Happy Mother's Day!

*Whispers like in the movie* MAMA

Happy Mother’s Day, moms everywhere (especially my mom because she’s the best)!

Early in the week, I had a quick visit with awesome new mom, Kari and my new baby best friend, Anna. I’m so proud of Kari and I love seeing her get more comfortable as a mom, and all of a sudden totally knowing what to do all the time (or so it seems to me during my brief visit). When presented with baby Anna, I’m still deer in the headlights terrified of breaking her, so I lean over shoulders, wave from behind door frames and otherwise keep my distance from the fragile missy so as not to accidentally injure her or cause her irreparable emotional trauma somehow. I assume at some point, I will get more comfortable and less afraid but for now, baby steps.

This week, I’ve also been preparing for our hiking trip to Iceland at the end of May for my 30th birthday. I used a Christmas gift card at Atmosphere (Thanks Grandma!) to purchase some very flattering thermal underwear (tops and bottoms…for wearing under the wet suit whilst Arctic Surfing) and then was so excited about them, I decided to take them out for a spin. It looked gloomy outside and the weather’s been fairly chilly so I threw on my hiking boots and sweater over the long johns and set off for a nice walk. It was 10 minutes later that I decided to check the actual temperature and was not surprised to find it was almost 17 degrees out and wearing long johns had been a terrible error in judgement. To make matters worse, my phone died half way through the journey. This was annoying because:

  • Walking is incredibly boring without the aid of aural assistance such as This American Life, Radio Lab or the Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone audiobook.
  • Of course as soon as my phone dies, I decide that everything around me is potential art and that if ONLY my phone were alive, I could be taking the photos that would launch my Instagram stardom.
  • When your phone dies and you’re walking alone along the Don Valley River, only THEN do you realize how creepy all the trees look and how every piece of garbage in the woods is actually probably a sleeping serial killer just waiting for his next victim with no cell reception.
  • It caused me to worry slightly, which turned my walk into more of a jog, and I hate accidentally tricking myself into more exercise than is warranted.

But the best part of today was picking Jamie up from the Airport! He’s been gone for 3 weeks shooting a commercial in Budapest and while my best lady friends have been keeping me company (we watched SO MUCH Charmed on Netflix), I’m very happy he’s home. Even if it is only for a short stint before he’s off again to LA for work.

UGLY: Sweating in a full long john suit, walking next to The Don Valley River during a Thunderstorm. I smelled great, though.

Also the mug I made my mom shattered in the mail….very thankful for backup Starbucks e-gift cards. LOVE YOU MOM!

AWESOME: Getting psyched about Iceland! And I get to make a new mug to replace the shattered one! ART!

 

 

 

 

April Showers Bring Bridal Ones!

More like May showers, considering how drizzly and gross it was out today. But despite the terrible weather, I had a great day!

My amazing, gorgeous friend, Monica is getting married in June and I get to be one of her bridesmaids!  In addition to taking a super fun trip to Vegas for her Bachelorette party in a month, I also got to help throw her Bridal Shower which was today. I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out. We basically stole everything from Pinterest, but that’s ok because it’s so damn pretty!

Considering it was pouring rain outside and traffic was insane because of the Goodlife run,  I think we managed to pull it off and I think everyone had a good time hiding from the weather.

Monica’s sister, Dana made a whole bunch of delicious food, Gillian, Michelle and I pieced together the decor, drinks and treats and our extraordinarily talented friend, Sara made the Drake-themed “Hot Lime Bling” Cupcakes.

All around, it was a fun day to celebrate two people who are pretty awesome.

Ugly: SO MUCH RAIN. Grossy gross weather.

Awesome: SO MANY CUPCAKES. One lady said they were the best cupcakes she’s ever had.

 

 

Let’s try this again.

Hello, how are you?

It’s so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry. I hope that you’re well. Did you ever make it out of that town…Where nothing ever happened?

For new readers, you might be thinking “This blog is weird and makes no sense”. For the old fans, you’re probably thinking a few things:

  1. Hey, you’re back!
  2. Wow that first paragraph was pretty serious and not at all how you normally write.
  3. You sonofabitch, those are Adele lyrics, give me my money back.

And to all these thoughts, I respond “I missed you!” And also you have never paid me, but I will not stop you if you’d like to begin now.

Yes, I’m going to try to write my blog again. I know I do this once every two years, but this time it’s real! This time I’ve given myself the freedom to write whatever I want, whenever I want, without restrictions or rules. Last time I think I got too caught up in thinking I had to get more followers and write what people wanted to hear and put a million pictures up with everything but I don’t have to do any of that because I’m a grown up and I do what I want now. This time, I will write for myself even if that means just copying and pasting Adele lyrics onto the page. I hope you will come with me on this weirdo journey.

Ugly: I have literally not blogged for so long that WordPress Admin looks foreign to me. Must Learn Everything Again…

Awesome: Life is the best. I feel like writing again because I’m bursting with excitement about life. So there.

 

 

 

 

 

ART ATTACK!

HI ALL!

In accordance with official 100th blog post protocol (Section 5, paragraph 2) I took a little break from blogging. In that time, I had a Super Bowl party, attended an Anne of Green Gables marathon, spent Valentine’s Day with my friend, Kari, while our menfolk shot a commercial in Capetown, South Africa, went to the AGO, saw my new favourite band, Cousins, live in concert and on the same day, sprained my ankle giving my pal, Sandy, a hug.

I hope to post a few mini-posts in the next few days with fun pictures from all these random events – mainly because I now have an internal, personal obligation to post all of my memories to the inter webs where they will live forever and ever.

So, I’ll start with my visit to the AGO to see The Great Upheaval Exhibition. I wasn’t allowed to take photos in the exhibit, but I captured some of my other favourite parts of the AGO. I went with my friends, Adam and Leigh which proved to be lucky because Adam is basically a human art encyclopedia and provided a lovely, interactive, British audio guide as we toured the exhibit. Although, I bet the mechanical, plastic audio guide wouldn’t have stared blankly at me when I frequently stated “This one has too many colours”.

UGLY: Getting to the gym every single day with increasing motivation, only to sprain my ankle hugging someone and slipping on the ice. USELESS.

AWESOME: I bought a 1000 piece puzzle of The Lady of Shalott at the AGO and it will take me 7 years to finish.

4 Little Piggies Went to Market

Hi strangers!

It’s been a while since my last post. Earlier in December I got to celebrate Christmas in several amazing and festive ways and then unfortunately, before I was able to blog about any of it, I got sick. First with a brutal cough, then just when I thought I was in the clear, I came down with Labyrinthitis. I won’t go into how crushing and debilitating this insane illness is, only that you literally lay on your side for a week and any time you move, you experience the most severe vertigo, dizziness and nausea. It’s like being very drunk and sick all day long. So looking at the computer for any amount of time was basically out of the question. Which resulted in the blog break! (And even more annoying, an unanticipated work break) But now I’m back! I’ve been moving around for a week and I can finally focus enough to read books, blogs and most importantly, Facebook!

So – lets jump into our one horse open sleigh time machine back to the start of December, when some special ladies and I hit up Toronto’s Christmas Market in Toronto. The market is set up in the Distillery district and is Christmas incarnate. It was so pretty and sparkly and fun, but like seemingly everything these days, it was just so busy and had such long lineups there were some things we just didn’t go for. Like the churros. Everybody said to get the churros. But the lineup would have taken us half an hour to get through! So instead, we drank delicious hot chocolate and had amazing creamy mac and cheese. We sang carols with the Victorian carollers and we danced the Little Women traditional Christmas dance made famous by Winona Ryder (Or more specifically, Kari did this whilst excitedly running into passersby).

We were lucky enough to have Ashley and Brodie staying with us that weekend, so after the girls and I had our fill of Christmas fun, we met up with the boys at C’est What on the Esplanade where we had drinks and dinner and good times. Very lucky to see this crowd as often as I do – especially when the Ottawa folk come to visit!

Ugly – Lineups! I wish I was a billionaire who could rent out markets and fairs for my own personal use like McDreamy did for Reese Witherspoon at Tiffany’s in Sweet Home Alabama…

Awesome – Despite the crowds and lineups, it’s really hard to squash my Christmas Spirit. Any place that’s so full of Christmas decorations, lights, sparkles trees, carollers etc. is OK in my book. Extra bonus for going with awesome ladies.

Extreme Makeover: Shoppers Drug Mart Edition!

A couple years ago, around this time, my friend Celeste and I experienced our first Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Gala and it was super fun. So, a couple of weeks ago, Sara, Celeste and I went to this year’s Gala to get purtied. For $10, you get your makeup done by a professional makeup artist, you get to eat free food (this time it was dumplings and Chinese buns…) and you get a free goodie bag on your way out. And if you purchase anything from the beauty department, it’s 10% off.

My makeup artist was awesome but I can’t remember her name 😦 She asked me if we were planning on going anywhere special after our makeovers and I said “Yes, we’re going next door to Roti Cuisine of India!”. So we went to eat Saag Paneer rotis while showing off our new faces. We rifled through our goodie bag and compared loot and tried to seduce the regulars.

Ugly: All my free perfumes smell TERRIBLE. Whose job is it to say what smells nice? That person has a cold.

Awesome:
Fun night out with my ladies doing lady things!! My makeup artist kept messing up my face because I was making her laugh. Worth it.

When I Compared My Christmas Tree To A Puppy.

It’s that time of year again! The time of year I walk aimlessly around the city looking at all the twinkly lights and anticipating decorating my own little blank canvas of a home. Last year, I purchased a bunch of Holiday decor because it was our first Christmas in this apartment and I wanted to take advantage of the little bit of extra space we have now. This year, I tried to re-use as much as possible and the only new things I bought were the plants for the porch and the new candle holder from Kitchen Stuff Plus (it was on sale…).

Jamie and I followed through with our annual tradition of decorating the tree while watching Sunday Night Football and I tried to make Christmas Sugar Cookies! The cookies were a success in general, but I absolutely failed on the icing front. I accidentally made the icing too thick so it was giving me a super hard time due to my tendency toward culinary ineptitude. I finally got my icing contraption to work and spent 15 minutes icing the trees. By the time that was done, I was losing patience on the snowflakes and by the time we got to the gingerbread men, I could barely motivate myself to make more than a face blob on each one. Regardless of their ugliness, they were still delicious so I count it as a flavour win, presentation fail.

UGLY: The horror-movie gingerbread monsters.

AWESOME: It’s Christmas!!! (obviously). Being in this house with twinkly lights and festive candles makes me excited about walking through my door every day. I’m pretty sure I turn on my tree lights with the same enthusiasm one would exude when meeting their puppy at the door upon returning home.

Tofu roasting on an open fire.

Oh hey. Have you noticed my blog is snowing? Yup. Wicked.

Totally new topic: There’s a guy at work who consistently brings in a tub of delicious home made Chinese food every day and eats the entire thing in one sitting. It’s a lot of food. It could probably feed me for 3 meals. I started sitting next to him at work specifically so I could mooch yummy tofu from his lunch. Eventually, he asked if he could please just teach me how to make it myself so I would stop harassing him. And I accepted!

He invited me to his house to meet his amazing wife, Cherry, and the two of them taught me how to make a tofu dish! (And a yummy egg and tomato dish too, but I was really excited about the tofu). This particular gentleman is scared of the interwebs and the FBI, so he’s asked to remain unidentified, but his wife is a normal person who allowed me to photograph her.

So, here it is: Delicious tofu tutorial in pictures.

UGLY: My complete lack of culinary knowledge. In general.

AWESOME:
Cherry and “Bob” were so welcoming (I got my own pair of slippers)! And the two of them should compete in Olympic Team Cooking (that’s a sport, right?) when one was done with the tofu, the other was there to drain, then one was putting the tomatoes in while the other chopped the coriander. It was like they were reading each other’s minds. Thanks friends, I had an awesome time!

Painting the Town Sparkly

I feel like I have way too many things to share. So many exciting things have happened in the last little while! Or at least it feels that way (I just tried listing all the things and in total, there were 2 items…). I guess it just feels like I’ve been doing lots of exciting things lately even if they are perhaps abstract things that are maybe only in my mind. Sometimes I accidentally count things like “Internally becoming excited for Christmas” as actual events.

Especially SNOW! DID you know it’s snowing in Toronto now? Historically speaking, I’m a little late for my annual “OMG SNOW” post, but it’s because I’m maturing, guys. (Don’t worry – Sparkly Christmas Decor post is coming soon!!!).

But let’s pretend that actual events are defined as real places I go with other people outside my head: A couple such events have occurred recently! My friend, Kari and I went to see Swan Lake at the National Ballet of Canada and it was incredible! It was also the only pre-performance talk I’ve ever attended and I thought it was very insightful and not at all boring (the speaker was a very attractive former male dancer with a faint Swedish accent). I actually really liked hearing the synopsis before the show because I had never really bothered to find out the exact story line of Swan Lake. And if you’ve ever seen a ballet, you know that it’s not always easy to decipher what’s happening in the plot. All in all, a very classy night with a lovely lady in a very classy building (so sparkly).

Then, last weekend I went out with the gang (and wore my sparkly shoes out on the town for the first time) to the Royal Ontario Museum where they hold weekly parties on Friday nights called Friday Night Live. You basically get to check out exhibits, eat yummy food provided by various food truck vendors form across the city and have a couple drinks to wash down all the dancing and culture. I will say this: For the love of all that is warm and fuzzy, by your tickets online beforehand. And you have to do this like a week in advance. If you don’t, you have to buy your ticket at the door, but before you even get to the door, you have to pass the sacred test of worthiness entitled: You VS. The Line: Death Match to Hypothermia. We may have won this time, but it could have gone south very quickly. After the hour of waiting in the line to get in, the line for coat check and the line to buy your ticket (grumble grumble, flu season, etc.) it was a very nice time! I had mushroom and goat cheese buns from HotBunzzTO (Same people from La Carnita I think) and Delicious pierogis from The Saucy Pierogi, I didn’t see too many of the exhibits (they close at 9:30) but I had several white wine spritzers which helped me to put my sparkly shoes to good use on the dance floor.

I definitely felt like a city dweller these past few weeks – seeing a ballet at The National Ballet of Canada and drinking and dancing at the ROM are not things everyone can do on a whim. Feeling very lucky to live here and with such great people so close by 🙂

UGLY: LINE-UPS GOOD LAWD (read: not being able to feel your ankles)

AWESOME:
Finally knowing the plot to Swan Lake (Don’t worry – NO SPOILERS). Also: My shoes being so dang sparkly.

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Delissio!

Since my last post was a literary extended journey through my hopes and dreams, I thought I’d give your eyeballs a break with this post. On the weekend, we celebrated Danica’s birthday as well as Halloween and fast food. (There were a strange number of greasy themed costumes this year).

We had a grand ole time hanging out at Danica and Chris’ place and then ventured to Queen for their friend’s Halloween party. We’ve been to this party before and it is so epic. I’ve proven my lack of photography skills with this post because the pictures below don’t do this place any justice at all, whatsoever. They plaster their walls with Halloween decorations, their bathroom is spattered with fake blood (and a torn up shower curtain complete with victim in the bathtub), and the place is always completely packed with the best costumes you’ll see all year. Unfortunately I captured 4% of this mania with my camera. I guess I was having too much fun Pizza dancing on the dance floor.

I hope that this will motivate me to take a million pictures in Vegas (where I’m going on Thursday!!!). I swear to capture as much generic and non-personally identifiable shenanigans as is allowed by “What Happens in Vegas” law.

UGLY: My photo journalism skills.

AWESOME: I get to wear my Sexy Pizza dress again in Vegas!!!