MINT & MOJITOS

Despite the recent and unwelcome snow storms, the forecast is finally calling for sunny weather, putting me in full on Spring mode! Aside from planning my warm weather wardrobe, it’s time grab some gloves and a trowel and start thinking about prepping my little garden.

I will be the first to admit that my green thumb is closer to a shade of brown resembling dead grass. Most of the plants in my home are that of the plastic variety, as I’ve never had the best of luck keeping them alive. So I decided to seek the advice of experts and headed out to Kate’s Garden – a haven for gardening pros and newbies (see: me) alike, located just north of Toronto. The goal: Learn how to create a beautiful, potted garden and leave with a tasty new plant for my porch.

Walking in to Kate’s store is like walking into the Secret Garden and you’ll be instantly inspired to create something beautiful. Not only did I learn some great gardening tips (did you know you could eat tulips?!!), but I left with the most darling spearmint plant that I proudly potted myself. I’ve already made a refreshing mojito since bringing my new plant home (see the recipe below) and can’t wait to watch it grow.

Are you a gardening pro? Be sure to leave me your tips in the comments below!

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The Perfect Mojito

  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp fine sugar
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 2 oz white rum
  • club soda
  • ice

1. Muddle sugar and limes together in your glass / 2. Add ice cubes / 3. Pour rum over ice / 4. Throw in the lime slice that you squeezed earlier for the juice / 5. Add club soda / 6. ENJOY!

DIY: MASON JAR COCKTAILS

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With Christmas less than two weeks away, the holiday rush is officially in full swing! If you’re like me, your gift-giving list is a mix of family members, friends, co-workers, and Secret Santa’s; a group of wonderful people all with varying tastes. So, when I stumbled across this mason jar gift idea on Pinterest, I knew it would be perfect for my entire list! The cocktail combinations are endless, making it an easy gift to personalize for everyone.

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To get started, I wrote a fun message on each mason jar using a chalkboard marker. *If you can’t find a mason jar with writable space, you can add gift tag with a fun saying of your own, or the recipient’s name.

Next, cut a piece of twine approximately 24″ long. Wrap and double knot the twine around the rim of the mason jar. Place a straw up against the knot that you’ve tied, and secure it in place by using an additional double knot.

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Choose your bottle of liquor and place it up against the straw. Using the same twine, tie a double knot around the neck of the bottle, under the cap (this will keep the bottle from sliding off).

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Choose your soft drink and drop it (gently) down into the mason jar.

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All the recipients have to do is add some ice and enjoy, and you can relax knowing that your Christmas gift list has been taken care of!

Which cocktail combination would you make? Let me know in the comments below!

Shop this post: Mason Jars – Dollarama | Twine – Dollarama | Santa Straws – Party City | Mini Liquor Bottles – LCBO | Chalkboard Marker – Michaels | Soft Drinks – Metro

*Please drink responsibly. Only consume alcohol if you meet the legal age requirements in your country.

FROM THE KITCHEN: NUTS & BOLTS

A few weeks ago, I was approached by the lovely Victoria of Floral + Teacups to work on a holiday collaboration. We connected via the interweb after the Spark Sessions conference last month, and have been busy tweeting and cooking up a storm ever since.

With Christmas just a few weeks away, we thought it would be fun to do a holiday recipe swap with a twist. We traded family recipes that were special to us during the Christmas season; recipes that our mom’s have been making for years. Victoria shared her family’s Nuts & Bolts – a homemade take on Bits & Bites, which I used to love eating as a child. It was a cinch to make, and the batch that I cooked up has already been consumed by anybody who could get their hands on it (it was that good). Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Crispex (I used Life cereal)
  • 8 cups plain Cheerios
  • 16oz pretzels
  • 3oz Bugles
  • 1/2 lb peanuts
  • 1/2 lb sunflower seeds
  • 1-1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1/4 cup worcestshire sauce
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

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Step 1: Combine dry ingredients.

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Step 2: Melt butter. Add to the dry ingredients, along with the spices and worcestshire sauce.

Step 3: Bake at 275° covered for 1 hour and then uncovered for 1 hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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If you head over to Victoria’s blog, you’ll see the recipe I shared with her: Christmas Snowballs. These tasty treats have been my mom’s cookie exchange go-to for 20+ years, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we’ve eaten a few (handfuls) of them.

A big thanks to Victoria for collaborating with me on this project. It was the perfect way to kick off the holiday season! If you’re interested in collaborating with me, feel free to get in touch via social media or via email.