guest post, lifestyle

Buy that House

Before buying my house earlier this year, I was feeling painfully overwhelmed by the process to a point where I considered renting forever to avoid it. Between the lawyers, the home inspections, offers and contracts, the whole thing seemed to be incredibly scary and figuring out what came next was truly overwhelming. I know I’m not the only one who feels/felt this way and truthfully maybe if we had spent even a day learning about this in High School, instead of a full month on the quadratic equation, then more of us would be inclined to buy homes. I went through two other Realtors (and a brief stint where we tried to DIY real estate) before finding, Realtor extraordinaire, Nathan Chen. Our first Realtor didn’t seem to have our best interest in mind and he even got mad at us for adding the criteria that our new home can’t be beside any former grow-ops (ask me and I’ll tell you the full story). Our second Realtor was nice but didn’t quite understand our stage of life of being in a relationship but not married and not buying a home in the suburbs just to build a family. Nathan was different because he understood right away what […]

Continue Reading

food, lifestyle

Drink Well Downtown

I work for a large company in downtown Calgary with offices in three buildings that are separated by intersections. During my busiest moments at work, my lunch consists of grabbing food from whatever place along my route from one building to the next has something pre-prepared, or grabbing a salad which I would awkwardly eat in a meeting (lots of responding to questions with the one finger “wait until I finish chewing” action). When I walked into Bow Valley Square a few months ago and saw that a Well would be opening up, I was nothing but excited. Finally a place I can stop to get something healthy, quick and not-awkward to consume. You can find Well all over Canada…literally from Moncton, New Brunswick all the way up to Whitehorse, Yukon and in over 200 locations in between. It isn’t uncommon to see Well downtown already, but you don’t typically see more than one or two flavours which isn’t much considering they have 12 different flavours plus bundled cleanse options. Nut milk (mylk) is my favourite thing. Since I can’t drink regular milk, satisfying cravings for creamy beverages is tough to do. Well’s Mylk is smooth, creamy, sweet and without any dairy. Plus […]

Continue Reading

guest post, lifestyle

Guest Post: Making it all work by Sam from XX balm

I often get asked how I balance a full time blog and a full time job. The truth is, I make work my priority and try to fit in blogging, meetings and photos in my off time. Trying to carve out time can be challenging and requires patience and dedication or nothing will ever get posted. But the best part about blogging is that I’m only accountable to myself. If I don’t want to post for a month, or two months, or a whole year (like I did last year…ooops) then I don’t have to. If work gets crazy busy and I’m exhausted after hours, I can lay on my couch and eat brownies out of the pan while watching Big Brother instead of responding to emails.   Who really amazes me are the people who run small businesses and balance full time jobs. It doesn’t matter how tired they are, it doesn’t matter how busy they are, if there’s a market coming up they have to get to work and if there are customer orders or inquiries, they can’t go unhandled. One person I’m particularly amazed by is Sam from XX Balm. This girl hustles all day, then hustles all […]

Continue Reading

lifestyle

sugar and sam

A little over two years ago I started Sugar and Sam as a way to share my love of baking and making recipes with people in my circles. My Instagram was private and personal at the time, but on a whim I changed it from samceratops to sugarandsam.yyc and just sugarandsam came later. Over the months that followed, life got busy, I got a puppy, changed groups at work, bought a house and eventually baking was something I just didn’t have as much time for. I began to share posts on Instagram about other people’s food, lifestyle, my dog, fashion and a million things in between. While my Instagram grew and changed, my blog stayed the same and soon I knew it was time for little upgrade. For my first ‘official’ post after my relaunch, I thought I’d formally introduce myself for the first time. Here’s some more info about the girl behind the sugar (and the sam?): I was born in Calgary but moved just outside of Toronto when I was 5 and lived there for several years. I came back to Calgary as a teenager right in the middle of Jr. High School and have lived here ever […]

Continue Reading

food, lifestyle

A Downton Abbey evening at Azuridge

Since we moved into our new home things have been busy. We’ve spent our days at work, our evenings building furniture and patching walls, and our weekends trying to find a couch within our budget with the right style. While we have been spending time together, there hasn’t really been much ‘us’ time. When we heard about Azuridge’s Downton Abbey event, we jumped at the chance to go. We had never been to Azuridge before but we had heard nothing but amazing reviews and thought it would be the perfect date night. All we really knew going into the event was that it was Downton Abbey themed, that there would be white gloved butlers, and that we would get to indulge in a five course chefs table dinner. So we got all dressed up, and headed out to Priddis for the us time that we were so overdue for. Azuridge is truly a private venue and while this makes the location perfect for a close-but-not-too-close getaway,getting there can be a struggle for those of us who are navigationally challenged. After a few mistaken turns (I would def recommend budgeting a few extra minutes your first time out there) we found the entrance and drove […]

Continue Reading

food

Easy Cinnamon Peach Jam

Making jam can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. This recipe is great for those last minute moments when you want some jam but you don’t want to dedicate a day to it. It will last for about two weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator and tastes great warm too.

Continue Reading

food

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone should have at least one go to recipe when you need something in a pinch. For example, if you tell me you’re coming over for dinner last minute, you’re probably going to end up eating Mac + Cheese, with an appetizer of deviled eggs and a side of cucumber salad (clearly I’m more of a baker than a cook!). But if you tell me you want a fast and easy batch of cookies then I’m going to make you these little (little in this case means fat and chewy) ones. I used to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and my Little and I would make Chocolate Chip Cookies all the time. She was new to baking and the two of us would whip these up then indulge all within an hour. We’d leave minimal mess and have lots of opportunities for chocolate chip snacking while we were (in)patiently waiting for them to bake. The bottom line is, these cookies are simple, fast, mess free and require only basic baking skills to master.    Ingredients 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar […]

Continue Reading

food

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies are the perfect example of simple, chewy and delicious gluten free cookies that compete with their glutinous cookie cousins for top spot. Plus they have peanut butter and chocolate…so what could be more perfect than that?

Continue Reading

food

Gluten Free Sweet Vanilla Donuts 

Soft, flavorful and sweet these donuts are small and mighty. They stand alone as a delicious treat and are enhanced with icing because really, what isn’t? They’re gluten free but I guarantee no one will ever know (or believe you when you tell them you used almond milk!).

Continue Reading

food

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Who says you can’t have chocolate pudding for breakfast? When I first discovered chia seed pudding I was hooked! What do you mean I can eat chocolate and call it healthy? Well except that one time that I went a little crazy and added peanut butter chips to chocolate pudding and topped it with whipped cream… Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding is fool proof, insanely delicious and great for bringing to school or work. Chia seeds are mostly flavourless and act like a sponge to soak up whatever is around them. They puff into jello-like little seeds that combined make a pudding texture. Packed full of nutrients and fairly inexpensive, chia seeds are the solution to any and all breakfast woes. Ps. Even my picky, eggs and bacon loving boyfriend is hooked on this breakfast. Edit Ingredients 2 tbsp chia seeds 1/2 cup milk of your choice 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (or 1 tbsp of you want it really, really chocolatey. Keep in mind cocoa is bitter so increasing the cocoa will force you to increase the sugar) 1/2 tbsp stevia or sugar 1/4 tsp vanilla Optional toppings such as berries or nuts Steps One – Combine all ingredients except optional […]

Continue Reading

food

Easy Cinnamon Buns (without yeast!)

  Have you ever been in a situation like this: You make cinnamon buns one random night two years ago. Several months later you attempt to find the recipe, fail, and end up making a different recipe that doesn’t turn out as good. For the following two years you keep thinking about that original recipe and what exactly you googled to find it. Then one seemingly inconspicuous day, completely by accident you find the recipe and rejoice by immediately blogging it so you never lose it again. That’s the story of this post. Despite cinnamon buns being fairly simple to make, finding a recipe that works in the high elevation I live at (3000 ft above sea level), that doesn’t require hours of rising (because I want to eat them now, not in 3 hours), and allows for lots of room for customization is challenging. These simple cinnamon buns require only ingredients you probably only have at home and bake within 15 minutes. Meaning you can eat your cinnamon buns in less than an hour…bonus! These cinnamon buns are soft, flaky and sweet with room for customization with raisins, nuts or anything else you can think of. Ingredients Buns 3 […]

Continue Reading

food

Simple Marshmallows 

Fluffy and sweet, gooey and flavourful, homemade marshmallows are worth the effort. They will impress at breakfast potlucks, spice (sweeten) up your scores, and make Christmas morning hot chocolates that much more special.

Continue Reading

food

Easy Baked Cinnamon Donuts 

A few years ago when I was just starting to experiment with baking I decided I wanted to make mini donuts. Armed with a recipe from the depths of the Internet and whatever was in my pantry, I carefully shaped the dough and attempted to deep fry each one in a frying pan. What I ended up with was crunchy, not cooked gooey messes soaked in oil and far from delicious (or healthy). I have lots of admiration for people who deep fry their donuts with excellent results, but after that day I gave up on the donut dream until I stumbled upon a donut baking pan at Bed Bath and Beyond. Since then my donut game has been much stronger and I’ve been baking them for breakfast potlucks ever since. I’m so thrilled to share this recipe because these donuts taste just like the mini donuts you get at carnivals and fairs. They’re baked and the prep work is minimal making it completely realistic to make them in the morning before a potluck or after work when you’re craving a sweet snack. Soft and cake like, these donuts will have people asking for the recipe and wondering where you […]

Continue Reading