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Leslieviller

Hellloooo from Toronto!!

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Or, my new ‘hood Leslieville :)

Sister Sara took the bus with me from Ottawa yesterday and we immediately came to my neighbourhood and hit up a place called Ceili Cottage.

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SO many good restaurants in my area, but we chose this place because Sara raved about their caesars.

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Rimmed with seaweed!!

They had a lot of neat traditional fare, which varies day to day based on their weekly roast. Thursday’s special was a Peameal sandwich + salad.

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With fresh Irish brown bread. OMG. So good.

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We split the above sandwich and a smoked salmon plate. Salmon was freshly smoked too. I can see myself coming back here a lot!! Apparently they roast marshmallows sometimes??

Once our bellies were adequately full, we checked out the apartment situation. I came with only three suitcases and a sleeping bag, so my room is pretty bare at the moment.

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Unfortunately the apartment wasn’t cleaned before we moved in, so it needed to be scrubbed down right away. More pictures to come once we get the place spic and span!!

Seeing as yesterday was Canada Day on top of moving day, drinks were in order!!

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This GIANT beer is called the Leslieville Lager at Stratengers pub, although I’m told it may be Big Rock Amber or the likes. There was a lot of muscle contraction happening bringing that giant glass to my mouth.

I ordered an un-pictured salad (vegetables!!) but Sara ended up with something that was very  blog-worthy.

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A gargantuan enchilada. Look at the cheese!! It was cah-razy. And wonderful. All at once. Check out Sara’s thumb in the back. She ate maybe a third of it. The rest is currently cheesing up our new fridge.

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Yay! Sisters!! Sara has been so helpful throughout all of this. It’s not even worth going into because I won’t do her kindness any justice!!

Giant beers were followed by giant fireworks.

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Fireworks must be watched on Canada Day. I think I missed them last year due to my job at the time. Happy to be here this year instead :)

We ended up going to bed too late, and were up too early. I’ve got a lovely cough happening right now which will hopefully be cured with a good night’s sleep tonight. I’ve been putting my poor body through quite the wringer lately!!

All hopes of running this morning were put aside. Sara and I rolled right from bed to the Leslieville Diner.

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It’s everything a diner should be, from the endless coffee refills to the raspy-voiced waitress who knows everyone by first name.

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You can’t go wrong with a $4.85 breakfast special. Yes, you could get egg whites, or fruit, or some other upgrade, but y’all know I really wanted the bacon and whole eggs.

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Hey, at least I went fro whole wheat dry toast ;) And yes, I did eat all THREE eggs. It kept me full for 5 hours.

The lasting power was needed today, as Sara and I embarked on my first ever pilgrimage to IKEA.

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The one-way trip required a bus, three subways, and a special IKEA shuttle to the store. Yes, a shuttle.

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It was worth it though, we managed to get a mattress, bed frame, two small tables, two drawer units and a small bookshelf for a very very reasonable price.

I’m told any trip to IKEA must include a trip to its restaurant.

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This was definitely an experience in itself. I of course had to try their famous Swedish meatballs.

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Ummm, pretty frickin’ good!! I really liked the mild gravy on top, and the balls themselves were nicely spiced. I must say though, I still prefer making meatballs at home!!

Sara and I split the above, as well as the below…

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Cinnamon rolls count as a meal carb… right?? Right?? :P Okay, this was so not necessary, but holymoly it was divine. My sister and I are self-proclaimed cinnamon roll and sticky bun connoisseurs, and this one definitely makes my Top 5. Lots of cinnamon sugar and super soft.

Currently, I’m drinking a DC (blame the hot weather and illness).

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While blogging from what is likely to be my new favourite coffee shop.

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Comfy chairs, good music and date squares the size of my hand. I have a feeling I’m going to like Toronto :)

 

Blogging will be sporadic until I get internet on Tuesday, but there are still more amazing blogger interviews to go up. Thank you so much for joining me on these last couple months of being a vagabond, I’m really excited to unpack my bags and set up a new life here. Now, if you don’t mind, I have an IKEA delivery due in 15 minutes ;)

The Final Frontier

Howdy!! Wait, I am no longer in Alberta, I can’t say that anymore. I am currently sitting in my sister’s apartment in Ottawa having a lover’s reunion with my laptop. As much as I would like to sit here all day and reunite with it, I have a new city to explore – Ottawa!

But first, I must recap my last two days in Alberta. For those of you catching up, I spent a week in the wild rose province with my blogging soul-mate Holly, traveling through Calgary, Banff and the Rockies. Other recaps can be found here, here, here and here. I don’t even care if you read them all – but the pictures are definitely worth looking at! Canada is incredibly beautiful, I think something a lot of us may take for granted!

Also, for those of you who may not know the area – here’s  a handy dandy map of where we were:

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Circled are Calgary, Banff and Lake Louise. All within a couple hours drive. That green area are the Rocky Mountains which border Alberta and British Columbia and stretch far down into the US. It’s seriously one of the most beautiful places on this side of the earth!

Unfortunately, the skies clouded over again by the time we returned to Banff from camping on Monday. But it did make for some spooky mountain views ;)

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I’d gotten a recommendation for The Bison. We had no idea what to expect walking in, but who are we to turn down a stunning recommendation?

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It was a nifty little lunch-type place with a long list of sandwiches, wines and interesting cocktails.

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I actually don’t typically order sandwiches when dining out, but it seems like it’s all I got in Alberta! All the options looked amazing!

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I took a break from the red meat and went for the House Smoked Tuna + Aged Gouda: olive tapenade, fried capers, fresh tomatoes, romaine.

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Yumyumyum. The seedy baguette enclosing the inside goodness was definitely the highlight of this sandwich.

Highlight of the meal though, surprisingly, was the side salad!

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Greek salad, but more along the lines of a traditional Greek with no lettuce and cubes of all the usual suspects. I dug this. A lot.

This is where Holly and I spent the afternoon in an internet cafe… LOVE traveling with bloggers! ;)

Seeing as our trip was starting to wind down, our bank accounts were looking a little smaller. We opted for a cheap-o dinner in on Monday night. Thankfully, that also included well over a serving of vegetables. Perhaps my first the whole trip (well, that wasn’t bacon-wrapped).

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An egg scramble of sorts with broccoli slaw we found on sale. However, it was missing a little sumthin’ and at the last minute, we threw in smokehouse almonds. YUM. The almonds totally made this dish.

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Rounded out with a piece of buttered Silver Hills bread and dried apricots.

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There seems to be evidence of a saltwater rum taffee after this meal, however I see no reason to believe this ever happened ;)

Our oatmeal stores had run out come Tuesday morning, but we still managed to come up with a lovely breakfast.

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Or Holly did anyways, as my soft-fried egg was a little, err, scrambled ;)

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But the maple jelly and almond butter toast was to die for.

We made our last Evelyn’s stop…

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The “Again” part is quite appropriate, as there is an Evelyn’s on literally every block in Banff. Why walk two blocks for coffee when you can just walk one? ;)

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Extra extra large of Evelyn’s house blend. Ahhh… and all is right with the world again…

There was also this guy…

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Every time we walked past The Fudgery while in Banff, we were harassed by an array of deliciously sweet smells and a mouth-watering window display.

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I’d like to blame Holly for finally getting me in here… but let’s face it, I’m an easy sell.

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That my friends, is a vanilla coconut drop straight from the heavens.

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Similar to a macaroon, but smoother. Mostly because it had more butter and sugar than a macaroon, which as we all know makes everything better.

I may have eaten this for lunch while waiting for the Greyhound bus. Just sayin’.

Tuesday afternoon we went back to Calgary for our final night. I tried one more Banff goody once we got to the hostel (macaroons don’t make for filling lunches)

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Salmon jerky. I apologize to my fellow hostel-mates, because this definitely stank up the room.

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I have a soft spot for jerky though, and I love salmon, so this was right up my alley. A wonderful snack!

Holly and I needed to bring a little class back to the trip, so we visited the Glenbow Museum in Calgary for an Impressionist Print exhibit.

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I lovelovelove Impressionist art. Van Gogh (seen above) is probably my favourite. I blame my parents for taking me to the Van Gogh Gallery in Amsterdam when I was young and impressionable (no pun intended).

Unfortunately, Holly and I aren’t very good at this “class” thing. We soon found ourselves getting rosy-cheeked at a bar.

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A Big Rock Grasshopper at Lounge Burger to be exact. We were waiting for Allison of Eat Clean Live Green fame!! You would think we’d be sick of burgers after a week of non-stop red meat. But a classic Alberta beef burger was the perfect way to leave with a bang.

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Alberta’s Own: From Alberta’s own butter beef ranch, hormone free, ranch raised beef, served with blue cheese and caramelized pears on a kaiser bun.

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I seriously do not know how I was a vegetarian for 8 years and honestly thought veggie patties were a sufficient substitute for the real thing.

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Not even close.

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The three of us ended up chatting for hours (as these bloggie meet-ups usually tend to go) and we were so distracted we forgot to snap a photo!! Boo! I guess that just means Allison and Holly will have to come visit me in Toronto ;)

Well my friends, that wraps up my week-long adventure in the Rockies. I can’t remember how Holly and I cooked up the idea to gallivant through the mountains, but it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. In the past, fear probably would have held me back from doing something like this. But really, the only thing I need to fear is perhaps a little indigestion from too much red meat ;) And to think – the adventure is really only just beginning!

See ya tomorrow for a Banff trip exit interview with Holly, and a sneak peek at what I’ve been doing in Ottawa since arriving on Wednesday!!

Ohyes – and have a great start to your weekend!! xoxo

Doggone It

Happy Saturday friends!! This is my last weekend as a working woman. Or, at least until I become an employed Torontonian. <—that word looks silly

I was thisclose to calling it a rest day today, but I got my butt out of bed and managed to stay pretty active!

I passed out at the usual time last night and was up at the usual workweek time. My body likes to stick to a schedule, what can I say.

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I’ve actually been going through nut butter faster than I can eat oats out of them! Not today though. I’ve been saving this baby ;)

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I savoured this so slowly that it actually got cold by the end. Something that never happens in the insulated jar. Maranatha should just sell near-empty jars ;)

That held me over for a while because there was probably a quarter cup’s worth of almond butter in there (exaggeration, maybe). Grabbed a “treat” for a snack to power me through kickboxing.

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I want to like this flavour, as in my head it should taste like a chocolate chip cookie (probably my favourite food on the whole planet).

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But I think I rather just eat a buttery cookie. Still a decent bar though – Maple Nut is the best!

Body Combat was not as tough this week! It’s a new “release,” which means the songs and moves have all changed. A lot less jumping around, and a lot more punching. Meant my heart rate was lower, and my already sore biceps are now super angry at me. Incline curls kill them every single time.

The forecast called for rain today, but it hadn’t started yet by the time I got home. Archie was aalll over me to go for a walk, so I tempted fate and took him. Ten minutes in the sun came out and it was beautiful!! Ended up taking him along the river, for just over an hour. Archie was a total rockstar and made friends with everyone we met. People are never that friendly when it’s just me ;)

I also did a lot of observing of my fellow dog walkers – it’s true that people and their pets resemble each other.

It was almost 3pm by the time I sat down for lunch and I was starved.

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Nothing fancy, just food in my belly as quickly as I could get it there.

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Hummus, laughing cow, tuna and tomato sandwich.

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Lemon yogurt mixed with plain (to cut back on the sweetness) and some All Bran Buds for crunch.

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This was crazy delicious. It was probably part hunger, but definitely a satisfying meal :)

Archie had something to eat too, and then passed out from exhaustion.

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Poor fella, he was really struggling to keep up towards the end of the walk! He definitely doesn’t have the same energy he did 13 years ago…

Dinner was a quick and simple stir-fry.

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Shrimp and chicken breast with a plethora of frozen veggies (Europe’s Best Imperial Blend) sesame oil, Bragg’s and a drizzle of teriyaki.

And just so we’re clear, I had a piece of chocolate after every single meal today ;)

After dinner, I went out for another walk with a friend! 90 minutes in and all around downtown. T’was fun, but my feet are hurting after being on them all day. Going to spend the rest of the evening curled up, finishing Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: The Pioneer Woman’s true life Harlequin romance story . Love her.

 

Question of the Day: If you could get any (additional) pet, what would it be? This is something else I think about a lot, because I reallyreally want a dog someday. Probably the only thing that makes me desire settling down. Depending on where I live, I want either a basset hound or a cavalier king charles spaniel. Both of which probably resemble me in some way ;)

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