Tag Archives: blogfriends

theme week: survey sez!

bloggers love surveys. they’re lighthearted in nature, it’s a fun type of blog post to compose, and readers like learning TMI more about the blogger’s life and interests.

surveys spread like wildfire and each one enjoys its fifteen minutes of fame before another one takes over. today we’re going to answer the a-z favourites survey. i forget where i first saw this one, so i extend my apologies to whoever thought it up!

for each letter of the alphabet, the blogger is to provide a favourite something -> ez! here are the first favourites that popped into my mind…

a – apples: readily available, versatile, make the best type of pie and crisp, easy to transport, and best of all – yummy! [must be crisp/hard/crunchy/not mealy].

b – boston marathon: whether to run in or watch on tv, this is my favourite marathon!

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c – canada: i am a proud canuck. i appreciate our health care system, we are seen as a polite nation by other countries, canada is a great place to live [except in winter…i really wish canada would buy florida].

i can wear my FREE olympic-themed tee to show my canadian spirit!

d – diet coke: i have not tasted a drop since january 8th, but this is still the best beverage in the land.

e – earrings: with my ears triple pierced, i enjoy switching up my accessory options! this summer has been about peacock feathers, big silver hoops, and my new favourites from the madonna collection:

i always feel happy when i wear these!

f – facebook: this is THE genius invention of modern times. i check fb about 20 times a day, for real. i rarely post, but love reading my friends’ updates (i’m up to 149 friends!). it’s so cool to have this connection with people from all walks of my life.

g – george clooney: my ♥ honey bun ♥ numero uno!

h – hugs: i love getting and giving hugs. a quick embrace can be a friendly greeting, a gesture of support, an exuberant dance of joy. studies show that hugs improve your mood!!

i – ice cream sundays: mom and i had so much fun with ice cream cones at the mall on a few occasions, this summer. these should be weekly outings, i do declare!

the very best: laura secord ice cream in a chocolate/sprinkle-covered waffle cone

j – junky cereals: the kiddie varieties with absolutely no nutritional value make awesome toppings to a mixed bowl of cereals! i do love my cereal!!

k – knitter’s fair: i’m already super-excited for saturday september 8th when mom and i will enjoy our annual knitting extravaganza. 2010 recap here! 2011 recap here!

l – lululemon: i count lulu among my preferred clothing brands – you pay more but the stuff is super-cute, wears well, and lasts forever. after wednesday’s shopping trip, i am very well lulu’d!

m – movies: i’d rather watch a movie than tv. if i could, given unlimited time and money, i would head to the cinema every free evening.

n – nail art: i love nail polish, but even more, i adore nail art. when i got my nails done as one of my 41 new experiences last year, i think it was my very favourite new experience!

these daggers made typing and blackberry-ing impossible, but they sure were fun to look at!

o – orange: best colour on the spectrum!

p – planks: i pretty much loathe and detest strength training, but core work is the lesser of all evils, and doing planks is something that is not that bad. you just lie there on your elbows and toes and zone out, all the while conditioning your abs – i can handle that!

q – quirkiness: in movies, in tshirt slogans, in myself (!) – nothing wrong with being *unique!*

r – reading: this summer i have spent more time reading than in the past three years, combined. and it’s been a joy!

s – sweating: there is nothing like a good sweat, be it from sitting on the beach, working out, just walking down the street when it’s 38 degrees C and humid as all get-out. i’d much rather be hot than cold!

t – tattoos: i love my two, plan to get one or two more in the next coupla years and admire the works of art on other people.

my cardinal

u – upping the ante: i’m competitive by nature! i like trying to surpass previous achievements, be it in sport, at work…this can be good or detrimental, depending on the situation!

v – velour/velvet: so very cosy to drape yourself in this soft fabric. right, george costanza?!

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w – water: since i am off what you saw in “d” up above, water is the next best thing…or so i keep telling myself.

x – x-ing out items on a to do list: this is a bit of a cheat answer because i always CHECK MARK off my to do list (more positive in nature than x’s)…apart from semantics, it feels GREAT to accomplish what you set out to do for a day!

y – yellow cars: i don’t want to own or drive one, but these are the most fun-looking cars on the road!

canary yellow? banana yellow? that’s the shade that is so fun!

z – zigzag patterns: this shirt is one of my favourites:

it’s gotta be at least fifteen years old!

staying true to accepted question-posing style, share your favourites for your initials OR the letters of your first name!

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and with this blog entry, dear friends, we conclude theme week. i think the only major cliché idea missed was that of doing a blog giveaway. sorry about your luck!

😀

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it’s too bad there are only 26 letters in the alphabet

today’s blog post fulfills my last *duty* as a participant in the blogging from a-z april challenge.

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the challenge organizers invited us to post our thoughts in a final reflections post, today (monday, may 7th). so, with no further ado, here is my summary.

in a nutshell, i ♥ loved ♥ participating in the blogging challenge. i adored every aspect: the 30 day timeline (finite); the structure of using a new letter of the alphabet for each day’s blog entry; the unlimited creativity to interpret a-z as we wished; the interaction with other bloggers…i am so happy i jumped on board.

i first heard about the a-z challenge months ago on stephanie‘s blog when she mentioned it. i thought, hey! that would be super fun to do! then i completely forgot about the idea. a few days before the end of march, stephanie made reference once again to the challenge. i decided to participate for sure, but in very uncharacteristic kiki fashion, i only formally signed up about 24 hours before the official launch (my mind was fixed on editing my april fool’s joke). by posting a second post on april 1st, i was able to work in the letter a quite seamlessly!

some more random thoughts:

~ i am really glad i interpreted the challenge as i did -> using the letter of the alphabet as the first letter in my blog post title for the day. i can’t tell you how much fun i had thinking up quirky headlines! honestly, i cracked myself up some days (ex: butter of the almond variety, jar two). it was also bizarrely serendipitous how often a blog title easily lined up with a current life event. (ex: upgrade? yes or no, no stopping monday). for some letters, multiple ideas fought for exposure (ex: the letter “c”). for other letters, i had to scrounge deep into my brain for several days on end to come up with the eureka moment (ex: the letter “v”).

~ blog friends stephanie and fran also completed the challenge – i really looked forward to reading their blogs each day to see how they would interpret our letter of the day!

~ my blog has a steady readership, and the number of hits received each day is pretty stable. so you can imagine my astonishment when on days three and four (“c” and “d”), the blog measured more than six times the usual number of views! i have no clue how or why this occurred. was it simply because i was on the challenge list and other participants were eagerly reading every blog on the participation list? things gradually settled down back to normal, after that. puzzling.

~ speaking of other participants, it would have been super cool to read every a-z challenge blog at least once during the month. for that, however, i would have needed to be on full-time vacation! so many blogs, so little time….

[sidenote: my own opinion is that blogging this final post a week after the “z” entry is anti-climactic. i would have arranged it so that this entry appeared on tuesday, may 1st…].

finally, the a-z challenge presented a conundrum: i honestly love daily blogging – it’s a rhythm that sits well with me. so far in 2012, i have tried posting mon-wed-fri, and most recently, just whenever i feel like it. blogging 6/7 days was awesomely satisfying. however…with daily blogging, as i’ve said before, i really have to organize my time and make sure i have time to write. i get stressed if i have no ideas and/or if i have limited time! but, daily interaction with you is thoroughly enjoyable. i talk to my mom every day, i email with bff debbie every day…i genuinely enjoy blogging every day as a means of social communication and as a creative outlet (like knitting). so, where does that leave us for the rest of may? i honestly don’t know!! just a heads-up that i do have ideas for each day this week…i guess we’ll figure out the rest of the month as it unrolls! [ack! that is so not my style!].

did you celebrate cinco de mayo on saturday? me -> no. would you believe that i had not even heard of this festive drinking *holiday* until a couple of years ago?? i think i just live in the wrong climate. tangent: i have never had a margarita. note to self: organize as a new experience for 2013!

book launch!

last evening, i enjoyed a social + literary new experience! i’ve never been to a book launch party! [did you get a visual of me throwing hardcovers at people when you read today’s title? that’s what i was aiming for – haha!].

the person being fêted was carrie snyder, a local author, who recently released her second novel, the juliet stories:

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[sidenote: thanks to my reading log, i know that i finished carrie’s first book, hair hat, on june 17th, 2005, and that i gave it a *** (three star) review! (and i am not lying about that rating just to sound nice!)].

now, i don’t really know carrie personally, but we have met before (when she’s been in at the store!). and i know of her, thanks to six degrees of separation connections, and the fact that we are both alumni of the same high school (carrie is younger, *sigh*). then, when tricia and i were out on monday, we discussed this upcoming event. upon realizing that i would know several people planning to attend, i decided to go!

the venue for carrie’s book launch party was the starlight. i have been to this social club dancing til the wee hours before – that was the site of the science lecture that i attended back in september!

uptown events are the best because we can travel by foot. tricia and three of her friends – i already knew two of them! – picked me up on the way to the starlight. five minutes later, we were there!

here are a few photos from the party – i didn’t take very many. intimate lighting makes for wonderful atmosphere, but it’s not so conducive to photography!

tricia and carrie

guests mixed and mingled, then carrie read from her novel. here’s our table (my walking companions):

(L to R) tricia; shannon; me; kim; kathy (kathy and i were in the same high school class!)

carrie reading from her book

it’s such a small world! i think i knew or recognized every second person at the event – as someone said, it was like one big neighbourhood party!

i had a really fun time last evening, and i do think “the juliet stories” would be a perfect inclusion as one of my reads for this year’s kiki project. carrie’s writing style is engaging, but most of all, i am taken with her word choice and turn of phrase. i wish her the very best!

enjoy your sunday! i am going for coffee outing #10 with this gal

…and then watching the fashion show oscars this eve!

a perfect day for tea

david’s tea has been open in uptown waterloo since the summer – and i have never been! it was high time to get myself in there -> and i knew just the person to introduce me to the wonders of this meeting spot right in my neighbourhood – my blog friend, angela!

angela, inside the tea shop!

so, angela and i made a date to visit david’s tea on saturday, after i was done work at the store. a blustery and wintery afternoon + hot tea + social time? sounds like a perfect match, no?!

david's tea is tucked in on willis way, in uptown

as great as it was to see angela again, i was also really looking forward to learning the ins and outs of the david’s tea operations. as noted on her blog, angela has frequented david’s many times, and really is a tea aficianado, so i was more than happy to let her show me around. just looking at the vast array of options was a tad overwhelming!

look at the options available!

david’s was positively hopping when angela and i arrived – the outdoor rink across the way has boosted traffic into the store. i’m glad to see that the tea shop is giving its neighbour, s’bux, a run for its money!

we were offered a free sample of the flavour of the day, upon our arrival:

i included the shot glass sampler on the top of the cannister - very cute, eh?!

“secret weapon” was just ok – it didn’t knock my socks off, or anything.

angela selected some of her favourites to purchase in the take-home size tins. [you can buy the teas by weight  – say, 50 g of x tea. then, when you bring the tin back, you’ll get a discount on your next purchase]. as angela made her picks, she told me about some of the flavours she has enjoyed, and others that are merely so-so. i sniffed away at the various types – everything from organic banana oolong to chocolate chili chai. several scents were appealing, a few…not so much. with some options, you could really smell the flavour very strongly while with others, it was hard to discern the notes.

the yellow and red labels are all caffeine-free

as my sit-down-and-chat tea, i went with the crème caramel rooibos that you see in the photo, above. i did add some of my own stevia, also. it was delicious!

the tea shop was a cosy, fun spot to visit:

we joked about the "product placement" of our cups for this photo!

angela and i enjoyed conversation on a diverse range of topics. while blog commenting is fun, personal get-togethers really are hard to top. and, hey! my get-together with angela was outing #5 for the 12 days of kiki project! [not bad, considering the 12 days of kiki is only 19 days old, eh?!]. when we left, the snow was still blowing and swirling, and darkness was falling, but i felt energized by our fun visit, and warmed by the hot and yummy tea.

are you a tea fan? if so, please share some favourite brands/flavours! that’s two rooibos teas in four days for me (i enjoyed a “regular” rooibois tea on wednesday with the brother, in toronto – i’d never had that type before, and now i’m decidedly a fan!).

a day late and a book short

for the past couple of months, blog friend zo has participated in top ten tuesday.

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on this weekday, bloggers are invited to list their favourite selections on a top ten book-related subject, hosted by the blog the broke and the bookish.

i love lists and i love books! i have come to anticipate with glee zo’s tuesday blog entries because it’s fun to see the topic of the week, and to peruse zo’s picks.

well, i no longer blog on tuesdays, so i’m off by a day! to play off the expression a day late and a dollar short, today i have for you: top ten tuesday nine wednesday.

according to the broke and the bookish blog, this week’s/yesterday’s category for the top ten list is:

top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read x

(an example: if you adore classics, you could recommend ten classics for someone who typically does not read this genre).

[sidenote: there have been over 80 top ten lists proposed by the broke and the bookish, thus far! see the complete list here!].

initially, it was challenging to decide on my category. i pondered female protagonists, multi-generational family sagas, male writers who write in the first person voice but feature a woman as their lead character (ok, that one is way too wordy, and does anyone seriously avoid a book of that nature??)…in the end, i decided to go with:

the top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read

canadian fiction published since the year 2000

ok! that’s still super-awkward! but we’ll work with it. to be solidly patriotic, canada has a lot of talented fiction writers. limiting my choices to just nine oeuvres is no easy task. but, let’s go!

[click on the title if you would like the link to amazon for more details].

1. good to a fault – marina endicott (2008) fabulous

2. a perfect night to go to china – david gilmour (2005) haunting and so sad

3. tempting faith dinapoli – lisa gabriele (2003) quirky, little-known coming-of-age tale that deserves recognition

4. late nights on air – elizabeth hay (2007) very enjoyable, great characters

5. the other side of the bridge – mary lawson (2006) memorable

6. the way the crow flies – ann-marie macdonald (2004) this is the #1 title on this list; phenomenal story

7. unless – carol shields (2002) you can never go wrong with a ms shields novel

8. a complicated kindness – miriam toews (2004) outstandingly quirky and endearing

9. clara callan – richard b wright (2002) you would never guess it was written by a man

as i was reviewing my coil-bound notebook where i log my reading (and rate the books on the **** [four star] system), i realized there are equally at least nine selections to warn you against picking up. red flag! red flag! if you find yourself handling one of the following titles of canadian fiction published since the year 2000, back away! with so many terrific options available, i cannot in good faith recommend these ten nine reads:

1. star – pamela anderson (2004) yes, that would be this pamela anderson

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and she should stick to running on beaches. yikes!

2. oryx & crake – margaret atwood (2004) there are much better atwoods out there

3. the gum thief – douglas coupland (2008) i expected more from mr coupland, given his creative reputation

4. the book of negroes – laurence hill (2007) didn’t match the hype; saccharine

5. the fourth hand – john irving (2001) go read a prayer for owen meanie, instead

6. no great mischief – alistair macleod (2001) grey and depressing

7. the continuity girl – leah mclaren (2006) ms mclaren is one of my fave globe columnists; this is very badly done chic lit

8. alligator – lisa moore (2006) incomprehensible

9. the flying troutmans – miriam toews (2008) disjointed; stick with a complicated kindness

how familiar are you with canadian fiction writers? who have you read? i am right now in the middle of irma voth by miriam toews, and sadly, i cannot recommend this novel at all. irma is past quirky, heading right into messed up/weird. we have not connected. i am only persevering because i have read miriam toews’ other two novels.

any suggestions for me that would be **** (four star) reads of canadian fiction published since the year 2000?! i am eager to move on from irma!!!

a project for next november??

back at the beginning of this month, a november project idea came to my attention. i was immediately intrigued! and, no – i am not referring to movember. 🙂

no, this 30 day race involves creative writing.

i’d never heard nanowrimo (national novel writing month) until i read about it on stephanie’s blog – she is participating this year. then, kim talked about it on her blog, as well (which was a pleasant surprise because kim’s blog is mostly about ultrarunning). stephanie does a good job of explaining the concept in her blog post here, but the gist of the challenge is that you write a 50 000 word novel in one month.

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cool, eh?!

i have been reading stephanie’s periodic updates with great eagerness. when i checked in on kim’s blog, earlier this week, she had updated (here) that she has dropped out of the writing project –  a dnf on day 21, as she says.

i’m going to backburner this idea for next november, and it’s a good thing i have eleven + months to figure out solutions to these two challenges:

the main problem would be outlining a compelling – heck, i’d settle for interesting – storyline…what would i write about for 50 000 words?? note that this is a NOVEL writing experiment – not a memoir.

the next issue would be finding time (that was kim’s downfall). in order to reach 50 000 words, you need to write 1666.67 words per day – at first glance, when you break it down like that, i didn’t think it sounded like that much – that number of words is about 2.5 blog posts, given my usual wordiness. however, when i blog i can just ramble write like i’m having a chat with you. novel writing involves relentless forward motion advancing your plot, making your characters talk like real people, and using your imagination. i bet 1500+ words per day would require a few hours, at least.

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anyway, i think this is a super-neat idea. i like rules, i work well under deadlines, i like to write, i appreciate quirky ideas…i shall reflect on it!

also, i would not write with the desired goal of publishing my oeuvre. it wouldn’t matter if it never saw the light of day. it’s the new experience aspect of nanowrimo that is the motivating element, for me.

stephanie, write on, and i am cheering for you as we head to the final few days!

what would you write about if you were going to write a book, and what type of book would you write? the young adult genre intrigues me…and i’d have lots of characters, lots of dialogue, not much description. i would avoid historical fiction – doing the research would bore me to pieces!

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speaking of books, i am on page 286 out of 517 of the time traveler’s wife. i’m enjoying it, but so much for finishing it this month! i’ll aim for the end of 2011!

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november thankfulness:

(for thursday november 24): yesterday i was thankful for the blends (blog friends) i have made through blogging. we’ve never met, yet i look forward to our visits through our back-and-forth blog commenting. thank you, world wide web, for bringing people together!!

a THRIVE-ing party scene!

saturday, i enjoyed a deliciously fun day: some highlights included…

~sunny skies

and it got sunnier as the day progressed!

~playtime worktime at the store

~a return trip to delirium to visit my skirt (more to come on that!)

and then, the icing on the cake was an evening party celebration at thrive juice bar!

thrive: a little gem tucked inside the bauer lofts courtyard

today is angela‘s birthday!

happy 23rd, ange!

and to mark this special occasion, she invited local bloggers + friends to a private, evening soirée at thrive. i had not been back since my last visit in april! to say i was excited to return is an understatement!

it was but a quick walk over to thrive and to the party.

it was wonderful to chat with angela, in person, again - we usually communicate via blogs!

the first party guests that i had the pleasure of meeting were angela of oh she glows, and her husband, eric:

with eric, angela and angela

bloggers, united!

i’ve been reading (oh she glows) angela’s blog since march 2010, so i felt like a stalker i already knew her! angela and eric are both so warm, genuine, and easy to chat with.

no shortage of topics to chat about! angela is a great conversationalist!

a few other party guests:

sara and matt!

angela and her housemate, robyn!

although i missed photographing everyone, all of angela’s friends were so inclusive and friendly – prior to the party, i only knew (birthday) angela, so it was really fun to meet new people, and find out how everyone was connected to angela!

now, on to the food!

jonnie (of thrive) and angela had pre-planned our evening menu – in a (cashew)nutshell, it was all amazing. take a look:

crudites

pizza! artichoke hearts were on top

angela and angela in action!

jonnie and his staff, sarah and stephanie, were wonderful. they explained each dish to us, and were warm and friendly.

our hosts for the evening

stephanie described each app or dessert, as it was served. amazing memory!

to cap off our evening – sweets!

brownies and blondies - raw! vegan! gluten free!

birthday cake!

a chocolate shot with which to toast the birthday celebrant!

angela, as we serenaded her with "happy birthday"

this was a wonderful, fun, energizing evening. thank you so much, angela, for including me. i’d be hardpressed to say which was the most enjoyable aspect: the chic venue and warm ambiance provided by thrive, the welcoming group of friends and great conversations, or the the raw! vegan! amazing! apps and desserts served up by our talented hosts.

what a fantastic mid-summer night’s eve!

(birthday) angela has a knack for capturing gorgeous photos on her iphone! the clarity and colour are amazing! see?…

and (oh she glows) angela also has honed her camera skills . she kindly passed along some of her pictures from saturday eve. enjoy a *bonus track* montage!


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31 FLAVOURS OF AUGUST

14/31

treat: homemade peanut butter cookie from mom!

price: mom doesn’t charge!

rating: ** 1/2 (two and a half stars)

tasting notes: mmm…chewy. peanut-buttery. melt-in-the-mouth-y. plus, it came from ♥ mom! ♥ treats baked with ♥ love ♥ are extra-special!

Would the Movie Be Any Better??

On Friday evening, I went and saw “Water for Elephants.”

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In so doing, I broke a couple of my movie-going Kiki-rules: 1) the movie was longer than two hours, chiming in, officially, at 121 minutes long (although I was out of the theatre in less than two hours, so that time must include the running of the credits), and 2) this movie is an adaptation of a book I have read. [Quick reference note: I’ll see a movi-cized version of a piece of writing if I have not read said paper-copy; I avoid novels-turned-films because they more often than not disappoint]. However, I was desperate I really wanted to go out to a movie, and “Water for Elephants” was playing at the Princess, and it started at 6:30 p.m. Win and win!

I finished reading the novel “Water for Elephants” on October 15, 2008. Yes, that is the correct and precise date. Shades of my Grandpa C, I record, in a coil-bound journal, all of the books that I read, the date I finish them, and then I use my four star rating system to grade how much I enjoyed/disliked the book. (This reading log dates back to June 2004; first novel reviewed: “The Devil Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger, and it was worthy of the optimal four stars!) What did I write down for “Water for Elephants???”… one and a half stars, only! (*1/2). Did not like.

I know everyone raved endlessly about this book. (In fact, it seems the only other person on this planet who did not embrace it with open arms was Kath). But then, I also did not enjoy “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom; that one, I finished on November 15, 2004 and gave it but a puny ONE star rating. Anyway, let’s leave the book talk and switch back to the movie.

So, what did I think of the big-screen “Water for Elephants?”

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I loved it.

I was enthralled and captivated by the story and characters in a way I never experienced while reading the book.

Why? The film was much more vivid than the novel. I remember when I was reading, the story seemed very flat.

Or, maybe I was just in a different headspace now than when I read the book…hard to say, all I know is the movie was wonderful.

Here are a few reflections about the movie (no spoilers!):

~ The storyline in the film remains very faithful to the book version. This is not a case where the movie is unrecognizable from what you read.

~ I am a big Reese Witherspoon fan, and she did a wonderful job, starring as Marlena. Excellent casting.

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~ This was my first introduction to Robert Pattinson.

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Enh. Of all the actors, he seemed the least comfortable in his role. And his too-small nose bothers me. I didn’t think there was huge chemistry between him and Reese, either.

~ I have to confess that I am not a pet/animal person. That being said, even I found some of the scenes involving Rosie the Elephant disturbing. So, if you have a huge soft spot for animals (please note I have nothing against pets or animals, I am just not enamoured) ,you will likely dissolve in tears during the movie, at least a few times.

~ The movie proper is a flashback. I appreciated that the present time is only found at both the beginning and end of the movie – they don’t flash back, flash forward repeatedly during the main story, which would have been very distracting.

~ Final thoughts: I’m really glad I saw this movie! It is engaging, surpassed my expectations, and is a worthy watch.

Rating: three stars (***)

Water for Elephants: did you read the book? see the movie? What did you think of either/both? I thought I had forgotten most of the plot, but I remembered more as the story went along.

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Philanthropic Opportunity of the Day:

Janetha, one of my favourite bloggers, has organized an online auction that starts today at 8 a.m. This auction is to benefit a Canadian blogger, Susan, who was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma. All proceeds from today’s auction will go directly to Susan to help cover her medical expenses.

To participate, visit the Auction Homepage. Here, you will find a comprehensive list of items to bid on. Janetha’s post, How does an online auction work? may be helpful to you, too.

There’s a wide range of goodies up for grabs! A few examples: baked goods; beauty products; clothing & accessories, gift cards…plus a lot more!

Let’s help make The Great Fundraising Act a success!

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A year ago today, I flew home [on an airplane] from Florida.

Wahhhh.

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Survey Sez!

It’s FRI-day!! And no one wants to think on a Friday.

[Tangent: best game show ever was Family Feud – yup, even better than The Price Is Right. I even had a play-at-home cardboard and paper version of FF when I was little!]

So let’s do a survey. It’s been a whole one week + since the last one, so let’s hop to it.

This ABC-style questionnaire is a popular one of late in the blog world. I found it first on Janetha‘s website, but Angela and Gabriela (among others) also have shared their answers.

A is for Apple. What’s your favourite variety? I ♥ apples a lot! I like any and all crisp, crunchy, hard apples. At the top of my list: Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith; Red Delicious if they’re crisp and sweet (they can be mealy and mushy). In my fridge right now…

royal gala (L), fuji (R)

B is for Bread. Regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains, what is your favourite type of which to have a big slice? Preferring GF carb choices, I didn’t like rice bread all that much. But I do love the rice bagels (hey, also a B-word!) from Healthy Foods and More. Here are two more breads that stand out in my mind: my Auntie Anne’s homemade bread that she always served with dinner when we were over, and Beer Bread – this one was an oft-made recipe when we were teens. It went exceptionally well with BBQ’d steak and caesar salad. [I thought I had the recipe, but I can’t find it – it’s so good, I would have posted the how-to’s right here, right now. You’ll just have to trust me on this!].

C is for Cereal. What is your favourite kind currently? (just one!).

No fair! With a cupboard like this…

cereal space is full to capacity, right now!

…and, clearly, a refined cereal palate, this is a near-impossible question to answer. But I’ll go with Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins.

D is for Donuts. What kind do you fancy? Hmmm…another toughie. In general terms, anything with chocolate; specifically, chocolate glazed from Tim Horton’s.

E is for Eggs. How would you like yours prepared? Poached if I don’t have to do it; microwaved-scrambled if I do have to make them.

F is for Fat-Free. What is your favourite fat-free product? This salad dressing:

i never vary my choice

The Brother and I simply call it “Red.”

G is for Groceries. Where do you purchase yours? I live right across the street from Valumart, so 80-90% of my food purchases are made there. However, I also frequent health food stores and the market, when I can. Rarely do I drive anywhere to get groceries, which is kinda cool.

H is for Hot Beverages. What is your favourite hot drink? Haha! Had you asked me in early January, I would have replied, “I do not like hot beverages.” But since then…the previously dormant inner coffee giant has roared to life. Coffee it is! [Specifically, Starbucks Via individual packs].

I is for Ice Cream. Pick a favourite flavour and add a fun topping. Since childhood, I have loved chocolate chip ice cream. The best, to this day, remains Baskin Robbins. (BR even beats my Marble Slab cone). Let’s sprinkle on rainbow sprinkles for some fun.

J is for Jams or Jellies. Do you eat them, and if so, what flavour and kind? I don’t favour jams nor jellies. How can I be my mother’s daughter?!

K is for Kashi. Name your favourite Kashi Product. Kashi Go Lean Crunch [A cereal question? If there was a buzzer involved in this quiz, I’da been Quick Lightening in my response!]

L is for Lunch. What is yours today? Well, it’s < 7 a.m., so yesterday’s lunch (at the store): cottage cheese; rice bagel; apple with peanut butter; nuts and chocolate chips.

M is for Microwave. What is your favourite microwave meal or snack? Breakfast!! Oatmeal cooked in the microwave with peanut butter then spooned on top.

N is for Nutrients. Do you like carbs, proteins or fats best? Carbs! Specifically veggies, fruit and cereal.

O is for Oil. What kind do you like to use? Canola. Healthy and mild in flavour.

P is for Protein. How do you get yours? Here’s my five most frequent sources: tofu, seafood, cottage cheese, peanut butter, eggs.

Q is for Quaker. How do you like your oats? I like GF oats microwaved with peanut butter. [Dad would have a much more in-depth answer to this question. He is Hot Cereal King].

R is for Roasting. What is your favourite thing to roast? Can I say my skin? As in being outside in the sun?! Joke! I love portabella mushrooms, roasted.

S is for Sandwich. What is your favourite kind? DEFINITELY the ‘wich I had at thrive juice bar when I went there with Angela and Odette. It was a grilled portabello, tempeh and spinach sandwich on a GF bun. Note to self: go back there asap.

T is for Travel. How do you handle eating while travelling? On a plane, small snacks frequently as I can get a nauseous stomach easily.

U is for Unique. What is one of your weirdest food combos? Oh, this one is easy: a can of tuna mixed in a flavoured yogurt cup (like Danon or Silhouette). I used to eat this at the store all the time and everyone sneered at it – til they tried it, then they’d report back that it was delicious. AND I got the idea from the Food Network!

V is for Vitamins. What do you take? I take Vitamin C (chewable), Calcium (chewable) – – > because they taste good. Also glucosamine – taken that for years.

W is for Wasabi – yea or nay? Never had it, so I guess that’s a nay!

X is for X-Ray. If we x-rayed your belly right now, what food would we see? Since it’s < 7 a.m., you’d find leftovers from last night’s dinner!

Y is for Youth. What food reminds you of your childhood? Boy, have you got 30 minutes? The stories and items I could recount…! Here are five: homemade hamburgers; homemade macaroni and cheese; homemade cookies; homemade blueberry pie; homemade iced tea.

Z is for zucchini. How do you prepare it? Rinse it under cold water, cut into rings, eat raw (dipped in “Red!”)

Wow – that ended up being longer than I anticipated! It’s actually almost breakfast time!…

Take the first two letters of your first name, and answer those questions! I’d be CEREAL and APPLES for Cathy!

Best game show ever?? Can you believe I’ve never watched Wheel of Fortune!

Three Bloggers, Seven Shores

Yesterday, I once again enjoyed a super-fun lunch date with Angela and Odette! In April, we had a meet-up at thrive juice bar. This time, we ventured over to the Seven Shores Urban Market and Cafe in Uptown Waterloo.

may 17th and yes, i am seriously, in mittens and hoodie. where. is. spring????!

no chance of dining al fresco on this day!

I was excited to finally get to Seven Shores for lunch; it’s been on my list of hot-spots-to-try for a very long time. (Dad, you should be super-grateful that Angela and Odette spared you a vegan/vegetarian lunch as one of our Outings of the Month!).

cafe menu behind the display of freshly baked goodies; don't you just love that warm paint shade on the walls?

seven shores offers a small selection of organic produce and health food-y products

Odette was the only one of the three of us who had eaten at Seven Shores before. She had good things to say about the spring rolls:

the menu - note the description of the spring rolls near the bottom, there

I didn’t need much convincing to try those!

While waiting for lunch, our conversation flowed fast and furious. We all read each other’s blogs, but there was still so much to discuss and catch up on!

Round-robin photography:

angela and odette...

odette and me...

me and angela...

Actually, we each ended up deciding on the spring rolls. Makes for a winning choice for each of us, but boring photography!

la table

Close-up shot:

perfect portion for lunch! (we also rec'd a side of potato salad with each order)

I loved the combination of distinct flavours – the dipping sauce was spicy and sweet, a wonderful contrast to the mild rice paper wrapper. The carrot-based filling melded well with the dab of cashew butter – scrumptious!

One final photo before we had to say our good-byes:

I can’t wait until our next outing (we discussed a potential venue, already). Both Angela and Odette are absolutely delightful, so easy to chat with, and we share many likes and interests.

Blog reading is fun; blogger socials are fantastic!

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I almost missed the season!

This flowering tree is absolutely my favourite of spring blossoms:

i make a point of visiting this tree every year...

...and a new-to-me find! i'll remember to check this house again next year, too!

As you can see, there are already petals on the ground. A couple more days, and I’d have been out of luck with my chance to soak up the blossoms’ beauty. I am quite chagrined to admit that I have no clue as to the name of this tree. If you can enlighten me, I’d be eternally grateful. [Sidenote: I’m just woefully ignorant of plant/tree/flower names, in general. Take flowers: I know roses, carnations, tulips…after that, I morph into “pretty flower” for the type name!]

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And you wonder why…

I disparaged the Canadian Marathon Scene in Monday’s post

According to this thread on the Running Mania forum, there was a SNAFU at the Mississauga Marathon on Sunday. The first two marathon finishers were disqualified because the lead bike led them off-course. Nice. There’s some debate as to who’s at fault. You could argue that the lead runners should have known the course, stuck to the route. In their shoes, though, don’t you think it’d be pretty hard to ignore the pace bike? Top contenders shouldn’t have to be thinking about where they should be running. They should be able to just hammer and focus on running fast. *Sigh.*