Bought this yesterday for a study treat. This is the most amazing chocolate bar! My new favourite.
Sunday, 24 November 2013
In so many ways I am glad this week is over. It's been rather stressful here due to my semester coming to an end. After a day spent in the library studying I came home to Huevos Rancheros and A and I went walking in the cold for a hot chocolate. Both were amazing. It's really winter here now. The temperature drop is always hard to get used to but I'm really looking forward to the snow. Apparently Montreal really shines in December before it gets unbearably cold.
Went out for a nice breakfast this morning and found a lovely note from an old, great friend of mine. I love snail mail and I loved hearing her stories and adventures.
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Pretty modest bowling shoes eh? They didn't dare cramp my style.
My dress looked neat in the glow-in-the-dark lights.
Last night A and I went on a date night. Lately we've been doing our own "date night" for one another once a month. One of us plans an evening or afternoon for the other person and all the details are kept a secret! So far we've only had one each but they're really fun. It's a nice experience planning for the other and also great to not know what's going on, especially if you're usually the planner in the relationship. So, for A's date night I made plans for us to grab some Indian food and go bowling! We both love Indian food and this spot we went to was amazing. I had heard that this place was really popular on weekends so we arrived early but there was still a sizeable line outside of the restaurant and almost around the corner! I could talk in length about how disorganized and frustrating this process of waiting in line was (especially since you wait in line next to people's tables while they're eating, completely crowding their space) but I won't because everything else was really great. This restaurant is a BYOW with no corkage fee, one of my favourite things about Montreal and the food was top notch and reasonably priced! We ordered one eggplant dish that blew us away and my usual favourite okra dish was superb. We ate to our hearts content and had an excellent time.
Next we headed to a bowling alley which was once again packed but we were able to snag a lane. It was glow-in-the-dark and super hilarious. Glow-in-the-dark always makes me laugh and I love how elements of people's outfits or face suddenly stand out so much more, its really cool. Alex was a real champ and got so many strikes I lost count. I'm pretty sure the lanes were slanted or something, it was getting a bit ridiculous! Although, I didn't do so well so who knows!
All in all it was a successful date night. It's a really fun way to add some spontaneity to your relationship which isn't always easy to do. I can't wait to see what Alex plans for me in December!
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
This weekend A and I went to Ontario to visit my parents, sister and her beau. It was my mom's birthday and we had a lot of great family time and way too much rich food! We also went for a really nice walk along Lake Ontario where we saw a rainbow over the Toronto skyline in the distance, so lovely. Its a bit warmer in Ontario and a lot of the leaves are still on the trees. I just love fall, I am truly trying to enjoy every last little bit before it's over. As soon as we arrived back in Montreal the temperature began to feel much colder. It hasn't gone above 0 degrees in a few days now, it seems winter might be approaching faster than I'd hoped! Still, with winter comes awesome things: skating (I am so excited to skate on the ponds in Montreal's parks), hot chocolate, Christmas, snow, skiing adventures, warm soups and stews, etc.
My mom was kind enough to give us a few ikea frames she had lying around and we were able to frame some art we bought on our adventure to the Eastern Townships a few weeks ago. They look lovely (and very fall appropriate) in our bedroom.
It was great to be home and spend time with the family. It got me all excited for the Christmas season, one of my favourite times of the year! Still though, it is only November.. I have to pace myself.
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Monday, 4 November 2013
One of my favourite things to cook and eat is Chili. I love that Chili can easily be made vegetarian and it is so delicious and healthy! I made a big batch (another plus is that it freezes really well) last night with delicious cream biscuits (I substitute with ww flour and put cheddar cheese on top). I thought I might share my recipe here. There are definitely a lot of ingredients but generally the meal is quite cheap when you consider how much the recipe makes.
1 Large Red Onion
5 Cloves of Garlic
2 Sweet Potatoes
4 Big Carrots
4-5 Stalks of Celery
3 Peppers (variety is good: one green, one red, one yellow, etc)
1 can of Kidney Beans
1 can Mixed Beans
1 can of Black Beans
1 cup Frozen corn
1 large can of Diced Tomatoes
1 large can of Crushed Tomatoes
* Ives veggie ground
1 cup of Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded.
As far as spices go I use: Cumin, Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder and Chili Flakes. Both the Cumin and Chili Powder are used liberally, probably close to 2 tablespoons each if not more. When you are making a big batch the spices don't go too far and I like my chili with a lot of flavour. Salt & pepper depend on your preference. Remember that the tomatoes tend to be saltier but you also need the salt to help the flavours meld and come out.
*optional: this stuff looks like ground beef and tastes really good, I usually put it in for my non-veggie Partner but the Chili is delicious on its own too.
1. Start by chopping all the vegetables. Onion and garlic are chopped finer but the other ingredients simply need to be chopped uniformly so they cool at a similar rate.
2. Places the onion & garlic in one bowl, the sweet potato, carrot & celery in another and the peppers in their own bowl.
3. Strain and thoroughly wash the beans, these can be put in their own bowl. Also strain the diced tomatoes and set aside.
4. Heat a large deep pot and once warm place around 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pot.
5. Once the oil is hot, put in the bowl of diced onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is more translucent. During this time I also put a tablespoon of Cumin & Chili Powder and coat the onion and garlic with these spices. If you like a spicier chill you can also add the Chili Flakes at this step.
6. Add the bowl of sweet potato, carrot and celery. These need time to cook. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, put the lid on the pot and set the timer for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to stir every once and a while.
7. When these vegetables are cooked but still have a slight crunch add the peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
8. Add the bowl of beans and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring and adding more spices if you desire.
9. Add the crushed and diced tomatoes and the cup of corn. Here you may wish to add even more spices upon tasting the flavour.
10. Let the chili slow cook for about 20-25 minutes more (meanwhile put your biscuits in the oven) and towards the end add the Ives veggie ground. Make sure to stir frequently.
11. Portion out the steaming chili into bowls and serve with shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and a piping hot biscuit, yum!
There you have it. Lots of prep work but a relatively easy meal! Its perfect for cooler fall & winter nights.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
Well things have been slow here as of late. A lot has changed but I'm hoping to get back into the blogging once again, hopefully this time it sticks! This summer was amazing. A and I went backpacking through South America and California for 3.5 months and man was it incredible. Still cannot believe we did all the things we did and it's all over! I'll hopefully post a few pictures from our travels sometime soon.
For now though, we are living in Montreal! I am going to school here so we have moved from Halifax (so hard to leave and I miss that city every day). We really like it here. It is definitely way bigger than any other place we've lived but its pretty fantastic. We love our new apartment, so large and so cheap (thank you rent-control)! Here are some pictures from our travels around the city. In many ways it feels like our summer travelling hasn't ended because we've been able to explore so much since we've moved here. It's pretty awesome getting to know a city.
One of our first stops was Old Montreal, here is the stunning Notre Dame.
So far my favourite park is the small Outremont park which is surrounded by old victorian homes.
Another great park is La Fontaine, theres a huge pond running through it. I can't wait to skate on it in the winter!
Oh geez. I am posting way too much about parks... this is the view from Mont Royal of downtown (one of the biggest parks in the city).
Drinking wine (trying to be stealth) in La Fontaine.
Here is our apartment! This was when we had just moved in but this is a massive double living room, compared to our quaint Halifax abode this is a major upgrade. We are really enjoying the space.
Some new plants!
Well thats it for now. I will post a few more pictures & stories in the days to come.
Thursday, 14 March 2013
If you're in the mood for a good read, read Cheryl Strayed's Wild.
Saturday, 16 February 2013
I've been receiving some pretty awesome flowers lately from A, which has been really nice. The lilies pictured above smelt amazing and made our apartment so fresh! The second picture were my valentines flowers, they are gladiolus flowers and are such a beautiful poppy red. A also made me the sweetest card, a picture of a valentine he made for his mother 17 years ago, so so sweet. On valentines day we went to our favourite greek restaurant and had such a nice meal. The restaurant gave every lady a rose (A was mad that the men didn't get roses too, haha) and the food was, as usual, amazing. For an extra treat we went to a cheesecake restaurant next door for dessert. I got the white chocolate mint cheesecake which was delicious. All in all it was a great day! I even got a valentine from my dad which is a nice tradition, he loves to say that he was my first valentine.
Even though valentines day can be a bit problematic, due to its exclusive nature, it felt nice to celebrate and appreciate the love I have in my life. I hope to have many more like this one.
Saturday, 2 February 2013
Whoa so things have been very slow on here as of late, I apologize but is anyone really reading this anyways?
Since September A and I have moved into our new apartment and we are loving it. It feels like we've been here for years and the space is perfect for two people. Initially I was very worried about the lack of light in our apartment and the possibility of our plants dying, but they have survived and some of them have even thrived in their new spot!
I found two new jobs after deciding to give the social work job hunt a breather. It was causing me a lot of stress and was making me feel very depressed so I figured I would give it a rest. For a few months I was working as a chef in an Italian restaurant which was a huge change to the kind of work I usually do. It was a great learning experience and helped me to learn that the cooking lifestyle maybe isn't for me, I much prefer to be my own head chef and cook from home. Plus the hours were crazy, working mostly evenings does not make for a happy social life or relationship! Since leaving that job I've been working as a nanny with a family near by. This job is definitely not perfect, but it pays the bills and I have always loved working with children. I'm learning a lot about the responsibilities of being a parent and it has made me think a lot about how we will raise our children some day. What a crazy role being a parent is!
In December I applied for my Masters of Social work to three schools on a bit of a whim. A and I both decided that we are ready to leave Halifax and move on to different city and going to school would be an excellent opportunity to do so. I am not too optimistic about my prospects, because of my lack of social work experience but we shall see! If I don't get in to any of the schools we've decided to move to Victoria, BC and explore yet another province of this beautiful country. So really any option will be a nice and exciting change for us.
But perhaps the most exciting news for us are our travel plans. In May we are travelling to South America, Mexico and California for 3.5 months. It is going to be amazing and we are so anxious to explore new places, learn more about these countries and have some amazing adventures. The planning process has been a bit slow going but eventually things will all fall into place, we still have lots of time.
I just wanted to post about a few things I have been intrigued by lately.
First off, Anais Mitchell. Oh my! She is just lovely, I'm a little bummed I only discovered her recently but trust me, I am making up for lost time! Here is her awesome Tiny Desk Concert:
Also, I recently read this article and it blew me away. Some people are just so strong and astonishing. It's worth the read for sure.
Recently the Banff Mountain Film festival came to Halifax and although some of the films were a bit disappointing in comparison to previous years, this film really captured me. These guys are hilarious and so brave (albeit a little naive/crazy). I would recommend seeing this film about their travels within Antartica if you get a chance, its a wild journey and it definitely made me feel guilty about complaining about -16 degree weather.
Also, A and I watched this movie today and all I can say is (excuse the language) MIND FUCK! A must see if you like documentaries with surprise twists!
Lastly, I've been reading Cheryl Strayed's Wild recently (for much too long actually, life just gets in the way sometimes... or excuses do) and it is amazing. It is getting me very excited to travel.
That is all. I hope I can post a bit more in the future, I do miss it!