instaUPDATE – real life & Rosebud

back to reality and back in the office – miles of files, this is my lifestyle..

… and back home to my own bed, finally after so many weeks away!

this city, this city is haunted.. by ghosts from broken homes – alexisonfire boiled frogs lyrics

city and color “two coins” lyrics

don’t let anyone dull your sparkle – click image for the full post if you missed it!

pre-shower post-midnight selfie’s.. its how I roll #socool

these are a few of my favourite things; band tees, full skirts, converse, sunnies and the sound of music ūüôā

36 crazy fists concert tee, monikee skirt (DK) CO-LAB cross body bag

out for lunch with the boss – found out I get to go on the company trip to Spain in November!!

brunch at The Ladybug and Cafe with my BFF & breakfast guru. She always shows me the best places!

waiting for my nails to dry with tea and snuggles in my favourite hoodie.

these two girls have my heart – misty & lina lookin all majestic like on the hillside.

now y’all know where I got my style, daddy rockin’ the fringe, the original hipster circa 1990

we planted trees for father’s day in my grandpa’s park. i come from a family of tree huggers – click photo for my mom’s blog

thinking over the weekend of another man I learned a lot from – missing this little pony, my BFF’s noble steed

This week was one of coming down. ¬†Coming down and landing back in reality (how unpleasant). ¬† Down from the cloud 9 of a European vacation – relaxing by the beach and stuffing my face with delicious Danish cuisine. while visiting family and shopping. ¬†It was an amazing experience. ¬†I really feel like the Europeans just have their ducks in a row when it comes to social programs and food… OMG the food you guys, go to Europe and just eat!!! ¬†They believe in quality not quantity, that’s why they are famous for being slim and Americans are famous for being fat. I ate so many delicious things there! ¬†Eat like a European – that’s my motto. ¬†Mostly for one reason: seriously do you understand how much better their desserts and chocolates are?? I mean for reals.

¬†While we were in Denmark my grandfather took me to his childhood home and showed me oak trees he planted as a boy. ¬†They tower up now, it was so beautiful to see how much they had grown – he told me there were three times more trees in Denmark now than there were when he left. ¬†This fathers day we had an amazing family brunch with my dad ¬†(the handsome fellow pictured above sporting the fringe jacket) and with his father who is basically a second father to me. (We call him Farfar, Danish for father’s father.) ¬†He has been working on the land all his life, he was our farm every day of my life, and the changes over the years are unbelievable. ¬†Looking at old photos of our farm, seeing him standing at 89 years old in his childhood home with the trees he planted towering over him- I’ve had a lot of time lately to think about how grateful I am for my family and how simple acts of ordinary people are what make all the difference in the world.

I think the history my family has given me such a strong sense of who I am and what I want. ¬†When I spend time on the farm with my family, with my horses, with the animals and the trees and the wind in my hair; I feel free, I feel happy. ¬†When I look around and see well sites dotting up like pockmarks on the once perfect prairie I am afraid; afraid of what is yet to come and that our collective greed will destroy all the earth has to give. ¬†I apologize for being a bit behind schedule with my posts here, but sometimes I have to focus on the country-smile side of myself, you can find me in the meantime helping my somewhat technologically challenged mother with her blog. Click HERE¬†or,¬†add your voice to the conversation on ALBERTA VOICES. ¬†I urge any Canadian citizens, or any concerned individual from any corner of the world to educate yourselves on the dangers of Hydraulic Fracturing . ¬†We all talk about the weather every day, make jokes about how mundane our lives are. ¬†Well, the weather lately has been so weird… its almost like there is some sort of global climate change happening. Perhaps from the massive amounts of fuel we have burned in the last 100 years? ¬†Perhaps we need to pause more often, leave the concrete jungles where everyone is perfect and we never speak to strangers and go back to country roots, where we aren’t afraid to get dirty, do hard work, create a home and a FUTURE. ¬†In the “now” generation we have very much lost sight of the “and then”. ¬†We are failing to plan for ¬†future, which is looking pretty bleak if we, collectively as humans, don’t turn things around a bit. ¬†Stat. ¬†The latest assault on the Rosebud River valley that I grew up in is some rich person’s idea of fun ¬†“a European style country club with luxury condo’s and a paved race track” smack dab in the middle of ¬†Absolutely No Where, Alberta. Also known as the the most damn important place in the world to me because I happened to be born in the center of it. ¬†Read the Calgary Herald article HERE.

The most unforgivable lie we humans tell ourselves is that we, alone, will make no difference.

Alone, we can make all the difference in the world. ¬†A single act can be everything to someone.¬†¬†¬†It takes ONE person with passion, one catalyst for change to happen. ¬†¬†Why are so many afraid to use their voice?¬†¬†Afraid to be passionately involved in their convictions for fear of offending someone, somewhere. ¬†As Eleanor Roosevelt put it – “Do what you know in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized for it anyways.” ¬† Its why things like the Steubenville Rape make me so sick to the core – because if ONE person at that party had pro-actively intervened, had stepped in and said, ” THIS IS WRONG AND YOU NEED TO STOP BECAUSE I WILL MAKE YOU STOP.” ¬†If just one person had had the courage to use that inner voice that must have been screaming at them, then that girl’s life could have been so different. ¬†And those “poor boys” would never have had their “bright futures ruined” by this “misunderstanding” had someone acted (perhaps by knocking some sense into them).¬†I’m so tired of victim blaming.¬†¬†In other words, EVERYONE WINS WHEN SOMEONE ACTS FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. ¬†Do we see where I am going with this? ¬†You have a voice, use it for the truth, use it to ask critical questions, use it to stand up for what you know in your heart to be right. ¬†Do not be silent. ¬†Do not sell yourself short to think you make no difference, the only difference is between the choices you make every single day.

” there will come a time when you must choose between what is right and what is easy “

-j.k.rowling

It will not be easy, but it is our generation that must be the change.  I like to complain that I am back to reality because in some ways, I am terrified of the reality we live in.  Other days I think to myself, how lucky am I to have a steady job to complain about coming back to? Then I remember that luck had nothing to do with it, I worked my ass off to get it.  I am ecstatic to go to Amsterdam and then Barcelona in November, to see Europe again and have to come crashing back to reality in Calgary.  You make your own luck, you get what you give.  You plant a seed and one day it will grow into a forest but first you have to get your hands dirty and dig a hole for it, cover it in water and hope it grows to something beautiful.   Find your passion and let it grow.  Thanks for reading! xo, aiyana

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Healthy French Toast

One of my favourite breakfasts is French Toast. Its warm and delicious and most importantly, extremely quick and easy to make!

I use 2 slices of¬†Dempsters Ancient Grain’s Bread, one egg, a splash of skim milk and cinnamon to taste. Combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and whisk together. Dip bread and fry on medium heat for ~1 minute/side. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. To cut calories use only the egg white. ¬†

This is a good source of protein and fiber to start your day off with energy. ¬†I feel very Canadian in my love for Maple syrup but there is honestly no substitute for it! ¬†Same with real butter… Becel is NOT butter. I believe in dairy not petroleum products.

This is a quick, easy and yummy way to start the day, especially in the chilly winter!! It takes only minutes to make and devour!

ALSO BECAUSE I CAN QUOTE THIS

xo, a

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instaUPDATE

I’ve had a crazy week, I decided to live with my Grandparents on weekends, and ¬†moved in with my best friend Michelle after having some issues with my previous living arrangements, so I have had no time for blogging with such a big change on such short notice, but I think this is going to be much better! In the mean time, insta-snapshots of my busy week.

new arm candy cross bracelets studs gold

new arm candy РALDO Рcross  + stud stacked braceletsdistracted driving with Cedric Diggory

Cedric Diggory loves car rides! He hopped up onto my shoulder for the long drive!drinks with my new roomie and oldest friend

Back in the city, celebrating moving in with margaritas!and of course, food

..and by stuffing our faces with appetizers from Moxies.first night in the new home, cedric is getting settled in

Cedric getting settled in for his first night in a new home, again!love text, candles, seashells, home decor

Whenever I move in somewhere, I always need to have at least one beautiful thing set up before I unpack everything else! Scented candles, seashells, diamonds and a handwritten love note help me relax. After the stress of moving I unwound before bed with some gentle yoga.mundane task selfie - getting an oil change

Bored and vain getting an oil change. Super mundane stuff.tiger high low hem t shirt

my boy got me a giftcard, and I got me this dope Tiger high-low tee

(and a few other things) from le chateau.depression quote, people are assholes

What I learned in school today.

Hope your week is starting off well, xo, a

home made pho

One of my favourite foods is Vietnamese Pho! Its also really easy to make at home, I like making soup because I can basically just throw in vegetables and spices willy-nilly until I get the taste just right! This is my made up recipie for fridge-pho! Soup is great for using up everything in the fridge.

eat pho

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CHICKEN PHO:

  1. Fill a large pot half full of water, use the carcass of a rotisserie chicken to make your soup base. Boil chicken bones, dice up one large white/yellow onion, one clove garlic, and peeled ginger root (about the size of the tip of your thumb) add a package of Chicken boullion and 1 TBSP sea salt, allow this to boil for ~30 minutes or until chicken is falling off the bones.
  2. Pour soup mixture through a strainer, use tongs to pick out all the chicken bones and cartilage- keep the meat and onions.
  3. Continue boiling soup broth on low heat. Chop carrots, green onions, snow peas, baby bok choy, jalapeno pepper and what ever other vegetables you fancy. Carrots take the longest to cook so add those first, working your way backwards by cooking time, snow peas and bok choy take hardly any time at all. Add the bean sprouts last, just before the noodles go in.
  4. Boil ~3 cups of water in a kettle. Using the tray from the chicken (dont wash it out, there will be gelatin stuck to the bottom that will add lots of flavor) unwrap the rice noodles and place in the tray, sprinkle a second package of chicken bouillon seasoning over top, then pour boiling water over top and let sit until noodles are soft.
  5. Add 2 TBSP each of oyster and hoisin sauce to the noodles and broth, then combine with the vegetable soup base, boil for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly and enjoy steaming hot!
  6. Chicken can easily be substituted for beef, traditionally beef would be sliced thinly and cooked in the boiling broth, but I like to fry it with onions, garlic and ginger to brown it, and to get more flavor for the stock. Once its browned, then add the water and follow steps two through five.

home made chicken pho by citystylecountrysmile

Pho is best served fresh (it does keep but the noodles get soggy) and this makes a HUGE batch. Invite some friends over and dazzle them with your culinary skills, they will thank you pho sho.

xoxo, aiyana jane

Mini Avocado Omelette

Start your day off right with this healthy breakfast.

One of my favourite foods is avocado- yummy and its SO good for you! They are packed with more than 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium, avocados also contain fiber, protein and help protect against various disease and illness. more

 

1 avocado + 1 egg + spices to taste + cheese + salsa

  • First cut your avocado in half, I saved the second half to use later- avocados will turn brown once exposed to air, prevent this by dripping lemon juice onto it, and covering in saran wrap, as air tight as you can get it.
  • Score the flesh using a knife, using your fingers to pull the skin open
  • Whisk up the egg mixture- I used an egg, chili powder, basil, oregano & salt
  • Pour the mixture into the scored avocado half. One egg makes enough to fill two avocado halves. I used a cupcake wrapper to prevent spillage.
  • Broil on high in the oven for ~5 minutes, then take it out and poke the inside down to test if its cooked. I hate runny eggs, and with this method the top cooks and underneath its still raw,poke it down so that it will cook more evenly, then top with cheese and broil for another 5 minutes or so.
  • If its still a little under-cooked for your liking, zap it in the microwave for 15 seconds, then the inside will cook in no time at all.

Top avocado omlette with salsa and enjoy

AVOCADO OMELETTE topped with mozza & salsa

Want a simpler option? Just crack an egg directly into the avocado & bake.

¬†I’m a bit particular when it comes to eggs- taste wise I don’t even really like them, I find the yoke tastes too strongly which is why I always scramble my eggs with tons of spices, and don’t even get me started on the runny egg texture, yuck! With the right flavorings though, this makes a delicious, easy, healthy and filling meal.

Don’t be afraid of the high-fat content in avocados, they contain the GOOD fats that your body needs, and provide a big boost of protein to fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied. Skip the cheese if you want to cut some extra calories, but I personally love dairy products and would rather just not worry about it and enjoy the melty, cheesy goodness.

xo, aiyana

zucchini pizza bites

If you or anyone you know has a garden its quite likely that you are about to have more zucchini than you know what to do with!

Its  not  a  big  favourite  for  most  but  this  easy  recipe  makes  it  palatable  for  even  the  most  picky  eaters  by  turning  icky  zucchini  into  yummy (and cute!)  mini  pizzas!  Make this  easy,  gluten-free  and  low-cal  option  for  a  BBQ  or  dinner  with  the  family  and  watch  it  disappear  right  before  your  eyes.

To make it super easy use a pre-cooked roast chicken (available at most grocery chains) and sandwich ham. Slice your ingredients first and then fry the zucchini and add toppings quickly. Use low-cal cheese if you want, although I am part Danish and we are all about the whole dairy fats so I used Mozzarella and Havarti.. mmm, cheese. Salsa makes a great and super easy pizza sauce. Over cooked zucchini is awful, and will get soggy, so keep a close eye. Total cook and prep time is under 15 minutes.

lazy spaghetti

I’m not anything super special in the kitchen, and¬†this is not a food blog.. However what I am is lazy, and hungry. I usually end up putting off eating in favor of the internet and only get off the computer when I’m starving.

Enter lazy spaghetti. Its a quick, healthy and (somewhat) eco-friendly meal.

Most people cook spaghetti in a big pot with lots of extra water, and then dump it all down the drain after. Forget that! Get a frying pan, wide and deep works best (mine is from ikea $20) and fill the bottom with about an inch of water (or about half full). Then crank the stove to max, and add spaghetti, I used that “smart pasta” because the boyfriend doesn’t like whole wheat, so I sneak it in. (Heh heh heh) once the water is boiling and the pasta is on start chopping up your carrots. (I used 2 small ones- 1/person) By the time your finished chopping the carrots the pasta should just be starting to get soft, then you can add your carrots. Let that boil together while you chop up the spinach and get the corn, you can really subsitute any vegetables in that you want, I just used what I had in the fridge.

Keep the stove on max, to boil off the water and to make it cook faster because I’m very impatient. I added “italian herbs blend” to the water while the carrots and spaghetti were simmering. One they are nearly cooked and the water is getting closer to boiling off, add the corn and the chopped spinach, stirring constantly to avoid sticking and/or burning.

Once the spinach looks cooked (it won’t take long) then add a tablespoon of basil pesto and some salt and pepper.

Total prep and cook time was just under 15 minutes. I served mine over some fresh spinach and it was mmmDelish!