About Malika Smith

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So far Malika Smith has created 254 blog entries.

My Home & Style Inspiration Part 1

Happy New Year friends!! Wow, I can’t believe its 2017 already… where does the time go?! Now that my Christmas decor and tree  are put away until next year, I thought it might be a good time to share some home pics with you guys. Everyones home is as much a labour of love as it is a work in progress. My place is far from perfect and I’m always finding things I want to change or swap out but I love it all the same. My style comes from many different places but I am most influenced by reading Style at Home magazines and watching HGTV shows. Being in the industry as a home stager I also get to see so many beautiful homes all with different decor taste and style. My style is always evolving and changing as time goes on.

We live in a 900 square foot rented apartment so there is only so much I can do with my place. I would love to do more permanent things like add more lighting and use wallpaper but I think those ideas are best saved for when we buy our own home. I love to change things up and so I tend to buy new throw pillows (for the living room and bedroom) every 6 months to change the colour pallet. This keeps me from getting bored. Truth be know I’m a bargain hunter at heart and I love to find a good deal. I bought most of my pillows from Chapters or Homesense. Right now I am loving the teal blue and gold I have going on in our living room.

The couch is from Urban Barn outlet and I scored it on sale for half price!! The teal velvet pillows are from HomeSense, the white ribbed pillows are from Superstore and the black and white ones are from Chapters. The mirrored side table and gold lamp are also from HomeSense. The coffee table is from Ikea, the tray and gold ball accent is also from HomeSense and the candle holder is from Bouclair. I really hit the jackpot when I found these curtains on sale at Pier 1 Imports, they really tie the whole room together. 🙂

I used to have very feminine, over the top girly decor, but when my boyfriend moved in with me and I realized I needed to tone it down a few notches. I bought this side (top photo) table with him in mind, I also love this piece. I love the wood with the clear side legs, it just screams cool 😉 . I scored this side table from HomeSense. The gold lamp is also one of my favourite things in the room, another treasure from HomeSense. I love HomeSense because the prices are affordable and you can find really cool one of a kind pieces there. I love the pillows at The Cross but I can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on a pillow that my 7 year old is going to throw on the floor or wipe his sticky hands on. Most of my pillow are under $40 each, winning! The word art behind the couch is also from Urban Barn Outlet, I love this store!

We don’t actually have space for a proper dinging room, so this small table from Ikea is just sort of floating in between the kitchen and living room. I scored this table second hand from Craigslist!! The ghost chairs are my favourite and I ordered them online too long ago to remember where from, but I know I got them for a good price. 😉  The space is quite small so the clear ghost chairs give the area a light and airy feel. My server/storage is an old shabby chic dresser that has been passed down to me through my family.  The teal wood tray on the table is also from Urban Barn Outlet. Anyone else obsessed with pineapple decor?! I got this one from HomeSense.

Just past the dining table is an Island with 3 white leather bar stools that look into our open concept Kitchen. To be honest my kitchen is usually a bit of a mess and so I just chose this one area of counter space to show you today. The Kitchen is one of the smallest areas of the house and I struggle with storage issues and counter space like most apartment dwellers. I do love the white subway tile and the granite counter tops though. This basket from Michaels with all my cookbooks is my favourite thing in my kitchen. I also love this new owl mug from Chapters I got for christmas. 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed the fist part of my home tour…. Every home tells a story about the family that lives in it. Most homes are a collection of things you love and treasures you have picked up over time. A home should feel cozy and practical as well as looking aesthetically pleasing. I just love adding new pieces to make it better every year. Whats your favourite piece in your home??

xx Malika

By | Jan 3rd, 2017|Decor|0 Comments

Countdown to Christmas

Wow, it is less then a week away till Christmas day! It’s funny how the last few weeks before Christmas just fly by and you find yourself doing all those last minute things in a panic. I just had my own holiday party over the weekend and I think this might be the first year I didn’t make any of the food from scratch. I don’t even feel guilty about it, its hard to do it “all” with a job and a child, I know I’m not superwomen! It’s ok to buy store bought cookies and feed your guests lots of bread and cheese! 😉 Our party was a success and we have tons of leftover treats to enjoy over the next week.

We bought most of the food from Trader Joe’s and the rest was from Whole Foods. I do have some favourite holiday recipes if you are interested in checking them out. I will link each one to the recipe. I just love this cranberry apple sangria, it’s always a party hit. Another favourite if you fancy making something sweet is this pumpkin pudding with coconut whip! For christmas morning I love this tomato and basil strata. I don’t usually have to make the big Christmas dinner as I go to my moms and she does it every year. I do however have a few good side dish recipes like warm cranberry, squash and feta salad, cauliflower mash instead of regular potatoes or hasselback sweet potatoes instead of mashed yams?!

Whatever your holiday traditions are remember not to get stressed out, Christmas is about enjoying special time with your family and friends. Besides having family time I just love this season as it is about joy and hope and giving. Watching the magic of Santa as my son opens his stocking on Christmas morning is my favourite. Merry Christmas friends!

xx Malika

By | Dec 19th, 2016|Home Tips|0 Comments

Holiday Traditions & Baking

Christmas for me as a child was a magical experience. As we grow up some of the wonder and magic disappears…. especially after we find out about Santa. 😉 But that doesn’t mean Christmas can’t still be the most wonderful time of the year! Some of my favourite things to do now that I am an adult are go to the German Christmas market here in Vancouver, ride the Christmas train with all the lights in Stanley Park with my son and bake holiday treats.  Christmas movie nights, hot chocolate and egg nog are all on my list as well. What are your favourite traditions or recipes?

Over the years I have gone back and forth between eating gluten and grain free to just eating whatever I want so I have a variety of recipes to suit any diet. From gingerbread men to snowballs, I hope you enjoy making some of these recipes with your family, I know my son really enjoys helping me bake. He even has his own little apron. Happy Baking! 🙂

Coconut Snow Balls 

Gingerbread Bites

Gingerbread Men 

Chocolate Peppermint Macaroons

Pomegranate Bliss Bars

By | Dec 13th, 2016|Home Tips|0 Comments

Welcome to The Tray Chic

This new blog has been a long time coming!  Everything’s Better Sprouted was my first blog and I poured a lot of heart and soul into it… But all good things must come to an end. We are all evolving and growing and that is why I have decided to change my blog. When I started EBS I was enrolled in school to become a health coach. My blog was all about sharing my knowledge for health and wellness and cooking up delicious new recipes. I am still a certified health coach and will always love cooking and learning about health but my career has changed over the last 2 years and I want to blog about what I am most passionate about. I am now a professional home stager, I also offer clients decorating services. Tray Chic will be my outlet to share my love of decorating, my passion for cooking and everything in between.

The timing of my blog couldn’t be more perfect as I am dying to share some of my Christmas decor ideas with you!! Christmas is one of my favourite times of year and it’s probably the one holiday we decorate for the most. I grew up in a family that loved Christmas, which makes me feel very grateful. I have so many fond memories of all the holiday traditions we did every year, most importantly decorating our real Christmas tree. Now that I have my own home and personal taste I love to decorate my home for the holidays and my style is ever evolving. I went from a real tree to an artificial tree to a white flocked tree last year from Rona. I recently changed my living room accent pillows and curtains to a teal blue/green and I had to get a few new ornaments (to match) this year to add to my collection. 😉

I like to add a few Christmas accents in every room without it looking over the top or too cluttered. My style is a mix of modern and tradition. I try to collect a few new pieces every year and get rid of the ones that no longer suit my style any more. We just got a new entry way console so that was one of my favourite things to decorate. In past years I have decorating my tree when my son was not home… mostly due to my OCD. This year I got him to help me and he did a great job! Maybe I should try and let go of some of the control …. 😉 What is your favourite thing about Christmas decorating?

xx Malika

 

By | Dec 11th, 2016|Decor|0 Comments

Smoothies with Vega One Protein Powder

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I know it has been waaaay to long since I did a blog post!! I have been so busy. When I first started this blog I seemed to have a lot more free time and energy to keep up the blogging and the new recipes…. Now I barley have time to eat and sleep! I have been thinking about changing the name and purpose of my blog to more of a lifestyle blog so I can blog more about my new passion and career in Home Staging and Decorating. Anyone have any name suggestions??

The good people over at Vega contacted me and asked if I would like to receive some FREE samples and of course I said YES. I love smoothies and I really like adding extra protein to make them more filling. They really hooked me up and send me this very fancy box filled with goodies, including almond milk and 5 different flavours to try! I really liked the chocolate and the mocha. I like to blend my Vega One powder up with frozen bananas, avocado and almond milk. I think I will go pick up some frozen berries this weekend and make some vanilla shakes ASAP. 😉 What is your favourite flavour or smoothie recipe?

xx Malika

 

vega-loot

vega-smoothie

By | Sep 17th, 2016|Product Review, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Low Carb Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna

Happy Sunday! I saw a friend on Facebook post a similar recipe the other day and it looked so good, I had to try making it. Of course I made my own version of it. 😉 You could also fill there with ricotta or cottage cheese! I have been having such a busy summer I have had no time to cook or blog so I apologize for being mostly MIA.

xx Malika

Cooked zuchini lasagna

Low Carb Gluten Free Zucchini Lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: Lasagna
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce
  • 3 tbs parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbs grated goats milk goad
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. First wash your zucchini and with your peeler, slice the two sides of each zucchini into thin flat strips, peeling until you reach the centre.
  3. Pout half the tomato sauce in to a baking dish.
  4. To assemble the zucchini "lasagna bunches" overlap two strips of squash then overlap two more strips perpendicular on top of the first strips, creating a T shape. Put a tablespoon of mozzarella in the center of the squash then bring the ends of the strips together, overlapping each other. Turn the ravioli over and place in the baking dish to seal the bottom.
  5. Top with the other 2 cheeses and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 30 min in the oven.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

 

zuchini lasaga

By | Aug 8th, 2016|Meals, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Cups

Hey Friends, its been a very busy week for me but I managed to make these amazing treats and had to share the recipe with you. These are low carb, high fat and the perfect snack. I have decided to try my the Keto diet under my boyfriends recommendations. The Keto Diet is is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, is know as a state known as ketosis. This is beneficial for weight loss and burning excess fat and I am heading to Mexico in one month and would like rock my bikini. 😉

xx Malika

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Low Carb Chocolate Coconut Cups
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Paleo
Serves: 9
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup coconut butter
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tbs coconut sugar
  • 1 bar good quality 85% Dark organic chocolate
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups
  2. Place the coconut butter and coconut oil into a saucepan and heat on low.
  3. Stir in the shredded coconut, then add in coconut sugar, turn off heat.
  4. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups (approx. 9).
  5. Place into freezer to set for ½ an hour.
  6. Melt the dark chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. Spoon the chocolate on top of the solid coconut cups. Place back into freezer for 1-2 hours to set, serve and enjoy!

 

By | Jul 16th, 2016|Treats|0 Comments

Perfect for Summer: Watermelon and Feta Salad

July is here and it is getting hot in Vancouver! I love summer food, especially all of the fruit in season. I love watermelon because it’s so hydrating. This combo of sweet and salty are so good. I use goats milk feta so it has even more of a kick! I tried to find fresh mint today but my grocery store was all out so I used dried mint in a pinch. Fresh is so much better. 😉 This salad is the perfect side to any BBQ or summer meal. It takes less then 5 min to make.

xx Malika

watermelon salad

Perfect for Summer: Watermelon and Feta Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ½ watermelon cut up
  • 3 oz fresh feta cheese or goats milk feta
  • 1 tbs fresh or dried mint (torn up)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ lime squeezed
Instructions
  1. In a bowl add all the ingredients and lightly toss.
  2. Serve or refrigerate.
  3. Enjoy!

By | Jul 4th, 2016|Salads|0 Comments

Gluten Free Strawberry and Apple Crisp

I love summer, and it’s almost here. That being said, I am feeling the summer “pressure” to get into bikini body shape. I have also been feeling really bloated lately which makes me look “fat”. Which is also even more motivating for me to improve me diet. I am in a constant struggle with myself. On the one hand I love being able to eat whatever I want, like cheese and bread, but I always pay for it in stomach pain and extra weight. On the other hand, I really do love eating health and feeling my best. So starting now I am going to get back to eating foods that make me feel good without giving me stomach issues. Starting with this healthy gluten free dessert. 😉 I am all about balance! I never want to feel deprived or like Im on a stingy diet.

xx Malika

strawberry crisp

Gluten Free Strawberry and Apple Crisp
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten Free
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 4 large organic apples, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen organic strawberries
  • 1½ cups gluten free old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almonds or candies almonds
  • 3 tbs maple syrup
  • 3 tbs organic butter (extra for pot)
Instructions
  1. In a large pot toss a bit of butter in the bottom and over medium heat, pre-cook the apples and strawberries for 5-10 min.
  2. In a food processor blend the oats and almonds until chunky then move to a bowl and add butter and maple syrup.
  3. Use your hands to make a the crisp crumble.
  4. In a large baking pan, add the fruit then crumble the oat mixture on top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 45 min at 350 degrees.
  6. Serve on its own or with coconut whip!

gluten free crsip

By | Jun 20th, 2016|Desserts, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Quick and Easy Potato & Chickpea Curry

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It’s Sunday Funday today friends! It’s the only day of the week my boyfriend has off work so I get really excited… 🙂 We might do the grouse grind hike today or head to Commercial Drive for the Italian Day Festival?! I posted a photo of this curry I made the other night on Instagram and was asked for the recipe. So I am sharing it with you now. It is one of the easiest things to make, I swear. It is flavourful and healthy, winning!  My two secret ingredients are this curry powder (from Spice Works) mix and micro greens. I have tried to mix curry spices on my own but they just never taste as good so I cheat and use this package, and I don’t feel guilty at all. 😉 I found this spice mix at Hopott Farms but I’m sure they sell it at other retailers. Micro greens are the shoots of salad vegetables such as arugula, Swiss chard, mustard and beetroot. You can buy micro greens at most health food stores. They are picked just after the first leaves have developed and add a healthy kick an flavour to any meal.

I hope you like this curry as much as we do!

xx Malika

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Quick and Easy Potato & Chickpea Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Can organic chickpeas
  • 1 Can full fat coconut milk (read ingredient list make sure it doesn't contain cellulose)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • ½ package of curry spices
  • 5 Small nugget potatoes washed and chopped with the peal on
  • Garnish:
  • Plain organic yogurt
  • pinch of fresh micro greens
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil and add the shallot, cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add in the potatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk and spices and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes more.
  5. Serve over rice and drizzle over yogurt and top with micro greens.
  6. Enjoy!

IMG_0546

By | Jun 12th, 2016|Meals, Uncategorized|0 Comments