super easy watermelon frosties

_MG_7104

summer days in the office can quite quickly become mundane and ordinary, amiright? i find changing things up can be overlooked, but really helpful in getting energized again. my sparkle media account coordinator sarah and i were spending the day tap, tapping away on our laptops, and i broke out this super simple watermelon frosty to give a little oomph to a hot day in the office.

_MG_7075_MG_7116

cube some watermelon, and blend it in your magic bullet (or if you’re one of those fancy people, a vitamix) with some ice, a squeeze of lime, and a splash of water… and if it’s friday (or monday, or tuesday…), replace that water with a splash of vodka! adding a paper straw can take any drink to the next level, no?

_MG_7081

_MG_7110
happy sipping!

picnic perfect potato salad

potato salad 1

usually when i cook, i don’t even think about the fact that i could totally blog about it and share the recipe. horrible, i know. thus, the quality of these photos and sketchy measurements in the recipe isn’t up to par, but i wanted to share this one! when i cook, i always improvise, and unless i’m baking, fiddle with ingredients and make up recipes myself… such was the case with this take on a potato salad.

i was looking for something summery and reminiscent of the classic picnic, and came up with this one as i yearned for a little slice of outdoor living space.

potato salad

THE PICNIC PERFECT POTATO SALAD

5-6 large yukon gold potatos, peeled and boiled
20-30 sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped in half
5 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1-2 cobs of corn, boiled, adding just kernels cut right from cob
cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

dressing

TANGY DRESSING

3/4 cups sour cream
chopped chives
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp each grainy and dijon mustard
dashes hot sauce
drizzle of honey (for balance!)
salt and pepper to taste

mix the ingredients together. the textures and flavours are a real treat. add dressing right before serving to avoid dryness (the potatoes quickly soak up the sauce). tweak as you please, i won’t be offended!

the best summer peach and blueberry cobbler… ever

summer cobbler 1

yum, yum, yum. that’s seriously the best way to describe this summer peach and blueberry cobbler. i was looking for something to make for sunday dinner, and my mom was dreaming of cobbler – a little google action (getting my mom using the ipad, priceless!), and this beautiful sweet, tart and satisfying dessert was ours. it is honestly the perfect summer evening treat, and topped with ice cream, there’s almost nothing better. i substituted peaches for nectarines, and corn starch (little tip, look for organic, the conventional is gmo city) for the tapioca.

summer cobbler 2

there not much else i love more than baking, and a chill sunday morning spent with a coffee, and baking supplies in my fave nighty is the ultimate relaxation for me.

summer cobbler

it didn’t stand a chance.

high tea at soirette

_MG_5531 _MG_5325 when i start working with a new client (with my business, sparkle media), there are many hours and days spent researching, getting to know the market, their product, and their vision – it is a lot of behind-the-scenes preparation. i always find learning so much fun, and it feeds my creativity to really understand the fundamentals of my clients brand. being prepared to communicate a brands’ message is a big deal, so i’m a sponge learning everything i can about them. _MG_5522

luckily for me, sparkle media’s new client, soirette, happens to be a wonderful macaron and tea shop dedicated to the art of fine desserts and pastries… straight from paris. macarons, eclairs, and delicate desserts galore! part of getting to know them involved jen and i trying out the weekend high tea service, and we loved taking photos of the beautiful creations, and of course, taste testing the gorgeous nibbles and sipping the delish teas. calling this work seems foolish, but it actually is! (i swear!)

_MG_5521  _MG_5510

such a fun and luxurious afternoon to enjoy with your girlfriends, and a wonderful idea for a bridal shower or special occasion.

_MG_5461

the paris tours: the true parisien experience

the paris tours jackie ellis

i’ve always been a little nervous to even open my eyes to the thought of falling in love with paris. the intimidating tales about the people, the crowds – there are so many expectations about the city of lights. it’s difficult to even know where to begin, isn’t it? the city has been romanticized in the movies, he cuisine glorified and revered , the fashion (what would one wear in the birthplace of ‘chic’?!), and the boutiques, visiting the city almost seems cliché.

then, i met jackie.  you have likely heard me mention beaucoup bakery various times since it opened – many an instagrams have happened on the marble topped tables  and i featured the shop as one of my fave places to go on glitter guide. the founder of beaucoup bakery is a pastry chef, lover of all things parisian, and has brought this french sense and gourmandise flair to vancouver! with her latest passion project, she’s helping current and future paris lovers, and those with a sense of wanderlust, see paris with local eyes thanks to her new venture, the paris tours. in fact, a few friends are flying there just to take part (insert envy here). i love the thought of visiting such an overwhelming city, and being guided by a local vancouverite who also happens to be an honorary parisian.

the paris tours 1

jackie sat down with me to give me a serious scoop on paris through the eyes of an almost local… avoiding the tourist traps, and how to have your very own parisian experience to cherish:

What is the one little nugget everyone who visits paris should know about?

Paris is like a sleeping giant on Sundays and almost everything closes for the day. Despite this, there are some really amazing things to experience. One of the most impressive farmers markets happen on Sundays by Bastille. It gives a great peek into Parisian life through its food. Le Marais is a hip shopping district that’s bustling with locals on Sundays as well. If it’s a sunny summer day, be like a local and sit in a park and practice the art of doing nothing.

If you had to describe Paris in one word… could you? 

I think Paris means something different to everyone but for me, it is “beauty.” It was where I learned to feel beautiful about myself, inside and out. It’s a culture that appreciates beauty in simple and extravagant things. Parisians believe that beauty is essential to enjoying life, and because of this, it’s easy to stop and appreciate the beauty of every present moment, in the architecture, the food or in the way your shoes feel on the cobblestone streets. read more…