Happy Holidays!

There are so many Beautiful by The Motivated TypePrint from The Motivate Type

Happy Holidays everyone!  Thank-you so much for your readership in 2014.  This blog has grown by leaps and bounds this past year and so much of it is due to my wonderful readers.

I’ll be taking the next couple weeks off to spend some time with my family and reflect on all the things I’m grateful for.

See you in the New Year!

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Easiest Last Minute Dip Ever

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip | www.roastedmontreal.com

Holy cow are the holidays a lot of work.  Decorating, recitals, gifts, wrapping, food prep… I feel some days that I am going crazy.  I do try to spread out the work and simplify, especially this year with a newborn.  We didn’t put up all the decorations and we will definitely be ordering pizza but I do like to bake and cook and host so I do what I can.

150 Dips & SalsasPhoto Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © www.robertrose.ca

I was offered the cookbook 150 Best Dips & Salsas and was pretty excited.  It may seem silly but I always struggle when it comes to finding a good dip and it’s so nice to have them all in one place.

Feta Roasted Red Pepper Dip 150 Dips & SalsasPhoto Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © www.robertrose.ca

I recently made this Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip for our annual cookie swap (it’s the dip in the photo on the left at the top that’s red).  It’s a super snap to whip up and perfect for last minute.  It’s just two items and both store well long term so you can pick them up in advance.

Enjoy and here’s to the holidays!

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Author: 
Serves: Makes about 13⁄4 cups (425 mL)
 
If you have the ingredients on hand, this tasty dip can be ready to serve in about 5 minutes. Serve it with crudités, crackers or pumpernickel rounds for an elegant appetizer.
Ingredients
  • 8 oz feta cheese (see Tip) 250 g
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, quartered or 2 store-bought
  • Hot pepper sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. In food processor fitted with metal blade, process feta, roasted peppers, and hot pepper sauce, if using, until smooth, about 30 seconds, stopping and scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. If refrigerated allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.
  3. Tip: Use creamy feta cheese (about 26% M.F.). The lower-fat versions produce a drier dip. If your results seem dry, add 1 tsp (5 mL) or so of extra virgin olive oil and pulse.
  4. Vegetarian Friendly

 

Courtesy of 150 Best Dips & Salsas by Judith Finlayson & Jordan Wagman 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

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Take your Baby to the Barre

lululemon | Très Barre | www.roastedmontreal.comThink Fast Tank / Energy Bra / Runday Crop

As part of my collaboration with lululemon, I was offered a Mommy&BABYbarre class with Très STUDIOBarre, which is handily located next door to lululemon St-Denis.  I absolutely jumped at the chance and couldn’t wait to get these muscles in use again.  As I’m breastfeeding and Alex is pretty much attached to me (he’s in his baby carrier as I type this up!) the Mommy&BABYbarre class was definitely the best fit for us but they have tons of other classes including Barre, Stott Pilates, Yoga and PreNatal.

lululemon | très STUDIObarre | www.roastedmontreal.comYogi Crew SweaterThink Fast Tank / Energy Bra / Runday Crop

First things first… I am no ballerina.  Ksenia (pictured above) was a very helpful and patient instructor and she worked with me to improve my posture and make sure I was doing the moves correctly.  If you think you need to be some sort of ex-ballerina to take this class believe me you don’t and neither is anyone else doing the class.  Everyone is pretty much concentrating on their own thing and just trying to breathe through the burn… because this class seriously works the muscles.

lululemon | très STUDIObarre | www.roastedmontreal.com

lululemon | très STUDIObarre | www.roastedmontreal.com

The class starts off on the floor and every step of the way you are fairly engaged with your baby.  The light bright studio is very welcoming and if you need to take time outs to feed it’s totally fine.

lululemon | très STUDIObarre | www.roastedmontreal.com

After the floor work you move on to the barre with the baby in the carrier.  This was probably the best part as the bouncy moves just lull the babies to sleep and you can concentrate on your moves.  Ballerinas make it look easy… but man it’s tough.  Pliés, ronde de jambes à terre,  elevés, and battements tendu all sound pretty but are pretty tough work.  (And yes, I looked up all those terms.)

lululemon | très STUDIObarre | www.roastedmontreal.com

The class really was fun and a good workout with baby, especially in the winter when getting outside means dragging your stroller through snowbanks.  And of course, having some clothes that fit you right and make you feel confident enough to get your photo taken while you are trying to pull off a ballet pose when you don’t know what you are doing helps too.  My only side note about the studio would be that there are outdoor stairs to get up to the studio so that you may want to leave the big stroller in the car and just use a baby carrier.

During this collaboration I really rediscovered lululemon and I was impressed with what I saw.  The fit of their clothes is great but I was really impressed with the fabrics, colours and patterns too.  Not only do their traditional workout clothes do the trick, their casual stuff is pretty fab too.

Remember, that if you are looking for casual clothes lululemon has a huge selection too.  Check out my previous post here.

For more on their technical clothes that I am wearing above check out my post here.

 

Thank-you lululemon for the experience and the clothes!  And thanks to Très STUDIObarre for the workout!

 

Check out lululemon St-Denis’ Facebook page here or their store details here.

Très STUDIObarre details are here.   

 

All photos by Isabelle Hayes.  (Check out her Ye Ye Style Blog and Ye Ye Vintage Boutique while you’re at it!)

*This post was sponsored by lululemon.

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Shop the Store – Artemano

I was asked by Artemano to come by and check out their St-Laurent store location.  This Montreal-founded store first opened in Laval and is full of Zen-inspired, clean, contemporary furnishings.

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.comI loved all the wood and the Asian inspiration.  I also liked the fact that they reworked a lot of old wood.  Much of it comes from old Indonesian fishing boats, Indian railway ties or old construction wood from Thailand.

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.comTheir furniture may also come from salvaged drift wood and storm-felled trees.

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.comI found the entire store very zen and especially loved their large pieces like the tables, benches and consoles.

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.com

 

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.com

Check out their About page for more information on the artisans, their philosophy and where all their lovely products are made.

Thank-you Artemano for allowing me to discover your lovely store!

Artemano | www.roastedmontreal.com

Artemano is located all over Quebec and in Toronto and Ottawa.

 

*This post was compensated.

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Christmas Baking Roundup

Reverse Nanaimo Bars | www.kitchenhealssoul.comReverse Nanaimo Bars from Kitchen Heals Soul (my post has a roundup of her faves)

Here are some of my favourite holiday bakes!

Thick European Style Hot Chocolate | www.roastedmontreal.comThick European Style Hot Chocolate

Eggnog Cheesecake | www.roastedmontreal.comEggnog Cheesecake

Williams Sonoma Cookie Press Spritz Cookies | www.roastedmontreal.comWilliams Sonoma Cookie Press Spritz Cookies

Chewy Gingersnaps | www.roastedmontreal.comChewy Gingersnaps (one of my all time faves!)

Enjoy making and eating these bakes.  Snuggle up with a blanket, sip some decadent hot chocolate and reflect on all that you are thankful for!

 

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