Crostini 4 Ways: Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Beet and Roasted Tomato

Crostini 4 Ways - Header

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Hi Savvys,

Welcome to my Vegan Holiday Series! I will be sharing 5 blog posts with you featuring recipes that you can bring to any holiday gathering, whether you are hosting or need to bring to a potluck. The recipes are all easy, can be made ahead and frozen, and of course use all plant based ingredients.

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For the 1st post, I wanted to provide you with a variety of appetizers that will surely please a crowd. I am presenting you with crostini recipes, 4 ways, using white bean dip and hummus but with different tasty toppings. See below for the recipes.

Enjoy! Now set forth and be Savvy!

*Savvy tip on the below recipes, make the dips ahead of time and freeze for later use.

*Savvy tip for the veggies and bread, you can roast all of the veggies at the same time in the at the same temperature and bake the bread when there’s 10 minutes left on the veggies

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Ingredients for Hummus

  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas (1 15 oz can)
  • 1/2 of the roasted garlic bulb
  • 1/2 lemon juice and zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (the juice from the chickpeas) or water

Ingredients for Caramelized Onions

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 large onion (or 3 smaller ones)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions for Hummus

  1. To a blender, add the chick peas, half the roasted garlic bulb, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and tahini to a food processor
  2. Blend the ingredients in a food processor for about 30 seconds
  3. Stream in the oil and aquafaba until smooth, scraping down when necessary
  4. Set aside until assembly

Directions for Caramelized Onions

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a pan, and caramelize the sliced onions and garlic on medium low for 30 minutes
  2. Periodically stir the onions but let sit so that it can get caramelized. You can stir them in increments of 5 minutes to prevent burning
  3. Just before you take it off the heat, add some salt
  4. Set aside until assembly

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Ingredients for Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Balsamic Glaze

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • boil on medium for 10 minutes until syrupy consistency

Directions for Roasted Tomatoes

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degress
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise
  3. Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss so that tomatoes are fully coated
  5. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, tossing half way through

Directions for Balsamic Glaze

  1. In a small sauce pan, add the balsamic glaze
  2. Boil on medium for 10 minutes until syrupy consistency
  3. Watch out, it will thicken as it cools down. If it gets too thick, you can add a bit of hot water to thin out

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Ingredients for White Bean Dip

  • 1 12 cup white beans (1 15 oz can)
  • 1/2 of the roasted garlic bulb
  • 1/ 2 lemon juice and zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 tsp chives
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black peppers

Ingredients for Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 6 mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • a splash of soy sauce/tamari (about 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions for White Bean Dip

  1. Add all of the ingredients for the white bean dip into a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Set aside until assembly time

Directions for Sauteed Mushrooms

  1. Sautee garlic on medium heat for about 2 minutes
  2. Add mushrooms and sautee for 4 mins, adding a splash of water if the mushrooms are getting stuck to the pan
  3. Add the spices and stir for 30 seconds until well combined
  4. Take off the heat and set aside in a dish for assembly

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Ingredients for Roasted Beets

  • 1 beet
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions for Roasted Beets

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the beet up into thin slices
  3. Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  4. Toss with the oil and salt
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, tossing half way through

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Ingredients

  • 1 baguette
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Hummus
  • Caramelized Onions
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Basic
  • White Bean Dip
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Roasted Beets
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Mint

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the baguette in to thin slices on an angle, about 1/6 of an inch thick
  3. Brush olive oil on both sides, placing them on a cookie sheet
  4. Bake the bread at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through

Assembly

  1. Hummus and Caramelized Onions
    1. Spread some hummus onto the toasted bread
    2. Top with about 2 tsp of the caramelized onions
  2. Hummus and Roasted Tomatoes
    1. Spread some hummus onto toasted bread
    2. Place 4-6 roasted tomatoes on top
    3. Sprinkle with torn basil
    4. Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving
  3. White Bean Dip and Sauteed Mushrooms
    1. Spread some white bean dip onto the toasted bread
    2. Top with about 2 tbsp of the sauteed mushrooms
  4. White Bean Dip and Roasted Beets
    1. Spread some white bean dip onto the toasted bread
    2. Top with 4-6 pieces of roasted beets
    3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving

3 Recipes using Eggcitables Egg Alternative | Sushi, Okonomiyaki (Cabbage Pancakes) and Green Onion Pancakes

 

3 Recipes Using Eggcitables Egg Alternative-Logo

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Hi Savvys!

I am always on the lookout for new vegan friendly products to try.  I am a curious person by nature, so when I saw that Eggcitables  had an egg alternative product made with chickpeas, I knew I had to reach out to them so I could try the product myself!

I’ve put together 3 recipes using the Eggcitables egg alternative product and am so excited to be sharing them with you.  These recipes use pantry ingredients and are so delicious.

Comment below to let me know which is your favourite recipe!

Now set forth and be savvy!

Egg Sushi

~makes 1 roll

Ingredients

Rice

  • 1/4 cup sushi rice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 sushi sheet

Vegan Fried Eggcitables  Egg

  • 1 Eggcitables egg (2 tbsp of mixture and 2 tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp oil

Directions

  1. Add the rice and water to a rice cooker and let cook until it’s done. Cook the rice a few hours before you need it so it can cool down to room temperature but still be warm for when you assemble.
  2. For the Vegan Fried Eggcitables egg, mix 2 tbsp of the mixture and add 2 tbsps of water.
  3. Add the soy, sugar and extra water to this mixture.
  4. Thoroughly mix until well combined and ensure there are no lumps.
  5. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high and add 1 tsp of oil.
  6. Evenly coat the pan with the oil and add the egg mixture.
  7. Cook the fried egg like a pancake and roll it when the bubbles stop forming, about 3 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat down to medium and let it cook thoroughly for about another minute. The inside should be fluffy but cooked.
  9. To make the sushi rice, mix in sugar and vinegar into the warm cooked rice. Mix until combined.  Savvy tip, you can use this as the base for easy rice bowls.
  10. To assemble the sushi, lay down a sheet of nori, and evenly lay out the rice on top of the nori sheet, leaving about an inch of nori at the top – this will be where you seal it.
  11. Lay the piece of egg at the bottom of the roll, and roll it into a sushi roll. Seal it by brushing some water onto the exposed nori and roll over it to make a seal.
  12. Cut into 6 equal pieces . It’s easiest to cut with a bread knife.  Dip the blade in water to prevent the rice from sticking to the blade.
  13. This can be eaten immediately and can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Okonomiyaki

~makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients

BBQ Sauce

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp vegan worsteshire sauce
  • 2 tbsp mushroom saue
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Cabbage Pancakes

  • 1 Eggcitables egg (2 tbsp of mixture and 2 tbsp water)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 green onions sliced
  • 1 tsp oil

Directions

  1. For the BBQ sauce, mix the sugar, vegan oyster sauce (also known as mushroom sauce), vegan worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Set aside.
  2. For the cabbage pancake batter, mix the 1 eggsitables egg alternative, flour and water until it forms a smooth batter.
  3. Add your sliced cabbage and green onion and mix until all of the veggies are evenly coated.
  4. Heat 1 tsp of oil on a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add about 1 cup of the cabbage mixture and cook for about a minute before flipping.
  6. Cook for a minute on the other side (adjust cooking time based on heat and color of the pancake)
  7. Serve with the BBQ sauce drizzled on top.

Green Onion Pancakes

~makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients

All-purpose soy dipping sauce

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • ½ tsp dried red onion
  • ½ tsp driedginger

Scallion Pancakes

  • 1 Eggcitables egg (2 tbsp of mixture and 2 tbsp water)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallion, about 10 stalks
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder , optional
  • 1 tsp oil

Directions

  1. For the sauce, mix all of the sauce ingredients in a jar. You can use fresh herbs in place of the drived but I always have dried on hand so I like to use that up when I can.
  2. For the scallion pancakes, in a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, salt, five spice powder, and the green onion.
  3. Add the egg alternative and water and mix to combine.
  4. Ensure all of the green onion is coated in batter.
  5. Heat 1 tsp of oil on a non-stick skillet over medium to high heat.
  6. Add enough batter so that it forms a large pancake, about 1 cup of batter (but make sure it’s not too thick, it should be thicker than a tortilla but thinner than a pancake)
  7. Cook the pancake for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Cut into quarters to serve.

Toronto Vegandale 2019

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Hi Savvys!

I was so happy to attend this year’s Vegandale in Toronto.   I had attended last year and was so excited to see the different vendors this year.  Entry this year was $10 for early birds and $15 at the door.  There were lots of brands that had booths such as Daiya, Silk, Yves and Magnum offering full sized free samples – you definitely got your money’s worth.

 

 

Like last year, we brought our own reusable bags, containers, cutlery and water bottles to ensure we were reducing the amount of waste that tends to be produced at these types of food festivals.  And like last year, Vegandale came equipped with a refillable water bottle station with cold water for both you and your furry friend!

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I also enjoyed seeing so many restaurants having their own booths as well, such as Fresh and Planta Burger.   It was great to see so many local restaurants offering their specialties off their menus.  We had ordered the Southwest Burger from Planta burger with their truffle fries – my absolute favourite and served crispy with ketchup!

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I also made my annual trip to the Good Rebel to stock up on some vegan staples like soy curls and TVP.  I love that they now offer shipping across Canada so I can stock up all year round.  Definitely check out their website!  They offer a wide variety of vegan products, from pantry staples to frozen products, such as Beyond Meat sausages.

Last year the event was held on both Saturday and Sunday but this year it was only held on Saturday, which did make the line ups a bit lengthy.  We waited especially long at Ital Vital for about 15 minutes, but it was well worth it.  We enjoyed their Jerk with rice and sides.  Luckily we brought our own containers because we packed it up and ate it for dinner at home!

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I look forward every year to Toronto Vegandale where I can explore and be inspired by all of the loca vendors.  It seems like this festival is getting bigger and bigger every year and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for years to come.  Don’t forget to check out my video to see the experience.

Now set forth and be savvy!

Pixi’s Vitamin-C Collection Skincare Routine + Review

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Hi Savvys!

I was so excited to have received my first ever Pixi products!  I love that Pixi is cruelty free, paraben free and uses natural ingredients.  I received this Vitamin-C Collection which consisted of 5 products for a full skin care routine.  Continue reading below to see the order of which I used the products and my review!

Logo-Vitamin C Juice Cleanser

This was the first time I ever saw a cleanser pump like this.  To be honest, I was a bit confused on how to use it because when you pump, the cleanser goes all over the place since it’s very thin and liquidy. I ended up just pouring it into my palm before applying it to my face.  I found the cleanser to be quite refreshing, light smelling and more importantly made my face feel fresh and clean.

Logo-Vitamin C Tonic Toner

I’ve said this before about toners, but I really wish companies would put their toners in spray bottles.  Not only is it easier to apply but you are also using less since when you pour it onto a cotton pad, most of it is absorbed into the pad rather than applied onto your face.  Much like the cleanser, this toner made my face feel immediately refreshed.  I also really liked how well it went following the cleanser.

Logo-Vitamin C Serum

I loved how cute this serum bottle was.  It reminded me of when I was a child going through my mother’s beauty products.  A little goes a long way and I loved how cooling it was on my face.  I used this right after I applied the toner.

Logo-Vitamin C Caviar Balm

I tried to search online to see in which order I needed to apply this caviar balm in but couldn’t find the information so I assume it needs to be applied after the serum but before the lotion.  This caviar balm was so thick that you only need a little dollop. I loved the feeling on my face and my neck.

Logo-Vitamin C Lotion

I find it so hard to find a daytime lotion because I usually like to use SPF for added protection.  However I did love this as a night time cream.  It is so thick and made my skin feel so fresh and plumped in the morning.  Perfect for my night time routine.

Overall I love this line not only because Pixi in general is cruelty free, but I loved how natural and non-synthetic all of the products were.  They had a subtle citrus smell and made my face feel so fresh.

Hope you guys found this review helpful.  I am looking forward to the next Pixi products that I try.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

Cauliflower Wings and Fiesta Bean Dip | Frank’s Red Hot VoxBox

Califlower Wings and Fiesta Bean Dip

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Hi Savvys!

I received Influenster’s VoxBox for Frank’s Red Hot Seasoning and Fiesta Bean Dip complimentary for review purposes.  I know right away that I wanted to make recipes that would serve a crowd.  I am so excited to finally be posting my buffalo cauliflower wings, with a twist using the Frank’s Red Hot Seasoning.  The Fiesta Bean Dip goes perfectly alongside this and can be easily made into tacos!  Of course, drizzle over top with my ranch dressing and you can surely please a crowd!

Let me know how you like these recipes.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 package medium-firm tofu, drained (454 g)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (about 2 cups)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 package Frank’s Red Hot Fiesta Bean Dip

Directions

  1. Drain the extra firm tofu and crumble into a food processor
  2. Add the kidney beans , salt, lime juice nutritional yeast and Fran’s Red Hot Fiesta Dip seasoning to the food processor with the tofu
  3. Blend in the food processor until smooth.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  5. Let cool before serving tortilla chips and veggies

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Ingredients

~makes 4 portions

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bit sized pieces
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp Frank’s Red Hot Seasoning
  • ¾ cup of water
  • 1 tbsp oil

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix flour, potato starch and spices together
  2. Add in the water and oil and mix until well combined
  3. Throw in your cauliflower pieces into the batter and mix until well coated
  4. Lay out a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and lay out the coated cauliflower
  5. We will be baking the wings this twice.
  6. For the first bake, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through
  7. For the second bake, remove the cauliflower from the tray and dump back into the remaining batter
  8. Stir to coat and bake again at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

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~makes about 1 cup of dressing

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw hemp heart seeds (you can also use pumpkin seeds as a substitute)
  • 2/3 cup boiled water (still hot!)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp grape seed/avocado oil
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • ¼ tsp celery seed
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayo

Directions

  1. To make the dressing, mix all of the ingredients in a blender on high for 30 seconds
  2. Serve alongside the cauliflower wings
  3. Can be stored for up to a week

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Vegan Meal Prep | Sushi and Korean BBQ Bowls

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Meal Prep Sushi and Korean BBQ bowls

Hi Savvys,

I received Knorr’s “Taste of Knorr” new seasoning blends for review purposes from Chickadvisor and wanted to share the recipes I created.   I’m bringing you 2 new rice bowl recipes featuring Taste of Japan and Taste of Korea new seasoning blends!  These recipes are so easy to make and perfect for meal prep, which is what I used them for.  I made a big batch of the quinoa and rice blend and used half for the sushi rice and half for the Korean BBQ bowl.

Enjoy! Now set forth and be Savvy!

Ingredients

Both recipes below make 4 portions of each recipe

Rice

~Makes 8 servings – 1/2 cup each

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup short grain (sushi) rice
  • 2 cups water

Taste of Knorr Korean BBQ Bowls

BBQ Marinade and Soy Curls

  • 2 cups soy curls, soaked in hot water
  • 1 tbsp reserved water from soaking the soy curls
  • 1 tbsp Taste of Knorr Korean BBQ seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar

Topping Ideas for BBQ Bowl

  • Kimchi
  • Cucumber
  • Kale
  • Fried Shishito peppers
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Green onion

Rice

  • 1/2 of the prepared rice (from above), about 2 cups

Directions

  1. Soak the soy curls in hot water for 30 minutes
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix to combine
  3. Reserve 1 tbsp of the water from the soy curls and add it to the rest of the marinade
  4. Drain the soy curls and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible
  5. Place the drained rehydrated soy curls into a dish. Pour the marinade over and coat till they’re all covered.
  6. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high and cook the soy curls until all of the liquid has been reduced, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. To assemble the bowls, prepare 4 bowls (or containers for meal prep) and place 1/2 cup of the quinoa and rice mixture at the bottom of the bowl. Top with 1/2  cup of the cooked soy curls.  Top with all of your favourite toppings

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Taste of Knorr Japanese Sushi Bowls

Sushi Rice

  • Remaining 1/2 of the prepared rice (from above), about 1 cup
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Togarashi Tofu

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (tofu package around 400g)
  • 1 tbsp Taste of Knorr Japan Togarashi seasoning blend
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp water

Topping Ideas for BBQ Bowl

  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Microgreens
  • Vegan roe
  • Soy sauce
  • Diced mango
  • Pickled ginger
  • Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. To make the sushi rice, mix in sugar and rice wine vinegar into the remaining rice and quinoa mix. Set aside.
  2. Remove the block of tofu from packaging and place at the bottom of a strainer. Place a plate on top of the tofu.  Place a heavy pot on top of the plate and let sit and press for 30 minutes
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and mix to combine
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the tofu from the strainer and cut into cubes (I like to cut the tofu into 4 pieces length and width wise, then cut into 4 again so each portion gets 16 pieces of tofu)
  5. Cover the tofu with the marinade.
  6. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high and cook the tofu for about 3-5 minutes.
  7. To assemble the bowls, prepare 4 bowls (or containers for meal prep) and place 1/2 cup of the quinoa and rice sushi mixture at the bottom of the bowl. Top each bowl with ¼ of the tofu (about 16 pieces if you cut it like me).  Top with all of your favourite toppings.  Drizzle with soy sauce

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8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics for Plastic Free July

Hi Savvys!Hope everyone is enjoying their Plastic Free July!July may be almost over, but I hope all of our new habits and healthy lifestyle changes will stick around all year round! Especially now that it’s summer, we have less time to spend indoors and look to convenience products since we want to maximize and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.

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I’ve put together a list of my top 8 reusable alternatives to single use plastics that you can incorporate into your summer routine, whether it be attending food festivals, traveling or even enjoying a BBQ or two.

  1. Reusable Floss

Not only is this floss pot reusable for years to come, the floss itself is also vegan and compostable. That means when we’re done with the floss, we just throw it into our bathroom compost bin!

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush

I love that companies are so innovative now and creating everyday single use products out of renewable resources. Bamboo is considered a renewable resource as it can grow up to 4 inches a day. Cutting and harvesting bamboo actually improves the soil quality. Again, at the end of its useful life, we throw our bamboo toothbrushes into the compost bin.

  1. Diva Cup

I love my Diva Cup. It can be used between 2 – 4 years before having to be disposed of. Not only is it diverting pads and tampons from the landfills, it will also save you money in the long run!

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  1. Reusable Travel Zip Pouches

If you know me, then you know I love to travel. A lot of single use plastic bags are typically used when travelling to hold toiletries and electronics. I love these reusable zip pouches since they’re see through so security can see what’s in them as you’re passing through security check, and they’re sturdy enough to hold electronics such as wires and cables.

  1. Reusable Snacks Bags

Staying with the traveling theme, I always love to bring snacks with me no matter how long the car ride or flight is. I love that these pouches come in 2 different sizes to meet my snacking needs.

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  1. Travel To-Go Ware RePEaT Bamboo Utensil Set

I love that these bamboo utensils come in a pouch for easy traveling. I bring them with me when we have BBQ’s, potlucks or food festivals. Lightweight and can fit in my purse!

  1. To-Go Ware 2 Tier Stainless Steel Tiffin

Growing up I’ve always wanted these types of containers since they always reminded me of the bento boxes that anime characters would eat from. Now that I’m older, I love them for their practicality! They can fit salads and fruits and can fit into my small travel sized lunch box for when we travel by plane!

  1. ChicoBag Vita Shopping Bag

Of course we know how important it is to have reusable bags on us. But sometimes when we’re on the go, we don’t always have the space in our purse to stuff a reusable bag into. Luckily this shopping bag from ChicoBag is collapsible and comes with a key ring for your convenience. I never leave my house with this bag!TheSavvyPantry-8ReusableAlternativesPlasticFreeJuly2019 (3)

Of course, there are always reusable things around your house that you can use and incorporate that doesn’t cost extra money, but I wanted to share this fun list with you to show you products if you were interested in investing and reusing for the years to come.Leave your comment below to let me know what your favourite reusable alternative is.Now set forth and be savvy!

 

DIY Garden Backdrop

DIY Garden Backdrop

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Hi Savvys!

I’m sad that this series is ending but I had so much fun making these DIYs for my sister’s bridal shower.  Today’s 4th and last DIY in my garden inspired DIY series was very last minute and was inspired primarily by the new garden collection at my Dollarama.  As soon as I saw these artificial moss mats, I knew I wanted to make something with them.

Initially I envisioned using this backdrop to take photos with guests with since that was also on my DIY to do list.  But because of the size and the weight and poor planning on our part on where we would even hang a back drop, it ended up being the perfect backdrop for our dessert table.  I really liked it in the end because it really helped tie all of the garden elements together, and the sweet table ended up being a back drop in itself!

All of these materials were purchased from my Dollarama.

Materials you will need for this project:

Directions

  1. First, you’ll want to expand the garden trellis to be as wide as you want, depending on how many mats you bought. Since I bought 9, I wanted it to be 3 by 3.
  2. Then you’re going to lay your mats on top of the trellis to see if you’ve expanded it enough. Adjust depending on the size you want.  I left a bit of the trellis exposed to give it that garden vibe.
  3. Once you have the size you want, remove the moss mats so you have only the garden trellis. On the trellis, look for the mechanisms that allow it to expand and contract. Using your push pins, pin each side of the wood to prevent it from expanding and contracting.  Complete for all of the areas until it is stable.
  4. After pining everything I realized that I could have used a hot glue gun and glued the wood to prevent the mechanisms from expanding and contracting, but I only had 1 glue stick left and needed it for this next step.
  5. Turn the trellis over, and you will notice some of the push pins are exposed and poking through. Since we don’t want any sharp edges, take a hot glue gun and glue the pins that stick out. This will create a smooth surface and prevent any injuries.  I also used the rest of the glue to glue the edges together.
  6. Put the trellis to the side.
  7. Lay out your mats with the underside facing up. Place the garden trellis on top with the pin tops facing up.  I had made the mistake of having them face down which means that you can see them but that’s ok.InShot_20190607_171808374
  8. You will use your zip ties to secure the moss mats to the trellis. As you are securing the moss mats to the trellis, make sure that you are also securing the mats that are next to each other to close off the seams.   Use as many zip ties as needed.  I ran out so I had to be strategic but I recommend using more.
  9. If you like, you can also use the left over flowers from the rose gold wreath DIY by inserting them directly into the mats

I loved how I was inspired by Dollarama and how I was able to create something without even an idea.  This turned out so well and will definitely use it as a backdrop for future events.

Hope you guys enjoyed this DIY series. I loved how easy and affordable all of these DIY’s were.  I hope this will leave you feeling inspired to create something new the next time you have an event.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

DIY Rose Gold Floral Wreath

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Hi Savvys!

I’ve been seeing this DIY absolutely everywhere, whether it be for a wedding or even just a décor piece in your home.  I knew I wanted to make this as soon as I saw it and am happy I had the bridal shower as an excuse to make it.  I am so happy to show you this 3rd DIY in my garden inspired DIY series because it is honestly the easiest DIY that will leave everyone amazed.  This ended up costing me a total of $14.50 CAD but I would said it’s probably max $10 since most of the flowers will be using in another DIY.

This wreath was perfect for the bridal shower as a backdrop but it was also super cute to take photos with as well.  This Rose Gold Floral wreath is so easily customizable based on your color scheme and your style.  The hardest part was really the spray painting and waiting overnight part.

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Materials you will need for this project:

  • Hula hoop, I purchased a large size from the dollar store for $2 (you can also purchase medium and small sizes based on the size that you want)
  • Rose gold spray paint for $10 (for me it was free because I always have spray paint on hand)
  • Package of 50 tie wraps for $1.25
  • Assortment of flowers and a vine. Including the vine I had 5 kinds of florals that I used for a total of $11.25
  • Heavy duty scissors or pliers

Directions

  1. Lay out all of your flowers around the hoop so you can see what type of design you like.
  2. Once you are happy with the design, you’re going to cut off the flowers from the bouquets but keep the stems attached to the flowers as you will need this to anchor to the hoop. You may want to use pliers if you have them since the wires are so thick I ended up breaking a pair of scissors.
  3. Using your tie wraps, attach the vine to the hoop with about 5 inch spaces in between. This should be enough tie wraps to hold it in place.  You should only be able to see the tie wraps from behind.  Adjust the vines to hide any expose tie wraps. 

  4. Now you’re going to attach the flowers. Bend the stems of the flowers so it creates an L shape with the flower head being at the bottom of the L.  Secure the flowers to the hoop by wrapping the tie wrap around the stem of the flower (the longest part of the L) to the hoop.  You may need 2 tie wraps, 1 closest to the head of the flower and 1 at the end of the stem.  Repeat for all of the flowers.  Position the stems so that they are behind the vine or behind the other heads of the flowers.  The stems should not be visible from the front.
  5. Complete until you have attached all of the flowers.  And that’s pretty much it.  No glue required.  No tape required.
  6. Cut off any excess tie wraps and discard.

Everyone was so impressed with this wreath at the bridal shower.  It honestly looks like something I could have purchased from Etsy for $50.

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Hope you guys enjoyed this DIY. I loved how easy this was and how pretty it turned out!  Don’t forget to tag me @thesavvypantry in your DIYs so that I can see your projects.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

 

DIY Crystal Soaps

 

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Hi Savvys!

As the DIY ideas really started to ramp up for my sister’s bridal shower, I left the guest favours last since I didn’t know 1) what to get and 2) if it was going to be a DIY or a purchase.  I knew that I wanted the guest favours to be a consumable product that would be suitable for everyone’s needs with minimal packaging.  That meant that it was either going to be a food or a beauty product.

It was actually the bride herself who gave me the idea for this guest favour.  She mentioned that she had seen these natural soaps with minimal packaging sold in packs of 3 at Winners.  There was a huge selection with great scents such as lavender and tea tree oil, however it was going to cost $12 per pack of 3.  Since I needed at least 30 soaps, this would set me back minimum $120.

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So I decided on the DIY route.  Luckily my friend had given out handmade soaps as guest favours at her wedding and really emphasized that they were super easy to make.

I wanted it to go with the Garden party theme but also wanted it to be super easy since the bridal shower was already less than a week away.  After a quick Pinterest search, I came across these crystal soaps.  It was perfect because it was going to be easy to make and was elegant enough for the shower.

I loved how all of the soaps were different shapes and shades.  I had also made them so that they could fit in the palm of my hand.  In total, for the size that I made, I was able to make 36 soaps for approximately $1.25 each (total materials costing me $45).  Keep into account that I had only used about half of each block of soap, which means that if I had made it all, it would have come to about $0.75 cents each!

Materials you will need for this project:

  • 2 types of glycerin soap in opaque and clear, I purchased the medium containers at Michael’s using their 40% off coupon for $20 each
  • Soap dye, from Michaels for $5 for a pack of 3
  • 2 silicone moulds (I borrowed this from a friend)
  • Glass measuring cup

Directions

  1. You will need to repeat this first step twice: once for the opaque soap, and once for the clear soap. Cut up the 1st block of soap into small enough pieces so that it will fit in your mould.  Repeat with the second block of soap and mould.
  2. This step will also need to be done twice: once for the opaque soap, and once for the clear soap. Place the mould of your first soap in the microwave.  Make sure not to overfill your moulds or you will make a mess in your microwave!  You can start by microwaving the mould for 45 seconds and adding 5 second increments until all of the soap is melted so that you are able to mix in the dye.  Repeat with the second mould.
  3. Now you’re going to add the dye to your melted soap in both moulds. Add different amounts of dye to each section so you can get different shades of mini blocks of clear and opaque soap.  Mix with a toothpick.  It doesn’t have to be thoroughly mixed – this will give the crystal added depth and color.
  4. After adding the dye, store the moulds in the fridge for 20 minutes so that they can firm up.
  5. Remove the firmed up soaps from the moulds. Cut the cubes into mini sections to make them look like mini crystals.  Make sure they are not uniform in shape.  Be sure to cut out different shapes and sizes as this will make your final product look realistic.TheSavvyPantry-DIYCrystalSoaps (6)
  6. Mix all of the mini crystals together either in a bowl or on your table top. I had covered my table with a garbage bag so that I could use it as a giant working surface. TheSavvyPantry-DIYCrystalSoaps (7)
  7. Since I knew I wanted to make at least 30 individual soaps, I made 30 clusters of the mini crystals so that I knew whether or not I had enough to make 30 soaps. This will also allow you to see if there are enough variations within each cluster because the more colors there are per soap, the prettier the final product is.TheSavvyPantry-DIYCrystalSoaps (8)
  8. Now you are going to place each cluster in the separate sections of your moulds. I also used a silicon muffin mould so that I could get different shapes of soaps.
  9. Once you have filled your moulds, you will want to cut off just enough white and opaque soap from the blocks to cover the clusters of crystals in the moulds. Starting with the white soap, melt a small block in the microwave in a glass measuring cup and pour it in the moulds so that it goes halfway up.  Repeat with the opaque soap and pour it into the moulds on top of the white soap.  This will give you the marbling effect you see in crystals.
  10. Set the filled moulds in the fridge for another 20 minutes. When they are ready, remove from the moulds.  If you are happy with the shape then you can stop there, otherwise you can cut off the edges of the soap to make the soaps look less round or squared to add more texture.
  11. Savvy tip: if you do end up cutting off pieces you can add these pieces back to your clusters. No waste here!

Hope you guys enjoyed this DIY. I really enjoyed making it and enjoyed how easy and practical these guest favours were!  Don’t forget to tag me @thesavvypantry in your DIYs so that I can see your projects.

Now set forth and be Savvy!

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