Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Butter

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This spread is ridiculously addicting, but how can it not be when there’s pumpkin involved? I was perusing one of my favourite cookbooks, Food52’s VEGAN by Gena Hamshaw when I noticed the filling ingredients for a chocolate cake in the desserts section. The ingredient list was so simple and happened to be all staples in my pantry, thus I took it as a sign and whipped it up. I’ve made a series of batches since, as I go through it like nobody’s business – it’s that good! Some tweaks I’ve made are adding pumpkin pie spice and opting for sweet potato puree rather than pumpkin.

Cue choirs of angels singing when you see it come together in the processor… The consistency spreads like a dream (no lie!) and I could honestly eat it up by the spoonfuls since it tastes exactly like chocolate mousse. Of course, my favourite way of enjoying it is on top of toasted bread – smear a thick layer and top with some granola or cocoa nibs for some extra texture. I myself, have enjoyed it drizzled with almond butter, but by itself is just as wonderful. Recently, I bought a kg loaf of bread at the farmers market so it’s good this creation has found its way to my repertoire, because it makes me very excited for mornings.


1 can of sweet potato puree (you can use pumpkin but I found that sweet potato is sweeter)

4 tablespoons of almond butter

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tablespoon honey

4 medjool dates

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Place the dates in hot water to soak so they blend easier.
  2. Place sweet potato puree, cocoa powder, honey, almond butter, and pumpkin pie spice in food processor and blend. Stir with spoon if necessary.
  3. Remove dates from water and place into processor to blend with the rest. The filling should be homogenized and can keep in the fridge for 10 days at most.

Recipe adapted from Food52’s VEGAN cookbook

Recipe: Mini Banana Loaves

I’ve been making tons of banana bread ever since I got my mini loaf pan. I can actually declare an obsession with it. It’s so fun to use because it makes everything uniform and dainty-looking. One of the perks though is being able to customize each individual mould. For example, sometimes I have major chocolate cravings so I want a loaf with chocolate chunks in. Other days, I might prefer a simpler one because I want to spread jam on it. Having the different slots makes it easy for me to do a bunch of variations without making another batch. Killing two birds with one stone right?!

This banana bread recipe is 100% plant-based. Score! There is no diary or eggs, which is great for the average joe since the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. Feel free to switch up the toppings on the loafs as you please. Suggestions could be millet, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate chunks, dates, pecans, walnuts, etc. Just add something that will give it a nice crunch to contrast with the moist cake. Otherwise, It just won’t be the same. Trust me.


(8 mini loaves)


  • 1 1/2 cups WW flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 chia egg (1 tbs ground chia with 3 tbsp of water)
  • 3 bananas, roasted
  • 1 bosc pear, ripe
  • 6-8 medjool dates
  • 2 tbs honey (or a vegan sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp millet
  • 1-2 tbsp cocoa nibs/chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tbsp sweetener (I used honey)


  1. Preheat oven to 375⁰F. Slice the bananas lengthwise and place on alumni foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Make the chia egg by grinding the chia seeds in a food processor and mixing it with the water. Set aside.
  3. Sift WW flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, baking powder into a bowl. Whisk well.
  4. Take the bananas out of the oven and let it cool. Puree the bosc pear, dates, and bananas until you have a smooth consistency. Add your chia egg, almond butter, honey, and vanilla. Stir.
  5.  Place wet ingredients into the dry, folding gently, but ensuring that no flour clumps are visible. Scoop batter into the moulds.
  6. Chop the walnuts into small pieces and add desired sweetener to coat it lightly. Spread the nuts equally on top of each loaf, as well as the millet and cocoa nibs.
  7. Bake at 350⁰F for 25 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes and serve.

* feel free to add walnuts into the batter

** I always spread jam, honey, and nut butter on top of mine for breakfast, so I don’t make it too sweet. Feel free to add more sweetener to the batter if you want

Recipe: Apple Pie Oatmeal with Streusel Granola

I don’t know about you, but when fall/winter rolls around, there is nothing that I want more than a hot breakfast. No yogurt, but a big bowl of oatmeal. Of course, I can’t just have plain oatmeal. There’s no substance in it! I’m all for textures – the crunch, the sweetness, the nuttiness, as many ingredients I can squeeze in I will! I want the oatmeal to be as lively as possible – a thing I crave when I wake up.

Lately, with all the fresh apples around, I’ve been making an apple pie version. Sometimes, I do a cherry banana cocoa oatmeal, and other times, I’ll make a pumpkin pie one. Honestly, work with whatever your pantry has available to you. That’s one of the many beauties of oatmeal, it’s incredibly versatile if you let it! The more you can make it something you enjoy, the better of a relationship you will create with this delicious and nutritious breakfast.



(1 serving)

1 apple, diced

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 rolled oats

2-3 tbs granola

2 tbs nut butter

1 tbsp chia seeds

3/4 cup water

3-4 medjool dates

Streusel granola:

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 tbsp honey (or preferred sweetener of your choice)



  1. Cut your apple into cubes. Set aside.
  2. Pit your medjool dates and cut them into quarters. Set aside.
  3. Place your oats into a saucepan and fill the rest of the pot with enough water so it barely covers the oats. Place the chia seeds in. Let the oats come to boil. (I don’t really follow the 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of water ratio because I find that it takes too long for the oats to soak up.)
  4. After the oats are brought to a boil, turn off the stove and put your apple cubes, sliced medjool dates, and cinnamon into the pot. Cover with the lid. Wait 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and place the oatmeal into a bowl. Top it with streusel granola, cocoa nibs, and a heaping tablespoon of the nut butter of your choice. Sprinkle more cinnamon to your liking.

Streusel granola:

  1. Place nuts in a bowl with the cinnamon, coconut oil, and honey. Mix well.
  2. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet and place it in a preheated oven of 350°F for 10-12 minutes. Check them halfway to make sure they don’t burn.
  3. Place all the nuts into a food processor once cooled. Grind them until you have a coarse crumb consistency. (If you don’t have a food processor, place the nuts in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to smash them).
  4. Transfer the granola into a airtight container for future use.

Chau Veggie Express

I’m perplexed with why I haven’t  done a review already on this gem! IT’S FANTASTIC. I’m not much of a pho girl, but I really do love the food here. On a chilly night, the golden temple bowl with rice noodles is like a warm, inviting hug for the soul. It’s so flavoursome and unlike most pho places, it comes with plenty of fresh veggies! The restaurant is 100% vegan but does not compensate in flavour. Portion sizes are generous, and amazingly, their deep-fried spring rolls taste exactly like the real deal (I even questioned myself)!

Don’t skip on the dessert too. I urge you to save room – you will thank me later. The selection, made by pastry chef, Andrew Han of @thekouign, is mesmerizing and surely deserves more attention than it does. Creations include pumpkin pie, peanut hoisin chocolate bars, passionfruit lemon tarts, etc. His coconut milk ice cream sold in pints also come in exciting flavours like caramelized banana and pandan leaf. The texture is incredibly creamy and smooth that I would say it rivals with the artisan ice cream shops in Vancouver. I couldn’t even taste the coconut flavour in the Iced Tea or Matcha flavour…

Do give it a try if you’re in the ‘hood, it’s easily one of the best affordable restaurants in Vancouver. If this place turned into a chain, well what I happy camper I would be.

CHAU VeggiExpress Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Travel: The Okanagan Valley

I seriously apologize for my lack of frequent posts. I feel like I’ve lost my groove and seem uninspired with writing entries… Don’t fret though, I’m hoping to bring some recipes on the way. I’ve been practicing on a delicious banana bread recipe that I almost can’t live without now because the smell is so intoxicating.

This slideshow is a glimpse of a recent “getaway” (if you will) that I took with my family a couple weeks back when the weather was hot, hot, hot! Looking outside, I wish I could transport myself to that time. You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone, truly.

It was my first time down in the Okanagan and I really had no idea what to expect except for lots of fruit stands. It was one of the most scenic drives I’ve ever taken and I couldn’t even believe how beautiful both the water and the landscape was. I highly recommend anyone to take a trip down there whenever they have a chance and check out all the vineyards, U-Pick farms, and restaurants there. It’s any locavores paradise, encapsulating the ‘eat local, buy local’ movement to its very finest.  I seriously cannot wait to go back and  sneak in a hike next time at one of the provincial parks.

Here’s a summary of all the shindigs I was up to while there and hopefully this itinerary will be helpful for you, future explorers!


Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

Their restaurant, Miradoro has a wood-fired oven for the authentic Neopolitan Pizza experience.

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CedarCreek Estate Winery

Dined at their terrace restaurant, but have to say the food wasn’t as enjoyable as I had anticipated. The estate itself is another story – beautiful backdrop for sure.

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Burrowing Owl Estate Winery

Some of my favourite wines were found here. The restaurant itself is another one that focuses on seasonality and the presentation was spectacular to say the least.

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Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa

Located in Vernon, it’s about an hour drive from Kelowna. It’s quite small with only three floors, but it has two swimming pools and a world-class spa facility. Worth checking out if you want a more luxurious experience in the Okanagan. For B.C. residents, there are special packages too!



Mission Hill Winery

Go for the tasting tour and marvel at the spectacular space. Their gift shop houses many local edibles that are perfect for a picnic. I haven’t tried the restaurant there, but I hear great things.

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Quail’s Gate Winery

Perhaps my favourite restaurant in the Okanagan I visited, the food was solid. The particular stand-out was their truffle fries which our whole group claimed were out of this world. Another beautiful estate that is worth making a detour for.

Other places I missed:

  • Joie Farm & Vineyard – Wood-fired pizza (Naramata, BC)
  • Theo’s Restaurant – Greek food (Penticton, BC)

Old Vines Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Event: Dîner en Blanc 2015

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Nothing gets me as excited as partaking in Diner en Blanc in the summertime. Perhaps it is the secrecy of the location that is so alluring or the exclusivity factor, but I love the idea of it altogether. Having an al fresco picnic in a beautiful setting with such attractively dressed individuals seriously sets a kick-ass mood for the rest of the night. It also forces you to indulge in your creative side and craft a beautiful spread not only for the instagram (don’t deny it), but also with your attire and décor – it would be a shame not to that’s for sure.

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Last year, I partook in my first one, which was held in David Lam Park. Saying it was spectacular would be an understatement. Canada Place, the chosen venue for this year, seemed less “special” in the of the arrival since it’s such a familiar location, but I soon realized how perfect it was later on in the night. Though we weren’t all seated on the same level, we were able to wander around and take pictures by the water. It was dreamy and picturesque, despite it being quite chilly. Lesson to self: always bring a jacket no matter how annoying it is to carry. It felt so grand and reminiscent of a maze in a way; every section was unique and not to be overlooked.

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Unlike last year, we decided to bring our own food rather than get it catered. It is a hassle for one partly because of the extra weight, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. We had a fantastic spread of cheeses from The Farm House, apricot jam and hummus, Terra Breads loaf, polenta, ratatouille, and a trifle of homemade banana bread with mascarpone and blackberries. All home-made and all delicious.

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I noticed a lot of couples picked up their food from local grocery stores like Meinhardt or Whole Foods, which is smart since there is no need to prep and can be easily grabbed on the way.

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We downed our meal with some local sparkling apple and pear juice which I picked up on my recent trip to the Okanagan, whilst mingling with our incredibly friendly neighbours! The one thing about these events is how open everyone is to socializing and meeting new people. It could be the alcohol letting everyone feel loose, but hey, no one’s complaining. I mean, except for the few broken wine glasses that occurred, but we’ll let that slide.

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The whole event is such a feast for the eyes that you are practically in awe staring at the fashion to the food to the décor. It’s a “cult” if you will that turns heads and who doesn’t want to partake in that?

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Thank you Diner en Blanc once again for hosting the event, and until next year, my inner girly girl awaits to indulge her fairytale dreams again.

P.S. to the D.J. this year, you slayed with that playlist.

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Postcards from Europe (Paris Edition)

I know no one who isn’t entranced by the idea of visiting Europe. There’s a certain charm it evokes and for many years, I’ve tried to find realistic solutions to cope with it being in Vancouver –  whisk myself to France at Le Marché with my rustic nibbles or munch at patisseries that rivalled the real deal in France. Yet, we all know it simply wasn’t the same not being in the actual country.

I had originally hoped to go to Europe this year with a good friend of mine, but unfortunately our plans fell through. I thought like the year before, it was another failed attempt to make Europe happen. Fortunate enough, this year proved to be different. A sign from the Gods likely, some friends of mine just so happened to be leaving at the same time that I could accompany with. So undoubtedly, I jumped at the chance. Score!

I knew there were specific places I wanted to visit on my own in Paris (my first stop) that my other friends wouldn’t be as interested in as I would be. I ended up booking the trip a week earlier than the group intended. I didn’t mind; an extra week to wander the streets and eat more delicious things is not something anyone could regret. I was grateful to meet some incredible individuals whilst I was there who showed me around and now, have offered me a place to stay when I return. Could I be any luckier?

Still, I cannot believe I’m able to cross off another continent I’ve been to. To have tried some of the places I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl is still hard for me to wrap my head around. I’ve finally tasted the creations I’ve seen in pictures, read on my favourite blogs, and have even had fantasies about. No words can muster that feeling.

Of course, I could go on and on about the endless indulging, the beautiful sites I came across, or the European charm I’ve finally come to discover and love. Yet, I’m sure a picture is worth a thousand more words than I can explain.

Recap of my favourite bites and shots in Paris – surely it won’t be the last.


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Dinner at Ellsworth is a must whenever in Paris. Ingredients are simple, but they pack a punch with the pairing of flavours. Some of my favourite dishes were found here, especially their roasted broccoli with anchovy butter. Swoon.
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Never enough good bread. Their love for artisanal crusty bread makes me so happy…
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Gelato at Pozzetto was delicious, creamy, and light. Many locations and very comparable to the ones I have had in Italy.
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The streets of Paris. Always something to look at.
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Hidden spots.
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The first stop off the plane. I’ve dreamed of this place for years!
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Recommended by a local and loved every bite. Some really interesting flavours, like this medovik one, which is inspired by a Russian honey cake dessert.
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You can’t go to Paris without trying the infamous L’as du Fallafel. I would judge you.
Liberté, you definitely won me over with your granola bread. I still dream about you.
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Le Richer, a restaurant recommended by a server at Ellsworth. Menu inspired by the seasons.
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If there is any dessert that could encapsulate the sweetness of French strawberries without being rich, it would be this.
Crepes at Breizh Cafe, a must-do institution for all foodies.
Market pick-ups from Marché Bastille
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The final product.
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Canelés became my favourite snack in France. The caramelized exterior was exquisite.
I cannot stress enough the importance of visiting Pierre Hermé in Paris. This Tarte Infiniment Vanille was not only a beauty to marvel at, but unique for its exceptional delivery in simple flavours.
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Munching in Jacques Genin. Mango passionfruit caramel, some chocolate, and a tart of woodland strawberries to cap it all off.
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Another must for me is Sadaharu Aoki and this matcha caramel tart.
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Love locks, you can’t miss this.
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Eat as much bread as you possibly can. This baguette just so happened to be from 134 RDT.
Thank you Mori Yoshida for gifting me with this delicious tart. Saw it on one of my favourite blogs, Sugar and Spiced and knew I had to try it for myself!
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Bastille Day celebrations.
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Another canelé for the soul.
Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day. C’etait incroyable.
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Eiffel Tower. I personally loved it from afar more than anything else.
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Brunch at Rose Bakery. I fell in love with this charming British cafe.
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Tacos at Café Chilango , a little hole-in-the-wall close to the apartment we were staying at. Hip and incredibly fresh.

Restaurants/Cafes I recommend:

  • Verjus
  • Frenchie
  • Ellsworth
  • Le Richer
  • Ob-La-Di
  • 52 Faubourg de Saint-Denis
  • Big Mamma
  • Rose Bakery
  • Breizh Cafe
  • Mussobi
  • L’as du Fallafel
  • Holybelly
  • David Toutain
  • L’Arpège

Dessert stops I recommend:

  • Du Pain et Des Idées
  • Pozzetto
  • Pierre Hermé
  • Sadaharu Aoki
  • Angelina
  • Patrick Roger
  • Une Glace à Paris
  • Jacques Genin
  • Pâtisserie des rêves
  • Pâtisserie Mori Yoshida
  • Vandermeersch
  • Des Gâteaux et Du Pain
  • Hugo et Victor
  • Pralus
  • La Pâtisserie Cyril Illignac

Apps I recommend:

  • ParisPastry
  • Google Maps
  • Yelp

P.S. Feel free to search the #LLFeatsParis hashtag on instagram for some more shots of my meals in Paris.

Recipe: Home-Made Nut Granola


Granola is a beautiful thing. I wake up in the morning excited for breakfast due to it. I’ve made quite a few batches of granola, but this one is by far is my favourite just because it’s simple but the texture is exactly what I am looking for. Everyone has their own preferences – some like dried fruit, some like it more sweet, some with more spice. I personally love granola for the crunch so I use a blend of different nuts to create that. Granola is so versatile and easily adaptable. In the winter months however, I do tend to gravitate towards the autumn spices, but since there’s an abundance of fruit right now, having a basic one is nice as it pairs well with anything. I honestly believe it’s really hard to screw up granola, unless you forget about it in the oven of course. Portions of each ingredient is totally dependable on what you enjoy more. For example, if you don’t like sunflower seeds per se, omit it. If you like more of something, add more! I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know what are some of your favourite things to add! I’ve done it with dried mango, coconut, papaya (to name a few) and they’ve all turned out wonderfully.


1/3 cup millet

1/3 cup barley flakes

1/3 buckwheat groats

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup pistachios

1/4 cup cashews

1/2 cup almond slices

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup dates (chopped)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Chop up the dates (with pits removed).
  2. Pour the honey, vanilla extract, and coconut oil in a sauce pan and let it warm up.
  3. Place everything into the pan and stir until everything is coated.
  4. Pour onto a baking sheet and spread it out evenly. Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  5. Take out the tray and use a spoon to make sure the granola is being cooked evenly.
  6. Place the tray back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Repeat step 5 and 6 until your desired texture.

That’s it! I personally look for my granola to be a darker golden brown because I like my nuts to be pretty crunchy, but it’s all personal preference. It’s delicious on top of a bed of yogurt and fruit, as a snack (you could bake it into bars too!), and even smoothie bowls.



Recipe: Roasted Potato Salad with Capers

I’m not sure how many of my readers grew up eating potato salad as a child, but I know I didn’t. My mom never made it for us because she never grew up with it either. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of the dressing, so I’m kind of glad. I’m sure some of you know some killer recipes for it and will probably get me to like it, but in the mean time, this is a completely non-traditional version of a typical American classic – capered style. I personally love capers in all my potato dishes; their brininess flavour really kicks it up a notch. Plus, with the summer heat, things that are lighter just seems to be the universal agreement for picnic fare. I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know what recipes you have been making to cope with this hot, hot weather!


(1-2 Servings)

8-10 baby potatoes

1/2 cup of corn

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons of capers

2 tbsp of brine from capers

4-5 marinated artichokes

1 lemon

2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

1 cup of arugula (spinach and romaine work too!)

  1. After washing the potatoes, cut them in half and roast them with some olive oil and half of the capers in the oven at 375°F for 25 minutes.
  2. place corn in a saucepan with cold water and bring to a boil.
  3. Whisk apple cider vinegar, the other half of capers, brine, lemon juice, and the zest of the lemon in a small bowl.
  4. Take potatoes off the tray once they are cooled and pour the dressing over. Cut the marinated artichokes in half and mix with the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve on a bed of arugula and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts.

Summer Bucket List: Grocery Picnic

Who doesn’t love Vancouver in the summer? Richmond is pretty great too, especially with the “seawall” along Olympic Oval. It’s less crowded, scenic, and is etched with numerous pit stops designed for lunch or just to tan in. They even had lounge chairs! We honestly wished we had our bikinis on cause the weather was perfect… next time!

My friend and I decided to do a little excursion where we headed over to Yaohan to pick up items and bring them back to the trail to enjoy by the water. I swear, this is a PERFECT bucket list item to do this summer! It doesn’t have to be Yaohan, it could be Whole Foods, a candy store, etc. Just pick somewhere that you love and want to share! For me, I chose Yaohan just because my friend adores asian food. I just thought it would be fitting and thankfully, she loved it (or she told me she did!).

I ordered a sticky rice wrap (which I used to get when I was younger) with a bunch of fillings and it only cost me under $4! I had no idea how cheap it was, but I would pick this over fast food any day. It’s so delicious, flavourful, and hearty.

Afterwards, we hit up Bubble Queen for a refreshing drink. We were planning on going to 1028 Cafe, but once again, it was not open. Disappointed but thirsty, we headed to Bubble Queen, a Richmond institution at this point. I ordered a Red Bean Coconut Milk Tea with Regular Mochi and shared a Matcha Mochi Bubble Waffle with my friend.

The drink was delicious – it honestly did the trick for how thirsty we had become. The bubble waffles unfortunately were a bust.

Nonetheless, we rode our bikes back, still content and happy that this adventure was such a success. The combination of the beautiful weather, company, food, and biking just made it a magical day.

If you have any summer bucket list activities that I should do, let me know! I would love to hear about them.


Starting the morning with home-made smoothie bowls. You can find the recipe here


Getting our picture taken… In awe with the view behind us.

A short break to model our feet.


Our little spread. We both agreed that the sticky wrap and pumpkin red bean cake were our favourites.

The sticky wrap in close-up. You can get a mixture of white/purple or full white or full purple. 



Bestie selfie! Necessary.


My cooling drink.


Well, it was worth a shot.