Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Top Songs of 2015

As a follow up to yesterday's post, here, in no particular order are some of my favourite songs of 2015.  These were part of the soundtrack that got me through this year. Click each track to hear the song. 


Also, every year I look forward to DJ Earworm's mash-up of the hottest songs of the year.  Here is 2015's masterpiece:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Top Albums of 2015

'Tis the time for year-end lists and this is one of my favourites! Yet again proving that my music taste is wide-reaching...in no particular order:

Beauty Behind the Madness - The Weekend
Wild EP - Troye Sivan
Storyteller - Carrie Underwood
1989 DLX - Taylor Swift
The Pinkprint - Nicki Minaj
25 - Adele

Sunday, December 27, 2015

An Easy Dinner

Are you sick of cooking yet? Tired of company and having to come up with meals for everyone? Look no further! This is my fail-safe lasagna that is made in the slow cooker! I have made this for countless people and it's always a hit!
oxox Mare

Ingredients
  • 3 cans (14.4 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 containers (15 ounces each) fresh ricotta
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 12 lasagna noodles (about three-quarters of a 1-pound box)
  • 5 ounces (about 6 cups) baby spinach
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, salt, red pepper and black pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan.

In the bottom of a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, spread a thin layer of the sauce. Top with 3 of the noodles (breaking to fit as necessary). Spread about 1 cup of the sauce over the noodles and layer with 2 cups of the spinach and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese mixture. Repeat twice more with the noodles, sauce, spinach and cheese mixture. Top with the remaining 3 noodles, sauce and 1 cup mozzarella.

Cook on low, covered, until the noodles are tender—especially in the center of the lasagna—about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wise Word Wednesday


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

It's All in a Word

Today I want to share with you a very simple shift I have made in my life.  It is so easy, comes at no cost and has made a real difference in my everyday life.

Think of a word you write multiple times a day, whether signing into a computer, email, social media or even your phone. 

A password. 

In 2014 some of the most popular passwords were 'qwerty', 'password', 'letmein' and '123456'.
Not only are these ridiculously easy to hack into, but they have no added value to your life. 

Now, imagine if you typed in something meaningful every single time you unlocked your phone. You may think the passwords you choose make no difference. Who cares what you are typing? It's just a means to an end. 

Well, for the past six months I have been using only positive words and phrases to open my accounts.  It started out as an experiment when I was feeling particularly down one day and I needed something to bring me out of my funk (because it was 5am and there was no wine ;).

The physical act of typing out a positive phrase has made such a difference.  By making yourself think these words multiple times a day and then having to actually write them out, you are programming your brain to think a different way.  It seems small, but over time, it imprints and changes your outlook ever so slightly.

What words would/phrases would you use?  Here are a few to get you started:

Happy
Calm
Peace
Focus
Drive
Positive
Authentic
Healthy
Love
Strive
OneStepAtATime
JustBreathe
OpenMindOpenHeart
YouGotThis
NeverQuit
DontStop

I guarantee some of you are reading this with doubt or rolling your eyes.  I was that person too, until I tried it.  Why not fill your world with positive words and phrases?  I did.

oxox Mare


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wise Word Wednesday


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Vlogmas Week 1 Recap

I can't believe we are well into Vlogmas!  I would love to know if there is anything you would to see this month.  Thank you so much to everyone who has been tuning in and supporting Vlogmas 2015.  I can't believe this is the fourth year I have been filming this series!  In case you have missed some of the episodes, here is a recap of the first week!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wise Word Wednesday

"Taylor was actually at my house the other day," Selena Gomez, said of Taylor Swift. "We were sitting by the fire and I was talking about relationships and business in my life." During their heart-to-heart, Taylor gave the former Disney star some pivotal life advice.

"She just kind of looked at me and was like, 'Selena, if you're the smartest person in the room, I think you're going to be in the wrong room,'" Gomez recalled. "She thinks I should constantly surround myself with people who are going to make me better — that are going to challenge and motivate me."

As for whether Selena took her pal's advice? "It kind of stuck to me," Gomez admitted. "I want to surround myself with those people."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Answering Holiday Questions

If you have been reading my blog for years (first of all, thanks!) you will remember when I used to do Tuesday Questionnaires.  Today is a bit of a throw-back to that era, with a holiday quiz!  I would love to hear your answers in the comment section! 
Favourite holiday beverage Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, hands down.  I gave up coffee in January and before this month, had maybe had four cups all year.  But there is just something about this drink that allows me to make an exception; it's like Christmas in a cup!  I also only drink Baileys at Christmas.  I like it on the rocks and keep it coming!

Favourite holiday movie Muppet's Christmas Carol, Love Actually, The Holiday and The Grinch (Jim Carrey version)

Favourite holiday song All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey or Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - N'Sync

Favourite treat to indulge in Peppermint Mocha 

Real or fake tree Fun Fact: I have never had a real tree.

Do you do turkey or something else We always had a turkey on Christmas Day, but it's not something I feel makes or breaks the holiday.  Last year we had a crab feast which was amazing!  It is fun to make something indulgent and special for the day, but I don't think it's imperative to have turkey.  

Have you decorated yet Heck yes! Growing up we decorated 12 days before Christmas and left it up 12 days afterwards.  But now I decorate around December first!  I considered not doing anything this year as we aren't going to be home, but of course I caved! As I sit and write this by the light of the Christmas tree, I am happy I did. 

Do you secretly wish you still had an advent calendar I totally do! I absolutely wish I had an advent calendar. I love the idea of an adult calendar with drinks and presents and treats but I have never had one.
oxox Mare

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wise Word Wednesday


Yesterday I had one of my mentors on my morning radio show and I asked her what advice she has for someone who has been through a terrible 2015:
 
"Life is very unkind at times and I have always found in my own life, that every day, even when the worst things happen, there's always moments of joy...whether it was a sunny day, or someone smiled at you or someone just did something that made you feel better.  I think sometimes even on the very worst days we can find seconds of joy so that we can put it into perspective.  It's a life filled with joys and sorrows and we have to see that."
Janice Perrino

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Welcome to Vlogmas 2015!

Good news! I am vlogging every day in December again this year.  In fact, this marks my FOURTH annual Vlogmas! Please let me know if there is anything you would like to see this month in the videos :)

To kick off  Vlogmas this year, Jeremy posted a video this morning:

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