Remember when I mentioned over the holidays that I wanted to bring more ENTERTAIN content to JustineCelina this year? Although these weren’t quite the circumstances I envisioned (now that’s an understatement!), I’m thrilled to share A Simple Easter Dinner For Two with you today! While Easter certainly looked a lot different for everyone this year given the current global situation in regards to COVID-19, we decided to make the most of it and celebrate here in our home in Calgary — just the two of us. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d spend an Easter without the large family gatherings in the country we’ve become accustomed to over the years — but rather than mourning the loss of our cherished traditions, we resolved to stay home and create a few of our own!
In over a decade together, this was the first Easter dinner we’ve celebrated in our home — and I wanted to mark the occasion by capturing these memories to look back on. I put on a dress, ordered flowers, made some nostalgic family recipes along with my first ever carrot cake — then we popped some Prosecco and enjoyed A Simple Easter Dinner For Two (Adam was actually peeling potatoes in the kitchen to my left as I snapped these photos from my tripod!). I was reminded of my ability to find beauty in uncertainty and create amongst chaos — these are things I find very cathartic and truly bring me joy. While it wasn’t a traditional Easter, it was still a lovely weekend — gifting us with lessons in resiliency, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and doing the best you can with what you have, where you are! Whether you’ve stopped by today for details on our Easter in quarantine, or are visiting years in the future once this is all behind us in search of some easy Easter entertaining ideas, I’ve got you covered!
After what has undoubtedly been the longest month of my life, I know one thing for sure… I need a stiff drink! Who’s with me?! Each March, I eagerly await Spring Equinox and typically celebrate its arrival with the publication of a fresh, seasonally inspired cocktail — but March 2020’s events really threw my editorial calendar for a loop. Although this recipe is publishing a bit later than I had originally intended, I can assure you it’s been tested to perfection — in fact, there was rarely an evening that passed this month when I didn’t find myself shaking up a Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you can attest to this!). This cocktail highlights Eau Claire Distillery’s recently re-released Saskatoon Honey Gin — and I’ve teamed up with them give away a full sized bottle (along with a few other goodies!) to one of my Canadian friends to help lift your spirits and keep your home bars stocked!
Gin lovers, I’m thrilled to share my Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet recipe with you today — a refreshingly spirited, 4 ingredient spring cocktail inspired by doing the best you can with what you have, where you are. The best part? If you have a well-stocked bar, you likely already have all of the ingredients on hand (and if not, I’ve included links to where you can purchase them to help support local businesses during this challenging time)! This simple but perfectly balanced craft cocktail combines Saskatoon Honey Gin with Honey Simple Syrup, cherry bitters and freshly squeezed lime juice shaken over ice — and can be prepared with ease by home bar beginners and skilled mixologists alike. Bring the cocktail bar to the comfort of your own home this spring with my Honeyed Saskatoon Cherry Gimlet — a quintessentially Albertan twist on a classic gin cocktail! Cheers, friends — and best of luck to those entering the giveaway!
Year after year as we approach Valentine’s Day, I find myself seeing through proverbial rose-coloured glasses and craving all things pink! And during the almost 5 years I’ve been blogging here at JustineCelina, I’ve created a plethora of dreamy, pink themed content. To celebrate love day this year, I’m sharing mega dose of all things pink, feminine and romantic in my 40+ Pink Valentine’s Day Ideas roundup — featuring a collection of my favourite pink things across categories. From what I wear, to the beauty products and fragrances I chose, to the flowers I bring into my home (or to my screen!), to what I eat and drink to how I entertain and practice self care, I love to incorporate February’s quintessential hue into Valentine’s Day — no matter what I’m up to!
Whether you’re in search of pink Valentine’s Day outfit ideas, the perfect pink lipstick, gift ideas for your significant other, pretty cocktails, seductive fragrances, plant-based pink recipes, flower arranging tips, self care ideas, or Galentine’s Day entertaining inspiration, I’ve got you covered! Plan yourself the best Valentine’s Day yet whether you’re single or attached, no matter how you celebrate by fixing yourself a delicious pink cocktail (may I suggest a Rose Infused Cherry Gin Fizz?) and cozing up with me tonight for some fun, attainable and creative ways to add more pink to your to your love day!
It’s the last day of the decade — and after a very restful, unplugged week in the country celebrating the holidays, I’m back with the final Monthly Soundtrack of 2019! My December 2019 Soundtrack is a short n’ sweet, 20 track playlist that’s equal parts festive and relaxed — with a few hip-hop curveballs thrown in for good measure! It you’re looking for some great tunes to decorate your NYE plans as we get ready to ring in 2020, this playlist is for you!
This month I had a few modern holiday playlists on repeat, including, Indie Christmas 2019 and Modern Holiday — but also discovered a few standout tracks of my own during December! Bien’s The Best is yet To Come, Flughand and steichi’s fyrsta, lōland’s linus, Mtbrd’s Those Eyes, Tycho’s Stress, Regina Spector’s My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year) and LOYAL’s Light Up For You were some of my most played tracks. If you’re in need of even more fresh tunes, check out my Spotify-generated 2019 Soundtrack, featuring my 100 most played songs from 2019! No matter what your plans are tonight, I hope you all have a fun, safe and happy New Years Eve! Thank you for spending a little bit of the last day of 2019 with me and for your continued support here at JustineCelina — it truly means the world to me. Wishing you all the happiest new year and fabulous decade ahead!
With the holidays just around the corner and the height of entertaining season upon us, I’m elated to share my go-to Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas in my first dedicated ENTERTAIN post in… gulp… 3 years! The absence of entertaining content here at JustineCelina in recent years has happened authentically, as we’ve scaled back on entertaining in general — simply because life is busy (I’m sure you can relate, especially at this time of year!). Although we love to have an apartment full of company eating, drinking and be merry during the holidays, I’m all about making this festive time of year as fun, stress free and healthy as possible — and that’s what this post is all about! Whether you’ve been with me for years or are new to my cozy little corner of the internet (welcome!), you’ll know I also love to incorporate better-for-you food and drink whenever we’re hosting or attending a party — because I believe in balance and mindful choices in every season of life.
Earlier this month as I pulled out our festive decor and entertaining essentials I discovered Kombrewcha — a delicious, 4.4% ABV hard kombucha made from organic ingredients. As a plant based eater with a sensitive stomach thanks to numerous food intolerances, I’ve long enjoyed kombucha as a way to help keep my digestion on track — especially during the holidays! I also love to mix this effervescent, probiotic-rich, fermented tea into my COCKTAILS (if you follow along with my Instagram Stories, you’ll know I’ve been developing kombucha cocktails since last summer!). This holiday season, I was absolutely delighted to find a better-for-you beverage that incorporates all of my libation must-haves (made from incredible ingredients and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar!) in a convenient, ready-to-enjoy format. Tonight I’ve partnered with this new to Alberta brand to host a casual holiday dinner party and share my tried and true Easy Holiday Entertaining Ideas — complete with my best decor, styling, hosting, food and drink, fashion and beauty tips to create a festive and memorable evening. Cheers to a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!
Just ahead of the holiday season, I’m thrilled to bring my sixth sangria recipe to JustineCelina today (if you’re new here, why yes, I adore sangria!). In years past, I’ve shared my tried and true recipes created with wine and spirits you would traditionally associate with sangria — but over the years as I honed my mixology skills I’ve also become just as passionate about craft cocktails. Now that I have a well-rounded baseline of sangria and cocktail recipes to work from, I find myself drawn to more creative and interesting ingredient combinations and flavour profiles — and that’s exactly how the idea for my Violette Noir Berry Sangria was born! Although I have a Classic Winter Citrus Red Sangria (my original sangria recipe that inspired all the others!), I’d always wanted to develop a berry-forward sangria using less conventional grapes and liqueurs. So this summer, I got to work using some of the more elusive ingredients in our bar — and today I’m finally sharing the recipe, after 6 months of extensive testing!
My Violette Noir Berry Sangria is a dramatic, berry-infused libation where bold, luscious flavours of raspberry-laden Chambord, floral Crème de Violette, juicy blackberry and a fresh kiss of citrus intertwine over an elegant Pinot Noir backdrop. This sophisticated, Parisian-inspired spin on traditional red sangria is as intricate as it is accessible — seducing both wine lovers and skeptics with each delicious, antioxidant-rich sip. It’s the ideal accompaniment to festive cocktail parties, formal occasions, holiday dinners or anytime you’re craving a refined, wine-based bracer to delight and surprise even the most discerning of palettes! As always, my Violette Noir Berry Sangria brimming with fresh, better-for-you ingredients and is free of added sugars — because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season!
Craft cocktail lovers, I’m back today with fall’s first libation in celebration of Autumn Equinox! If you frequent my FOOD or COCKTAIL sections, you’ll know that my most inspired creations are born out of making use of what we have on hand to yield unexpected combinations — and that’s exactly how this recipe came together. Late August is when our annual case of Okanagan peaches arrives and every year I end up going into peach recipe overdrive, while simultaneously eating my body weight in peaches. I’ve explored peaches in smoothies, sangrias and crumbles (that recipe will have to wait until next summer), but this year I had an itch to experiment with my favourite summer stone fruit in a proper cocktail. We’d been grilling up a storm for dinner one Friday evening and Adam had some delicious Smoked Maple Bourbon kicking around — and voila, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash came to life right there on our patio!
This summer-meets-autumn sip juxtaposes the essence of juicy late summer fruit with a smoky grilled edge, infused with spicy autumnal warmth to create the ultimate transitional cocktail that’s equal parts sweet ‘n spicy. If you still haven’t had your fill of late summer peaches, get your grill on and imbibe this simple but sassy cocktail sure to impress both bourbon lovers and bourbon skeptics (believe it or not, I was the latter prior to this cocktail!). As always, my Smoked Peach Maple Bourbon Smash is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and brimming with better-for-you ingredients, because I believe in balance in all areas of life. Grilled Okanagan peaches, Smoked Maple Bourbon, 100% pure Canadian maple syrup, fresh thyme, spicy ginger beer, fresh lemon juice, a splash of soda water and a dash of bitters are shaken to perfection and served over ice in this quintessentially September libation!