decorating: what’s your style?

Let’s get this out there: I’m a picky person. The husband can attest to this.

So naturally, when we started talking about how to decorate, I tried to take hold of the reins (it’s ‘reins’ right?) – did I also mention I’m a word junkie, linguistic nut and like things said pretty literal? We’ll get to that another time.

So back to decorating; I figured, I’d give him the chance to put his ideas out there, but ultimately, they better match mine.

Take for instance, this blue sofa.


Originally, it was going to be it’s taupe brother (sister?), but the husband was worried about stains getting on it (mistake #1), so I found the blue one, instead. The husband thought the blue might be a bit too bold (really?) and didn’t necessarily like it at first. But picky-set-in-her-ways me, was now in love with the new colour. In the end, the husband ended up loving the colour – maybe it had to do with the fact that he knew I wasn’t straying from this decision, or maybe it did actually grow on him. But either way, I blue won.

***

So, it’s always good to establish your decorating style before you actually start decorating (or have decided on a non-neutral couch), because if you have no idea how to decorate a room, you might end up with something like this instead.

(source)

And, no one wants a non-functional room (unless you like working out next to a fireplace).

I’m pretty new in the decorating department, but still can kinda summarize what my style is: somewhat modern, with a classy edge, and absolutely love stars.


^ This is so how I would hide my ugly kid, too. Kidding!

I think it’s pretty clear how tough decorating can be…even when you know your style. What makes it even more tough, is liking something you wouldn’t even know you liked, until you’re looking at it. Like this, for example:


I looooove how inviting this living room is. What am I at now? Rustic, modern, with a classy edge? Sure, works for me. Just to put the ‘modern’ tinge back in there, this one is also super cool:


And kitchens, this is where I become a super-picky mess. Not really for the decorating part, but the style/space in general. You see, I love food. I also have to love the area where I prepare my food. Down the road, I would like a kitchen (that’s huge, obvs!) that gives me the freedom to love food all over it. Take this:


Now, I know this one is ginormous, but I love the pantry in the corner. I’m very visual, so shelves full of food that I can practically walk into would be my haven. I also like the look of this one:


I’ll subside the pantry love with tables that the pantry food can go on – the kitchen table. I love the idea of windows all around.


Who doesn’t love a lot of windows?! Oh right, the mom with the kids who put their window markers, face paint, boogers and handprints all over them. My bad!

Now I’m just even more lost than when I started and have given up on the concept of having a design style. I guess you’ll just have to come over and decide what my style is for me!

Question of the day: What would you say your style of decorating is?!



WIAW: foodstock

I had mentioned in my last post that on Sunday, October 16th I had attended this huge gathering of Canadian Chefs who had come together for a cause, known as Foodstock. What I did not mention was anything about what this get together meant or what it was about – other than it impacting the area I live in.

Thanks to Jen for hosting this partaaay, I decided to dedicate this week’s WIAW to Foodstock.


I don’t want to make this wordy, but I need to use quite a few in the beginning to get out the message and importance of this event. And then I’ll get to more pictures! ūüôā

So, what is Foodstock?


Well, first, it was held by the Canadian Chefs’ Congress and they are as follows:

The Canadian Chefs’ Congress connects chefs to our land in solidarity with farmers, fishers, gardeners, foragers and all artisanal food producers.This biennial gathering of chefs from across Canada reinforces the passion and integrity of Canadian food culture.

You got that?

Food, land, Canada, chefs, etc

So Foodstock, I guess, was technically about food, but it’s about a bigger thing. A thing called a mega quarry that is going to be created if we (Foodstock attenders, Canadian Chef’s congress, environmentalists, people who live in the area and people who don’t live in the area – you get the point, people who care) don’t do something about it!

This mega quarry isn’t a joke and should not be taken lightly. This is what we’re faced with:

The Highland Companies, backed by The Baupost Group, a Boston based hedge fund, has made application to excavate a +2,300 acre limestone quarry, 100 km northwest of Toronto, in Melancthon Township.

If approved, this would be the largest quarry in Canadian history, and the second largest in North America.

The quarry, if approved, would irreversibly eradicate Class 1 agricultural land, involve excavation 1.5 times as deep as Niagara Falls and 200 feet below the water table in an area known as The Headwaters, since it the highest point of elevation in Southern Ontario and home to the headwaters and sensitive recharge area of numerous important river systems that provide water resources for approximately 1 million Ontarians.

The proponent intends to manipulate 600 million litres of water daily (equivalent to 25% of all water consumed by Ontarians on a daily basis), in perpetuity.

In short, Canada has never laid witness to the potential for a quarrying excavation and operation of this magnitude.

For more information, check here.

So, now I can appropriately tell you what Foodstock was about.

Join Chef Michael Stadtlander and 100 of the best chefs from across Canada for an outdoor, pay-what-you can, public food event in support of the movement to Stop The Mega Quarry.

All funds raised will go to fighting the mega quarry application that has been put forward by the Highland Companies.

They anticipated 20,000 to show and instead, got 28,000. How amazing.

Ok, I’m done. My words are said (and hopefully heard), but now I plan to entertain you through pictures of what took place on this amazing day. HAPPY WIAW!!!

Our wagon ride.


Just after this picture was taken (read: my hands were nowhere near holding onto something), we went over a huge bump. I decided that pictures could be taken one handed at this time.

I am in love with this picture – captures fall so perfectly.


With my ladies.


Soup out of a humungous pumpkin – how cool!


Not what I was eating, but you get the point.


Yummy organic apple cider – a Canadian staple, am I right?!


Cabbage and kale slaw (the first thing I could actually eat)


Delightful tiny apple fritters (basically the size of a donut hole/timbit) that taste delicious. A kind thanks to my lovely hand model aka my sister aka the girl who can multi-task and eat her own fritters while holding mine.


Another yummy stop – pasta soup. Don’t mind the bandaid. I’ve been having issues with knives lately. And even though this picture was taken over a week and a half ago, although that cut has recovered, I’ve managed to get two new ones over a 2 day span. Stay away from me people!


The stand for acorn squash soup with candied pecans.


The remnants of that very soup. I sometimes have the problem of eating something until it’s almost gone and then remembering I should take a picture. (My ‘aha!’ moment)


Delicious fries. I almost wasn’t going to grab some, but so glad I did!


And finally, a pretty awesome tree, if I do say so myself! Thanks to my mom for stopping on the way home to take a picture.


I hope that if I’ve gotten any message out there that it’s to care about the land you live on or near. It’s so important.

SAVE THE LAND THAT FEEDS US!

Question of the day: What is one amazing thing that you love about where you live?



watch out

LOOK WHAT I GOT!


And, look what I did after a 11 day hiatus…RAN. It felt good and not gonna lie, kinda kicked my butt a bit. It was after reading Hillary’s post and actually going outside to discover how beautiful it was for being late October, that inspired me to run. And run fast – for having an 11 day break.

But, where did this lovely Garmin watch come from?!? This is where I take you back a week, which I said I was going to do, in my last post.

Sunday, October 16th, 2011 – my two year wedding anniversary.


So yes, kinda a big deal.

The hubby had to work that morning, which was fine because I went with my mom and sister to a big, enormous, huge, and powerful food movement, called Foodstock; thiswas going on from 11am-5pm (we went from 1-3pm) and was a big food collaboration. I don’t want to expand too much here because I would love to devote an actual blog post to just it. It really is something important to the area I live in and deserves more attention than a slipped in paragraph between my anniversary.

Having said that, after much enjoyment at it, I came home about 20 minutes after the hubby got home. We were off as soon as we met at home for a night out. This was there to surprise me when I got in the car:


Obviously seeing the above picture you didn’t jump the gun and think it was the watch. That comes later. PS – this cake was delish; a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, but (big but here) it had strawberries and chocolate in between the layers. YUM.

On our way to where we were going, the hubby said we had to make a little ‘stop,’ but it was on the way. A little place called Costco.

Since I’m not a fan of Walmart at all (frankly, I’d rather not even type their name in a blog post, either), and since my husband’s not a member at Costco, he needed me to let him in the exclusive club.

I wasn’t too sure what we were getting there, but I had a open mind, so anything that we did walk out with would have been amazing (I know the first thing on my mind when we got there was veggie stock. How lame am I? It should have been Just Dance 3).

So when we walked over to the watch counter, let’s just say, I was kinda a little excited and shocked. He was getting me a Garmin?! And the good one?! What a great hubby!


I tried to talk him outta it (getting the expensive one, not the Garmin in general, duh!), but he insisted on the better one…which made my wrist smile a little bit.

I can’t believe I didn’t rush out a use the thing right away, but alas, a week later, I can finally say that I have worn it (and love it). I think I sorta have it figured out, but if anyone can clue me in on how to turn it off, that would be great #kthanks.

Back to anniversary talk. So that evening – after enjoying some cake and finally getting to hang out together – we ventured to a vegan restaurant, called The Naked Sprout. We were pretty much the only two occupying the restaurant on a Sunday night, and that was pretty fabulous, if you ask me.

I didn’t have high hopes or even high expectations about the place at all, because:
1) I’ve never eaten at an all vegan restaurant before, and;
2) It was my anniversary with the most amazing guy ever. His company trumps any food.

But thank goodness it was amazing, because that’s another reason to make an anniversary go better than it already was.

We started with the nachos.

Description:


What it looked like:


Taste: delicious. Soooo delicious. I want more.

Then, for our main course, the hubby got the soba noodle bowl.

Description:


What it looked like:


Taste: pretty good from the bite I had. Nice ginger flavour.

For my main dish, I decided on the lasagna.

Description:


What it looked like:


Taste: Soooo friggen good. The mushrooms were amazing and the ‘aged nut cheese’ literally tasted like cream cheese. I don’t know how they did it, but my mouth was loving it. This next picture ain’t pretty, but I wanted to show you how it looked once cut into.


I was definitely impressed with this place and would totally go back and recommend it to anyone who was looking for this type of cuisine.

I badly wanted some fro yo after this, but we did have a whole cake waiting in the fridge, so I refrained. There’s always next time, or so I told my angry taste bud.

All in all, it was a great day!!

I can’t believe I’ve been married for two years. I especially can’t believe I’ve been married to this guy for two years.


I got super lucky ;).

I guess it’s technically two years and a week, but who’s counting…:P

 


where have you been all my life?!

I just want to reassure people that I was not kidnapped (and returned safely). Nor was I in a deep coma that caused me to stop blogging. I was in deep, but to midterms, that is.

That time of the semester when you give up anything ‘social’ related (ie: blogging, hanging with your husband, talking to people in general), and sell your soul to anyone who will give you a cheat sheet. Just kidding, it was actually allowed for my statistics midterm…#thankyouverymuch, prof.

That time of the semester that totally consumes you to the point that you don’t even know which episode of How I Met Your Mother¬†you last watched. Terrible, I know.

You might¬†even start to sacrifice your health just a teeny-weenie bit. Vegan chocolate chip cookies ain’t gonna eat themselves (and how disturbing would it be if they could?!). And, words like ‘easy,’ ‘quick,’ ‘fast,’ and ‘immediately’ come into play when it’s time to eat. For example:

Quinoa’s so easy¬†to make and transport on campus.
I need a quick and easy stew recipe that will last a few meals.
I better chop these veggies fast¬†or I’m gonna be late for school.
I need to reheat this stew immediately so I can cram peacefully study for my midterm in less than an hour.

SIllies, I wasn’t going to sacrifice my good eats that much ūüėõ Plus, good eats are just too good to give up. I especially mean those cookies. The husband doesn’t need any, right? Right?!

But thankfully, midterms are over (for now – I have a second stats midterm in November. I guess having a cheat sheet makes up for having two midterms?!) and I can return to procrastinating readings (thus, leaving them to the last minute and studying like a madwoman, which I did for midterms), baking/cooking the most edible looking recipes I somehow stumble on (like this, this, this, this, this, and especially this), and I guess hanging out with the husband again :P.

With all this newfound freedom, I might even start (gasp!) working out again because it feels like it’s been ages since I’ve ran – 10 days, but who’s counting. No wonder weight gain is so prevalent in university. And maybe if there were better food choices on campus, that would help the problem, too. But, now I’m just leading into a whole new topic I could totally go off on a tangent about. So I’ll stop myself and just wish you a wonderful weekend.

Mine, might involved some baking (if you guessed cookies, you’re about 99.9% accurate) and maybe some homework…if it’s lucky.

I might even blog tomorrow Рsuper gasp, I know. I particularly might blog tomorrow, because a week ago tomorrow (in other words, last Sunday) will have marked a very special and important day that I kinda want to touch on; and quite frankly brag about. So stay tuned and stay warm (if where you live is anywhere like here in south western Ontario РI thought we had a deal Mother Nature, no bad weather until Christmas Day. So much for her support). Sorry for the ramble sesh, but my brain is overwhelmed with space it now has.

Question of the day: If you could live/go anywhere in the world (money not an option), where you would live/go and why?

Mine would start off with the western coast of North America – some San Diego action and that general region (love me some Cali), and then go a little northern to Kelowna, BC (for summer, that is, not winter). From there, move onto some Australian love.¬†I’d probably also check out Africa (hang with the lions, you know), some sweet islands (Hawaii, Fiji, Jamaica, and the like) and end it off with a little jaunt around Europe. Pretty standard, right? ūüėõ

 


what i ate [pre] workout

Since I’m horrible at the whole ‘What I Ate Wednesday‘ biznaaasss, I thought I’d give it another try, buuuuut a little altered.

I can honestly say that in the last few weeks I have not taken a full day’s worth of ‘what I eat’ pictures. Shame. On. Me.

I’ve maybe¬†taken the odd picture here and there – but never what I fully¬†eat in a day. So instead (inspired by my run this morning), I decided to do a WIAW on my pre-workout (ie: pre-run) foods for fuel. But, first, a little link up love:

Thanks Jen, for being the rockstar behind this idea!

Here are just a few samples of what I would typically eat before heading out for a run (long or short – doesn’t usually change):

Larabars

I use this as my first example because this is exactly what I did choose to eat before my run this morning. Notice the flavour?? Which is, by the way, delicious!

I ate half of it before and then half after. I’m honestly surprised that I had the resistance to not eat the whole thing before heading out. That’s dedication people!

Toast

I like to do mine up with some organic natural PB and organic raspberry jam (which totally trumps strawberry, in my opinion). Sometimes it’s just the one piece, other times, it’s two (note: this is a recycled picture).

I always get the same peanut butter, and I love it because it’s so ‘sticky’ in your mouth. I know this isn’t ideal for eating before running (take my half marathon, for example), but with a little water and even the jam on it, it definitely helps. Plus, it keeps you full!

Oatmeal

Honestly, you knew this one was coming. It’s a great pre-run fuel and tastes friggen delicious. Some of the toppers/mix-ins I usually go for:

  • PB
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • jam
  • ground flax
  • chia seeds
  • a lil chocolate (never hurt anyone)
  • banana
  • berries and/or other fruit
  • maple syrup
  • pumpkin puree
  • cinnamon
  • vanilla
  • nutmeg
  • vanilla protein powder
  • and the list goes on and on!

Pancakes


I have been in love with pancakes lately. I swear I eat them every week, sometimes even twice a week. This was a hard to admit and now you all know how much of a carb overloader I am at breakfast. I’ll just go cry myself a maple syrup river onto these pancakes #thankyouverymuch.

Fruit

If I’m not overly hungry when I wake up (which let me tell ya, hasn’t been a lot recently), then I’ll just snack on some natural sugar/fiber sources and get out there!

Fruit with nut butters

Can you see the reoccurring theme of peanut butter here people? Somebody enter me in an intervention…asap.

And there you have it; my pre-workout fuel sources. Before I sum up though, just for fun, I’d just like to show you the things I wish¬†I was eating before (during and after) running – or typically what I would blend into one big post-run feast (if my stomach and waistline could handle it).

Chocolate chunk cookies. Angela has me addicted!

Dairy-free chocolate cupcakes from Whole Foods? I think so!

A little fro yo.

BROWNIES!!

And yes, pancakes again. You’re seeing this right. Twice a week, people, twice a week…(but these I would¬†actually eat post-run and pre-run…oh dear me. I’ve revealed too much!)

Q: What was your fav WIAW moment this week?!


surprise, surprise

Nothing is more surprising than the weather Canada is experiencing right now. I will gladly take sunny and warm over cool, rainy and overcast ANY day! Thank you, Ontario.

But, you know when kids are roughhousing, and you’re just waiting for the little tiny one to get hurt? That’s how I feel about the weather. I’m just waiting for one day to come (and not leave) when it turns miserable and then I hate my life. I’ll try to null that mentality for the remainder of Thanksgiving weekend, ¬†but Mother Nature is a sneaky devil.

Ok, so with the nice weather still here, I was all for hitting the pavement and getting more outdoor running in while I still could. T-shirt and shorts?! Hell yes! Especially when it’s this t-shirt…

My t-shirt from¬†my half loot bag! It’s a pretty good shirt, but the neck is SO small and tight for some reason…or is it my head that’s just too big to get it over?

Either way, it’s light, moisture wicking and a desperately needed addition to my outdated (and by this, I mean I have not bought one new piece of workout clothing for one year, at the least) workout clothing.

So it’s sunny. I’m running in shorts and a t-shirt. It’s October 5th. All things that surprise the heck outta me. Until this…

I feel like I’ve been struggling with picking up my pace, until I did a saweeeeet interval run on that lovely Wednesday (Oct 5th), outside…in my shorts.

First of all, I never thought I would reach a min/mile that good. Go me. So that surprised the crap outta me. And second, why had I not done more interval training? It feels so good to speed up for a short length of time (2 minutes is nothing people), and have it increase your running speed so much!

But honestly, the only reason I did this interval running in the first place is because I have recently become obsessed (OBSESSED) with podcasts. I’ve been all over the health and fitness ones (hello Jillian!), and somehow by looking in that area, I found an amazing podcast that provides music for running – by this I mean they have tracks depending on the BPM you want to run at and even have intervals tracks (like the one I did above). Even those have different BPM’s depending on how fast or slow you want to go.

My podcast song was about 35 mins and it did 5 minute intervals of steady pace, then first speed up was for 60 seconds, followed by 90 seconds and finally 120 seconds (with 5 minute stead intervals in between). It’s a super easy podcasts; it tells you when an acceleration is coming and when a deceleration is coming. I loved¬†it. I cannot wait to do more.

Another thing I love? Seeing what other bloggers receive and get to try out (dear Love Grown, please love me), but it’s also understandable to be a bit¬†jealous sometimes, right? I love me some good and healthy new foods to try out as well; especially in my bellaaay.

So when the buzz of a new Larabar flavour was bouncing around the blogosphere, I wanted my hands on a piece of that action!

I even tweeted Larabar telling them how jealous I was for all the other bloggers getting it…

Plus, being in Canada, we would get it seven years later (dear blueberry muffin Larabar, you haven’t made your way to Canada yet, so no chance in hell would the new chocolate chip cherry torte be here already).

So I joked with Larabar, but they did not joke back.

They delivered. Quite literally.

Now, I don’t think it’s because I tweeted them practically begging for this bar, but I think it’s a matter of speaking too¬†soon. I’m pretty sure this package was already on¬†the way when I opened my big mouth.

So, thank you Larabar for sending me this sweet, sweet package. I am eternally grateful for this and cannot wait to try it.

I do have a problem with holding onto something for a long time before I try it, though (minus new tea). Simply because I want to save it for as long as I possibly can. Crazy, I know.

So, if it takes me the same length of time to try this new flavour as it does for Larabar to come out with a new¬†flavour, then you can personally come to my house and grab it from my stash. And, there’s your surprise.


a good sale

It’s hard to not pass up something that’s on for a good deal. But more importantly, the things that you’ve been waiting for to go on sale. Sometimes I’ll hold off getting something (for a long time) in hopes that it will go on sale. Then, when you do¬†see it on sale at the grocery store, you kinda do a little happy dance, and snag it before people catch on that it’s on sale (read: you’re the only person that really truly cares).

I’ve been waiting for this tea to go on sale for (no exaggeration) 6 months. Every sister and brother of this tea seemed to go on sale but it…until this week. Not that I’ve been obsessively keeping an eye on it – now that would just be crazy! But I was more than happy to see it go on sale since:

a) It’s getting colder and although I love iced coffees, I will not drink them in colder weather and refuse to drink hot coffee (yes, I realize it’s just called ‘coffee’ but as an iced coffee drinker only, it will remain ‘hot’ coffee for me).

b) I need an alternative to Starbucks (more so for the latte part). Although I love it’s deliciousness,¬†I made it a goal to cutback.

And FYI, this tea is delicious – so worth the wait. Perfect for a study/homework sesh.

Since I’m cutting out purchasing drinks, it looks like I’m back to using the big ol’ coffee mugs. It’s been a while – it’s almost like I’ve been on tea hiatus!

And Tinkerbell knows it. Probably why she doesn’t look like she missed me much!

Speaking of Tinkerbell, I really, oh so badly, want to run in the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon, which conveniently falls on a day during my reading week.

The only thing about this, is it’s not¬†a good sale – especially since prices just went up two days ago! But it might just be worth the price. Decisions, decisions.

Question of the day:

What drink are you feeling right now?