Dear braces

 

IMG_7930You’ve called my mouth your home for about 4 years now, and don’t take it the wrong way when I tell you that the honeymoon phase is OVER. It’s not you, it’s me. I simply think that you’ve enjoyed your stay a little too much and a far too long. It’s time for you to find another home.

In the beginning, we had our rough patches. The occasional lip and cheek scrapes, food getting stuck on you and of course, how can I forget, the month I could only eat soft [mushy] food?! Now, I’m not holding any of those things against you. Not. At. All. At the end of the day I signed up for it. I was the one who invited you in! But frankly, I was very insecure about my smile. I appreciate that you’ve been here to help me manage my giant crooked teeth. And I know you’re still here to help me get the smile I want for myself. It’s getting there and I can tell that we’re getting there. I’m just hoping that you’ll get there sooner rather than later.

I won’t be missing trying to take food out of you with my tongue or casually drinking water while pretending I’m not gargling to get the food out. Flossing for 10 minutes was fun-ish. I had to weave the floss around you as if I was making a wicker basket. I won’t be missing the regular tightening or my jaw locking. So like what I said earlier, it’s been good but you gotta go.

Good luck with everything and I hope you stay away from my future kids.

Always,

K

P.S. Of course, this blog post was just something cheeky since I have been feeling a little frustrated with having braces on lately. Nonetheless, I know that it’s worth the investment and commitment. If you’re interested, here are my Top 5 Tips on maintaining clean braces & healthy teeth:

  1. Get a good brush. I prefer to use a manual brush even though I have an electric brush because I feel like I can control the brush a lot better
  2. Actually follow your orthodontist’s recommendations about brushing your teeth AND flossing regularly. I was a little extra and carried a dental kit with me so I could brush my teeth literally after every meal. By all means, you don’t have to do that
  3. Get toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Your teeth will be moving around and will ultimately go through a lot of changes, I found that my teeth has gotten a lot more senstive because of it. Not sure about the science behind it but I still recommend getting toothpaste for sensitive teeth to help your teeth just a little bit more
  4. Carry toothpicks. I bought a bunch of dental toothpicks from the Dollar store (I think?) and it comes with a little travel size container. It fits nicely in your purse and you can easily go to the washroom in case there’s food that annoyingly gets stuck and is visible
  5. Buy Advil or Tylenol. This is more of a multipurpose item. If you don’t have a high pain tolerance, it would make eating (or generally speaking) easier if you had painkillers with you. For me, my jaw is realigning because my treatment right now is focusing on fixing my bite. It can be a little painful at night so I take a Tylenol some times

 

 

Cheese Board Basics for the Holidays!

With school out and work finishing up for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to have a fun filled party! Meat & cheese boards are awesome for small or larger gatherings, even on a tight budget. Here are a few of my tips on putting together a fabulous board.

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  1. How many people are attending your party? Whether you are making or buying dishes make sure you have an idea of how many people are going to be there. You don’t want to have less food than you need; at least with having more food, people can always bring some home if they want to
  2. Picking cheese. There are so many different options for the types of cheeses you can have on your board. Some blue cheese, Brie, Gouda, Camembert, cheddar, are just a few options for you to choose from. But before you do, make sure that you get a chance to actually taste the cheese before buying it. For example, I am not a big fan of strong blue cheese (or most blue cheeses to be honest) so I won’t put a big chunk of it on the plate. Of course, if you know that some of your guests love a particular kind of cheese or have previously recommended a cheese, why not give it a try? An alternative to my personal favourite, Fromager d’Affinois, is President’s Choice Double Cream Brie. They taste very similar but not quite, and the P.C. option is on sale right now!
  3. Bread or crackers? You can have one or both options. Though some cheeses do taste better with a nicely toasted piece of baguette. For example, I find that Brie tastes beautifully with a toasted bread and a little freshly ground black pepper. Simple and tasty! On a different note, there are many kinds of crackers you can use instead of the bread. I like using Triscuit’s olive oil, rosemary and black pepper flavoured crackers. The herbs and the salt from the crackers taste well with Gouda, some aged white cheddar or even with goat cheese and a dollop of pesto
  4. Serving plate/board. I present my cheese platters usually on a clean solid [wood/bamboo] cutting board. It makes it feel a little rustic and approachable to me. You can use other serving plates, though make sure that it is a flat plate and that it is big enough for the amount of food you’re putting on it
  5. Finishing touches. Slices of fruits, some grapes (still on their branches), fresh herbs, pitted olives, jam and so on. You can use all or some of them depending on how much cheese you want to use and bread. Remember, the star of the boards are the cheeses, the other food items should help elevate the flavours not up stage it. To add a little holiday twist, try using some cranberry jelly. It adds a nice tartness, sweetness and a pop of colour on the board!

Now all you need is a bottle of red or white wine or some hot apple cider. Enjoy!

Which kinds of cheeses are you having for your holiday dinner party? Leave a comment below for questions and suggestions! 🙂

 

 

Always,

K

How to get the most of your Summerlicious 2015 experience

It’s that time of the year again! No, I’m not talking about Christmas but it might as well be!  Summerlicious 2015 is happening from July 3rd-26th! I’m sure my fellow food lovers are just itching to start. Here are a few tips from my Winterlicious/Summerlicious adventures:

1. Know when you can make reservations. Summerlicious has sent posted details, including when to make early reservations, restaurant list and events/activities. They fill up fast, so make sure that you know which dates and times you can make reservations for and which event/activity you want to do.

2. Consider if you have or don’t have a budget. When my friends and I were still students, we picked restaurants according to how much we are willing to spend for the meal as well as which restaurants were giving the best deals. For instance, it’s a good opportunity to dine in some high-end restaurants during this period if you’re down on paying $45 for dinner. It’s a good price considering how much it will cost originally. However, if you don’t want to spend as much, there are other excellent options. Both of the meals I went to with my friends were under $30!

3. Do your RESEARCH! There were 200+ restaurants from the list they provided online and they were organized and presented well. You could view the different restaurants alphabetically, by cuisine or by neighborhood. I recommend using the categorization through cuisine. It gives you a good idea of what they have and allows for you to pick what you’re more comfortable with or more daring to try. Once you’ve decided on which cuisine you may want to explore, don’t be scared to GOOGLE them. There are many websites dedicated for online restaurant reviews or even apps you can download on your phone. Make use of them! However, I do understand that different people have different palates and opinions about their experiences. So I would also recommend to ask any of your friends who may or may not have eaten at the restaurant. Don’t just ask about the food too. Service is a huge aspect when dining. You can have an awesome meal but if the service is bad it does ruin a pretty big chunk of your experience, and that’s big factor that helps determine whether you want to be a repeat patron or give good recommendations.

4. FORGET about your diet and INDULGE yourself even for a little while. When you’re dining in, there’s time in between courses for your stomach to digest the food and so you may even feel full sooner. I’ve read somewhere that it takes about 15 minutes before it registers in your brain that you’re full. So use the time between courses to chat with your friends or even eating slowly so you can A. savour the flavours B. enjoy your meal and C. enjoy your friends/family/significant other’s company! Besides, being on diets is overrated. It’s a lifestyle change that needs to take place not just your eating habits.

Enjoy your culinary expedition at Summerlicious 2015 and let me know which restaurants you went to!

For more photos and restaurant reviews check out my Reviews page! 🙂

Always,

K

Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Two of my guilty pleasures are chocolates and ice cream, but of course staying healthy and eating well is a priority. Dark choclates are awesome alternatives for milk chocolates because they have less sugar and more antioxidants. It’s totally understandable that dark chocolates can be a little too bitter. If you’re not a fan of bitter dark chocolate, try 60-65% dark chocolate. It’s not as bitter and as delicious!

IMG_4836Now, this is not a new trick or recipe but it’s definitely one of my go-to substitutes for ice cream. It’s easy, affordable and doesn’t have as much sugar as store bought ice creams. You only need 3 ingredients: banana, Greek yogurt (or any kind of yogurt) and milk. You can also add cinnamon, honey, or other frozen fruits for variety.

It’s much harder to freeze the banana with the peel so I froze the banana by peeling it and wrapping the banana with plastic wrap or you can also cut the banana in chunks and put it in a plastic bag and freeze it overnight. Either method works well as long as you peel the banana first. After taking out the frozen banana and placing it in the blender, I added a 1/3 of a cup of Greek yogurt (you can use any kind of yogurt, I just prefer mine to be a little tart) then added 2 tablespoons of skim milk (again you can use any kind od milk, I just had skim milk). Once you have all of the ingredients together, blend away! If you are adding more frozen fruits, add a little bit more yogurt and milk to have a smoother consistency. Then transfer the mixture in a bowl and let it freeze for an hour or two. You can eat the mixture right out of the blender if you like, but I find that it can be a little runny and it melts a lot quicker.

Do you have healthier ice cream alternatives? Tell me about them by commenting below! I’d love to hear from you!

Always,

K