It’s. Just. Life.

I know, I know it’s been AGES!  The summer flew by with many adventures under my belt, and my tan is fading away now..Halloween has come and gone which means..Dun, dun duuuuuunnnnnn…It’s coming! Brace yourselves, the snow will be here before we know it!
(It’s our own fault. We choose to live in a deep freezer.)

I wish I had a excuse to feed you as to why I suddenly went MIA but if I am being honest, It’s. Just Life. It gets in the way sometimes, doesn’t it!?

Alright, a quick run-down of where I am at..
My work load has doubled this year, and what started out as a part time position.. to get out of the house so I didn’t continue to lose my mind at the rate I was, and make a little extra cash, has completely consumed my life. The clinic that I work in is busy, which is great, don’t get me wrong.. but it really takes a toll on you!
Work is work is work is work is work is work is work is work is work is work is work. Right?!
We’d all rather be vacationing on a beach.

School?.. Studying?… What’s that again?!.. Just kidding! I think I can almost remember! 😉
I had started studying Holistic Nutrition back in 2014..OMFG! 2014?!?!
Christ.. anyway.. yes, two years ago I started.. and NO, I am not close to being done. But does it reallllllllly matter? Well. Yes and no. It does, because it’s been paid for already, and it’s what I WANT to be doing, rather than what I am doing.. but what I am doing now is important too, and I am still studying behind the scenes – little to never – but when I can, and it’ll get done when it gets done. Why stress over it? The way I think of it is if it is causing stress, it is not worth doing. And studying Holistic Nutrition is def worth it! So i am determined to not let it get me down. I refuse to let it stress me out. And some day, I will be Brittany, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. Until then, I’m totally fine with being just Brittany.

The candle company, Atmosphere Candle Company, (which you can check out HERE) is still coming along nicely so stay tuned! The online store will be up and running hopefully in the next few weeks! I am in LOVE with our scents! I can’t get enough of them! We got a tad held up when our roof decided to leak, and destroy the inside of our condo.. and our lives. Not really, but no one likes living through reno’s. Especially when you didn’t ask to do them. But who can complain about a nice new rooftop deck, and a fresh coat of paint!? Not me! (except for that’s exactly what I just did LOL!) I will share some before and after pics once all the finishing touches are finito! I LOVE LOVE LOVE home decor, I have a feeling it will never really be “done”.. but whatevs!

See, It’s. Just. Life. There’s no excuse. It is what it is!
Take a gander at what I’ve been up to, and then find out what’s coming next below!

 

So what’s to come?..Well! Just because I have not been updating you guys, or staying in touch, doesn’t mean my creative mind hasn’t been working away! I am back, and it’s time to get busy! I have a whole wack load of recipes to share, including a whole week dedicated to spaghetti squash (just when you thought you couldn’t love it anymore!). Plus, Crafts..photos..projects. Update on my fitness journey (a verrrrryyy long and bumpy road).. Also..I have some beauty tips to save your skin this winter!.. What else..?.. Um.. I am thinking, I am thinking, oh yes! Wellness items, including why it is SO important for chiropractic to be a part of your life, along with acupuncture, cupping, massage, and an all around wellness lifestyle! And, some products that have been introduced to my life this year! We will also be featuring a few new friends over the next few months, who are seriously rock stars at what they do!

And now I will stop rambling on and let you all get back to your lives!

I hope this finds you all well. I’ve missed you dearly.

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Sneaky Swap Out #2: Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

This will be quick because there is literally not much to it! We all know how hard it is to get kids (and even some adults!) to eat their veggies. This idea is a fairly well-known one.. however I still get a number of people who sound surprised when I mention this one to them, and after having it happen a couple of times over the past week, I figured.. why not just get it out there?!

This one is the Creamy Mashed Potatoes – with Cauliflower! Now let’s get serious here.. who in their right mind does not love to gorge on creamy, delicious, buttery & garlicky mashed potatoes. Okay, well I suppose that there may be some who don’t like them, or can not eat them for health reasons (allergies, etc.), but for the most part, mashed potatoes are a staple. And a completely delicious one at that!

This one is so easy you guys. I don’t even use a recipe for it anymore, I just do most of it to taste. But.. for those who really enjoy following a recipe, or maybe their “to taste” skills aren’t up to par (which is totally okay!).. here you go! And remember – any of these quantities can be increased or cut down depending on how many people you are serving!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut up
  • Approx 1 TBSP of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic – smushed, minced, or just cut up into smaller pieces
  • Reduced fat cream cheese – this one truly is to taste.. I use a few tablespoons.. but it depends on how “creamy” you want them to be.
  • 1/2 TBSP butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (sometimes I use a full cup if I’m feeling extra cheesy)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Steamer (sauce pan, steam basket)
  • Pan (small one to cook garlic)
  • Food processor

What you’re going to do with it:

  • Get out your steamer, put in some water and let it come to a boil.Toss in that cauliflower and let it get a good steam for about 7-10 min. (depending on how big or small of pieces you cut it into.) You should be able to stab through it with a fork.
  • While you’re waiting for your cauliflower to cook, heat up a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a pan, over med heat. Add the garlic and let it cook down a few min until it’s softened. Don’t let it burn, or it will turn bitter!
  • Once the cauliflower is cooked, put about half of it in your food processor. Blend on high. Add the rest of your cauliflower slowly, blending until creamy. Then, add in your butter, garlic, parm cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper and blend until mixed.

Voila! Enjoy!!.. Hey I said it was delicious, not completely healthy!

#FUNBOYLIFE

I was so happy to receive these beauties! Stay tuned for all of my FUNBOY Adventures this summer and why you should support FUNBOY too! And no.. This is not a paid advertisement!

DONT MISS IT! – My Feature!

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CLICK to read my interview with Stefanie of Tea Time Talks!

Q&A: TJ PEPPER #HAIRBYTJ

Meet TJ Pepper. Think she’s just all good looks?! Think again. Hair magician. Super mom. Amazing musician. Killer friend. Half of team Wilderness Barbies. The Thelma to my Louise. And.. she’s married to a stud. And that’s just what I can ramble off the top of my head!

Let’s start off by letting them in on who you are, and where you are from!

I am TJ Pepper, I am a Master Stylist at Élan hair studio and a Platinum key educator for KEVIN.MURPHY. I also Sing in a special events band called Big City All Star Band, and have two boys, aged 9 and almost 3. I’m born and Raised here in Winnipeg, MB, but love to travel!

With so many talents under your belt…Why hair? How did you decide to go down that road?

I’ve been attracted to this Industry since I was a high school student- Constantly coloring my friend’s hair, and cutting my poor brothers hair. After graduation I tried University for a few years, but after some encouragement from my Hairdresser, I enrolled in Cosmetology and never looked back!

Well, I think we can all agree that you chose the right avenue! I know that the hair on MY head thinks so! Where do you find your inspiration to be so creative? What inspires you? Who inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I definitely find myself spending hours on Instagram looking at all the amazing work out there! Social media has impacted our industry in a major way, and not just from a marketing and advertising angle. We’re now able to see what Hairstylists (and clients!) all over the world are doing. Trends are becoming more global, rather than localized, and more rules are being broken everyday.
I’m also lucky to work for a Fashion driven Brand, KEVIN.MURPHY. Kevin is an extremely Sought after Session Stylist. This means He is either doing editorial hair for Major Fashion Magazines, or designing looks for Fashion Houses to use during their Runway shows. I get to learn from the man who creates trends, rather than follow them. His work and the amazing team of Style Masters that work with him keep me so inspired!

With so many new trends, and styles it must be hard to pick a favorite. But! If I were to make you choose just one…What is your favorite hairstyle to create?

I love to style hair that looks lived in. Real. Giving Clients a cut and color that will actually work with their lifestyle, so they can feel pretty everyday, not just the day they get their hair done!!

I know these are usually locked in the vault.. But just this once, can you let us in on any of the upcoming trends for 2016?!

Short Hair is here to stay- you’re seeing a lot of bobs on Celebrities these Days… and if you are willing, an Undercut is a great way to make that classic look feel modern fresh and edgy

Also i think the ‘swag’ (swingy shag) is going to be a big look this spring and summer. A Choppy fringe with irregular dimensional layers for a collapsed texture. More and more women are embracing their natural wave and, and this is a great way to show it off!

5 secret or at home hair tips!… GO!..


1. Go Sulphate Free! Find a great shampoo and conditioner that contains no sulphates. They will oxidize or ‘rust’ your hair so the color will look faded and dull quickly, and make your hair feel brittle. For the cold Prairie Winters, my personal favourite is KEVIN.MURPHY’s Hydrate.Me wash and rinse.

2. Don’t over wash- There is no need to wash your hair every day.. I try to have my clients wash every 3rd day, (or every second if their hair is very fine). The more we cleanse our scalps, the more oil our body will produce, so we quickly develop a vicious cycle. For those days in between, a little dry shampoo along your hairline and part line will go a long way!

3. Cold water is Key- if you want to try a vibrant red, ashy Grey or a platinum blonde, always wash with cool water. the warmer water will wash more of that Color down the drain.

4. Splurge on a good Blowdryer- Chuck that nasty old Conair and find something Ionic or ceramic. These dryers can break down water molecules so your hair can dry faster, and contain technology that can dry your hair from the inside and outside, cutting down your blow dry time, minimizing damage and leave the hair looking shinier. Any time you are using a brush you should always have a concentrator nozzle on as well!

5. Always use protection! …from heat. Flat Irons are now reaching temperatures of 450 degrees, (hair melts at 500) and UV rays are continuing to get stronger. so it is so important to be using a heat protector EVERY TIME we are going to be exposing our locks to heat especially if you are trying to grow your hair. There is a huge variety of professional options out there, so finding one that fits your regular routine shouldn’t be difficult. Our KM range carries heat protection in everything from a smoothing cream to a spray-in conditioner. We even have a beach-texturizing spray with extra UV protection for your Hot Vacation

Seriously…Is there anything you can’t do?!

Ha! plenty- I’m terrible at Drawing, i”m constantly loosing keys. I suck at water-skiing ( although I keep trying) and an exceptionally bad basketball player, just to name a few. I always wished I could sew…

How do you juggle such a busy life?! Between work, music, kids, hockey practices, and play dates.. And hubby time.. Any tips for staying sane during the crazy times in life?

I quickly learned how to become organized after my second son Tucker was born. I had always struggled with Time management and scheduling before that. But I’m old school.. i have the Giant Mom calendar on the fridge in the Kitchen, and I write EVERYTHING down on there.. My Husband and I sit down about once every two weeks and update it.. I’m a Huge believer in the Tribe. I am so lucky to have a fantastic group of friends and and family to help me raise my kids in a happy, healthy environment. I couldn’t do half of what I do without my mom to. She’s fantastic.
As far as staying sane, I try to balance family time, hubby time and solo time… I find I’m a better parent if I get some time without the kids around once and a while.

Okay, time for some randoms!..One item/person/habit/thing you can not go one single day without/doing.

Gotta be singing… Its a major stress reliever for me too, nothing feels better after a stressful day than cranking the tunes and singing along at the top of your lungs!

How many times do you have to listen to a song you love before you hate it.

Usually half way through the first listen I know. I’m annoyingly opinionated about music.

How many times have you hurt yourself while dancing in the shower?

Only once. since then I discovered Singing in the shower has a much lower injury rate.

How many bottles of wine have you finished without actually pouring any of the wine into a glass?

If we’re counting my early 20s, I’m sure more than I care to admit.. these days if I’m going to be chugging anything out of the bottle, I need the whole next day off- and that’s pretty rare!!

What was the last thing you ate?

I am currently eating a red velvet cupcake from Sweet Impressions… and making a mess of myself while doing it.

Alright, so tell us…What’s next for TJ Pepper?

Spring is usually a busy time for me- The salon is busy, and I’ll do hair at some big trade shows in Western Canada working with KEVIN.MURPHY. I’ve got some great gigs lined up with my band as well! As soon as Hockey season is over, any free time will be spent at the lake. We bought a cabin this fall, and I can’t wait to spend some time up there making memories with my two little Peppers!

You can follow TJ on Instagram! @tjpepperhair

Easy Tomato #MEAT Sauce

This is one of those easy sauces that you can easily whip up for a weekday dinner, or a Sunday afternoon project that you can do in bulk, and freeze for when you need it later! It’s a Tomato Meat Sauce. It’s easy. It’s simple. And it’s pretty darn good!

Tomato Meat Sauce:

Olive oil or butter to cover bottom of your pan/pot
1 lb Ground meat (beef, elk, bison – if using elk or bison, you can cut it half and half with beef)
Handful or two Mushrooms – diced
1-2 Onions (1 Big guy or 2 littler ones) – Diced
3 Garlic cloves (or more or less depending on your love for garlic!) – Minced
Herbs – thyme|oregano|basil|italian seasoning (Season to your personal preference, I usually add about 1-2TBSP of each)
3 Grilled tomatoes (or roasted if no bbq)
One Large Can of Seasoned Stewed Tomatoes with the juice
One Small can of tomato past

Meat sauce. Enough said.

Toss some oil or butter in your pan, medium to high heat, and add your ground meat. Once it’s pretty much browned up, add your onions, mushrooms, and garlic and let it cook down until translucent. Add in the herbs, grilled tomatoes, and stewed tomatoes. Let simmer on low-medium for about 15 min stirring throughout. Once it starts all coming together, add in your tomato paste until the sauce reaches the thickness you are looking for. Let it simmer on low heat, about an hour, so it can cook through, stirring occassionally.

The longer it simmers the more intense and delicious your flavors will become. I try to let mine simmer for at least an hour, or longer..but of course there have been nights I have just whipped this up and tossed it on just as soon as it was done!

Post Holiday Body Cleanout!

Let’s face it. You probably spent the last two months pigging out, stressing out, drinking your faces off, eating crap, and staying up late.. And yes, it was probably worth every second. I know, I know.. the holidays are like a free for all.. Not a care in the world… Eat! Eat! You hear time and time again! Calories don’t count during the holidays..right?!.. Dinner after dinner.. Brunches..lunches..Chips and dip..Veggie trays and then the dainties..oh don’t even get me started on these little bites of heaven!..Tables and tables full of dainties.. And it’s all fun and games..until January 2 hits, and reality comes slapping you in the face when you have to return to work, and this of course means wearing actual clothing.. getting out of your sweat pants, and going out into the real world.. Until, wait.. what is happening?! Suddenly those pants that fit you perfectly just one short month ago..now, they are feeling a tad snug! Did they shrink in the dryer?! (That’s always my first thought! 😉 ) Nope.. you just ate your face off and now your body is paying the price. So.. because lots of people are in the same boat, I thought I would share my tips for detoxing, and replenishing your body post the holiday season! I apologize now if this get’s lengthy..

WATER
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!! I know you hear this one all the time, and you’re angry that this is the first tip I give you. WAH! WAH!! It’s the truth. I will say it over and over again. Drink WATER. Not coffee, not water mixed with some sort of flavory dyed sugar powder, not a fountain drink/soda/pop, not a “well it came in a glass container, so it’s probably good for me” drink.. (and yes, someone once said that to me!). WATER. H20. W-A-T-E-R. Pure and simple. If you’re body is not staying hydrated, you are not functioning to your fullest potential. Get in the habit of drinking water. And drink it a lot.  When you wake up. While you’re working. Shopping. Riding in the car. Waiting for the bus. While you’re watching TV. Even when you don’t feel thirsty! Not only will drinking water help to flush away toxins, it will also aid your digestive system. Lots of times when you find yourself mindlessly snacking, or eating but not feeling satisfied, it’s because your body is thirsty for water and not food. Next time you feel like you want a snack, drink a full glass of water first. Do you wonder why your head is pounding? Sometimes (I know not all, but some) headaches are caused from the amount of toxins you have built up in your body that need to be flushed away! Next time you feel like you’re getting a headache, drink a glass of water or two before you pop a couple pills!

How will any of this help with shedding those sugar pounds?.. Well without water, the body is not able to metabolize fat. What does that mean in plain English? You retain water, and you gain weight. And how do we rid ourselves of fluid retention? By drinking water, people! Do you see where I am going with this?! It’s all linked back to drinking lots of QUALITY water. I once read that if they could sell water as a prescription, and an aid for healing, they would. And you know what, I believe it!

SLEEP

I bet now that the holidays are over you are exhausted. It was go-go-go and now you feel like you ran into a brick wall! People need permission to sleep these days. So here is yours; Go to bed. Stay in there for 8 hours. And don’t leave it until 8 hours is over. Your body needs sleep. Regeneration and healing of the body happens while you sleep! And don’t even start with the, I can run off 4-6 hours of sleep! I don’t need 8.. No. You mean you are surviving off 4 hours of sleep a night. I promise if you actually let your body “catch up” and you make sure you are well rested, you will enjoy your life so much more. And with all that water you are drinking now 😉 nothing will be able to stop you!

EXERCISE
And not just for the first week of the new year! Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, even if it’s only 15 min a day!.. MOVE. YOUR. BODY. Stop being lazy little bums and take the stairs, carry your groceries, dance around your house naked if you want! If you want to get all that crap building up inside of you out, you gotta get moving! Sweating is good. Plain. And. Simple. Besides, exercise does wonders for stress levels & your mental health. After the stress of shopping during the holiday season, every one needs a little TLC in that department! Create a little workout for you and your friends, and motivate each other!  Having a workout buddy always helps!

DON’T CHA PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH.. NU, UH!
Duh! Besides all those sugary holiday snacks, and goodies?! Anything that starts with Fast, Fried, or Processed. IS OUT! Don’t eat it. Just don’t. It’s not rocket science here people! If it’s in a box, or a can.. it’s out. If you want to detox your body of toxins, you will benefit from cutting out salt, sugar, flour, and anything white.
I know you are dying for a list of foods that I would tell you to try to avoid besides the basic “Fast, Fried, and Processed” so.. here goes;
Butter, cakes, chocolate, chow mein noodles, corned beef, cream, yellow cheese, whole milk, toaster pastries, lard, ice cream, poultry skin, muffin mix, chips, mayonnaise, deli meat, packaged potatoes, smoked meats, imitation dairy products, cookies, crab, packaged food in general, most things that come out of the aisles section of the grocery store, bacon, whipped cream, bologna, sugary cereal, cocoa, caffeine, cream cheese, duck, goose, gravy, hot dogs and hamburgers, margarine, spare ribs .. okay seriously this list could go on forever, and I am going to assume you get the idea. When in doubt, think of the saying “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead!”

LET’S AIM FOR THIS INSTEAD!
You’re ideal diet will be natural, seasonal, rotational, balanced, moderate, and well-combined. It’s a good idea to start your day with some water with the juice of half a lemon mixed in, or some ginger! Fresh fruits and vegetables (frozen is your next best choice) are at the top of the list. Alongside would be nuts and seeds, whole grains, light proteins, and lots of greens! Smoothies, soups, and juices are a great way to pack a lot of nutrients into one drink, and they are good if you will be on the go! Always try to keep a small Ziploc with some seeds and almonds in your car if you are the kind of person who spends their day working from their car! “Because I was busy” is not an excuse for not having proper nutrition.

  • Here are some Food Combining guidelines as per “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” – Elson M. Haas, MD with Buck Levin, PhD, RD
                 1. Fruits are eaten by themselves or with other fruits.
                 2. Proteins and starches are not eaten together.
                 3. Combine protein and vegetables or starches and vegetables.
                 4. Do not eat more than one protein per meal.

Over the next few weeks I will be posting recipes that you can try at home that will be easy, low sodium, and low sugar and will help you get back to feeling like you again!