Blog Archives

All By Myself

I am not an only child, but I can most certainly relate.

As the youngest of three girls, I spent a lot of time playing alone. My older sisters only had two years between them, whereas I was 4 and 6 years behind. I learned how to make my own fun and spend time with just myself. I became my own best friend in some sense and as an adult I still revel in that time to myself.

Over the weekend, I stumbled across this video called How To Be Alone. It’s a video to accompany a poem written by a Canadian spoken word artist. It’s fantastic and I highly suggest you watch it!

 

It got me thinking about how I never mind doing things on my own. While I do thrive off the energy of others, I also crave that time in my own thoughts. I like shopping alone, going to the movies alone, working out and exploring this city alone. Lately, I’ve also been dining out alone.

IMG_1941

I’ve come to learn that the Pickle Barrel is a bit of a Toronto institution. I’d never heard of it until moving here, but it’s a place people like to go to whenever they’re in town!

I came here after work one late Friday afternoon. I was actually on my way to Subway, but I had time to spare and a relaxing dining experience sounded enticing. They seated me in a small booth and I spent a loooong time going over the extensive menu filled with all-day breakfast options, deli sandwiches and big salads. In the end I opted for the Grilled Chicken Hummus Wrap: Grilled chicken breast strips, black olives, mixed bell peppers, red onions, sundried tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese and hummus tightly wrapped in a warm flour tortilla. Served with mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette and fresh fruit.

IMG_1937

A+ Pickle Barrel! I’m a sucker for soft flour tortillas, the chicken was plentiful and well cooked with lots of hummus and sundried tomatoes (the best part). I didn’t get any fresh fruit, but the salad was fairly big and consisted of more than just greens.

After a busy and hectic couple weeks of work and pleasure, I decided to take myself out on another date this past Sunday morning. It started with a free yoga class at Lululemon. It was a Vinyasa class which I’ve come to love and even did crow pose for the first time!!

Feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, I walked down the street for a perfect Sunday brunch treat.

IMG_2288
Cafe Crepe on Queen Street in downtown Toronto has been on my extensive and ever-growing list of “restaurants to try” since I got here. I had high hopes for this place seeing as one of my favourite restaurants back home, Cafe Archbald, is a crepe place too!

IMG_2287

Cafe Crepe has a to-order window on the street, then a take-out counter at the front with a small eat-in counter. At first I was going to eat here since I was only a “party of one.” But then I thought “what the hell” and got seated in the dining room in the back.

I was surprised to see that while the menu was large, it didn’t necessarily have a lot of crepe fillings to offer. I opted to make up my own filling combo of ham, swiss, mushroom.

IMG_2284 
IMG_2285

What they lacked for in options, they made up for by stuffing the crepe full. Definitely did not hold back on any of the fillings! The crepe itself was a little on the sweeter side for me, but it was perfectly crispy and didn’t go soggy.

One thing I will say about dining alone is that servers get more nervous when you start taking pictures of your food :P

On my way back to the subway station I stumbled across this:

IMG_2289

A restaurant specializing in baked potatoes. Something else to add to my “to try” list. Although I think I may need reinforcements in the form of dining companions for this one ;)

 

Question of the Day: Do you spend much time alone or do you prefer being with others? What’s your favourite thing to do when it’s just you? I could easily seclude myself away from others without noticing, that’s why I try to make an extra effort to be social! And I like grocery shopping alone best :)

 

!! Voting is now officially open!!

You can read and check out my entry for Project Food Blog here if you want to help me become “the next food blog star!”

Can’t Stop the Heat

IMG_9409

It’s hot people!!!

I am sitting here in front of the fan with sweat dripping off me. It’s gross. But I felt the need to share.

Some great “keep cool” tips and recipes shared in the comments yesterday!

Jennifer suggested squeezing lemons and adding stevia for a fresh and low-sugar drink option.

Tamizn shared a healthy sundae recipe.

Angela suggested her strawberry rhubarb frozen yogurt.

Yes to all of them :)

After posting yesterday, I hit up the friendly neighbourhood sausage shop. I walked in and bought just one sausage. I felt so silly. But it’s all I wanted for dinner!

IMG_9373

I took my lonely sundried tomato chicken sausage and chopped it up to pan fry.

IMG_9377

Thrown on top of a garden salad with hummus, olives and feta.

IMG_9379

YUM to the sausage!! Living so close to a sausage and butcher shop is going to be awesome. I want to try all of their sausage flavours now, one lonely sausage at a time.

IMG_9382

Cantaloupe + cottage cheese was all I could muster in the heat this morning. I briefly thought about running early before the heat set in, but it was already 26C by 8am!!

Instead, I went to the gym and it’s actually really growing on me!! The number one thing I was upset about leaving Fredericton over was my gym there. I’d really grown to love it. But I get good vibes at my new gym here in Toronto – way important!! You’ve got to love the gym you go to, or else you’ll never make it there.

Ohyes, I suppose you may like to know what I did there ;) Full-body weightlifting day!

The following exercises are all in straight sets, meaning I did the sets for each exercise all in a row with a short rest time in between. Normally I alternate, but it’s fun to switch it up from the norm sometimes.

Exercise Load Reps Sets Target
Sumo squat  70 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes, thighs
Barbell split squat  60 lbs 8-12 3 Quads, glutes
Cable twisting chest press  17.5 lbs 8-12 3 Chest, front shoulder
Seated cable row  60 lbs 8-12 3 Back
Good morning  50 lbs 8-12 3 Lower back, glutes, hamstrings
Standing calf raise  50 lbs 8-12 3 Calves
Barbell upright row  30 lbs 8-12 3 Top/side of shoulder
Cable pushdown  30 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Preacher curl  25 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Captain’s chair  b/w 15 3 Abs

Oh, and my warm-up was a torturous mile on the treadmill. Running is sonotfun when you’ve got a stuffy nose. And when it’s hotter than a sauna. Otherwise, awesome weightlifting workout! :)

IMG_9385

Post-lifting snack = protein powder + banana. Whipped up some of my favourite protein goo (ie chocolate whey with a dash of water). Stellar snack!!

Then I rush-rushed (and sweat-sweated) off to Kensington Market for a reader meet-up!

IMG_9396 
Please excuse our “I just stepped out of an oven” look. It’s the fashion in the Tee Dot right now ;)

Jamee moved to Toronto on the same day as me!! She took the plunge coming all the way from British Columbia. It was so much fun bouncing things off someone who is brand-spankin-new to the city as well.

IMG_9392

Jamee is a vegan and had already scoped out Hibiscus Cafe for us.

IMG_9390
Their menu consisted of mostly delicious looking buckwheat crepes. I ended up with one that popped out at me immediately: pear, pecan and chutney. The flavours together were fabulous. Jamee got a yummy looking salad that I want to come back and try…

IMG_9388

It also must be noted that we sampled one of their vegan peanut butter crisp bars and it was amazing. Like, reallyreally good. Definitely recommend!

IMG_9395
Afterwards, Jamee and I wandered around Kensington Market, peeking into many of the shops and things on the street.

IMG_9398

Including shopping in an organic market!! I may suck at clothing shopping, but I’m happy in any grocery store ;)

Jamee and I then said goodbye, but I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be seeing lots of each other. She was so sweet and fun to hang out with!

I wandered back down to catch the streetcar, stopping through Chinatown along the way.

IMG_9399 IMG_9400

The rumours are true – Chinatown really does have the cheapest produce!! Left with a 69 cent head of romaine and a $1 pint of strawberries :)

Ohyes, and another drink to beat the heat after walking around for so long.

IMG_9402
Fresh watermelon juice.

Aka the best dollar I’ve spent in a long time. 

Now I’m off to go heat up more leftovers and shower for the second time today.

Ohoh!! And I got another job interview at another location. I totally wasn’t expecting it so I’m pretty pumped about it – it’s on Monday :)

 

Question of the Day: What’s the best dollar you spent recently? ;)

A sweet treat

Hello friends!! First and foremost I want to say I’m behind on all of y’all’s blogs. But I will be catching up when I get home tonight. So expect to see me popping up in your comments sections again soon :)

So I left you off at breakfast yesterday. I was feeling kind of icky after my two whole drinks that got me almost drunk. There’s a reason why they call it a cheap drunk – I spend less money on booze! :P

I had something to soak up the liquor.

100_6905

Two pieces of fresh baked whole wheat toast, soft-cooked eggs, mini plums. I’ve been buying diet bread for too long, this bakery stuff was glorious. I was raving about it all day yesterday!

Chris actually came up with the idea for his breakfast, I was quite impressed by his creativity!

100_6907

Bruschetta omelette with onion and cheddar cheese. Doesn’t that sound awesome? It’s a three-egg omelette smothered in cheese and buttered toast. I called this his “man breakfast.” But something was missing…

100_6909

Thaaat’s better. A breakfast beer :P

Then it was off to my Nana’s for more visiting. We came home for a pre-bike ride lunch.

100_6915

I picked up one of those roasted chickens from the grocery store, and mixed the white meat with hummus and onions. Then topped it with sliced tomato, spinach and sprouts on more of that glorious bread. It was delicious. Another instance of where mayo is not needed!

It took us a while, but Chris and I mapped out a 44km (27 mile) loop for our bike ride. Chris wanted to just hit the road and see where it took us, but I needed a plan! It was a really great ride. Awesome rolling and steep hills, which I have a hard time finding in Fredericton. I really liked biking with Chris too. He’s much faster than I, so I liked the challenge of trying to keep up with him. I pushed a little harder than I would have had I been by myself. In all, it took us 1 hour and 49 minutes.

We quickly showered when we got home and got ready for dinner. We decided on another one of my favourite Moncton restaurants, Cafe Archbald. (yes, it’s spelled incorrectly). This restaurant is known for two things crepes and thin crust pizza. So that’s what we got!

100_6917

I was feeling really dizzy and nauseated from the ride, a familiar feeling I now know is from a loss of electrolytes. So I opted for one of the saltier menu items, smoked salmon crepe.Smoked salmon, asparagus, green onion, capers, mozzarella and dijonnaise sauce.”

I asked for it light on the dijonnaise.

100_6921
So good! They really did go light on the dijonnaise, I could taste it only faintly. The salmon was quality, and the crepe itself was obviously delicious. I immediately felt better once I finished it too. The salty smoked salmon did the trick!

Chris got the All American pizza with Caesar salad.

100_6922

I’m pretty sure the pizza was just green pepper, mushroom, green onion and pepperoni. He said it was good :)

Afterwards though, our tummies still had some room. And how do you go to a crepe place and not get a dessert crepe?

100_6923

We went back and forth a lot on what kind to get. Chris didn’t really want anything fruity, and we both wanted chocolate. So we opted to split a brownies crepe.Brownies, chocolate, caramel, nuts and ice cream.”

Oh. My. Gosh.

100_6926

I’ll put it this way. Afterwards, I told Chris this crepe was my favourite part of our vacay. It was stuffed with warm, gooey brownies. The caramel sauce was perfection, I even thought the ice cream was delicious!

Happy bellies again :)

100_6919

100_6920

We had a pretty low-key night last night. My mom came home from the cottage, so we hung out with her and hit the hay early. I actually just got in from a morning 5k run, but I’ll save that all for my next post ;) Chris and I are spending the day shopping then heading back home after supper tonight. 

Hope you’re having a great start to the week!

Question of the day: What’s your favourite dessert? Mine is probably plain cheesecake, but I’m sucker for brownies and chocolate chip cookies!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 486 other followers