Sparkling Candy Cane Mimosas
These Sparkling Candy Cane Mimosas are a fun and delicious 3-ingredient cocktail to celebrate the holiday season – just add champagne, seasonal fruit juice and candy canes!
I can't believe how close we are to the end of the year – it seems like 2017 was starting just yesterday. Time flies when you're running a business I guess!
I originally shared the recipe for these Sparkling Candy Cane Mimosas back in December 2015 when I was first starting to go full-time with my blog – it's funny to read back and see how different my life was at the time. I have not worked for anyone but myself in over TWO years now, it's actually kind of insane!
I don't normally overshare about myself here on the blog, and I know there have been so many tweets and so much drama over food bloggers talking about their life history alongside their recipes LOL but I'm about to do that today, because I still vividly remember the day I shot these Sparkling Candy Cane Mimosas and let's just say it was a super tumultuous time, and I'm so grateful I'm in a drastically different place in my life. Two years can do a lot for a person, and I think the end of the year is always a good time to reflect on that.
In case you're unfamiliar with my story, I originally started this blog back in the spring of 2014 as a general lifestyle blog focusing on the coolest places to eat and see in Toronto. The blogging industry was super different back then – in fact, it wasn't really even an industry at all. I saw it as a fun hobby initially with some great perks, and now I'm running this full-time as a business thanks to great relationships with sponsors who share my food philosophy, along with display advertising.
I think I was maybe getting 5000 page views a month at the time, whereas now I've grown it to over 150,000. Pretty cool!
Anyways, when I first started the blog, I was actually on unemployment after working a seasonal job as a construction worker, and I was in an abusive relationship.
It's taken me a long time to really share this publicly, but I had been physically and emotionally abused by someone I'd been with for three years and thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with (naive thoughts from a 22-year-old I know, but bear with me). Around this same time, I had started to neglect many of my friendships because I was so depressed, and the blog was really the only thing that kept me going.
Despite all of the abuse and emotional turmoil, I kept the blog up, and actually ended up being accepted into the Master of Journalism program at Ryerson University – having always loved writing and taking photos it seemed like a natural fit, and would at least provide me with better employment prospects than my general degree from U of T.
All through the remainder of 2014 and into mid-2015, my roommate (my only friend at the time) and I would be invited out to fancy restaurants I couldn't afford for free meals to review on the blog, along with industry events. Having the opportunity to go network with people in the media industry I hoped to be part of someday was the one good thing I had going on with my life and gave me hope for the future.
By mid-2015, I finally got up the courage to leave my abusive relationship, and it was around this same time that my roommate began dating someone I couldn't stand who was constantly in our home. I will spare you the exact details of that except to say that he put himself in the middle of her and I on more than one occasion, and in the end my very last friendship deteriorated around Christmas of 2015. It was so bad that my roommate both agreed to go our separate ways and move out after four years of living together.
I was still completing my Master's program and my thesis, and I had to deal with the breakups of my boyfriend and best friend simultaneously alongside moving back in with my parents who lived two hours away from my school.
I felt like I had no one, and it was a lot to handle all at once.
I remember sitting on the couch of my parents' home that Christmas feeling completely broken, but remembering that I still had a content calendar to fill for my blog. It was around this time I first started landing sponsored posts with big brands and though I could only charge a small fraction of what I needed to live, I had faith in myself and saw the potential by now for this blog to grow. With nothing else to lose, I went out and spent $1000 I did not have on a camera (I had been using my roommate's up until this point), and came home and shot these Candy Cane Mimosas.
Because with everything going on, this girl needed a DRINK.
I felt like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but setting everything up and starting to capture the images, I began to feel a calm come over me.
It was a peaceful December morning just a couple days before Christmas, and snow started to gently fall outside the window where I was shooting my photos; my parents were in the kitchen behind me having their tea and coffee, my brother was in the other room wrapping gifts, and somehow despite all the turmoil and upset of the last week, everything felt peaceful, and I felt immensely loved and grateful to even have the opportunity to come home.
My family and the passion for my blog picked me up off the floor and encouraged me to keep going. And over time as I reconnected with old friends, they helped re-inject that fierce confidence and self-esteem I had lost while entangled in two toxic relationships.
Flash forward two years, and I am the happiest and healthiest (physically and mentally) that I've ever been in my life, and it's completely thanks to my friends and family, who helped fuel my determination to keep going. I'm not going to dive too much into my current financial situation but I think it's worth mentioning that I am no longer on unemployment or surviving off my student loans. In fact, I'm now out of my parents' place living back in downtown Toronto, the student loans I was living on are now somehow PAID OFF, and for the first time ever I can afford to provide myself a comfortable lifestyle on my own dime, and I feel so extremely blessed and grateful to be able to say that. Like how the heck did this happen?!
If you've spent time reading any of this, that also warms my heart and I'm also grateful for YOU, the readers. Anyone who has enjoyed looking at my recipes and supporting me by visiting my blog, whether just once or a hundred times – I hope you have the happiest of holidays and I could not be in such a happy place in my life were it not for you too. So THANK YOU <3
Now let's cheers to the most wonderful time of year with these Candy Cane Mimosas!
Will you be trying these Sparkling Candy Cane Mimosas? What kinds of cocktails will you be serving up this holiday season? If you make this mimosa be sure to tag me on Instagram and Twitter – I'd love to see your spin on it!