Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blog Post 100- Grateful and Happy

Happy 100th blog post! Thanks for sticking with me and reading this itty bitty blog that I post semi regularly at.

Just a forewarning, this is a pretty introspective post...

The story behind this introspective post is that tonight I was going to go on Facebook and moan and complain that my cell phone isn't working, and Mike has to reformat it, and it may cost me some money to fix/replace. I could have ranted about Rogers, and how annoying it was that I had to deal with this phone issue.

But then I stopped.

Yes it sucks that my phone doesn't work. Know what would suck more..not having a computer/internet to write the complaining post on facebook. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I think in general people (including me for sure) complain way too much. We complain about traffic, we complain about other people, we complain about technology, we complain about work. The list goes on and on.

What if we all just stopped.

Would we need 500 dollar I-Phones?

Would we be nicer to people?

Would work be more fulfilling?

Would commuting be more pleasant?

Would we be happier?

Or does complaining or venting make us happy...are we hard-wired to complain in some way? Was it some survival instinct left over from cave-man days?

Whatever reason, I personally want to stop, or at least cut back on my complaining. So yes my phone is glitchy, but like I said, worst case scenario is I have to buy a new phone. It isn't the end of the world and I am so lucky and gracious that I would even be able to buy a new phone if the reformatting doesn't work.

I am so gracious that I have a nice apartment with all the amenities. I am happy for a car that works, and doesn't leave me stranded on the side of the road. I am happy for my work and tutoring, as crazy busy as it is, I have a job that I like and that pays the bills. And I am extra happy that I get vacation in a couple weeks.

Above all that I am happy that I have a great relationship with my boyfriend, my parents, my brother, and my boyfriend's family. I am happy that I have a great group of friends near and far and some who even read this blog :)!

And I am happy for the Moseby!

So maybe this is a pre-new years resolution, or maybe it is the Christmas Spirit, but I am going to try to more grateful, not just when my phone breaks! I still may complain about things like Elf on the Shelf or Facebook, but I will try to be more grateful for the positive things in my life!!

What are you happy/grateful for?? 

I am happy for comments and blog love!!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Aint Nobody Got Time for Dat- Christmas Edition

Hi Blog Readers!
Apperently meeting Sherry and John was so overwhelming that I couldn't blog again all month. JK.
I was super busy this month with tutoring and other fun stuff so no time to blog...and the lack of spare time led me to this idear for a post....



(In this hopefully regular feature, I am going to post some of my finds from Pinterest that make me shake my head)...

Christmas Garbage Box:
Christmas gift wrap box
Looks simple enough, but this is a box that you wrap, specifically to throw wrapping paper in so that Christmas morning pictures don't have a garbage bag in them. Who has time for this??? And who cares??? I can't imagine, that as a grown adult, exhausted from Christmas morning with the Chillins, that I will think..."oh darn, wish I had a wrapped box for garbage to be fancy, people are going to judge me for having a garbage bag in my photos." Seriously. If you have time for this in your life, you are way too on the ball. The best part (?) of all this is that is being constantly repinned..so obviously EVERYONE will now need to have a wrapped box to be a good person. Face Palm.

Elf on the Shelf (Super Intense Version):
Another thing that I see all the time is the "Elf on the Shelf". I think in general the elf is a good idea. For those who don't know, it is a toy elf that shows up on a certain day to watch the children and report back to Santa if they are good or bad. Apparently is a great encouragement for good behaviour. The elf also is in a different spot every morning for the kiddies to find. Exciting. Once again, seems simple enough, but then people go on Pinterest with idears of crazy stuff that the elf gets into, like fishing for gold fish, and colouring and being in the "hot tub" with a barbie, stuff like that. Then this happens:
(The elf is in the tree btw. Side note this girly is like a professional Elf on the Shelfer. She is going to be on CNN on Monday to talk about it...crazy)..Anyway it is still ridiculous, first she would have had to have a perfectly clean house, then purposely mess it up, then clean it up again. ANGTFD!! (I am not alone in this thought..this Blog is hilarious!)

I don't know why this bothers me so much...it is probably because one day I won't have time for this kind of stuff, and I will feel like a failure. Frig you pinterest for giving me future guilt.

To make up for this future guilt, try cooking with cheese. This is something I will always have time for :). Mike and I got a groupon for good cheese and have spent the past month using the weekends to make delicious food:
Toasted Pita, Truffle Brie, Black Berries, Thyme

Kale Salad with Mustard Vinagrette, Smashed Potatoes with Thyme, Portabellos with  pesto, prosciutto and goat cheese 
Truffle Brie Mac and Cheese (From here, with Brie instead of Parm, and chilli flakes instead of paprika)
I also forgot to take a picture of Turnip Gratin (source) with a 12 year old chedder. So good!!!

Maybe to you, you are saying "ANGTFD fancy cheese cooking!!" But at least I get to eat my time waster, instead of cleaning up toliet paper. Just sayin. 

Anyone else have any ANGTFD moments?? 

Please share, my comment section is all sad and lonely. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meeting Some Famous Bloggers

Hi Blog friends! I have a super nerdy/awesome blogosphere experience to share! I got to go to the Young House Love book signing.

For those that don't know Young House Love is a DIY/Home Improvement Blog by Sherry and John Petersik. There blog is so popular (like 5.5 Million page views in a month popular) that they both do it full time. This means all of their days are consumed with doing projects, writing, editing, and then posting, and answering comments (check out their day in a life page..certainly not easy work!). 

In addition to all that craziness, they also wrote a book called Young House Love with 243 DIY ideas. They had a photoshoot at their house while doing a kitchen renovation..they are crazy! Now that book has been released, they are in the middle of a book tour, while still maintaining the normal blog schedule and answering questions..wowza. 

When I found out they were coming to Toronto I was super excited!!! And the location was right down the street from me at a local West Elm. Huzzah! So I dragged Mike along and after a long line up process this happened....
Mini Blogger with Real Life Impressive Bloggers
The signing started at 6, so we got there at 4:30 and there was no line, so we went to grab Starbucks, and then went back in and there was a huge line up! We waited patiently and made some friends in line, then around 6 John and Sherry came out to sign. After waiting our turn we got our chance to say hi, and get their awesome book signed. 

Everyone had to make a little note of what we wanted them to say to speed up the process. I made them do a mad lib-esqe note. They laughed and took a photo of it...maybe I will be included in the highlights from Toronto tour!!!!

Hammering the Wall :)

They were super sweet and nice, and the best part was we got to the desk and Sherry says "Hi I'm Sherry" and then kind of caught herself and said "oh but I guess you know that". It was hilarious and just showed how humble they are. They also asked what the deal with Mike and I was because it must of been serious if he waited in line for that long. Mike is a good sport with these kind of things, and is a little bit of a DIY/home improvement nerd too!

The book looks like it is going to be full of awesome ideas and projects, and now I am going to be completely distracted reading through it for the next little while! 

The weird thing is I am not a fangirl by any stretch. I would probably not ask actors or actresses for autographs, and wouldn't go see an author do a book signing, but when you read about these people's lives every day it is different. Another blogger described it as meeting a pen-pal. Of course they have no idea who I am, so that makes it weird, but still it was a neat experience to get to meet them!

If you could meet another blogger who would it be??? Who would you wait in line for 2+ hrs to see??

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Halloween and Fall Things!

Whats new blog friends? Happy Time Change and Belated Halloween!
I love Halloween so much! I love the costumes, the candy, the spookiness. I also love that it has become a month long event.

Starting the first weekend of October with going to Halloween Haunt put me in the Spooky mood early on. Then last weekend I was babysitting my cousins and got to take them to a fall fair with a haunted maze. Awesome.

On actual Halloween day I had a big presentation at work so I couldn’t wear a costume but I did do the whole presentation with Halloween themed earrings in. Mike (because he still goes to school where they do fun things) got to compete in a pumpkin carving contest and made a Portal inspired pumpkin. He got 3rd place and a free sweater!
Good Job Mike!!

Halloween night I took my cousin out trick or treating. Some of the houses we went to were amazingly decorated..with fog machines, and ghosts in trees. Very spooky. It also helped that it was dark and rainy. The funniest thing that happened was that we went to one house and I noticed all the adults were going up to the door too. I was like aww that’s nice they are giving candy to the grown ups. Then when I got up to the door, the lady asked me “Brandy or Scotch.” She was giving out DRINKS!! Hilarious! After a successful round of trick-or-treating, we went back to my Aunt and Uncle’s house, and ate Thai food and Candy...and so much Candy!

Yesterday a group of use went to a Halloween party, and we were dressed as the characters from Mad Men. A quick trip to value village (and copious amounts of hair gel/spray) resulted in this:

Cigarettes are fake..drinks are not :)
Not too shabby!!

My other friends dressed as salt and pepper, they were super cute! It was a good party!!

In other news..I am loving the time change right now. I got all my Sunday night chores done early and the extra hour meant I time to blog. I won't love it when it is dark every day when I come home from work, but for now I will take it!

Since it is well past harvest season for Ontario, our fresh city farm box has turned more "wintery". Lots of beets and kale. Last weekend I used up some of the other veggies and made a delicious Arugula and Grilled Pear salad with goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette..because I was bored (?). 
Ooo Fancy
The balsamic vinaigrette was 5 parts oil, 3 parts vinegar, and it was a great mixture for a lighter dressing. 

Tonight I made a soup (sans recipe) from veggies in the fridge that needed to be used. 
I sauted some onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and diced tomatos. Next I added chicken broth and let it simmer for 20 minutes. After I added some leftover rice, a can of black beans, and a whole bunch of swiss chard. I wanted it to have a more tomato paste taste but didn't have any so I added half of a can of pizza sauce! Did the trick! Now I have a nice warm soup to get me through the week!!

What were you for halloween? What did you do with your extra hour today?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Life in Food Pictures

Hello Blog Readers
My life has become a little crazy whirlwind of work/tutoring/gym/life etc.
And because food is a key aspect of my life I will  summarize it in food pictures!!
Since tutoring has taken over my (and Mike’s) free time, we are trying to do all of our food prep on one day. Two weeks ago that was on Tuesday when I went to Costco/did groceries/ made supper/ and made all of this deliciousness to use up the food from Fresh city farm.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Ground Cherry Chutney

On Thanksgiving weekend I had a nice surprise visit from my friend Lynsey from Halifax. We hit up Canada’s wonderland for Halloween Haunt. I think because it was the first day (long way from Halloween) the line ups were non-existent. It was amazing! We did every single ride we wanted to do, and did all the scary mazes. We also had the obligatory funnel cake..it was amazing!

We also made a baby thanksgiving dinner: Roast chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, cranberry sauce and stove top stuffing. All the veggies in this meal were from fresh city farms (Organic non-processed aspect was ruined by stove top stuffing…but it was delicious!)
Chicken Dinner! 

For dessert Lynsey (who is a baker, unlike me) suggested we make Pumpkin Pie Cheese Cake. Due to the lack of canned pumpkin we made it from scratch! Cooked a pumpkin..mashed it in a food processer, had real whipping cream, and cream cheese and the result was amazing mini pumpkin cheesecakes.
I was thoroughly impressed!

After Lynsey went back to Halifax (sad face) I spend the rest of the weekend getting caught up on tv shows and trying to get prepared for  the week.

I say trying because I have no idea what happened. I felt so behind last week (even though it was short). This weekend Mike and I put a solid effort into having everything ready to go for the week. While Mike did 4 hours of ironing (worlds worst washer/dryer..Gah!), I spent some quality time in the kitchen.

I made chicken stock, cut and washed all the kale (so much kale!!), cooked a whole bunch of squash, and made an amazing pasta and steak dinner (it was too delicious to photograph!)
Then I had to do all the dishes, and make lunches.

But after a solid afternoon/evening of all that work I can happily report that all of our laundry is done, the meals for the week are 85% complete, and the apartment is clean!

Not only that but this weekend I went to see Argo (highly recommend it!), went to a Marlies hockey game, hit up the gym, hung out with friends, and watched some True Blood.

Whew. There needs to be more days on the weekend!!

Anyone else see Argo? Anyone else think it is normal to do four hours of ironing??

PS Follow me on Pinterest for Lots of Food Pictures!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My First Burrito..and a 5 km run

This weekend I ate my first Burrito and ran my first full 5km. They are totally related.

On Saturday it was Nuit Blanche in Toronto and we went out to enjoy the art and culture. It ended with  a ton of drunk teenagers at Young and Dundas Square. Best part of the night though was the food trucks. We hit up Gourmet Gringos, and I was hesitant (but also starving) because I am not a big bean fan, so I never had eaten a burrito. I know, this is crazy crazy fact. But then I ated it. And it was so GOOD! It was also ginormous. Now I want a burrito bad.

Anywoo that is totally not the point of that first line.
On Sunday after eating the aforementioned delicious Burrito, I got up SUPER early, and went to Run for the Cure. As I mentioned in this post, since I didn't run the full 5 km last year, I really really wanted to do the 5 km non-stop.

So I did continue with my walk/run training, but I ran out of time to complete the full thing, so on last Tuesday, I did 20 minutes non stop, and that was all I had time for. So I was pretty scurred I wasn't going to meet my goal.

Sunday was a gorgeous day, not at all like last year. I also had a team with me! Some work EITs joined in, some were intense runners, others were like me, trying a 5 km run for personal firsts. Mike was doing the run too!
Nice Sunny Run for the Cure
We lined up with the 15,000 other people doing the race, and once again started timing only at the start line and where we actually started running. 
So many people!
After we started running I was feeling really good! I was going a bit too slow for Mike so he went on without me, so I did the run with a friend at first, then I went off on my own (with the 100s of people at my pace). As I was passing the km marks I was remembering to last year when I stopped running at 2km, then couldn't run the 3-4 km mark etc. etc. And then I realized I was running past all of the marks. 

I was running a full 5 km. I was meeting a goal that I set almost 1.5 years ago. And that was pretty cool. 

I crossed at just under 33 minutes, so that means I had a pace at around 9.1 km/hr, not too shabby at all. 

And the best part, was I kind of want to do it again!! I will actually stick with running until it gets too cold, and my friend and I have agreed to try a 10 km in the spring. 

I think I had success because of the Burrito :)

Mmm Burrito. 

Anyone else try/do anything new this weekend? Anyone else craving Burritos?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting Organized for the Week

Recently, work and life (aka tutoring) have picked up so I have been busy for the past couple of weeks (a couple of 12 hr days at work followed by tutoring..yay!). 

I wanted to get back into the habit of going to the gym in September, then I hit a wall...literally. I accidentally moved too far over in the parking garage at my apartment to let a car by, and then scraped my car on one of the columns. Parking garage fail. Anyway that meant the car was in the shop for the 1st week, and that added a fun transit ride to my already busy schedule. Good news was I got a good deal on the repairs and got my car back in 4 days. (If anyone in the Toronto area needs car body work done...highly recommend Perfect Parts on Dundas St!!)

The next week I did make it to Body Pump!! It was the first time in sooo long since I went and for all of last week I was still feeling the squat track. Can't wait until I go again. I was planning to hit the gym/jog more but work got crazy busy, and then this weekend I got sick. Blech. I went 18 months without getting sick and so far in September I have had an allergy attack (yay ragweed) and then a minor cold..nothing major, but convientantly (I guess?) on the weekends. 

So today as I gear up for yet another crazy busy week, I wanted to let you in on a "typical" Sunday routine in our itty bitty condo:

1.Finish chores: I dealt with Laundry, Mike cleaned the bathroom (fair trade me thinks!)
2.Planned out our meals for the week, and ran to get a few groceries. We consider when planning meals that most of the time we come home from work/tutoring late, so we live on leftovers! 
3. Did meal prep for all of those meals:
Beets, Zucchini,  Romaine Lettuce, Beet Greens, Kale Salad..etc.
 This meal prep/making lunches the night before is the only way for us to be prepared to eat healthy!

4. I did something extra tonight..I have some big meetings at work this week so I figured it would be good (and fun) to plan my outfits:
Lots of blues and pencil skirts..that is how I roll. (Sorry for the bad phone pic)
I even got to dig through some old stuff to accessorize. I recently started reading a blog Putting Me Together, and the chicky on that blog has really inspired me to, well put myself together. I would like to think that I look professional for work, but my accessorizing was limited...so it is new project time!

Doing all that prep work, and looking over my calender and making a to-do list is one way that I can calm any stress before any extra busy week. A delicious cup of Chamomile tea also helps!
Nom Nom!
Anyone else have any Sunday routines? Anyone else eat as many beets as I do??

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Restaurant Resistance

Happy Sunday night readers!

I am getting geared up to go back to work after another great weekend. The weekend was pretty chill, but did involve a Sunset Canoe adventure to Toronto Island with Mike on Friday (Groupons are awesome)
I love the Islands!
There was also a free Rugby game on Saturday, and my first hot coffee beverage since spring..it was chilly!!

With the "back to school" restart mode the other thing that Mike and I  were talking about recently was money..and saving money!! Mike and I are big on budgeting and don't splurge too much, but I think summer just lends itself to spending more (patios, shopping, fun activities..Canada's Wonderland..etc.)

One thing that I still feel I spend way too much money on is eating out. It is so easy to do in Toronto and as Gail Vaz Oxlade once said, people in general eat out way too much. Back in the day, people would get together and have dinner parties and potlucks, and a restaurant was a big fancy smancy event, but now people (including me) eat out all the time!!

So that all being said, one way to cut back on going out to restaurants is to make restaurant inspired food at home!

Last week I had a bunch of veggies that needed to be used up from my Fresh City Farm box. And I was craving Thai food (I crave Thai food at all time..lets be serious). So a catch-all veggie/tofu curry was born.

At home Thai!
I loosely followed the recipe from this website, but made some few changes. I doubled the recipe to make lots of leftovers. 

First I brought 1 can of coconut milk, and 2 cups of homemade veggie stock to a light boil (while stirring). The funny thing was the veggie stock had some beets involved so at this point it was a nice pink colour. 

Next I added some cauliflower, green pepper a pre-cooked sweet potato. I let that cook for a 5-8 minutes, and then added the spices, ginger, tumeric, curry, garlic, chili etc. Let it cook for 3 more minutes, then I added the drained tofu. I served it over rice.

This dish gave me what I was craving, but was super easy and way cheaper than going out to a restaurant! 

Tonight we were craving restaurant nachos. So Mike took over and made baked nachos with chicken. (Ate it too fast to take a picture..oops!) They tasted just like a restaurant, but was once again cheap and fast, and was most likely healthier. Yay! 

Any other simple restaurant inspired meals? Anyone else want Thai food all the time?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Equals Running

And it is September. Holy Cow the time sure does fly. 
Even though it is September I am not jumping on the "end of summer" train. Yes the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting cooler, and the geese poop is everywhere...BUT I refuse to say "Oh summer is over"...hells no. That all being said, I love September, especially since I am no longer in School. The weather is perfect for outdoor exercise (minus the ragweed allergies kicking up), and most importantly September seems like a fresh start. 

To backtrack, just like June and July, August was full to the brim. I had my trip back to the Maritimes the first week, followed by a family get together for my Grandpa's 80th bday. Next was a big weekend with the friends that involved Canada's Wonderland, and actually going out in Toronto to a real life club. The weekend after that was a trip to Stratford to see 42nd street with my grandparents, and Mud run (more later). 

Since September is my "fresh start" I am trying to get back into exercising. I have a few specific fitness goals, and I feel really good about meeting them. I have also gotten back into running which is the main topic of this post. September to me still reminds me of high school soccer days, and it is my favourite time of year to jog. 

I got a head start by signing up for Mud Run on August 25th with two other girlies from work. Mud Run is a 6km obstacle race involving...mud. Lots of mud. This event was amazing and we finished in 1hr, not to bad! I was personally impressed with how I didn't feel as dead as I expected after the whole thing. 
So much mud, yet so much fun.
Having this run scheduled gave me motivation to get back into running. I pretty much stopped after my 5 km last year. So on the August long weekend I went for my first attempt at an outdoor jog. It was a horrible fail I ran maybe 3 minutes and felt like I couldn't breathe. But then something changed. 

For the longest time I was trying to run by distance "ok I will go to the next lamp post, the next sign" and that just doesn't work for me. So I decided to look up the Couch to 5km work out. I used that is inspiration to make my own one. For some reason I thought the first attempt should be Run 8 min, Walk 5, Run 2, Walk 3, then Run 1 alternate Walk 1 for 16 mins. 

And then I did it. 

For me, having the timer counting down makes it that much more bearable. It also helps me pace which I was really bad at. The next week I did 10 run, walk 5, run 5, walk 3, run 4, walk 2, run 3. So I suddenly went to running 2 minutes maybe to a total run time of 22 minutes!! The next week I went trail running and did run 12, walk 4, run 6, walk 4, run 6 and could have ran for longer!! Then it was the mud run, then I got sick, so running got put on hold. 

This weekend I went out on Sunday and did a 14 min run, and then walked for 20 mins (due to the stuffy nose), but then I went to the gym to do back and arms for the first time in a long time! Monday I went on a 16km roller-blade with my friend Brittany. Then today, in the rain, I did 14 min run, 3 walk, 10 run, 10 walk, with sore roller-bladey legs. 

My goal is to do the same run as last year, run for the cure, and run the whole thing without stopping. I still have a month to train, and I am in a much better running place than last year so I think this is a totally doable goal. And the best part of all this I actually like running now. Being outside, feet and pavement, it is getting as calming as yoga. I am much more red after running than yoga but you get the idea. 

The point in all this is sometimes you just have to figure out what works for you. Distance based goals didn't work for me, but "ok 2 minutes left out of 14, you can do it" works wonders. 

Anyone else have running methods? Anyone else a lobster after a run?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Eating The Vegs From Fresh City Farms

Wow my first food post since April 19th. Way to get off topic! 
A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I ever look into getting a CSA. My response was what the heck is a CSA (even though I had been reading about CSA’s over at Whit’s Amuse Bouch, but I was distracted by all the DELICIOUS BACON). So after a quick round of google I learned about CSAs. CSAs are Community Shared Agriculture, so basically you buy a share of a farm, if the farm does well you get food from the farm, if the farm has a drought you take that risk. Unfortunately most CSAs start in May, and this was mid July. But then we found Fresh City Farms.
We liked them because they were not a big investment (weekly payments not a lump sum in May),  you can start and stop any time, they deliver, and the contents are from a Urban farm within the GTA. So we signed up. 
For the past month (and then some), for 40.99 for a large box of veggies and fruit (just more than enough for two people who eat a lot of Vegs and Fruits for a week), we have been getting a wonderful surprise on Wednesday night. This may seem like a lot for veggies, but we spend at least that much at No Frills and they are not local, organic, or as delicious.

Glorious Veggies
It is like Christmas except with veggies. Even though I had an awesome vacation, and went to Morocco and did 8 million exciting things this summer…getting the veggie box is one of the highlights.
With this program you need to be a bit creative because the contents of the box are dependant of the harvest, and could possibly have veggies you have never heard of (black radish, patty pan squash).But they send out an email the week before with “expected contents” and then have newsletter with the box with the list of veggies and some recipes.
A few weeks ago we got the above mentioned black radish and tried out the black radish, kale, mushroom salad recipe that Fresh City provided. It was delicious. I got leftovers for lunch..om nom nom. 
-1/4 c sunflower seed oil (or olive oil)
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-S and P
-1/4 c fresh Parsley
-Black Radish
Mix together the dressing. Chop mushrooms, grate radish, tear up kale. Massage kale with some olive oil to reduce the bitter flavour. Mix with mushrooms and radishes. Top with dressing

Mmm Kale and Radish

My plan is to share with you some recipes using the ingredients from Fresh city to showcase some of the veggies!
Is anyone else hoping on the CSAish train? Is it weird that I get so excited for a box of veggies?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

June and July Recap

Ugh blogging fail. In the past couple months blogging (and normal life activities) has definitely been on the back burner. And since 1. I am OCD about chronologically posting, and 2. I use this blog to remember what I did here is a quick post of everything I did in June and July...ready...go.

Cute Moseby Photo to Start things off

Work and More Work: Finished up the spring term of tutoring (all the students passed, YAY!) , and continued to work longish hours at my real job.

Rent: The Lower Ossington Theatre (LOT) put on a production of Rent, and my friend Katie and I got tickets on Groupon to go see it. It was such a good production, and it was one of the last days of the run, so the performers were so in to their characters. Made me miss musical theatre a lot. Perhaps I need to find a little community theatre program on my spare time (oh wait I don't have time to blog let alone have a hobby :P).

Russell Peters: Due to performance dates, the same day that I went to see Rent (in the afternoon) I went to go see Russell Peters in the evening with Mike and our friend Kareem. The show was great, and Russell Peters is so funny! He jumps from one topic to another and gets so off track, but that is what makes his show excellent. If the Notorious Tour comes out on DVD/TV totally check it out!

Family time: Mike and I had a laundry machine issue and it was broken/not replaced for about 6 weeks, which meant every Sunday we got to lug our laundry up to my Uncle and Aunt's house (THANK YOU!). Silver lining, getting to spend time with my family, and eating delicious food! (Machine is now fixed..finally!)
New Machine!
Surprise City Chase: Mike and I were planning to do City Chase in August, but due to a time conflict we decided at the last minute to do the June City Chase event. This year we were more prepared, but of course the fun of the event is you never know what to expect. We also some how ended up doing all of the physical challenges...so exhausted. We ended up finishing in exactly the same time, but a little lower in the standings. Oh well! It was an excellent day and as always, so much fun!

City Chase Finish

Birthday! It was Mike's birthday the same weekend as city chase, so after City Chase we changed and went to a nice dinner. The next day Mike, for his birthday present, got to drive a fancy car. He loved it! We had a nice bday "party" for Mike at my Aunt and Uncles and then ended up going to a drive in movie after. Fitting all that in may have been a bit ambitious for one weekend!
Oooo fancy car. 

Long Weekend: The Canada long weekend was a much needed break from all the craziness that June brought. We spent Saturday at Centre Island. I loved the islands so much. It was so nice to take a quick ferry ride for a few dollars and suddenly be out of the city. Much easier than fighting cottage country traffic. Other than that it was pretty much relaxing.

New fav spot in TO

Fire Experiment: One weekend in early July, we got together at my friend's house and tried an experiment. We decided to try to see if a marshmallow on a sparkler would light on fire or cook from the inside (not to eat it though..it would have been full of chemicals). Fun fact: the sparkler burns through the marshmallow. So then we decided to see what else a sparkler would burn through (green pepper works) and that ended with us making a giant tower of marshmallows and sparklers...productive Saturday night!

Morocco: One of the main reasons I didn't blog this past month is I spent a week in Morocco for work! I think this deserves a bigger blog post so I will save all the details for later, but basically it is a amazing country and I am so happy I got to go to see the work there, and visit the region. I had a crazy messed up time getting home, but that is a much longer story.

Vacation: I just got back from a nice vacation home to NS/NB to visit the families, and it was amazing. So nice to have a week (and then some) to not worry about anything. Vacation is awesome! This past weekend my family came to visit me/Toronto for my Grandfather's 80th birthday party, so the past 2-3 weeks have been filled with family and food!

So after a CRAZY two plus months, and not having a normal routine for at least 6 weeks, I am definitely looking forward to getting back on track, and getting back on schedule with many things (blogging, gym, healthy eating etc.)

Hopefully I will be able to blog more regularly, but last time I said that I ended up going half way around the world!

Anyone else having a crazy busy summer? Any one else do sparkler experiments with marshmallows and peppers?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From Paris with Love

Here is the final part of my trip to France this past June.

So after a quick weekend in Paris, four days in the French Riviera, it was time to round out the trip by finishing it off with a few days in La Belle Paris.

From our late night train into the city, we found our hotel, very quickly fell asleep, and got up nice and early to see the sites. Since the free tour was a quick overview of most things, we went and hit some of the highlights. Be warned, this day was jammed packed full, and gave most of us sore feet.  It is possible to do all of these activities in one day, but you may pass out at the end!

First we went to the Arc de Triomph. It is way bigger than I imagined it. (Tip..if you don't bother going to the top, it is free and no line!)

 Next we strolled down the Champs d'Elysees

 Next the Effiel Tower! (I forgot to mention in the first post that we had been in Paris for about 24 hrs before seeing the Eiffel tower.) It is one of my favorite structures so I was pretty pumped to see it!

 Tip: If you walk up to the second level it is cheaper and there is way way way less of a line. We waited maybe 20 minutes to go through security.
Line for the elevator..suckkaas

It was a bit of a hike to the 2nd level but the view was great! We didn't bother going all the way to the top because it would have been a good view, but we had other plans! I also learned that I am slightly afraid of heights. I think the openess of the ironwork scared me. 

Next we stopped by Notre-Dame, but there was a big event going on a huge line up. So we planned to return the next day. We got some nice photos of the outside though. The building is amazing.

So instead of wasting time and money to go to the top of the Effiel tower, we went out to Montparnesse tower...super modern "ugly" tower...

but it has an amazing view.

By this point it was getting late in the day, so we headed back to hotel, barely made it to supper, ate the worlds largest crepe for dessert and came home to bed. We had full intentions of being normal 20some year olds and going out..but I for one just couldn't handle it. Site seeing trumps partying in my book...does that make me old??

The next day was our last day in France!! Noooo! Mike and I let the girls recover for our Amazing Race style of taking trips and ventured out to the Louvre. Now this day was kind of all over the place. We first tried to go the Louvre for a scheduled tour, but the one in the morning was booked. The good thing was we went early so we got our ticket when the line wasn't big. TIP: Go into the Louvre from the Metro, where the line is tiny! So instead of the Lourve in the morning we chose Plan B and went out to Montparnesse to the Catacombs tour..but that had the world's biggest line up. So instead we did Plan C and we went back close to the Eiffel tower and went on a...wait for it...

Yes I am a super nerd, and thanks to Mike being a good sport I got so see some cool sewer stuff.. unfortunately smell some sewer stuff too. 

On our way back to the Louvre we had some delicious crepes!

We made it back to the Louvre, and had a great (quick tour) it was more expensive, but totally worth it, got to see the highlights and get some history..our tour guide was kind of crazy though, and the whole thing felt a little rushed. 

Everyone says the Mona Lisa is disappointing, so I guess I was expecting worse, but it was actually pretty cool. The Louvre itself is an amazing building (like Versailles) so the works of art are surrounded by a beautiful building. 

After the Louvre, we went to the Pont des Arts to do something a little romantic. There are tons of locks on this bridge, and couples lock the lock and then throw the key in the Seyne. 

The older couple who took our picture kind of laughed at us...but still it was a very nice moment!

Right before going to supper we went for another fly by visit of Notre Dame. There was actually a mass going on, so it was really powerful to see the church in action, not just as a tourist attraction.

After a wonderful supper with Brittany and Trish (and Brittany's France roomie, her roomie's brother, and her roomie's brother's friend) we had one last thing to do to call the trip complete....

See the Effiel Tower Sparkle!!!

On Sunday we sadly had to go back home. We came home feeling full, content, exhausted, and happy. I ended up seeing the Eiffel tower and the CN tower in a span of 24 hours, and sorry Toronto, you just can't compete with Paris!

The trip may have been very fast, but it was amazing for every second. I am so happy I got to spend my first trip to Europe with two of my best friends, and my wonderful boyfriend (how is that for sappy). 

Anyone else craving Macaroons?