Don’t get me wrong, friends. I like a glass of wine just as much as the next totally independent and productive grown woman. (Side comment: I’m trying not to say “girl” as much these days. I’ve been trying for like a year though, so you can imagine how well it’s going.) I like to learn about wine. I like the ritual of selecting a bottle from my bar. I like having a special drink at the end of the day. But my pocketbook, internal organs and cognitive functions are not always there for a wine. And that is where this post comes in – the best mocktail for this holiday season!

And by “holiday season”, I mean “zooming with friends from our own homes while wearing fancy clothes”. Yet another reason to maybe not always reach for the wine.

Moving on. This is a mocktail that I have been obsessed with for almost three years now. It is super easy to make and ingredients go a long way for very little cost. I am so excited to introduce to you – the humble, delicious Shrub.

The Best Mocktail - Shrub Ingredients

A shrub? Like a small tree?

Clearly, I don’t mean a small tree. I’m talking about a drink, not a plant.

Okay, but I need more details. Because it sounds like a small tree.

Fair enough. If you google “shrub”, you’re going to find out that shrub is a synonym to bush. Touche, google.

If you google “shrub drink“, you will come across lots of versions of the drink with spirits included. You’ll also come across lots of variations that look really complicated.

But truly, all you need are two ingredients:

  • Sparkling water (I make mine with my Sodastream – not sponsored, just great)
  • Fruit flavoured white balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: Ice. Fruit for garnish. Maybe go really fancy and add some fancy flavoured bitters? There are no rules!
  • Double optional: Pretty glassware. Make it fun!

There is no recipe. Fill a glass with sparkling water (plain or a flavour you like) and top it off with a splash of the white balsamic. Add a little to start, give it and stir and a taste, add more if you like. Throw in your favourite cocktail add-ins. Part of what makes this mocktail the best is the fact that it is endless customizable.

The Best Mocktail - The Shrub

I’m in! Where do I find white balsamic?

Great question! I typically pick it up from a specialty oil and vinegar store.

In Calgary: I recommend Soffritto, specifically their location at the Calgary Farmer’s Market. (Mostly because that location is 7 minutes from my house). You can also order online through their website or through the newly launched Best of Calgary Foods.

In the Kootenays: It’s worth it to take a trip to Kimberley to visit OU Tasting House. I need to give them kudos for introducing me to The Shrub!

Otherwise, any upscale grocery store (or non-upscale grocery store) that has an extensive olive oil selection is likely to have a white vinegar appropriate for drinking.

And that is The Shrub, the best mocktail I’ve ever made. Like wine, it is a little bit sweet, a little bit savoury. Unlike wine, it’s hydrating and non-alcoholic! Give it a try and let me know how you like it in the comments!


Collage of Books I Read in October

Hello friends and…enemies? Friends yet to come? Book lovers? People who care about books I read? I don’t know, ya’ll, who comes to blog posts of very small blogs? Maybe weigh in down in the comments so I know how to refer to you all.

Ugh. Another opening paragraph that is going to make my SEO go super crazy because I, just like every recipe blogger out there, take a million years to get to the point.

And what is the point, you may ask?

Books! Ya’ll seem to love it when I talk about books so without further ado, please enjoy this quick overview/review of the books I read this October.

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elevate barre program nutrition guide

Oof. Look at this girl go – restarting a blog and missing a week almost immediately. What can I say? I had a paper due last week. After doing a deep dive into reflexivity and the need for a community developed code of ethics for adult educators, my brain was toast. 3500 words is so many words. But anyway, I digress. I was gone, now I am back, and I want to talk about Elevate, a little program that I’ve been doing at my barre studio for the past month.

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How to Organize Your Notes for Learning

Here are some words I never imagined I would write while in my 30s – you guys, it’s midterm season! (Full disclosure – I don’t know that I actually had any midterms when I was doing either of my undergraduate degrees. And I don’t actually have midterms now in my Masters Degree, but I have a paper due soon and it’s basically the same thing.) This has been a weird semester. I know for myself, I feel like my course has just started and yet here I am. Somehow, despite keeping up, I feel like I’m also totally behind. So this weekend, I took some time to sit down, get myself organized, and reflect on what I have learned throughout my 21 years of being a scholar. Learn from my example – and mistakes – and let me present you with what I have learned about how to organize your notes for learning.

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Stuff About Me

Ugh. Really? That’s the title I’m picking for this post? “I’m Back, BAY-BEE”? I mean, I am back, this is a wildly accurate statement, but yikes on bikes! (Yikes on Bikes is also not a great thing for me to write… this is all starting to make me sound like I’m a mom who is not at all cool but thinks they are cool. Sorry, non-existent children.)

Okay, let’s start again.

I’m Back, Blogging Again!

(Using commas wildly since 1986.)

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Stuff About Me

Erin laying on a bed, engaged in reflection

On this day, this day just following one of the most reflective and challenging Yin yoga classes I’ve ever taken, and the last day of 2018, indulge me in a little bit of reflection. Let’s talk about how this year has gone by so quickly, as years seem to the older I get, but also how this single year feels like it has taken ten years to pass. Last January feels like eons ago.

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In a shocking turn of events, I’m delayed writing up my Week Two Recap and it’s already Wed, Oct 31. Halloween! I’m a deer! (If I get a cute picture and not just a poorly lit picture in my office, I’ll post it on the A Flimsy Plan insta.) With this spoooooky season coming to a close, let’s hit up another recap of my Fit Girls journey! (Syntax? What’s syntax? I’m not fixing that sentence!)

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Fitness, Life

If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I’m an actress. Oh no, wait, that’s not what this post is about… Let’s start over. If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I love challenges. Challenges are essentially the only way I actually achieve anything in life because I truly thrive on external validation. (Hashtag, maybe not the best quality? Hashtag love yourself?) Anyway, today is a not a deep dive into my psyche, today is a recap of the first week of my most recent challenge – Fit Girls Guide‘s 28 Day Jumpstart.

Challenges are the Only Way I Ever Achieve Anything
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(“Two Gentlemen of Verona” Poster Image, as always, lovingly stolen from Theatre Calgary. Their site is always adding more incredible, informative material about their shows, please take the time to explore it.)

First off: I probably should have written about this show a month again. Actually, if I were really good at my job, I would have seen the show early in it’s run and written an actual review to actually encourage my readers to go see it. But long-time readers know that’s not what I’m here for. I’m here for ruminating on things for far too long and then vomiting my thoughts about important theatre onto this blog. And today? The #importanttheatre that I’m talking about is #ShakesBow‘s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

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