lauren's life,

Vancouver Visits | Menchie’s West Broadway

menchies

I was absolutely beaming when I was given the opportunity to check out the Kits location of Menchie’s and create my summer dream froyo mix. Maybe it’s the white girl in me but I absolutely love frozen yogurt. I’ve always been an ice cream fiend so the fact that this offers a slightly healthier option wins me over. I’m also still one of those big kids who mixes everything together when they get a slurpee so self-serve frozen yogurt bars where I get to throw everything together is a dream come true for me.

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I have to say that I absolutely love anything over the bridge. It’s one of the areas of the Lower Mainland that I haven’t ventured to much but the time I spend at Kits last summer made my love it. I’m also trying to use my Tuesday break in between classes in venture out that way a little more so hopefully I’ll know my way around soon enough. This location is on West Broadway just off of Trafalgar, in the middle of everything (also shoutout to Pure Nail Bar which is beside them because that’s where I almost always go to get my toes done). It has plenty of seating inside as well as an adorable little patio outside if you want to enjoy the sunshine. They change them up but offer a variety of sorbets and frozen yogurts (I believe either 10 or 12 options daily) which range from sweet treats like Oreo, cake batter, and peanut butter to something more tangy with plain tart yogurt, raspberry, and other fruity sorbets. They also order a ton of toppings. Seriously… Look at all of them. I feel like this is more toppings than I’ve seen at any other self-serve yogurt bar and I appreciate all the little ones like walnuts, graham crumbs, and roasted almonds. Also I appreciate all the candy which I will definitely be hitting up next time I go in. Then obviously there’s fruit and sauces as well but I need to be in a very specific mood for that so I stuck to the plain toppings today. Now onto my yogurt creation!

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I usually go for fruity flavours but I couldn’t pass up trying their newest flavour Oreo so I want for a classic summer staple instead and recreated the classic s’more in froyo. For my base yogurt I used cake batter and Oreo (seriously guys Oreo is so good) and I topped it off with graham cracker crumbs, white mini chocolate chips, loooooots of sprinkles, and a little baby waffle cone for some crunch. I must say it was absolutely delicious and I’m very excited to be hitting Menchie’s up now only in Vancouver but also in the Okanagan when I go home.

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Finally I wanted to show off what I wore because this is one of my favourite go to outfits for the summer. I mentioned in my last post that I love menswear and this combo is so comfy and so cute I can’t handle it. This is just a large men’s muscle tank from American Apparel (where else am I right?) and a discontinued oversized black chiffon from AA tied around my waist. I also used this monochromatic outfit as an excuse to rock my neon coral Rebecca Minkoff crossbody and threw on some super old Steve Madden strappy sandals and a chunk gold chain necklace (which you totes can’t see in this photo but I promised it looked great okay).

So there you have it kids, be prepared to see some posts throughout the summer of my Menchie’s adventures because you best believe I’ll have the strongest froyo game around. Also a huge thank you to Menchie’s Canada for hooking us bloggers up for the summer! If you hit up a Menchie’s this summer make sure to #MenchiesMyWay showing off your creation and to tag them on Instagram!

-lauren

xx

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laurenfrench@vancitychic.com

Healthy & Budget Friendly Grocery Haul

Guess who’s been slacking on posts… Shocking it’s me!

I promise I am in the middle of working on a few different actual blog posts but until then take a looksie at my newest YouTube videos where I show you a bunch food.

Christmas Recap

Let me start this off by saying this is the second time I’m writing so I’m the most sorry if I leave out bits and pieces, sometimes WordPress is not my bff. I’ve spent the first few days of 2015 stuck in bed with terrible stomach pain so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to catch up on some blogging. For the past 2 weeks I’ve been in the Okanagan with my family doing all those cheesy Christmasy things you would assume one would do when they’re home with friends (and a car) for the first time in 6 months. I thought the easiest way to walk y’all through my vacation is to show you some of the things I posted on Instagram and some photos my mom took and give you little captions to go with them.

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I was lucky enough to get to work while I was at home and I must say it was a nice change of pace. I’m used to work at one of the busiest malls in the country so being able to work at a smaller store located downtown was a walk in the park. The staff there was also super accepting of me joining in for the holidays and made me feel right at home.

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I also look full advantage of eating at my favourite local restaurants when I got home. Not only did I get to have the infamous spicy fries from the donair shop just a few stops down from work but went to Cora twice and got the fantastic eggs benedict with a massive pile of fruit on the side.

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For Christmas Eve we went to a family friend’s house for a night full of my mom’s fantastic spinach dip, homemade punch, and the most amazing authentic perogies I’ve ever had in my life. We didn’t get any fantastic photos (trying to get drunk people to take non-burry photos is a struggle) but these are a few family photos we managed to capture. Also my brother let me drive his car home that night, meaning I got to learn how to drive standard! I was pretty proud, managed to stop twice without stalling the whole way home (yay me). The dress I wore was originally bought for a special occasion and was determined to get more than one wear out of it. It’s the Sparkle Eve from Tobi and it’s pretty comfy for being entirely sequins, I do suggest going down a size if you do decide to pick it up though since I bought the medium first and had to exchange it. Also check out how super cool my brother’s ugly Christmas sweater was, so stylish.

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Flash forward to Christmas morning. Obviously it was started out with mimosas. Because a holiday isn’t really a holiday if champagne isn’t involved. ChristmasMorningBrrad

Another photos of my brother and I being goofs, since my mom always insists we smile for photos when you’re both still half asleep and looking homeless.

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Once again another shot of food. I was very happy to have (once again) eggs benedict for Christmas morning as well as a full turkey dinner for Christmas dinner.

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Also looks at this dog. She’s such an old lump but that doesn’t stop her from taking part in the present opening.

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My mom and I also got our DIY on with some Pintrest iinspiredmelting snowman cookies, which I think turned out pretty great.

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And although we didn’t get a real white Christmas, which I must say I was super disappointed about, we did get a good dump of snow the weekend after Christmas so I can’t be too mad. Also can we talk about how pretty my mom’s view is when it’s covered in fresh snow?

I also managed to catch up with some of my best friends from high school which was great, received some fantastic gifts (which I’ll hopefully eventually make a video about) and managed to catch up on my sleep which I desperately needed. So I hope all of you guys had an equally fantastic holiday and an even happier New Year’s Eve. Happy 2015!

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-lauren

xx

WIAW: September 17

Let me start this off by saying that I am by no means a nutritionist or have any idea what I’m really doing what it comes to food. But I do think I’m a pretty accurate representation of your average student living a busy life and trying to not eat like complete shit. My eating may not always be on point but on days like today where I have no classes, no work, and the time to make my own meals I try to eat better. So here you have it, my very first what I ate Wednesday.

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Breakfast:

Well this was kinda a fail. I slept through 2 alarms and ended up eating a handful of almonds and finishing off that final bottle of Diet Coke in my house (aka the one I’m holding in this blog post). I didn’t actually drag myself out of bed until about 12:30 to get in a workout, I was finishing up some law reading and working on some new posts not just lying around I promise, so that explains the lack of food with real nutritional value.

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Lunch:

To be honest lunch was almost directly after breakfast because I was starving and didn’t want to push the rest of my meal times too far back. I have some variation of this about 3 or 4 times a week because it takes less than 5 minutes, is filling, and taste fantastic. Today I had a piece of Dempsters “Say No to Fat and Sugar” bread toasted with a quarter of an avocado spread on it instead of butter and an egg fried in the tiniest bit of olive oil on top. Next time I’m planning on using more avocado because I barely tasted it but this was still delicious and will tie me over until later in the afternoon.

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Afternoon Snack:

3pm hit and I wasn’t necessarily hungry but I knew I needed something to keep me from snacking. I origially planned this to be banana ‘nicecream’ but my bananas were too ripe when I froze them so the consistency turned out a lot more liquidy. Here’s what I put in my not so pretty looking smoothie; 1 overripe frozen banana, 1/2 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt, a splash of almond milk, a spoonful of natural peanut butter, 2 tsp of temp heart, and 2 tsp of vanilla hemp protein powder (this is what made the colour so gross). Not the best smoothie ever but this protein powder is way better and less ‘proteiny’ that previous ones I’ve used.

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Dinner:

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I fancy myself an ‘accidental vegetarian’. Before I never planned to avoid meat but it just happened since non-meat products tend to be easier to prepare and a lot less expensive. I decided to pick up some meatless chicken strips at Superstore last time I went and decided to give them a shot tonight. I also decided to have a sweet potato as a side since according to my marcos I’m seriously lacking in carbs today, and I wanted something a bit more filling.

The only other snack I had throughout the day was a whole ton of water, and Arizona iced tea I randomly found while unpacking. Now I’m prepping tomorrow breakfast since I need to be up early for my law class (okay not early but 9 is a struggle for me) and planning what I can get away with eating at work all weekend.

Let me know if you guys like these posts or if you want me to scrap them!

-lauren

xx

Easy Blueberry Cheesecake

On the complete opposite season as my last post on Christmas in August, today I wanted to share with you a fantastic dessert recipe to finish off this insanely hot summer. While going through old cook books I found this recipe, pages covered in blueberries I may add, and remembered how simple it was and how much I loved making it when I was younger. I also really like this one because it’s super easy to make the night before after the sun has gone down and it’s not too hot to use the oven and eat the next day (it’s one of those recipes that just gets better the longer it stays in the fridge). Pretty much this dessert is a blueberry cheesecake in a different pan, but way less finicky and way easier to make. I guess I should just get ont o the recipe now…

What you’ll need:

– 2-3 cups of Digestive cookies (crushed)

– 1/2 cup of butter (or margarine) melted

– 1/2 cup of sugar (for crust)

– 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

– 8oz package of cream cheese

– 2 eggs

–  1/2 cup of sugar (for filling)

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 2-3 cups of frozen blueberries

– 1/2 cup of water

– 1/2 cup of sugar (for blueberry mixture)

-1/2 cup of cold water (to go with the cornstarch)

– 4 tsp of cornstarch

P1020281The crust is a super simple crumb crust. Simply take the crushed up cookies, mix it with your sugar, then add in the melted butter. Mix it all up, and press it into the bottom of a pan (I’ve used several different dimensions of a rectangular pans they’ve all worked out fine as long as they’re not too tiny), and then stick it in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes until it starts to brown a bit on the top.

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To make the cheesecake filling mix together the softened cream cheese, 2 eggs, and the sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer. Beat it until it is mostly smooth, I don’t mind a few lumps even though it’s supposed to be perfectly smooth, then pour it on top of the crust and leave it in the same temperature oven for 20 minutes. I personally find that it may need a bit more that 20 just to cook through perfectly because this is the last time it’ll be in the oven at all.

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For the blueberry mix grab a big saucepan, I find a wok works the best if you have one, and add the frozen blueberries, water, and sugar in (also lemon juice if you want a little extra something) and bring it to a boil. While that’s happening mix together the cold water and cornstarch in a smaller bowl. Once it’s come to a boil add the cornstarch mixture and keep stirring until it’s thickened up. Don’t do this too early of else it’ll be finished before your cheesecake is cooked and although it’s usually okay just sitting on a low heat it may thicken a bit more than you’d want. You also want the cheesecake to have cooled down a little bit when you pour the blueberry mixture on so it doesn’t rip through the top layer and make it not so pretty. Finally when pouring it on pour slowly this is another way to keep it from ripping the cheesecake and keeping the layers nice.P1020287 P1020288

That’s it! It was that easy! Now all you have to do is let it cool to room temperature on the counter then cover it in saran wrap and pop it in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).

-Lauren

xx

Vacationing in Victoria

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This Thanksgiving weekend I decided to be an adult and instead of going home to my family my friend and I packed our tiny suitcase and headed to the island to visit friends from high school. Because nothing says adulthood like a precooked chicken and rum and coke out of a wine glass right? Anyways I thought I’d give you guys a little recap of my weekend away from everything. This lovely trip started with 6 hours of travel. The rest of the night was filled with gin and tonics and ANTM (the best way to spend a friday night). Saturday our lovely hosts both worked so we slept in, got sushi with a friend who went to SFU last year, wandered downtown, ended up at Mayfair, bought a lip brush (I was super excited), saw my best friend from my childhood, then watching Gossip Girl until they got home. I also actually managed to get some photos of what I was wearing on Saturday so expect that to be in an upcoming blog post! Then we decided to be all grown up and make ourselves a thanksgiving dinner. I think for four university students we pulled it off pretty well. We had a lovely spread of stuffing, sweet potatoes, roasted chicken, steamed veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce, and baked portobello mushrooms for the vegetarian in the group. Then obviously that much food had to be accompanied by several gin and tonics, rum and diet cokes, and a bottle of white to class it up at dinner.

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Then this morning we finished the trip off with a delicious breakfast at a breakfast place called Willie’s where I enjoyed a lovely plate of meatless eggs benny and a can of diet coke to keep me awake. And now I’m here, on a ferry, taking up a cubicle to blog. So this is me wishing any of my Canadian readers a happy Thanksgiving and I hope all of you are spending the weekend with loving family and friends (and preferably not working which is how I’ll be spending my holiday monday).So happy Thanksgiving to you all and you shall hear from me soon with a post of my outfit of the weekend, along with an upcoming post on my birthday.

xoxo

Lauren

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