Monday, March 29, 2021

Bolinhos Doces Mae E Filha – Portuguese Bakery

I few years ago I was lounging on beautiful beaches in the Algarve and touring the vibrant city of Lisbon. Portugal has so much to offer – alluring culture, stunning castles, intriguing history and of course – delicious food!
When I want to indulge in yummy Portuguese desserts here in Toronto, I contact Bolinhos Doces Mae E Filha. Their menu features a wide variety of sumptuous cakes and sweet pastries created from traditional family recipes.
The Chocolate Pudding Cake is delectable! The white layer on the top tastes like creamy vanilla pudding and the moist chocolate base is soaked in decadent syrup.
Molotof with Egg Cream has a unique texture that reminds me of Fuwa Fuwa – Japanese Pancakes. It is extremely light and fluffy – like eating a sweet airy cloud that melts in your mouth.
Bolo de Bolacha (Maria Cookie Cake) is my favorite! The light cream is covered in a blanket of toasted almonds and the layered center has a moist tiramisu texture.
The almond roll with sweet custard and the Portuguese Popovers are amazing! I enjoy them with coffee in the morning.
My family absolutely loves these desserts and they are perfect for celebrating special occasions.
For orders and inquiries DM @bolinhosdoces_maeefilha on Instagram.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Savor Living Vegan Food Delivery Service

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply committed to eating healthy, Savor Living has a plant-based meal plan with your name on it.

I’m not vegan but I do have a hectic schedule that does not leave much time to source the best organic ingredients or organize meal prep. Eating healthy is important so I am always looking for new ways to improve my diet.

Savor Living food delivery service and subscription is perfect for busy individuals and families who want well balanced, nutritious meals without all the planning, shopping, cooking and cleanup.
Sign up for 4 weeks and get 20% off! After that you are eligible for 10% off for life and you can pause or cancel at any time. 

 How it works: 

Simply pick a meal plan – single, double, family size or À la cart to build your own custom menu. The chef prepared entrées change every week so you always have great variety and never get bored. 

The food is preservative-free, prepared fresh and delivered to your door within 24 hours every Tuesday. You also have the option of picking it up at their COVID-friendly, contact-free facility in Oakville.
Savor Living uses recyclable, zero waste packaging and all meals are clearly labelled with nutritional information and ingredients. Many of the dishes are packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. 

The breakfast wrap is made with tofu scramble (which is well seasoned and tastes more like chickpeas), potato wedges, fresh kale, mushrooms and spicy vegan mayo. My husband loves the Big Mac Wrap because it contains everything a good burger should and it is convenient for eating lunch on-the-go. Both wraps are large and very filling.
I was actually surprised by how generous the portions are. When most people think of vegan food they imagine boring lettuce and bland veggies but these dishes are hearty and flavorful! Some of them are large enough to share or eat as two meals and I didn’t even miss the meat. 

My favorite is the Mexican Layered Salad. It tastes like Chipotle but much better! I love the avocado, corn, beans, lettuce, bell pepper and cheese medley with the creamy chipotle dressing.
The Mandarin Ramen Salad is packed with beans, peanuts, carrots, fruit, green onion, sesame seeds and shredded lettuce. The Miso dressing adds a delicious smoky peanut flavor.
The Oliver Potato Salad makes a great lunch or side. I seasoned it with garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
The entrées are tasty too. I ordered the Aloo Gobi Matar which isn't authentic Indian food (the flavors are very mild) but it is great with naan and the portion is more than enough for two people.
The Buckwheat and Ratatouille includes a chicken substitute and veggies cooked in tomato sauce.
Overall I love the freshness, quality and convince of this food service and the best part - they make eating healthy so easy! 

For more information or to see their menus, visit the website at Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @DiaryofaTrendaholic for more amazing food!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

10K Followers on Instagram! Let’s celebrate with Hanzel and Gretel Bakers

I don’t usually celebrate social media milestones but after the year we’ve had, I’ve learned to appreciate the small things and not take anything for granted. 

I love creating content and experimenting with photography so it’s nice to know that people are enjoying it. 

10.2 K followers on Instagram is awesome and I want to thank everyone who supports my page. Your comments and kindness inspire me to continue.
Over the years I’ve connected with many amazing brands and I’ve made wonderful friendships. 

Socializing may be limited during the pandemic but Instagram has been a great outlet to share my interests, help small business, stay connected and expand my brand. 

To honor this milestone I’m celebrating with one of my favorite home bakeries – Hanzel and Gretel Bakers. Special thanks to them for creating this stunning cake.
The stenciling and gold accents are exquisite and I love the fresh donuts.

For this masterpiece we decided to go with their decadent chocolate cake. It is rich, moist and mouth-watering. She even made the icing in my favorite color! 

All of their desserts (cupcakes, cakesicles, chocolate covered Oreos) are absolutely delicious and they always add so many gorgeous details!
The bakery specializes in custom desserts for all occasions and works closely with clients to create fun, vibrant designs. They also make beautiful strawberry towers and delectable sweet boxes that are perfect for gifting. 

If you’d like to support a small local business, DM @HanzelandGretelBakers on Instagram and follow my page - @DiaryofaTrendaholic to stay connected.

Monday, March 15, 2021

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipsticks

These days I choose my lipstick very carefully. I need a moisturizing formula that keeps my lips nourished under a mask, stylish during virtual meetings and protected from winter’s wrath. 

The YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Lipsticks ($50.00) are exactly what I was looking for. They were released late in the holiday season as a collector’s edition - inspired by wild parties and festive trends. The gorgeous packaging features the brand’s elegant logo surrounded by animal print and glitter.
Each vibrant shade is enriched with 6 sensorial oils which give the formula a supple, melted texture that feels amazing on dry, sensitive skin. The smooth pigment glides on effortlessly and drenches lips in supple, long-lasting hydration.

I love the brilliant shine - it creates a healthy, voluminous effect with light to medium coverage and exceptional comfort .
The YSL 3D All Over Glow ($63.00) is a universal, multi-use highlighter and finishing powder designed to compliment all skin tones. This radiant champagne hue has a natural finish that looks beautiful in indoor and outdoor lighting and the silky finish applies seamlessly on all skin textures.
The Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation ($80.00) in Wild Shimmer is classified as a highlighter and there is only one shade available. It has a similar ivory-champagne tone but the color payoff is sheer and subtle. It also has visible glitter particles and provides less coverage. I’m not really a fan of the wet cushion and the sponge applicator doesn’t blend evenly.
YSL has also decked out their classic Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Highlighter Pen ($52.00) in the same fashionable print but Ivory is only shade available. I usually love this product – the texture, glow and effortless application, but this color is too light for me.
If you’d like to try this limited-edition collection most products are still available online at and you might find them at department store counters and Sephora.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Benefits of Owning a Soda Stream and The Best Water Enhancers

We all know that drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is important, but guzzling that much fluid can seem impossible, especially when you’re busy, on-the-go or simply not in the mood. 

The human body is composed of 60% water which is essential for maintaining vital bodily functions. Dehydration causes fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, bloating, dry skin, poor concentration, irritability, constipation and improper kidney function...not fun. 

If plain water seems unappealing or boring, SodaStream can help reignite your passion for H2O and inspire you to create fun, delicious drinks the whole family will enjoy. 

If you already own a SodaStream scroll down to water enhancers, if not keep reading.

 ~ What is SodaStream and how does it work? 
SodaStream is an easy to use kitchen appliance that turns flat water into sparking water with the touch of a button. Simply fill the bottle with cold, fresh water (straight from the fridge is best), insert it into the machine and push the button (all the way down) to carbonate. Read the instructions carefully or watch a YouTube tutorial if you have any issues.
I use reverse osmosis water purchased from a local water store. It is completely filtered and pure. You can also use tap water depending on the quality in your area. 

According to the manufacturer, the appliance should not be used to carbonate other liquids (juice, wine etc) but you can add fizzy water to any drink you like (it tastes great with mango juice). 

My SodaStream has 3 levels of carbonation (mild, moderate and extra bubbly) as indicated by the water droplets on the front panel. To reach higher carbonation levels simply push and hold the button longer. 

~ Cost, refills and what’s included 
Here in Canada, a basic SodaStream unit cost about $100.00 - $120.00. There are a few designs and colors available. 

The machine comes with a CO2 cylinder and a reusable water bottle. It does not need to be plugged in or charged. 

The CO2 tank should be replaced when it runs out of gas. You will know it is time for a refill when your water tastes flat no matter how much carbonation you pump in (there is no gauge to indicate when it is running low). 

On average the cylinder is supposed to last 2-4 months (depending on how often and how much you use). I carbonate a lot so mine usually lasts 5 weeks. 

New tanks cost $34.99 but you can exchange the empty canister at participating retailers (Walmart, grocery stores and water stores) and get another one for $19.99. My local water store only charges $12.99.

Most SodaStream flavoring cost $2.97 - $12. 
 ~ Benefits of owning a SodaStream 
1. If you want to reduce or eliminate sugary soft drinks from your diet, SodaStream is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a cold Canada Dry Gingerale or Diet Pepsi every now and then but for the most part I’ve cut out pop and aspartame.

Sugary beverages have been linked to an increase risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and tooth decay which is a good reason to kick the habit cold-turkey. Reducing your sugar intake can also help you shed a few extra pounds and SodaStream has a lower salt content than most carbonated water. 

SodaStream satisfies my craving for soft drinks by providing a blast of bubbles that mimic the carbonation in soda. If you don’t like sparkling water don’t be deterred. There are many great flavors and recipes to experiment with so you don’t have to drink it plain. 

2. You’ll probably drink more water! I can drink at least 8 glasses a day and create different beverages to keep things exciting. My family loves SodaStream and I actually crave water now. 

3. Reduce plastic waste and limit your exposure to toxins found in plastic water bottles. 

4. Save Money! Have you seen the price of sparkling water and healthy drinks at fancy restaurants and specialty markets? If you own a SodaStream you don’t have to purchase Perrier, Kombucha or other pricey beverages. 

~Water enhancers – which brands taste best? 
There are many water enhancers on the market but I decided to test a few brands that are available at local stores. 

SodaStream has their own line of flavoring which includes everything from cola to fruit drops. One of their most popular drinks is Gingerale ($6.99). It comes as a syrupy liquid and the cap doubles as a measuring cup.
The first time I made it, I wasn’t impressed. It reminded me of flat Schweeppes instead of bubbly Canada Dry. The second time it was a lot better. The key is adding the right amount of carbonation (about 3-4 pumps) and the right amount of syrup adjusted to your taste preference. 

The Gingerale is 45 calories per serving and contains 11 grams of sugar (Stevia and regular sugar). I also tried the Root Beer (which does not contain artificial sweetener) and the flavor is spot on.
SodaStream’s Passionfruit & Mandarine Kombucha Concentrate ($11.99) contains 4 calories, raw sugar, black tea, organic juice, natural flavors and 1 billion live probiotics which supports gastrointestinal health. It tastes great (if you like Kombucha) and you only need 3 tbsp per glass so it lasts a long time and is much cheaper than other brands.
Mio Liquid Water Enhancer is quite popular and usually cost $3 - $4 at Walmart. My favorite flavor is Peach Mango. 

Unfortunately Mio contains Sucralose which is an artificial sweetener found in Splenda. It is not broken down by the body therefore it is noncaloric. It also contains Acesulfame Potassium - another calorie-free sugar substitute. According to my research, both of these ingredients may have negative long-term effects so I drink it in moderation.
A healthier alternative (and my top pick in terms of taste and ingredients) is Stur. Although their social media coordinator was less than helpful, these enhancers are my favorite. They are made with natural extracts, real fruit juice, Vitamin C and Stevia (a natural plant sugar with zero calories).
I like all of their flavors but my favorites are Blue & Blackberry and Strawberry Watermelon. The only downside is that I tend to finish them quickly because the bottles are small. Stur is available at Walmart but is often sold-out here in the GTA. You can also buy the variety packs on Amazon. 

The SodaStream Drops ($5.49 ea or $11.99 for a 3 pack) are lightly flavored and do not contain artificial sweetener. They are not as tasty as the other enhancers but if you like citrus with a bitter aftertaste these will give you a boost of Vitamin C (I’m not a fan).
Last but not least we have President’s Choice Fruit Punch. I picked this up at Shoppers Drug Mart because it is naturally flavored and sweetened with Stevia. Unfortunately I did not like the taste and for some reason the scent bothered me.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a SodaStream I hope this article was helpful. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram - @DiaryofaTrendaholic 

This article was not sponsored by SodaStream
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