4 Vegan Grain Bowls with Geovita Organic Mixed Grains


Hi Savvys,

The warmer weather is finally upon us and has inspired me to eat more salads and veggies.  To ensure that I am inspired every week and don’t get bored of eating the same bowls every day, I really like to mix it up with either the salad dressing, veggies or base.  I love how these Geovita Organic Mixed Grains helps me accomplish just that!

These grains are full of nutrients, packed with flavour and easy to cook, which makes them great for meal prepping.  I recently received this PR package from Geovita which included recipes cards as well as a chart to help you “Build your perfect grain bowl”.  With social distancing, this couldn’t have come at a better time since it really inspired me to choose ingredients that I already had on hand!

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I used the chart as well as the recipe cards to create my own plant-based bowls which I looked forward to eating every day.

Keep reading below to see how I created unique bowls with each grain.

Now set forth and be savvy!


I made this bowl on a lazy Sunday night for supper using pure leftovers from my fridge.  I am always craving Korean food and often times make it on a Saturday when I have more energy.  While the rice and lentil blend took 10 minutes to cook in my rice cooker, this gave me enough time to chop up all of my veggies and prepare my sauce.  I loved how delicious and fresh this bowl was and how quickly it came together.  Now I have no reason not to enjoy this Korean favourite during the week!

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The next day was a Monday, so for lunch, I decided to use the Falafel Grain Bowl recipe card to ensure that I would begin the week with healthy habits.  What I love about these recipe cards is that the recipes are very simple and use very little ingredients.  By applying the “How to Build your Perfect Grain Bowl Method”, you can easily substitute out any ingredient and still feel satisfied with all of the flavours.  I didn’t have any falafel on hand so I opted to use chickpeas as my protein instead.  I also had leftover roasted cauliflower which went perfectly with this bowl.  You can also easily modify the dressings to suit your own needs, which is what I did by adding some granulated garlic to the tahini dressing.

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I loved the texture of this mixture and it went really well with this burrito bowl.  Because of the texture and heartiness of the mixture, it really soaked up all of the lovely salsa that I had made.  I also loved that I could use up leftovers from my fridge, like roasted onion and zucchini which went perfectly well with this burrito bowl (kind of like the sautéed peppers you’d find at Chipotle restaurants).  I didn’t have any vegan sour cream, but in the future, adding it would be a lovely addition.

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I’ve always wanted to make a Waldorf salad at home since this is one of my favourite salads to order at restaurants.  I made this vegan by swapping out the chicken for chickpeas and using tahini as the base of my dressing.  This dressing was so simple and delicious that I’ve made it every week since receiving this recipe card!  I also love that I could use what ever ingredients I already had on hand, like pumpkin seeds and dried blueberries.  I also love the crunchiness from the celery and apple.  This salad ended up being my favourite out of the 4 that I made and will definitely be making it for family get togethers and BBQs this summer.

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Singapore 5 Day Walking Tour with Itinerary


Hi Savvys,

This past September, we went on a 16-day Asia trip that spanned 4 countries and 6 cities!  We started and ended our trip in Singapore because it was the cheapest way to travel to Asia from Canada (Toronto specifically).  This trip hit a lot of countries on our bucket list and was jammed packed with lots activities and itineraries, so I figured it would be easiest to make separate posts about this.  The first installment of this series is our 5-day itinerary in Singapore, which is consolidated with the first 3 days and last 2 days of our trip.

Here is some general information of our time in Singapore:

Transportation from the Airport to our Hotels: For the first leg of our trip, we took the subway and got off at Tanah Merah station, which was about a 45-minute ride with 1 transfer.  This was the cheapest and fastest option (given the amount of traffic) costing only $4 per person, one way.  For the 2nd leg of our trip however, because we were arriving and leaving Singapore during hours where the subway was not operating, we actually purchased a shuttle service which was cheaper than Grab.  For traveling both ways, it was about $36 CAD through WTS Tours for the both of us.

Transportation in and around Singapore: We tried to walk as much as we could, even if it was 45 minutes one way.  During our first 3 days in Singapore, walking was our only mode of transportation (except for the subway ride from the airport).  After connecting with some people in Singapore and seeing how easy it was to use Grab (their ride sharing service, the equivalent of Uber in Canada), I do recommend downloading it and using this as another means of transportation.  It is very affordable and it’s the first time I actually used ridesharing before and really enjoyed it.  However, to be able to access this service, you do need to have some sort of data, which brings me to the next point.

WIFI Access:  Connection was only available in our hotel room and some public establishments.  To get around this, what I have done in the past, and also implemented on this trip, was to load our itinerary on Google maps and download the map for offline navigation.  This method works most of the time, however sometimes the GPS gets confused and doesn’t know where you and ends up restarting.  You end up having to use the map the old way (aka without a GPS and finding your own directions like a traditional map).  However, I do recommend just purchasing an international SIM card that you can use and be connected to at all times (if you need to).  Personally, for me, I preferred to be connected the entire time since the offline google maps kept restarting and was unable to locate us.  This was the first time travelling internationally where we had purchased an international SIM to be able to be connect to internet and I must say that now I am a converted.  The international SIMs are very affordable and offer a lot of data (we would also turn it off if we were going to be in a given location for an extended amount of time to preserve data and batter power) and we were able to use the same SIM for the remainder of our entire trip in all of the other countries.  We did end up using 3 different types of connection, but I recommend the last option so that you can be connected the entire time:

  1. International SIM (purchased at the airport) – Once we left Singapore and arrived to Phuket Airport, there were lots of boots that were selling international SIMs. We ended up purchasing one of these at a booth and they connected it for me – it was super easy to use however kind of confusing because I couldn’t understand how much data I had left so we used it sparingly during our visit in Phuket and Chiang Mai.  Because we paid in cash, I unfortunately do not recall how much we spent, but it was definitely less than $10 CAD.
  2. Rented WIFI Device – I had actually rented a device when we were in Singapore for our visit in Bangkok since we were going to be here for 3 days without any excursions. We rented a pocket WIFI which we picked up at the airport via Klook.  In total it cost $26 for the 3 days (which at the time we thought was a bargain) – they do have to hold a deposit which is refundable once you return the device, so make sure you have enough cash to avoid the change in exchange rates on your credit card.  It was also not clear how much data we had but I think it was unlimited.  I didn’t mind the hand held device since we had used one when we visited Tokyo, however I definitely would recommend an international SIM when possible.
  3. International SIM (purchased online and picked up at airport) – After doing more research while in Bangkok and realizing that the convenience of being connected to data became a growing need, which was already 6 days into our trip, I did more research on Klook. I found SIMs available for 15 countries in South East Asia, which meant that for the remainder of our trip (still 7 days), we could be connected in all of the countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore) and not have to worry about finding WIFI.  We found a great deal with the SIM only costing $8.90 for 4GB of data from Klook.  This optioned ended up being the best because not only is it a one-time purchase (no need to return anything like we had for the rented WIFI device), but you can actually download an ap that came in English that tracked how much data you had.  If you did go over the allotted data, you had to option of adding more data if necessary.  I really liked the convenience and visibility of this option the best and felt in full control.

Hotels in Singapore:

For the first 2 nights of our stay in Singapore (Sept 27-29), we stayed at the Fragrance Hotel – Riverside (now known as Ibis Budget Singapore Clarke Quay).  The hotel is considered a budget hotel and is essentially just a room with a bed and little area for coffee/hot water.  If you’ve never been to this part of Asia, do not be alarmed if you notice that the bathroom itself is both a bathroom as well as a shower, meaning the shower is not separated out from the toilet – it is essentially a room with a toilet, shower head and sink.  This was not our favourite part of the room; however, we are pretty low maintenance and since we don’t have children it was fine for the time being.  The room itself was quite comfortable and more than enough room for us since we we’re only using this space to sleep and store our belongings.  We decided to stay here because we were going to be attending a friend’s wedding at the Fullerton Hotel and liked that it was only a 10-minute walk from the hotel.  It was also a great location because it was less than a 20-minute walk to Marina bay and all of the attractions.

For the last 3 nights of our stay in Singapore (October 10-13), we stay at the Amara Singapore.  This hotel felt like a 5 star hotel compared to our first hotel – it has a grand lobby, is attached to a mall with great restaurants and is also only about a 20 minute walk back to Marina bay (which is where we spent the majority of our time, but you can read below for more info!)

Budget: We had budgeted $40 CAD cash per day, which was only meant to be used for food and transportation (like the subway).  We assumed that for all other expenses we could just use our credit cards.  I also used Budget your Trip to gauge how much expenses to expect per day.  See below for the breakdown of our actual expenses (keep in mind this is for 2 people):

  • Airfare to and from Singapore for 2 people: $1688
  • Hotel: $838 ($263 for the Fragrance hotel and $579 for the Amara hotel)
  • Cash: $200 cash + exchanging another $50 = $250 CAD
  • Meals (on credit card and not in cash): $117
  • Shopping and other expenses (on credit card): $301
  • Transportation (credit card): $94 ($36 for the 2-way travel from Amara to the airport and $57 using Grab)
  • Total cost of trip for 5 days: $3260

Excluding airfare, we actually spent $314 per day, or $157 a person, which is pretty close to the $160 per day approximation found on Budget your Trip, so I highly recommend this website as a great resource in budget planning.

See below for the full details. Don’t forget to also check out some highlights from our trip (video above).

Now set forth and be savvy!


This was the first official day of our trip.  We left Toronto on September 26th, spent the night in San Francisco due to construction at the airport (and we didn’t want to miss our connecting flight), and flew out the next morning to Singapore. We arrived in Singapore at 6PM and took the metro to our hotel.

After checking into our hotel, we decided to take a stroll over to Marina Bay.  It was about a 25-minute walk from our hotel to Marina Bay, which was a nice break from being on the plane for about 16 hours.  At this point it was already past 8PM and we were exhausted but excited to finally arrive in Singapore.

Our first visit was to check out Merlion Park.  There were lots of other tourists here so it was hard to get a good photo.  The sky was pitch black, which was perfect to see all of the lights and sights of Singapore.

After a stroll through Merlion Park, we decided to go over to Makansutra Gluttons Bay Hawker Center.  This was the first time we had every seen a hawker station, and in hindsight we do realize it was quite small, however the food selection was amazing.  Because it’s so close to Marina Bay, I highly recommend coming here for cheap eats, especially if you are trying to maintain a budget while visiting Singapore.  There was a huge selection of Singaporean food and we honestly didn’t know where to start – so we opted for some curry, laksa and noodles.  Of course, you need to also try out some of the fresh juices which are sold for about $1 at the stalls as well.  Makansutra Gluttons Bay wasn’t quite busy yet (I guess it was still considered early), however once we ordered and sat down, this is when the tables started getting full.

The food: We had visited a stall called Kebabchi and ordered paneer Karahi ($12 SGD) and garlic naan ($3 SGD), which cost a total of $15 SGD.  We also visited another stall called Old Satay Club and ordered a Spicy Noodles dish ($7 SGD) as well as a vegetable Murtabak ($6 SGD), which is a Singaporean stuffed pancaked, which cost only $13 SGD total.  We also ordered a sour plum juice and cane sugar juice, which cost $1 SGD each, for a total of $2 SGD.  This is when we realized that we can really stretch our money while eating at Hawker centers and completely fell in love with this concept.

After dinner, it was about 9PM and we were ambitious and wanted to check out Raffles Place, however we didn’t get the chance to on this trip, but hopefully will in the future.


Since I had made some breakfast cookies to have on the plane, we had leftovers so we had these and some tea in our hotel room before leaving for the day of sightseeing.

Our first stop was the Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple.  When we arrived, it was actually closed for renovations so I was only able to get a few photos of the outside.  It is beautiful temple, and to get a good photo of the outside, you actually have to take it from across the street.  This is a temple you should add to your itinerary.

The next stop was to visit Chinatown, specifically the Buddha Tooth Relic temple.  This template is quite large and there are lots of things to look at inside.  If you’re luck you can also get a glimpse of the monks in prayer.  At the front, they do offer wraps to cover yourself if you are wearing shorts and a tank top, but I knew we were going to visit lots of temples on this trip so I packed myself a kimono to wear.

Since this temple is right in Chinatown, we walked around a little bit to check out the souvenir shops and to grab a cold drink at one of the local stands.  Since it was still quite early in the morning (around 10AM), a lot of the stalls were still closed so be sure to come back later once everything has opened up.

The next stop was Tanjong Pagor, which is filled with lots of little coffee shops and pretty buildings.  There are also park benches where you can sit and relax and enjoy the views.  We had stopped by a local coffee shop and sat in the shade in the park to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Luckily for us, Maxwell Hawker Center was close by, and since it was only 11am we decided to have an early lunch.  I am glad that we came early because there wasn’t too many people and it was easy to grab a seat.  This place is huge with lots of stalls to satisfy any craving.  We had ordered laksa as well a “carrot cake” dish which is really just fried daikon, which is my favourite.  If you want to try some Hainanese chicken rice, you’d want to check out Tian Tian, which was made famous by the late Anthony Bourdain.  We didn’t get a chance to check it out since the line up was already very long and we had a full day of sight seeing ahead of us – however we look forward to our next trip to Singapore to try out a lot of the food we missed out on.

Our next stop was to visit the skylight views of the Pinnacle @ Duxton.  There are lots of condo buildings that make up this complex, and since we were visiting during off peak season, it was hard to find the admissions office.  You do have to buy a ticket, where they provide you with a fob to enter the elevators to visit the views.  Once you arrive at the top level, it’s actually very quiet.  All of the condo buildings are connected from the top floor so that you can easily walk around – however your fob only gives you entry and exit access from one of the buildings so you do have to make your way back.  You get a view of the entire city, and it looks like there is even a tram available that drives around the entire building, providing you with views without having to walk all of the condos.  There is also a garden in one of the sections and it was strange to see so many birds this high up.  After descending back down to ground level, there are also free areas around the buildings where you can walk around and visit as well.

By the time our visit as over, it was around 2:30PM and the heat was excruciating.  We decided to walk back to Chinatown to see if there was any place where we could cool down and luckily we found Mei Heong Yuen Dessert.  Luckily for us, there was no line up and we were able to get a seat at the back of the restaurant where there was a nice breeze.  We ordered a mango lychee shaved ice to share and it was just what we needed.  I wish I could go back and order more desserts, but that will be for another trip!

After our little break, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up since we had our friend’s wedding to attend at The Fullerton Hotel.

Access the walking tour map here.



Today was a half day in Singapore since we had an 8PM flight to Phuket, Thailand.  Since our checkout was at 12PM, we were able to leave our luggage at the front desk until we had to leave for our flight.  We started our morning off at around 10AM and we headed over to Marina Bay Sands.  We decided to walk towards Elgin Bridge for the sights as well as stopping by a 7-Eleven to pick up some onigiri as a morning breakfast.

We spent the morning walking around Marina Bay sands where there were lots of people taking breaks and eating lunch.  The heat was getting pretty unbearable so we decided to take a lunch break at the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.  This mall is pure luxury and this is where I finally understood “Crazy Rich Asians” because all of the stores were high end.  Luckily for us, however, the food court offered lots of variety at affordable prices.  We ordered a Chicken Katsu ($7.80 SGD) and a Scallop and Chicken Katsu ($9 SGD) from Rasapura Master.  In total, lunch was pretty affordable at $16.80 SGD.

After lunch, we walked around the mall for a bit before heading back to our hotel to grab our luggage.  From our hotel, we took the subway to the airport, which was about an hour ride, and then waited for our international flight to Phuket.

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This was our last leg of our Singapore trip since coming back from Indonesia.  Since we had relaxed quite a bit in Bali, we were fully refreshed and I had a full day planned ahead of us.

Our first stop was walking over to Little India to check out Tekka Market.  Since it was still quite early, we decided to head over to Ananda Bhavan, known for their vegetarian breakfasts/brunch.  When we got to the restaurant, there was quite a few people already and no available seats, so we shared a table with a father and son duo, who were both very nice and made small conversation with us.  There was also a lot of people who came in for take out or to check out the bakery at the front of the shop.  We ordered a Mint Masala dosa ($4.50 SGD) as well as the Indian Thali with naan ($9.50 SGD) which cost a total of $14 SGD which was a great deal.  The dosa was large and delicious.  Thali’s are also my favourite because there is so much variety and you get to sample so many different curries.

After brunch, we walked back to Tekka market and roamed around, taking a look at all of the different shops that sold anything from clothing to snacks and even electronics.  Luckily, it was the end of our trip and we were all shopped out otherwise I’m sure I would have wanted to bring back so many snacks and spices from Tekka market.


After exploring Tekka market, we walked over to Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple which was about a 5-minute walk.  This temple is very majestic and you can stand there just staring for 30 minutes, looking at all of the details on the temple.

After taking a few photos, we decided to walk over to Sultan Mosque on Arab Street, which was only about a 15-minute walk.  We spent the afternoon here since Arab street and Haji lane in itself were also tourist attractions.  Since we had spent a lot of the time outdoors walking around, we made our way over to Fika Swedish Café where we went to cool down and rest.  We ordered their Dirty Chai to share, which was topped with whipped cream and was a great little afternoon treat.

We made our way over to Bugis Junction, which was an 8-minute walk from Arab street.   This mall was huge and we spent the remainder of our afternoon here walking around and exploring.  I was looking for some Asian snacks to bring back for friends and family, and Sean was on the look out for video games so we had fun walking around and hunting for these goods.  You can really spend all day here just walking around, having bubble tea and just enjoying the AC.


After this, we took a grab and visited Lau Pa Sat hawker center (featured in the Crazy Rich Asian book, not the movie) for dinner.  This place is worth a visit when visiting Singapore.  In general, visiting hawker centers are a very budget friendly way of enjoying your visit in Singapore where you really stretch your dollar and try out all of the cuisine the country has to offer.  At Lau Pa Sat specifically, there were actually more people outside than inside, with lots of vendors grilling meats and seafood with patrons sitting on picnic benches.  We opted to go inside since were trying to eat as plant based as possible on this trip, and ordered some laksa and noodles with a side of beer.  The inside was quiet with half of the stalls closed, however there was still lots of selection to choose from.


After dinner, we decided to walk back to our hotel, and swung by Chinatown to see all of the night shops as well.

Access the walking tour map here.



This was our last day in Singapore and it was a full day.  Our flight was leaving the next morning at 8 AM, so we decided to make the most out of our last day.  We had originally planned to visit Sentosa Island Beach and Tanjong Beach, but we were so tired from the day before that we took it easy today.  We spent the majority of the afternoon walking around the free gardens of Gardens by the Bay.  We originally were going to go into the paid section after visiting the free section, however there was so much to look at that we ended up just spending the entire time exploring the free section.  There is also a little water park area, which is great for kids to cool down.  Everything about this place is instagramable so be sure to take lots of photos.  I regret not taking more, but the heat was getting quite unbearable that it was easier to just walk around and relax.


After vising the Gardens, we went back to our hotel to shower and freshen up since we were so sweaty from the day.  We also decided to have an early dinner at 100 AM, which is the mall attached to our hotel.  We had ramen at Bachmann, which was rated a 3 Michelin star, which is what caught our eye initially.  We ordered an Oriental ramen ($16 SGD) and a Shoyu ramen ($16 SGD) for a total of about $38 SGD after tips and taxes.  The ramen was pretty good but for the price we would have preferred to check out another hawker center.

After dinner, we walked over to the Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands to check out the light show.  The light show is offered every night from 8PM – 9:30 PM with the best views from the Event Plaza in front of the Shoppe.  Be sure to get there early so you can get a seat right up front.  We got there around 7:30 and it was already packed full of people, but luckily, we found some seats by the steps.   It was a great way to end our trip!


Pixi Hydrating Milky Collection Review


Hi Savvys,

I recently received the new Pixi Hydrating Milky Collection PR package.  Upon first glance, this PR package looks like a little milk crate, even including a nutritional facts table, which is so cute!  I really like how each box provides an easy to use step for each product so you know which sequence to use them in.  It’s also easy to skip a step that may not necessarily need to be done every day as part of your daily skin care routine.


Overall, I love how there is coconut milk and jojoba oil which makes my skin feel really clean and hydrated.  I do think that 6 steps might be too much for the average person, but since these products are pretty flexible, it can easily be incorporated into your routine.

See below for my full review on each product.

Now set forth and be savvy!


This is the first step for the entire milky collection line.  Make up removers are not something that I use often, and to be honest I usually just use a regular facial cleanser to remove my make up with.  I tested out this make up remover by applying full eye makeup and finishing off with a bronzer.  When using a cotton pad, I was able to remove 90% of my makeup in the first go around, which I think is very efficient and effective.  I find that other make up removers leave my face feeling greasy, however this one made it feel very moisturized after wards and not greasy at all.  I will definitely be incorporating this into my nightly routine.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Makeup Remover)


The hydrating milky cleanser is the second step to this routine (or first step in the morning when you do not need a make up remover).  Cleansers are the most used products that I use in my skincare routine since it’s something that I use everyday.  I really like how thick and creamy this cleanser is.  It was easy to apply and wash off without leaving a residual feeling on my face.  After washing my face, I did find that it left a moisturizing feeling at the end.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Cleanser)


The hydrating milky peel is the 3rd step; however, it can be omitted since it doesn’t need to be used everyday.  I like to incorporate exfoliators into my skincare routine at least monthly.  The directions do indicate that you should use it as a scrub by scrubbing your face and then leaving it on for 2-3 minutes to harden, which is similar to other exfoliators I’ve used so I’m not quite sure why this is called a peel and not an exfoliator.  The scrubs were gentle and did not leave any blotchy red spots on my face, which is what I was concerned about because it is called a peel.  It left my face feeling soft and renewed.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Peel)


The 4th step is the Milky Tonic toner.  Pixi is known for their toners and I was excited to try the Milky Tonic with jojoba milk and green tea.  I always say this but I wish companies would put their toners in spray bottles for easy application instead of having to use a cotton pad.  The toner left my face feeling very refreshed.  This might be my new favourite toner.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Tonic)


The hydrating milky serum is the 5th step to this routine.  It was thick and creamy and a little goes a long way.  I like to apply serums when I’m not doing anything else with my skincare routine that day and feeling lazy because it provides a hydrating feeling to my face with minimal effort.  I also love how cute the bottle is.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Serum)


The final step is the hydrating milky lotion.  The lotion does say that it is both a face and body moisturizer which made me hesitant with putting it on my face.  However, this cream was thick but when applied was very smooth to the touch.  I liked how quickly it absorbed into my skin and left me feeling moisturized all day.

TheSavvyPantry-PixiMilkyCollection (Lotion)


Simple Vegan Banana Bread


Hi Savvys,

I always have bananas on hand for smoothies, oatmeal bowls and to eat on toast.  I rarely ever have bananas in the freezer because we always eat them all up before they go bad.  However, every now and then, usually when we go on vacation, I end up having to freeze some bananas for a later use to prevent them from going bad and wasting them.

Of course, the best thing to make with frozen over ripened bananas is a banana bread!  My vegan banana bread was created out of pure necessity to use up the odd bananas that I throw into the freezer.  This loaf uses minimal ingredients and uses butter soy milk in place of oils.  I like to use this recipe as a base for other loafs, such as a chocolate chip banana bread, chocolate banana bread and even a carrot and banana bread – recipes to come soon!

This bread is spongy, has the perfect amount of sweetness and is really moist.  Enjoy this for breakfast, as an afternoon pick me up or even as a dessert after dinner.  Hope you enjoy my simple vegan banana bread below!

Now set forth and be savvy!

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  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp hot water)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 ripened bananas
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Make your flax egg by mixing the ground flax seeds and hot water in a bowl, set aside
  3. Make your butter soy milk by combining the apple cider vinegar to the unsweetened soy milk in a bowl, set aside
  4. Mash the bananas in a medium sized bowl and mix in the sugar until absorbed
  5. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt with a spatula
  6. Mix in the flax egg and the butter soy milk into the banana and sugar mixture
  7. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined, do not over mix
  8. Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil if it is non stick (skip this step if it’s a non-stick pan)
  9. Pour the batter into the loaf pan
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes, testing with a toothpick at 50 minutes to ensure the center is cooked

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DIY Wooden Photo Bard


Hi Savvys,

With being in self-isolation and social distancing, you might find yourself looking for easy DIY projects you can do a home.  With the help of my brother, I made this DIY wooden board for my sister’s weeding last year to hold her table chart.  After the wedding was over, I converted it to a picture holder for memories and keepsakes.


I admit, this video was done almost a year ago, but with current circumstances I thought it was the right time to share with you all now (and also because I finally got around to making a post about it).

This board is so easy to make and if you love rustic and farmhouse vibes, then this DIY is for you.

Materials you need:

  • 1 large wooden board, any size you like (we got ours from Michael’s and measures 24 in x 48 in)
  • Jar of stain
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Mini wooden clothes pin (we got from the dollar store)
  • Push pins
  • Pen
  • Hammer (optional)
  • Gold spray paint (optional)
  • Vinyl decals of your choice (optional)


  1. Stain both sides of your wooden board, let dry over night
  2. Decide which side will be the front and which side will be the back – flip the board so that the back is facing you
  3. Measure out how many rows of twine you want to be able to hold your pictures and keepsake.  To do this, measure out the height of your board, and decide how many rows is appropriate.  For my board, to be able to fit a standard 6 in x 4 in photo, I could fit 5 rows of photos while leaving the top empty for my “Family” decal
  4. Since my board is 48 inches in height, dividing by 6 sections means that each row will be 8 inches apart
  5. From the top of the board, measure 8 inches down the side and mark it with a pen.  From that pen mark, measure about 2 inches inwards, and mark with a pen.  Do this for the other side as well.  This is where you will pin your twine for the 1st row
  6. Continue measuring your next row down from the previous row, marking it with a pen in the same way
  7. Once you have indicated where all of your rows will sit, measure out enough twine so that you can pin it to the marks on the board.
  8. Since my board is 24 inches wide, I like to use 30 inches of twine, while making knots at the end of each side so that I have a sturdy place to pin it to the board.
  9. Using a push pin, pin the knotted twine to the mark you have indicated on the board.  If you find it hard to push the pin into the board, try hammering it in.
  10. Flip the board around and you are ready to pin up your memories!  This step is optional but I decided to spray paint all of my mini clothes pins gold to give it a cohesive look.  And now it’s ready to place anywhere in your home!

Now set forth and be savvy!

Categories DIY

5 Easy Cleaning Swaps for Eco -Friendly Alternatives


Hi Savvys,

Earth day is finally upon us.  Though this is only marked in our calendars once a year, my philosophy is to live a lifestyle that creates as little impact on the environment as possible within my means.  I love to share tips that I’ve learned along the way with you guys so that you can also live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

There are lots of alternative products out there as well as alternative ways of living that could help reduce our carbon footprint, but it might not be suitable for everyone’s needs given their living situations and their financial constraints.  This is why it’s important for me to share the tips that I’ve learned over the years that anyone can adapt to their lifestyle.  These tips include making swaps for more eco friendly products that you already purchase and are the same price as the conventional ones, or simply swapping for alternatives where you actually don’t need to purchase anything in addition!

Keep reading below for my 5 easy cleaning swaps for eco-friendly alternatives!  Leave a comment below on what your favourite swaps are.

Don’t forget to check out my other posts related to living an eco-friendly lifestyle:

12 Tips to Reduce Your Waste

8 Reusable Alternatives to Single Use Plastics 

Now set forth and be savvy!

5 Easy Cleaning Swaps for Eco-Friendly Alternatives

  1. Dish Cleansing Paste
    • There are so many recipes out there where you can make your own cleaning products, but not everyone has a DIY thumb, and sometimes the ingredients are hard to find. What I love about the Kliin dish cleansing paste is that you can easily purchase this as an eco-friendly alternative to regular dishwashing liquid.  Traditional dish washing liquid contains about 70% water and 30% active cleaning solution, which means that you are pretty much purchasing water.  When purchasing Kliin dishwashing paste, not only are you purchasing a product that is still highly effective against even the toughest mess, but it is actually lowering its carbon footprints along the entire supply chain because it uses less water since it is a concentrated solution and is lighter to transport.  I also love that this can also be used as an all purposes cleaner for all areas in your kitchen including stovetops, sinks and ceramic surfaces, making this a valuable addition to your cleaning routine.  Check out this link for more information on where you can purchase the Kliin Dish Cleansing Paste.

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  1. Castile Soap
    • Castile soap has been around for decades and has only recently become popularized as people look for healthier soaps for their homes and families. Traditionally, castile soap is made of vegetable oil, however it can now be found made with olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil and other essential oils.  What I love about castile soap is that with 1 bottle, you can turn it into multiple cleaning solutions around your house, which include body wash, hand soap, dish soap and even bathroom cleaner.  Because castile soap is a concentred solution, you just need to add the correct proportion of water based on the need to create your own multi purpose cleaner.  I like to use The Green Beaver Organic Lavender Castile Soap, but there are lots of brands out there that you can find.

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  1. Soap Bars
    • Growing up I always used soap bars, but at a certain point it got really trendy to use body wash. It’s also fun to use body wash because you get to create bubbles with a loofah and lather it all over your body.  However, each year, over 1 billion empty plastic bottles of body wash enter our garbage or recycling system.  Since we know that realistically, not everything gets recycled, and that about 75% of plastics end up in landfills, it’s time to find alternative while still maintaining cleanliness.  This is why I find it so attractive to switch back to soap bars.  There are so many companies making soap bars with as little packaging as possible that the possibilities are endless.


  1. Tru Earth Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Strips
    • I love these laundry detergent strips. Not only are you completely eliminating the need for plastic bottles, but it completely cuts out the need to water in this detergent solution.  It is high effective and even healthier for you and your family because it is paraben, phosphate and chlorine free.  I also love that this product is both cruelty free and vegan, which means not only was it not tested on animals but it also contains no animal by products in its formula.  Check out their website for more information

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  1. Newspaper for Compost Liner
    • If you are lucky enough to live in a city that have compost collection, or even live in a household where you have access to a backyard composting system, then this tip is for you! Ever since it’s become mandatory for lots of cities to include organic waste collection as part of their weekly services, companies have come out with compost liners made from either compostable bags or paper bags.  When we first moved into our house, we received a pack of paper bags complimentary from the city for our composting needs.  However, we like to keep these on hand in case of emergency.  Instead, I like to line our compost bin with newspaper!  Newspaper is free, made from recycled paper and is considered a brown material which will help add carbon to the compost pile.  This is probably the easiest swap that you can make since you end up saving money in the long run!


Vegan Dalgona Style Coffee with Matcha | Coconut Whip and Aquafaba


Hi Savvys,

With social distancing and more time to play around in my kitchen as a result, I have finally hopped onto the Dalgona coffee train and I am glad that I did!  When I first made this the traditional way wit 1:1:1 ratio of water, coffee and sugar for my husband, I was so excited to see how quickly it whipped up and how delicate the result was.  I don’t drink coffee so the treat was all for him but I also wanted to indulge myself.  I have seen lots of people do this with matcha powder, however usually with egg whites.  Here is my vegan version, made 2 different ways!  I would also consider this “recipe” a pantry staple since I always have these ingredients on hand.

The first way is with aquafaba, which I always have in the freezer.  This was the first version I made and was delighted with the foam it created.  Though it isn’t as thick as the coffee version, it still did the trick.  It also didn’t seem as creamy but more airy which meant it didn’t feel over indulgent.

The second way to make this is with coconut milk.  As all vegans know, you need to let your can of coconut milk sit in the fridge overnight before whipping this up.  I have to say, the coconut version is my favourite since it provides the same fluffiness as the coffee version and feels like you are eating mouse for breakfast.

Both versions are great to whip up any time, however the aquafaba has the advantage of already being in your freezer and thus is a pantry staple, where as you need open up a whole can of the coconut milk which means you will need to make a huge batch of this stuff or use the remaining milk for a smoothie/curries later, so it’s really up to your preference.

Hope you guys enjoy these versions.  Now set forth and be savvy!


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  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 4 tbsp aquafaba, chilled in the fridge
  • ½ to 1 tbsp of matcha powder (depending on your preference)


  1. Place the sugar and water in a small bowl to dissolve while you proceed onto the next step
  2. Place the aquafaba in a bowl/container and whisk until frothy, about 1 minute – you will know it’s ready when it is light and fluffy, almost like egg whites
  3. Add the matcha powder and sugar mixture, whisk for another 30 seconds or until it is well incorporated
  4. Serve over your favourite non-dairy milk


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  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 tsp hot water
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk, chilled in the fridge
  • ½ to 1 tbsp of matcha powder (depending on your preference)


    1. Place a full can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or for 30 minutes if you forgot to do this step)
    1. The next morning, place the sugar and water in a small bowl to dissolve while you proceed onto the next step
    1. Open the can of chilled coconut milk and scoop 4 tbsps of only the coconut cream from the top of the can and place in a bowl/container and whisk until frothy, about 30-45 seconds
    2. Add the matcha powder and sugar mixture, whisk for another 10-15 seconds or until it is well incorporated
    3. Serve over your favourite non-dairy milk

Murad Environmental Shield Review


Hi Savvys,

I was so excited to receive the new Murad Environmental Shield skincare line for testing purposes and review.  I’ve heard lots of great things about this brand and was even more delighted to hear that they are cruelty free.  I used these products for 2 weeks to see what kind of changes it make to my skin.  My favourite product I received was the eye serum as it made the circles under my eyes lighter and made my eyes overall feel brighter.  I also really like the packaging and the easy to use pumps which allows for minimal waste and optimal control.

Continue reading below for the full review on each product.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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I love eye creams and am always looking for a new product to try.  I loved how thin and non greasy this product is.  I applied it under my eyes and it absorbed right away.  I also really like that there is no scent especially since it’s on my face.  I am quite sensitive to smells and appreciate that this was easy to wear all day.

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I find as I age, my skin is starting to get a bit grey and dull in color. I love that after the first application, it made a difference to the complexion of my skin by making it look brighter and even.  I also love how easily it is to pump into my hand.  I will definitely be using this serum in the future because I found it to be very effective.


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As I get older, I am realizing that I must care for my skin and have it age as gracefully as I can.  I was excited to try this on specific parts of my face to see what kind of a different it would make.  I liked how this serum feels light on my skin and is also light smelling.  However, I didn’t really notice any changes to my skin tone after 2 weeks of usage.  My skin however may be too young for this product so I am gifting it to my mom to see how she likes it.

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Vegan Lentil Stuffing


Hi Savvys,

It is Easter weekend.  Though we may be social distancing, self-isolating and not seeing our families this weekend, this doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate within your own household!  Stuffing is the dish that I usually make for all of my family’s holiday parties, and this weekend I still plan on making it even though it’s just going to be me and my husband.  What I love about stuffing is though it is only eaten during the holidays, it can actually be enjoyed all year round.  The way I make my stuffing can be a meal in itself, packed full of protein, vegetables and flavour.  This recipe uses lentils however it would be tasty with smoked tempeh as well.  Serve with your choice of vegan gravy.

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I hope you guys are staying safe and still enjoying the long weekend.  Definitely give this recipe a try, even if you may be eating a lone this Easter.  You can always freeze the leftovers or have it as a meal prepped meal for the week!

For more vegan holiday recipes, check out the below links:

Now set forth and be savvy!

TheSavvyPantry-VeganLentilStuffing (1)


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of diced carrots, about 1 large carrot
  • 1 ½ cups of diced celery, about 3 stocks of celery
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms of your choice
  • 1 can of lentils – I use frozen lentils I boil myself, so about 1 ½ cups
  • 4 cups of bread, diced (can use any type of bread you have on hand, I used a mixture of the ends of raising bread and French bread)
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat
  3. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sautee for about 6 minutes
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes
  5. Add the lentils to the mixture and mix until combined
  6. Add all of the bread and stir until the bread is fully mixed in with the stuffing mixture
  7. Add the vegetable stock or water along with all of the herbs and spiced
  8. Cook for another 5 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed, take off the heat
  9. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish with oil and pour all of the mixture, spreading evenly
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes – the top should be nice and golden
  11. Serve immediately with vegan gravy – is also great frozen

Vegan Layered Pantry Brownies


Hi Savvys,

It’s a crazy time out there right now!  I want to start off by saying that I hope you and your family are safe at home and practicing social distancing.  Naturally my husband and I are home bodies so staying at home for the 3rd week has been quite pleasant – we are fortunate enough to still have our jobs and are able to work from home.

Practicing social distancing (or more, physical distancing) means that I’ve had to reduce the number of trips I make to the grocery store.  That compounded by the fact that I have more free time at home now (since I’ve cut my commute down to 0% and can no longer go to the gym), I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands to explore my pantry and become inspired again.

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This is how I came up with these vegan layered pantry brownies a.k.a quarantine brownies.  I started off by reviewing what ingredients I had in my pantry that I hadn’t touched in a while (and when I say a while, I mean probably 6 months to a year) and then googling what I could make with it.

These vegan layered pantry brownies were born out of boredom and a necessity to use up old ingredients in my pantry.  I also admittedly have been snacking a lot more so I wanted to make these brownies slightly healthier by omitting the traditional sugar filled condensed milk and filling it with a chickpea batter instead.  I also didn’t have enough graham crackers so half of the crust is made from ground up ice cream cones, though you can skip that part!

I hope you guys like this recipe and feel inspired to explore your pantry during this time.

Now set forth and be savvy!

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  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted



  • 1 ½ cup chickpeas (about 1 can)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup quinoa flour (or whatever flour you have on hand like oats or almond)
  • ½ cup aquafaba (reserve chickpea water)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla



  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • 1 cup butter scotch chips, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips, reserving about 2 tbsps
  • ½ cup chopped nuts of your choice (pecans, peanuts, walnuts, almonds etc)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix the melted butter and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.
  4. Mix all of the chickpea batter ingredients in a blender until smooth, scraping down the sides.
  5. Using a spoon, mix all of the mix in ingredients into the blended chickpea mixture
  6. Pour the mixture onto the crust
  7. Mix the reserved mix ins together and sprinkle on top of the chickpea mixture
  8. Bake for 30 minutes
  9. Let cool for minimum 20 minutes before digging in