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5 Easy Camping Food Hacks

5 Easy Camping Food Hacks


With summer almost here, I'm excited to explore the great outdoors in my own "backyard" of Kingston, Ontario, and camping is at the top of my list followed by the sweet delicious smell of campfire food.

Best part thanks to the City of Kingston, they are offering an amazing interactive event - Lumberjack Workshop Weekend. Whether you're an expert camper or a novice, they teach you the skills to survive amidst Mother Nature because everyone can use a refresher and a little camping hacks, tips, and tricks. 

So today, I'm sharing my 5 favourite and easy camping food hacks that will save you time and effort in the outdoors while improving your campfire cooking skills, because the convenience of kitchen appliances and electricity are out the window. Next time you plan a camping journey, give some of these food hacks a try to help you whip up tasty meals in a flash.

ONE CUP COFFEE BAGS

Need a cup of caffeine to wake up in the AM? Don't worry, you're not the only one but not keen on lugging a coffeemaker to your campsite. I'm with you! Here's a simple solution - pour a tablespoon of ground coffee in filters and tie them with dental floss. Voila, then toss it into a single cup of boiling water!

5 Easy Camping Food Hacks

CAMPING MAC N CHEESE

So if you don't already know, I'm a huge mac n cheese lover and in my books, it's THE ultimate comfort food so obviously, I'd bring this dish camping. Best part, a little cooking in advance goes a long way to enjoy the perks of camping. So whip up your favourite mac n cheese recipe, divide into small foil circular tins and then cover tightly with foil. Place in cooler and you're ready to go - simply get a fire going, let it burn down to hot coals, place atop campfire for 8-10 minutes and you should have an ooey gooey campfire mac n cheese to indulge in.

Tip: Spray the tin foil with cooking spray to avoid the cheese from sticking.

5 Easy Camping Food Hacks

5 Easy Camping Food Hacks

SEASON IT UP WHILE CAMPING

When it comes to camping and cooking, don't skimp out on flavour because you don't want bland tasting food and obviously you can't pack up your entire spice cupboard. Solution? Simply put your spices in a one-a-day pill organizer and label! Now you're ready to whip up some tasty campfire meals.

CAMPFIRE QUESADILLAS

Cheesy quesadillas are the perfect treat when out in the great outdoors. Can you tell I have a slight cheese obsession? To make this dish, simply put the quesadillas together, fold it almost like a burrito, and wrap it in foil and place them on the grate right over your campfire until the cheese is melty and the tortilla slightly crisp. And just like that dinner is served! Also, no plates required - let it cool off and enjoy straight out of the foil packet.

CAMPFIRE POTATOES IN FOIL

If you haven't realized by now, tin foil is your best friend when camping especially when cooking and makes clean up a breeze. This is where those spices will also come in handy. Double win! To effortlessly make this dish, combine sliced potatoes with onions and peppers then sprinkle cheese and preferred spices. Seal foil around the potatoes to form a packet and put over hot coals for 30 minutes. Another meal idea completed!

INTERESTED IN THE LUMBERJACK WORKSHOP?


Thanks to the City of Kingston for sponsoring this post.
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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How to Spoil Mom This Weekend in Kingston

How to Spoil Mom This Weekend in Kingston


Skip the flowers and cards, this year it's time to step up your game and spoil your mum with a much-deserved outing in Kingston, I know my mum appreciates the extra little originality and I know she's not the only one. They’re our moms, so of course, they have to love whatever we buy them. But best of all, they brighten our day and worry about us - it's just in their nature.

How to Spoil Mom This Weekend in Kingston

So ditch the perfume and just in case you need a little help getting the creative juices flowing, I've put together my 5 favourite spots that I think my mum and yours would love in Kingston:

And yes, they all involve foods (sorry, not sorry)

BREAKFAST AT TOAST & JAM


A true favourite the west end of Kingston - the sweet ambiance, the delicious food, and the friendly staff, Toast & Jam's got it all. Even better, pick up a few tasty delights for you and mum from Bread & Butter next door for the car ride. A quick tip is to arrive early before 10am to avoid the brunch crowd.

Where: 1530 Bath Rd, Kingston, ON

MMMM... EAT LOVER DONUTS

A stroll through Memorial Farmers' Market is a treat in itself but satisfy your mum's sweet tooth with donuts from Eat Lover while discovering what Kingston's local food scene has to offer.

Where: 303 York St, Kingston, ON

INDULGE IN MIO GELATO

A cone, a cup, one scoop, two scoops? Why not get a cup with two flavours and share with mum while you explore downtown Kingston. Better yet, have a seat in Confederation park while admiring the beautiful waterfront.

Where: 178 Ontario St, Kingston, ON

GET FANCY WITH AFTERNOON TEA

This experience at Hochelaga Inn courtesy of Top Tier Bakery is for mum's who appreciates life's little indulgences. Sip on French tea while indulging in delights all made from scratch.

Where: 24 Sydenham St, Kingston, ON

For tickets, click here.

AHOY FROM THE ST LAWRENCE RIVER

sightseeing cruise with buffet lunch is for mum's who want it all - good company, live entertainment, and all the nibbles to be had aboard the Island Queen by 1000 Islands Cruises. This 3-hour cruise is the perfect way to explore the stunning scenery that has made the region famous throughout the world.

Where: 248 Ontario St, Kingston, ON

For tickets, click here.


Hope you all have a fabulous weekend celebrating with your mum, grandma, aunt, best friend or go-to gal!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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How to Camp Like a Pro This Summer: The Lumberjack Workshop Weekend

How to Camp Like a Pro This Summer: The Lumberjack Workshop Weekend


Warm fires and bright stars - camping season is right around the corner but do you have the chops to survive in the wilderness? Discover if you have what it takes to do a quintessentially Canadian experience. Escape the amenities of suburbia and become one with nature at the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum in Kingston as they host their annual Lumberjack Workshop Weekend this June.

While the idea of camping in the great outdoors may seem intimidating, trust me it's amazingly fun and therapeutic. 

But hey, if you've never pitched your own tent, made coffee on a Coleman stove or roasted marshmallows over a campfire, get out your flannel and join this sweet outdoor camping experience for adults and hone your skills in the great outdoors!

Lakeside, or in the forest, once you've mastered the fundamental skills, the choice will be yours.


Experts at this weekend workshop will teach you the ins and outs of all things outdoors. From survival skills, fire starting, campfire cooking, to hatchet throwing! Through challenges where you showcase what you've learnt, you'll be an expert by the time you hop back in your car. So hope you like a little friendly competition during this weekend of lumbertivities as you become a pro at surviving amongst the wild things. 

How to Camp Like a Pro This Summer: The Lumberjack Workshop Weekend

THE PERKS OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS 

Have I reeled you in? Maybe, well keep on reading!

Sipping on your morning brew as the sun rises, listening to the crackling sound of a campfire, the chirping of the birds, or the giggles of your friends - camping is a summer ritual in Canadian culture but one that truly allows you to get into a zen zone and uplifts your spirit. It rejuvenates you and some could say it is better than therapy!

Anyone who has sat around a campfire will agree that it is the most relaxing experience one could ever have. So whether you've been camping before but are a little rusty on your skills or a novice, no biggy - the Lumberjack Workshop Weekend is a great excuse to gather your friends and family to get reacquainted with those skills.

WHEN? 

June 2nd, 2018 9:00 am – 3:30 pm

WHERE?

MacLachlan Woodworking Museum
2993 Highway 2, Kingston, ON

BONUS

All meals, camping, and workshop activities included with registration.

WANT TO SIGN UP? YEAH, YOU DO! 

Head on to the event page here.

Thanks to the City of Kingston for sponsoring this post.
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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How I Indulge in a Sunday Self-Care Routine

How I Indulge in a Sunday Self-Care Routine


Happy Self-Care Sunday! 🙏🏽

Spring has finally made an appearance and I couldn't be happier. Plus my skin is loving it. When the weekend rolls around especially Sundays, I jump for joy as that means I get to pamper myself and replenish my soul so I am energized for the next week. This is definitely the most gratifying thing and the best part of the week that I look forward to. Well, I'll admit that the first half of my Sunday is usually spent still in my PJs and being lazy. Everyone loves a lazy Sunday - am I right?!

While it's been a few months now, I've gotten into the habit of practicing self-care Sunday rituals and it has helped my well being immensely. It's pretty much a spa day - I wake up late with bae, make a delicious breakfast, lounge, walk and cuddle our furbabes, meal prep for the week (yes I find this therapeutic), lounge some more, do some blogging, finally shower, exfoliate with a face mask, do a pore strip, moisturize and then snuggle up into bed while diffusing my favourite essential oils!


But the best part recently thanks to Shiva's Delight, has been that my skin has never felt so smooth and glowy. My facial routine hasn't really changed in years until I had the pleasure of using these new products. Partially my fault or perhaps I'm in denial that I'm almost thirty but hey, I have been using an anti-age eye cream since college and no wrinkles in sight (knock on wood)! Pampering myself on Sundays is truly about clearing my mind, getting a good night sleep before the grind of a new work week but most importantly treating my skin to much-needed attention.

How I Indulge in a Sunday Self-Care Routine - Shiva's Delight

ACTIVATED CHARCOAL CLAY MASK

Buh-bye dry, dull winter skin! This has been my new favourite way to prep my skin this spring. This activated charcoal clay mask has been amazing at deep pore cleansing after a long week with makeup on!  I’m no beauty expert or make-up guru but when it comes to my skincare and night routine, I love to get rid of all that build up on my face. After applying this mask thus far, my skin looks and feels so much better.

This mask comes in powder form and a little goes a really long way aka money saver. Take a teaspoon in your hand and mix with water and apply to your face until it dries. Then wash off with lukewarm water. Easy peasy! 

How I Indulge in a Sunday Self-Care Routine - Shivas Delight

AUTUMN ROSE FACIAL SERUM

Let me introduce you to Shiva's Delight's Autumn Rose Facial Serum - it has completely surprised me and has honestly replaced my night time moisturizer which was a drugstore brand. As soon as I applied the serum to my face, it immediately left it feeling instantly soft, moisturized and plumped without any greasy or oily residue. It felt so luxurious and still does after a month of use.

How I Indulge in a Sunday Self-Care Routine - Shivas Delight

Hope you have the chance to relax and de-stress before your work week as well!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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Tips for Finding Your Perfect Home as a First Time Home Buyer

Tips for Finding Your Perfect Home as a First Time Home Buyer


Congrats on your home buying journey! It's such an exciting adventure (and stressful might I add) but with spring on the horizon, I'm here to share some secrets that will help make the process that much easier. My fiancee aka foodie partner-in-crime and I finally bought our dream house six months ago and we couldn't be happier.

Tips for Finding Your Perfect Home as a First Time Home Buyer

While I did a lot of research prior to us house hunting, some couples are so excited at the moment that they lose focus on reality, so today's blog is all about avoiding those hidden costs or unknowing information that could potentially creep up on you. And folks, if you haven't clued in - buying a home isn't easy or cheap. Buyers can be tapped out emotionally and financially before they can even call the home their own.

Best tip I got: Buy with your head, not your heart.

TIP #1: SET A BUDGET

I highly recommend evaluating your financial situation, ensuring you have set a budget to see how much you can afford and staying mindful of your budget. If you're looking for a mortgage and you have been pre-approved for an amount, know that you don't have to go all in. This is your safeguard as it definitely gives you an edge when buying your first home.

The ouch: Aim to save for 20 percent down payment.

TIP #2: THINK ABOUT YOUR LIFESTYLE

This will ultimately make or break if you can actually afford your dream house. Crunch the numbers yourself and see if you are able to make payments for the mortgage, utilities, gas, cable, internet, house tax, child care expenses, retirement savings and the cost of your lifestyle. Do you enjoy dining out? Do you enjoy drinks after work? Or indulge in a daily latte in the morning? So remember that even if the bank approves you for a $400,000 mortgage, that doesn’t mean you can actually afford it. You'll have to make sacrifices along the way. It's better to look at the numbers ahead of time to avoid any unsettling situations in the future.

TIP #3: PICK A GOOD REAL ESTATE AGENT

Find a good real estate agent that you will 'click' with. You are putting your lives so to speak in their hands to help you find your dream home, so make sure they communicate in the way you do, that they know your wants and dislikes, and that they have a good understanding of the market.

Psst.. our realtor was amazing! If you're in the Kingston area, I'd highly recommend Callie Warren! I live and breath social media so seeing a realtor so active and sharing listings through different channels was a big win.

TIP #4: GO BEYOND MLS

I'll admit I'm a millennial - I use Instagram and Facebook on a daily basis so don't limit your house hunt to MLS or real estate agent websites. Use social media to help you find a home and save time.

TIP #5: SPOT THE ISSUES WITH AN INSPECTOR

During your house tour, you may not notice underlying problems but that's where hiring a licensed home inspector will be your saviour and give you peace of mind that you’re avoiding any major issues before buying. But don't forget about checking common items such as opening windows, looking under couches or rugs for scratched floors, switching lights on and running the taps.

The ouch: ~ $450

TIP #6: THERE ARE CLOSING COSTS

Along with saving for your down payment when purchasing your dream home, you'll have to take into consideration the money required to close your mortgage. From home inspection fee, legal fees, property transfer tax, land transfer tax, title insurance and the list goes on! But don't worry as there are some great rebates for first-time homeowners at the time of the purchase and come tax season. So your lawyer and accountant will be a wealth of knowledge.

TIP #7: RESEARCH & PICK A MOVER EARLY

Moving was my least favourite part of buying a home because A) all the stuff you have to pack B) dealing with a pardon my language shitty a moving company. Do your research and request quotes from multiple movers, as the expense of getting your belongings into your new home can be quite costly based on the distance and the number of items you own.

The ouch: Starting at ~$400

TIP #8: SLOW AND STEADY ON THE NEW FURNITURE

Once you’ve saved for your down payment and budgeted for closing costs, don't forget to set aside a buffer to pay for what will go inside the house. If you're a couple, you'll be combining two lives into one space so communication will be your best friend to settle on a style that you both agree on.

Remember this is your fresh start, take your sweet time furnishing your home with quality pieces. Focus on basic items first rather than spending thousands of dollars buying new furniture. Also, why not try finding cute items on Facebook Marketplace or antiquing?

TIP #9: LET'S PROTECT YOUR HOME

 Before you sign on the dotted sign, know that home insurance is a required step before you can even get your keys. It mitigates risk for the property and down the road protects you from potential risks that could happen such as fire or theft.

The ouch: Starting at ~ $500 per year

TIP #10: SAY HELLO TO PROPERTY TAXES

When you become a homeowner, one of the least exciting things you'll have to deal with is property tax. But hey, the upside is that it allows your city to deal with snow removal, garbage pickup and the list goes on.

Thankfully the city I live in has a monthly payment option rather than having homeowners fork out a large sum twice a year.

The ouch: Starting at ~ $1000 per year

I hope this will help you in your journey to finding your dream home!
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Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n543/Rosalyn_Gambhir/Rosalyn_1.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether its exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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