Tag Archives: Life

White Chocolate Blondie Heaven.

Recently I’ve become obsessed with baking during portions of my spare time. Whether that’s because I have a sweet tooth or I just like keeping busy, I’m not too sure. Either way, I’ve made some magic happen the last little while to the point where I want a dessert in my hands 24/7 going forward.

My most recent creation is the White Chocolate Blondie; which myself, my roommate and my friends all basically fell madly in love with after just one bite.

So you want to know how I did it? Cool, ’cause I’m willing to share.

What you’re going to need is:

  1. 1/2 Cup Salted Butter,
  2. 8oz. White Chocolate,
  3. 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar,
  4. 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar,
  5. 1 Large Egg,
  6. 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract,
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Butter Extract,
  8. 1 Cup All-Purpose Flower,
  9. 1/2 Cup Sprinkles,
  10. 3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream.

Before going any further I would suggest dividing the White Chocolate into 2 x 4oz bunches and chop to prepare.

Here’s how to prepare the White Chocolate bars of sheer goodness:

  1. Begin my pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees celcius and by also lining an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment/wax paper,
  2. In a microwavable safe bowl melt the butter and 4oz of white chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir and melt for another 15 seconds, stir until smooth. Add the two sugars and stir until smooth. Add the egg as well as the two extracts, and whisk. Fold in the flower and sprinkles, stir until combined. Now go ahead and pour the batter into the pan, and then smooth,
  3. Bake for 25 minutes,
  4. Begin preparing the ganache by heating the cream in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until it is very hot, stir in remaining white chocolate until it melts and add some sprinkles. Stir until smooth and pour over bars.

There you have it, the White Chocolate Blondie. I do suggest waiting at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing the bars into your preferred sizes.

I also stored mine in the fridge that way they would keep fresh and be safe from predators, aka the roommates.

I also suggest having your Blondies with some milk, because the pairing of the two is beyond what any cookie tastes like after being dipped in milk.

Additionally, I’d like to know how your experience was while baking these bars of gold. So please, comment AND share your photos/videos.

Stay Sweet,

pG. =D 

Refine and Relaod || Taking Care on Easter Weekend 

Chocolate, liquor and the gathering of family makes for a great Holiday Weekend at any given point of the year. In fact most of us look forward to getting together with our beloved friends and family members to kick-back and indulge in some of lifes’ treats. With that being said our bodies can be reactive to some of the things that we end up injesting, whether that be visibles signs of dehydration from the excessive drinking or bloating from all the sweets ‘n’ treats.

How unflattering… can we all agree?

As we nod our heads in agreement I want to point out that I too indulge on Holiday Weekends, especially at Easter, and while doing so make sure to follow-up with the appropriate post-party routine. This ensures that my skin stays top-notch and yours can too, with the proper tools and time needed.

Today we’re going to focus on how to Refine and Relaod the face; through deep exfoliation and a boost of hydration.

Drinking alcohol is a known cause of dehydration that effects not only the face but the entire body as well. I’ve mentioned before in a video that Rosacea is sometimes also an outcome of the overconsumption of alcohol, although not all the time as there are other causes too. Signs of dehydrated skin include dull looking skin, rougher textures and also the appearance of superficial/fine lines (don’t be fooled, they aren’t wrinkles… yet).

Consuming large amounts of sweets ‘n’ treats that are high in sugar is not only an attack on our body’s healthy, but also the quality of our skin. When we injest highly-glycemic foods we are creating a surge in our insulin levels which creates inflammation in the skin. This inflammation produces enzymes that break down Collagen and Elastin, responsible for maintaining our skins’ suppleness and firmness. What happens next is the appearance of wrinkles as well as saggy-looking skin; and then it all goes down hill from there. Or so they say.

I don’t mean to scare you into corner and I’m not here to convince you to drop the goodies for good. Rather let’s take a look at a simple process that we can use to help Refine and Reload the skin after a weekend of the good stuff.

I would suggest the following process during the middle of our long weekend festivities or at the end, and here’s what we’re going to need: 

  1. Cleanser,
  2. Toner,
  3. Super-refined exfoliator,
  4. Hydrating masque (I suggest an overnight masque),
  5. Masque brush (opptional).

I prefer to use the following products when executing the Refine and Reload process:

Here’s what we’re going to do now that we’re prepared (try to execute the process 30-60 minutes before bed for ample drying time):

  1. Cleanse the skin thoroughly,
  2. Exfoliate with your preferred exfoliator (and be sure to apply the correct amount of pressure for a realistic duration of time, or as directed by the manafacturer or the product),
  3. Tone your skin before applying the masque,
  4. With your Masque Applicator apppy a generous amount of the Hydrating Masque that you have chosen to use.
  5. Allow the masque to dry and dab off the excess.

Now take three deep breaths and feel the appreciation for yourself flow through you.

If using a sleeping masque then it us definitely in our best interest to sleep with it on ALL NIGHT and go about your usual AM routine like you normally would, the following morning. The results after Refining and Reloading should be smoother, softer, radiant and plump skin that has successfully combatted the effects of an indulgent weekend.

Give yourself a pat on the back, good work has been done here today.

This process can be used time and time again to defend against the elements that are either a result of over-indulging, or even natural causes. It is one of my go-to processes that I commit to at least once a week regularly, if not twice.

Keep in mind that using products that contain Sodium Hyaluronate or Hyaluronic Acid, such as the Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask, will flood the skin with the hydration when most appropriate. This is truly another great slowing mechanism to assist in the slowing of the process of aging, in my opinion anyways.

Let me know what you think of the Refine and Reload process, and how it has helped change YOUR SKIN for the bettet.

Keep Hydrated,

pG.

* The views and opinions expressed above are a result of both personal preference as well as experience, and in no way belong to any relatable Third Party. 

Finding ‘Time’ 

Too many times we hear from friends, family and yes even customers,

I don’t have time to take care of myself the way I wish I could, I just have too much to do.

I mean this statement in and of itself is a load of bogus, and we should side with some who may actually not have the time. Now keep in mind we all have the same 24 hours in our day, so the playing field is quite even across the board. However if we truly want to be able to care for ourselves in the ways we wish, whether that be indulging in our favourite luxuries or just getting on with the basics that keep us at our best, we sometimes need to make the time we seek.

As it goes for most things in life, cue the broken record, nothing is ever just handed to us. At times it may feel like we’ve been dealt a really good hand but that’s probably because we earned it through hard-work and perseverance. It should make sense that the same goes for the concept of seeking time that we can use to care for and pamper ourselves with. We’re going to need to create that space and find that moment on our own terms, so let’s get on with it. 

And if that means we need to start getting up earlier, quit the whining and let’s shake things up because ain’t nobody gonna beat that face for us.

We say that in order to have well cared for hair and skin we need to get morning as well as evening routines, and be consistent with them. Let’s take a look at how we can balance our time in order to do so.

Assuming you shower in the morning everyday like myself that’s your first step, where we cleanse and prep ourselves for what’s to follow.

Personally, an am post-shower routine consists of the following products:

  1. Toner,
  2. Blow-Dry Oil,
  3. Eye Cream,
  4. Serum,
  5. Face Oil,
  6. Moisturizer,
  7. Primer,
  8. Hairspray,
  9. Makeup,

… and I give myself 1 HOUR to get them on and get myself out. While doing so I also make sure my hair is given a blow-dry (daily), to my satisfaction, but I also feed the puppy and prepare my things for the day – while maybe snapping a quick photo and/or video for all you fabulous Instagrammers.

NOTE: I also meditate for 20 minutes every morning, walk the dog and make breakfast so I ensure that I’m up at least 2 1/2 hours prior to any shift. If it’s a training day, tap on an extra 40 minutes for a run. 

Mhm Peter, but how can we replicate this in our own lives?

Multi-tasking not only saves time, but preserves sanity as well.

Here’s an example…

We begin with the shower where all of the face, body and hair are washed, then follow the steps:

  1. Quickly towel-dry the hair,
  2. Pat-dry the skin to throw on some toner,
  3. Apply the blow-dry oil and brush it through the hair,
  4. While that soaks for a moment apply the eye cream of choice,
  5. Follow with the serum,
  6. Proceed to blow-dry the hair until it’s completely dry but don’t throw in styling product or hairspray just yet,
  7. Apply some of the face oil,
  8. Style the hair,
  9. Apply the appropriate moisturizer,
  10. Finish with primer,
  11. Feed the dog while the primer dries,
  12. Complete the full make-up application,
  13. Brush those teeth,
  14. Get those belongings and get on with it.

    In that time we’ve done our hair, performed our skincare routine, applied makeup, fed the dog and got out the door. What we’re doing by following such an intricate schedule is:

    1. Allowing for the continuous use of all of our favourite products,
    2. Producing maximal results with our routines (allowing for a few monents between each product application while we perform another step),
    3. Keeping ourselves happy and satisfied with our newly adapted means of indulging (while not taking away from our scheduled day).

    Now we’re out the door and on our way with smiles to bare, booyah. Job well done. Trust me when I say that it all becomes such a regular routine that we forget what we’re even doing by the time we’re applying the eye cream; CONSISTENCY will forever be our friend. 

    However… we are going to have to cleanse ourselves of the day once it’s over and this may take a little more effort than getting ready in the morning does; depending on what kind of motivation and drive encompasses you as a person.

    We’ve just worked a full-day, it might be late, we may even still need to cook dinner and just don’t feel like washing our face. But, don’t we want to get all that makeup, dirt and sebum out of our pores before letting our skins’ natural renewal process take affect throughout the night? Yes, yes we do.

    Let’s imagine we’ve just eaten dinner, it’s 7 pm, the dog still needs walking and fed; but we still need a few moments to ourselves in order to indulge and peform some personal care.

    The nightly routine may  look something like this,

    1. Cleansing Oil,
    2. Cleanser,
    3. Toner,
    4. Eye Cream,
    5. Serum,
    6. Face Oil,
    7. Moisturizer.

    … not nearly as enduring as the morning, and no haircare to boot. How hard can this be?

    1. Use the cleansing oil to remove makeup from the eyes and face,
    2. Follow instantly with the cleanser of your choice,
    3. Pat-dry the skin and apply toner,
    4. Apply eye cream to all contours of the eye area,
    5. Go ahead with the serum next,
    6. While the serum dries take the dog out for their walk,
    7. Come back in to apply the face oil,
    8. Prepare the dog’s dinner while that dries,
    9. Finish with some moisturizer,

    … the dog is happy, we’re happy and our skin is happy. We can now say goodnight to another phenomenal day and brace ourselves for the one ahead, because life is precious and as I’ve been reiterating, it is what we make of it.

    These examples above are drawn directly from my personal experiences as they always are and I use them to serve as a guideline. We all lead very different lives and that will alter the way in which we take care of ourselves. Some of those conflicts may be:

    • Children,
    • Pets,
    • Work Commute,
    • Long Work Week,
    • Low Energy,
    • Lack of Motivation.

    No one is perfect and we are all so unique, so let’s do the best that we can to make modifications to our daily lives so that not only are we happy and achieving great things as a result, but because we are becoming the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.

    Who agrees with me when I say that as much as we hate to admit it, image has a lot to do with our successes and the way individuals view us, but the way we also view ourselves…?

    In a nutshell, negative psychosocial implications have no place in the lives of individuals with an eagerness to indulge themselves, and that’s the truth.

    If we need some assistance in getting our motivation up and our commitment to ourselves strengthened, I’d love offer you that empowerment at your discretion.

    Together we can accomplish so much.

    LET’S TALK

    Stay Indulgent,

    Peter. =D

    The 10K Journey || Day 3

    MARCH 20TH/17

    3’rd day was a little easier with work to disctract me, as well as the housekeeping required at home.

    It felt incredible to get in a second run this week at Queen’s Park, in Torontos’ city centre. It was a mild afternoon and finishing my shift at 4:30 pm gave me enough time left in the day to get in a 2 mile journey and then a walk with little Crockett, my puppers, afterwards.

    My favourite part of the day was definitely making my preferred homemade dish, Sesame Beef with Steamed Veggies & Rice. Won’t lie, I’m not a half bad cook. I meant to take a photo but if you follow my Instagram / @itspetergrande I do share stories and photos with recipes I enjoy from time to time.

    Sleep Tight.

    pG.

    Meditation has Ultimately, Changed Me.

    Yes, Meditation has most certainly changed me as a person and my ability to hold multiple perspectives in situations thus giving me more control over my thoughts and actions. It really is a powerful experience that anyone can benefit from if we just allow ourselves to Transcend. If you think this is crazy talk, then be prepared for more to follow. Now someone might ask why I started Meditating, as I too have asked people before. Sadly enough it begins with a visit to the Vetirenary Emergency on the Civic Holiday of August 2o16.

    Last April we rescued a Jack Russell/Dachshund Mix from the Toronto Humane Society, a cute little 6-month old bugger by the name of Crockett. 4 months into owning him he breaks his leg, and that’s where the stress and anxiety really kicked in full throttle. To be quite honest I knew there were going to be issues, visits to the Vet and some obstacles to overcome with adopting a puppy; but I did not expect any of it to happen so early in the game. As you can imagine, being caught off guard with a very expensive surgery and bi-weekly visits to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic did it for me, it began to make me feel things I hadn’t quite felt before. 

    August 2016, Crockett helping me read during his recovery

    Come September, 3 weeks post-operation for Crockett and a few days before my Birthday, I reach the final part of the book I’m reading which is Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza. It’s a fantastic read if you really want ‘out with the old, and in with the new’ and isn’t overly scientific or over-baring with beliefs and opinions. The final part of the book walks me through a 4 week Meditation called Transcendental Meditation, where I’m taught to connect to the Quantam Field by travelling through the four different levels of Brain Waves: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. I was not kidding when I said there was more crazy talk to come. To Transcend is to leave reality behind for a short period of time, 45-60 minutes a day in my case, and extend beyond the boundaries of knowledge and experience to “Fire & Re-Wire” the subliminal past that currently encourages me to take action or react in ways that ultimately make me feel uneasy. The product of a very stressful few weeks.

    4 months, going on 5, of daily Meditation has given me the strength and power I need to push forward in difficult situations; but has also given me, and continues to, much more clarity in terms of what my purpose is and where my life might be headed. How? Transcendental Meditation gives me full control over the outcome of my future by allowing me to leave the past, in the past. This includes my overly-anxious or stress-induced responses in certain situations, my fear of repeat outcomes in particular scenarios or my own self-defeating belief that things can’t and won’t get better, ever. Up until now I’ve worked through emotions and feelings such as anxiety, stress, anger and the occassional lack of confidence. Let me tell you, I feel 100 times better and I’ve been told that I have grown into a much wiser and much more mature individual over this period of time. Don’t we love seeing the fruits of our labor?

    I’m not telling you to that you need to take a class on Quantam Energy and the steps it takes to Transcend to feel like a well-balanced human being. What I am sharing with you is how committing a small portion of our day to understanding ourselves on a deeper level of meaning, beyond what we experience here in reality, can really invigorate the spirit and assist in guiding it appropriately. I know that I have subliminal triggers that cause me to act out in certain ways and this makes me feel ultimately uncomfortable. So, the feeling of having no control over the outcomes in my life terrifies me and there’s many ways to avoid these kinds of experiences, Transcendental Meditation being one. Take the time for yourself to focus on yourslef, you won’t regret it. 

    Remember, what you put out is what you get back.

    Stay Calm… and try to Carry On,

    Peter. Xo.