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STAYING MOTIVATED

I have a confession to make…

I haven’t been running.

I haven’t stopped,  but I’m definitely doing less than I could.

I’m having a hard time staying motivated, of still believing why I should run, or still finding the reasons it’s good for both my physical and mental health.  Running is slowly turning into a chore – or worse, a punishment.

And I have no idea how to make it fun again.

Do you have any suggestions?  I REALLY ought to get some new music for my running playlist (I haven’t updated it in 4 months… eep)  and I’m currently trying to find playlists (do you know any?) to play while running.  I’m also still looking for running clinics here in Toronto – preferably one that starts in the next couple of weeks (instead of in October or November like the ones I’ve seen) and hopefully the challenge will get me going again.

Here are a few links that are currently giving me some new ideas:

 

Friends, let me know what you do to stay motivated, will ya?  I’m dyin’ here!

xx

Photo Credit: Leah Flores

 

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THIS WEEKEND

I had such a great weekend, albeit quite indulgent.

I woke up quite early on Friday morning – for no reason at all but noticed this incredible sky.  I quickly took a few photos and climbed back into bed.  Check out that moon.My niece came down to visit while on a work trip and we took her to Peter Pan – the weather was perfect and we sat outside on their patio.

I’ve been there a few times, and it’s not perfect in any way but I love it. On Saturday I had brunch with friends at Swan.  We were originally suppose to try Beast but they were closed for a private affair. Ah well – Swan was just as I remembered it from my university days.Elizabeth had the Huevos Rancheros and Sammi had the Hangtown Fry. I had the special of the day – an egg sandwich.We walked so much – from Queen and Spadina to Queen and Roncesvalles, and then down the waterfront all the way back to Strachan up to Queen West and Spadina. Such a gorgeous day of walking.

We stopped by the water for a break.  The water sparkled.And then had ice cream and coffee at White Squirrel.  I had the Malt Ball Crunch. yum.There were bees and flowers on my walk home.

And then on Sunday we started over again with brunch at Weslodge for a my friend Mariel‘s birthday. That place was a bit intense in the sense that it was super commercial and contrived but you had to respect the work that was put into a place like that. Everything is custom and beautiful but definitely not your typical charming hole in the wall.

We had biscuits with jam, an organic turkey club, and some bison pastrami sandwiches.

Yes, bison. Mariel‘s friend does nails. She got her nails did for her birthday.And I decided it was good time to plant a few of my more mature succulent babies into little planters.  I’ll let them get accustomed to their pots and hand them out to friends.

I apologize for the terrible paint job.

And that was it! Supper on Sunday consisted of a bibb salad with chicken and avocado, and some yellow beans. It was delicious.

How was your weekend friends?  Did anyone get to the Ex?

 

xx!

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THIS WEEKEND

This was a really great weekend.  I’ve been having a few weird weeks lately, and these past few days helped put a few things back into perspective and/or back on the table.

I spent friday evening eating cheese and olives and salami and drinking summer beer, while semi-watching the olympics.  It was well needed and I woke up on Saturday feeling really productive, which of course resulted in cleaning our whole apartment, pruning and picking fruit off my balcony plants, clipping my succulents and prepping them for cloning (some were far overdue!), going to the post office, and bringing a dress I purchased in New York to have it hemmed.

My succulents have been doing really well, and a few have outgrown their original planters so I chopped clipped them and used the extra bits for cloning. I haven’t done too much cloning (or propagation as they like to call it.)  I’m going to try to do it without rooting hormones first, so we’ll see how they do.

The first photo is of a baby that had already started rooting while still on his mama plant, so he was an easy target.  There were three just like him on that mama so I clipped them all off.  The second photo is of the extra leaves I pulled off.  The main plant had gotten so long and heavy that it couldn’t support itself anymore and I chopped it in three and we’ll have to see if the leaves amount to any new growth (like in the third photo – mini babies!!!)
Here’s another couple of plants with more babies growing off of them. I’ll let them grow up a bit more and then I’ll transfer them to new planters and give them off as gifts.When I first bought this one, he had more of a grey, taupey colouring to him. He’s since matured to a beautiful copper and looks really proud in his jug.  Take a look at all those babes hanging off him.My strawberries are still crazy wonky, but I love them nonetheless – even if it’s just two or three growing at a time.And guys, look at those tomatoes. Holy molly they are gorgeous.  My herbs are equally handsome and have produced so much that I’m constantly picking at them in order to keep them in tow. I shot a few photos of some flowers in the city, the first from Robert Street, and the roses on Palmerston.I had a pork arepa from Arepa Cafe on Queen – most filling thing I’ve had in a long time. And very delicious.Oh hey, and then I had a super duper adult dinner with friends on Saturday night – read: not really but still pretty perfect.  Mariel was our host and we all brought delicious things, like yummy cheeses and bread, zuchini flat bread, a peach, goat cheese, spinach, and pea and sunflower sprout salad, amazing chicken, and a strawberry and rhubarb pie.  There was wine, a thunder storm, and lots of talking. 

And well, Sunday has been spent making a big breakfast, working on a few projects, and watching new episodes of the Colbert Report and The Daily Show. I don’t have the day off tomorrow, so it’s been all about relaxing enjoying my sunday.

How was your weekend?

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THIS WEEKEND

Hi friends!

I started the weekend with brunch at L’Ouvrier, where the food is always good and there is never a lineup (I hope it stays that way!)  It was an indulgent meal with a shared plate of scones, and a fried egg sandwich with salad between the two of us.  I had a tough week and wanted something easy and non fuss and L’Ouvrier always delivers. We decided it was warmer than anticipated and stopped for a few of Augie’s popsicles to cool off. I tried the Strawberry Balsamic and guys, it was delicious.My friend Mariel has a great studio in the middle of chinatown and we stopped by for a visit.  She’s the creator behind Isak and Inger and was in the middle of creating beautiful mitts for our upcoming winter (eep – not yet please!)She shares the space with two others and I snapped a few  shots – so many beautiful details.And back at home, I’ve noticed that a few of my succulents have been dropping their leaves and are subsequently sprouting roots and more babies. I’ve set them up on some damp earth and they’ve grown so fast in a matter of days.  Look at that itty bitty baby!!And although my tomato plants look a little rough, they’re producing really beautiful fruit. And remember how I mentioned weird looking strawberries? Well, those are still happening. I’ve looked it up and it looks as though it’s because they haven’t been pollinated properly – no bees makes for some sad strawberries.  At least I’m getting lots of them :)And we found a friend on our balcony this afternoon – a Cicada!  Check out those big eyes!

 

How was your weekend?!

 

xx!

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THIS WEEKEND

Friends!

This was a great weekend full of good food and amazing weather (even with this huge downpour we just had)  Lots of time spent hiding from the sun in some shade in bellwoods park, eating sammies from Porchetta and drinking slushies & gin.  Hello summer, I love you.  It was a great end to a slightly unsatisfying week.

We’ve never tried Porchetta and Co. but I’m glad we did. We both just tried the original with the truffle sauce and parmesan cheese.  Elizabeth also had the hot sauce and mustard, aka the house special. You can also find some tasty potato salads and a ligher than usual coleslaw (no mayo!) – yum!Sitting in the sun tired us out so we walked over to white squirrel for iced coffees… I’ve never had an iced latte and well, I liked it.  It kinda tasted like cereal milk…?  The Paper Place had these amazing floral window displays, and it took me a while to get that they were just envelopes. Amazing!I had seen this receipe for a butternut squash and spinach lasagna online and tried to replicate it. It was delicious.  Oh, and check out my mortar & pestle in action! I bought some pepper from the Spice Trader and crushed them them along with a new salt. (Peruvian Pink Salt, Sichuan Pepper, and Cubeb Pepper)The skies got realllly dark on Sunday and the most rain I’ve seen all summer came down and drenched all of Toronto. Finally. We’ve been waiting for it for a long time!Oh, and check out some of my new skincare goodies I picked up.  My friend Catherine mentioned her new regiment with ethusiasm last week and I couldn’t help but get excited about trying them out too… I’ve only had them for a day so let’s see?  And I picked up some reading material on Saturday – an Apartamento issue I hadn’t read to go along with the Lula Jason bought me in NY but haven’t had the time to finish. With time!

Finally, I got these crazy cravings for oatmeal cookies and well, made some. They’re actually realllly good for last minute craving cookies. I found the recipe here, give ‘em a try!

Took a few shots of my strawberries and tomatoes. They’re coming along just fine – although the strawberries are a little on the wonky side.

 

How was your weekend?

xox!

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THIS WEEKEND

Well this weekend was a scorcher as was the whole week. I don’t think we’re suppose to get much reprieve any time soon either.  I’m glad we acquired an A/C unit last week – has it ever made a difference!

I ended my week with delicious mexican from La Carnita on College, and then went and saw Take This Waltz, which ended being hugely disappointing. Everyone seems to be smitten with it, but along with making me feel slightly uncomfortable, it also felt really forced. Have any of you seen it?

We explored the east end for a bit when we went to Paulette’s in Leslieville. If you haven’t heard of it yet, definitely check it out. That chicken was somethin’ else – crazy juicy with some of the crispiest skin ever.  The dipping salt it comes with is mighty tasty as well – I’d go with that and not the sauce if you’re gonna try it out. We got the Lone Bird combo which comes with enough chicken for two, even though it says it feeds one. It also comes with a dipping salt or sauce, and a side. Yum.

OH, and they make donuts too! A slew of flavours are available every day, although pricier than your average timmies donuts at $2.75 each.  We tried the Oreo flavour.

Hey Elizabeth!

We walked past Te Aro and decided to give them a try, especially since I had heard such nice things about them. The coffee was great – give them a try if you’re in the area.  They’re also really active in the community, offering classes and demos on brewing methods or coffee cuppings  

Sunday was laid back – I had to catch up on my gardening, and on some work I’ve had to push back because of the wedding. I was able to prune back most of my herbs and I’ve frozen all of my extras for winter stews and sauces. The second photo was taken while I was making a minted simple syrup for cocktails with the extra mint I had. I’m looking forward to making some mojitos with it real soon ;)

How was your weekend?

xox

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BACK AT IT

Well hello friends, long time no see.  As some of you know, I’ve been busy with a wedding and work and little projects that kept me away. I can’t say thank you enough to all the concerned emails and messages. I’m unfortunately not the most professional blogger and didn’t have any filler posts for all of you while things got busy, but hopefully I’ll get right back on schedule.

These are some photos of some leftover flowers we had at the wedding. They were actually a coral colour when I brought them home, but having been out for a few days, and through a hot evening of people dancing in our apartment, they lost all colour. A little weird, but they still looked graceful until I threw them out when their petals started falling out.  I couldn’t have been happier when I found them at the flower shop and kept ooing and awing over their stunning and graceful beauty.

It’s funny how, after being back from the honeymoon and being done with the wedding planning, how peaceful I’ve been feeling. It’s as though I have all this extra energy, wanting to start or finish projects I had to set aside while the wedding was being put together. After flying back from New York (where we went away after the wedding) and had a full night’s sleep, I woke up feeling so light.  Does this happen to everyone, or is it just me?  It’s seriously the best feeling.  I started noticing all the things I ignored for so long – herbs that had gone wild, tomatoes that were on their way to beeing ready to pick….

I bought an air plant a few weeks ago, sometime when I was out getting last minute things for the wedding and brought it home because I always thought they looked/sounded so great. I’m still not sure how to keep it alive, but it seems to be doing ok. Pictured below is how I water it – bathing it in water for a few hours a week… Do you guys have air plants, and if so how do you care for them?

I couldn’t be happier doing the laundry once back from New York – it suddenly felt relaxing instead of just something getting in the way.  There’s something so nice about fresh laundry drying in the breeze on an early morning. Max was enjoying the morning breeze too.

Oh, and for all of you who have been so patient with me, I figured I could show you what I ended up with as a wedding band: the most delicate gold thing with itty bitty diamonds.  I’m still looking for a band that has enough weight to carry itself against the engagement ring, but for now these are good friends and are happy to rest on my fingers.

How have you all been? I’ve missed you all :)

 

xox

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THIS WEEKEND

Oh weekends – when you’re good, you’re so good.  Hope you all had a great one – mine was pretty awesome. We had the most beautiful weather, and although the sun had receded behind a few clouds on Saturday it was still so nice.

On Friday it was a good friend’s birthday, and a few of us had dinner at Ursa – where the food is described as contemporary Canadian food.   What was served was way more complex than that; flavours were big and the presentation beautiful. It was a great way to start the weekend and I’ll be going back, hopefully very soon.  Have you been already?Appetizers: Sea Urchin.  Mains: Whey brined Niagara pork loin and apple cider glazed belly,  Georgian Bay Whitefish, and Water Buffalo.  Desert: Yuzu lemon curd, blueberry preserve, meringue, spruce caramel, duck fat sable.

On Thursday I walked over to the flower shops on Avenue and Davenport and put together a few more practice arrangements (I clearly love to use my wedding as an excuse…)  I think they came out nicely.On Saturday we decided to omit Brunch and just go straight for some fish and chips at Chippy’s across from Bellwoods.  I had the scallops… yum.And on our walk on Queen we spotted these gorgeous little arrangements by Sweet Woodruff.  Aren’t those peonies stunning? I love the large petal variety…  They certainly gave me some great ideas for my own wedding arrangements :)That coral Peony is stunning…

 

Sunday was spent cleaning up the apartment – I took care of laundry and clutter and a few projects on the computer were tackled.

How was your weekend?

 

xx!

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This Weekend

Weekends just aren’t long enough these days. I blink and they’re gone, especially the warm sunny kinds like we had this weekend.

We started with a really good brunch at Keriwa Cafe near Roncy on Queen. I loved the glass coffee cups and hey, the food was super delicious too. I had the Brown Butter Eggs Benny and Elizabeth had the Picnicham Hash.  I would definitely go back for supper.  (Oh, for more photos, check out Patricia’s blog.)

After a bit of walking and shopping we stopped by Dlish and had some cupcakes – that’s Nutella in the forefront and Salted Caramel in the back.

And not to sound too indulgent, but we did have supper at Bahn Mi Boys after having walked all over the city.  It was my first time trying them out and I loved the steamed buns. 

I bought striped straws from the Paper Place. They’re cute but I’m used to plastic so I’m not sure I’ll be buying paper again – I get weirded out about glue and wet paper… 

Oh and I finally found a black Baggu pouch. It’s currently holding all of my random bits in my purse.

I made a big breakfast on Sunday – much needed after celebrating a friend’s birthday the night before.And I made a tissue paper garland – could have used a nicer colour but it’s pretty limited at the dollar store :/  Either way, I like the way it looks hanging off frames in our bedroom.

 

How was your weekend?

 

xx!

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This Weekend

Woah, this weekend went by like a flash and I’m kinda stuck scratching my head wondering where it went. I meant to be way more productive and then only did about half of what I wanted to finish. The worst!!

I had a mission on Saturday to go and try a few of Toronto’s bakeries… I figured a few cupcake or other baked good tastings would be a good way to start thinking about our desert table for the wedding. Good idea, but terrible when actually attempted: Not only are Toronto’s “best” bakeries all across the city, but their samples fell totally flat.  I guess I was expecting too much, so I’ll keep looking but seriously… It was a bit disappointing.

Other than that, well, the weekend went well. We started at Thor Espresso Bar on Saturday morning in hopes of trying out the famous Glory Hole Donuts we heard so much about (And read about on Baby Hedgehogs)  We failed miserably by showing up a few minutes too late. We shared a cheddar scone to curve out appetite and the coffee was good – oh and the people working there are the nicest!

We moved up to the junction to try out Bunner’s and walk around a bit.  Their gluten-free vanilla cupcake was yummy, and their cinnamon sugar donut was delicious.  Look at that icing!

Little Fish is also the cutest place – we shared an amazing mac and cheese and a salad.

I bought these colours last week, so not exactly weekend material – but they’re the colours I’ve been wearing! And look how cute they are with earrings my friend Elizabeth got me :)

Jason and I grabbed a few cupcakes to try at Puseteri‘s on Sunday – they have Cheesecake Factory, Bake Desert Co, Dufflets, and others (and way easier than trekking across the city!)  The Cheesecake Factory cupcake was the clear winner (we prefer moist for the cake and creamy for the icing, vs dry and fluffy…)

On our walk back, I grabbed a few extra bits for the bouquet I bought last week.  And some roses, oh, and some succulents… couldn’t resist those. Jason was a trooper – I’m sure I spent 30 minutes going back and forth between 4 flower shops looking for the best buds.

I’ve been wanting to try this out for the longest time.  So I did.  Avocado, Cheese, and Toast. yumm

And finally, the skies were golden on Sunday night.

 

Hope you all had a nice weekend…!

 

xx!

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