Friends, welcome back for my annual (and very belated!) Blogiversary celebration! My 3rd Blogiversary went roaring by on March 2nd — but to be honest, I was completely engrossed in our Living Room Reveal and some other fun, last minute projects at the time. Earlier this year I chatted about changing things up around here and creating space to let life happen — and that’s exactly what I’ve done! There’s been a lot happening here at JustineCelina lately as we get ready to reveal the next rooms in our SPACE REFRESH series (coming your way later this month!) and I simply had to prioritize my time differently to make this all possible. March was one of my most creatively fulfilling months of my life — it left me completely exhausted but also incredibly inspired! In the two months since My 3rd Blogiversary I’ve reached some milestones I’ve dreamed of achieving since launching JustineCelina and they’ve reminded me exactly why I started this whole thing in the first place. So, although it’s a bit late and I’ve been chipping away at this post when I can, I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this Pantone Spring 2018 inspired 3rd Blogiversary soirée with you!
In the midst of it all, I came up with the concept for this celebratory post pretty last minute — about 10 days before the shoot (which, admittedly, was about 2 months ago!). It was so spontaneous, but serendipitous and things just fell into place (I shot it myself one sunny Friday afternoon with my tripod and self timer). This year, we’re going all out — because after 323 blog posts, almost a million views (OMG!), 180 000 images, 2 900 comments and a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears (quite literally), I truly never thought I’d get here! My third year was one of intense growth, both on these pages and off of them — I hope you enjoy reading about 10 Things I Learned in my Third Year of Blogging in this raw, honest, unabashed post (you may need a sparkling glass of rosé to get though it!). Whether you’re new to JustineCelina (and there are a lot of you beautiful people — welcome!) or have been with me since the very beginning, I’m so grateful to have you here celebrating with me today!
Wow, it’s been a minute since I published a bread recipe here at JustineCelina! Today I’m so happy to finally share one of the very first loaves I ever developed — seriously you guys, this recipe is ancient. It’s funny — there are so many old recipes like this that I’ve never had the chance to share with you! Currently I have about ten autumn recipes in my archives that have accumulated over the years — since I like to share things seasonally and don’t blog about food exclusively, you can see how they’d really add up. Well, this is one of them! My friends and family are very familiar with my Spiced Sweet Potato Bread recipe, however, this autumn I revamped it to be free of dairy, gluten (both of which I now have sensitivities to), refined sugar and oil. Sounds like a drag right?! Wrong!
My Gluten Free Spiced Sweet Potato Bread tastes like a beautifully spiced, indulgent, autumnal cake — I promise absolutely no one will know it’s a ‘free from’ recipe! A mega dose of nutritious, mashed sweet potatoes and decadent coconut milk mix and mingle with fall spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice to create a dense, cake-like loaf enjoyed by plant baser eaters, people with food allergies and sensitivities and anyone that loves delicious seasonal baking! If you’re looking for healthier or allergy free alternative to seasonal desserts for Thanksgiving or holiday festivities, this Gluten Free Spiced Sweet Potato Bread is my top recommendation. I brought it to a family Thanksgiving dinner and it was a hit — even the picky eaters and little ones loved it! It also makes a fantastic breakfast, snack or clean dessert anytime you’re craving something sweet, spicy and nourishing. If you’re in the mood to bake this weekend (bonus: it makes your home smell amazing!), fix yourself a delicious chai latte, haul out your mixing bowls and throw on your coziest sweater — I have just the recipe!
How was your Thanksgiving weekend, Canadian friends? We had a very busy one traveling all over Alberta celebrating with family and friends before heading to a mountain wedding on Sunday. So, today I’m so excited to bring you a new recipe inspired by my favourite Thanksgiving treat (that sadly I’m unable to fully enjoy due to my dairy and gluten intolerances!) — Plant Based Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one looking to eat a bit cleaner and lighter this week after an indulgent weekend — and that’s was exactly the thinking behind this recipe! It offers all the flavours of traditional pumpkin pie, rolled up into a tasty, nutrition packed little bite. I created them for all my fellow plant based eaters who may also have food intolerances and sensitivities — these simple, no bake little balls of goodness are free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and they seriously taste exactly like pumpkin pie!
If you love pumpkin pie so much you’d like to eat it for breakfast and dessert… and well, anytime you need a little extra fuel to power your busy lifestyle, this recipe is for you! My Plant Based Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites combine pumpkin puree with a powerhouse medley of nuts and seeds, oats, shredded coconut, medjool dates and local honey (or maple syrup, if you’re vegan!) with cozy, autumnal spices for a portable dose of pumpkin pie whenever and wherever you need it. Make them in bulk, freeze them, pack them for lunch (or for your childrens lunches!), or throw a few in a Ziplock bag and tuck them away in your purse for an autumn inspired, nourishing snack on the run! If you have 15 minutes and a well stocked pantry, I bet you can whip these tasty little bites up right now!
Happy Monday, everyone! How was your weekend? If you’ve been following along with my Insta Stories lately you likely caught a glimpse of what my weekend looked like, including my very first saskatoon picking adventure! An old friend of mine invited us to forage their family farm near Carseland, Alberta where the saskatoons are flourishing — it’s the best crop they’ve ever had. I spent Saturday evening strolling through saskatoon tree lined paths with my Mom and little sister — bucket in one berry stained hand and camera in the other (now that’s my kind of girls night!). It was a gorgeous evening and we came away with overflowing buckets, happy hearts and about 8 pounds of berries!
Enjoy the bounty of our beautiful Canadian prairies with my Wild Saskatoon Berry Crumble — a simple, 9 ingredient recipe with a wholesome, plant based spin. It’s free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — and bursting with decadent berry flavour! Freshly picked saskatoons are bathed in bright lemon juice then naturally sweetened with rich, caramel laden coconut sugar and sprinkled with a hearty topping including quick oats, homemade oat flour, more coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt, cinnamon, chopped almonds and coconut oil. This vibrant, crowd pleasing dessert that accommodates food allergies and sensitivities without compromising those classic crumble characteristics we all know and love (I promise, no one will know it’s a ‘free from’ dessert!). It’s a no fuss summer dessert that’s ideal for entertaining and can be on your table in 45 minutes!
Welcome the day with a cup of coffee and a slice of light and fluffy banana bread with a tropical twist! My ultra clean, ultra simple Allergy Free Aloha Breakfast Bread is full of healthier, natural substitutions and free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar — perfect for those of us with food allergies, intolerances or sensitivities. This tropical banana bread combines a crisp, caramel coloured exterior with a light, airy centre and the intoxicating flavours and aromas of coconut and lime. If you’re looking for a fresh answer to summer baking and have a bunch of frozen bananas you need to use up (is anyone else’s freezer at max capacity during the summer?), I’ve got you covered! This mellow, coconut-centric, lime kissed loaf will transport you to azure waters and white sand beaches!
Happy Saturday! Today I’m sharing the recipe for my Golden Kiwi Piña Colada Popsicles — a nourishing summer treat made with freshly blended tropical fruit, nutritious greens and decadent coconut cream. These popsicles are all-natural, vegan and free of refined sugar and gluten. Although they taste like a tropical cocktail, they’re made with just 5 ingredients and they’re fun, quick and easy to prepare! They’re picky eater tested and kid approved, making them family friendly and a perfect sweet indulgence for hot summer days. I’ve said it many times here at JustineCelina, but I believe you can nourish and treat yourself at the same time. These cheerful summer popsicles are packed full of so many amazing vitamins and nutrients — largely in part to the gorgeous, golden kiwis used in this recipe. If you like piña coladas… well, then you’ll love this clean twist on a tropical classic!
Imagine a place where you could go to totally unleash your creativity. That’s what this blog has been for me for almost exactly 1 year. JustineCelina is my ultimate creative outlet and my happy place. I started my blog 1 year ago with an iPhone and an idea — and never could have imagined that it would grow and evolve into what it is today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every single one of you reading this post. Your support in the largest creative endeavor of my life truly means the world to me!
I wasn’t going to make it a big deal, but I decided to throw JustineCelina a birthday party to celebrate this milestone! Today’s post is a very special 1st Blogiversary Party and collaborative shoot that I’ve invited some of Calgary’s very best makers, artists and creative professionals to be a part of — including Milton Photography, Rebecca Dawn Design, and Crave Cookies & Cupcakes. I’m also sharing ten things I learned during my first year of blogging. This is a very long post — so grab a cupcake and a glass of bubbly (or whatever you’re toasting with), get comfy and let’s celebrate! Cheers to going your own way and making your own magic!