Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Spring Wardrobe

Welcome to WISHFUL WEDNESDAY: where we feature cool products, awesome home decor, and fantasy vacation planning. Today, I’m dreaming about updating my wardrobe for spring!

Have you tried out Polyvore yet? I just discovered it this week. You think Pinterest is a waste of time? Polyvore lets you shop online for clothes and create outfit collages just like in the magazines. Holy fantasy-land time suck.

I’m currently obsessed with the idea of a remixable wardrobe, where pieces are extremely versatile in ways you wouldn’t expect.  I also really wish I could start over on my current wardrobe, minus a select few pieces. If I wasn’t so broke, I would seriously consider it.

I decided to try and exercise in remixing using 8 pieces. Items to be remixed include tops, bottoms, jackets, and dresses. Accessories that can be pulled or remixed are shoes, scarfs, belts, bags, and jewelry.  I tried to remix as much as possible without being boring.  It was a really fun exercise, and I think I did pretty well for a first time.

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February 28, 2012

Link Love: February 28, 2012

A quick short update today.  A bigger post tomorrow, I promise.  I’m just feeling kind of uninspired and uncreative today.

We don’t have too much to update on.  I’ve started outlining plans for our move. I’ve got the basic itinerary set, just need to come up with a few good spots for lunch and stretch-break excursions.

I’ve been knitting like crazy.  I’m working on a fuzzy brown mobius-type scarf. I would like to get it done before we move, so that I can wear it in the unpredictable weather.

It’s been really snowy here lately – it’s like winter has arrived late to the party, and is wondering why everyone else is packing up to go. Hopefully things start to turn more to spring in the next few weeks. Although my non-winter shoe collection is pretty much non-existent.

I’m done boring you with small talk. Blogs are not supposed to be for “how’s the weather” and “ah, maybe” non-thoughts! Honestly, I promise something more interesting tomorrow!

-W-

February 27, 2012

Nuit Blanche

MONTREAL MONDAY! Every Monday I detail something new about la belle ville! Updates on things going on in the city, or new neighbourhoods I explore. This week: our evening at Nuit Blanche.

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I’m still a bit in recovery mode from Nuit Blanche on Saturday night. It was a wonderful evening, a great way to experience the city.  We spent the evening with our friends F & M, and ended up wandering through many different areas.

We started the night at Cafe Cleopatra for the Nuit Spasm film screening. They were showing short films from the larger Spasm Festival in the fall. There were some great films, both funny and riveting.  Cafe Cleopatra is typically an adult club, and so between the second and third session of films there was a one-song drag performance!

We then hightailed it out to the Biodome to see the penguins. They were pretty adorable, although it was clearly past their bedtime! Their stillness made for some good photos though! There were originally 8 penguins out, but by the time we got there, there were only 4 – the other 4 had to go inside because it was too cold.  TOO COLD FOR ARCTIC PENGUINS. Sigh.

Strolling the grounds around the Biodome and Stade Olympique there were a group of fire dancers we stopped to watch for awhile.  Then we went to warm up in the Centre-Sportif and ran into the Underwater Art Exhibit. Turns out they meant snorkelling, not scuba diving, but the pool looked so warm and inviting that I was sad I hadn’t brought my bathing suit!

We then headed back downtown to Place des Arts to wander the main grounds a bit.  We ended up heading inside again to see Fantasia, another short films screening.  I really enjoyed the short films, and it made me excite to go see some of the shorts presentations at VIFF this fall.

The screening let out around 3:00 am, and we were starving by this point, so we took the Metro up to the Plateau to grab poutine from Chez Claudette, an old greasy diner-type spot. The restaurant was pretty busy – clearly poutine is the official late night snack of Montreal. By the time we finished, it was close to 5:00 am, so the Hubby and I headed home and crashed!

-W-

February 26, 2012

Un souvenir de ma enfance

Bienvenue a le primere et le deuxieme FOTO FRIDAY: A new photo every week, but with a twist – il va écrit en français!

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Un souvenir de ma enfance:

Quand j’etais jeune, mes parents ont voyagé à Hong Kong pour des vacances. Ma sœur et moi avons passé avec notre grande-tante et grande-oncle. Ils ont habité près de notre école.
Le semaine mes parents ont été dans Hong Kong, il a fait beaucoup de neige! L’école est fermé, et ma sœur et moi avons joué dans la neige tout la semaine. Ma tante à fait les cookies chaque jour. Ce a été une bonne semaine!

-W-

February 23, 2012

Pizza Perfected!

Okay! I know you’re sick of gluten-free pizza by now. This is the last one, I promise. I’ll attempt muffins or cookies or something else delicious next week. This week, I wanted to finally perfect the elusive gluten-free pizza.

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Success feel so good – and makes me feel like singing Iggy Pop when it’s been well earned. What made the difference this time? Several lessons:

1) Oil the pizza stone. Otherwise the dough sticks to it, and it is awful to get off.
2) Build the pizza on the stone. Don’t preheat (we keep ours in the compartment under the oven, so I suppose it gets a little warm).
3) Don’t hold your breath on the dough doubling in size. It will rise, yes, but it won’t fully double. I mark the bowl with a highlighter, and so long as I get a measurable rise, all is well.
4) Push the dough, don’t roll it. And work it out gently and gradually.
5) learn to love thin crust. GF dough doesn’t lend itself to thick crust. It just gets dry.

I am very excited to have figured this out. The dough has a really good flavor too, which I think is because it uses ground flax seeds. Only improvement is I think I’ll brush some oil on the edges to see if I can get them to brown more. Next time we have pizza night, I’m attempting the calorie-laden potato pizza from PieR Squared at UBC. Baked potato chunks, sour cream/Greek yogurt sauce, cheddar cheese, banana peppers, and bacon. Oh my yes!
-W-

February 22, 2012

Cross-Canada v 2.0 part 1: Ontario

Well, here we go. I find myself planning yet another trip across Canada. Having done it once before, and knowing the limits of a UHaul trailer, I have new plans for this trip. We’ll be a little less ambitious with mileage this time. We will also veer off the Trans-Canada when possible. Today I’ll profile some of the places we hope to hit up in the great province of Ontario.

Niagara Falls - one of the first stops on our upcoming trip

As I learned last trip, Ontario is huge, and daunting to get through. Luckily it is beautiful, or at least it was in the fall when the leaves were bright red, orange, and yellow, the skies were blue, and the temperatures were still on the warm side. I’m curious how things will look in the spring!

Here are some things I hope to check out:

  • Niagara Falls: I know people say it’s big and cheesy and surrounded by kitch, but it’s a bucket list thing, and one of the sites I really want to see while here.
  • York County is having a Maple Syrup Festival from March 3rd to April 9th – we’ll be just in time to catch the end! This would make a great lunch stop, as it’s just off the main highway.
  • Algonquin National Park – I would love to see this place, even if it’s just a stop-over for lunch.
  • Highway 11 – I found this great site (bear with the rough editing), with the most info anyone could want for a road trip!

Finding hotel accommodations will be interesting. The first two nights in Niagara and Huntsville is easy. Once we get past North Bay, things get very remote and very slow. Does anyone have any advice on places to stay in Northern Ontario between North Bay and Thunder Bay?

-W-

February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012 – Some Links, More News

I have a few links to get out of the way, and then some big news.

  • Little Green Notebook reminds us of a great way to add subtle colour-punch to white interior doors.
  • The Hubby will definitely get his indoor climbing wall if we can get holds designed like this!
  • The Pasta-Free Runner shows us her home-cooked Valentine’s dinner – I will have to try her salmon rub! Sounds delicious!

Onto the news. Weekend before last, the Hubby and I had a bit of an evaluation of the state of life in Montreal. We had to make a call about how important it is for us to stay here, versus how much it is costing us, emotionally and financially, to stay. The Hubby has much more work in Vancouver than in Montreal, and my lack of French has made finding a job almost impossible. We had to acknowledge that, by staying in Montreal, we would be barely scraping by, not making enough money to actually enjoy the city.

Coming here, we acknowledged, was an experiment. We came, armed with some contract work, and planned to try and make things work. At first it seemed, with lots of work coming in from Vancouver, we would be able to do well here. Had that continued, we would have. But the contract work slowed to a trickle, and we weren’t able to find things here to supplement.

We will thus be heading back across the country to home, and we will be coming soon – April 1st. We are a touch disappointed, mostly that some of our travel plans won’t happen, and that our days in this beautiful bilingual city are numbered. I will miss the French most of all, I think. In the end, though, Vancouver and our friends and family there, are truly home. We always knew we had it great, and now we’ve discovered exactly how special our life there is.

We took our potential last trip to Ottawa this weekend – saw some sites, ate a Beaver Tail (my stomach will be in gluten-recovery for the next few days, but totally worth it), and hung out with Jm and his crew there (such wonderful people!). The weather was too warm to skate the canal, but it was nice for some good walks around the capital city.

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-W-

February 20, 2012

Nuit Blanch Preview

MONTREAL MONDAY! Every Monday I detail something new about la belle ville! Updates on things going on in the city, or new neighbourhoods I explore. This week: a preview of the upcoming Nuit Blanche!

Next Saturday, February 25th, is one of the most well-known festivals in Montreal, Nuit Blanche, an all-night-long outdoor and indoor arts, food, music, and sports extravaganza.  I am so excited, especially because there is so much to do that is free! Montreal is known for bringing the party, so I am really excited to see how this goes.

The official website lists the various activities, but really, the free mobile app is far easier to navigate. There are 3 main districts in which events will be happening: Centre-Ville, Vieux-Montreal, and Plateau/Mile-End.  There is also some stuff going on at Parc Olympique (by the Biodome). Some events start in early evening, and some events end early.  Most activities run until 2 am, with most DJ events running until 4 am.  Some things run all the way until 6 or 7 am!

Other things to see and experience on my agenda for the evening include (in no particular order):

  • Frosted Volleyball: outdoor volleyball games! What!
  • La Maison du Chocolat: artisan chocolate. Perfect after calorie-burning volleyball!
  • Flashlight tours of the Redpath Museum: $4 for admission, but dinosaurs by flashlight!
  • Camellia Masala: photography show of images from their trips to Asia to procure tea. Also free chai tea pick-me-up!
  • Swing Dancing at City Hall: hourly swing dance demonstrations.
  • Skating at Parc La Fontaine: free ice rink – I did just buy some skates!
  • Underwater Art Exhibit: rent snorkel equipment, listen to music, and swim from picture to picture. Okay, I am not sure if I can actually do this, or if I need to have snorkeled before, but I had to include it, since it is the most amazing combination of things I’ve ever heard of!
  • Penguin Red Carpet: the Biodome penguins come outdoors (weather dependent, obviously).

I heard that last year the lines were really long, so I have a whole bunch of other activities bookmarked. We shall see what we will be able to get up to, and next week I will have many pictures I am sure!

-W-

 

February 19, 2012

Foto Friday

Bienvenue a le primere et le deuxieme FOTO FRIDAY: A new photo every week, but with a twist – il va écrit en français!

Parce-que je n’ai pas ecrit le derniere vendredi, j’ai beaucoup des photos pour vous. Il y a photos de Le Pitou. Nous sommes en Ottawa pour le weekend. Jm et Mon Mari aiment jouer du violon et la guitare ensemble.   Il y a photos de Mon Mari et Jm lorsqu’il ont decide jouer dans la salle de bain. Quelle adorable!

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February 16, 2012

Gluten Free Banana Bread

After last week’s frustration with rising bread, I decided to go back to an old staple, the quickbread. I have made many a batch of banana bread in my time. My Hubby and my old roommates can bear witness to the fact that I could have a loaf of banana bread up and cooking in the oven in 20 minutes, PRE-Kitchenaid! Now that I’m eating gluten-free, the old Betty Crocker recipe I grew up with doesn’t stand. So I looked, as usual, to the queen of gluten-free, the Gluten-Free Girl.

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