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Weekly Gratitude – What Was Good This Week

This past week has been pretty quiet since we just came back from Cambodia and I was real sick. Yikes is all I have to say about that. Nonetheless, it’s been productive and I’m starting my countdown to heading back to Canada. Even though it was quiet, I always have something to talk about for my weekly gratitude, there’s always something good!

Cambodia!

Even though Cambodia is the first country that I got any kind of food sickness from, it was unreal and I hope to go back again someday. It was a beautiful experience for me. We visited Angkor Wat and saw an insane amount of temples in blistering heat, but something about historical places really gets me.weekly-gratitude-what-was-good-this-week-cambodia-chelsea-solmundson

New book for my list

After coming home from Cambodia, I read up a bit more about everything that happened in the country and I came across this memoir that I desperately want to read, written by a woman who survived being in Cambodia during the Cambodian genocide. It’s called First They Killed My Father:  Order the book here

 

 

 

Kitchen shenanigans

Photo source: Instagram @vcrlovesyouWhen we were in Kuala Lumpur, we went to a café called VCR. I had the most amazing Turkish style eggs (or shakshuka) with chickpeas in it. couldn’t’ stop thinking about it (I get like about food) so I made my own version and surprisingly it turned out pretty damn good, considering I sorta made it up as I was going. I was expecting it to be trash. Glad it worked out, I’ll for sure make it again. I used the restaurant’s photo because mine was ugly; you get the idea.

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Photo source: Instagram @vcrlovesyou
New Tote

I got this super cute little tote bag in the mail this week too! I’m trying to stop using plastic bags all the time so I wanted to have another tote bag handy for groceries and just to keep in my purse if I’m out and buy something. I came across this cute on on this fun blogger website, Blogging Mode. I’m a fan. You can never have too many tote bags. Grab the tote here.weekly-gratitude-completely-chelsea-goal-digger-tote-bag

 DIY Pedi

My feet look like trash right now, and I’m feeling pretty homesick so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and spent time practicing some self care by doing a little at home pedicure, and even made a nice sugar scrub. While I do like going to the salon for a pedi, sometimes I’m a bit of a solitary person so I was not feeling the whole “be a part of human life” thing. Hiding at home and making my own spa worked just fine for me. I painted my nails a bright pink for summer, like this one hereweekly-gratitude-bright-pink-nail-polish

That’s it for me this week, even though it was quiet I was glad for it after such an action packed week in Cambodia. You may have noticed that I’ve changed the title of my Sunday gratitude to Weekly Gratitude… just giving myself a bit more flexibility! I’ll continue to post on Sundays as much as possible though!

20 Things I Learned From My Mother

I am fortunate enough to have a very close relationship with my mother.  She’s the best lady. She’s fun, funny (sometimes), and she’s always there for me. Even when she’s busy trying to live her damn life and I phone stalk her because I have a pressing cooking question… she’s always there. I’m noticing as I’m getting older I’m becoming so much more like her, and I’m totally okay with it. She is definitely a person I want to be like. I’m sharing some of the things I learned from my mother that have stuck with me, and I only hope to pass on to my future brats (kidding).

1. Learn how to be self-sufficient and independent

Stay in school, work hard and make sure you can take care of yourself. Mama Tracy is not about hand-holding. She supports, but always insists that you do things for yourself.

2. Be open minded

Try new things, say yes, expand your horizons. Be open to others, and whatever their situation is. Don’t judge.

3. Come knocking with your elbows

Don’t show up to someone’s house empty handed (bring a snack or some wine or whatever).

4. Be Selfless

My mom has never explicitly said this, but she certainly lives by it. She’s one of the kindest, most selfless people I know. I’ve said “mom you’re too nice” multiple times. That’s just how she is. I’ll keep trying to be more like her.

5. Chew with your damn  mouth closed

Ugh. Growing up. A million times over – “no one wants to see the inside of your mouth”.

6. Learn how to cook

I love hovering around my mom’s kitchen watching her cook, learning what she knows, & exchanging new recipes.

7. Have respect, and be kind
8. Always help out (even if you don’t want to)

Oh man, I always hating have to help with dishes and cleanup for family dinners, but this constant forced help (when I was a kid haha) instilled it in me now and now it’s just automatic. I’m glad my mom made me learn the importance of helping out.

9. Be a good hostess

Keep a tidy house (I’m 30 and I’ve only now started being good at this), and serve snacks and make sure your guests are comfortable. Be the hostess with the mostest, as my great great auntie would say.

10. No one owes you anything

Never act entitled or like you’re better than anyone else. Nothing is a given, and you need to work for it.

11. Read
12. Don’t waste food

I think everyone’s mom told them this one- eat your food, there are kids out there that don’t have any. For real though, don’t waste. I am a leftovers and freezer queen now.

13. Buy art or something for your home when you travel
14. Ask yourself what the real problem is

If you’re feeling angry, sad or upset and are lashing out, take a step back and try to work out what’s really upsetting you. This one has been so helpful for me in my relationship.

15. Be grateful for everything you have

My sister sent me these next ones

16. Always take the high road
17. You have nothing without your words and your integrity
18. It’s okay to be different
19. You can’t be good for anyone else until you’re good for yourself/ok to take mental health day
20. You don’t know everything (oh man I remember hearing this one too!)

I asked my one sister (we share the same mom, my other sister and I share the same dad) to send me some of the things she’s learned from our mother because I wanted to see if she had some of the same thoughts I did. She did. Mama is consistent, that’s for sure. I really think I could have kept going on the things I learned from my mother. It was fun to take a step back and reflect on the person I am and what parts of it that I would attribute to what my mother has taught me.  What things have you learned from your mom?

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Sunday Gratitude – What Was Good This Week

I’ve slacked off a little lately with my Sunday Gratitude posts but I feel that my excuse is decent. I was in Singapore and Bali with my fiancé’s family, and they also stayed with us in Taipei for a little bit. It’s been busy, to say the least. To all those bloggers out there who can still blog on vacation, you’re amazing and I’m a big loser. Either way, I still have some nice stuff I’ve come across, so here’s what was good this week (or past couple weeks).

My eating has gone off the rails a bit lately (I smear peanut butter on dark chocolate. A lot. It’s a problem) and I’m looking forward to getting back home to my boring kale and chickpeas that I love so much.  This cookbook looks so damn good, I may have to order it for myself. Maybe some healthy recipes will help my willpower a bit.

Bon Appetit: The Food Lover’s Cleanse Cookbook.  You can get it right here (order me one while you’re at it) 
I finally got around to editing and organizing some photos for my instagram and website! I’ve got a whole set of Bali photos to share, so make sure to follow my Instagram page. I’m finally going back through all our travel photos so I can actually share them.

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Tegallalang Rice Terraces

I also finally found a floppy sun hat for myself. It’s hot in Asia and I wear lots of sunscreen (see which ones I love in my post here) but I’ve been wanting a hat to hide from the heat too. The one I got looks just like this. You can get the one in the picture here

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This next one isn’t so much a “what was good” so much as it is something that I have sooo much gratitude for, or rather someone. This past year would have been very different for me has I not met my girl Josianne. I really can’t believe how the stars aligned that I would meet her in the first place, she would become a good friend, and then she would inspire me to start a blog! This last week we had to say goodbye because she’s going back home. I will definitely miss her this next little while but I’ll see her again soon back in Canada!

We spent a full day together, we tried to visit the Bao’an Temple, that ended being closed. So we headed over to the Lin An Tai Ancestral House and that ended being closed too so we failed on those but at least we got lots of exercise walking all over the damn place. We ended up checking out an adorable little garden maze, then lunch at Maji Square (and wine, because why wouldn’t we).

Little photoshoot in the maze because blogger life right?

Ooh and last night Arash (fiancé) and I went to the S Hotel (if you follow my instagram you know I spend a lot of time there) for a six course dinner while Chef Glenn Viel was in residence for two days! Chef Glenn Viel was visiting from   two Michelin Star L’Ousteau de Baumanière so you know it was obviously amazing. 

Well that’s it for now, I mean, for sure more happened over the past few weeks but I just wanted to share a few highlights for now! I’ll be in Cambodia all of next week so I’m sure I’ll have many positives to share next Sunday! Have a great week ahead and come back soon. Cheers, Chelsea

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for all moms

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, did you remember to grab your momma a little something? I’ve picked out a few great Mother’s Day gifts you can snag, but get on it! You have like two weeks!

Tiffany & Co. necklaces for a fancy mom

I love the infinity symbol for love, since duh you love your mom forever right? If these necklaces are in your budget, then you probably had an awesome and supportive mama cheering you along all the way to your successes, so spring for something special to show your appreciation… or go in with your siblings and splurge together!

Infinity necklace on the left is here
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Pandora for literally any mom

Pandora for sure isn’t just charm bracelets. I’m in love with the new Shine Collection (I’ve talked about it before) with a sunshine and bumblebee theme. You can find so many types of Mother’s Day gifts at Pandora. My mom actually got me an infinity dangle charm from there- to symbolize her endless love, which def tugged at my heart strings.

Pandora Shine collection

They have a ton of Mother’s Day and family theme charms here

pandora-shine-necklace-ring-mothers-day-gift31 Bits table decor for the mom who loves to entertain

31 Bits works with artisans to give them dignified job opportunities and fair pay for their work, and I really love a company that tries to give back. These trivets and cheese boards are so beautiful and handmade in Bali. Never thought I’d get excited about a trivet, but here we are. I’m sure any mom who entertains would love serving with these beauties.

Brass rainbow shaped Trivet here

Petrified wood cheese board here

Sunnies for your cool mom

Spring is in the air and the sun is trying to come out so grab your mom some new shades. You can definitely find nice sunglasses for any budget and this is a really practical gift.

Grab these Toms shades right here

Grab a super affordable version ova here

Springy cosmetic bag

My mom doesn’t wear makeup a lot, but my sister and I recently finally convinced her to wear eyebrows so we’re getting somewhere. Not that she needs makeup, she just needed eyebrows, really. Sorry mom, truth. Everyone loves a pretty makeup bag and I’m loving this floral for spring.

Cosmetic bag from Ted Baker (it’s on sale so grab it fast!) here

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Chic hoop earrings

These hoop earrings are a nice modern version of classic hoop earrings. These beauties will go with anything, and won’t break the bank for you either. Jewelry is always a nice choice for a gift, and it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive to be beautiful.

Find them from Bloomingdale’s right herechic-hoop-earrings-mothers-day-gift-2


Cookbook for chef mom

If your mom loves to cook she probably loves cookbooks. I love Pinterest recipes but I find I lose them, or forget about recipes I like, so the idea of a great cookbook to refer back to is so nice. I miss my cookbooks back home and I know my mom has a few standard she loves. Add a new one to add to your mom’s collection for a thoughtful Mother’s Day gift, and try a recipe together to get some quality time in.

Get it here

Silk Pillowcase to protect mom’s hair and skin

Is this a weird gift? I don’t know. I know I want one though, and I would for sure get my mom one too. Silk pillowcases are supposed to help reduce friction on your hair so less split ends and damage, as well as help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Plus they’re supposed to be be resistant to allergens. It’s a nice mini luxury that maybe mom wouldn’t buy for herself so you can treat her instead.

Get one right here

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Playful Candles

If Super Powers & Fresh Cut Flowers doesn’t say “mom”, I don’t know what does. Moms are for sure super powered. These candles from Coal & Canary are amazing (plus they’re made in Canada!). They last forever, and the smells are insane good. Every candle is named something cheeky and playful so you can find something for any personality. You’ll never want another brand of candle.

Buy online here

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Diffuser if mom hates candles?

Does anyone hate candles? Maybe your mom does, so grab this cute alternative that’ll do the same damn thing without the fire hazard. This one is liquidness and the citrus blossom scent sounds like spring to me.

Find it right here

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Eco-friendly hydration set for nature mom

This mini luxury set comes with a coconut oil body polish, a rose hibiscus face mist, and a coconut lip conditioner. It’s all made sustainably, in recyclable packaging. The products are all made with natural, food grade ingredients. Your mom can pamper herself and feel good about her environmental impact too.

Snap it up right here

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Pretty stemless wine glasses (for wine moms, duh)

You can always use some extra wine glasses, but why not make this mothers day gift a little more pretty than just plain wine glasses? These ones are so cute (they come in a set of 4), and stemless is always a bonus if you have clumsy hands (or too many wines).

Find them here

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Vases for a flower-loving mom

I think these vases are so pretty, and if you end up buying flowers for this year’s Mother’s Day gift, maybe grab her a new vase to put the flowers in?

Find all the sizes here

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Only a couple of weeks left now so make sure you grab at least a little something for your mama. She did carry you for 9 months, after all. Think of all the wine she missed out on for you! Do you do Mother’s Day gifts? Or do you prefer to spend some time together instead? Comment below, tell me about your Mother’s Day plans!

 

Sunday Gratitude – What was good this week

As per usual, my week has gone by crazy fast and it’s already Sunday gratitude time. I can’t believe I’ll be leaving Taipei in a little over two months. That is bananas. My goal is to try to explore more of Taiwan before I leave, since I’ve spent a good part of my time exploring the rest of Asia.
This week I tried to just keep my head down and get some work done, but I still had time to get out with my good friend and Canadian blogger, Josianne to have a lovely coffee and lunch date (… there was wine too). We had a perfect afternoon – you can find her on instagram too, to see more gorgeous colourful photos -> @josianneisabel

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Blogger bff. insta @josianneisabel

After a busy, quick week in Malaysia and Singapore, it’s been quiet and I did a bit of meal prep and made a recipe that I’ve made multiple times here in Taipei so I thought I’d share it. It’s so easy to make, anyone can make it. I’ve adapted the recipe a bit from www.yummyhealthyway.com (the original recipe is at the link).

Pork Lettuce Wraps

pork-lettuce-wraps-with-text-picture
Photo source: www.yummyhealthyeasy.com
Filling:
  • 2 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1½ cups diced onion
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (I used more because peanut butter is life)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha or chili sauce
  • ½ cup chopped green onion tops
Drizzling Sauce:
  • ⅓ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar (I used garlic flavor)
  • ¼ cup honey or other liquid sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
Extras for Assembling:
  • Lettuce leaves (whatever large leafy lettuce you have on hand, Bibb lettuce probably works best)
  • shredded carrots (I didn’t measure… just shred how much you need to sprinkle on top of the leaves)
  • Chopped cilantro
Instructions:
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, cook pork, onion, salt and pepper on medium high heat until the pork is no longer pink, stirring often to break up the pork.
  2. Add garlic and ginger – cook for 1 minute. Add soy sauce, vinegar, oil, peanut butter, water and Sriracha. Stir to combine.
  3. Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
  4. In a small bowl, combine drizzling sauce ingredients together. Whisk until smooth.
  5. To serve: Spoon warm pork mixture into lettuce leaf. Top with carrots, bean sprouts and cilantro. Drizzle with sauce, wrap/roll, eat and enjoy!

To be honest, that’s pretty much all I’ve gotten up to. Eating and working, and getting ready for our Bali trip with Arash’s family on Tuesday. I think next week will be so much damn fun and I’ll have a bit more interesting stuff for next week’s Sunday gratitude. I’ve been excited about the Bali trip for months. Come back next week and I’ll share some Bali pics and whatever else we got into. Cheers!

 

 

 

Canadian Animal Rescues You Should Know About

This is very embarrassing, but when I was little, I wanted to adopt all the dogs at the humane society so no dogs would have to be in shelters. My little kid brain just didn’t get that there was a limit to how many animals I could have. Maybe I watched 101 Dalmations too many times. Well, I don’t own all the animals but I do love them, so at least I can raise a bit of awareness about some great animal rescues in Canada!

I thought about adding photos, but then it felt like picking favourites so I think you should click on the adoption links if you’re curious about the handsome doggoes and sassy meows available.

Regional Animal Protection Society (BC) 

RAPS runs an animal hospital, a shelter, and a cat sanctuary in Richmond, BC. All of the animals (I mean all… there are a couple roosters there now) are cared for and given vet care until they find good homes, or move to the cat sanctuary to live a comfortable old cat life. The sanctuary cats are also adoptable. Here’s hoping they open a dog sanctuary too! Adopt

Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society (AB) 

AARCS  was initially a Rescue, Rehab & Re-home program, working with rural and First Nations communities in Alberta to help animals where services are limited. They now have a shelter as well where animals can have temporary housing before they find foster homes, as well as vet care and training (and love). Adopt

Estevan Humane Society (SK)

This humane society is located in Saskatchewan, where they are committed to finding homes for all of their animals, and sticking to their no-kill mandate. They also run a barn buddies program, to help find barn placements for cats or kittens who make messes in the house, or are semi-feral. You can see the pets they have up for adoption on their Facebook page.

Winnipeg Pet Rescue Shelter (MB)

My home town! This shelter believes that pets have a right to life and have feelings, and deserve the right to loving care. That’s such a great mentality to have. The shelter believes in alleviating the suffering of animals by providing interim shelter, food and medical care, and educating the public. Adopt

Pets Alive Niagara (ON)

Okay this one is technically not a shelter, but actually a foster-based organization. They are also committed to compassion and caring for all animals. I really love their message: If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, donate. If you can’t donate, educate. I really agree with it; even if it’s small, you can always do something and it will make a difference. Adopt

Frontier Animal Shelter (QC)

This shelter is only 1.5 hours from Montreal, so not too difficult to get to. Volunteers run this rural animal shelter and it has been open since 1987. The facility includes outdoor dog runs, an outdoor dog park area, as well as outdoor and indoor areas where cats are free to roam. Adopt

SAINTS (Senior Animals in Need Today Society) (BC)

Saints isis a sanctuary for senior and special needs (illnesses) animals, in Mission, BC. Their goal is to provide a loving environment for pets at the end of their lives. It looks like they really really love their animals here and I’m so happy I came across it. You can definitely adopt their senior fur babies, but remember that senior also means they may have a lot of health issues so you need to be prepared for that too! Adopt

Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary (ON)

Dog tales is a dog and horse rescue and sanctuary on 50 acres of land. It’s insane. The place looks like an animal spa with so much greenery, pools and therapy areas where they can be cared for while they await adoption. A married pair of animal lovers run this fancy animal rescue and only just founded it in 2014. Amazing efforts- hopefully they’ll be able to open a cat sanctuary too, as they grow!  Adopt

Before the Bridge Senior K9 Rescue (MB)

This is another fostering organization, so not exactly a shelter, but they do rescue senior dogs and try to help them find their final homes. It’s located not too far outside of Winnipeg, in Stony Mountain. Remember; senior dogs need homes just as much as their younger counterparts! Adopt

FurEver Young Senior Animal Rescue (NL)

I may have a soft spot for senior pets, if you’re seeing a pattern? This is another rescue that helps to place senior animals with foster homes and permanent homes. They help dogs as well as cats. Adopt 

ARTS Senior Animal Rescue (AB)

More foster care here, focused on senior pets (dogs and cats). I really do have a soft spot for senior pets. There’s something about them that just makes me want to take them all home and love them. Individuals surrender senior for many reasons; they aren’t always problem animals, so don’t rule them out!

I wish I had done more research and gotten my pets from animal rescues, but going forward I plan to get my next pet (yes I plan to get more… 2 is not enough) from one. I’m trying to convince my fiancé that a senior dog would be great. If I keep sending him photos eventually he’ll cave, right? What are your experiences with rescue animals around Canada (or in general)? Comment below if you have a rescue pet!

 

 

 

15 Fun Ways to Spend Time With Your Siblings

My siblings are two sisters, so I’m not gonna lie, most of these fun things are more geared towards girl time so don’t hassle me about it. You can for sure do a lot of these with your brothers though! Both of my sisters are around 10 years younger than I am so it’s fun seeing them get older and now having much more in common with them than before. I have a really small family so I try to carve out time for my baby sisters as much as I can, when I’m actually in the same cities as them. Here are some fun ways that you can do to spend time with your siblings too.

15 Sibling Activities (or whoever else you spend time with)

workout-class-bannerWho better than to check out a new workout class than with your sibling? Take a break from your weekly schedule to try something new and spend that quality time together too. I, embarrassingly, love Zumba and would love to drag one of my sisters to a class. 
volunteer-bannerSpend time together AND do good. Go walk dogs together, or spend some time with the elderly, or at a local soup kitchen. try-new-bike-path-banner

Another fun way to get some exercise in and have quality time. If bikes aren’t your thing, just go for a walk and chat about what’s going on in your life. I can barely ride a bike so bike rides are a challenge for me.

craft-time-banner

Hear me out on this one… I know, crafts sound lame but excuse me they are not. Check out Pinterest and try one of the bazillion choices out there. Make an afternoon of it and see if you end up with a Pinterest fair. Either way it’ll be fun.

coffee-date-banner

Pretty simple. Go get coffee. Chat. Have fun. It’s not so much the activity, but just making sure to set aside time for your family.diy-spa-day-banner

Manis, pedis, scrubs and face masks! And maybe some wine if your siblings are old enough? Make it a full spa day. Or go to the actual Spa, that’s an option too.

day-trip-banner

Find somewhere interesting close to your home that you can take a drive out to and make a day of it. It’s amazing what you can find when you just look around your area.

go-shopping-banner

Okay, well this one is easy. Who cares, it’s fun and it’s a nice time together. You can check out my spring bag trends post, or see some dress trends and go see what you can find.

game-night-banner

I love board games and I think this is a great way to spend some family time. If you’re a weirdo and don’t like board games, try a new card game, or a video game.

sibling-book-club-banner

This is only a good one if you like reading, which I do. So. Take it or leave it. Take turns each month or every couple of months choosing a book and do a little book club chat over snacks when you finished. It’s another way to find some new books you may never have considered!

day-in-kitchen-banner

Have a bake-off, try a new recipe together (maybe make sushi for the first time?), or split a whole meal apart and someone do the meal and someone do the dessert, someone else can do appies (depending on how many siblings you have).

movie-marathon-banner

Find a great movie series to binge on for a lazy weekend afternoon with popcorn and treats.

pyjama-party

This might be an extension of a movie marathon, or maybe you do a spa night, or a baking party sleepover. Whatever you want, just make it a pj party too.

get-artsy-banner

Try an artsy activity like a paint night, or an artistic work shop such as a terrarium workshop. You could also paint pottery, or find a shirt painting store (paining or screen printing). There are so many DIY shops and classes out there, you’ll always find something.

5k-banner

This could be a fun challenge to take on together. You can train together and motivate one another to keep it up.

I wish I lived in the same city as my sisters, because I feel like I miss out on a lot of quality time with them, so I can’t wait to be back in Canada so it’ll at least be easier to see them and do some of these fun things! What is your favourite way to spend time with your siblings?

Sunday Gratitude – What Was Good This Week

Happy Weekend, friends. I can’t believe it’s been another week already, it’s flown by for me. Maybe because I forgot what day I was leaving to Malaysia and completely lost a day. Oops. Calendars can be a challenge, I guess. Had a big trip this week, so lots to chat about in this week’s Sunday Gratitude! Here’s what was good this week!

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Photo: The Fitness Sista
1. Quinoa Pancakes!

I have a bazillion pounds of quinoa for some reason, so I wanted to try different way to eat them. Tried this recipe from The Fitness Sista and omg this is how I’m eating pancakes from now on. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, though, so if you want to make them how I did:

  • I added a banana as well as the two eggs. Just smushed it in while mixing
  • I had no baking powder, so instead I just used a big spoon of chocolate protein powder (not a scoop). I didn’t measure, just eyeballed it and went by consistency.

I served mine with some tart cherry preserves instead of butter, and some cut up star fruit. Best breakfast ever.

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Photo: Instagram @mapleblume
2. Addicted to subscription boxes

MapleBlume subscription boxes!! They are luxury beauty boxes that you can get delivered every 2 months, or just once if you don’t like to commit. I love subscription boxes; who doesn’t love getting something in the mail? These beauties have beautiful luxury products, and they’re full sized! sunday-gratitude-31bits-straw-circle-bag

3. Perfect bag

Straw bags are everywhere and I still haven’t found the right one. THIS IS IT. I love this bag, it’s also fits in the round bag trend, and it’s from 31bits, a wonderful company that gives back by making sure artisans are paid fairly, work in safe environments and also have access to the global market. This bag is made in Bali (I’m actually heading there next week so maybe I’ll find one there!). I’m on the waitlist for this one, fingers crossed it comes back in stock soon! 31bits also sells jewelry; I wrote about them and a bunch of other companies that give back, so check out that post too!

4. Stuffing my face in Malaysia

Spent the second half of the week in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It’s been unreal. I had no idea how much I would love Kuala Lumpur. THE FOOD. I didn’t eat one thing I didn’t like. We stayed at The Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which was incredible. I’ll be writing about it soon.

5. Shocker… more food in Singapore

My fiancé Arash’s parents and younger brother came to meet us in Singapore!! How amazing is that? I feel so lucky that I’m going to be joining such a loving and and welcoming family. We’ve been enjoying some amazing hotels in Singapore too – The Parkroyal on Pickering (more afternoon tea), and So Sofitel. So Sofitel treated us to some champagne and cake for our engagement.

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Afternoon tea, Parkroyal on Pickering

I hope you’ve had a great week, too. My last few weeks have been pretty outstanding, so I always have a lot of to chat about in my what was good pieces these days. I’m heading home late tonight and will be working my buns off to get some new content written for you. Feel free to comment below about your week, or if you’ve visited any of the places I have! Here’s to another week, chat soon!

 

Sunday Gratitude – What Was Good This Week

First of all, Happy Easter! I hope you’re having a great weekend with your family, friends, or watching Netflix eating chocolate bunnies in your jammies. Whatever makes you happy, friend. This past week has been A LOT, so I completely forgot it was Easter (also I live in Taiwan so). If you’ve seen my social media (insta, FB or twitter), you maybe saw that I got engaged! I would have to say that was the best part of what was good this week.
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  1. Engaged! Check us out. This is the best pic we could get. I’m not even looking in the camera and Arash’s chest hair is aggressively peeking out but whatever you get the idea. Arash proposed in Hong Kong! Best memory ever.  He’s so sweet he even said we could get engagement photos if I really want to. Hard pass, but it was sweet of him to ask.
  2. Montreal wedding! Since Arash is from Montreal, we decided to do it there. I came across some great blogs with Montreal venue suggestions. I liked “best locations“, and outdoor venues, but reallyI don’t even know where to start.

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    Photo: Green Wedding Shoes Blog
  3. Ok I promise my blog won’t turn into only wedding stuff, but last wedding mention because this is new for me- I’m loving a couple wedding blogs already. Who am I?? I am innnn love with the Green Wedding blog. The photo above is from a real wedding they featured. I’m also digging WeddingChicks.com 
  4. Ummm look at the new Pandora Shine collection. Do I need another Pandora charm? No I do not. Who the eff cares I want a gold bumblebee, they’re gorgeous.
  5. Almost done my book, so I’ve chosen a new one to read. Next on the list is The Everything Store by Brad Stone. It’s a biography of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon. I’m trying to get out of my book comfort zone so each book I try to switch genres.

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    Photo: Instagram @urbanizedmtl
  6. Booked my flight home! I’m already dreaming of finally decorating my own place instead of living in furnished homes! I found a great interior design inspo Instagram account, @Urbanizedmtl 

Lots going on this week, and it was incredible. I’m so excited to be starting the next step with Arash, and heading back home in the next few months. I’m a little overwhelmed with the idea of planning a wedding, so if you have any tips you swear by, or blogs you love, add them in the comments!

Chat next week! –Chelsea

 

Sunday Gratitude – What was good this week

Holy man, what a difference a week can make. Last week when I wrote my Sunday gratitude I was feeling some serious homesickness blues. This week, I feel a million times better, mostly because I decided to put my big girl pants on and take control of my situation. Of course I still miss home, but moping around doesn’t make it better. My boyfriend and I talked about how we’ve both been feeling down, and we’ve actively tried to be more positive. Here’s what was good this week.

Arash and I went for a bike ride to Tamsui Old Street and accidentally visited beautiful Guandu temple. I have never heard of it before, but saw it on the map so we walked over and it ending up being so good. It was a really great day full of food and bike rides.

Arash and I had a Monday night date night at MUME restaurant, that just got a Michelin star, so that was delightful. I really recommend checking this restaurant out if you happen to be in Taipei.

My good friend Josianne and I had an amazing day at S Hotel doing a photoshoot, drinking champagne, and having a full girlie day.

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I met up with a new friend, and tried a restaurant I’ve been wanting to check out for awhile now. It was delicious, it’s called MissGreen. It’s a vegan restaurant in the Da’an district of Taipei.

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My blues and anxiety was helped by my constant puzzling all week. I hit the mom jackpot, and she was sweet enough to send me a puzzle all the way to Taipei. She also sent me a bunch of snacks and makeup because moms rule, and I’m super lucky. I want this puzzle next! I know, I’m a dork for doing puzzles but it’s a great way to focus on something else when you’re feeling a bit down. Or it’s a great way to enjoy some tunes and a glass of wine. Clearly puzzles are my thing. hong-kong-victoria-peak

AAAnd, Wwe flew to Hong Kong for the weekend. So yeah… I have nothing to be sad about. I’ve snapped out of it and reminded myself to enjoy this incredible year I’m having. Home will always be there, so suck it up sad sack. I hope everyone is having a fantastic week as well.