feeling 22

On November 12th I turned the quintessential TSwift 22
& the party that followed was a glitter girl’s making

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Home-crafted tassels thanks to the likes of Pinterest girls everywhere
These weren’t hard to make by any means, but very time consuming if you are anything close to a self-proclaimed perfectionist

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{My favourite part, thanks to Party City}

The moment I decided to have a party, I knew I wanted these balloons. They add a celebration factory that is necessary for any event deemed special

With this birthday most likely being on of the last parties I throw, I wanted a little throwback to the parties we had as kids, so I chose a few birthday clichés

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The birthday banner is one of the most underrated decorations, it used to be a must for any birthday celebration & now it’s presence is scarce
However, I for one wanted a little kitschy added to the mix & with the twinkle lights, it went from cheesy to just right

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I personally don’t love the birthday pin or tiara that are usually sported by those adding a digit, but I do appreciate the little things that make you feel more special.
For me, this New Years esque headband was the perfect flare
& it screamed Gilmore Girls a la Rory’s 16th birthday, this girl’s inspo

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Overall it was a great day & a great way to acknowledge this new chapter, welcoming it with a frosting of the perfect decorations

Love and confetti,
ashleyjaytarver

case of the Mondays

Let’s be real, Mondays are tough.
We look at the overall schematics of our week to come, maybe even or next week, and it is stresssssful
All of a sudden we can’t breathe, we let ourselves get swept away in the vastness of it all

So here is a little something that will hopefully comfort you and make it a little less like you just got punched in that four-pack of yours 😉

And remember,

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Love and deep breaths,
ashleyjaytarver

back in black

With school back for most of us with a vengeance, I have adopted Taylor Swift’s 2008 album’s mindset of being fearless.
“Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death”
Deep Taylor, deep.

With that mantra in mind, I have made a bucket-list for my senior year of my Undergraduate career.

Keeping it safe, sound and ever present in my quiche agenda, I am ready to take on the world!

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5) Make a connection with professors, express genuine interest and ask questions, but also add a little you into the exchange. Make these interactions memorable by being confident!

4) Visit all of UofT’s libraries. I am an English major and class A nerd. This is my hit.

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3) Eat chicken wings. I know this one seems strange, but I have never indulged their reported deliciousness and there is a local university spot that is notorious for their wings. And thus, a checklist is born.

2) Do a keg stand. Is it juvenile? Yes. Is it worth it? Probably not. Will I ever get into politics where an image emerges of me partaking in the activity and I have to hire my very own Olivia Pope to rectify the situation? We’ll see. But regardless, it’s a college thing that I’d like to do before it becomes defined as embarrassing or inappropriate.

1) Graduate, duh!

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Whatever happens this year, I will meet it head strong and fearless, and hopefully have a little fun along the way!

Love and possibilities,
ashleyjaytarver

P.s Whats on your bucket list this school year? Tell me about it!

Artisans on a Friday

 

Ever have one of those perfect Sunday afternoons? The weather is a cool mix of sunshine and light breeze, the activities are seamless and spontaneous (two adjectives that don’t usually pair like Pinot and smoked cheddar) and the company is salt of the Earth.

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{My sorority big sister and I outside the market} 

Ever had it on a Friday?

The St. Lawrence Market was something out of a city girl’s shabby chic dreamland. With speciality artisans and delectable taste teasers, it was enough to make this BC native swoon.

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{Specialty goat cheese with pressed flowers}

With a dash of eye catching signs, a bushel of fresh aromas and a heap of hustle and bustle of patrons served to two romantics, made for a wonderful memory and sparked the possibility of global travel in the search for, capital “T,” The Market of all other markets.

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{Sardines} 

Until next time however; 
Love and adventures, 
ashleyjaytarver

 

 

listen up

The weekend is almost here and I can practically feel the base booming!

But I’m getting this TGIF started off a day early with 5 of my favourite pump-up/ primping songs

1) The Luck You Got –The High Strung 
Yes it is the theme song from Shameless. Yes it is incredibly catchy. This song instantly wakes me up and gets me set for the day/ night ahead.

2) Gods and Monsters -Lana Del Rey
Also introduced to me by a friend, this song is just the right amount of cool collection and seduction. And if by the end of it I end up with my hair done beauty queen style, then thats alright with me.

3) Latch -Disclosure ft. Sam Smith
This song is fairly well known by now and thank goodness. It’s addictiveness cannot be denied. It is the perfect mix of dance and soul satisfaction. A definite must to any day.

4) Don’t Want to Dance –
I was introduced to this artist due to the flawless music taste of a housemate and I couldn’t be more grateful. Her sound is eclectic, electric and addictive. I am obsessed.

5) Tongue Tied –Grouplove 
This song is just a feel good time. Its up-beat with a twist of alternative lime. It effectively gets me riled up but also jumping out of my seat to hang with my friends. Its definitely a group number.

Love and lyrics,
ashleyjaytarver 

love waking up in the morning

Mornings are rough for everyone, especially Mondays!
So give your morning some extra love with this super simple twist on breakfast that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Start with a little butter on your pan at a medium heat. I prefer the “I can’t believe it’s not butter” butter as a health conscious choice. Put as much as you want to not only add flavour but to avoid sticky-ness to the pan.

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Next, grab a piece of bread. I personally love a grainy loaf. I also chose the end piece. Not only is it a great way to avoid wasting it, it holds up nicely when the egg is added and doesn’t get soggy.

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Then choose your cookie-cutter. I opted for a heart, but feel free to pick whatever your heart desires. Just make sure it doesn’t hit too close to the edge of the bread before you commit!

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Place the bread face down like pictures above, as to slightly toast the side in which the egg will be put.

Crack the egg into the shape left by the cookie-cutter.

Lately I’ve been a fan of slightly cracking the yolk of a sunny-side up egg because I like to spread the taste of yolk rather than keep it so condensed in one area. But choose what style delights your tastebuds, sunny-side and cracked yolk or plain whites being the best suited for this breakfast.

If you choose cracked yolk or whites, be sure to flip the toast and let it sit on the opposite side for a few beats, this will allow for the egg to cook more throughly.
If you like your eggs sunny-side up but medium done, place a medium pot lid with a tsp of water over top the toast, this will effectively cook the egg without breaking the yolk.

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Vola! Enjoy the best start to your morning and smile the rest of the day!

Love and petit déjeuner,
ashleyjaytarver

4 shades of summer

With the weather beginning to turn from torrential downpour to heavy humidity, it’s tough for a girl to keep up with her ootds
I’ve been able to manage ever so slightly with some help from my friends, Mr. Umbrella and Mrs. J.Crew

Here are a few of my favourite ensembles from the past week

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{Necklace and Shirt: J.Crew Pants: Forever 21 Shoes: Ardene}

This was probably the most comfortable outfit I’ve worn in a while. The pants feel like body-butter, the shirt conceals all the right places and the necklace gives it an edgy vibe. It’s also such a convertible look, easily taken from day to night witch just a change of shoes and lipstick.

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{Sunglasses: Old Navy Shirt and Shoes: J.Crew Jeans: American Eagle}

Such a fun ootd the shirt was so nice to wear even in the hotter weather due to it’s silk/ cotton blend, not to mention it’s photo-floral print which made me feel so Hawaii without even having to hop a plane. J.Crew wedge espadrilles are the type of shoe you can put on that instantly elevate your look and you can wear for more than a couple hours, double threat.

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{Necklace, Sweater and Shoes: J.Crew Skirt: Aritzia Nail polish: Essie}

The girly girl. I love wearing skirts in the summer and this one definitely takes me back to my dancing days. The linen fabric-dyed sweater was not only breathable but the vibrant colour gave the illusion of an instant tan, which this girl couldn’t have been happier about.


{Jackie Cardigan, Shirt, Necklace: J.Crew Jeans: American Eagle}

I’ve slowly been adding more colour to my wardrobe and this sweater has pushed my closet into hyper gear. Not to mention this combo made the perfect excuse for a Cinco de Mayo look.

Playing dress-up begins at age five and never truly ends -Kate Spade

Love and OOTDs,
ashleyjaytarver

pico de-licious

I love summer and all the flavours it brings
I am also absolutely obsessed with Mexican food
Bring them together and you get the lip-smacking delectable flavours of my watermelon, mango pico de guio

I am usually known for my guacamole but I wanted to add that extra freshness that makes it a fiesta for your tastebuds

The recipe made enough for at least 4 dishes (I made a chicken fajita burrito bowl)

I started with the main ingredients of watermelon and mango

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I used a whole mango and about a third of a small watermelon and diced them into about the size of a nickel

I then proceeded with half of a green and half of a red pepper which I diced into about the size of a dime

Afterwards I simply continued with my guacamole recipe

I used a quarter of an onion, one whole avocado and instead of half a tomato I instead used a medley of cherry tomatoes which complimented the sweetness of the fruit (I used approx 6)

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I stirred together all the ingredients and then added approx half a lime and a punch of salt and pepper which I tested until I had the taste I wanted

I usually also include cilantro but unfortunately didn’t have any in my fridge

The end product turned out better than I could have hoped for it was so full of flavour and complimented my dish perfectly

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I’m so excited to try different pico de guio combinations but I think this one is definitely a keeper

Love and amor,
ashleyjaytarver

smooth over your week

Lately I’ve been obsessed with kale and have been looking to incorporate it into every meal I have, ask my friend Alex Misiak has said, #kaleisthenewbeef
For someone who getting the right amount of calcium and iron is always a daily struggle, kale is a godsend

It was only a matter of time before I toyed with the idea of adding it to my smoothies

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{Photo Credit: Elisa Marino}

I used coconut water aka Mother Nature’s sports drink, high in potassium and fibre, as a base along with your average honey, lemon which helps speed up your metabolism and apples adding a little sweetness for your tastebuds

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In the first one I also played around with strawberries which help burn stored fat, and grapefruit that aids the body in the breakdown of unwanted cholesterol

By finely chopping each ingredient and adding a few icecubes I was left with an absolutely delicious, uber healthy and cost-friendly smoothie

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{Photo Credit: Elisa Marino}

This only lead to me wanting more and experimenting with different flavours!

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Next, I replaced the strawberries with pineapple, great for nourishing your body with essential vitamins A & C
I also substituted the grapefruit for mango, not only juicy and delicious but also high in vitamin E and fibre

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Finally, I replaced the coconut water with 100% cranberry juice which does wonders for the kidneys and added a little bit of mint which is a natural metabolism booster
These changes made for a fun tropical vacation in a glass

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Kale smoothies are to die-for and I am so happy I have developed some easy recipes to follow for a nice breakfast or a after yoga/ run refresher.

Share your favourite mixes, I’m so interested in seeing what everyone does to get their kale fix!

Love & Magic-Bullets,
ashleyjaytarver

week bliss

Getting through the week can be rough. Especially on a Thursday when you are so close to the weekend you can taste it.

For me, clean eating makes cooking so exciting which in turn makes the week that much more enjoyable and the weekend a simple add on to a terrific 5 days.

This week, I’ve been cooking with my 3 healthy essentials: coconut oil, lemon and spices! Honestly with those 3 you can make some of the most lip-smacking good meals and/or snacks.

I started the week off with my infused water and fruity cereal, which you can can get the deets on here An important breakfast to start off your day with is vital and a drink that can keep you not only hydrated but energized and that doesn’t contain tons of sugar grams is a complete must.

I continued on my week with a nourishing and scrumptious dinner where half my plate was veggies (a new feat for me)

First I marinated some chicken breast with a little honey, three slices of lemon and a squirt of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I let the mixture sit for an hour.

Then, I added some coconut oil to my sliced potatoes in a bowl. I know people say stay away from carbs but I’m a true believer in the “everything in moderation” rule. With those potatoes I added in a few different spices all of which are my personal favourites. I then placed the potatoes around the chicken breast so they could soak up the flavours.

I placed the tin-foiled covered pan in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes.

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Once the chicken and potatoes were good and cooking I started in on the mushrooms. Cooking at a medium temp on the stove, the mushrooms, some coconut oil, onions and a smidgen of garlic were all added together. Once that aroma was wafting around and the mushrooms looked nice and golden, I added in the asparagus with long cut pieces of the eggplant and zucchini. I personally love the taste of asparagus but if you aren’t a fan, eggplant and zucchini are great ways to get vitamins and add veggies to a dish without being overwhelming in taste.

The end product turned out to be absolutely scrumptious with a small lemon, honey, barbecue chicken breast just adding to the flavours.

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Everything was so delicious and it felt even better to know I was eating healthily. Bonus: I had left overs!

I honestly love looking forward to something everyday and enjoy having a positive outlook of the week as something to have fun with rather than a necessary evil. Luckily for me, I love making nutritious and delicious meals which make the week look that much more delicious and something to look forward to.

Cheers to whatever your week bliss might be.

Love and legumes,
ashleyjaytarver