada smoothie, here is the recipe for it!

Recipe

Ingredients

Makes about 3 servings.

  • 1 can of pineapple + the juice from it.
  • 1 medium-large banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup coconut yoghurt. Vanilla can also be used.
  • Toasted shredded coconut for topping
  • Granola or other toppings of choice

Instruction:

Put everything in a blender and blend until the pineapple looks like it’s all smooth. I put mine in the freezer for a bit before eating or use a frozen banana to get an ice-cream like texture. If you prefer more of a coconut taste, because it is quite subtle, more coconut milk can be added. The coconut on top really brings it out.

What’s your favourite summer smoothie? Would you like to see more food posts?

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Clean Skin Makeup Review

I always try to find natural makeup products (usually free of parabens and talc) but it can be hard to find things reasonably priced, that are the right colour and natural. My go-to natural makeup brand is Physician’s Formula but since it’s been winter in Canada FOREVER and I haven’t been outside, most of their skin products are not pale enough for me. So I ventured out to try new products and I’m very happy with what I got!

The products

I find skin makeup quite confusing, do I want powder, BB cream, tinted moisturizer, foundation or just concealer? I decided to try powdered foundation because I had read it’s great for sensitive skin and I like the ability to build it up for more coverage without looking cakey, but having the options of it not being heavy for days when I don’t need a lot of coverage. And I also got a concealer to cover dark circles, pimples or any other blemish.

Powdered Foundation

Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Talc-Free Loose Powder, Translucent Light, 0.49 Ounce

This powdered foundation is honestly magical. You tap a little bit of the powder into the cap and use a big fluffy brush to distribute it all over your face. Then after the first layer, you can add another layer to places where you want extra coverage. With just a little bit of product, it covers so well. It doesn’t feel like you’re wearing makeup at all and it also doesn’t come off while sweating. Both concealer and the foundation have lasted hard workouts and looked better than any other skin product I’ve used. The only downside is that if you apply it and you’re wearing a dark colour it might become a little powdery. But that’s not too bad for the benefits of this product! Before applying, cover your face in moisturizer and wait for it to absorb in, then that way the powder has something to stick to and you get the hydrating of moisturizer.

Concealer

Marcelle Cc Concealer + Corrector, Light To Medium, 3.5g

The concealer I often find is too yellow or orange toned for me but this one is a great fit! The coverage is also very good and it can be added on top of the powdered foundation for maximum coverage and a flawless look. Marcelle products are on the higher end of drugstore but definitely worth it for natural products that are gentle on sensitive skin.

Do you have a favourite natural cosmetics brand?

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Purchase products:

Easy Smoothie Prep

I was going to post a green smoothie recipe then it turned out to be bitter and the colour ended up brown, not what you want in a smoothie at all. So now it is easy smoothie prep!

 

Fresh Fruit

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The best thing for this is to get lots of discounted fruit that is very ripe and freeze it for future smoothies. Strawberries can be sliced and put on a cookie sheet to freeze, same with peaches or other soft fruit. Berries can be just laid out on a tray or pre-blended. Put the berries of choice in a blender with a splash of water ( or even juice, milk, or milk alternative ) and blend until smooth, freeze in an icecube tray for easy cubes of fruit. I talk about freezing bananas in this post! Cubes and frozen fruit can be mixed and matched for different smoothie flavours.

 

Greens + avocado

I have recently discovered you can freeze avocado and it taste and look, perfectly fine! It saves a lot of avocados since I was throwing out overly ripe ones but now they can be frozen at prime time before they go bad. Throw a few ( I find 3 whole avocados fill 12 ice cubes ) avocados in a blender, again with a splash of water, and blend until smooth then put into trays. Another option is blending some leafy greens ( like spinach ) until it looks pretty smooth, then adding in the avocado, for quick and easy green smoothies!

 

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The green smoothie cubes. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day? 

 

 

Do you make smoothies from fresh or frozen fruit?

 

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Trying Meditation

Enjoy the completely unrelated photo.

A few weeks ago I started to include meditation with my workout routine to help mental health along with physical.

How to get started

Step 1 – find an app or videos

I tried several apps at the same time ( got to check out all the options ) to try to find one that I liked the best. It’s good to have one that has topics that are applicable to you and if they’re guided meditations, with someone who has a voice that you can listen to for a bit.  My favourite apps were Simple Habit Meditation – it costs money to subscribe but my friend gave me a free trial – and HeadSpace. HeadSpace is a good starting off point to learn the basics. After using the apps for a bit and once I felt like I knew what I was doing I went to YouTube videos for more options. My favourite has been Boho Beautiful ( it sounds cheesy but she has a very calming voice ), there is a daily meditation playlist which focuses on self-acceptance and love.

Step 2 – fit it into your daily routine

At first, I tried to work meditation in 3 places in my routine, to see if I could do it that often and to find when worked best. First thing in the morning, while stretching post-workout and right before bed. In the morning it’s a good way to start the day being calm and having a clear mind. I find it allows me to stretch better because of being relaxed and focused in the moment. Right before bed is a great way to sleep better and calm yourself down.

Step 3 – be consistent!

Best way to form a habit is to stick with it until it becomes part of your day. This can be hard on days when your mind is racing and it feels difficult to calm it, but that’s when you need it most.

Some benefits I’ve found

  • My mind feels calmer. The main reason to start meditation. It really helps with anxiety and sleep.
  • Less negative thoughts, more appreciative, more positive. I’ve been trying to consciously work on this, too, so the meditation didn’t magically solve this, but it has helped. Especially with being present and trying not to worry.
  • More focus, which also helps during workouts. If you try to incorporate meditation into something you need a lot of focus for or during your workouts it can improve your performance because you’re living in the moment and your mind is either clear on thinking about whatever it is you need focus for.
  • Feels like you have more control over your mind. If you start thinking negatively you can use meditation as a tool to stop it or at least redirect.

It seems so simple yet it feels like it’s made a substantial difference in how I think and I would highly recommend learning how to meditate. Have you tried meditation?

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Hygge To Help Anxiety

Hygge has been everywhere lately and I’m all for this trend! Wikipedia defines it as ” the Danish word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. Hygge refers to “a form of everyday togetherness”, “a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow”” I think of it as the feeling of walking into your cozy home after being out in the dark and cold winter. Pretty much like a nice warm hug but all the time.

Why hygge?

Denmark is often named one of the happiest places on Earth and this definitely helps them get that title. I saw a TED talks ( this one! ) a little while ago about how humans need traditions to feel less alone and just to improve the overall quality of life. Since then I’ve been a little fascinated with the small everyday traditions and how they help make good days. Between hygge emphasizing everyday transitions and the overall beauty and coziness of hygge, it’s an awesome idea to embrace. It creates a more calm and welcoming living space and lifestyle which helps with anxiety and making your home ( or room! ) a calming sanctuary.

Some ways to incorporate hygge into life

Cold weather

  • Warm drinks. I especially like spiced teas such as chai, apple cinnamon, ginger and liquorice, etc.
  • Fairy lights and candles! Having a bright home keeps away winter blues. Also, keeping curtains and blinds open to let in the sunshine.
  • Fire in fireplace or pit outside. Bonus points if you roast marshmallows!
  • Fluffy socks, cozy blankets, fluffy pillows, rugs to add more warmth.
  • Soups, stews or any warm comfort food.
  • Take a little tea or coffee break during the day and really savour it.

Warm weather

  • Freeze fruit into ice cubes to add flavour to your water.
  • Iced tea and coffee.
  • Walks in nature and taking everything in.
  • Bright and cool living spaces.
  • Having windows open to get lots of fresh air.
  • Eating outside.

How I’ve been trying to embrace hygge

Fairy lights

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Fairy lights, lots of cozy blankets and pillows, coordinating happy cat. A cat is not required, he is just a model and loves the camera.

My favourite part has been adding fairy lights everywhere I can. Luckily, we had a large collection of lights from past Christmases, I would try to get them right after Christmas because that’s when they are cheapest and easiest to find.

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Fairy lights outside. In the summer, having a fire is a good way to get outside and enjoy the warmth. 

Tea time

Every day around 2:30-3:00pm my family tries to have a cup of tea together. It’s a nice way to have a break and a good time to have cookies!

Weekend playlist

Playing weekend music differentiates the days. Usually, I play old music or jazz to give a coffee shop feel.

Being grateful

I think being grateful and appreciating the coziness in things is a huge part of hygge and adds to the feeling of comfort. I make lists of all the little things I’m thankful for and try to appreciate things in the moment.

How do you feel about the hygge trend?

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Mango Pineapple Tropical Smoothie

Mango has to be one of my favourite fruits and mango smoothies make me happy, plus it is yellow and the slices of mango reminded me of sunbeams so this is a tropical smoothie to make it feel like a getaway from winter for a bit.

 

 

Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla yoghurt. I used 0% fat to lighten it a bit.

1 cup pineapple chunks + some of the juice.

2 cups mashed banana.

2 cups frozen mango chunks.

1 cap full of vanilla, about 1 tsp.

1/2 cup water.

 

 

For the bananas, I have found it helpful to make almost banana ice cubes. When bananas start to get overripe or there’s just a lot in the house, I mash them all up, put them in a plastic bag and in the freezer so there will be ripe bananas for smoothies or spontaneous banana bread. It makes smoothie have an ice cream like texture since they’re frozen.

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The ugly ( but beautiful on the inside ) banana mash cube.

 

This recipe also makes quite a bit of smoothie, which I keep in the freezer until next time I would like it. But smoothies don’t last too long and tend to get freezer burnt around 3 days after making them.

 

 

 

 

 

Directions

Put all of the ingredients into a blender, blend until smooth. Top with extra mango for more fruit and some granola ( recipe here! ) for crunch, enjoy!

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Everything ready to blend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your favourite fruits and smoothie flavours?

 

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Simple Creamy Hummus Recipe

I hear it is SuperBowl this weekend which means good food and a healthier ( my recipe is kind of high in fat so just slightly healthier ) option is hummus. It can be eaten with veg plus it has protein and fibre to satisfy you. And making your own hummus means you get a lot more than in the package, so there’s more to eat.

 

Recipe

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup chickpeas

2 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 table salt

1/4 garlic powder

A splash of lemon juice to taste, I add quite a bit because I like it lemony.

You can use canned chickpeas, but a good thing I found is that it’s cheaper to buy a bag of dried chickpeas and cook them up before you’re going to use them. I put them in a slow cooker filled with water overnight then in the morning they are slightly overcooked but it makes the hummus more smooth.  Also, tahini is key to making the hummus taste right, I have tried using olive oil but it alone doesn’t cut it.

 

 

 

Directions

Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until very smooth, it should almost look like frosting. Then enjoy! IMG_7358

 

 

 

 

I eat this hummus with everything and pretty much all of the time, it has to be one of my favourite foods and it’s fast and easy to make!

Snapseed (4)

 

 

 

 

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Spinach, Salsa And Feta Scramble

Breakfast can be hard to find healthy options since it’s probably the only meal where one can really justify having sweets for. I find that I’m so hungry when I wake up I just want food fast and I want something that makes me excited to get up. ( #HomeschoolProblems, when you need exciting food to motivate you to get going instead of needing to be at school?? ) This is a high protein, low-carb and gets some vegetables in right away! The scramble is on top of a Broghie, which is almost like bread or a cracker. They’re popped corn or wheat, making them very low in carbs and calories.

Recipe

A savoury, high-protein, low-carb and easy to make breakfast of spinach, feta, salsa and egg scramble on top of a crisp Broghie or could be substituted with bread or tortilla.

Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoon chunky salsa

1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese

1/4 baby spinach

1 large egg

A little oil to cook the egg in a pan

1 Broghie, tortilla or base of choice

Directions

Heat a pan to medium-low heat with a little splash of oil to make sure the egg won’t stick later on. Once heated add salsa to one part of the pan to heat it up. Scramble egg before putting it in the pan to cook, let egg cook until it doesn’t appear to have any parts that look clear anymore then combine it with the salsa in the pan and add in spinach and feta until everything is combined. Place on your base of choice and enjoy!

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What are some of your favourite healthy breakfasts?

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Granola Recipe

I may or may not have a smoothie bowl obsession. Being the good Millenial that I am ( or am I Gen Z?? ), I try to make my food pretty and ideal for Instagram and smoothie bowls are so colourful and healthy so they have been my platform for pretty food. To add a nice crunch and extra sweetness I usually add granola. After trying granola recipes and experimenting with things to add this has been my favourite!

 

Granola

This makes quite a bit, which isn’t a problem because the granola is kind of addictive. I put it on yoghurt and smoothie and just eat it straight up.

 

2 cups rice crispy cereal

1 cup large flake oats

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. I only add this occasionally, but it gives it a sort of doughnut flavour with definitely not being doughnuts.

Directions

Mix everything together in a large bowl, making sure it’s very well combined and that there aren’t large chunks of brown sugar. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool before using and putting away, it hardens and turns into almost like a brittle once it’s cool, then it can be broken up and sprinkled onto smoothies.

 

 

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Yes, I did make a collage of many of my smoothie bowls. Will there be smoothie recipes in the future? YES!

 

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