A girl just has to have red nails. 
The color is called An Affair in Red Square by OPI. In my opinion it is the perfect color for Christmas! Did you know that nail polish is the new lipstick? I was never into lipstick but I have really been into nail polish lately. I am not sure where this new side of me came from. I used to be fine with unpolished nails but not lately. I have been loving red, dark purple or light pink. I would love to go buy some new colors but everything I buy I must move 3780km. Moving = deterrent to shop = success for B. For now I will just imaginary shop on Pinterest and check out more colors to potentially buy in the future!


An outdoor vision

With our upcoming move, I have been trying to dream up new decor ideas for our new home. By dream, I do mean get ideas from Pinterest, then try to figure out if they are possible.

Home are some of my faves right now:
I would love to be able to grow herbs and a small lemon tree outside. With a 12 month growing season I have lots to learn... but all year to discover the beauty of the south.
 I love this table made out of pallets. I think it would go perfectly in our new backyard and would be so simple to make! Would landlord appreciate if I planted flowers like this? Probably not but I love how it looks. I like the simplicity of the white flowers on the green grass. I bet B would not appreciate this covering the grass and having to cut around it!

Oh the possibilities!

I have asked for some southern gardening books for Christmas. I have lots to learn but I am excited to have a yard of our own! We even have a small garden that will need some TLC then will be ready to plant veggies. You can check out my Pinterest "For the home" page for more ideas!


Always busy

This weekend was busy but fun filled! We had guests all weekend and we spent lots of time packing up our stuff.

Some interesting notes from this weekend:
Saturday night we went to Tres Carnales. Remember when we went a while back and I forgot to take any photos? Not this time!
I had the fish tacos! They were amazing but I would not expect anything less at this restaurant. I must comment on the customer service as well. We arrived just after 6pm on Saturday night so we expected a line up. There were 2 other large groups in front of us and they said to expect a 45 minutes wait. We were fine with that as we'd just be chatting in line anyways. After waiting patiently in line for about 35 minutes, the manager bought our group of 6 a round of drinks since it was taking longer than expected. We stood in line with our bevies (sangria for me!), ordered our food when our table was ready, and were eating guac and chips within 5 minutes.Our meals arrived 10 minutes after that. Is was very quick! Thanks Tres Carnales for showing us a great time and being so great at what you do! If you live in the Edmonton area, I highly recommend you try this place!

We also did lots of packing. 17 boxes, 1 trunk, 4 duffel bags, and 2 backpacks inventoried and packed! Success! We still have quite a bit to pack but it is nice to have a big chunk of it done. I really should take a picture of the boxes soon. We still need to sell our sofa and bed frame then the rest is going to Goodwill!

Things I should do this week:
1. workout
2. finish my last Christmas gifts
3. deal with bill cancellations and all that other stuff that goes along with moving
4. continue to clean out my pantry and freezer by cooking random items that end up turning out amazing

Time to start my work week! I hope its a productive one.


Weekend motivation

What's keeping your motivated this weekend? Christmas is a month away... that means lots of photos. Lots of Christmas parties to attend? Do you have a winter vacation booked? Starting your new years resolutions early? Wanting to continue with your workouts during a busy time of year? Maybe its time to make a new fitness goal for yourself.

Mine: start this 12 week training program...  always good to change up my workouts... always up for a new challenge



Here is my week in photos:

We sold all of our living room furniture. Oops! It sold much faster than expected... within 24 hours of putting it on kijiji. We now spend our time at home watching TV in bed. I used to think having a TV in the bedroom was not romantic at all. Now I realize that having the only TV of the house in the bedroom is so cozy, especially in the winter.
But did I mention we have guests this weekend? I hope they don't mend the lack of places to sit.

The scones are back. Yes, I ate these in bed... don't judge. I have still been cleaning out my freezer and pantry and realized scones may become a staple these next few weeks. Have I shared my scone recipe yet?

Check out the sunset view from my office yesterday. The weather has been better than expected lately but the sun still sets before I leave the office everyday.

smart water = smart idea

Have you tried the holiday london fog at Second Cup? Yes, I am a trader but there is one right next to my office so it is convenient. This drink is amazing!

B made me healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies this week. I have had quite the stressful week but the cookies made it better. I do not handle stress well... actually I do not handle situations well that are out of my control... especially when they cause me to change my plans on a weekly basis. 
See you next week!


Shopping... again

Remember when I said I had a gift card for Lululemon that I earned by smelling my pits? Gross, yes. Successful, yes. I cannot believe I forgot to post my Lululemon finds:
 manifesto l/s tee (currently not available online)

I have a few other pieces I liked but wanted to go back again to try on. Lulu does not count as winter clothes in my books. This means I am not breaking any rules. Did I mention it was 27C in Baton Rouge this week?



Last night I could not wait to write this post.
I think you should prepare yourself for jealousy... or I am just way too organized. Check this out:

Yes, that is the completed pile of wrapped Christmas gifts. What is the date? Oh right... more than 30 days till Christmas. Are you impressed because I am.  Okay, well I might be exaggerating. We have to order one gift to be shipped, buy two birthday gifts (still not Christmas gifts!) and one last Christmas gift, then we have that task complete. Oh and one other gift that is already picked out! Still very impressive for November 23.

My Christmas gift from B this year was the new iPhone 4S. I love the quality of the photos it takes and all  my aps! That means he is done his shopping too!

For those of you who have been procrastinating.... get moving! The malls are nuts... the parking lots are nuts... and the drivers out there are CRAZY! Enjoy your time shopping while I am at home staying warm.

Nevermind... I am currently inventorying everything I own to move it across the border!



You know what I love about the blogging world? Sharing recipes. Someone posts a recipe, someone finds it and they adapt it, you find it and you adapt it again. Blogs have exponentially increased my recipe repertoire. I like to think my version is healthier but maybe its just based around what I have available.

We had a bunch of potatoes in our pantry that needed to be used and I could not decide what to do with them. What do I do when I do not know what to make? Go to Tastespotting, type in an ingredient, look at pictures, and pick something to make. Last week I found the perfect recipe for my potatoes: Tartiflette.

What is this you ask? Well it is a French dish that originated in my aunt's region of France. Definitely a selling feature of the recipe. Everything she makes is tasty so this must mean its a great recipe. It has cheese in it too?!? SOLD! I found the recipe on ferdakost then made some modifications, of course.

1 white onion, finely chopped
200g black forest ham, cut into matchsticks
3/4c dry white wine
8 waxy potatoes cut into cubes with skin on
1T herbes de Provence
1c skim milk
250g Swiss Raclette cheese cut into large cubes
1t French thyme

Heat oil in deep frying pan. Add onion and ham. Cook over low heat (10 minutes).
Add wine, cook until evaporated (2-3 minutes).
Add potatoes and herbes de Provence, cook until tender (15 minutes).
Add milk, cook for 1 minutes, remove from heat.
Spoon half the potatoes into greased casserole dish then top with half the cheese. Repeat. Top with thyme.
Bake in 350F oven for 40 minutes. Enjoy!

B thought the cheese was really stinky when it was baking but was surprised at the mellow taste. We will make this recipe again when we have leftover potatoes... and cheese. Wait, when do we ever have left over cheese? I will just make a special trip for the perfect cheese.


Weekend recap

What a productive weekend. Here is a summary:

Friday we went on a date to The Marc. I had the seafood stew. It was amazing!

Saturday we ran errands, put a bunch of furniture on Kijiji, and went to an early Thanksgiving dinner with friends. Also delish! After dinner I taught E how to knit!
She is a very fast learner. So far she has learned to cast on, knit stitch, and purl stitch. Next... even tension...then a pattern! In no time she will be knitting like a mad woman.

Sunday I went to my first craft sale of the season! I only bought one Christmas gift so that was productive. We can finally mail away our Christmas gift box. My phone was ringing off the hook all day about Kijiji ads and we sold a ton of furniture. All we have left in our living room is our sofa. We sold the dining room table and chairs, coffee table, knife set, end table, TV stand, and TV all within one hour! We are now living in an empty house for the next month but it is so worth it! Our only TV left is in the bedroom... it is tiny. But it is very cozy to sit in bed and watch TV.

We also did some packing and were collecting old clothes to donate. Do you know what is in this bag:
That's right! B independently decided to donate his grey sweatpants! Success!

In lieu of American Thanksgiving this week, I am thankful for productivity.  The feeling after a productive weekend is the best!


Weekend wise words

You can tell I don't post on the weekends. Its just not how I like to spend my time. I like to pre-post something in case you stop by... just as a quick reminder to take care of yourself.

What do I do instead of blog? I cook, clean, pack, run errands, and workout!
Okay, sometimes I nap too. Don't worry, I also have a life sometimes.

Here's some words of wisdom for your weekend to keep you motivated:

See you Monday.



Here's my week in a nutshell:

 still obsessed with my broccoli & cheese bread... I plan to make more this weekend!

Here's a gross story with a happy ending: We participated in a "sweat study" for 10 weeks. You have to workout in shirts made of an undetermined material (BTW - each shirt is made of two different materials and has a gross seam down the middle... no I  did not take any pictures of my in my shirt). You must smell the armpit every time you put the shirt on  and you throw it in the wash. You keep a log of workout type, duration, and time in the laundry hamper. In payment for participation, you get a gift card at the end. We chose Crate & Barrel and Lululemon! Guess who is going shopping this weekend... compliments to my pits for their hard work.

 Edmonton to Baton Rouge... 3780km. So glad we are not driving.

 You are loved.  What a great reminder at SB.

 The new fall menu is out at Famoso! I tried the pear gorgonzola.

 Oh Canada!

Look up! There is a buffalo above your head. This photo has great perspective. Can you guess where I took it?

40 more shopping days till Christmas! I have been done my shopping for 2 weeks now... but we did most of our shopping in France this summer. Yes, I like to plan ahead. 

I take all my photos with the iPhone 4S and edit them using the Instagram app.


The real reason for this blog

I have a secret to share...
Actually I have some exciting news to share...
There is another reason I started a blog...

Don't worry, I have been giving you hints. Have you caught on?
1. I have been cleaning like a maniac
2. I have been trying not to buy winter clothes
3. I have been using up random ingredients in our pantry and freezer
4. I might need rubber boots in the future

We're moving!

Oh right, the only people who read this are friends and family who already know. But maybe not?!?

I have a feeling the blog is going to change once we move. Life will be different. We will be living in a very different culture and I can garden year round. Life will be good. Did I mentioned it snowed here this week?

My blog is definitely going to help me keep on track with health eating living in a place of creole and large portions. My blog will help friends and family who are far away know what we are up to! My blog will probably have some interesting moments of me learning to live in the south... or garden in a different climate.

But now you may ask... where are we moving?  Well... I posted a ton of random pics last week of grocery stores, food, a tiger mascot, and the lake at said location. Yup, Baton Rouge, LA.

Over the next while we need to sell our condo, sell lots of furniture that we are not taking (anyone want a sofa or a dining room table?), pack and inventory everything we own, and get everything wrapped up here. Yes, we will be busy. I still plan to blog but may need to miss a day or two with everything I have on my plate.

P.S. In other exciting news - Did you notice better picture quality coming from my phone this past week? Got the new iPhone 4S on our house-hunting trip.


Bonus 107

Did you know I got 107 bonus Air Miles this weekend? Yup, I was loving coupons again. I also ended up with 4lbs of carrots. Since I was already baking, I decided to do something with the carrots.
Also, did you know B hates raisins? On the other hand, Regis Philbin thinks everything is better with raisins. I made morning glory bread this past weekend... but lets call it "moning gloy bead". Since there are no raisins I thought I would leave out the Rs in the name.

1/2c EVOO
2 eggs
1c sugar
1 1/2t Mexican cinnamon
1/4t nutmeg
1t Mexican vanilla
1/3c plain yogurt
1 1/4c grated carrots
2/3c peeled and chopped apple
2/3c all-purpose flour
1/2c rye flour
1 1/2t baking powder
1t baking soda
1T brown sugar

Mix oil, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and yogurt.
Stir in carrots and apple.
Combine flours, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir into wet mixture.
Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
Bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Cool in pan then cool on rack.

It turned out soft and flavorful... even without the raisins! By the way, if you are ever in Mexico, you should pick up vanilla and cinnamon. Vanilla is easy to find in many shops. Cinnamon is much harder to find but worth the adventure. I usually find it an small grocery shops or markets. The biggest challenge, is finding someone who can translate for me!

B claims this is the best loaf he has ever had. What a great compliment!


The muffins that made me patient

I was baking up a storm this past weekend. I was also trying to use up things in my pantry and surprisingly had everything I needed! One of the recipes I made was Oat-Bran Applesauce Muffins I adapted from from Power Foods.

2c unsweetened applesauce
1/2c dated, pitted and chopped
1c wheat bran
1/2c skim milk
1 egg
2T honey
3/4t grated fresh ginger
1/2t mexican vanilla
1/2c + 2T flour
2T ground flax
1 1/2t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/4t allspice
1/4 c old fashioned oats
muffin cups

Cook applesauce and dates, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Let cool.
Add bran, milk, egg, honey, ginger,and vanilly or applesauce mixture. Stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Combine flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, allspice, and oats. Stir into applesauce mixture.
Spoon batter into  lined muffin cups. Top with extra oats.
Bake at 375F for 20 to 23 minutes.
Let cool completely on wire rack.


Broccoli & cheese bread

Lately, I have been trying to use items in my freezer. The other day I found a whole grain pizza crust and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. We LOVE Emeril's recipe for Sausage Bread but I wanted something with vegetables, broccoli to be exact. I decided it substitute steamed broccoli for the sausage and use aged cheddar for a less greasy cheese. It turned out perfectly... actually I think I  out-did myself on this one as it disappeared very quickly.
Doesn't the crust look rustic? The broccoli was an amazing healthy substitute.  I served with with  homemade tomato sauce for dipping and steamed green and yellow beans.  Next time, I should make it with a homemade pizza crust!


Long weekend motivation

It's a long weekend. That  means I should do 3 killer workouts.
Let me restate that... I will do 3 killer workouts.  How are you going to spend your weekend?
Friday - leg workout + cardio
Saturday - Force class + cardio
Sunday - hot yoga + TBD



Its InstaFriday again! I am excited for this week's edition. If you read yesterday's post you will know I was in Baton Rouge for a week. Here are some highlights:

 When we're together I know I'll never fall - love the SB Christmas cups!

 milk & cookies in first class on United!

 rosemary outside in November?!? loved Whole Foods and the weather

 TOMS at the grocery store? Whole Foods, you continue to amaze me

 my purchases! it was just a bunch of Think Thin bars to bring back to Canada - by the way, Whole Foods is supposedly expensive but they were cheaper than in IL...  and everything in the store was cheaper than what we can get in Canada

 ice coffee + me = it was meant to be!

Perkins Rowe... on my way to J Crew!

walking around City Park lake, it was a beautiful day

taking photos of myself at BTR - note to self, we only need 30 minutes to get through this airport - hence the self portrait

mid flight photo session on our way home - I was watching PanAm and B was listening to Podcasts

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. Today we remember those who fought for our freedom. Today is also a national holiday... because we are free. Lest we forget.

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