January 2021 Bullet Journal Set-Up

Woot woot! It’s time for my first monthly set-up of 2021! I CAN’T WAIT to move into my new journal- right now I’m in that awkward phase where I need both my 2020 and 2021 journals to plan stuff😂😂 The fresh start and clean spreads will be very welcome, because I’m ready to do some big things in 2021🥳

I really struggled to come up with a theme this month! I wanted something simple because I’m tired from all the drawing I did for my Sound of Music theme, but I still wanted it to be pretty and elegant. I was literally doing research for this because I wanted it to be meaningful as well, so I looked up different New Years traditions around the world and stuff like that. I finally stumbled upon the fact that January is named for the Roman god Janus, who was the god of duality and doors. I couldn’t really see how the duality part would fit into my journal, but I loved the idea of doors!! Doors remind me of new opportunities, and since it’s January it’s kind of like the “doorway” to the rest of the year. So I went with a door theme!

The doodles I did this month are pretty simple, which I love because it makes for quick and easy weekly spreads:) I went with a nice pale, kind of robin’s egg blue, and a pale-ish brown. These colours are kind of winter-y and I think they complement each other really well! I didn’t want to bring in too many colours because I wanted these pages to be fresh and clean. I did try to switch up my font a bit though to a more bouncy style, because if I’m going to do calligraphy every month I want to challenge myself a bit😂

I hope that this set-up gives you some inspiration for the year to come! Let’s get into it:)

My title page is up first! I drew a bunch of different kinds of doors- some rectangular, some rounded, some with a frame, and some without. I coloured them in with that brown and blue combo, and then added some washi tape! And there’s that bouncy font I was talking about. I like it a lot! For my quote page I wrote out a saying from Mary Poppins, which I thought was perfect for my theme, and for the beginning of the year.

Here’s my calendar/monthly dash board spread. Yes, I decided to go back to that one page calendar! I find that I really don’t write things down in my calendar all that much, and would rather use more space for writing down stuff for school and any goals I have. I did a shorter quote below the calendar, used more washi tape, and also drew some more doors.

Next we’ve got my trackers. Ever since last May I’ve taken this layout and ran with it- I love it so much! This month I’m tracking a bunch of habits, my mood, productivity, and workouts. I really want to plan my workouts more this year, so this will help me with that! Just a side note, I’m really proud of how I wrote my k😂 I’ve always struggled with calligraphic k’s so I’m glad I’m finally getting them down👌

This spread is super simple, but I’m glad that it is because I need the space! On the left is my gratitude log, where I drew a few doors and write the title in the middle. Then on the right I have lots of space to plan out my blog stuff! I highlighted the days that I’m actually posting in brown, so it’s easier for me to tell them apart.

Finally I did my first weekly spread! I decided to just combine that first Friday and Saturday with the following week, so I have nine days in here. This is one of my favourite weekly layouts because it’s simple and gives me a TON of space to plan. To spruce this one up, I drew some more doors, used some washi tape, and wrote out the days of the week in that bouncy calligraphy.

That’s all for January!! I love the simplicity of this theme, and am really excited to fill in these spreads with some great plans🙌 Make sure you tune in tomorrow for another instalment in this week of book and bullet journal posts!

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

‘Sup guys! I’ve done a lot of sweet Christmas recipes so far, but today I have some Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks that are a GREAT vegetarian main or side dish for your Christmas dinner. I also threw some mushrooms on the pan to toast with the steaks because mushrooms are so tasty and remind me of the holidays!

The concept of a cauliflower steak is a thick slab of cauliflower seared or roasted so that it is reminiscent of a steak. I actually love steaks- I’m not vegan or vegetarian, but I love veggies too, and these “steaks” are just so good and perfect for switching it up once and a while.

In this recipe, I amped up the meatiness of the cauliflower by using liquid smoke in the marinade!! My family and I made some homemade beef jerky the other week (it was so good I highly recommend), and an ingredient in the marinade was liquid smoke. It gave it such a good flavour! So I thought, why not add it to my cauliflower? And it worked its magic there too. Liquid smoke is used in a variety of vegan and vegetarian recipes because it does give that savoury, meaty flavour, so it’s worth picking some up. Also in the marinade, we have balsamic, garlic, and a bunch of spices that all work together to create a ziploc bag full of deliciousness😂

I marinaded the steaks for 4 hours- flipping the bag halfway through to make sure that everything got coated evenly. This made the cauliflower so flavourful! I then placed the steaks on a sheet pan in the oven, but not before tossing some sliced mushrooms in the leftover marinade and throwing them on the pan as well.

Everything roasts up SO nicely in the oven, getting crispy and tender and steak-like! These steaks, along with the mushrooms, would be great alongside some mashed potatoes (or sweet potatoes), more roasted veggies, and maybe some vegetable gravy! They’re super tasty and have a wonderful texture.

Hope you enjoy this vegan holiday dish!

Smoky Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

Serves: 3

Total Time: 5 hours

Ingredients:

For the Steaks and Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, washed and cut lengthwise into about 3/4 inch slabs
  • 5-6 white mushrooms, sliced
  • Sprinkle of dried oregano and dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Red chilli flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large resealable bag. Add in the cauliflower steaks and place in the fridge for 4 hours, flipping over the bag halfway through to make sure that the marinade gets to every part of the veggies.
  2. Once the 4 hours are up, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the steaks from the marinade and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Toss the sliced mushrooms in the remaining marinade, and then place them on the baking sheet as well. Sprinkle some dried rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper over everything, throw the pan in the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and serves the mushrooms and cauliflower warm.
  5. Enjoy!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas-week so far! I’ll see you on Wednesday with another holiday recipe🥰

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)))

December 2020 Reading List

We’ve arrived at the final stretch of the year so this month I’m going HARD to finish all the books that I need to for my 2020 Reading Challenge. I slacked a little in November. Right now I’m reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea and it’s a little bit painful, not gonna lie. It’s a great concept and story and everything, but it’s pretty dry! My goal is to finish by the end of this week because I need to start my other books:)))

I’m so glad that I branched out into a bunch of different genres this year though! I feel like up until now I’ve mostly just been reading YA fiction stuff, but I’m actually starting to drift away from those kinds of fantasy books. There are so many cool books out there, from mystery novels to historical fiction to more classic stories, and I feel like I’ve just reached the tip of the iceberg, which is exciting. YA Fiction- especially fantasy- is still very near and dear to my heart, but after a while the summaries on the backs of the books all start to look the same. Last year I remember I was kind of stuck in a rut thinking that I’ve discovered all of the good books there were to be read…. I don’t know how I was so naive but there are SO many good ones out there. If you’re stuck in a book rut try reading something outside of your usual genre! You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised.

The books I’m reading this month definitely showcase a lot of variety and I’m really excited to read all of them! I have a shameful confession to make though… I STILL haven’t read the Guinevere deception (insert yikes face emoji here). I think it’s been on my book lists since the summertime, but I actually only bought it about a week ago and was in the midst of Twenty Thousand Leagues already. So I actually need to read it this month. I’m getting it done first.

Otherwise, the two other prompts that I still need to fill in are a book about food, and a book set in Asia. I have two books that both look AMAZING to hit these categories. Let’s get into my list so you can see what I mean!

The Guinevere Deception

I finally got my hands on a copy and I’m reading this first in December! I’ve given a summary like five bajillion times now, but the premise is that Guinevere is called to Camelot to marry King Arthur- only she has a secret identity. She was actually sent by Merlin to be a guardian of the city. It’s up to her to save Camelot from the dangers lurking both outside and within. This should be a nice light, fun read and I’m excited to dig in.

A Cook’s Tour

This is for my book about food and I’m REALLY looking forward to it. It’s by Anthony Bourdain who is absolutely amazing, and basically it chronicles his quest around the globe to find the perfect meal. International cuisine is super interesting to me, and I love trying new things! So this should be a super cool read. Who knows, maybe I’ll get some inspiration for more good blog recipes:)) Next year I’d definitely like to pick up some more books on food, just to learn more about different cuisines and techniques so I can share them with you guys. If you have any interest at all in food I suggest picking up this book, because it looks like a good one.

Shantaram

Ok, this one is a little iffy because it is THICK. And by thick I mean a whopping 933 pages. Which my be the thickest book I’ve ever had my sights on.

This book fills in my “set in Asia” prompt, but if its looking like I’m not going to finish it, I may have to jump ship. Although usually if I really like a book, I zoom through it, so I might not have an issue. We’ll see! Anyways, this book is about an Australian convict who flees in India and begins to live in the slums of Bombay. He eventually joins the mafia, whose leader becomes his mentor. This book encapsulates a huge range of human experiences and seems like it deals with some pretty deep stuff so I’ll have to put my thinking cap on. But I like books that talk about humanity and have a deeper message, so hopefully I like this one so much that I can finish it in a week!

Those are the books that I’m planning on ending off the year with! I now recognize how important it is for me to finish Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea ASAP because I have waaaaayyy more reading to do than I anticipated. Hope you guys have an amazing weekend! Gotta go read:))

Chickpea Stir-Fry

I know it’s a Monday, but what better way to start off the week than with a delicious stir-fry? This is not a rhetorical question. Go ahead and search your soul. I’ll wait.

Couldn’t think of anything else? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. This Chickpea Stir-Fry is full of veggies and flavour, two of my favourite things✌️ We’ve got onions, cabbage (or kale if you’d prefer), carrots and chickpeas in a realllllly simple sauce that brings everything together. But the real flavour bombs are the peanuts and fresh cilantro that go in during the last minute of cooking for some extra freshness😍 Want to take it to the next level? Throw some more of that stuff on top along with some green onion as a garnish. Yup🙌 That’s what I’m talking about.

If you’ve got under a half hour to whip something up, then this stir-fry is for you. With a 20 minute total time and super easy prep, this is one no-fuss meal idea! Double or triple the recipe, and you’ve got meal prep for the whole week. Pretty convenient👌

Finally, I’m going to let you in on a secret. You can use any vegetables you have around to make this stir-fry. ANY. I was running low on veggies myself when I made this, but luckily I had some carrots, onions, and cabbage ready to go. However, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms and peppers would all be great in here; customize to your heart’s desire! The important thing is that you’ve got the sauce ingredients and the peanuts and cilantro, because that’s what makes this dish sing. I like serving my stir-fry over quinoa, but you can cook up some white or brown rice, or even couscous, if you’d like.

I hope you enjoy this quick, healthy and delicious meal idea! Let me know what you think🥰

Chickpea Stir-Fry

Serves: 2-3

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 of a large white onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage or kale
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ground peanuts
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Cooked quinoa for serving
  • Sliced green onions + more cilantro and peanuts for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the shredded cabbage or kale, as well as the chickpeas and garlic, to the pan. Continue to cook for about 8 more minutes, until the carrots can be pierced by a fork.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, and rice vinegar. Add the mixture to the pan and give everything a good stir. Allow the stir fry to cook for about 5 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Keep stirring.
  4. Mix in the fresh cilantro and peanuts and cook for a final minute. Remove from the heat, and serve over cooked quinoa. Garnish with green onions, more cilantro, and more peanuts!

Have a great week everyone!:)

Yours Truly,

Olivia:))

Healthy Edible Cookie Dough

Happy Friday!!! We are exactly five weeks away from Christmas- how exciting is that?!?! I’m definitely brainstorming some awesome Christmas recipes right now🙌 If you have any recipes that you’d like me to make, be sure to let me know because I want to have a plethora of holiday awesomeness available for you!

I think I’m about due for a dessert recipe because I haven’t posted one in a while. This is for all you people out there who like to lick the batter off of the spoon, or sneak a finger into the bowl of cookie dough. Which, let’s be honest, is probably all of us. I remember that I tried making this kind of edible cookie dough way back, but my blender wasn’t very good so I still had a lot of chickpea chunks leftover. No, I haven’t attempted edible cookie dough since, and yes, I said chickpeas. No typos around here people!

This Healthy Edible Cookie Dough mostly consists of chickpeas, and before you X out of this blog post, here me out. Chickpeas are actually a great base for any flavour you want to throw at them; they’re kind of the blank canvas of the legume world. Combine that with the amazing, dough-like texture you get when you blend em up, and you get the perfect candidate for a healthy, edible cookie dough base!

Of course, I added other ingredients to create that cookie dough flavour. We’ve got vanilla, peanut butter, cinnamon, a little bit of oats, some maple syrup and a pinch of salt. I blended my dough with some water as well so that everything came together nicely. After that it’s up to you to completely customize your dough! I suggest adding dark chocolate chips or chopped figs and cinnamon- that’s what I did and it’s SO GOOD👌 But really, anything works. It just depends what kind of cookies you like!

This “dough” can be eaten straight (very good) or used as a sort of dessert hummus (also very good), or you can use it to top your oats, toast, or smoothie bowl (really, anyway you eat it it’s going to be good). It makes a great snack or dessert! Hope you enjoy:)

Healthy Edible Cookie Dough

Serves: 2 as a dessert, 4 as a dip

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mix-ins like chopped dates or dried figs, dark chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, or fruit (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all of the ingredients, except the mix-ins, to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spoon into a bowl and mix in your mix-ins!
  3. Eat straight from the bowl or use as a dip or spread:)

Have a great Friday and an awesome weekend my friends! I’ll see you next week with more delicious recipes and my December Bullet Journal Set-Up❤️

Yours Truly,

Olivia:)