The first month of summer is drawing to a close — and that means it’s time for my June 2020 Soundtrack! June was an intense month as we moved into Phase 2 of our economic reopening in Calgary and also collectively experienced the largest civil rights movement in history. Amidst it all, we also decided to form a cohort with my family in rural Alberta and have been spending as much time enjoying the tranquility of the prairies as possible! We finally planted that country garden I’ve been dreaming about for years (posts to follow!) and it’s been quite a reflective, but healing, month. Over the years, these rolling hills and sunlit fields have always been where I come to feel grounded, creative and free. I’m so grateful for this little magical, restorative place — now more than ever. Although COVID has brought with it many challenges, it’s also brought many gifts. In a time when the whole world feels like it’s on pause, I’m making the most of every last second by living and working intentionally, authentically and in alignment with my true self.
Beauty lovers, I’m absolutely elated to partner with Physicians Formula today to bring you a fresh instalment in MY TOP 5 series — My Top 5 Physicians Formula Products! Longtime readers will know I’ve featured and worn Physicians Formula products here at JustineCelina for the duration of my blogging career — but my love for the brand actually extends all the way back to my teenage years. You see, I’ve always had very sensitive skin and eyes — and Physicians Formula was one of the first makeup brands I discovered at the drugstore that actually worked for me when I started wearing makeup. Over the years, as my love of BEAUTY (and my makeup collection!) have grown dramatically, Physicians Formula has remained one of my favourite drugstore brands. Having the opportunity to work with them over the past few months (come join me on Instagram to see the other campaigns we’ve created together!) is such a full circle moment and a truly dream come true. I couldn’t be more excited to extend our partnership to the blog today as I share My Top 5 Physicians Formula Products across eye, lip and complexion categories — along with a general overview of the brand and a massive beauty giveaway, to provide you with the opportunity to try my favourite products, too!
Here at JustineCelina, I’m passionate about living (and promoting) at healthy lifestyle that’s attainable. A clean, plant-based diet free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar helps me manage numerous intolerances and sensitivities while also helping me look and feel my best — and whenever possible, I look for these qualities in my cosmetics as well. That said, I’m not willing to sacrifice performance at the cost of a healthy ingredients list — and Physicians Formula is my go-to brand for high-performing, clean, hypoallergenic beauty products at an accessible price point. Although it was difficult to narrow it down to just 5 for today’s post (and I may have cheated a bit!), these products remain at the core of my beauty routine year after year, as trends come and go. With all the time I’ve spent at home lately, I’m simply not drawn to anything that isn’t comfortable or effortless these days — be in it my wardrobe, my beauty routine or my creative work. Over the past 20+ years I’ve relied on Physicians Formula for comfortable, clean, beautifully formulated products that make me feel like the best, most confident version of myself — and I can’t wait to share My Top 5 Physicians Formula Products with you!
Chocoholics, this recipe’s for you! I’ve actually had these Raw Red Velvet Vegan Brownies in development since last spring and am so thrilled to finally share it here at JustineCelina. With everything happening regarding ingredient accessibility due to COVID-19, I rejigged my editorial recipe calendar to prioritize recipes I already had in development made with pantry staples, sturdy produce and simple ingredients — and I knew I wanted to push this one to the top of the list for publication! While I wouldn’t normally publish a more indulgent recipe like this as we head into summer, lately I find myself looking for simple ways to indulge my cravings at home — and these insanely delicious brownies have definitely satisfied my sweet tooth during quarantine! Sometimes, you just need a brownie — am I right?!
I believe you can treat yourself and nourish yourself at the same time — and my Raw Red Velvet Vegan Brownies are a perfect example of that philosophy. They come together with just 8 simple, plant-based, antioxidant packed, anti aging, brain and immune boosting ingredients (yes, including beets!) — and they’re truly one of the most decadent brownies I’ve ever tasted. These easy, no-bake brownies are earthy, fudgy, nutty and brimming with beautiful natural sweetness — plus, they’re free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar. If you’re looking for a fuss-free, fresh, veggie-centric twist on the traditional brownie that comes together in less than half an hour, you’ve come to the right place! The best part? If you have a well-stocked pantry and a beet or two on hand, you can probably make these delicious vegan brownies right now! Who’s ready to whip up some raw, spring-inspired treats?
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!
Happy Saturday, friends. How’s everyone doing? These are certainly strange and uncertain times. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine blogging about this topic, under these circumstances! But like many of you, I’ve been reflecting on how I can best serve my community in this time of need — and its been so heartening reading stories of individuals and businesses stepping up to care for one another. I’ve always taken great comfort in preparing nourishing meals for myself, my family and my friends — and that extends to all of you! In light of recent world events and the different realities we’re all currently facing in this unprecedented situation, this week I focused on what I could do here at JustineCelina to help. As we spend more time in our homes over the next few weeks (or months) and adapt to a new normal, we’ll inevitably be cooking and eating more meals at home — something I’m very passionate about. So, I rescheduled the pretty cocktail I had originally slated to publish on Spring Equinox (which is now live!) to bring you 28 Plant Based Recipes Made With Pantry Staples, Frozen Food and Sturdy Produce — the ultimate resource in feeding yourself and your family well, and economically, during this challenging time.
I’ve scoured my virtual recipe box to compile 28 extensively tested, plant-based, inexpensive, easy to prepare, immune boosting recipes from breakfast through dinner (with snacks in-between!). Each of these recipes are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, but many also yield large batches — which are perfect for families, meal prep or freezing to ensure you have nutrient dense meal options on hand. I’ve always been one to keep a well-stocked kitchen — the majority of my recipes focus on inexpensive but versatile, plant based, pantry, freezer and fridge staples that pack a nutritional punch. I’ve also sprinkled this mega-post with ingredient substitution ideas and tips for maximizing the life of your produce, so you can make the most of what you have on hand (this is actually how my most inventive recipes are conceived, food never goes to waste in my kitchen!). We’re all in this together — so if you’re craving some time in the kitchen cooking, baking and recipe making, I’ve got you covered!
In search of some fresh tunes as we transition into spring? I’m back with another Monthly Soundtrack for your listening pleasure today — featuring my usual eclectic melange of genres and artists with a chill, easy-listening vibe. Much like love month, my February 2020 Soundtrack is short n’ sweet with just shy of a hour and a half of my most recent musical discoveries. There was a lot of behind the scenes work happening here at JustineCelina this month as I got back into a content creation rhythm after vacation — and this 23 track playlist is what kept me feeling inspired and motivated!