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Sunny Essentials for Your Beach Vacation!

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With the wedding only a month (and one day!) away, you’d think the romance of exchanging our vows or the anticipation of my big walk down the aisle would be some of my more predominant thoughts. You would be wrong. As the day gets closer, both Eric and I are like, “What wedding? LET’S HONEYMOON!”

We’ll be heading to the Riviera Maya in Mexico at the beginning of September to de-stress and enjoy each other’s company after over a year of planning for our marriage. As pumped as we are for the wedding (and we really, really are), after thinking about it for long enough, you start to wonder if all the hassle (i.e. extravagant expenses) is worth it. I know the answer is yes, but the nail-biting leading up to the day and obsessively checking the weather forecast is making me a little nutty.

If you’re like us and drawing  your escape route to a tropical, beachy destination, you’ve probably been mentally putting together your packing list already. I know I have! Let me your travel prep that much easier with the 8 Sunny Essentials I wouldn’t leave for the beach without.

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Last Week’s Favorites!

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Hi friends! Hope you’ve had a great week. It is hot hot heat here in Ottawa this week, and I am LOVING it! It’s exactly what my soul needed, as cheesy as it sounds.

This week’s edition brings snaps from our weekend hiking mini-adventure, a cultural look at the word ‘just,’ Misty Copeland, and MORE! Come take a look!

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Kelsey in 613: Planet Botanix

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Moving to Bank St. last September was a dizzying experience. It took a while to feel balanced, like I was home. The first new things I bought that made the dreary apartment more us and less our shitty rental company’s was a rose quartz crystal and a small, white pyramid from Planet Botanix.

A curious little shop just around the corner from us, it reminded me of charming, kitschy stores my family and I love to visit in Westport or Merrickville. I couldn’t wait to revisit, expand my crystal collection, and explore more of what their business had to offer. It’s since become one of my favorite stores in the neighborhood and a stop at Planet Botanix is an easy pick-me-up if I’m having a blah day.

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Last Week’s Favorites: Lite Edition

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GUYS. This wedding planning hoopla is BANANAS. I feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions and all I want to do is curl up with a cocktail and an episode of You’re the Worst.

Still, I feel even worse for my bridal party, as my bachelorette is coming up this weekend and I know they’re all working so hard. They’ve all been so awesome, enthusiastic, and supportive during this rollercoaster of an experience. I count myself very lucky to have been graced with such wonderful women by my side. I couldn’t have done it without you guys!

Because it’s so hectic, excuse me for bringing you a Lite edition of Last Week’s Favorites – and a day late, no less!

Enjoy this week’s picks from Gala Darling’s beginner’s guide to crystals to Mindy serving up some bridesmaid realness and MORE!

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5 Easy Ways at Dinner with Red Curry Paste

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My second and most recent month as a participant of the Foodie Pen Pal program, I received a small jar of Thai Kitchen’s Red Curry Paste as part of my package. Admittedly, I was hesitant but I wasn’t entirely sure why.

A long-time fan of all things spicy and, more specifically, curry, it didn’t take me long to pinpoint the culprit behind my apprehension: a lack of ideas on how to implement the paste in the kitchen. I just hate having ingredients sit around my pantry, or fridge, dutifully waiting as their expiry date approaches and I finally have an excuse to toss them. No doubt, this was the future in store for this curry paste. Or so I thought.

It was Eric that cracked the seal on the curry seasoning for a curious taste. “Hey, we could use this red curry paste or whatever in a lot of meals. I like the savoryness. Do I have to put this in the fridge?” Eric noted absentmindedly as I chopped at the cutting board, preparing dinner one evening.

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Last Week’s Favorites!

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Hi again, friends! Hope you had an awesome weekend – mine was spent doing some much-needed relaxing, prior to the very real impending wedding whirlwind. I’m so excited for the events of the next few months, but am trying desperately to save from feeling overwhelmed. It’s all in being proactive and doing some prior planning! (And engaging in some alliteration, apparently.)

This Monday’s version of Last Week’s Favorites features big news for the Kelsey Says website, big news for the caffeine-phobic, big news for The Mindy Project fans, and MORE!

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Surprise! Season 3 of ‘Orange is the New Black’ Out on Early Release

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So announced Netflix last night, six hours earlier than the already established release time, much to the surprise and elation of the show’s enthusiastic fans.

Are you a fan of the prison dramedy? After being introduced to the show by a pal, Eric and I got into it, and got into it hardcore. On weeknights, being eyed down by work bedtimes, we’d turn to each other as the episode ended to ask the now-rhetorical question, “Another?”

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5 Herbs for Your Apartment Garden

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Last September, Eric and I made the move from suburban life to downtown dwelling. Along with a handful of other adjustments we had to make, Eric had to find a way to satisfy his green thumb without a backyard of our own.

Not as difficult as we had envisioned, with only a balcony, window sills, and lots of sunlight, he currently has a number of plants on the go, including both Roma and cherry tomatoes, a lime tree, a grapefruit tree, basil, and more.

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Pan-Seared Bavette Steak with Tomato Vinaigrette & Sweet Potato Wedges

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Last week, I was lucky enough to sample the weekly dinner service, Culiniste, for Ottawa blog, Apt613. (For more details on this very cool company, keep an eye out here for the link or check out their website.) We were so satisfied with our meals that I’ll be sharing these three very delicious recipes over the next few weeks!

On Culiniste, you have the ability to choose which meals you are sent. When we perused our six options for the coming week, the Pan-Seared Bavette Steak was a no-brainer. A classic dish, just the anticipation of the savory cut of beef paired with a fresh salad dressed with a tomato vinaigrette was simply too mouth-watering to deny.

A generous serving size for two, any leftovers can be quickly transformed into an equally appetizing lunch the next day. Keep reading for the recipe and leftover suggestions!

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Last Week’s Favorites!

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Babylonstoren Red Salad in South Africa

Image courtesy of Bon Appetit.

I want to start this week by introducing a new feature: Last Week’s Favorites! Meant as a collection of Internet finds, real life moments, cherished products, or returning old faithfuls that made me excited the week before, I hope you like it and that you’ll share your picks too!

Without further ado, here’s what I was into last week! Unsurprisingly, foodie picks reign supreme – hello, color-coded salad via Bon Appetit! – along with a cat lady pick, home décor based on your Myers-Briggs type, and much more!