Leaving on a jet plane

 Today is moving day! I must apologize in advance to my airline for my excessive of luggage. I only have 3 large suitcases, 1 duffel bag, a large box, and my purse. The sad thing is... It is all clothes and shoes.

 Tonight's plan? Pack up all my winter clothes and eat seafood!  Who am I kidding? I will probably be sleeping by 9 after a long day of travels.

See you again soon Canada!

P.S. I am eating Timmy's while I write this. It may be my last for a while.


Faves of MTL: Notre Dame, Fairmount Bagels, & Garde Manger

 From my two trips to Montreal recently I have some faves to share with you. From every trip, I always have a few highlights. Sometimes I forget to share them (sorry about that) but this time I finally remembered to!

The Notre Dame of Montreal. What a beauty. I have been to ND's in Paris and Reims this past summer... so this is #3 in a year. I loved the stained glass, large organ, and the small chapel hidden in the back. I am also fascinated by ceilings in old buildings. There was some scaffolding up as they were doing repairs to prepare for their light and music show but it was still beautiful. On the other hand, have you ever been in a church and had adults talking around you in their outdoor voices? How rude! I think they need to come out with some church etiquette for tourists who do not appear as though they have ever been in a religious place before. Oh well. The sights were still worth the trip!

 Fairmount Bagels! Another one that was 2 metro trains and a 10 minute walk that was definitely worth the trip! Have you ever had Montreal style bagels? Soooooo much better than NY style (sorry American family).  They tend to be more dense and are cooked in a wood burning oven... no boiling required! They had tons of choices, but not much space to stand because there were lots of orders to pick up. I tried whole wheat and brought my parents 6 multigrain bagels. 

 Garde Manger. Wow. Have you ever heard of Chuck Hughes? This is one of his two restaurants in town. He has a show on the Food Network called Chuck's Day Off which I have always been a fan of. He was no where to be seen on a Tuesday night but the food made up for the lack of celebrity sighting. 

Want to know what I had? Of course you do! Let's put it this way, I wanted to marry Chuck after the first bite of my salad. Yes, it was that good. Unfortunately, I did not want to be the creepy girl eating along and using the flash on her camera. The photos did not turn out as well as I hoped but I will still share them!

A glass of cab sauv

Delish bread while I looked at the menu

You can't see it very well. The menu changes daily and it written around the restaurant on chalk boards... in English and French of course. 

 Tomato salad. What a tomato salad! It had arugula, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, dill, and fried cheddar cubes. 

Scallops with carrots, carrot butter and gnocchi. 

A rum cookie with whipped cream, fried bananas, caramel sauce, and crushed walnuts.

 Want to go here next time you are in Montreal? I'll give you a hint. Look for the pink square sign...  because there is no other sign to help you find it. 



Weekend motivation... A few inches taller

  Usually my weekend motivation comes from my fitness board on Pinterest. Well this week it's from my own camera. You may have read I spent some time on the ice this week... first time in over three years! Is there some form of exercise you have given up? Maybe you should give it a try again. Maybe a break was all you needed. Try, just once this week to relive an old passion. Feel young again. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, even if just for a moment. 

Then I realized my skates desperately need sharpening when I tried to stop. Don't worry, falling is not my style. I plan to be back on the ice in a few days!



 It's been a busy week! It's been an exciting week! Want to know why? Well, I'll show you in pictures!

I put my skates on for the first time in over 3 years. Oh how I missed the feeling of the ice under me. Yes, I am rusty but I was pleased that I could still do a right back outside twizzel. Want to know what it is? Google it! I missed the ice and my skates. We may have to have another reunion this next week. 

Ok, I do have other exciting news other than my time on the ice. It's the reason for all the trips to MTL, the reason I am still in Canada, and the reason I have not been allowed to buy any new clothes. I got a special delivery by courier yesterday morning:

Watch out America, I am on my way! I already hear J Crew calling my name. Kidding! I really cannot shop as I will be unemployed for a while, but I will be busy these next weeks unpacking our house, starting my garden, finding us new furniture and a car, and hanging out with B! I am so excited! Actually I am more than excited to move. 

In other and less exciting news:

Don't be fooled by what appears to be organization. I am trying to get all of my clothes, shoes, & toiletries into 3 suitcases, a duffel bag, and a large box. I got rid of a ton of stuff and still have enough clothes to feed a third world country (or however the saying goes)! The space isn't actually the issue, it is the 50lb weight limit per bag. Oh and I am packing my skates (since we have been reunited and there is one skating rink in all of Baton Rouge)... because those aren't heavy at all.

Here are some of my fave photos from MTL.  My chai latte from Antoine et JamesThe Notre Dame light up at night. Up a creek, with a paddle... an HBC paddle. The creepiest window ever. 

 The spicy oil I had on my pizza crust one night, a little drizzle went a long way! My sugar cookie I ate while missing B. My bag of goodies from The Orange Boot. The most beautiful window in MTL, at the Christmas store. I thought of my F-I-L but it was not open so I could not buy him a Santa Clause.

Time for a relaxing weekend... okay not so relaxing, I have lots to get done! See you next week!



Lusting over...

 Contrary to B's belief, I do lust over things other than professional athletes (Taylor Hall & John Morris) and celebrity chefs (Chuck Hughes). When I travel I get to see new fashions, stores, and trends. My travels have given me new inspiration such as pink everything, mint pants and everything HBC. 

Before I moved away from Edmonton, I threw myself a going away party at Lululemon. The theme was pink. The party might have been slightly over the top but was oh so worth it. 

I have also been reading lots about Nars lipstick on various blogs. I thought I should give it a try when I saw a Nars counter at HBC. The cosmetician helped me pick a style and a few colors. I ended up purchasing Mexican Rose in crayon format. It is beautiful, fun, and vibrant. Just what I needed to help me get through winter! 

I have also been loving the idea of these mint colored jeans from Zara. I'm a huge fan. I wonder if I can pull them off. I saw them for $15 on the website but when I went to the store in MTL they were still full price. Bummer. Maybe one day it will be meant to be.

Finally, The Bay in MTL was amazing. All of their HBC Collection items were beautiful and the selection was better than I have ever seen before. I am obsessed and would like one of everything please! I think a blanket would look beautiful in our new house, the scarf around my neck, and a mug in my hand full of tea.

Time to go to the gym so I can hopefully go down a pant size before I buy the Zara mint jeans. I bet I will be wearing pink!


Work it Wednesday: HBC scarf

 I was walking through The Bay in MTL the other day and saw this:

 What a gem! What's not to love? I love everything HBC. I think I have said this a few times before. The colors and patterns are classic and go with anything! Eat your heart out my American friends and family, this one is only available in the great white north!

Now the question is what would I wear it with? I think it would go perfect with a black dress, jeans and a white tee, or a brown sweater with black pants. 

Who am I kidding? For the price of this scarf, I think I would have to wear it with everything and anything. But it is beautiful so I would never get sick of wearing it. Now the question is... will this scarf be added to my collection anytime soon?

I am going to miss Hudson's Bay Company oh so much when I move. I think that might be a good reason to buy it!



Drowning in mushrooms

 I have a secret for you. I love mushrooms. Okay, it's not a secret. Most people know about my obsession and if there is a mushroom dish on a menu, there is a strong chance I will order it. In MTL, there seems to be mushroom options everywhere I go (vegetarian and not). 

 I have had mushrooms sandwiches, mushroom pizza, and a mushroom burger! I love to pair my mushroom dishes with red wine. 

Only one more day left for this trip!



 I love to make things. Crafts are definitely my style. I also use my craftiness to fix things so I don't need to replace something that just needs a little TLC. I find these skills very convenient and cannot wait to use them more at our new home.

I have been busy mending some old clothes:

 Fixing the soles of my boots that got destroyed by the salty sidewalks on my first trip to MTL:

 And knitting, of course! I am obsessed with my gaptastic cowl. I also decided to make a send one that is shorter and thicker in variegated grey. Next up on my fave knitting needles: a cranberry colored cowl for my grandma!


This is the first year I have known months in advance what I want for my birthday! I must have lots of free time on hands right now. I would like a sewing machine and Hunter boots

Seems like a simple request to me.



 It's been a busy week! I have travelled across the country and half way back. During my travels I love to see new things and try yummy food that's recommended either in travel books or online! Rather than showing you everything I ate (yes, I love to take photos of my food), I thought I would show you where I ate!

I went to: 1. Ferreira for carrot fennel soup, salad, and wine. 2. St. Viateur Cafe for a bagel. 3. Il Focoliao for vegetarian pizza. 4. Bagel du Faubourg for a bagel. 5. Reuben's for a vegetable sandwich and poutine. 6. Burritoville for a sweet potato burrito. 

 Here is a summary of my meal at Ferreira. 7. Amazing decor on the walls. 8. Carrot and fennel pureed soup which was amazing. 9. Red wine and water... always have to keep my beverages balanced. 10. Delish bread as a side.

11. This was the view from my hotel room. It was snowing like crazy one day. The hotel was great, the hardwood floored rooms were large, and the concierge was helpful with recommending places to eat. On the other hand, the wifi was very slow and the spa staff liked to use the workout facilities as their break room. Weird. 12. This was my bagel that came straight out of the oven with cream cheese! I love Montreal style bagels. 13. My fave fish at the biodome. It was so ugly but cute. 14. The old streets of Montreal are beautiful in the winter... the view was great... the sidewalks, not so much!

15. I love reading blogs and drinking tea. Have you read Urban Nester? I am a huge fan of this blog. 16. My huge hotel room in Montreal! The bed was sooo comfy. I slept very well compared to most hotel rooms. 17. I did a killer BodyRock workout to make up for the yummy food I have been eating. 18. If you are looking for a hard but short workout, give BodyRock a try. I took a screen shot of part of my workout. It kicked my butt. But it was a well deserved but kicking... I did enjoy a poutine all to myself the day before... not necessary but very delicious!

See you next week with more iPhone photo goodness and other adventures!



A few thoughts from 40,000ft

 I thought I would blog from my flight... because I can. There are a few other "because I cans" but I will get to those a bit later. I am on my way back from Montreal to Regina.  Trip #1 was a success... BP = 127/70 for those who are interested. 

I had a few revelations while in MTL:

1. Pedestrians have no fear. Seriously, let's all cross the street when the other direction has a green light then not even flinch when a car drives right at you honking their horn and does not brake or decelerate. Seriously? They have balls. Sorry, no pics. I was too scared of getting ran over!

2. There is no need to shovel sidewalks. When it is -4 and it snows like crazy, let's just ignore the slushy snow (aka not shovel), then throw salt on it late at night so it turns into a sheet of ice overnight. I think next week I will bring my skates to MTL as it will be the safest mode of transport. Once again, they have balls for going outside and not falling on their face.

3. MTL has some amazing food. In the past 2 days I ate carrot fennel soup, pizza (broccoli, asparagus, tomato, mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic), bagels, poutine, and a vegetarian burrito with sweet potato filling. Okay, I ate some other healthy food too, but I did get my fair share of vegetables. I love all the vegetarian cuisine available. Is poutine a vegetable?

4. Is anyone else excited that Pan Am is back? Somedays I feel like I am the only person who watched this show. In other tv news, did you hear Emily is going to be the next Bachelorette? I have a strong desire to nominate my brother for the show... mostly because I have a huge girl crush and think she would be a fun sis-in-law. I am glad my brother does not read my blog, he would kill me if he read this.

5. I am watching The Talk on my flight. I have never watched it before but I love it! Now that I am living the unemployed life I think I may be watching it more often.

6. "Here on WestJet we now offer complimentary beer and wine on flights between Montreal and Toronto". Seriously. I had to ask if they were joking. Yup, as I write this post, I am drinking red wine. Only because I can. Western Canada, you are missing out! 


Work it Wednesday: practical boots

 Let's get practical for a moment. I am in Montreal right now and noticed a trend on everyone's feet: duck boots. First I thought it was weird as they are not the most stylish boot, but as the day went on I saw how practical they are. The weather warmed up throughout the day, slush was everywhere, and the locals all had dry feet. 

 To be honest, I have no clue how I would style these boots. After seeing them worn in multiple different ways, I decided they must be worn with skinny pants, leggings, or tights. It's a necessity to even out the chunkiness of the boot.

Olivia - brown boots - black boots

 I'll just be hanging out in my hotel room (watching Glee & Pan Am) while my boots dry for tomorrow. Maybe the practical boots are a good idea. Then again, hopefully I won't need practical winter boots soon... only some cute Hunter boots!


Eco 4

 I made it to Montreal safely and have been doing what I do best, being a tourist! I am saving most of my food pics for another time, but here is how I spent my morning today (hence the late post).

 I went to the Biodome at Olympic Park! I got to go through 4 ecosystems in about an hour, see animals, vegetation, and learned a bit too!

 My fave was the tropical forest as it was hot and humid, and I saw monkeys!

Okay, one food pic. I took the train to Plateau Mont-Royal to visit St Viateur Bagels for lunch. It's definitely worth the trip!

Yes, my bagel sandwich is as delicious as it looks. See you tomorrow for more French Canadian adventures! 


> obsessed

I must admit, I have not always been obsessed with Apple products. Actually it would be a total coincidence that I appear to be obsessed. In October 2011, I received an email to my hotmail account where my first ever iPod nano was registered to. I have not used it in a long time as the battery would not hold a charge. Luckily, I still use my old email address for groupons, coupons, etc. The email I received stated: 

Of course, being my thrifty self, I called my mom who found the old nano in her desk drawer, and I filled out the paperwork online. Right before Christmas, my mom received the box to return the old nano, we packed it up, and dropped it off at the local UPS as the return postage was already paid. I was able to track the process of my return online, eventually saw my request was completed and they were sending me a new nano. Now of course, they did not tell me what generation of nano I would be receiving (I currently use a 4th generation) but I thought I would take my chances. Last Thursday a delivery arrived right after work, my new nano:

Heck yes! They send me the latest version of the nano with a touch screen! Thanks Apple!

 So really, I m not obsessed with Apple products, I just happen to have an iPad, an iPhone, and 3 iPods. Okay, I must confess, the iPad belongs to both B and I and he left me his iPod touch for my 8 hour roads trips as it has the best selection of music for the car. I may look obsessed, or maybe I am starting to be, but I just really like good quality products.

If you have Apple stocks (like B), your very welcome. I am glad to support your portfolio!

P.S. If you still have a first generation iPod nano, go check out if it qualifies for the replacement program. you may get a nice little surprise in the mail in a few months. Now to go fill it with music!




Today's InstaFriday is going to be a bit different. I have been living out of a suitcase (okay maybe two) at a friend's house. I have been trying to keep myself busy with working out, knitting, and healthy eating. I think I have been quite successful.

1. I have been brainstorming lots about what I can eat that is quick, healthy and does not take lots of ingredients. I had shrimp stirfry with 3 meals of leftovers. 2. Tim Hortons chili (with mushrooms, of course). 3. Lara bars. These are my savior. They were a quick and healthy snack whenever needed. 4. A salmon salad sandwich from Upper Crust.

5. A panini from Sobeys. 6. Protein shakes with almond milk. 7. Dinner with friends at Famoso (with leftovers of course). 8. Made dinner for friends at their house (shrimp, pasta, broccoli, and salad). Healthy eating mission accomplished.

9-11. I have spent my weekend knitting, watch The Bachelor on my iPad, and dining out with friends. 12. Check out our receipt from Famoso! -$25 for redeeming wine club points, -$10 for a coupon, -$28.83 for a staff discount. Since when do we work at Famoso? I guess when you go there enough you confuse them into thinking you work there.

I am also obsessed with variegated yarn right now for some reason. Aren't these beautiful? I want to get something like this for the new house to make dishcloths. Yes, I might look like a crazy lady taking photos of yarn at Michaels but I really liked these colors and needed a visual. 

My new two weeks will be full of travels and hopefully lots of amazing photos.

P.S. I use the Instagram app on the iPhone to take all my photos, and edit using Google Picasa (if I have access to a desktop) or the Photogene app then post using the Blogsy app for the iPad... incase you are interested.
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