spring cleaning vol. 2

// food //

Now that your closet is a little leaner (check out my post on cleaning out your closet if you haven’t read it yet!) let’s chat about food! I know that spring tends to be when everyone starts trying out new diets and cutting back. We may all have differing opinions on the necessity of a diet but I think we can all agree we can at least assess the things we’re eating to be a bit more mindful. My personal weakness is processed meats – salami is just too delicious for its own good. But I also like trying out new foods and eating cleaner at least helps balance my overall diet so I feel a bit less bad about the number of Oreos I can consume in one sitting.

Swap out your pop. I love Coke. Just, so much love for it but I know it’s super unhealthy – even if you only consider the sugar levels. I did figure out that most of my Coke cravings were carbonated drink cravings so I made the switch to club soda/sparkling water.

Zucchini noodles. Don’t get me wrong, these will in no way replace your desire to shovel carbs into your system but they are surprisingly delicious. All you need is a spiralizer (I got desperate one day and tried making zoodles with a citrus zester and it was not a good time. But a julienne peeler would also do the trick!) and firm zucchinis. You can either just use the zoodles as a complete replacement for pasta or you can do a half and half combo. The trick is to cook the zoodles as little as possible so they retain their crunch and don’t get too soggy.

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My favourite zoodle dish involves carmelizing half an onion with 2 cloves of garlic. Then add half a cup of halved cherry tomatoes and cook on medium high heat for 3 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste before turning off the heat and adding in 2 medium zucchinis worth of fresh zoodles. Squeeze half a lemon worth of juice over the zoodles after mixing it all together. It’s crazy simple and fresh.

Make your own food. Eating out all the time can get so expensive and the food tends to never be healthy. If you make your own food you can eat cleaner and also help your wallet out. I discovered recently that Williams stopped carrying my beloved Turkey Waldorf Wrap and I decided to just make my own instead. (I also kind of had no choice, no other place made it like they did.)

Fun story that is in no way embarrassing for me: one year during my sleep-deprived Orientation Week state I repeatedly attempted to order a Blair Waldorf wrap from the super confused cashier at Williams. It made sense in my sleepy mind.

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4 large tortilla wraps // baby spinach // 1/4 cup of cranberries (I used canned sauce but fresh would work too) // 2 stalks of celery diced small // 1 apple diced small // juice from half a lemon // pecans // 1 1/2 cups of cooked turkey breast // 1/3 cup of mayo

  • Mix all the ingredients except the spinach and the wraps together in a bowl.
  • Put spinach on the lower half of the wrap as a bed for the filling.
  • Find a guide online on how to wrap wraps without having it all fall apart.
  • Cut in half for that cross section aesthetic.
  • Devour immediately after taking the picture for social media.

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Let me know what other fresh springy recipes/trends you’re loving!

xoxo,

Vick

spring cleaning vol. 1

Seeing as how spring is right around the corner (ignoring the sudden blizzard in mid-March) I thought it would be fun to do a spring cleaning series! The first area of spring cleaning I’ll be talking about is your closet. Well, my closet. Hopefully, this will help you clean out your closet too!

// closet //

I purge my closet seasonally, partially because my closets are never big enough to hold more than a season’s worth of clothing at a time, and mainly because co-op has me moving every 4 months anyways. (I’m also wondering if I ever really thought through enrolling in a co-op program because I definitely didn’t fathom the sheer amount of moving I’ve had to do over the last 3.5 years.) The moving really helps with keeping clutter down because moving is already a hassle and who wants to move extra things if they don’t have to?

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Here are some of my tips/steps to how I usually go about clearing my closet:

1 / Find the time. Make sure you have at least 2.5 hours to dedicate to this task. You’re going to be going through all your stuff and also you have to put it all back. Find something on Netflix to help you power through.

2 / Find the space. Start with a clean room or at least clear your floor space because you’re about to just tear everything apart and you need to be able to manoeuvre the madness.  I make sure I’ve made my bed and swept the floor because my next step gets insane.

3 / Dump all your clothes into piles. No, seriously. Start with one large pile and then categorize. I like to split it by tops/bottoms/dresses, then go through each sub-pile separately and deciding if it’s a keep, storage, maybe, or no.

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  • Keep – love it, for sure will be wearing it, you can’t make me get rid of this.
  • Storage – love it but also it’s the wrong weather outside OR sentimental value but you never wear it.
  • Maybe – there’s something off about it that makes you hesitant about keeping it in your closet, maybe there’s a stain that you haven’t had time to remove, or the fit is just a little bit off.
  • No – these are the pieces that you will never wear again (probably because you bought it during your weird yellow blouses phase in high school). Dump them.

4 / Develop a look guide. While you start going through your maybe-keep pile, pick out 7 pieces of clothing that you love the most. Try to have a mix of shirts/pants/sweaters/accessories/whatever. Use these as your guideline for style + palette. If you look at mine, I stick to a very basic palette of black + white + camel, with structured and flowy pieces mixed together. I know that I gravitate towards these things and as I go through my clothes to decide what I’m keeping I always try to envision how these clothes would go with my core pieces.

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5 / Consider the utility of your duplicates. I had accumulated multiple black tops over the years and to an outsider (read: my mom), they may all seem like they’re basically the same thing. You know your clothes better than anyone else, which is how I can look at all my black tops and know which ones tuck well into pants and which ones I wear for a flowy-er aesthetic.

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6 / Just because it was on sale doesn’t mean you have to keep it. Now I’m not saying you need to Marie Kondo all your socks but tastes change and a pretty common effect of our consumeristic society is that you probably picked up some cheap top because even though you didn’t love it, it was only $5 so what the heck. I found myself keeping so much crap in my closet that I barely wear because I’m like “eh, I bought it on sale it’s fine.”

7 / Make sure you can still create at least 2 good outfits with it. We don’t need to go into more detail than that.

8 / Give your maybe pile a chance for redemption.

  • Does it have a rip/button missing/stain? Really consider whether or not you can fix the clothing and if it’s worth the cost. If not, then it gets tossed.
  • Have you not worn it in a while? Put in the effort to wear it in the near future and if it still didn’t work you can feel better about ditching it.

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Hopefully, by now you’ve taken out all the things that you no longer wear and can feel a bit more unburdened. Except, you still need to get it out of your house. The easiest thing would be to bag it all up (after washing it of course) and taking it to a thrift store. If you want to try and recuperate some money from this endeavour you can try and sell it online (Facebook, eBay, apps like Carousell) or take it to a consignment store. My personal favourite is Plato’s Closet because they buy the brands that students tend to own.

I feel like selling online/through buy-and-sell pages would get you the most profit but it’s also the most time-consuming. I found that because it took so long for me to get rid of the clothes that I would get frustrated at how it would still be in my house. Another recommended option would be to see if your friends want to take the clothes off your hands. I have a stack of button-down shirts that are perfect for the office except I no longer wear that style shirt. I would much rather that I save a friend some money rather than just donating it.

Okay and finally, here are some tips for making your life easier between seasonal overhauls:

  1. If you recognize a gap in your closet, note it down so you can actively keep an eye out for things that can fill it to your standards. I tend to buy crappier alternatives until I find the holy grail of whatever I was looking for. I finally got my hands on a pair of amazingly comfortable dark-wash jeans from 7FAM which made 2 pairs of F21 jeans obsolete.
  2. Set aside clothes that have stains/can be fixed in a specific pile so you know that you want to do something with them and so you’ll actually get around to putting the button back on that top you like.
  3. Make your volunteer/club shirts into a blanket so you can get some use out of shirts that – let’s be honest, you never wear out of the house anyways.

This has been such a long post but I hope some of these tips help! What are some of your tips for spring cleaning?

xoxo,

Vick

things that you probably don’t need but also definitely need

This post will look like it was on its way to the BuzzFeed headquarters but got distracted by my a e s t h e t i c s and ended up on my blog instead. Now that it’s officially December, I’ve rounded up a few cool gift ideas that hopefully your friends and family have yet to receive so you can still claim originality! And if I’m being super honest, I want everything on this list so if any of you are wondering what to get me for Christmas…well. The real challenge is buying it for me before I crack and just buy the things for myself.

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confirmation of life + #onrepeat november

Contrary to my radio silence on this blog since the beginning of the month I’m still here! November has been a crazy busy month – it’s been a lot of head down work on group projects and last week was my Model G20 Conference. There’s only 2-ish weeks left in this term and I still have 3 papers and a presentation left – how?!? Also I’ve yet to find a co-op job for next term and I can’t say that the looming uncertainty is helping keep my nerves at bay at all.

But I’m having interviews and there are other exciting things happening in my life so I’m not just moping on my couch all the time. If you do want to mope on your couch, or go for a nice fall walk (not to spring awkward weather talk on y’all but it’s beautiful today!) I’ve put together another #onrepeat playlist that critics have described as ‘eclectic’ and ‘only half-heartedly sorted’. It’s much longer than my playlists usually are because I’ve been building it up for a few weeks now but I hope you enjoy it!

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thing talk 10/11

I think companies love me because I’m basically their ideal consumer. Some disposable income and limited self-control when it comes to pretty packaging. I’m also still trying to figure out if this is going to be a regular kind of post that needs to be named so “thing talk” is just temporary unless I actually can’t think of anything new. In which case, I put a lot of effort into this naming and you can go ahead and endorse my creativity on LinkedIn.

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apartment tour

Living with strangers seems to be some kind of necessary university experience I’ve subjected myself to 3 times already. Some of those experiences have been awesome and those strangers became my friends (s/o to you 409 suities) but other experiences were less so. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to move into a place with my best friend (and her cat), especially when that place is a 2-bedroom and we don’t even have to put up with other people! And also other people don’t have to put up with us – it’s a great arrangement.

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hey toronto, i love you so

Growing up in Mississauga means that if you want to do anything fun you need to hoof it to Toronto. That’s right the truth is out – I’m a 905er. Yikes, does anyone even say that still? Am I already old and behind the times? Anyways, over the years I’ve become very well acquainted with transiting into Toronto (student budgets and all) especially after having a co-op term downtown. Lakeshore West is best (screw you Milton line). 

This is really just a photo dump from some of my favourite haunts because I want them to live somewhere other than my phone. Where should I visit next?

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on fear

I love fear. And by that what I mean is that I love the feeling of getting over my fears. I don’t actually like the feeling of being terrified. If I wore any kind of heart rate monitor during my classes, you would be able to see visually when I’m hyping myself up to prepare to contribute to the class, and then the actual contribution – because that’s when you see my heart rate go off the charts. I hate it, but I’m also fairly sure that I’m less anxious about it now than I was 3 years ago when I first started university. And I don’t know what kind of a sadistic person came up with this concept, but there’s a particular brand of terror that comes with knowing that 15% of your mark hinges on the fact that you have to muster up the courage to talk in almost every class, all the while knowing that everyone else is fighting for the chance to speak as well. But I digress.

I think it’s healthy to be afraid of things, even if they’re things that you really want to do. Actually – especially if they’re things you really want to do. If you’re not scared then maybe you’re not pushing yourself far enough.

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On changing myself…

I have a midterm on Monday that I should be studying for, I shouldn’t be writing this blog post right now. But I just came out of an interview yesterday and between questions about my experience, balance sheets, and my life, they threw me this curve ball:

“If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?”

Remember when interview questions were just about how many manhole covers there are in New York, or describing a time when you faced a challenge and how you overcame it?

What was totally shocking to me was how quickly I blurted out my answer. It somehow wasn’t anything superficial about my looks (but trust me, I would jump at the chance to change any of those too) but I guess there was something else that bothers me more than dumpy knees and a weird laugh.

“I’d love to be able to care less about what people think of me.”

Continue reading “On changing myself…”