must see series on netflix

Honestly, I contemplate cancelling my Netflix subscription often. Most of the time the shows I want to watch aren’t on Netflix yet. Plus, I’m not a huge movie lover. I need to be in the mood for a movie. This is probably because I am not the type of person that likes to sit still for long. If I’m going to watch a movie then I want comfy clothes, silence, my dog to snuggle with and of course, some snacks. What keeps me subscribed is the random series that I will come across or get word of online or from a friend.

One thing I love is the amount of television series they offer and how they have their own Netflix Originals. I will say, I am kind of sad that shomi shut down. They had “Unreal,” which is one of my favourite shows ever. I also wish they had Finding Prince Charming on Netflix but hey; they don’t. Hopefully this list will come in handy and help you avoid the dreaded scrolling up and down searching for something to watch next time you log into your account.

Skin Wars
Think Master Chef mixed with Miami Ink. Skin Wars is a body painting competition show. Each season they have a variety of contestants that compete for $100,000 and a trip to the World Bodypainting Festival. Ru Paul is one of the judges on the show. As much as I love the drama that unfolds between the artists, my favourite is seeing their artwork. Body painting is something I could never do, so it’s unreal to see them create such master pieces. My favourite challenges are when they have to camouflage their model into a specific scene – like the canned soup section at the grocery store.

Scream Queens
Okay, this show is kind of cheesy but I love it. This is a comedy horror series. People are getting killed and it’s a lot to keep up with, you have got to stay focused. I’ve described this as Pretty Little Liars meets Mean Girls before.  Although I haven’t seen the current season which is currently airing on City TV. I admire how they manage to get such a variety of people on board. Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michelle, Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Aaron + Austin Rhodes, John Stamos, Kirstie Alley and Abigail Breslin are just some of the people you’ll find on the show.

The Ranch
The Ranch is a Netflix Original staring Ashton Kutcher and Danny Materson (aka Steven Hyde from That 70’s Show), it takes place on a ranch in Colorado. Ashton plays Colt, a former semi-pro football player that has returned back to the ranch to help run the family business with his brother Rooster, played by Danny Materson. This series is full of cussing, comedy, and family-farm life shenanigans.

Narcos
Narcos is probably the most talked about Netflix Original amongst people I know. The series is based on drug lord and trafficker, Pablo Escobar. The crime based drama follows the ups and downs of Escobar as the Drug Enforcement Agency works tirelessly to take him down.

Weeds
Weeds is one of the first series I ever watched on Netflix a few years back. Essentially a widowed mother starts to grow and sell marijuana to keep her family afloat after her husbands death leaves her with a ton of debt. Her brother-in-law and the city councillor even get in on the business. I won’t give too much away, but this isn’t as intense as Narcos. It is one of my favourite series, which is no surprise since the creator, Jenji Kohan, is also the creator of the Netflix Original Orange is the New Black.

I’d love to hear what shows, documentaries, or even movies you enjoyed watching on Netflix. Keep in mind, the US Netflix is a bit more ahead of the times in regards to up to date content than here in Canada. Leave a comment here or on my Instagram with some must watch titles for me to check out! Happy binge watching!

no cooking kick ass party app

Last week I went to my first holiday party of the season. So I think it’s safe to say the holidays are finally here. After all, Remembrance Day has passed and we’ve had our first little snow fall of the soon to be winter season. Food is certainly something our culture has incorporated into the holiday season. You may have a turkey dinner, or a couple turkey dinners coming up. Maybe you’re just attending a pot luck. Either way, this no cook app should be your go to whether you are hosting, or attending.

After cruising through Instagram and Pinterest for some inspiration on what I could bring to the first Christmas party of the year, I found exactly what to bring. A meat and cheese board! It’s so easy to put together. There is very little preparation is required and no cooking required. I purchased all the items from my local grocery store and used a wooden cutting board to display it all.

My board included mild pepperettes, hot Genova salami, prosciutto, marble cheese, jalapeño Havarti, a cheese ball and a variety of olives. I also threw in some vegetable thin crackers on the side.

To prepare my “charcuterie,” or meat and cheese board, I cut up the marble cheese into small squares. I then cut the brick of jalapeño Havarti into thin slices, leaving them in the form of a brick. The cheese ball was easy enough, I just set it on the wooden cutting board with a cheese knife. I cut the mild pepperettes in half and then rolled the hot Genova and the prosciutto so they were in a tube like shape. I put the olives in a small glass bowl and positioned them on the cutting board too. Bam! I was done.

My board was simple but was a total hit. Often for pot lucks, there aren’t many meat options unless something brings meatballs. Meatballs are also a great item to bring. I received a lot of compliments on my board. People loved the variety and the set up. You can get creative while putting your board together and spice it up a bit by adding nuts, condiments and other types of cracks or bread.

goodbye wisdom… tooth

This is the first appointment as I begin my Invisalign journey. In order to start the Invisalign process, you need to have any and all dental work complete. This includes extractions, cleanings, cavities, etc. I am excited because I will be adjusting my teeth with Invisalign over the next year. If you don’t know, Invisalign is a brand popular for their clear tray, removable braces. You must wear them for 22 hours a day but you can remove them to eat or drink anything other than water.

Since growing up I have had three or four dentists. Most people stick to one dentist for awhile, but my sister worked in dental and I kind of just followed her from office to office. We had our family dentist growing up, then the dentist my sister completed her placement at and then the dentist who hired my sister for her first dental job and now my current dentist; where my sister worked at most recently.

My dental office is beautiful – super new, clean, doesn’t smell funky and has iPads in the waiting area and a beautiful chandelier above the reception desk. The best part is they have a team of staff that I am comfortable with. I used to cry when my mom made dentist appointments. I was bad, I always had a cavity or two growing up.

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I was told that I wouldn’t need my wisdom teeth out for the longest time but over the last few years we have been keeping an eye on the one that had not come. During my most recent oral hygiene appointment, which included x-rays of my mouth, the dentist said that I should have the one wisdom tooth removed. It has started to bug the healthy tooth beside it. The next week I had my wisdom tooth pulled, while awake.

The procedure itself wasn’t bad. I have a weak jaw. I can never open it too wide and it starts to ache even during my regular cleanings. That was the worst part of the actual procedure. I didn’t mind being awake for it, I didn’t feel any pain besides the little prick of the needle they they use to numb the area. Going into it I was worried and uneducated. I did a lot of Google searching (not always the best idea) so I thought I would share some tips for anyone who might be in my “shoes” one day.

What to expect after
Well, I wasn’t in much pain because I was still frozen. I had a prescription for an antibiotic and for pain relief. My advice is that you should get the pain reliever into you as soon as you get the prescription filled. My biggest concern was that I couldn’t get a blood clot to form for a couple hours. I think this is because I received a phone call driving home from a potential new client and then I stopped into my grandparents to pick up my dog. Of course I chatted with them when I likely shouldn’t have for that long. I got home and the bleeding continued until I ran out of gauze. I switched it out every thirty minutes. So I left and picked up some more from the pharmacy, tried that once more and then said screw it. My dentist mentioned that if the bleeding wasn’t stopping to try a moist tea bag compress. The tea bag worked! The night was not fun but I wasn’t in pain. I just wasn’t comfortable and tossed and turned a lot through out the night. I went to work the next day. I think if I had more than one removed that I wouldn’t have. My job is also not physically demanding and I don’t have to speak too much.

What to eat
Within the first 24 hours, I ate apple sauce and pudding. I had been sipping water since I got home and the morning after, I had an iced coffee instead of a hot coffee or tea (not sure if I should be drinking coffee but YOLO at least it’s not a hot drink) I ate some homemade soup my dad prepared for me for lunch the day after and had been snacking on pudding and apple sauce through out the day. I also ate some mashed potatoes on day, and some mash sweet potatoes the next. Honestly, I just wanted to tear into a t-bone steak for dinner but hey, I didn’t want to complicate anything. (I made slow cooker ribs about six days later…) To be honest, ice cream was my saviour. I dove into a tub of chocolate ice cream and polished off my favourite ice cream: Häagen-Dazs Coffee Flavoured.

It’s key to follow the directions provided by your dentist as everyone is different. My situation could be very different than yours. Maybe you didn’t need an antibiotic… maybe you need all four teeth removed. Whatever the case may be, don’t be worried about this procedure. It’s one of the most popular procedures besides a filling.

 

product review: try the world subscription box

It’s funny how this box ended up in my hands. I used to have a blog with my old roomies and I would always reach out to subscription boxes on our behalf. We loved receiving subscription boxes to review on our blog. It was definitely one my favourite things about running a blog. Try The World responded to my inquiry about two years later to say that they were about to start shipping to Canada and were interested in partnering together. Since our blog is no longer active, I mentioned that I just launched my own blog and they were still interested in working together.

Try The World is certainly a luxury subscription box service. Each month you receive a box curated by a chef with 7-10 artisanal food items inside all from a specific country. Your box will include a card that describes each item, tells you a bit about the chef and gives you some recipes for inspiration.

The box that I received was one of their older boxes – from September 2016. This was the Italy box which Laura Vitale curated. Laura was born in Italy and is a TV personality on the Cooking Channel. Her successful YouTube channel Laura in the Kitchen has over 2 million subscribers. Not a huge shocker but I was impressed with her picks!

Their beautifully branded, teal coloured, box was inside a brown cardboard box. The box, about the size of a shoe box, was stuffed full with items that all came from Italy. I could even see a bit of the raffia straw coming out! Try The World included: Terrigena Mushroom Risotto, Sabatina Tartufi Truffle Zest Seasoning, Maison Nocciola Hazelnut Spread, Pesto from Cascina San Cassiano, Societa Agricola Acetomodena Balsamic Vinegar, La Pasta Di Aldo Egg Pasta, Ground Coffee from Giuliano Cafe, and Marabissi Amaretti Alla Mandorla Dessert Bites.

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You might be able to tell from the list but these products are authentic Italian items. The service is certainly classy and would be great to order and have a date night in with. Cook dinner up and learn a bit about the Italian culture and how the items are typically used in cooking. I couldn’t resist cracking open the hazelnut spread and the dessert bites as soon as the box arrived. The hazelnut spread is like Nutella, but you can tell it’s a nicer, more pure, version. I totally tried the spread straight off a spoon but I also had it on a piece of toasted rye bread. It was amazing! The bites are good too, they have that true amaretto flavour to it. I’m really excited to try the pesto and the egg pasta together. Pesto covered pasta is something I love!

Are you interested in the service? A box is $39 per month, but you can save money by committing to a three, six or 12 month subscription. You can also pick bi-monthly deliveries instead. Shipping is extra and different based on where you live – as mentioned, they do ship to Canada. Plus, if you sign up today you’ll receive this box for free! Try The World today.

TLDR; Try The World is a quality subscription box service that picks their items on a country inspired themed with a new chef curator each month. This would make a great gift idea for your loved one who loves to cook.

six gift ideas under $20 for secret santa

Secret Santa is a lot of fun. You get assigned to purchase a gift for another participant and in some cases, you remain anonymous. If you are familiar with the game, you know that more than likely after the gift exchange everyone tends to tell one another who had who. Often secret santa happens amongst friends or co-workers. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and not have to buy everyone an individual gift because that can get expensive. Organizers always set a price range so that the gifts are in and around the same value and no one feels like they over did it, or under did it.

Here are six gift ideas that are within a $20 limit.

1. Canadian Olympic Team Collection Red Mittens – $15

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Photo by HBC

2. AROMACAR Ceramic Car Diffuser – $9.95
     + add refill pads for $4.95
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Photo by Saje

3. Burt’s Bees® Travel Essentials Gift Set -$14.97

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Photo by Walmart Canada

4. The Night Before Christmas Gift by LUSH – $15.95
includes Twilight shower gel and Sleepy body lotion
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Photo by LUSH North America

5. Polar Bear Rustic Mug by DAVIDsTEA

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Photo by DAVIDsTEA

6. A Pretty Christmas Tree Ornament – $15

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Photo by Indigo 

holiday marketing for the entrepreneur in you

With just over a month left until Christmas, hopefully you have started to plan your holiday marketing strategy. I am confident my tips will help you increase sales and attract and retain some new customers. I have a passion for marketing and think there are so many opportunities and benefits of investing in creative and eye-catching marketing efforts.

If you’re a business owner and reading this, I hope you can take away an idea or two to use. If you’re a blogger or influencer reading, hopefully you can incorporate some of these techniques in a way that works for you and your audience.

Partner With A Charitable Organization To Give Back
You might already be on top of this. Maybe you are hosting a food drive next month or have plans to donate partial sales to a non-for-profit in your area. Get creative and strategic, this is a great opportunity for a cross promotion.

Promote Gift Giving
Tis the season to give gifts, almost everyone has that one person on their list that they are unsure what to give. By promoting gift giving, not only are you “zeroing in” on happiness; you’re also helping make your customers gift giving that much easier. Does your business offer gift certificates or have a referral and/or loyalty program yet?

Create Your Own Seasonal Themed Content
Believe it or not, your content does better than someone else’s. Taking photos of your decorated space, sharing limited time promotions and ultimately creating your own copy, photos, videos, and graphics can really allow you to incorporate your branding and tone over the holidays.

A couple ideas: A holiday count down, a contest leading up to the New Year, or photos of your “Elf on the Shelf” around the work place, store or office.

Give Back To The Local Community
The end of the year is a busy time, but making time to give back is crucial for business owners. During the Winter, it’s ideal to give back to not only your customers but those who support your business.

Some ideas to give back locally include: participating or sponsoring a community event, donating food, product, or your services to another business or individual. And of course, if you haven’t sent out e-cards or handwritten cards to your most valuable partners and/or suppliers or clients then get on it!

Work With Your Suppliers/Support Team
Does your store sell a well-known brand? Maybe you offer a new service that many aren’t familiar with? Invite those you work regularly into your store, or to your holiday event. Think of offering samples, maybe create an area in the office or store that is an amazing opportunity for a photo (selfie spot anyone?) It’s key to create an overall experience for those who decide to check out your offerings as they prepare to spend some money.

Work With Influencers
Bloggers, YouTubers and other social media users have grown audiences that follow their content regularly. Many have built a relationship which allows influencers to share their voice and opinion to readers on new products, exciting events and other information or services. Rather than purchasing an advertisement in your local newspaper, you can hire a local blogger to write about your business. Same goes for buying a radio ad, you can hire a YouTuber to review your product.

cooking for one // one pan ground turkey concoction

I love trying new recipes and food. As long as it isn’t game meat, eggs, or seafood other than halibut/ lobster/crab or shrimp then I’m down! I swear I’m not too picky but I can’t get into weird meat, egg dishes or creepy looking and smelling seafood. I picked up some ground turkey because I’ve had it  made up for me before a few times and enjoyed it. I also have heard that it’s a bit healthier than ground beef. So, I didn’t have  any bell peppers to stuff (I had a half of a red pepper) nor did I feel like making meatballs or a burger.

I asked my old roomie/coworker/friend from college how she uses her ground turkey. She responded that evening with some ingredients to throw together to make a dish she likes. It sounded good, kind of healthy, super easy to make and I had most of the ingredients already. But similar to how I share recipes; there were no cook times or portion sizes included.

So here’s what I did!

First off, I browned half a pound of the ground turkey. In the mean time I was chopping up onion and red pepper into little pieces. Once the ground turkey was pretty well brown I added these in.

I let the red pepper and onion cook a bit before adding the next ingredients: chick peas and kale. Before that I rinsed both the chick peas and the kale off. After washing the kale, I ripped the leaves into little chunks so it was a bit easier to eat and cook. Once everything was in the pan, I added the seasonings: cumin and red chilli peppers.

Next time, I think I might try to add a sauce of some sort. I’d love to hear what kind of sauce you would add. I was thinking making thai?

America, meet your President!

Woah! Thank you, it’s finally over. I can’t believe that for nearly two years our social feeds, TV screens and anywhere else we turned had something to do with Trump and/or Clinton. As a Canadian, of course I have some interest in the campaign. The idea of who will be the next President was something I thought about for sure. But really, the entire campaign process was annoying and a waste of money in my opinion. They both have spent more money on their campaigns than anyone should have to get your vote.

Here are some of the awesome things you might have missed with all the bashing, lying and twisting of the arm we’ve seen.

Trump called climate change a hoax
Sure, you might not believe in climate change. But do you really want to take the risk of not making an effort to slow down or work with environmentalist to ensure we have a better sense of climate change for our kids and grandkids?

Trump isn’t the businessman we think he is
Yes, he is worth more than you and I but he inherited a ton of his wealth from his father. Here are some of his failed businesses: Trump Airlines, Trump Beverages, Trump: The Game, Trump Casinos, Trump Magazine, Trump University, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgages, Trump Steaks (uh okay) and GoTrump.com (a travel site)

Trump vs. women
To be honest, I think I was most shocked at the number of white women who voted for Trump. Any other “celebrity” who would have said the remarks he has made in regards to women would have faced a lot more backlash. Grab her by the what? Imagine a male high school student said what he said – the kid would be in detention for a week at minimum, if not suspended. You would think that ladies would support one another for this one.

Trump on abortion
This is a sensitive topic. But if you think that anyone who has an abortion deserves to be punished.. well, I hope you never get raped. If you’re a man, I hope your wife or daughter never gets raped.

Trump and the LGBT+ community
He started off pretty against same sex relationships. Eventually he noticed how many LGBT+ people are in the United States. Trump attended an anti-LGBT conference earlier this year.. sorry, how is that even a conference? In response to same sex marriage, Trump had this to say, “I don’t feel right about it. I’m against it, and I take a lot of heat because I come from New York.”

Trump mocking someone with a joint disorder
Again, if a high school student were to publicly mock or make fun of someone with a physical disorder he or she would face more consequences than Donald did. Google “Donald mocking journalist with joint disorder” if you want to see the sickening gestures he made.

Trump on PTSD
He has called veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder less “strong,” than those who don’t. Okay, well I don’t know about you but if you were to send me off to battle I would probably be dead within 24 hours. I think anyone who fights for their country is strong and very brave.  I couldn’t imagine what the troops see, hear, smell and feel. They’re pretty strong both physically and mentally in my eyes.

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Take it or leave it. I’m not a political science major and I don’t have an overwhelming interest in American politics but this is your President America. Canadian’s are close by and the entire nation is watching. I truly hope Donald Trump does a good job as President. During the campaign and since his win there has already been enough hatred and negativity to last us the next five years. Like anything else in the world, we have our set backs. It’s not the end, it’s just the beginning.

giveaway: a month’s worth of coffee [closed]

Winner: @newfiechic on Instagram

Giveaways for brands can actually be pretty difficult. For example, I used to be with a cellphone provider that held a contest on social media. I was one of the winners for their giveaway. My prize was a subscription to an online streaming service. The awkward thing is that the streaming service is already included with my cellphone plan. I thought to myself.. could they have done something more creative or am I just being unappreciative? Don’t get me wrong. I did appreciate the prize and I was thrilled to be a winner for once in my life but, I already had this service for free. Mind you, this wasn’t the grand prize.

Recently I won an Instagram contest through Country Style, they sent me a few boxes of k-cups of their coffee. Unfortunately, my Keurig broke and I don’t care to buy another one. I’d rather get a french press. So, instead of trying to turn a profit by selling these online, I want to give back to my readers and my Instagram followers. This is why I am giving away 36 k-cups of coffee, aka a solid month’s worth of coffee!

It’s easy to enter. The contest is being held on Instagram. To enter:

1. Follow @boywhoblogs on Instagram
2. Like the post of a “coffee mug,” which is where you will also complete step #3
3. Comment and tag where you prefer to grab a coffee when you’re on the go!
For example, this could be @McCafeCanada, @CountryStyleCdn, @StarbucksCanada,            @TimHortons or wherever else!

4. On Monday, November 14 I will contact the winner through a DM on Instagram! This winner has 48 hours to response or I will draw another winner. The winner’s name will be left as a comment on the “coffee mug” post as well!

*Bonus Entry* 
Comment on this blog post if you prefer medium or dark roast coffee.

Good luck!

*This giveaway is not affiliated with Country Style, Keurig, WordPress or Instagram. Only open to residents of Canada excluding Quebec.

cooking for one // kale chips

Kale chips are game changers. A lot of my friends are disgusted when I send them a snap of me making or crunching down on them, but they shouldn’t be! Kale is known as one of the healthiest foods although the way I prepare it may not be the healthiest. However, I can say it’s cheap, easy to make and you won’t feel as guilty as you might after devouring an entire bag of potato chips. Kale is pretty cheap to purchase and is pretty effortless to grow here in Ontario. I buy a bundle from the grocery store for about $1.97 and I also would finish this bundle in one night. No shame in that, well maybe a little.

First off, preheat the oven to around 350 degrees. Next, rip the kale into bit size chunks. I purchased a really neat salad spinner off of VarageSale for $5 – this makes the entire process much easier and quicker. However, it does mean more clean up for you.

Once you have torn apart your bundle of kale, you should rinse and dry it using a salad spinner, strainer or however you normally prepare your lettuce for a salad.

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Once the kale is relatively dry, add a TINY bit of olive oil. I use about a tablespoon per bundle. Trust me when I say the oil goes a long way, too much will ruin your kale chips.

I then add salt and pepper, without measuring because that is how it’s done in my kitchen! After making these kale chips a couple times, you can add some flavour. My go to is just salt and pepper. I quickly figured out that you don’t need as much salt as you might think and you can also add more salt or pepper once the chips are crispy and dried out. A dash of cayenne pepper is a nice touch for those who like some spice.

Once you have an even coat of oil and spice, lay out the chunks of kale onto a sheet of aluminum foil and then throw it in the oven on a cookie/baking sheet.

Keep a close eye on the chips as they cook, you don’t want them to burn but you don’t want them soggy either. In and around 10 minutes should be enough time! Pull them out just before they start to dry out completely and turn brown.

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