Friends, it feels absolutely incredible to be back today with a fresh COCKTAIL recipe! It’s been quite awhile since my last blog post — between a wonderful, 3 week workcation in the country, to making the most of some business-related travel in Edmonton (where we enjoyed a little weekend getaway!), I’ve been (safely) bouncing around all over the province like a true digital nomad this month. Although I’ve had my camera and laptop in tow and have still been creating content, keeping my socials updated (have you stopped by Instagram lately to see what I’ve been up to?) and working on some exciting projects, I couldn’t find the time to actually sit down, process and edit imagery, write long-form content and publish a blog post! Instead, I had some long overdue development tasks taken care of behind the scenes here at JustineCelina to get the site back in pristine working order (hopefully you haven’t even noticed!). Overall it’s been a very lucrative and productive month, although blog content took a back seat — so thank you for your patience and understanding! I’m thrilled to be back with this clean slate, feeling refreshed and ready to bring you tons of summer content — commencing with these Creamy Coconut Mango Mezcalritas!
I’ve been sipping away on these jubilant, Oaxacan-inspired cocktails since Cinco de Mayo when I whipped them up for a festive night in, simply using what we had on hand — and the results were absolutely delicious! My Creamy Coconut Mango Mezcalritas are a perfectly balanced libation that are equal parts smoky, citrusy, creamy, spicy and sweet — and are (as always!) free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar. A healthy dose of hand-crafted mezcal and creamy coconut milk combine with fresh mango and lime juices, along with a splash of Cointreau, agave nectar and just a hint of red chilli before they’re shaken over ice and strained into a Himalayan pink salt and Tajín rimmed glass. Make the most of this very welcome heatwave with an inspired seasonal sip that will virtually transport you to a tranquil ocean shore from the comfort of your own home, backyard or patio! Cheers to finding new ways to bring TRAVEL into our lives this year!
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.
My June 2020 Soundtrack features just over 2 hours of ultra chill, easy-listening, instrumental tunes spanning genres — and also, a track from my nephew, DJBThomson, who’s foraying into the music world! A handful of my favourite tracks include Random Forests I Don’t Trust That Bird of Prey, Vladimir Martynov’s The Beautitudes, Headphone Activist’s Lazy, Shook & Ian Urbina’s Isolation, AK & Liam Thomas’s Peace of Mind, Late June’s Burning Slow, Dye O’s Uprising, iamlex’s Aurora, Tōth’s Copilot, Tom Kalani’s Target, Evin Iris’s Collapse Into The Light, Jose Mehlin’s Adjustments, Ghost of Summer’s Woodland Heart, UTAH’s Thirty Two, TOKiMONSTA’s Love That Never, Stan Forebee’s Skyshades, Wolf’s Play It Safe, Teen Daze’s Comfort and DJBThomson’s N!GHT SK¥ (Bass Version). Happy listening!
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!
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!
Because of the curated nature of this month’s soundtrack, nearly ever song featured this month has been on heavy rotation. That said, blackbear’s me & ur ghost, Lane 8’s Just, Tim Legend’s Late Pickup Station, everything from Tycho’s Outer Sunset, Attom & Frye’s Way You Move, Austeria’s The Shimmering, SUMif’s Collide, Billie Eilish’s No Time To Die, Arizona Zervas ROXANNE and Bombay Bicycle Club’s Eat Sleep Wake (Nothing But You) were on repeat for days! Whether you stream my February 2020 Soundtrack directly from the embedded player in this post or come join me on Spotify, I hope you enjoy it!
Happy Saturday, cocktail lovers! I’m back this weekend with my first recipe of 2020, inspired by our recent trip to Mexico and the height of citrus season here in Canada — Hibiscus Blood Orange Mezcalritas! Have you ever tried mezcal? I discovered mezcal during our first trip to Oaxaca back in 2012 and it’s my spirit of choice whenever we’re in Huatulco. This traditional Mexican liquor is closely related to tequila (both are distilled from agave — mezcal can be made from any of several dozen species, while tequila must be made from blue agave) and originated in Oaxaca, which is still the largest producer of mezcal globally. Each time we visit we discover new artisinal varieties — and bring as much as we possibly can home to help ease our Canadian winters with spirited memories!
If you’re looking for an inventive libation that celebrates citrus season and the vibrancy of Mexican culture, you’ll find it in my Hibiscus Blood Orange Mezcalritas! This jubilant craft cocktail is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and loaded with better-for-you ingredients, antioxidants and a healthy dose of vitamin C. Inspired by Mexican Agua de Jamaica, hibiscus tea concentrate combines with freshly squeezed blood orange and lime juices, Joven Mezcal, Cointreau and a splash of agave syrup shaken over ice and strained into a pink hibiscus salt rimmed glass. Transport yourself to the healing, pristine waters of the Mexican south pacific with this modernized, seasonal spin on the traditional mezcalrita!
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!