quick easy dinner - barilla pasta

Easy Dinner Recipie: 10 Minute Barilla Pasta

I love to cook but patience has never been my virtue. Thus I’m always on the hunt for quick easy dinners, I can make with very little planning and whatever is in my fridge:)

The other day, Barilla pasta reached out to send me a package inclusive of some pasta, olive oil, other goodies and wine. Barilla is looking to bring the Mediterranean diet back. Meaning we eat a balanced diet, inclusive of carbs, proteins, dairy, fruits and veggies.

I’m Italian so pasta is certainly one of my pleasures. As I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, I decided to give their dish a try. This one was full of fresh ingredients which by themselves lent a great “sauce like” taste. No red sauce needed.

quick easy dinner - barilla pasta


The reason this dish is 10 minutes is there really ins’t much measuring (at least how I do it)

  • Heat up a frying pan with a little butter
  • Dice 1 onion (can be any kind)
  • Chop up 10 (more or less) mushrooms
  • Sauté onions and mushrooms together until browned
  • Add leftover wine to taste
  • Chop up Kale and add to frying pan sauté
  • Once all items are simmering together, add diced tomatoes and a can of peas
  • Simmer al ingredients together

While everything is simmering, bring a pot of water to boil. Add Barilla Pasta an soften until it’s at the texture you like.

Drain pasta and add sautéed ingredients to pasta. Add parmesan cheese and serve

easy dinner recipies

The reason this pasta is so quick to make is most ingredients can be swapped out for whatever you have in the fridge. Most people have an onion and some lettuce lying around but if you have other vegetables, feel free to dice them,sauté them and add them to the mix!


5 minute makeup

5 Minute Makeup

I don’t take a long time to get ready. I’ve never seen the point. Unless it’s a really big night, then I’m happy with my 5 minute makeup routine. Of course, now that I have a kid this 5 minute makeup routine is saving my life. I literally applied this makeup when my friend was in the driveway the other day. So really, it’s more like a 3 minute makeup routine.

Readers, please be advised that the photo your about to see, you can never unsee…

This is me before.

5 minute makeup-before

Yes, I have a 7 month old who still is not consistently sleeping through the night. Thank you for the under eye circles.

Enter 5 minute makeup routine.

  • Apply Benefit Girl Meet Pearl primer to any area you want to smooth out. Blend with Beauty Egg sponge. For me, these areas are always by my nose and cheeks as they have larger pores. I will also do a smidge between the brows to smooth out any lines
  • Apply concealer using your finger. I use MAC Studio Finish concealer and have forever. I love it. I’ve tried other things and always go back. I apply this around my eyes, nose and mouth
  • Curl lashes with your lash curler
  • Apply a finger swipe on both lids of Benefit Cream Shadow RSVP
  • Draw a line as close as you can to your top lashes with your Stila liquid liner. I use black
  • Apply as many coats of mascara as you want. I live by Benefit They’re Real Mascara.
  • Apply Blush-I stick with Benefit Coralista. Sometimes I use my own brush, but often I’ll just use the brush that comes with this blush.
  • Apply chapstick

And time! Not even 5 minute later, the AFTER

5 minute makeup- after

The reason this routine is so crazy fast is because there are no brushes involved. Only your fingers used for application. I love my makeup brushes so I was sad to stop using them as much, but I found when I needed to cull this routine to the absolute speediest-fingers were the best way to go. One less thing to pick up.

If you’re looking for a solid less-than-5-minute-makeup routine, this is what I swear by. I hope it works for you too!

And just to drive the point home…

5 minute makeup- before and afterYIKES!



We've Chnaged

We’ve Changed

You may notice things look a bit different around here. You’re right. We’ve changed.

When I started this site 4 years ago, I had no idea where it or I would end up. It was merely a forum to talk about cheap food, drinks and places to go in Toronto.

Then life happened.

I sold the condo. Bought a house. Got married. Started a renovation. Had a baby. Finished a renovation.

And through all that, your still here.  I didn’t think all of those things would change me too much, but what did I know. They did.

Before I wanted to be everywhere, involved in everything and let you know about all of it.

Now I find myself googling “minamalism-insert-key-word-here” Minimalist decor, fashion, dining, make-up. You name it. All I want it it for it to be quick, inexpensive and efficient.

So to be honest, where we are today is not that different then where we started. I still like things inexpensive but now they need to be faster and easier. I don’t have the time to head out to multiple places merely to check them out. I have limited time and money and I want it spent well.

The site redesign, it’s a reflection of this new minimalist feeling. You’ll no longer find multiple menu items and widgets. The content is going to be under Glam (ie: makeup, fashion, wellness, exercise, going out), Home (Ie: decor, renovations, dining) or Money. The weekend guide will no longer be published because I found as of late, I had been stretching to fill content. With time being as busy as it is, my weekends are best spent with the people I love:)

Building on the effort to streamline the site, the hope is the content will be better too. After speaking to a friend I realized my passion for writing on this site had wained and I needed to get it back.  That’s another reason for the refresh. I was bored of looking at this site and frankly, if I was bored of looking at it, you certainly must have been bored reading it!

So that’s it. That’s why we’ve changed. Thanks for sticking with us. I think 2015 will be pretty stellar!

Jane Seymour People's Jewelry

Jane Seymour’s Jewellery Line debuts at Peoples Diamonds

*Guest post by Maddie Monroe

“Only when you love yourself and your heart is open can you best receive and give love.”

This is the mantra that Jane Seymour’s mother, Mieke van Trigt, lived by; words that helped Mieke find the hope and courage to remain loving and generous while in a concentration camp during World War II. In the midst of this horrific experience, Mieke, a nurse, found strength through caring for fellow prisoners and showing them the love they felt was gone from the world. She credited this way of thinking and this push to develop community with her survival, and, after the war, would often repeat the mantra to her family when they were experiencing their own challenges.

In a difficult period in her adult life, Jane Seymour – famed actress of Live and Let Die and Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman – found herself creating paintings that were filled with heart shapes that were never quite closed. She realized that this symbol was the perfect representation of her mother’s mantra, which Jane had now embraced as her own philosophy. This led Jane to create for herself a necklace with the open heart symbol, which she has worn for years as a personal reminder to love yourself and be open to life’s experiences of love.

This year, Jane invites you to experience the Open Hearts philosophy, as she as collaborated exclusively (in Canada) with Peoples Jewellers to create an entire line of necklaces, rings and earrings inspired by her mother’s mantra and her own necklace. You’ll find, of course, the open heart symbol, but also waves, butterflies, angels, intertwined shapes — all representations of the idea that life is filled with both good and bad experiences, and that we need to keep our hearts open so we can fully experience the love that gets us through.

Jane Seymour People's Jewelry

I got the chance to interview Jane, and to chat about her favourite things about the line. She shared that one of her favourite aspects of the collection was that it was not created simply for men giving shiny necklaces to women on romantic occasions, but rather out of an understanding that jewellery can be a way to express love and gratitude for having someone in your life, since “family is about more than what we are born into. It’s about the moments we have in life when our hearts are touched by another – when we open our hearts and trust someone else with our deepest feelings.”

The Open Hearts collection, contains pieces for anyone to give to anybody in their lives – even to themselves – as a reminder of love.  Jane has also created the Open Hearts Foundation and the online community KeepAnOpenHeart.com in order to celebrate those people who have embraced the Open Hearts philosophy and overcome adversity through selfless giving or have shown love and generosity by creating positive change in the world.

The Open Hearts by Jane Seymour collection is available at Peoples Jewellers stores and online at peoplesjewellers.com. Prices range from $60 – $1,999.99