By Stylicious Living

Tips for you & your home including tips on decor, gardening, healthy recipes, eco-friendly trends, and much more!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup

What better to warm you up than a healthy, homemade bowl of soup full of antioxidants, nutrients, proteins, vitamins & minerals! Here is my healthy, minimal sodium, no simple carbohydrates, & free of saturated fats, Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup.  It holds all the flavor & taste you desire.  Please Enjoy!!! 
  • For the Soup:
  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets (use steams and floret heads)
  • 1 large (28 ounce or 2 x 15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Large Cooking Onion, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil, divided x 2
  • 3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired heat level)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (for vegan/vegetarian) or chicken broth (homemade, no sodium)
  • 1 cup water (if required)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Garnish Options:
  • Reserved roasted cauliflower mix
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley leaves
  • Roasted Chickpeas (season and roast at 400 for 45 minutes, toss 1/2 way through)
  • Greek Yogurt
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and1/2 the amount of all the spices. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once half way through. Remove from your oven and set aside. Reserve some for the garnish if desired.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent approx. 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, saute for 2 minutes, add remaining spices and saute for another minute.  Add chickpeas and saute for 4-5 minutes.  Add broth and the water (if required) and increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the roasted cauliflower mix.
  3. Puree the soup using an immersion blender. Alternatively, you can use a food processor or blender, working in batches if necessary and being careful when transferring and blending hot liquids. Return the pureed soup to the stove top and gently re-warm it. Stir in the Greek yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Garnish as desired and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Staging Small Spaces

Home Staging is increasingly more important to get top dollar on your investment.  This is especially true now that the real estate market has quickly turned into a buyers market here in the GTA.  Even more important, is to stage small spaces.  Not only do people struggle to visualize the layout of a great room that has to incorporate the dining area, living room, and office space, but small spaces that are empty, look smaller than furnished ones.

Here are some Tips on Staging Small Spaces:

1) Add décor pieces that are silver, brass, metal, mirrored, and/or glass to reflect the light throughout the rooms.

2) Add large scale mirrors throughout the space.  Mirrors reflect the light throughout and increase the visual space in the room.  Mirrors can be tastefully added to dining areas, above console tables & dressers, in the foyer, and in bathrooms.

3) Use Multi-Functional Furniture Pieces.  Things like ottomans are perfect.  They can be visualized as additional seating as a bench or as a stool, footrest, and can even be used as end tables.  Ottoman with storage is ideal as you can store or tuck away your magazines, pillows, throws, books, etc. 

4) Use Condo/Small Scale Furniture.  Things like oversized arm rests on large couches just clutter the space and weigh it down.  Opt for thin, tailored, and streamlined pieces to keep the space as open as possible.  With the exception in bedrooms.  Remember if rooms are empty, they actually look smaller than furnished ones.  If a Queen Bed can fit, especially in condo master bedrooms, add one.  If buyers are questioning if a Queen Bed can actually fit in there, you have lost potential buyers.  
5) Add glass wherever possible.  When staging small spaces, select a couple glass pieces like dining tables, end tables, coffee tables, consoles, etc.  These pieces don't take away from the visual space in the room and can greatly open up the space while allowing you to place décor pieces and table lamps throughout.

6) Paint the space in a light paint colour like light grey or light taupe and in small spaces, use the same colour throughout.  This makes the space more uniform and appear larger.  

Best of luck with the sale of your property!  For any additional staging advice and/or if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us at (416)262-0609.

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Design Trends

Every year comes with new trends not only in home décor but in fashion, web design, architecture, etc.  In the interior design world, 2017 brings some interesting trends and I hate to say it but the 80's are back.  Here are the top design trends for 2017:

I always say that lighting & light fixtures are the jewelry of the room.  This year's trend brings very abstract, art-like lighting often asymmetrical in various finishes like brass, pewter, antique bronze & black.  Also, Vintage Edison Light Bulbs are still very on trend.

This trend can be best utilized in décor accents like throw cushions, area rugs, accent chairs, linens, and outdoor accents.  Adding this trend to more accent pieces, allows you to economically update if the trend changes over the next couple of years.

It was announced months ago by Pantone that the colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery 15-0343.  This colour amongst other lavish colours like jewel tones, blues, pale pinks, etc. have definitely founds themselves into home décor this year.  2017 is definitely not the year to fear a pop of colour.  Once again, adding a pop of colour with your décor pieces like throw cushions, accent chairs, linens, is always a good option to embrace the trend and not be stuck with it for many years to come.

As I expressed, the 80's are back and with that comes brass.  However, the 2017 brass trend tends to be more muted brass like antique brass, pewter, and brushed brass.  This trend is perfect to incorporate into light fixtures, lamps, throw cushions, hardware, mirrors & décor pieces.

Out of all the 2017 design trends, this has to be my favourite and is the most versatile.  You can add this trend into flooring, back splashes, coffee tables, dining room tables, accent walls, and even décor pieces as Hand-Crafted/Artisanal products perfectly align with this trend. 

Gone are the days of everything being taupe, light brown, & beige.  We are seeing this trend utilized in kitchens & kitchen cabinetry, wall colours, furniture fabric, drapery, linens, and décor pieces.

As I always say, have fun with trends and embrace to the level you feel comfortable with.  I always recommend to my clients to select neutral & timeless finishes for their large ticket items and add trends into their décor pieces so they can be easily replaced if trend changes in years to come.  For any assistance on how these trends can be introduced into your home, contact me at anytime.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spring Clean Your Home

Spring has sprung so it's time to spring clean your home.  Now that we have decluttered our space first (checkout our Declutter Your Life Post), it's time to tackle and clean some of the dirtiest items in our homes.  Here are some tips on how to clean those dirt traps in your home:

1) Cleaning Tools: Before you clean your home, ensure that the equipment you are using is cleaned and ready to tackle the entire home.
  • empty vacuum canisters of existing dirt and dust
  • clean interior of canister & wipe down exterior with water and vinegar (1:1 ratio)
2) Beds:
  • Remove all bedding & wash in hot water (wash weekly at a minimum)
  • Wash pillows seasonally & replace every couple of years
  • Mattress: Sprinkle with baking soda & vacuum, flip mattress and turn 180oC seasonally, finally sprinkle other side with baking soda & vacuum
3) Fans: Fans are a trap for dirt & allergens plus they move are around, depositing those allergens in the air your family breathes.
  • Cover area below fan with sheet or drop cloth
  • Spray with Water & Vinegar (1:1 ratio) and fully wipe down
  • Clean seasonally at a minimum
4) Carpets:  Did you know that carpets can hold up to 4 times their weight in dirt? 
  • Steam Clean your carpets seasonally
  • vacuum at least weekly.  More often if you have pets & young children
5) Tooth Brushes: They can carry more than 10 million bacteria on one brush.  YUCK!!!
  • Replace every 3 months
  • Don't flush where you brush.  Ensure your brushes are at least 3' away from the toilet & ultimately close lid on toilet before you flush.
  • Use products like Vio Light for smaller bathrooms
6) Cell Phones: In today's society, we are taking our phones everywhere and I mean everywhere.  They can carry up to 25,000 germs per square inch.
  • clean daily with microfiber cloth (be sure to remove case often and wipe down)
  • Spray lightly with water & alcohol and wipe down (weekly).  The alcohol is a drying agent so as long as you spray lightly & wipe down immediately, there is no concern for water damage
7) Handles & Switches:
  • Clean often with water & vinegar (1:1 ratio)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Healthy Thai Chicken Curry Lettuce Wraps

These are tasty Thai Chicken Curry Wraps that can be had for lunch, dinner, or even a healthy snack.  The Thai mixture can also be served warm over cooked brown rice or even on a whole wheat wrap.
400-500g of Organic Extra Lean Ground Chicken
1 x Large Cooking Onion (diced)
3 x Large Carrots (finely chopped)
1 x Red Pepper (finely chopped)
Optional veggies – broccoli, spinach, kale, lemongrass, cilantro or parsley for garnish, etc.
3-4 x Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1 tbsp of Freshly Grated Ginger
1 tsp of Black Pepper
2 tsp of Turmeric
3 tbsp of Thai Curry Paste (Red, Green, or Yellow)
1 Can of Coconut Milk
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tbsp of Lemon Juice
Romaine Lettuce or Bib Lettuce for Wraps

1)      Brown chicken and set aside
2)      Sauté onions on medium until translucent (3-5 minutes), add carrots, red pepper, and any additional veggies sauté for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, spices (2 minutes).  Add Curry paste and mix well. Add coconut milk & cooked chicken to entire mixture.  Mix well and let simmer for 10-15 minutes
3)      Turn off heat; add Fish Sauce and Lemon Juice. 
4)      Let mixture cool completely and add to lettuce cups.
5)      Garnish and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Healthy Chicken Divan Dinner

Here is a healthy, yet delicious and tasty version of the classic Chicken Divan Dinner.  No cream condensed soup loaded with preservatives & chemicals, no breadcrumbs, and no cheese but still has all flavor of the traditional Chicken Divan without the guilt!
Serves 4
3 large Chicken Breasts (cubed into bite sized pieces)
1 large Broccoli Bunch (cut florets into bite sized pieces, peel stems of tough exterior, chop and add to florets)
1 large cooking Onion (diced)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
1.5 cups of Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (it makes 5-6 cups and I just freeze the remaining into 3 portions for future recipes)
1 tbsp of Curry Powder
1 tsp of Pepper (salt to taste, I personally omit any salt)
Cooked Brown Rice
Optional - parsley or cilantro & chopped spring onions to garnish

1)      Boil Broccoli (approx. 4-5 minutes) until tender crisp
2)      Sauté Onions in large frying pan until translucent (approx. 3-4 minutes); add garlic & spices (1 minute) on medium heat.  Raise heat to medium-high, add chicken and mix well. Sauté chicken until cooked (approx. 5 minutes), try to avoid moving the chicken around a lot in the frying pan as browning the chicken adds flavor.
3)      Add cooked Broccoli (reduce pan to low)
4)      Add Creamy Cauliflower Sauce and mix well

5)      Serve over Cooked Brown Rice

6)      Optional – garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro & chopped spring onions


Monday, March 20, 2017

Declutter Your Life

Now that spring is upon us, it’s time when many of us do a full spring clean of our home.  Before I tackle a full spring clean, I make sure I declutter my space.  A full spring clean is definitely more efficient once the space is decluttered. Did you know that 1/3 of all of our stuff isn’t used? And 1/5 of our home is used for storage!  Physical clutter ultimately leads to mental clutter and can increase stress levels, increase anxiety, and affect your overall health.

Clutter Culprits:
1)      Impulse Clutter:  We all have it!!!  These are the items we purchase by ‘impulse’ while out & about shopping.  These are the blouses you buy and when you get home, you realized you have a handful of similar blouses and ultimately all of them are not even being worn now.  These are the hand tools you buy because you can’t find the ones you currently have.
How to tackle this clutter:
·         Have a specific home for all items in your home
·         Discard or donate any duplicates of items (hand tools, clothing, kitchen gadgets, etc.)
·         Purge closets & storage area (check out our Spring Clean Your Closet post)
·         Maintain a 1 in, 1 out habit – when you purchase a new article of clothing, discard or donate one.  When you buy a new kitchen gadget or utensil, discard or donate the older duplicate.

2)      Disposable Clutter: These are the items we hold on to thinking that we might need it or use it in the future and never do.
How to tackle this clutter:
·         Discard any broken, damaged, outdated items
·         Electronics – sell or discard any old phones, DVD players, computers, cords, etc.  Check your municipal electronic disposal policy.
·         Paperwork – every year when you do your taxes, shred and discard any old tax years (in Canada save for 7 years).  Use your smart phone to make to-do lists, shopping lists, etc. in order to eliminate all of those post-it notes around your home/office
·         Go through your entire fridge, freezer, & pantry and discard any expired food items
·         Do not have a junk drawer – everything should have a place in the home.  “Don’t put it down, put it away” Peter Walsh, Organizing Guru

3)      Emotional Clutter: These are the items we hold onto for sentimental reasons but end up taking up so much space that mentally it affects us in a negative way.
How to tackle this clutter:
·         Gifts – if you receive something that you don’t use, don’t like or don’t have the space to store, don’t feel bad by donating them.  I personally would not try selling an item I received as a gift, donating to a better home is my only option here.
·         Collectables or items you inherited – there is no need to keep the entire collection of collectables.  Select your favourite pieces of the collection and discard or donate any ones in disrepair and/or ones you have no connection with.  Take pictures of entire collection for future memorabilia.
·         Kid’s crafts & drawings – I recommend picking your top 5 favourite pieces per year and display or place in journal.  Take pictures of all the other wonderful creations your children create and then discard.  Sort all these pictures on a key drive and can be easily viewed for future memorabilia.

4)      Digital Clutter: In this day and age, we spend so much time on our computer & phone so doing a spring declutter on these items is equally important.
How to tackle this clutter:
·         Unsubscribe to ALL spam, junk, unwanted emails.  For the next couple of weeks, instead of just deleting all unwanted emails, be sure to click on email, scroll to bottom, and click on 'unsubscribe'.  This might take you a couple extra minutes over the next couple of weeks, but will save you a lot of time and mental stress in the future.
·         Social Media – Unfollow any negative nellies on your social media platforms.  Negative energy on your feed just allows that energy to come into your life.
·         Phones – clear photos off your phone at least monthly, organize and delete unwanted shots.  Also, delete any unused apps on your phone.
·         Computer Files – have minimal folders on your desktop.  Break in to main areas and subdivide within the folder e.g. home, family, personal, business. 
·         Create non-digital times/boundaries with your family e.g. no phones at dinner time, family time, movie night, game night, etc.  And be sure to put down your digital device 1 hour before bedtime.

Spring has sprung so it’s time to get our space & mind decluttered and cleaned.  For any assistance or questions with regards to decluttering your home, please contact us at (416)262-0609 we would be happy to help!  Happy Spring!