3 Healthy Ice Cream Recipes

3 Healthy Ice Cream Recipes

If there’s anyone that has an unhealthy obsession with ice cream, it’s me. I think my sweet tooth runs in the family….and ice cream is one of my top dessert choices, my favourite being gelato mmm! I actually used to work at an ice cream shop, it was my very first job and I made ice cream from scratch as well as ice cream cakes! It was kind of like a free for all with the ice cream and there was a point that I realized I had gained close to 10lbs because of it LOL. Thankfully I don’t work there anymore, but to cater to my ice cream obsession I’ve found some healthy ice cream recipes that I can make at home. The images in this post are the banana Nutella ice cream that I recently made (PS. It was delicious!).

#1 Nutella Frozen Yogourt

Ingredients

  • 2 cups yogurt of choice
  • 2/3 cup nutella
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (don’t use if you’re using vanilla yogourt)
  • 1/4 tsp or less of salt
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • pinch pure stevia OR 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • optional chocolate chips

Blend all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, until completely smooth. Freeze the mixture in ice cube trays and then re-blend (including chocolate chips) using an electric blender. Or you can transfer the blended mixture to an airtight container, freeze, and stir well every hour for 3 hours.

#2 Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (use full fat canned coconut milk, not light)
  • 1/2 cup additional coconut milk OR milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup sweetener of choice, such as sugar or pure maple syrup
  • pinch stevia or 1 additional tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, until completely smooth. Freeze the mixture in ice cube trays and then re-blend (including chocolate chips) using an electric blender. Or you can transfer the blended mixture to an airtight container, freeze, and stir well every hour for 3 hours.

#3 Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2-3 overripe, frozen bananas
  • 2-4 tbsp optional milk of choice (I like coconut milk)
  • pinch salt
  • Nutella (optional, but its amazing)

Start with bananas that are turning brown. Peel and cut into large pieces, then freeze in an airtight bag or container. Put 2-3 frozen bananas into a blender or food processor—add a pinch of salt and 2-4 tbsp milk of choice for smoother blending if desired. Blend until smooth!

Have you tried making your own ice cream before? If you have, please share the recipe below!

xoxo,

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Sunday High Tea

Sunday High Tea

Today’s activities consisted of high tea with one of my closest girlfriends and shopping! I visited a tea salon that I’d never been to before and it was so lovely. We went to Patisserie Fur Elise in downtown Vancouver and for the price that we paid I was very impressed with both the service, quality and amount of food we were served. Here’s a little recap of the tea and the outfit I wore!

Pants: Who What Wear collection from Target

Coat: Romwe Fashion

Silk Scarf: Babaton

Sweater: H&M

The table itself was gorgeous and they had cute twinkling lights underneath the glass making it that much more special!

When our tea arrived our server placed a mini sand timer on the table to let us know when it was good to pour.

We paid $30.00CA each for an entire tier and a tea of our choice. I chose Creme Brûlée tea and it was scrumptious!

This was the tier full of both of our servings of food and all of it was delicious. In fact I didn’t finish one of my sandwiches because I got full!

The smallest details made the tea even better, like this silver birdie tray that you could use to strain the tea when pouring it.

After high tea we headed to the mall where we both found amazing Tory Burch bags and splurged a little bit 😉

Stay tuned for the reveal of my bag this week on Instagram! @haleyestradaa

xoxo,

1-Month Health & Fitness Journey

1-Month Health & Fitness Journey

Hello lovely people! I’m so happy you’ve come across this post because it’s something that I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a very long time. Just like anyone else would I’m preparing for a tropical vacation that’s coming up very soon, and by preparing I mean getting my butt into shape! I’m generally very good about staying in shape (eating right and exercising) but I took a loooong 3-month break between July and October this year so now I have a little more work to do for my vacay.

My fitness journey is going to be exactly one month long, starting one month from the day that I hop on my plane. I will be watching very carefully what I eat and also starting my regular 5-7 days a week home workouts. Today I’d like to share with you what my eating schedule looks like in a day, meal and snack ideas, and the types of workouts that I’ll be doing.

If you’re going on a vacation over the holidays that includes swimwear and a beach and you feel like getting fit before you go then this post might be perfect for you! Let’s get in shape together shall we?!


WHAT MY EATING SCHEDULE LOOKS LIKE

*I eat every 2 to 3 hours to speed up my metabolism and ensure that I always have energy!*

Breakfast

Small Snack

Lunch

Small Snack

Dinner

Small Snack

(note that you shouldn’t be eating less than 2-3 hours before you sleep!)

MEAL & SNACK IDEAS

Aside from starting to workout again the other major change in my lifestyle during this fitness journey will be what I’m eating. I’ve decided to minimize the amount of carbohydrates that I eat as well as cut out as many sweets and junk food that I can (aside from the few cheat days that might occur). Here are the main foods that I will be holding back from for the month:

Breads

Pasta

Cookies

Cake

Quinoa

Potatoes

Candy

Juice and Pop (I don’t drink soda but I’ll include it anyway)

Ice-Cream

Some of these foods make up large parts of our everyday meals and snacks so below are some ideas on what you CAN eat!

Breakfast Options

Fried egg and avocado.

Egg whites with spinach, tomato, cheese.

Banana, strawberry, almond milk, vanilla breakfast shake smoothie.

2 slices of turkey bacon with a grilled avocado.

Mixed berries, almond milk, vanilla or strawberry breakfast shake smoothie.

Scrambled eggs with cheese, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

Seared tomatoes and mushrooms and fried egg.

Lunch Options

Pre-packed salads (with a small amount of dressing).

Sautéed veggies with kale & spinach sausage.

Seared tomatoes with sausage or other meat.

Spinach salad with mushrooms, tomato, and balsamic vinegar.

A lot of the time I just bring left over dinner for lunch which includes some form of meat (chicken, fish, pork) and a side of veggies or salad.

Dinner Options

I’m no chef so I don’t have any specific ideas for dinner, but I usually just eat some type of salad (caesar, kale, thai) with a portion of meat (chicken, fish, pork, beef).

Snack Options

Cherry tomatoes with sliced cheese

Half an apple with peanut butter

Banana (can be with peanut butter)

Small handful of almonds

Grapes and sliced cheese

Raw veggies

Raw fruits

WORKOUT SCHEDULE

When I really get into a proper schedule I usually workout 5-7 times a week alternating abs/arms days with full body days (abs/arms/legs). I always make sure to be energized with a small snack before my workouts and to drink water throughout as well. My workouts come before dinner and my last snack of the day! Let me know in the comments if you would like to see a list of the workouts I do.


I’m a firm believer in working hard for what you want and I guarantee that if you stay determined and on track you can definitely achieve your goals! Feel free to use my Contact Form or DM me on my social media accounts if you have any questions or suggestions! I would love to hear from some of you! You can stay up to date with my progress by following me on Instagram and watching my Insta-Stories.

xoxo,

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Have you ever been at home craving a PSL but you’re too lazy to visit your nearest cafe to get one? Yup, me too! Luckily I’ve found a homemade PSL recipe that actually DOES compare to Starbucks’ famous pumpkin spice latte! Whenever I make little homemade goods like this I love to make either a day or night out of it. This recipe goes well with a candle lit games night, popcorn, milk chocolate, and your favourite classic film.


Ingredients

2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, depending on how sweet you like it
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for serving
1/2 cup strong hot coffee
Whipped cream, for serving

Preparation

Add milk, pumpkin puree, and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until hot, but do not boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and the coffee.

Divide the mixture between two mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Tips & Tricks

  • I love this recipe with 2% milk but you can definitely substitute for almond, soy, or coconut too!
  • The sugar in this recipe can also be substituted for honey or an artificial sweetener. It’s totally up to you!
  • If you don’t want to buy pumpkin spice you can make your own with: 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon + 2 teaspoons ground ginger + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg + a pinch of ground cloves.

Enjoy your PSLs ladies and gents!

xoxo,

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Recipe

To start off this post I’d like to share a fun fact about me. When I was younger, probably between the ages of 10-13, I had a huge passion for baking and that’s all I would ever do in my spare time. I baked everything from cookies to cupcakes to cake pops and more and I spent all of my time decorating my creations too. Up until now I’ve probably tried around 10 different chocolate chip cookie recipes, and yes each one has turned out completely different. I love chewy, semi-sweet, and very chocolatey cookies so this recipe that my boyfriend recently found on a Facebook post is now my new favourite! The original recipe can be found here, but for convenience I’ve copied it below!

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I personally think that these cookies are perfect for an at-home date night of baking, movies, and snuggles!


INGREDIENTS

½ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, melted

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate chunks

4 ounces dark chocolate chunks (or your preference)

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugars, salt, and butter until a paste has formed with no lumps.

3. Whisk in the egg and vanilla, beating until light ribbons fall off the whisk.

4. Sift in the flour and baking soda, then fold the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. This will cause the gluten in the flour to toughen, which will result in cakier cookies.

5. Fold in the chocolate chunks evenly, then chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. For a more intense toffee-like flavor and deeper color, chill the dough overnight. The longer the dough rests, the more complex its flavor will be.

6. Scoop the dough with an ice cream scoop onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, leaving at least 4 inches of space between cookies and 2 inches of space from the edges of the pan so that the cookies can spread evenly.

7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges have started to barely brown.

8. Cool completely, and enjoy!


Enjoy the recipe all you cookie monsters!

xoxo,

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Thanksgiving Yam Casserole

Thanksgiving Yam Casserole

If there’s one time that you’ll see me cooking, and actually enjoying it, it’s at Thanksgiving. Some might say that I’m not an Iron Chef (ahem, my boyfriend) but when it comes to this casserole it’s quick, easy, and yummy no matter what I do!

This dish has been passed on for generations in my family and last year I finally obtained the recipe from my Grandmother in hopes that it would become my contribution to our annual Thanksgiving family dinner.

Are you ready for mouth-watering, creamy, and sweet yam goodness? Let’s dive into this recipe together!

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If you’re confused as to which yams I’m talking about, these are the ones! Orange on the inside 🙂

Ingredients

2 cups mashed yams (some may call it a sweet potato, it’s the orange one)

2 tablespoons Butter

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons Cream

Top of Casserole

1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325º F.
  2. Boil a pot of water big enough to fit 2 cups of cut yams.
  3. Cut a yam into cubes and toss into boiling water until soft enough to mash.
  4. Drain the water and mash the yams in the pot.
  5. Mix in the cream, butter and salt.
  6. Transfer the mashed yam mix into a glass casserole dish.
  7. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and mix.
  8. Spread the butter and sugar mix on top of the casserole and garnish with pecans.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until the top of the casserole is bubbling.
  10. Serve hot!

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Happy Thanksgiving all of you lovely people! May your long weekends be full of love, laughs and delicious food!

xoxo,

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10 Healthy Snack Ideas

10 Healthy Snack Ideas

From school to work or just when I’m hanging around the house I’m always looking for healthy snacks to eat. Here are 10 of my go-to healthy snacks that boost my energy and keep me feeling good throughout the day.


#1 Apples and Peanut Butter

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#2 Greek Yogurt and Berries

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#3 Celery, Cucumber, and Carrots with Hummus

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#4 Nuts

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#5 Celery and Peanut Butter

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#6 Plain Rice Cake with Avocado and Lemon

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#7 Plain Rice Cake with Laughing Cow Cheese

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There are so many different flavours to choose from!

#8 Whole Grain Bread with Goat Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes

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#9 Greek Yogurt with Honey and Banana

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#10 Banana with Crunchy Peanut Butter

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I’m always on the hunt for healthy snack ideas, so if you have any of your own please leave them in the comments!

xoxo,

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Review: L’otus Cake Boutique, Richmond BC

I recently visited one of the newest and greatest little additions to the Richmond area, L’otus Cake Boutique! I had heard about it from a co-worker as the place with “crepe cakes” so obviously I had to check it out right away! I actually visited this little cafe twice within a week, so clearly I think it’s pretty amazing.

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This new spot is extremely popular (aka busy) and they are only open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12-6pm, so there’s a chance that they will run out of product early. When they do run out they post the announcement on their quickly growing Instagram page @lotuscakeboutique

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Mango Mille Crepe (top) and Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe (bottom).

Menu

Their menu isn’t very large but all of the items are decadent and delicious. The biggest seller right now is the Mille Crepe, pretty much a slice of cake consisting of 16-20 crepes layered between a cream filling. Their flavours include creme brûlée, blue earl grey, fresh strawberry, hojicha (a Japanese green tea), and occasionally a fruit mix with bananas, kiwi, and strawberries. They do sometimes have other desserts available such as green tea cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and mousse cakes!

They have a cafe menu including lattes (unsweetened), traditional green tea latte, and a few other drinks. Their green tea latte is served traditionally in a bowl and is unsweetened so keep that in mind if you’re used to a sweetened one!

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Earl Grey Tea (top) and London Fog (bottom).

What We Ordered

The first time I visited, my friend and I went straight for the Mille Crepes, I got the Creme Brûlée and she got the Blue Earl Grey. I also ordered the regular latte, but was disappointed because they had no flavour syrups available (and I don’t like strong coffee so a bitter latte wasn’t exactly what I was looking for). My friend ordered the green tea latte, and like I mentioned before it was unsweetened, so also not the greatest.

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Creme Brûlée Mille Crepe.

The very first Mille Crepe that I tried, Creme Brûlée, was heavenly. The creme was fluffy and the crepes were cooked perfectly. Even the sugar torched on the top was crunchy!

The Blue Earl Grey was also apparently very creamy and had a true earl grey flavour.

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Blue Earl Grey (top) Creme Brûlée (bottom)

The second time I visited I ordered the Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe and my other friend got the Fresh Mango Mille Crepe. This time I decided to order a London Fog, and oddly enough they served it to me in a tea pot with a tiny pouring cup of sweetening syrup! My friend opted for a regular pot of Earl Grey tea. Neither of us were disappointed! The Blue Earl Grey was as good as my friend mentioned to me the first time and when I tasted the Mango Mille Crepe it melted in my mouth.

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Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe and London Fog latte.

Interior Decor

This boutique is perfect for a clean Instagram photo because the entire place is decked out in white and white marble! Definitely a good photo-opp.

Service (2 visits)

The service was not the very best when I visited this boutique the first time, but it was extremely busy with people lined up to the door. The waiting area consists of only three chairs and there’s also a door that workers come and go through right behind the area so we were constantly moving aside for them. I was confused when I first walked in as there were separate lines for takeout and seating, but no one was coming by to ask how many we were for a table. I ended up going to ask one of the workers, but we waited a good 15-20 minutes to be seated.

We had a lovely time enjoying our mille crepes and lattes but once again when we wanted to pay and leave no one was coming by to check up on us. We probably could have walked out without paying and they wouldn’t notice, but I went up to the counter and asked someone to come over. At this time the place was getting extremely busy and we knew we had to get out quick so someone else could be seated, but the process of paying took a while and the server wasn’t very fast at getting our change.

The second time that I went to L’otus Cake Boutique my friend and I arrived a few minutes before their opening time, 12pm, and we were seated right away. The service in this case was better than the first, but it did get busy pretty quickly. It was more enjoyable for me this time because we weren’t crowded by tons of people!

If you’re planning on going here, try to go right at opening time because even half and hour after it’s busy and the service isn’t the best.

Rating: 8/10 – AMAZING food – beautiful decor – OK service


I will be back, but hopefully at a time when it isn’t too busy! The Mille Crepes are definitely worth trying if you live in the area or are visiting!

xoxo,

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Most Photogenic Cafes in Vancouver

If you’re going to have coffee or tea, why not choose a cafe that snaps a good shot for Instagram?! #foreverpostingfoodandcoffee

Here are the places that I think look best in photos, from the tables to the latte art. No explanations are needed, you can tell just by looking at the images below! I’ve provided the address of each cafe and a link to their websites in the cafe names.


1.Bel Cafe

Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 W Georgia St, Vancouver, BC

2.Buro Coffee

356 Water St, Vancouver, BC

3.Dalina

687 Main St, Vancouver, BC

4.Prado Cafe

Various Locations, visit their website for all of them!

5.49th Parallel (Kitsilano)

2198 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver BC 

6.Gene Coffee Bar

2404 Main St, Vancouver, BC

7.Matchstick

4807 Main St (at 32nd Ave) Vancouver, BC

8.Olive & Ruby

2839 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC 

9.Small Victory

1088 Homer St, Vancouver, BC 

10.Greenhorn Espresso Bar

994 Nicola St, Vancouver, BC

11.Rocanini 

Location 1: 115-3900 Moncton Street, Richmond, BC

Location 2: 5631 West Blvd, Vancouver, BC  


Give this post a like if you want to know more of my “best spots” in Vancouver! I will be updating this as I discover new cafes but I hope I helped you in taking your Instagram feed to the next level 😉 Until next time…

xoxo,

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Best Tea & Macaron Spots in Vancouver

I am a tea and macaron fanatic and if you feel the same way then these places are for you! I’ve been drinking tea since elementary (decaf back then of course) because of my Grandma. To this day I still get excited to open up her gigantic tea drawer when I go over to her house. I like my tea sweet with a little bit of half and half and a macaron is the perfect little treat to pair with it. If you’re in Vancouver or just visiting, check out some of these spots, they will not disappoint!


1. Soirette 

This tiny cafe is stunning inside and serves everything from single macarons and tea to high tea and cakes! Every time I go here I order the plate of 6 macarons because there are just too many to choose from!

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2. French Made Baking

When I was in high school this was my go-to spot when I was craving macarons and tea. I would even get surprise deliveries of their macarons in between classes from my oh-so-sweet boyfriend! It was just a few blocks away from my school and I was in love with their teeny-tiny macarons. This little cafe is definitely Paris inspired and serves small meals like crepes and sandwiches as well! They have a pretty good selection of loose leaf teas and their regular lineup of macaron flavours are to die for. This is also the place to go to if you want to attend baking classes!

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3. Thierry

In the heart of downtown Vancouver, Thierry is a cozy spot specializing in handcrafted chocolates, pastries, and of course macarons! Unlike French Made Baking, Thierry’s macarons are slightly bigger but oh so delicious to taste. Their other chocolate delights are amazing and their chai tea latte is SO GOOD.

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4. Faubourg Paris

This spot screams Paris, and that’s exactly what they want you to feel like when you step through their doors. Their bakery and cafe items are all freshly made and their macarons are just perfection. Faubourg is also right in the heart of downtown Vancouver and a great spot to stop at in between shopping.

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5. London Heritage Farm Tea Room

This spot is a little farther out from Vancouver but it’s a classic tea room that’s worth trying out. I have only ever been here for high tea, and always with my Grandma, but I’m never disappointed. The tea room is in the original London Heritage Farm house, a beautiful white home located right on the Fraser River. Wedding photo shoots are often held here and from the windows of the house you can sometimes see them taking place. This is actually where I took my Prom photos with my boyfriend! They turned out lovely.

6. Adorabelle

Also a little ways out from Vancouver, located in Steveston Village, Richmond this tea room is only a few years old but resides in an Old Courthouse that was built in 1925. You wouldn’t be able to tell from the inside though! The ceiling of the team room is a blue sky and a ground view of the eiffel tower. It’s as if you’re sitting right below it! Adorabelle also offers gluten free options for their baked goods and high tea, making it a great place to go to for all. My favourite tea here is “Paris” and although they do not have macarons, their house made baked goods are amazing.

7. Ladurée

Ladurée is another very Parisian house full of tea, pastries, and macarons. Their traditional macaron recipe makes for an even tastier treat with your tea! The house itself is quite beautiful and adds to the overall experience when you walk in.


If there are other macaron and tea spots that you know of I would love to try them out! Comment below or use my contact form here. I hope you enjoy these sweet spots!

xoxo,

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