The 2 Questions I Am Constantly Asked Now That I’m Married.

Now that I’m married, I get asked two questions all the time.

  1. Does it feel any different to be married?
  2. How come you got married so young?!

My answer to number one.

It doesn’t feel any different to be married, nor would I want it to!

What Matt and I have is perfect and if the act of us getting married changed anything about us, I would be very, very worried.

My answer to number 2.

It seemed right to us. Every relationship is different and for us, it seemed like the right time to get married.

Logical reason:

We didn’t know what my career would bring in the future and we knew we would have some time after I graduated so we decided to do it then before we got too busy.

Non-logical reason:

Maybe I should start at the beginning. (Ohhh noooo not another story about my life!)

When I first met Matt, I knew something about him was different.

Most teenage boys were either immature, rude, or always playing games with every girl they meet.

Matt wasn’t any of those things. (He still isn’t by the way!)

He is a genuinely nice guy. He wants to make people happy and works hard at everything he does. He is mature for his age. He is kind to everyone he meets.

The night before we officially started dating, we were performing at our school’s Christmas fundraiser event. (Matt loves to tell this story because it makes me feel bad for ruining his “big plan”.)

After our set, Matt had this plan to ask me to dance, then ask me to be his girlfriend. (Que. Awwwweeee’s)

So when the time came and he asked me to dance, what did I say?

No.

 

I was scared to dance with him because I didn’t want to look stupid in front of him!

All his hopes and dreams were crushed.

I am an awful person.

 

But shortly after that embarrassing conversation, my mom pulled me aside and said we had to go home.

My grandfather was dying.

So the next morning after choir practice, I brought Matt into the hallway and apologized for leaving early last night even though I really did want to dance with him.

Then I started crying. (In his head at that moment: SHE’S CRYING! WHAT DO I DO??????)

I told him that my grandfather was dying and instead of running away, he held me. (Good move Matt.)

Then, while I was sniffing and getting his sweater covered in my tears, I told him that I really liked him and we should date.

He agreed. (Even though I looked liked a blubbering, red faced mess because NO ONE looks good crying.)

I think he was still freaking out in his mind because what are you supposed to do when the girl of your dreams says her grandfather is dying?

“Awe, that’s too bad. Let’s go out for dinner on Saturday.”

Yeah, that wouldn’t work.

 

Anyway, that’s how our relationship started.

From the very start of it, Matt was supportive of me in everything I did.

I kind of think that is why we have the relationship that we have. It started out with us supporting each other right from the get go, and knowing that we were worth the extra effort.

From then on, we are always honest about our aspirations and dreams.

For example:

He wants to become a cook? Great! Let’s get you into the apprenticeship program at SAIT so you can work in a kitchen and go to school with the least amount of student loans.

I want to travel across the country to train in a triple threat college? Great! We’ll both go and he can get a job in a great kitchen to learn more.

Even small things like:

He wants me to go see the new Star Wars movie that he has been waiting forever to see? Great! I will go with him and support him even though I’m not a huge Star Wars fan and thought the relationship between Anikin and Padme was just weird and creepy. (HE’S A PSYCO! WHY CAN’T YOU SEE THAT?)

Anyway.

For us, honesty is how we get through our relationship and working out our problems before they get too big.

It also helps that he somehow still loves me even though I am SO annoying sometimes and I still love him even though when he shrugs his shoulders or says “Meh” is makes me want to bang my head against a wall.

 

 

When people ask us why we got married so young, we just smile.

We’ve been together 7 years as of yesterday.

We know the flaws in each other.

We know what each of us want out of life.

We know that things aren’t going to be perfect all the time.

We work through it.

We are worth the work and effort.

 

We love each other.

 

Simple.

 

Who Wants To Become A Lego?

I spend a lot of time online looking for the perfect thing for each person because I like giving the perfect gift.

And sometimes I come across the most amazing things.

For example!

My husband loves Lego.

He loves playing with Lego (who doesn’t really) and he adored the Lego Movie.

And while I was surfing the net for gifts for him, I came across Two Three Bricks.

Harris and Stephanie (owners of Two Three Bricks) are amazing. First of all, they are hilarious and when you first go to their site, they offer you promotions for signing up with their email list. Then they make the page rain with confetti because that’s always fun!

Getting a customized print starts at $5. From there, you can add on a costume, props and backgrounds for $5 each. I got all of the above and my total was $23! Crazy awesome! All you do is tell them what you want and attach a photo of you!

Cassandra Clifford

This is the final product!

My adorable husband.

Best part about this? I was hoping that the restaurant background would kind of look like Richmond Station, AND IT DOES!

It’s like they read my mind or something.

Or stalked me on Facebook or Instagram.

Hmmmm..

Anyway.

They have tons of different ways to make an awesome photo of you, or you can order one of their hilarious and amazing pieces of art that they’ve already done.

They were great about getting back to me right away and when my photo didn’t attach properly to my original order, they emailed me directly and got me to send them one via email.

They were fantastic to work with and I got my photo only a few days later!

Best part about it?

Matt LOVES it.

And he doesn’t show emotion very much.

But I got a smile and a “This is pretty awesome!” out of him which in Matt talk means, “It’s the best thing ever I love it so much and you are amazing.”

Point Cassie.

Point Two Three Bricks

Who’s the best wife in the world and a master at gift giving?

THIS GIRL.

Everyone Has THOSE Neighbours

First thing on my mind:

I haven’t written something new in weeks.

Yikes.

Sorry guys.

To be fair, I got a promotion at work so balancing a full-time job, auditions and German lessons has been pretty hectic.

Oh wait, I forgot something.

My husband.

Right.

I guess I need to spend some time with that fella too.

So I apologize for not posting anything in a while!

I have always been a light sleeper. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I’m one of those people who would be woken up is someone so much as breathed too heavily near me.

So I thought that moving in with Matt was going to be a huge change for me.

Luckily it wasn’t!

But you know what was a huge change?

Crazy neighbours.

I have regaled these stories countless times to my friends and family, so now I must share them with you, friendly internet people.

 

In our old apartment, we were boxed in by crazy, crazy neighbours….

 

The Upstairs Neighbours:

These neighbours LOVED to party.

They loved LOUD music. (Usually something with a stupidly loud bass and that is all you can hear.)

They loved to drink and smoke pot.

How do I know?

I took many a hot box shower because the fumes would find their way down into the vent of our bathroom almost every evening.

They loved to go out onto their deck and drink and smoke pot and talk LOUDLY about how much they liked to drink and smoke pot.

Did I mention that the windows in our old place were single panel and very thin?

It’s fantastic when you’re trying to sleep.

They also liked to use drills (yes, drills.) and hammers around 11pm-12am. They must have had many photos to hang on the wall.

The Neighbours to the left of us. (Sharing a wall with our living room)

These neighbours also liked to hammer things into the wall. Matt and I were waiting for the day when they would hammer a hole right through our living room wall.

Hadn’t anyone heard of Command Strips? They work great for us!

These neighbours were quieter though.

But they stole my orthotics and mouth guard.

Yes, you read that right.

I ordered orthotics and a new night time mouth guard while I was back home earlier this year and my mom shipped them to our place when they were ready.

Problem is, she shipped it to their apartment number and not ours.

I didn’t think it would be an issue. She had the packaged registered to me and I left our neighbours a note telling them that it they received it to bring it over.

You would also think that the mail man would make sure that the person who signed for it would have my name right?

Wrong.

My neighbours signed for it and I tried contacting them for almost two weeks. My last try was on the day that Matt and I moved out of the apartment. I had enough of that place and it seemed like they weren’t going to give me my package.

To this day, I still grind my teeth and have sore knees because orthotics and mouth guards are EXPENSIVE and we still had to pay for those ones even though I never got them.

What are the doing with those anyway?

I shudder to think….

 

But now, onto my least favourite neighbours of all.

 

The Neighbours to the right of us. (Sharing a wall with our bedroom.)

Where do I start…

Ah yes.

One night, I was actually asleep for once.

But I was awakened when I heard what sounded like someone in pain.

I realized it was my neighbour on the other side of the wall!

She sounded like she was being tortured and it grew more intense with each passing moment.

After about half an hour it started to sound like she was going into labour or something. She sounded like she was dying. I was just about to get out of bed and rush over to help her when I heard:

“OH GOD YES!”

She wasn’t in pain.

Or maybe she was.

Who knows.

I turned over in bed a realized that Matt was awake too. (And he sleeps like the dead.)

“I thought a dog was being beaten. I was just about to get up and help it.”

Now this went on for another HOUR then when they were finished, they proceeded to talk loudly about their days at work.

This was also at 3am in the morning.

They kept me up every night.

If it wasn’t them having painful sounding, or porno sounding sex, it was them playing the clarinet and singing Porgy and Bess’s “Summer Time”. (Really badly I must say). Or them arguing. Or them talking about mustard and ketchup. (Yes, they were so loud I could hear what they were talking about. The guy had problems at work with a girl named Tanya. She’s annoying I guess.)

But icing on the cake:

The woman had one of those voices that sounded like she was whining about everything that she said.

I wish I could make a recording of how she sounded.

Or maybe not. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Matt said to me one time: “She must be really hot.”

Me: “Why do you say that?”

Him: “Because there is no way in hell I could stand being with someone who sounds like that.”

I started crying because I was laughing so hard at that.

It might sound mean, but we were going crazy with only a couple of hours of sleep every night.

I had to resort to ear plugs, an eye mask, chamomile tea, and breathing exercises to help me sleep.

And guess what??

I’d only be woken up by them doing something loud and obnoxious at 2 am.

Oh! I almost forgot the best thing.

Matt and I would bang on the wall when they were being really loud (usually didn’t help at all).

BUT

One Saturday morning, Matt and I were putting away laundry and talking about what we wanted to do that day at 10am.

AND THEY BANGED ON THE WALL.

AT 10AM ON A SATURDAY.

BECAUSE WE WERE TALKING TO “LOUD”.

I was so tempted to grab my speakers, turn them up loud and play show tunes right against the wall.

So tempted.

I’d probably play “Cats” or something. Yeah. That’s right. Or maybe “Go Go Joseph” on repeat.

But then they would probably come over to our place and complain and I really didn’t want to hear that woman’s voice more than what I already did.

 

So if you have crazy neighbours, I salute you and I know what you are going through.

It is not fun whatsoever and sucks if your building manager doesn’t care if they are loud or not.

 

Why am I writing about this now?

Because of them, my body cannot fall asleep properly and stay asleep.

But I have gone from ono 2 hours of sleep a night to 4 or 5 broken hours!

So that’s an improvement.

Maybe one day I’ll actually get a solid 7 or 8 hours of sleep.

Wouldn’t that be amazing?!

That is probably the wish of every adult ever. (When did I become and adult? Yikes!)

But that is also why I am writing this instead of sleeping. It useless to lie in bed for hours while your brain thinks about every awkward and stressful thing you’ve ever done.

And I haven’t written anything in weeks.

Mostly that.

 

Cassie’s Gift Guide: Gifts for the Host/Hostess/Chef

Gifts for the Host/Hostess/Chef

These gifts are for the women (or man) who loves to host parties, cook or just likes to drink wine! These are just some things I’ve found in stores that I like and think would be great for some of the people in my life. (Or maybe just for myself).

Queen of the Castle Wine Glass

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This wine glass is perfect for the queen (or princess) in your life. It’s $11.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond and the thing I love most about this glass is that it doesn’t have a stem so I don’t have to worry so much about spilling my wine! (Because red wine stains are the WORST).

 

Mrs. Wine Glass & Mr. Wine Glass

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I like these glasses because I’m a newlywed. If you have someone in your life that recently got married, these glasses are perfect! They’re also subtle and great for a night in with your loved one. These glasses are $18.99 and are dishwasher safe!

 

Shoe Wine Charms

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One of the worst things about having a party is when someone drinks out of your wine glass because they all look the same! Now you could tie a hair elastic around the stem or use these adorable shoe wine charms. These charms are $13.99 for 6 at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Waffle Maker

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Who doesn’t like waffles when having brunch? How you can have fancy Belgian waffles at home! This Bialetti Ceramic Rotating Waffle Maker is made with ceramic non-stick coating and has a browning setting so you can make the waffle exactly how you want it. It also includes a tray for drips and crumbs! It’s $69.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond.

Now I’m craving waffles.

 

Bamboo Cutting Board with a stand for an iPad

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This would actually be perfect for me if I had a tablet or iPad. (Maybe I wouldn’t screw up so many dinners??) It comes with slots on the side to hold your knives too so they aren’t lying around! Now you can watch cooking videos while you chop. (Or maybe Gilmore Girls on Netflix). It also comes with a stylus for your tablet! (So you don’t have to get your iPad covered in… whatever it is that you are chopping up.) It’s $46.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond!

Glass Tea Pot with Blooming Teas

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Now, I can’t make a gift idea post on hostesses without talking about tea!  This tea-pot is from Teavana. I don’t believe they are making them anymore because I couldn’t find the link to it from their site. It is specifically made for Blooming teas. (Teas that come in a giant ball form, them when you put them in to water to steep, they literally “bloom” into flowers). My Teavana (Scotia Plaza) has only one left and I desperately want some one to buy it as a gift with some blooming teas. I think it would make a beautiful gift. (Not to mention, the tea we have is delicious!)

We have:

Peach Momotaro

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And:

Flowering Pineapple

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The best thing about these teas are not only are they beautiful, they are also white teas. White teas are filled with good antioxidants and are the most hydrating form of tea.

The Pagoda Teapot is $29.95 and you can use it to make all other teas as well. I just think that making a blooming tea at a party would be an event. We also have another tea-pot that would work great for blooming teas but I like this one more. (It’s just SO pretty!) So if you think this would make a great gift for you or someone you know, see if your local Teavana has one in stock or come see me at Scotia Plaza! (I will even wrap it up for you in a beautiful box.)

I wish I had more tea parties so I could justify getting this for myself. I can have a party for one right?

I might add more to this post when I see something else I think would work great for a host/cook but let’s start here. Christmas is only 6 weeks away people!

Cassie’s Gift Guide: Gifts for the Techie/Gamer

Gifts for the Techie/Gamer:

This is a person who loves the newest toys in technology. Now I know, a lot of us don’t have the money to drop on a new iPhone or Apple Watch, so here’s some things that I’ve come up with.

Techie gifts can be pretty expensive but you can usually find a deal or something online or you can go for a cheaper version by getting them a quirky mug or gift card to their favourite tech store.

New Charger/ plug-in.

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We all need an extra charger. Best thing about chargers these days? You can customize them! Just by Googling custom chargers or cables, you can find sites that will customize the charger for you. I just found this site : Charge Cords where you can get colourful USB cables. (They also do worldwide shipping over $50! The one above is from this site.) Chargers and USB cables can make good stocking stuffers because who doesn’t need an extra cable in their bag?

New headphones

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Best Buy has a ton of headphones ranging from $15 to $1249.99 (Yes, that is correct, I did my research). See these crazy expensive head phones here. There are also various types of headphones, including sport ones. (They go around your ear so you don’t have to worry about them falling out while running. I love those types.) To Bose sound cancelling ones. ($$$) Cheap ones can make good stocking stuffers, you can keep them in a gym bag or school bag in case you forget a pair.

Kobo/Kindle

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I love books. I love opening a book and reading them. But I also have a Kindle. Why? I can bring MANY books with me whenever I fly anywhere! Their also surprisingly affordable. What I love about my Kindle is that I can buy books on Amazon.ca with just a click of a button. And POOF! They fly through the magic world of wireless web to my Kindle and I can read them right away. Kobo has an App that you can do just that as well. So it’s all about personal preference here, if you want a bright screen, how much storage, etc. Choose one from there.

Cheapest Kobo at Best Buy: $89.97

Cheapest Kindle on Amazon: $79.99

Hard Drive Back up

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We all need to back up our computers and tablets. But usually, we never actually buy the hard drive to do it because it’s usually not a top priority. For a person who likes tech, it is a top priority and the more memory they have to back up their files, the better. At Best Buy, hard drives can range from $64.99 to $1612.99. People are serious about their selfies and videos guys.

Also, I’m using Best Buy for most of my research because I find that I always get the lowest prices there and they usually have some good sales every once in a while.

Exercise tracking device

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This can also be for the fitness loving person. I personally have the Fitbit Charge. I like that it tracks my steps, miles, calories, stairs and sleep among other things. I can also set silent alarms on it so I don’t wake Matt up with my noisy phone alarm in the morning! There are tons of different exercise devices out there now. And Best Buy actually has a lot of the best ones.

You can check our their various fitness trackers here but one that caught my eye (other than the Fitbit I already have) is the new Bellabeat.

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It tracks your sleep and exercise and can also manage your stress levels with breathing exercises. And guess what ladies? It tracks and monitors your menstrual cycle! (Ooooooo) It can also be worn as a necklace, bracelet, pin or brooch. It’s also available at Best Buy! I haven’t tried this out so I can’t say how the product is, but I’d love to try it one day.

 

Sphero BB-8 the App-Enabled Droid

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This is something for the Star Wars techie! You can play with this droid via an app and it learns the more you use it. Available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $189.99

Wireless Speakers

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Wireless speakers always make a good gift and are usually very affordable. Unless you go for the Bose ones of course. The ones above are JAM Replay Wireless Speakers and their available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $39.99. Wireless speakers are great for parties or if you don’t have speakers to plug your iPod/iPhone into at home.

If you need any help thinking of a gift for someone, feel free to leave me a comment and I can help you out!

*I do not own these pictures. They are to provide ideas for gifts and you can find them at the links I’ve provided.

Cassie’s Gift Guide: Need Some Help Thinking of Gifts?

There is a lot of things to love about Christmas.

The loving feelings you get from everyone you meet.

The beautiful decorations everywhere you go.

The massive amounts of chocolate that people are practically shoving down your throat.

I really love the chocolate.

Maybe a little too much.

But I digress.

My favourite thing about the Christmas season is giving gifts.

Yes that’s right.

GIVING.

Now you’re thinking “Man, she is just so righteous and full of herself.”

But I LOVE IT.

I just realized I say I LOVE IT a lot. That’s something I should work on.

But I digress.

I have always loved picking out gifts for people. And wrapping them. And finding out that I was spot on about what I got them.

When I lived in Calgary with my parents, I was the shopper.

Pretty much when I got my license to drive, my mom gave me a list of people to get Christmas gifts for, a price for each of them, and sent me on my merry way. (She also gave me grocery lists and sent me on my merry way.)

It was AWESOME!

It meant that I could make lists.

I LOVE LISTS.

Oh man I need to work on that.

I would write out every name and a list of possible things that they would like and where to go.

Then I would begin the hunt.

Sometimes I would end up getting the person the gift I thought of right away and sometimes I would find something even better for them.

It’s all about making it personal.

Knowing the person.

Or at least, what kind of person they are.

Take my brother for example.

Years ago, he was really into video games. (Now he’s super into working out and his arms are bigger than my head.  Last time I got a hug from him, he not only lifted me off the ground, he may have popped my ribs back in place.)

If I knew what game he was lusting after, that would be an easy purchase. If not, I’d get him something small like a new pair of snowboarding gloves or a new remote controller, then I would get him a gift card to Best Buy or other gaming stores so he can pick our the game the wants. (Then of course, you wrap it up nicely.)

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I think my favourite gift idea I have given so far was to my parents a few years ago.

My dad doesn’t really do gifts.

He likes getting coffee, or a new shirt or two but if you get him anything else, he usually returns it.

He doesn’t really NEED anything.

So he’s pretty hard to shop for.

And my mom is a boxing day baby. So that means I have to get her a Christmas present AND a birthday present.

So one year I decided to do something completely different.

There is a website where you can purchase land in Scotland so that it can remain a nature reserve. And what do you get in return?

The legal rights to call yourself a Lord or Lady.

For real, you can change your passport and everything.

The website is called Highland Titles and I decided that I would help preserve the land of Scotland, and make my parents a Lord and Lady of Glencoe.

I got them both a certificate, but chose to get my dad a card that he can carry in his wallet to show people. (I thought he’d have fun showing it off.)

When it came to Christmas day, I was beside myself to give these to my parents. (I didn’t care about the gifts that I got, I kept asking them to just SIT DOWN so I could give them their gifts.)

And they loved it!

Funniest thing was, my mom really took to it more than my dad.

She told the kids in her class (she teaches elementary music) that they had to call her “Lady Clifford” from then on and they actually do it!

I should have got her the card to put in her wallet. She’d be taking out that thing every hour.

My dad liked it too but he doesn’t bring it up as much as my mom. (He did look up his plot of land and hopes to visit it next time he’s in Scotland!)

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Lady Clifford everyone.

(I also got her a birthday present as well. No need to worry folks.)

So if you’re looking for an unconventional gift and want to help preserve nature from being turned into a concrete jungle, have a look at Highland Titles.

So to get to the point of this post, I thought I could help thinking of gifts for some of you not-so-creative-in-the-gift-giving department.

I’ll be putting these out in segments, that way you can just click the category your person falls under to see some gift ideas.

I hope they help!

First up, Gifts for Techies and Gamers!

*Featured image is by Kristen Sabourin Photography

These Are a Few of My Favourite Teas!

So lately I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block. Then I realized, I just wasn’t writing!

The first step to get over a writer’s block is just WRITE.

That’s when everything starts to flow!

So what will this post be about you ask?

Well as I sit here, writing this, I am drinking tea.

So tea it is.

I recently got a part-time job at Teavana.

And I love it!

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to work in the service industry again. (I’m not crazy about being a waitress again.) And of course, the first part-time job that comes to mind for an actress? Waitress.

But I LOVE TEA.

I’ve never liked coffee so I don’t drink it, but tea? I’ve been drinking tea for years and think that tea has tonnes of benefits for everyone.

I’ve been collecting tea and now that I’ve started to work at Teavana, my collection has grown considerably.

It used to take up a shelf in our cupboard but it got so big that we had to buy a whole new shelving unit for it.

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Lots of room for tea now!

Now before I go on, THIS IS JUST A BLOG!

What I post on here are my favourite teas and what I find helps me with sickness, detoxing etc.

Feel free to try these teas out but this is my opinion and preference.

To start:

Sick Teas.

Before I moved into my new apartment I was constantly sick. I had teas and tricks that I would use daily to help me and keep the symptoms at bay.

Sick Tea #1!

Citrus Lavender Sage & Silver Yin Zhen Pearls

It’s a fruity/citrus tea that makes my throat feel great. (Especially if I add a little bit of honey.) It also smells SO good. The pearls are a white tea which are filled with good antioxidants, perfect for getting rid of a cold.

Sick Tea #2

Maharaja Chai Oolong & Zingiber Ginger Coconut Rooibos

This one is spicy and goes right to the sinuses, opening them up. It’s also got a lot of cinnamon and ginger which are good for colds too.

Trick #1

Oregano Oil

I take two drops of this morning and night when I feel a cold coming on. Make sure you have a glass of water nearby to chase it down with! I also put the drops under my tongue.

Trick #2

Liquorice Root Extract

At first, this taste is really hard to do but after a while you get used to it.

I take a 1/4 teaspoon of the liquorice and mix it in a small cup of water. Then chug it! Or better, gurgle some in your throat, then swallow it. It really helps with a sore throat. You can also put this in tea!

My Favourite Teas as of November 2015:

White Chocolate Peppermint

I put a teaspoon of the Teavana’s Rock Sugar in it to bring out more of the chocolate flavours. Then as a dessert, I make this a a latte with two pumps of chocolate (without the sugar) and coconut milk. It’s SO GOOD. I have it after dinner so I don’t crave any cake or actual dessert.

Best part about this tea? Matt likes it! I have been trying to get Matt to like ANY tea for years so I was so happy when he finally admitted he liked it. Point Cassie!

Matcha Tea

I’ve recently become a HUGE fan of matcha. it Has so many benefits. It has the highest amount of caffeine and antioxidants because the whole green tea leaf is ground into a fine powder. I find I can’t drink it on its own so I add some honey to it to sweeten it a little. Even better, I make this into a latte with coconut milk.

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I think matcha in my Harry Potter mug is a perfect Halloween tea 😀

For added benefits, I make the matcha, then add cinnamon, cloves, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and liquorice. Then add Boathouse Vanilla Chai Milk. It’s a great metabolism and immune booster and the chai milk is super tasty.

Caramel Almond Amaretti

There is no almonds in this! (All of Teavana’s teas are nut and gluten-free.) This tea is tasty on its own but is also really good in a latte. It kind of reminds of having a caramel cookie.

Snow Geisha

This one is a white tea with some caffeine. It has cherries in it and needs no sweeteners. It’s like a cherry, fruity delicious tea. It also smells heavenly. White tea also has lots of antioxidants!

Rasberry Riot Lemon Mate & Strawberry Slender Pu-Erh

This is a nice detox tea, especially if you have it iced. It’s super fruity and I usually make a big pitcher of it at night and have it in the morning before I start the day! You need to drink it for at least 3 weeks (along with a good diet and exercise) to see any weight loss results but I have found that I have been feeling better since I started drinking it. (You need to flush out the toxins before you get to results right!?)

 

Needless to say, tea is pretty much my life now and I think there is a tea out there for everyone. If you have any questions about tea, let me know!

Enjoy my favourite teas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cooking with Cassie – Crumbling Brownies

So after a few weeks of no baking, I thought today would be a good day to break that dry spell.

Or sweet spell.

Or I really don’t know what I’m talking about.

On to the baking!

Today I am baking brownies from a box.

Want to know how I bake such delicious good things from boxes?

It’s what I was taught in Home Economics in school.

No joke, we did muffins… from a box. Cookies… from a box. Mac and cheese…from the trusty KD box.

And that is all we did.

Anyway.

Until we get a tea cupboard for all of my teas, we don’t have room to keep flour and shit in the cupboards. So cooking from a box is all I can do!

And there is less of a chance that I can screw this up.

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My chosen box brownies.

I want to make two boxes of these so I just have to double the recipe right?

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So after pouring box of the mixes into the bowl, I realize that there is a lot of mix in this bowl.

Mixing this is not going to be fun.

So the eggs I’m using are all the way from when I made soupy Reese cupcakes. They expire on Friday, it’s a good thing I’m using them today!

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I doubled the water and oil for the recipe.

You can use canola oil for this right?

Because my coconut oil is finally running out after 2 years of having it so I don’t want to use that.

Canola oil it is!

Oh thank God.

I don’t have to use my mixer!

It says to stir. Approximately 50 stokes. (It literally says that.)

So stir with a spoon?

Like this one?

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Because that’s what I’m going to use!

50 strokes.

No problem.

….

I lost count.

Somewhere around 36. My phone dinged I lost count.

Damn it.

But wait.

I have to double the recipe.

So 100 strokes?

My arm is getting sore.

It was arm day at the gym.

Oi.

Ok so I’m just giving up. The mix looks mixed to me and I don’t want to stir anymore.

Uh oh.

I’m supposed to grease and coat the bottom of an 8×8 pan with flour or something.

I don’t have any flour or grease!

Or a pan that is 8×8!

….

So I’m going to use parchment paper and our pan we cook chicken in.

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Hmmm. I hope this works.

Ok, the batter is getting all over the parchment.

Gaaahhhh.

This doesn’t look right.

Do brownies rise like cake?

Will this get to tall?

I have no idea

THEY’RE STILL DRY MIX IN HERE!

I should have counted to 100.

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So here’s what it looks like. I  cut off the extra parchment with mix all over it and into the oven they go!

Wait a minute.

It gives me baking times for 8×8 and 9×9. What about my pan?

I’m going to put it in for 25 and go from there.

Ok so they aren’t done yet. The tooth pick is still covered in batter.

So back in for 5 minutes?

Sure why not.

Omg they smell SO GOOD. FINISH ALREADY!

They’re done!

Well, done enough.

Just a little bit on the bottom that didn’t come out clean.

But I don’t want them to burn.

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They look a little messed up and they didn’t rise!

Good to know.

Or else we would have had overflowing brownies on our hands.

I’ll let them cool off then cut them up and taste!

Holy, these are rich.

And maybe I should have left them in for a little bit longer. They’re falling apart!

Why do all of my baking adventures end up falling apart?

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So they’re ok. They’d probably be better if I made them from scratch or put icing on them.

I have icing in the cupboard!

I’m too lazy to ice them now. Save it for another time.

Brownies for dessert!

DISNEY WORLD!!!

So as most people know, I LOVE Disney.

Like, A LOT.

 

So because Matt and I just put our deposit down on our Disney Honeymoon for next year, I decided to do a blog about my trips to Disney!

And I have been lucky enough to go to Disney World 3 times already.

The first time, I went with my family when I was 12.

It was fantastic!

Want to know why?

On the first day at the resort, my brother fell down a flight of stairs and sprained his ankle.

It was great.

Now most of you are thinking “This girl is insane. That’s awful!”

And I thought it was awful too. How were we supposed to have any fun when my brother was hurt?

It actually worked in our favour.

When we were at the parks, we were treated like royalty.

Because of my brother’s wheelchair, we were allowed to skip lines for rides and when we went to the night-time parade, we were given a spot at the front!

Unfortunately, my brother fell asleep during the parade, even though ALL of the characters would come over to see him because he looked so frail in his chair, but I got to see everyone!

Goes to show that the people at Disney will help make a broken kid’s day infinitely brighter.

My brother loves going on roller coasters and lucky for him, you don’t have to stand on those!

The only thing I wish we could have done during that trip was to see the princesses.

But everyone wanted to go on the rides and 12-year old me couldn’t go off on her own.

Ah well. It was a great trip!

—————

The second time I went to Disney World was with the Youth Singers of Calgary when I was in Grade 11.

We did a tour to Disney World and the Bahamas.

Nice right?

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Right.

(One of the pools at the resort we stayed at.)

We got to do a workshop behind the scenes at Disney and learn one of their numbers that they did in the parades.

We also got to perform in Downtown Disney!

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Just me being a giant butterfly in Downtown Disney.

I had great arms that year.

And we got free time on the parks!

So to sum up, I got to perform in Disney, then spend time at the parks with my friends.

That’s Youth Singers for you.

Although, I do remember one day we had at the park and the group I was with wanted to start on Tower of Terror.

I had never been on Tower of Terror and I’m a wuss when it comes to rides that drop.

So after we got off that ride, I was scared shitless and couldn’t stop shaking.

I don’t think I spoke for an hour.

But at least I know not to go on it again!

Unfortunately my group didn’t want to go see the princesses either and we had to stick together.

Sad day.

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I did get to meet Cowboy Goofy though!

Why was he a cowboy? No clue.

I still got to run around Disney World with my best friends and my boyfriend and nothing could beat that.

Matt and I also spent our first Valentines day together on that trip.

Get this:

We were on a cruise in the Bahamas.

We spent the day on a private island of the cruise ship.

Then we had a fancy ass dinner on the cruise ship.

And he bought me a rose.

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This was part of the private beach.

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This Matthew with my rose.

He looks so young!

 

So basically after that Valentines day, we haven’t really celebrated Valentines day because NOTHING could compete with that.

I don’t really want anything to beat it anyways.

————-

 

My third time at Disney was in 2012 and I went with Matt. We went at the end of August/ beginning of September so most kids were back in school which meant fewer people at the parks!

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This was our first big trip together by ourselves.

We planned and paid for it ourselves too.

And I think we did an awesome job at staying within our budget!

We stayed at a Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham on Lake Buena Vista. Visit their site here!

We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel. We originally chose it because it was a great price, offered shuttles to the parks and we got a refrigerator.

When we got to our room we were shocked that not only did we have a refrigerator, we had a fully stocked kitchen! We also had a living room separate to the bedroom! It was probably the same size as our condo right now, but with a king size bed. ( I miss that bed.)

The shuttles to the parks left at various times throughout the day but we made sure to always get on the earliest one so we could get to the parks early in the day.

The hotel was also a ten minute walk away from a grocery store so we were able to make our lunches to bring to the park. (I was gluten-free at the time so we were allowed to bring our own food.)

Being able to bring our own lunches brought down our food costs considerably.

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Our daily lunches! Sandwiches, Welches food snacks and juice boxes.

We let ourselves buy one treat at the park everyday. One day it was candy apples, one day was ice cream, but the one I remember the most was sharing one of those giant turkey legs together. (YUM)

We gave ourselves a budget for how much we would spend on souvenirs and we stayed well within it. (We were also doing Islands of Adventure/ Universal Studios on this trip and we wanted to spend the majority of our souvenir money at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.)

We got park hopper tickets but we made sure to plan each day carefully. We did a day at each park, then on our last day, we made a list of things we wanted to do/get and jumped from park to park checking off that list.

The first thing we did when we got to the park was get fast passes for the rides we really wanted to do. (Space Mountain, Everest, Rockin’ Roller Coaster etc.)

And no, we DID NOT go on Tower of Terror.

But I think the best part about this trip was what Matthew did.

Our first day was at Magic Kingdom. And even before we got our fast passes to Space Mountain, Matt beelined for the brochures on character greetings and said to me:

“Ok, so we can see Cinderella, Belle and Rapunzel at 12:15 if we get fast passes for them, then we can go see Ariel at 2 and oh! We can see Merida at 10!”

I wanted to cry I was so happy.

He knew that I wanted to see the Princesses and he made it his mission that I saw all of them.

And we did!

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I have a costume just like hers now 😀

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I asked her where Tarzan was and she told me he was off getting into trouble with Turk.

I just wanted to see his abs.

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My favourite Princess is Pocahontas and she rarely has character greetings so when we saw she had one at the Animal Kingdom, Matt and I ran straight for her.

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We got to have a long conversation with these two. It has just rained so a lot people left the park but Matt and I came across them under a gazebo, shielded from the rain. There was no one there! We talked about Canada and Prince Naveed had us laughing until our stomachs hurt.

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Being Merida would be the best. She pretty much gets to run around her area and act crazy (Because that’s who Merida is.) She has an archery station for kids to play at while they wait and her brother bears behind her move!

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I got to talk to Mary Poppins for a while too since no one else was there. After 2 minutes though I found myself using an English accent.

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After meeting Belle, Matt said he noticed that I acted like all the Princess I met. I would automatically go into Princess mode around them.

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While we were on this trip, we noticed something odd.

There was Star Wars merchandise everywhere.

And the Star Tours ride?

Fully Star Wars.

(We went before Disney announced that they bought the rights.)

Matt wasn’t complaining though. He LOVES Star Wars so he was a kid in a candy shop at Hollywood Studios.

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C-3P0 in the line up for the Star Wars ride!

Matt and I came to the conclusion that Disney made a deal with LucasFilm to have so much Star Wars stuff at the parks.

And sure enough, a week after we got back home they announced that Star Wars was part of Disney!

Kneeeewwwww it.

One of the best/worst things about this trip was that is rained everyday.

But only from 1-2 ish. We didn’t realize this on the first day and got SOAKED in the downpour, but stuck around afterwards because we’re Canadian and we’re not afraid of getting wet.

The second day though, around 12:45, it started to look like rain so we decided to get in line for an indoor ride with a long line up and a gift shop at the end. It rained while we were in there and was done by the time we got out!

From there on we made sure that we were either at an indoor show, ride, or event for the rest of the trip around that time.

Best part about it?

People would leave during the rain.

Everyone would head out and the park became empty!

Less line ups and more time with Characters!

That trip with Matt was amazing.

We got to do everything that we wanted thanks to our intensive planning, but hey, that’s how you get everything done at Disney!

We were also able to do Disney World and Universal for $5000. That included souvenir and food money too!

Not bad eh?

It’s all about finding discounts where you can and knowing what you want to splurge on.

Now our trip next year?

Splurge on everything. We are doing the Disney trip we’ve always wanted to do and best of all? Fantasy Land will be open!

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I could see it being built! So close but yet so far.

And there will probably be more Star Wars stuff for Matt.

I think we will need a bigger budget for our souvenir money.

Also, do you ever have a moment when you are looking back on old photos where you know at the time, you thought you were fat?

That is happening to me right now and I want to go back in time and slap myself for ever thinking that. I looked great!

I know, I’m so humble.

If you have any questions about how to save money on a Disney or Universal trip, just ask me, I’ve got a lot of aces up my sleeve 😉

My Cheap, Simple Trick For White Teeth

So I get a lot of people telling me “You’re teeth are so white!! How do you do it??”

And not to brag, but I do have great teeth.

(It’s the one thing I’m  not self-conscious about at all. Woo!)

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Check out that smile!

Ok, I’ll stop being so humble.

 

It wasn’t always like this though. When I was younger, I had the most crooked teeth ever.

Seriously.

My two front teeth were SIDEWAYS.

Not a fun time biting into apples, let me tell you.

So like most kids, I got braces.

So now I was a chubby, shy, pubescent 12-year-old with braces.

How else are you supposed to get all the boys?

 

 

Anyway.

When I got my braces off, I was left with what I thought were stained teeth. Even though I was diligent about cleaning my teeth.

Years later when I was going into high school, I went for a check up and the dental nurse took a good look at my teeth and asked me if I had braces before. When I said yes, she said that I still had glue on my teeth.

YEARS LATER!

It wasn’t staining!

So after a good scrubbing she got it all off. The she told me that if I wanted to have whiter teeth that I should try Crest Pro White Strips.

So I did.

And it kind of worked I guess.

But my teeth kind of hurt with them on and it took forever to get results.

So I stopped.

BUT THEN!

I came across the art of oil pulling on Pinterest a while ago.

And I gave it a try.

COCONUT OIL PULLING

What you need:

coconut oil

Coconut oil

(I get this from Costco, I bought it 2 years ago for $20 and it’s still going strong.)

That’s it.

Yes that’s all folks!

How you do it:

In the morning, before you drink anything or eat anything or even brush your teeth, you pull.

I usually spit out all the gross saliva you already have in your mouth when you wake up. No need to be swishing that around your mouth.

Ew.

You take a spoon full of coconut oil (sometimes two if it’s in a liquid state.) and SLOWLY swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes.

Don’t be to hard with the swishing. Your mouth can get tired and the point is to get it between your teeth and all around your mouth.

DO NOT SWALLOW IT.

I mean, if you do accidentally, that’s ok, you won’t die. (I did once by mistake. It didn’t taste gross, it was just gross thinking that I swallowed a bunch of germs.)

DO NOT SPIT IT DOWN THE SINK OR DRAIN.

It can become a solid again and clog your drain.

After you spit it in the garbage, brush your teeth like normal et voila!

You’re done!

In just a few days you’ll notice your teeth getting a little whiter and within a few weeks they’ll be beautiful.

How I oil pull with coconut oil:

Instead of taking spoonfuls of oil every morning I decided to try something easier.

I took a small ice-cube tray and poured the oil into each slot.

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If the oil isn’t in liquid form where you are, you can melt some on the stove or in the microwave.

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Then I put the tray in the fridge for a few hours.

Soon the cubes will be solid and perfect little lozenges!

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I put the cubes into a bottle in the fridge and I just grab one in the morning right when I wake up.

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I pull while I shower and get ready for the day, 20 minutes go by in no time!

Benefits of Coconut Oil Pulling:

Whiter teeth (duh)

Detoxes the body (Pulling gets rid of all the toxins that your mouth accumulates and since you spit them out, you don’t consume them!)

Helps cleanse the skin (Since the toxins aren’t getting into your bloodstream, it gives your skin a chance to breathe.)

Promotes Oral Hygiene (helps with getting rid of cavities and bad breath)

I’ve found that it really helps with oral hygiene!

In January, I went to the dentist and they told me I had a cavity forming in one of my teeth and I had to keep an eye on it and probably would have to get it filled the next time I came in.

I made sure to pull on a daily basis and when I went back in April, the cavity was gone! Not only that, the dentist said that my teeth looked fantastic!

Take that dentist.

I can’t guarantee that all of these will work for you, but it is a natural, cheaper solution than expensive whitening treatments and getting cavities filled!

It was worth a try for me so it might work for you too!