May 26, 2010

Picture perfect memories scattered all around the floor.

Came up with a list of things that I'll miss about our shoebox home:

1. The "unlimited" supply of utilities (goodbye random cooking/baking spritz and running water...hello candles! I exaggerate. hehe. sort of)
2. Sitting in the bedroom and still being able to look at and chat with the dogre when he's all the way across the house, in the kitchen. though...he claims to not hear me at times, which I think is a lie!
3. Access around the downtown core by foot. Public transportation!? Nooooooo!
4. Saying goodbye to our first home together as husband and wife.

But...I honestly won't miss it all that much. Excited to move! Countdown: 3 days! Keys in hands in: 2! TWO! Come Friday, I'm going to run in and be the first to use the toilet! Already wanting to change the lighting fixtures above our kitchen island to this pendant but it's likely too "heavy" for the space. Poo-poo.
I don't remember if I mentioned this before but Rocky gets very anxious if he sees luggage and cardboard boxes around the house. It's probably because every time they're out, somebody disappears for a long time (i.e. when I spent the summers in Korea or when my brother moved to Vancouver). When we packed up for our honeymoon, he spent every night in our open suitcase, just in case. Now he's doing the same with our moving boxes and luggage pieces. He's also extra grumpy. And no, it's not because I forced him to wear a toupée! By the by, you know you're looney when you think time is well spent touching up the whites of your dog's eyes in Photoshop. And it is!
Also, the super crafty Heidi Kenny creates the cutest things and provided a free printable dirty dozen cheat sheet, available here on her site. Dirty dozen being the fruits and vegetables that the USDA advises you always buy organic because they carry the highest levels of pesticide residues even after washing them. And then there are the items that are okay to buy non-organic. Finally, a visit to my blog has been resourceful to you! Goody.
I'll be without internet access until Sunday morning! Will be suffering serious internet and tv show withdrawal, I'm sure. Bye for now. Remember to hydrate yourself after shedding all those tears for me. In the mean time, how about a warm, feel-good documentary? I lied. Learn about why you should be asking your local farmers or produce sources what they put in their crops. This video may deter you from eating your fruits and vegetables! We live our days unaware that what we so casually flush away is turned to sewage sludge, full of metals, human waste, chemicals, solvents, tampons, condoms, et cetera, and spread onto our lawns, farm lands, and waters...consequently returned back for consumption! If you're only interested in Canada, start at the 18 minute mark.

May 25, 2010

This. Looks. Delicious.

And equally delicious...:

...NYC hotel...

...surprise birthday snail mail idea...

...cupcake food blog with huge visuals...

May 24, 2010

Is my conscience required to stay?

So I scheduled the whole weekend to tackle my assignments, knowing it'd be time consuming (resume revamping, writing about strengths, weaknesses, threats, opportunities, a bio, character sketch, and an elevator pitch!) and naturally, I decided cooking and baking was a more pressing matter. Honestly, the best times to invite yourself over is when I'm avoiding something (which is often. and most likely assignments).
So what churned out of my kitchen over the weekend? Roasted sweet potato wedges,banana bread with cream cheese icing (my favourite so far), and some comfort food. No, not cut up hotdogs with ketchup! Much more sophisticated than that, thank you very much. Good ol' hamburger beef chunks marinated in Diana bbq and hot wing sauce. The sophisticated part being the caramelized onions. Heehee- And don't you dare judge me! I know you'll bring up my previous post about eating healthy, but clearly, you can see the huge bowl of salad that accompanied the beef! Clearly. I think I'm being extra beastly with my meat intake these days because I suspect major changes to come after reading Foer's Eating Animals. It honestly scares me to think that I will potentially quit not just meat, but also dairy products. But we'll see; I might be giving myself more credit and willpower than I'll actually be able to exercise. But back to the banana bread. The recipe I tried in the past was good but very dense. This one is more of a coffee/tea type of bread and it's round and shorter so there's more crunchy crusts to go around!
We've also had Korean lettuce-meat-wrap two nights in a row. This restaurant at Warden and Lawrence called Makkal Chon is affordable, the portions are generous, and just look at the vegetable variety! I love soft cabbage.

Went on a second mini antique road trip with Jules and it sucked! Since I know that nobody from Hamilton reads this blog, I'll just come out and say it—I didn't much like it there! However, we drove through a neighbourhood that's similar to our fancy schmancy Bridlepath 'hood, but with more character and beauty. Will post photos up another time...along with the promised pictures from the first trip.

The dogre and I also had a heated argument (one when we got back. Basically, the property manager of this unit finally (I lost count of the number of viewings, mostly because they started doing open house!) scored a future tenant but then emailed the dogre late at night to tell us that they would be coming in the next morning to take measurements of the place. Well, I'm almost certain this is illegal. They had the right to do showings to acquire tenants and they have access to enter for maintenance/fix-ups; but they definitely can't just stroll in during our time, for which we paid for, to allow the upcoming tenant to take measurements! So I took issue with how it was legally wrong, and at the very least inconsiderately last minute, but I also took issue with the fact that the dogre was quick to bend over and take it. Especially when it was inconveniencing me as he wouldn't be home. I got into a whole schpew about principles and him not considering my viewpoints and our general lack of assertiveness with these kinds of things. It all boiled down to selecting the road with the least hiccups and ass-paining, as well as not wanting to add another item on his plate (which I wholeheartedly admitted was large and I've been trying to ease). Why am I telling you this? No clue...Just making conversation, you know? Geez. Maybe I'm documenting this to remind ourselves to be better to our own tenants, should we decide to go down that route. Or, maybe it's because I'm such a gossip that I've even resorted to airing out our own "dirty laundry" to friends and strangers alike. But most likely, it's to use as ammunition for a future spat! Hehe. Who knows. In any case, you're here reading it, so you're no better!

Oh, and I wasn't completely unproductive over the weekend—my resume now (barely) fits onto one page! Hoorah- It's actually very intimidating to draft a resume as an aspiring Graphic Designer...Have you seen samples!? Look here. And here.

By the by, most of my titles are pulled from songs. This one, which I really like, is from Baby Now by Nichole Alden, used here:

May 20, 2010

Bullet proof vests are like hugs!

Had dinner at Banjara (over by Christie Pitts) with friends last night and then shamelessly gobbled up my leftovers just before passing out on the sofa (seriously knocked out. drool everywhere). Guess what I learned? Indian food gives me crazy nightmares. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, took forever to fall back asleep, and startled yet again after another nightmare! Oh, and the dogre did little to comfort. Jerk. So new rule: no indian cuisine after nine o'clock. That face over there sums up how I felt.
We've been very busy creating box towers all over our home and visiting the dogre's parents' house to assist with the cleaning before they list next week. This is a snapshot of the attic at Prudhommes Antique Market but is very similar to how cluttered their house is. After twelve years, they've amassed many antiques, artwork, and more cups and plates than the five-storied antique shop holds!
We're off to see our lawyer now to empty out our whole bank account and then head uptown to help out some more. The weather in Toronto is super-duper lovely today, so I'm hoping to squeeze in some evening cycling!

May 17, 2010

i'm jealous of my tooth.

Mon friends, I can proudly write that I didn't soil myself on Friday. On Thursday night, I was filled with anticipation, wondering what it'd feel like to be drugged. The instruction package advised that the effects would hit me within moments of taking the valium so I nervously popped 10mg in after tucking myself into bed, while my seastar played "soothing" (crickets) soundclips from Youtube and refilled the humidifier. I fell asleep disappointed. At five, I got up to take 5mg and felt nothing. At ten, I took some other type of magical pills and groggily stumbled to my appointment! In the waiting room, I tried to describe to the dogre how my feet and bum were weighed by heavy sandbags and was quickly preoccupied with the realization that my husband had 2 sets of eyes. After that, my memory started to get hazy. 

I recall waving goodbye and flashes of the following: faces peering, requests to open my mouth, commands to open it wider, sipping on Gatorade and lifting my tongue to swallow more (crushed) pills. I also remember a snug blue blanket they mummified me in, and naughtily sneaking out an appendage from time to time, only to be gently reprimanded. It took six hours and even though I was heavily drugged, the procedure still felt long. I can't even remember the dogre collecting me, or the wheelchair ride home. I do know I puked clear green Gatorade in the elevator among strangers and then that's it. I blacked out until Saturday morning, waking in a fit of panic because I thought I was late for my appointment! I was in total disbelief when the dogre told me it was done.

So, that was a bizarre thirty-six hours of my life. Oh, I also randomly cried one tear, asked the dogre to slap my face, chatted about a Korean celebrity, passed out (seriously, like, head rolling backwards) mid-meals, accused him of being stingy with the food portions, commanded that the laptop be brought to me so that I could move the mouse cursor a half millimeter there, a quarter millimeter here, and spoke a whole new language of gibberish. I'm very happy that everything was documented on video because the clips really got me giggling. Also? My heart got all gooey warm, seeing how the dogre had taken such great care of me. He even missed a shift (the first ever! he's a very good employee). I know no one's keeping score but I'm fairly certain that my husband is better than yours! Then again, he did feed me expired KD and hotdog bits. And the pasta was whole wheat (let's gasp in unison).

Looking forward to the follow-up appointment tomorrow, as the tooth needs some serious polishing; the surface is uncomfortably jagged. They also need to readjust my nightguard and fix the bite. I really, really hope the infection didn't spread elsewhere but I have a nagging feeling that my toothache woes aren't over just yet. They never are! So, enough about me, how have you been?

You don't need to talk, you say? Would rather continue to hear my sweet, angelic voice, you say? Well, my cousin—we'll call her Jules since she handcrafts jewelry—and I went out to Vineland and Jordan for some serious antique shopping. I have a ton of photos to share but will show you my one and only purchase for now.
Neat, right? Got it at Vineland Antiques Etc.  Jules bought a few jewelry pieces and a very tasty jar of jalapeno jam preserves. The whole "downtown" strip in Jordan was just so lush and peaceful. We lunched at Zooma Zooma and then visited a few art galleries—Jules took genuine interest in each piece while I pretended to care.
The weekend was mostly spent with the dogre's family, helping his parents prepare for next week's garage sale. Also visited Teaopia at Don Mills and Lawrence with Shoe (clearly, this isn't her actual name! her dad used to call us Gum and Shoe because we were always together. although, I resent the fact that I was the gum...). Had the Dublin Cream (ceylon black tea, whole roasted coffee beans, and jasmine petals), which was very delicious, and took home a tin of Caramelissimo (ceylon black tea with bits of caramel, hazelnut brittle, and biscuit pieces). Oh, and before I forget again (I was still under the influence of the drugs into Sunday afternoon), thank you for the thoughtful butternut squash soup, Finn!
Since this post is (surprisingly) all about me and more specifically, my health ailments, you should know that my toe (recall When Panda Mugs Attack) is not healing well. And I still really hate homework (random but true). To stay positive, I've been dreaming of decorating (countdown: 12 days!) and indulging in some wanderlusting. My seastar is abandoning me with her man-dogress for an international teaching post in Korea, while another friend will be flying off to Sussex for her doctorate. Me? I'm just floating about in the Shanghai sky, courtesy of Garance Dore.
I'm also overly optimistic that we'll have the opportunity to visit them within the next couple of years. You know what? The combination of all those pills really took the edge off and resulted in a more pleasant, amicable, and sociable dogress. But don't worry, I'm back to my cranky self.

May 11, 2010

"Why is this happening to me!?"

So I may become the next Youtube sensation, found under the search "girl craps her pants at major intersection of Yonge and Bloor". Backtrack; I'm having the root canal procedure (along with prep work and temporary crowning on two teeth. costing about $3500) on Friday morning. This means I'll be heavily sedated from Thursday night onwards to ease my anxiety—I'll even be wheelchaired home (I'm a dentophobe so we're going all out and sparing no expenses, as I've opted for the fancifully titled "conscious sedation". believe-you-me, I need this! I've experienced multiple wisdom teeth/root canal procedures gone wrong while fully alert. I clenched my fists, crossed my legs and toes, and had to control myself from shrieking or crying). Enter, potential Youtube fame. I've never been on mood altering medication before and fear the worst behaviour possible...Maybe I'll call the dogre by the name of an old flame, or maybe I'll crap my pants. Or, maybe I'll crap my pants and then ask the dogre, addressing him by the wrong name, to clean me up. Of course, he wouldn't be so cruel to post that up on the internet...But, we're definitely interested in videotaping the aftereffects, as we predict it'll be memorable (and also? we've only used our fancy camcorder three times and we're feeling guilty)! Onto happier things. Like, looking at a photo of the new place!
We had to wear hard hats and steel toed boots for the inspection. Unfortunately, I wore mocs that day and had to stick my bare feet into foreign boots...Disgusting.
The dogre's eldest sister, who was a shopaholic and worked at Aritzia (a dangerous combination), moved to Vancouver last year and returned for a week to attend a wedding. Why do you care? Because, mon friend, after she packed up to return, she then let finn and I raid her leftovers! I'm the happy owner of pre-loved Aritzia pieces (including beautifully gray $200+ jeans), belts, and jewelry. Le sigh. What else, what else...
We changed vets. Our previous vet was incompetent. Example: Rocky chews and licks his paws a lot, which can indicate allergies. We took him and paid $80 for them to do some allergy test but never received a followup. Later, we asked what the results were and the jerk claimed we had never done such a test! Our first impression of the new vet was all sorts of positive. All staff members were professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. They were straightforward with costs and concerns, addressing all of our questions and showing a genuine interest in Rocky. It was very apparent that they were animal lovers! We'll be taking Mia in for a checkup after the move. Oh, and Rocky is a healthy, healthy boy! Next, food.
Miga, a Korean BBQ house, is fairly new and on the pricier side (targeted towards non-Koreans, we think). But, the quality makes up for the the higher price! My belly sang a sweet, sweet love song to my tastebuds all night long. New recipe of the week:
My first attempt at a lemon poppy seed loaf. A success story, really! Recipe here.
For Mother's Day festivities, we had burgers with the cousins, sans the dogre's mom. We had Greek with my mom but it was less impressive so no photo proof here.
This is what happens when the dogre works an evening shift. Random, lonesome dinners consisting of leftovers straight out of the tupperware or a bowl of cubed apples and feta cheese, drizzled in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. In bed. In front of the laptop or book. Tasty, but sad.
As revenge, the dogre has been appointed the role of Box Hunter. Where there are poo-stinky cardboard boxes, there is the dogre! Seastar and Mr. L play x-rated Monopoly.
Looking forward to a mini road trip with my cousin. We'll be checking out antique shops in the countryside. Will post any good finds we score. Hopefully, will not post while medicated and write regrettable things. I've already asked the dogre to hide away phones and computers. Side note, Vampire Diaries is juicier than ever! Cannot wait for the season finale (this Thursday). No more shame! Just pure enjoyment.

I shall leave you with something that made the inner typography lover in me giggle, years before I had chosen such a path. The Font Conference:

First Impressions. / Pre-delivery inspection.

Song: Pulling Our Weight by The Radio Dept.

I was super excited about posting this but after wasting thirty minutes trying to figure out why my video wouldn't import into iMovie and an additional thirty learning how to convert it to something else, I lost steam. So, voila ici, cheesetastic effects. Of course, that doesn't explain my shoddy and shaky filming job...but how dare you judge me! Oh, and you'll notice the watermark up top—that's what you get when you refuse to pay for a program. :(


Packing has begun and we're baffled at how many boxes our little casa requires to clear out. The dogre has been frequenting street corners.

May 5, 2010

Lightning don't strike twice / Unless the topic is dentist and the dogress' oral health.

Ahh, pistachio gelato! An indication of summer to come. The weather's been unfriendly these past few days. Maybe it's a reflection of my miserable physical state. More on that later. Because I know you care. You do care, right? Good, so tonight it'll be a sandwich-style post: fluffy happy carbs around rotten, disgusting, despicable meat. So, let's begin.

Happy carbs—a beautiful wooden cake stand, as seen on
Happy carbs—we finally "cashed in" our large plastic bag full of coins at a nearby Canadian Tire. Sure, they took a nine percent cut, but we still skipped away with about fifty buckaroos!

Happy carbs—in all likelihood, we'll be sleeping in the new casa come May 29! Yep! The contractors didn't go on strike, home inspection is next week (so nervous and excited), money, paper work, and key(!) exchanges on the 28th, and move in by the 29th. We just need to book the elevator at our current building and hire movers. Feels surreal. I know I was all ambitious about re-painting our walls gray, putting up a chalkboard wall in the bedroom, and personalizing hardware pieces (switch plates, knobs, hooks, hangers, you name it!) but we'll likely delay all of that and just enjoy the bare skin and bones of our first home. Heehee. Looking forward to having the stipple ceiling removed and shopping around for a dining table, chairs, coffee table, office furniture (inspirational desk diy here), and lighting fixtures! Oh, and an electric stove heater, of course.
Happy carbs—a little ditty that the dogre is obsessed with. She'll be performing at some cafe on the west end, come May, and we're going to take a gander.

Happy carbs—a friend and I will soon be starting our very own Toronto picnic club! We'll take turns picking the park, date, and time, and attendees will bring their own blankets and food to share. It'll be an open invite to friends and friends of friends as well! Interested? 

Rotten meat—I've been dealing with persistent toothaches since January, after I got a filling in one of my top right molars. I went back before but my dentist attributed the pain to minor sensitivity exacerbated by my clenching+grinding. She merely shaved down the filling to fix my bite and refitted my nightguard (yes, I wear one. so does the dogre. we make a very sexy couple, you know). She was wrong. In fact, what I had thought were pesky allergy symptoms may actually be the consequences of nerve damage when the filling was put in. Why else would only the right side of my face (nose, eyes, head, ears) hurt? After today's visit, she's now 95% sure I've got an infection and sent me on my way with a prescription to penicillin and pain killers, requesting a followup in two days. They shuffled me around the whole visit, and unsurprisingly, totally changed the followup date and time without even consulting me. Oh, and now they've assigned me to the head dentist, who I find eerie and fake. And scary. I'll need the dogre to escort me again because I turn into a wide-eyed trembling doe (but cuter, of course) whenever I visit the dentist. Seriously, I have a phobia of dental offices and always leave nauseated and drowsy due to exhaustion, even if it's a ten minute consultation where they adjusted my nightguard! So anyhow, the dogre hates the place. He thinks they lack general courtesy and professionalism and calls it the fast food restaurant of dental clinics. I think he's right—they rushed me, all of them in a terrible hurry and showed a serious lack of patient care. I'm likely to change dentists, but after they resolve this issue because why should I pay elsewhere for their mistakes! They've yet to charge me for any followup visits I made since January because they know it's their misstep. And now, after a google search on the dangers of an untreated abscessed tooth, I'm freaking out over jaw bone and facial tissue damage, eyes, nose, ears, and brain infection! I'm wondering how worried I should be that my jaw feels weird, that my right nose and eye have been painfully dry and sore, and that I've been dealing with severe headaches! I'm the dogre is going to give the head dentist some serious drilling because I need to be assured that the infection hasn't dangerously spread elsewhere. On a related note, here's my word of the day for you: iatrogenic—a malady induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon, or by a medical treatment or diagnostic procedures.

Happy carbs—mr. L alerted my seastar, who informed me, that we had missed our seastar anniversaire this year! So, we had a late celebration, doing what we do best; we ate. And then ate some more. We also nursed three cider beers each for five hours. My alcohol tolerance has become laughable.

Happy carbs—our home is super clean out of necessity and courtesy to the unit owners, who are struggling to rent this place out. Actually, we can call this one happy carbs/rotten meat because we've been inconvenienced with twenty six viewings thus far. 26! On one evening, they showed the place to six different individuals at six separate times. I don't think the manager has a good grasp of efficiency, as her ad sucked and she isn't even screening the inquirers. She's also getting the condo concierge to do her legwork, even though it isn't part of his job description and he doesn't receive monetary compensation! It's really annoying for us because it affects when we can cook, eat, and relax. But, times are tough and I suppose people are less inclined to spend x amount of money on a shoebox we've been calling home.

Happy carbs—these awesome titanium aviators by Ray-Ban.

Happy carbs—an adorable anchor necklace purchased at UO over the weekend. $20!
Happy carbs—food visuals! We ate at voglie ristorante & lounge,  just north of Church and Wellesley, for a friend's birthday dinner.
Clockwise: spaghettini al pomodoro with chicken, grilled new york strip, penne alla vodka, roasted chicken supreme. I'd return! Gawd, how I love spaghettini. It's my favourite! So thin and plentiful, and easily coated with sauce...Dreamy.

Some new recipes we tried last week...
Roasted maple chicken and sweet potatoes, turkey and bacon sandwich with avocado and pesto, toasted prosciutto, apple, and cheddar sandwich with honey mustard sauce, and chocolate chip oreo cookies. All recipes here, on my online recipe box. Looking forward to baking a lemon poppy seed loaf sometime this week.

Mama's Pizza had a special event and we got deliciously thin medium pepperoni pies for $4.99 each.
Really, are you even surprised to see pizza again? I forgot to eat dinner...Oops! How about another word before I leave: sesquipedalianism—given to using long words (I can think of a couple of people who intentionally and unnecessarily use long or fancy words...heh). Bye now!

May 3, 2010

Le Petit Prince B&B (Montreal)

Some time ago, we took a spontaneous one night trip to Montreal, specifically to visit this bed and breakfast. The b&b is very charming, unique, a short walking distance to the main shopping and entertainment streets, and they provide a delicious complimentary breakfast!
We were the only guests and even the staff headed home for the night. I found myself startled with every breath the house took (wooden floors sighing, pipes coughing...) since I'm not used to sleeping in a house (actually...I also get antsy at hotels and unfamiliar apartments...and camping...). But, because it was empty, we had the opportunity to leisurely stroll through the whole house, inspect each suite, eat our wraps, and sip our colas in absolute privacy.
Basically, there are 5 rooms: Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, and Ivory room—each uniquely designed and full of character (we stayed in the Yellow room). Look below for a few photos and hop over to the website for information and availability.
Breakfast...They also served chocolate pastries but we gobbled them up before remembering to snap a picture.
Did you see the red kitchen? Loving the magic box!