A 5'3 Perspective


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What’s For Dinner?

Do you ever get sick of eating the same dinners day in and day out? Sometimes repetition makes the evenings easier, but then again, isn’t variety is the spice of life. I am a creature of habit. On any given weeknight you can likely find me cooking some form of chicken or salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potato. Absolutely delicious – but SNOOZE.

Today – I present to you, the easiest mussel dish. You’ll impress yourself and anyone else you serve it to. Although mussels seem to be a dish reserved for ordering at fancy restaurant, they are actually simple to make and require very few ingredients. This dish will be successful as long as you follow three important pieces of advice: buy fresh mussels, use them the same day you bought them and make sure that they are closed before cooking. If your mussels have opened up a bit- don’t panic, just tap them against the counter and they should start to close. Toss any that remain open after a few minutes.

Everyday Mussels

Everyday Mussels

Ingredients

125 grams of chorizo (I use spicy)

1 leek (well washed and roughly chopped – use only the white and light green parts)

2lbs mussels

1 jar of spaghetti sauce (try to use sauce with no sugar added)

1 tbsp coconut oil* (or olive oil)

2 cloves of garlic

pinch of pepper

*I use coconut oil because of the higher smoking point and nutritional benefits – for more information visit: Coconut Oil Benefits: When Fat Is Good For You

Directions

  1. In a large pot sauté leeks, garlic and chorizo in coconut oil (or olive oil) on med-high heat until fragrant. This should take approximately 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. Add mussels, a pinch of pepper and spaghetti sauce. Stir contents well to make sure the mussels are coated in sauce. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until the mussels have opened. Try not to peek at the mussels too many times.
  3. Remove lid and reduce heat to a simmer and stir. Allow the flavours to combine for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
Serve and enjoy!

Finished product!

I find that this dish is best served in a large bowl and eaten with a spoon. The men in my life prefer to enjoy it over pasta – it is really up to you, but don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of wine to celebrate your cooking accomplishments! Hope you get a chance to try out this simple but delicious recipe!

xo Lauren

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The Perfect Lounging Outfit

It was inevitable, I caught the cold that has taken Ottawa by storm. As much as I hate to take a day off work, sometimes it is better to keep the germs contained. Let me just tell you one thing, staying home sick is overrated – one can only watch so much trashy TV.

Today’s outfit is perfect for lounging, a loose poncho-esque sweater and a comfy  pair of jeans.

ellepottsie

a 5'3 Perspective

The Perfect Lounging OutfitPoncho Style Sweater: Anthropologie (old) / Blouse: Zara (old) / Denim: Paige / Smoking Loafers: Express (similar)

Happy Hump Day and stay healthy!

xo Lauren


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Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re anything like me, you are probably racking your brain trying to find a new and meaningful way to show your significant other just how much you appreciate them. Sure it is easy to pick up a box of chocolates, flowers and a store bought card – but that isn’t how N and I roll. We like to do something special for each other, something that requires thought and effort – usually something homemade.

This year I spoiled my boyfriend a bit early with an amazing new recipe – Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and after making these treats I can believe it! These biscotti are infused with bacon fat and dotted with rich chunks of chocolate – satisfying your sweet, salty and savory desires all in one bite. Whether you dunk them in your morning coffee or indulge after dinner – these unique treats are sure to be a hit, and a conversation starter.

Just a warning – these aren’t one of my healthy dessert creations. They are decadent and delicious and should be enjoyed in moderation!

Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti

Inspired by: Serious Eats

You'll find yourself licking the plate clean because these Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti are so delicious.

You’ll find yourself licking the plate clean because these Bacon Chocolate Chip Biscotti are so delicious.

Ingredients

3 strips of bacon (reserve the fat – should be just slightly less than 1/4 cup)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
coarse sea salt

Directions

  1. Fry bacon in a skillet until browned and crisp [and completely cooked]. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl to remove any excess grease and allow it to cool completely. Remove all excess bacon fat from the skillet and set aside. DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY – you’ll need it in a minute.
  2. Chop the cooled bacon – it should be just a touch larger than the bits you would find in a caesar salad. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. In large bowl, beat the butter,  reserved bacon fat and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, two or three minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat to combine.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and beat until blended. Stir in bacon and chocolate chips.
  5. Gather the dough into one large ball and divide it into two equal pieces. Wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. On floured surface, roll each piece of dough out into a 12 to 14-inch log. They will seem very thin for biscotti but trust me. Sprinkle each log with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
  8. Transfer logs to baking sheet spacing them 3 to 4 inches apart. Bake until light golden and dry to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  9. Remove baking sheet from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 300ºF. Allow logs to cool for 15 minutes.
  10. Transfer logs to cutting board and slice logs on the diagonal into 1/2 thick pieces using a serrated knife.
  11. Return slices to baking sheet, standing upright, and bake until dry and golden, 20 to 30 minutes – depending on the desired crispness.
Allow to cool and enjoy!

Allow to cool and enjoy!

These little gems have been a hit amongst everyone I’ve shared them with. I know there are a lot of steps in the recipe but it is really easy to follow. Most of your time is spent waiting as opposed to working. Give it a shot – they are too delicious to pass up!

xo Lauren


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Mani Monday: Multi-Chrome Swatches (Chanel, Sephora and OPI)

During the dark and cold winter months, I am finding myself enamored by multi-chrome nail lacquers. The hint of sparkle and the unexpected colour change keeps me feeling warm and fuzzy while everything around me is deary and chilled.

The duo/multi-chrome trend began when Chanel released Peridot in Fall 2011. Since then the [nail manufacturer] masses have gone to extremes in order to keep up – to a point where you can find almost exact copies of Peridot (OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, Jessica Iridescent Eye, Ozotic 507 and Morpheus 205) for a fraction of the price. Personally, I am a proud supporter of the original but if you can’t imagine dolling out over $28 for a bottle of polish the replicas are shockingly good.

This winter I decided to branch out and add two new multi-chrome polishes to my collection; Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid and OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough. Below are swatches of these new lacquers along with a few snaps of Peridot.

[WARNING: this is about to get very picture heavy]

Chanel Peridot

A bright gold with hints of green-blue shimmer.

Chanel Peridot in Artificial daytime light.

Chanel Peridot in Artificial daytime light.

A hint of green among the gold.

A hint of green among the gold.

Peridot in the evening light.

Peridot in the evening light.

Green shimmer.

Green shimmer.

In this light the polish has warm undertones.

In this light the polish has warm undertones.

Natural sunlight brings out the cool greens and silvers.

Natural sunlight brings out the cool greens and silvers.

Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid

An opaque chrome blue-violet with two tone effect.

Artificial daytime light.

Artificial daytime light.

Natural daytime light - bring out a brighter purple tone.

Natural daytime light – bring out a brighter purple tone.

Vibrant violet hue.

Vibrant violet hue.

Evening artificial light.

Evening artificial light.

Natural daytime light

Natural daytime light

Sephora by OPI Here's Lilac-ing At You, Kid

Sephora by OPI Here’s Lilac-ing At You, Kid

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

A pink-taupe-silver base with a heavy pink and gold shimmer.

A darker deeper rose hue

A darker deeper rose-taupe hue.

Artifical daytime light brings out a silver-rose shimmer.

Artificial daytime light brings out a silver-rose shimmer.

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

OPI Skyfall The World Is Not Enough

What are you wearing on your nails today?

xo Lauren


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Friday Finds – Lululemon All Sport Heart Rate Monitor Bra Review

I don’t want to cut to the chase too quickly on this post, but look at the title once more. Notice anything missing? Very good – this weeks Fabulous Finds Friday is missing the first word, you’ll see why soon.

When it comes to working out, sometimes having a great outfit is motivation enough to get your butt into gear. This mantra usually leads me straight to lululemon, my favourite fitness apparel manufacturers.

After receiving a Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor for Christmas, I was jumping for joy when I came a tweet releasing the Lululemon All Sport Heart Rate Monitor Bra. If you use a heart rate monitor you can probably relate. Imagine not having to wear that annoying chest strap?! Hallelujah – the fitness gods have answered our prayers!

All Sport Heart Rate Monitor Bra - image courtesy of lululemon.com

All Sport Heart Rate Monitor Bra – image courtesy of lululemon.com

Off I went to the mall to pick up my new favourite sports bra [yes I had already made that conclusion]. Here is where I ran into my first issue – the store hadn’t received any stock yet. WHAT?! You’re telling me I have to wait to wear my favourite bra?! Patience is not my strong suit.

After a week of waiting, I eagerly found myself perusing the racks of bras (ha!) at lululemon – lo and behold, there it was.  I grabbed what I thought to be my usual size and headed for the change room. Issue number 2 – the sizing runs large. The built in heart rate monitor strap doesn’t even touch my body. How is this going to work? I probably should I have tried on a smaller size at the time, but I decided it would be best to come back another day with my heart rate monitor.

Just a few days ago, I found myself back on the hunt to own this sports bra. I packed up my HRM equipment and set out on my quest to bring this baby home. Already aware that my usually size 6 wouldn’t do the trick, I chose a 4 in a mint and black striped pattern [so awesome]. To my surprise and excitement the smaller size fit perfectly and it actually felt great. I almost took it and headed to the cash immediately – but them I remembered that I should probably do some due diligence and make sure my heart rate monitor synced properly.

Snap – one side clicks in, YES! Snap – the other side clips in… But wait? Didn’t I already clip both sides in? For some reason, when I go to snap my heart rate receiver into the built in clips, it doesn’t fit, I can only keep one side in place at a time. WHAT?! So I peek my head out of the change room in despair looking to try another one – thinking “this one is probably just defective”. Three more size 4 bras appear at my change room, and NONE of them work. I even tried snapping the receiver on while the bra was on the hanger, thinking that maybe I was attempting to fit into a size that was too small causing the chest band to stretch too much.

I wanted to love this sports bra. It is one of the greatest fitness inventions of the decade. Lulu, help me out here – this bra is a piece, and I am utterly disappointed. Please fix it – I’ll buy one in every colour, but until then you better believe I am upset.

So as I gear up for my long run tomorrow, I’ll be disappointed putting on my Polar Chest Strap – but happy to have something that works.

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

xo Lauren

PS – If you’re looking for something fun to do tonight check out The Museum of Nature’s first ever Nature Nocturne event! Drinking with the dinos, you better believe I’ll be there – come say hi!


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My InstaLife: January in Review

I know the month isn’t over yet, but I have some fun Instagram shots that I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy!

Hockey Returns!

Hockey Returns!

Started to read a great book.

Started to read a great book.

Enjoyed a relaxing evening.

Enjoyed a relaxing evening.

Stumbled across a doggy driver.

Stumbled across a doggy driver.

Girls Martini Night

Girls Martini Night

Made some "Toxic Teddies" - I'll share the recipe soon.

Made some “Toxic Teddies” – I’ll share the recipe soon.

Tried to brave the frigid winter in this head turner.

Tried to brave the frigid winter in this head turner.

xo Lauren


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How To: Sugar, Lactose and Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

I probably have the world’s biggest sweet tooth. If it were possible to be healthy and fit and live off treats – I’d be doing it. Since I’ve developed numerous food allergies and sensitivities, and embarked upon a healthy lifestyle quest, eating sweets is pretty much out of the question. Unfortunately, my sweet tooth missed that memo.

Today I am so excited to share a brand new recipe with you. It is one that came entirely from my head – no guidance at all – and shockingly, it turned out. This lemon poppy seed loaf is sugar free, lactose free and gluten free, but the best part is that you’d never even suspect it. Oh and it is pretty much fool proof!

Sugar, Lactose and Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

A light treat that won't make you feel even the slightest bit guilty.

A light treat that won’t make you feel even the slightest bit guilty.

Ingredients

1 and 1/3 cup ground almonds (purchase as is – or home made by blending almonds in a food processor until a flour forms)

1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (naturally lactose free)

3 droppers full of liquid stevia

1/3 cup of real lemon juice (or the juice of two full lemons)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

4 egg whites

1/4 cup of poppy seeds (more or less depending on your taste)

pinch of salt

Directions

1, Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. Using coconut oil, grease a loaf pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Ever since it got cold out I’ve been feeling like baking – is anyone else experiencing this urge?

xo Lauren