Saturday, July 20, 2013

Birthday Wish List

One of the best things about summer (besides the heat, cottage trips, burgers and BBQs, flip flops, etc) is my birthday.

Actually, every other thing in that list I think tops my birthday but it's still an enjoyable part of the summer.

This year I have no idea what I want.
I mean, I obviously have a few things on my wish list but I'd say 99% of those fall in the realm of "keep dreaming sister".

These include:

A puppy.
Presented to me in a box, which upon opening will cause me to cry tears of joy.
Any puppy is acceptable but preferably not a stupid breed. I need one that can be easily trained.

A trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando.
I will happily wait in line at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for hours with the children and like-minded grown ups.

A baby.
This would realistically come in the form of my husband agreeing to a timeline for us to start a family.
I've given him my timeline so ... he knows.
(A baby isn't on the horizon for minimum another 6 months though)
(Sorry mom and dad)

But I suppose there are some things I want that aren't completely unrealistic.
Take for example this anatomically correct heart necklace.

They're all over Etsy, this one courtesy of Lost Apostle.

I also want a flatscreen tv for the bedroom (I'm thinking a 22") to make more space on the dresser.
Also a cable box cause we've now lost pretty much every channel since things have gone digital.
Also on the safe bet list: books, wine, food.

That's all I've got for now.
Maybe if I keep the list small a puppy and a trip to Disney might happen....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Easy (no, really) DIY flavoured lip balm

When I'm lucky enough to get to work a quiet evening or night shift, more often than not I find myself lost in the world of Pinterest.
I'm sure many of you can sympathize with me.
I was looking up some good DIY projects when I came across something I'd been meaning to try for awhile, really ever since a few Christmases ago my husband's Aunt made me a wonderful kit full of homemade lip balms, heel scrubs, and cold remedies.
Lip Balm!
I looked up where I could get the ingredients I needed to get started and compiled a list of a few different approaches.
Coconut oil vs. sweet almond oil vs. olive oil, etc.
I went to Michael's and could not find the small jar of beeswax pellets.
Thankfully I have some sheets of beeswax from my failed venture into candle making so those worked just fine.
I couldn't find inexpensive coconut oil (or pure shea butter as one recipe recommended) so I ended up using a body butter cream I have that is made of coconut oil & shea butter - best of both worlds.
I played around using candy flavouring to see if it would help flavour the balm but no such luck.
One recipe suggested using kool-aid so I did the next best thing and used some Mio.
I was expecting to fail quite badly at this the first go round but lo and behold, my first attempt solidified quickly and a trial run proved it stayed really well on my lips and wasn't drying.
You will need:
  • a container (or a few) to keep the lip balm in
  • 3 tbsp of a coconut & shea butter cream (I used this one)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp beeswax
  • Mio (or a similar liquid water flavouring product)

Heat the ingredients over low heat and whisk until they are well blended together.
Then squeeze in as much of your flavouring as you want, and pour the mixture into the container and leave it to set!

That's it.
Super easy.
Next I have to find some cute labels to adhere to the container.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Meal Planning Made Easy

I stumbed upon this tumblr called 'Pretty Little Pieces' and fell in love with all of the pictures and printable ideas.
This one I thought I'd share, as I'm aways trying to organize my life.
The only downside is that there's only room for 4 meals, then you've got to print out another.
But 4 meals is probably as far in advance as I'd get in terms of planning & shopping.
Photo and PDF courtesy of

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Happy List: 09/07/13

On Sunday I went for a run - the first I've gone for in too long - and I was in such a good mood afterward. I was out in the hot, humid sunshine and came back absolutely drenched in sweat. There is nothing sweeter than hoping into a cool shower after a run like that.
I went to the gym yesterday for a run on the treadmill and it put me in a great mood - especially since I was coming off a night shift and getting ready for an evening shift. I had given myself a pass to sleep literally until the moment I had to leave for work but I was up earlier than expected and made my way down to the gym.
Add in listening to the steady pounding of the rain last night from the comfort of the quiet nursing station.
I got lucky and avoided all of the horrible road closures, TTC delays, and flooding that literally swamped the city last night.
But all of these things made me want to keep track of the things that make me happy each day.
I'm generally a positive person but not always when it comes to myself.
So rather than getting bogged down with the negatives I'm working on concentrating on all of the things that make me feel good.
  • Laying in bed for hours after I wake up, watching The Killing
  • Yogurt & Berries and giant mugs of coffee
  • Good music to accompany a good run
  • Snuggles with my cat
  • Pickle in a pouch
  • Dinner and drinks with friends - one who's back from San Francisco for a few days!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Toronto Wine & Spirits Festival

After our trip to Baldwin Street Burger several Saturdays ago, John and I made a stop at a Portugese bakery for a half dozen delicious lemon custard tarts called natas and then we made our way home to get ready for the Toronto Wine & Spirits Festival.
This was my first time attending but it certainly won't be my last.
The event was held at Sugar Beach, a man made beach with white sand right by Lake Ontario and with a great view of the city.
Upon entrance you get your wristband, a sample cup, and 5 tickets to use for sampling. Some were 1 ticket and some were 2. We didn't venture to try anything more than 2 tickets.
Availble to sample were a ton of wines, ciders, beer,  a scotch & cigar lounge, ribs and prawns, cesaers and vodkas, there was free applewood smoked cheddar and parmesan cheeses, and live entertainment.
John and I used some of our last tickets to try bone marrow croquettes.
I was excited to try a new food but I was told that the bone marrow was incorporated into the bread so I couldn't make out it's flavour.

This event runs for a weekend and it is well worth checking out the next time it comes around.
Be smart and buy your tickets early! You save almost $10 - ten extra bucks which can be spent on more sample tickets!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sip & Savour Ontario

Back (way way back) in June, John and I went to the Sip & Savour event in the Distillery district.
Having never attended this event before, I was unsure what to expect but was very excited at the prospect of eating amazing foods and sampling tons of wines.
And sample wines we did!
Here's a list of the participating wineries - HERE - and I can proudly (?) say that we almost sampled wine from every single one.
I think my last glass was around Kacaba... I tried another white after a stop at that booth and then promptly shattered my wine glass.
And then cut myself off.
The Distillery District in Toronto is absolutely beautiful to walk through and there's usually an event of some kind going on most weekends.
Here's the calendar of events for the rest of this month.
Cheese was featured quite prominently (much to my liking) and we sauntered in to a presentation on cooking with cheese - wisely suggested to use by the food guru herself, Ginger Rose.
I don't have the information that they gave us with me so I can't tell you what types of cheese we sampled.
I can tell you they were delicious and the servers also topped up our glasses with pairing wines.

The food was delicious.
My hands down favourite was the duck confit crepes, shown below.

There was a good deal of seafood up for sampling too which John dug into.
He was fortunate enough to grab the last of the halibut sandwiches.

We also grabbed plates which were promptly filled with freshly baked bread, cheeses including cheddar and a feta & watermelon salad, then spicy peppers, pickled beans, and jams like cherry chocolate and plum.
I went back for a second plate of this.

I forgot to take a picture (truth: I did take a picture but the picture is of the deserts I had put in my purse to take home) of the amazing mouses that were offered. They had raspberry and triple chocolate among a few others.
Also very tasty were the choux pastries from Popelin.
They had blueberry, lemon, and ice wine flavours. All 3 were to die for but the lemon might have been my favourite.
This was also where I broke my wine glass, trying to set it on a non-ledge so I could fill my grubby little hands with pastries.

Me, esentially:
All in all, it was a fantastic night that I would highly recommend checking out. Tickets run a bit on the pricey side but you certainly fill your tummy with wonderful foods and it's an opportunity to get drunk in the classiest of fashions.
 Plus the Distillery District is just beautiful.