Monday, August 31, 2009

I Just Wanna Sleep

Ugh. I can't even remember the last time I slept an entire night through. I know I shouldn't complain, considering I have two friends who are new moms and we all know what happens then, but please, gimme just one night. One amazing night of sweet, sweet sleep.

I took this picture back in July when I got to watch the sunrise when I didn't want to watch the sunrise. It was pretty, but I could have easily done without.

A trick I figured out this week was to stay laying in bed and listen to an audio book on my ipod. It kinda worked and has been the best solution I've found so far, other than just getting up for the day at 3am.

What do you do when you can't sleep? Or sleep for longer than 4 hour periods? Is this a problem that I'll be facing for the rest of my life???? Say it ain't so.

PS - Show me some blog love once in a while and leave a comment! It's so easy! I know more than just my mother and mother-in-law read this! Come out from hiding, it's okay.

Here are step by step instructions:
1. Click on the "comments" button below the post and write a comment.
2. Where is says "comment as", select name/url.
3. Write your name, press continue, then post comment.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Hidden Gem

Have you ever thought about what you might do if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness? Seek treatment? Go on a big trip? Stay in bed? Quit work?

A few nights ago M and I watched this movie, One Week. It's a Canadian indie film about a guy who finds out he's dying and decides to go on a cross-country motorcycle ride. I found it really interesting to see all things Canadian and the soundtrack was awesome! I'm going to have to go make myself a copy of it for sure.
It's one of the best dramas I've seen in a long while and possibly up there as a favourite in general. Go rent it! If you're already seen it, what'd ya think?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Discovering the Northern Ravines

It was a beautiful day. I thought I should go discover some of the city. So I went. This is what I saw.

And then there was THIS! How disappointing.

It took me just over two hours to walk through all of these ravines. It was loverly. There were lots of people around because one of the trails was an off-leash dog area, so I wasn't nervous going by myself. Yay for audiobooks. I can "read" and do other stuff at the same time!

Very peaceful, and to think, these parks are right off Yonge Street! It's amazing what you don't know surrounds you until you look for it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Nanny's Cheeseburger Pie

While visiting with M's nanny in Halifax, the topic of "cheeseburger pie" came up. Qu'est-ce que c'est? That's what I thought too. When we got back home I knew I must surprise my wonderful, hard-working husband with it for dinner one night. So, Nanny emailed me her famous recipe and the rest is history.

-frozen pie crust (I used two)

- 1lb lean hamburger
-1/4 cup chopped onion
-1/4 cup chopped green pepper
-1/2 cup tomato sauce
-1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
-1/2 tsp salt

-2 cups shredded cheese
-1 egg beaten
-1/2 cup milk
-1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
-1/4 tsp pepper

Mix up the "filling" ingredients and spoon onto uncooked pie shell. Top with "topping". Cover the edges of the pie shell with tinfoil to prevent too much browning. Bake at 400 for 15 min and then remove the foil, bake additional 15 min. Allow to set a few minutes before cutting .

We even had a dinner guest! Delicious! Thanks Nanny!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wine Tasting Tour Via Bike

I like wine and I like biking. Put the two together, add some lovely scenery, and it equals pretty much the best weekend activity ever.

A group of 17 of us went biking in the Niagara region on Saturday and hit up four wineries (we didn't have time to make it to the fifth one as planned).

Everything started off all fine and dandy, until about five minutes into riding and M had a flat tire! I swear, this type of thing always happens to us. The bike had just been tuned up the previous day! We made it to a mechanic shop where they blew the tire back up. And it proceeded to flatten in.. ohhhh.. about three seconds. We ended up taking the tire off and one of the guys biked with it to a cyclist shop just up the road. So lucky! It only set us back maybe forty minutes.

It was a hot day! Can you tell?
It was smooth sailing after that incident.. until the rain came, and oh did it ever come. Thank goodness we were safe inside having a tasting and it passed quickly. Okay, more smooth sailing.. until we reached the hills. Oh my. The hills.

Let's just say it was a workout and a half. We stopped for a picnic lunch at the third winery and reenergized. And drank more wine. This time on a full stomach :)

We ended up buying two bottles that we tasted and really enjoyed. I can't wait to pop them open over a nice dinner. Hmm, I guess that means I'll have to cook?

We were definitely exhausted at the end of the day, but it was so much fun! I want to go again!

*Thanks Moira - I stole some of your pics from facebook.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tennis, My New Favourite Sport (to watch)

Earlier this week M scored free tix to the Roger's Cup. I've never played or really even watched tennis before, but I loved every minute of it! It probably helped that we had awesome seats. So intense.

First there was an exhibition match with Monica Seles and Aleksandra Wozniak vs Serena Williams and Martina Navratilova. They were all mic'd up so that was fun hearing them banter on with each other. Serena is a beast. All of her serves were at least 180km and higher.

Then Monica Seles got inducted into the Roger's Cup Hall of Fame so they had a ceremony for her and she said an inspiring little speech. I never really knew about her getting stabbed by a fan back in 1993. That is crazy.

The real match though was between Maria Sharapova and Nadia Petrova. It was goooood. Holy powerful women. We were routing Maria on and she ended up winning, so we thought we should continue watching the rest of her matches on tv.

She made it to the finals, which were today, but lost! Oh, the humanity. I was glued to the tv. It was just that good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

More Muffins and a Storm

Peaches + Blueberries = A Taste Sensation

Make these blueberry muffins or any muffin of your choice! Chop up a peach or two and add it. You will love it. You will love me for telling you to make it.

We just had a crazy storm here. It was exciting. Outside turned green. Here I am enjoying my muffin in the rain. My camera didn't quite capture the greenness. Pretend you don't notice my greasy sheen, ok. It was a sweaty hot day!

Aw, and look at that! The lightning was sharing the sky with a rainbow. Neat-o.

Back to Work I Go

Today it was supposed to rain so I thought it would be perfect to go into work and set up my classroom. Well it didn't rain at all and it was hot as heck since there's no air conditioning in the school.

Here's what it looked like at 9am.

And here's what it looked like after 7 hours of working. Oh noes!

It doesn't look that much different, but believe me, it is. I would say another full day and it's good to go. Then I just have to plan what I'm doing! I'm actually kinda excited to have a normal class again.

Here's my favourite work buddy and dancing queen! She lives close to the lake. It is so so so pretty along the water. I love you summer. Don't leave me.

And guess what? Now it's raining.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bluecchini Muffins

Last week when I was visiting my BFF we made chocolate-zucchini muffins and ohmygosh they were so good. I decided I must try to make some of my own. Instead of chocolate I used blueberries because my fridge and freezer are overflowing with them. I googled a recipe and found this one, which I pretty much followed.

- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1.5 cups granulated Splenda (or sugar)
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 1/2 cup egg whites
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 medium zucchinis, shredded (mine equaled 400 grams)
- 1 cup blueberries
- a squeeze of lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another. Mix together. Bake for about 20 minutes or until your toothpick comes clean.

Nutritional Information:
This recipe made 14 muffins, each about 70 calories (17g carbs, 0.5g fat, 3.8g protein).

Compare this recipe to the wholegrain blueberry muffin at Tim Hortons (360 calories, 59g carbs, 13g fat, 5g protein) and you'll understand how healthy mine is. Granted, they turned out to be half the size of one from Timmies - but you could eat five of them for less calories. Crazy, eh?

*This doesn't mean you should eat five in one sitting though :) You'll probably want to because they're realllllllly good!

Would you like a Keiths with that muffin?

Hot or Cold?

While watching Breakfast TV this morning they showed this ad, which is up in Vancouver.

I think it's rather hilarious but not necessarily true... sometimes, not always. What do you think? Are Torontonians "cold"? You can be honest, I'm not a true Torontonian!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Negative Ions Are Positive

This is one of my favourite places in Toronto. It's so purty in the summertime.

Now that the city worker strike is over the fountain is running! I like it because the rushing water hides (some) of the sounds of traffic. On a sunny day I bring a book down here, sit by the fountain, and enjoy the negative ions.

Did you know that surrounding yourself with moving water is good for your health? I learned this from a prof in teacher's college, but don't ask me what it has to do with teaching. The proportion of negative ions is highest around moving water, which is supposed to improve your mood and be energizing. Maybe you've noticed that taking a shower makes you a happier person?

This is probably why people love waterfalls so much. They are beautiful plus they make you feel good! We sat under this waterfall while in Thailand. You can't get much closer to crashing water than that. I loved every minute of it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bestie and Babies

Yesterday I went to visit my bestie! I don't get to hang out with her nearly enough. Sniff sniff.

Look at that face. Num num num.

Bestie babysits this baby girl. I want to squeeze the cheeks.

Doesn't he look so happy to be with me?

Aw. One big happy family. I love these peeps.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Perfect Summer Day

It's finally been hot enough to heat up my parents' pool to a reasonable temperature. There's nothing better in the summer than hanging out in a pool. Love it.

Soaking up the sun.

And ending off the night at the salon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ridin' Along In My Automobile

Our entire trip to Ottawa - Halifax - Charlottetown and back took us 40+ hours to drive. Isn't that a crazy amount of time to spend in a car?

It actually wasn't as bad as it sounds. For some weird reason the time went quickly. We listened to every CD in our car.. twice.

Recognize any of them?

I read a little bit and slept a tiny bit, but having M's iPhone was the real saviour. I spent many hours reading my favourite blogs on Google reader and playing tetris. But guess what? Now I am suffering from iPhone finger. Can you see it?

What do you do on long car rides? Have any fun games to share?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home, Home on the Range

We got home last night from our superb vacation in Halifax! There is nothing quite like your own bed, ahhhh.

We had awesome weather the entire week and spent a lot of time outside, walking along the water. The picture below was taken in the beautiful Public Gardens.

Here's the harbor at night. Always such a nice breeze. There was tons going on along the water all week because of Natal Day and the busker festival.

We came down with M's Nanny one night to listen to music. I totally love cover bands. We had to get out of there quick because Nanny O was attracting all the drunk dudes. Seriously! She's still got it :)

On Friday we took the ferry to PEI so that we could spend the day in Charlottetown. We were planning to take the 10:30am ferry but it was full when we got there so had to wait two hours for the next one. Ech. Perhaps this was okay though since you can walk across all of Charlottetown in what seemed about 15 minutes! Lovely place though, really.

While crossing on the ferry we saw seals, dolphins, and a whale! My first ever whale! It was exciting.

On the way home we took the Confederation Bridge back to New Brunswick. And that was pretty much that. 14 hours later we were back at M's parents' in Ottawa! Good times.