Cacao Energy Nut Balls

The perfect pre or post gym snack. Also, the nut balls are a great dessert treat that will hit the spot! This recipe makes approximately 20 Cacao Energy Nut Balls.


  • Approximately 18 dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs coconut oil – melted
  • 2 tbs raw cacao powder
  • chopped pistachios for coating (lightly toasted makes them devine)


  1. Process the nuts (except pistachios) in a food processor until chopped. Next, place them in a big bowl.
  2. Now process the rest of the ingredients, and add them into the bowl with the chopped nuts.
  3. If the mixture is too dry, add some more coconut oil or even a dash of almond milk.
  4. Form mixture into balls and roll them into the chopped pistachios to coat.
  5. Keep in mind – these balls are quite sticky so you will need to place them in the fridge for at least half and hour to firm up. I prefer eating them the following day!

Whistler Wonderland: The Winterscape


February 19th/2015
Squamish – Shannon Falls, British Columbia – Canada

This weekend I truly took the phrase #TouristInMyOwnCity to heart and escaped to the mountains; Whistler, Canada to be exact. A #WinterWonderland where one can breathe in the cool fresh mountain air and enjoy the serenity of nature from lush evergreen trees and deep blue waters to the snow caped mountains. It’s hard to believe this hidden gem and world wonder is less than a two hour drive outside of Vancouver, British Columbia – Canada.

Sea-To-Sky Highway 

My great escape began on a chilly February morning with way too much excitement. The route gave us a quick tour of Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park. Driving the sea-to-sky highway was spectacular to say the least. While we did experience a few droplets along the way, it couldn’t possible dampen the mood. We enjoyed breathtaking views while driving down windy roads. We peaked through luscious vibrant green trees to see sapphire blue running water and snow capped mountains.




Sea-To-Sky Gondola

Driving along, I remembered my dad mentioning Shannon Falls as being the perfect rest stop and worth a visit. Unfortunately, we just missed the exit so we decided to stop at the very next one with the hope of being able to walk on over. We parked at the Sea-To-Sky Gondola and watched as gondola after gondola ascended up into the sky towards mountains covered by airy clouds . From here, we were fortunate enough to find a path that would lead us to Shannon Falls.



Shannon Falls

Lucky for us, it had just drizzled and boy were we in for a treat as sunshine was poking through the sky lighting up the path all around us. It was at this point that nature truly took my breath away. Remarkable how light and nature take on a whole new meaning in the wild. You walk or run when it suits you, sleep when the sun goes down and wake when the light returns.When we finally stopped taking pictures and marvelling at thunderous water pounding down the rocks, we jumped back into the car and continued on our journey. To hungry to wait to eat in Whistler Village, we took a break in Squamish and hit up the local White Spot for some comfort food. You guessed it; burgers and fries!


Make sure your equipped with a warm winter jacket,  a pair of boots and thick socks. I highly recommend clothes you can layer as you never know what weather you make encounter on an adventure.

I was wearing 

TNA Alps Hat

Aldo Brown Ankle Boots

Roots Cozy Fleece Black Leggings

Mini Bega Satchel Bag

Community Aureus Grey Sweater Dress

Under Armour Infrared Avondale Ski Jacket





No more stops were made the rest of the way but the views around each bend were enticing us to take breaks all along the way.  After unpacking, we headed to our first stop of the night, Amsterdam Brewery. Whistler much like Switzerland is known for outdoor food and drinks regardless of the weather. Naturally that meant we found a nice spot on the patio with a heater to enjoy some beers under bright red lights. For dinner we ate at the Mexican Corner and then it was time to head to bed so we could rise for the slopes early the next morning.

February 20th/2015
Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia – Canada

Light streamed across my face and a crisp breeze crept through the crack in the window. Morning had come and I was going to embrace every moment! The day brought about a feeling of uncertainty and excitement.  Once fitted for skis, we glided our way to the ski bench and were lifted high about the trees and snow below.

Mother nature got me like……………………………………………….Woah!


It’s this landscape where the mountains whisper to you. A place where you can hear your own echo. Where one can embrace the stillness and solitude of one’s existence and the serenity of being a tiny speck in this brave new world. The snow flowing freely down the mountains. A trail-less destination.


After a super charged morning we headed to Brewhouse for some beers to unwind and take in the character building landscape of Whistler – Blackcomb.



That evening we discovered a quaint spot called Beacon Pub & Eatery. Dressed to impress in my best pub clothes! We loved the live band and atmosphere with dim lighting and friendly strangers. You literally will run into an aussie accent on every corner. Try not to fall in love! BPE will serve you up a delightful drink and warm you up with some delicious comfort food eats. A favourite location among the locals and centrally located in the main square.



I was wearing. 

Club Monaco Leather Tights

Gray Aritzia Top Similar Here

Michael Kors Leopard Clutch Similar Here



February 21th/2015
Whistler Village, British Columbia – Canada

After a thrilling day skiing the day before, we thought about spending the Saturday at the Spa. It sounds crazy to spend a full day at one but we found out just how easy one can find themselves lost to the day. We headed to Scandinave Spa near Spruce Grove in Whistler and drove through a rocky terrain complete with a one way bridge and free flowing water. It’s true what they say about going to the mountains – you come here to get lost.



Upon arrival, we had to wait 15 minutes for a spot to free-up because the baths are so busy! The Nordic oasis was majestic!  Overlooking incredible mountain vistas and valleys, we were engulfed by dense spruce and cedar trees. It was beyond beautiful sitting in the hot baths looking over Lost Lake. The hot baths invigorated and cleansed our minds and bodies. The waterfalls and clean air gave us time to ponder and appreciate our surroundings.


To enjoy the full health benefits of these baths, we followed the Spa process – warm the body for 10 to 15 minutes, 20 to 30 second cold rinse, followed by 15 minutes relaxation. We of course repeated this process 3 to 4 times! Good to keep in mind that the Spa does not allow you to talk. It was absolutely wonderful!


That evening we walked around Whistler Village and discovered quaint shops and neat statues! The mountains blanketed the skyline whilst walking from gully to gully in the village.



One of my favourites was Purebread. Filled with detectible desserts and snacks served up with steaming hot lattes and coffees.




We even managed to find some rings – Olympic ones at that. Oh, and tried our hand at bob sledding.



Okay I lied – the bobsled is stationery but I did have a flashback to cool runnings!

February 22th/2015
Lions Bay, British Columbia – Canada

Of course after the weekend we had, we did not want to leave. The drive back to Vancouver was as picturesque as the way there. Interestingly enough the drive back offered a different view that we didn’t get to fully enjoy on the drive in.


Running water on one side and giant mountains on another. Simply a marvel – mother nature’s glorious statue.


Which house is mine? Let’s live in the mountains –


No filter required – this is oh natural…


The craftsmanship and detail on this piece needs a close up.


Caught in the moment …


Come here to get lost.



All mine.


Be wild when your young, so you can smile when your old!


A picture doesn’t do this justice.


Everyone needs a travel companion – I found mine 😉


Happy Travels Everyone! Thanks for reading. Until  my next adventure —

Creative Design from Ishtar Esmail!

This website is dedicated to sharing my designs, travels and inspiration. I offer design and consulting services for both digital and print. Get it touch. Big or small, I’ve got a solution when you need it.