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Things I Learned: November Edition

A simple cone filter really does make the best coffee. Better than a French press!

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I need not be afraid of butter. It makes everything taste uh-mazing.

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Well, almost amazing. I also need to double and triple-check recipes. Adding twice the amount of butter to a bread recipe will leave you with a flat, dense, and crusty loaf.

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But there are always ways to redeem myself and turn a #bakingfail into a #bakingwin :)

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Ham & cheese can make anything taste good!

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Fish tacos, where have you been all my life??

Jack Russell Terriers may be small, but I think they can out-run me.

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Blog friends are the bestest.

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I agree with Janetha, we all need to move to an island together.

Do not drink a giant mug of coffee before a yoga class. And if you do, make sure you have access to a washroom close to the studio.

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Working at a running store has become a great way to unload unwanted sweets from my kitchen. Give a group of hungry runners 20 chocolate chip cookie dough balls, and they will have them demolished in less than two hours.

You can never have too many running shoes.

Especially when a pair of Saucony Progrid Ride 2 & Brooks Ghost 2 shoes only cost you $25 each. Did I mention I love my job?

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Turkey + cranberry + stuffing makes for an awesome sandwich filling…

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…but only when using real leftovers. Sliced turkey, mayonnaise and stuffing that isn’t my mom’s just doesn’t have the same flavour.

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Working 7 hours on your feet and walking a mile to work still doesn’t equal 10,000 steps.

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But little things, like walking to the grocery store and getting off the bus a stop early surprisingly add up!!

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Yoga, in my humble opinion, is one of the best ways to experience a new city. Better than a tour bus, and more relaxing too.

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Chinese food really is better on the West Coast.

Six months is too long to go without travelling home. I miss my hometown, no matter how small, ugly or boring it may be.

Toronto really does stink. I still haven’t adjusted to the air quality here and find running in the pollution much harder than expected. I miss the fresh air!

And I miss the snow. I wake up every morning hoping to see a white winterland outside. I had no idea I was so attached to the stuff!

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Finally, I learned that while I may not have left my heart in San Francisco, I definitely left it on the West Coast. This East Coast gal still has some exploring to do.

Question of the Day: What did you learn in November?

Don’t forget!!
**I’m accepting your favourite cookie recipes until Thursday for a special holiday cookie post. Leave yours here!
**I’m on Facebook! Click here to get updates on Facebook, plus access to a special upcoming giveaway!
**Deb is still taking orders for our Blogger Babe calendar. 15 bucks and all of it goes to help cancer patients. Click here to get one!

All Good Things Come To An End

Some things never change no matter where you are. You can take the girl out of Canada, but you can’t take her out of Starbucks.

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I blog probably 80% of my posts using the free wifi at Starbucks in between clients. Here I am with a few spare moments in San Francisco and I find myself blogging from a Starbucks on the legendary Powell Street. Go figure.

I have so many photos to sort through. I’ve eaten some of the best food of my life on this trip. I’ve seen some amazing sights. And yet, all I can think about now are the wonderful people I’ll be leaving tomorrow. Wah!

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A million thank yous to Suki for letting me crash at her place and being my personal tour guide in San Francisco.

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Holly and I reunited once again after a week spent hiking together during the summer.

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Janetha, long-time blog buddy, now real-life friend.

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Sophia, one of my first blog readers. I wish I got more time to spend with her, she’s hilarious!

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 Leah!!

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She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m going to show up on her doorstep one of these days. We’ve been online friends through The Daily Plate way before we started blogs.

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Lara, another long-time bloggie friend who I was so excited to meet!

Attending the Foodbuzz Festival was sort of a last minute decision on my part. Yes, seeing San Francisco has been amazing and the food was wonderful. But meeting so many food bloggers has definitely been the best part!IMG_3346 IMG_1886 IMG_3486

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Special shout-out to my roomies.

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I wouldn’t want to cuddle in a presidential suite with anyone else.

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Another special thanks to Danica, Janetha, Elise and Holly for letting me steal some of their pictures for this post. I apologize if your glutes are sore from bootcamp today.

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I hate goodbyes.

Mumbo Jumbo + A Breakfast Oatcake Recipe

Wonderful comments on yesterday’s post, Blogging About Healthy Living – Is It Healthy? And thank you for indulging me in my observations and opinions :)

This post is going to be all over the place – much like me lately!

First things first, a recipe.

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Four times a week I roll out of bed at 5:15am to be on the streetcar by 5:45am and work by 6:30am. Essentially enough time to clear the sleep from my eyes, brush my teeth, put on mascara, and stuff my gym clothes into my bag.

I suppose I could get up earlier than this to have a proper sit-down breakfast. But seeing the number “4” on my alarm clock freaks me out.

Because of this, I’ve been eating breakfast literally on-the-go most days of the week. Usually during my 15 minute streetcar ride to the subway station. Breakfast needs to be quick, cold, and something I won’t spill on my lap.

My latest on-the-go breakfast creation was actually inspired by the traditional Scottish oatcakes I made for the second Project Food Blog challenge in this post.

I begin my mixing the following ingredients:

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  • 1/2 cup dry rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup soy protein powder (optional, can be replaced with flour)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (okay, I actually use way more than that)
  • 2 pinches baking soda (around 1 tsp)
  • 2 packets stevia (can use honey, brown sugar, mashed banana, etc)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (again, optional!)
  • fun add-ins! This batch has TJ’s flattened banana bits and mini chocolate chips
  • Little mix of warm liquid like water or milk

Mix it all up, adding the liquid just until everything is slightly soft and dissolved. Form mixinto little patties. Throw on a medium-heat greased frying pan and cook until brown and firm.

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Suddenly I’m left with three little oatcakes with good nutritionals that I can eat ALL of for breakfast!

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I make these the night before while I prep my coffee and lunch. Store in a little baggie to grab-n-go at 5am :)

The oatcakes also get a much better reception from my fellow streetcar passengers compared to creations such as these…

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That would be cottage cheese with nut butter, oats and dried fruit. This tupperware filled with mush generates a lot of weird and disgusted looks. Much worse however are the days I choose to bring boiled eggs. Not everyone appreciates it when I stink up the back car!

Secondly, I am currently without internet at home.

I’ve actually been without it since last Thursday and won’t be online again until this Friday. For someone who spends a HUGE chunk of their day on the world wide web, it’s proven to be a little difficult. A nice vacation from it all I guess, but it’s also causing me to fall way behind on important work commitments. Le boo.

This means I’ve been spending even more time leeching off free wifi in cafes.

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Which is saying a lot, because I pretty much live at Starbucks between clients anyways. I live too far away to scoot home during the longer breaks, so I just haul my laptop around with me!

This also means that sometimes, I fall victim to the cafe food case.

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Yesterday, I had a Santa Fe Chicken Panini from Starbucks. It was pretty decent!! Expensive though.

Thirdly, the leftovers from my beer filled dinner party just keep giving.

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For lunch yesterday I ate a whack of leftover Chicken & Tofu in a Peanut & Beer Sauce. Seriously. This dish is bomb. Peanut butter and beer really do make everything better.

Today I also had two Guinness Stout Brownies for breakfast. But there is conveniently no photographic evidence that ever actually happened. We’re moving on ;)

Finally, I added tuna to the Pale Ale Cabbage Slaw to turn it into a main dish!

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I was left with two extra bags of pre-mixed slaw and ate a whole bag for lunch. Veggies stand no chance in my presence.

Fourthly (??) I feel like I should let you know that the party didn’t end after the dinner party on Saturday night. Friends, I was up until 5am. Not what you think though. Ohno, we kept it classy with art exhibitions!

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…in the street. Every year, Toronto hosts this event called “Nuit Blanche” from dusk till dawn. The whole city is taken over by pieces of mostly modern art. The streets were packed with people ALL night!

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Unfortunately, we didn’t see much. By staying out so late, we also ran out of steam and only stumbled across two pieces. The above van with holes and lights.

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And the screening of The Beatles movie Hard Days Night. Sloooowed down to run for 12 hours and accompanied by a string quartet playing veeerrrry slowly.

Ohyes, and there was that creepy dollhouse that is unfortunately not an exhibit but real life. Perhaps it’s better we just forget about that.

Fifthly, I received a very pretty package today.

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Aahhh, even Deb knows I keep it classy ;)

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The “crack” being Trader Joes Sunflower Seed Butter. My favourite!!! Along with some Luna Chocolate Peppermint stick flavour that we also can’t get in Canada, and little bags of mysterious Japanese nuts. (yes, I know how that sounds)

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Okay, technically they’re Mini Broad Beans in a soy sauce-like flavouring. Verrrry good and the perfect little treat! THANK YOU for perking up my day Deb!!!!

Sixthly, this is really cool chocolate.

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I love Ritter Sport brand to begin with, but this kind has Cornflakes in it!

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Just a little crisp added to the soft milk chocolate. Definitely recommended.

Lastly (but definitely not leastly!)

Voting is still open for Project Food Blog! Are you sick of these prompts yet? This week’s challenge goes from 200 to 100 bloggers, with the final blogger getting $10,000. I feel so lucky to have made it this far, as the whole process has turned out to be pretty fun. Also a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has supported and voted for me thus far. I’ve been playing with ideas of things I could do with that money, and I definitely want it to involve my readers and the greater good somehow! To keep me in the running, click here, sign up and give me a big ole’ heart! :)

Question of the Day: It’s time for Q&As!! If you have any questions you want me to address in a post, leave it in the comments or e-mail me at thegreatbalancingact@gmail.com I’ll be addressing all sorts of topics, silly, serious, personal, fitness related, food related, anything!

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