COZY CARROT CAKE LATTE - The First Messcarrots - The First Mess
Earlier this week, I printed out an empty calendar template for December. While I was making dinner that night, Mark and I started filling it out, trying to recall all of the things we’ve said yes to so far, along with some of the mandatory family shindigs that we have every year, and some key deadlines. All of those little squares filled up so fast!

I felt that sense of dread and overwhelm start to creep in. I started slamming pots and spatulas around and spacing out. I can be a big time Scrooge this time of year because A) I normally like to work my brains out B) family and friends time can interrupt that “need” to work all the time, and C) I tell myself that every gift, decoration, meal, batch of cookies, the state of my house etc. has to be perfect. I KNOW that there are people out there who can relate. Winter holidays are like a pressure cooker that synthesizes all the other sh*t that we’ve all got going on.

So I’m implementing a few strategies to better equip myself for all of the commitments. One of them is maintaining a very nourishing morning routine. I have a set of five or so things that I do every morning that set the tone for calm and overall mental/emotional preparedness And they’re easy things like: make the bed, brush your teeth immediately, drink a big glass of water, move your body, write in your 5 minute journal, meditate for 20 minutes (or less, whatever!) etc. If you think regular journaling or meditating is overwhelming, just go slow. Writing down one thing you’re grateful for counts as a journal entry. A slightly distracted but dedicated 5 minutes of meditation is better than not taking that time. Build your toolbox whatever way you know how.

A cozy beverage when I finish my work for the day is a BIG part of the self care toolbox. Blog content segue: check! (lol) You should make this cozy carrot cake latte! It’s got spices, citrus, a whole carrot, a caramel-y date and some coconut cream. Delicious, indulgent, but also super healthy. You can load it up with herbs and superfoods if you’re into that (I haven’t been lately). Hope you enjoy along with the links below :)

Watching DOGS on Netflix has brought a deep sense of gratitude to my life lately, and way beyond the love of my little fur children. It’s a very happy tear jerker.

On sober-curiosity and accidentally giving up alcohol for a year. I say this as a person who has never dealt with addiction issues: the pressure to drink in social situations is a bit much at times, but especially so around the holidays. The most disturbing part of this article was the laundry list of excuses the writer had to come up with to shut her friends up when they couldn’t accept that she just didn’t want to drink anymore. “My sobriety made some people uncomfortable.”

Opportunities for expanding and adding to your yoga practice are everywhere, all the time. As someone who has recently gotten back to their practice, but still thinks of it in terms of studio times and proper attire, this piece was so refreshing.

Make your own rose water. Spray it in a beautiful halo formation all around your head. Breathe it in and instantly feel refreshed.

On making your own herbal teas and potions. Love the photographs here so much.

A few people recommended the RISE podcast to me a while ago. I tried it for a few episodes, but overall I found Rachel’s messaging to be quite grating, unrealistic, and frankly loaded with bad advice. It was unsettling for me to think that this was resonating with so many women, but I couldn’t put my finger on a larger why. This article popped up in my Twitter feed a week later (synergy!) that articulated my feelings perfectly: “…essentially a Pinterest-worthy version of the prosperity gospel” that conveniently ignores the reality of queer, poor, non-white women with a dose of body and diet-shaming in the mix. Girl, reconsider your self-help gurus!

Loved this post on Instagram and all of the comments too. Relevant for those of us that may feel insecure about our dietary choices within the realm of family gatherings. Preserving your mental wellbeing by any means necessary = better for you and your family in the long run.

I’ve been flipping through this new cookbook from the Joe Beef crew in the evenings while we’re winding down to sleep or watching a Raptors game or whatever. I am constantly chuckling and cackling reading the recipe headnotes. It’s not exactly vegan-friendly (there IS a tempeh recipe and a chaga mushroom-laced vitality shake), but it’s just so much fun to read and take in.

My dry winter skin obsession these days is pure rose hip seed oil. I feel so glow-y when I pat it into my face. Bonus points for massaging it in with a face roller. Also, sleeping next to a humidifier is super helpful. I have this one.


Print the recipe here!
NOTES: I like a lot of spices and citrus in my carrot cake, so naturally I had to go in the same direction with this drink. Feel free to play with the ratios!
-You definitely need a high speed blender (like a Vitamix) for this one to deal with the chopped raw carrots and hot water.
-I buy cans of straight up coconut cream, which is basically the chilled solids from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk.

1 small carrot, chopped (about ¼ cup chopped carrot)
2 tablespoons coconut cream
1 pitted Medjool date
1 tablespoon orange juice
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for the top
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt
10 oz boiling water

In an upright, high speed blender, combine the carrot, coconut cream, date, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom (is using), vanilla, salt, and boiling water. Slowly bring the speed of the blender up to high. Blend for a full minute or until you have a creamy and totally liquified consistency. Enjoy the carrot cake latte immediately.

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