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I spent a lot of time on the streetcar today.

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One thing I love about Toronto is that at any time of the day I can step onto the street and be whisked off in a matter of minutes. No need to ever check a schedule. The downside of course is that Toronto is a huge city, so getting around still takes time. And I had a lot of places to go today.

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Remember when I worked an 8-5 office job and complained about cold breakfasts? HA! That seems like a different time in a different world. These days I’m looking for anything but an 8-to-5er in a chair and all about the cold breakfasts. It’s hot in the mornings!

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I know this looks messy and gross, so you know it was delicious ;)

  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 scoop (30g) unflavoured soy protein powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed berry jam
  • cinnamon
  • fresh strawberries + blackberries
  • 1 tbsp crunchy almond butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp dry rolled oats

Bam. One of those bowls where I throw things in as I go and the result is nothing short of amazing. As a side note, I still don’t like overnight oats (it’s cold mush! plain and simple!!), but I am loving dry oatmeal sprinkled on yogurt. Go figure!

That bowl had me bursting at the seams with fullness by the time I went off to job interview #1 at a *ahem* “very popular coffee chain.” One that I have 5 years experience working at!! It’s my back-up, and something I really love to do. Making lattes and chatting with regulars all day is a blast. I really liked the manager and store location, I think it could be a great source of income for me while I get this personal training thing off the ground :)

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I also got lost for the first time since arriving in the city. Okay, I actually showed up to the wrong place, when it was really 10 minutes down the road. Not a good way to start off an interview!! I knew ahead of time I’d be tight on time for lunch, so I’d pre-made a tuna sandwich to eat at home between appointments.

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With mass amounts of carrots + salsa! Better than carrots + hummus, or carrots + ranch, or any other combo. All in my humble opinion of course ;)

Then it was off to interview #2 for the day!! This interview is the reason why I held off on accepting the job offer at the other gym right away, and I learned today it was the right choice. I am in love with this new gym and feel like it really suits my goals for personal training. Please cross all your body parts that I get hired!!

After more running around and several subway and streetcars later, I ended up at a place called Kyoto House for sushi.

Kyoto House Japanese Restaurant
Source

Okay. So funny story.

Last Thursday, I’m in this corner convenience store downtown picking up diet coke that I may or may not have mixed with whiskey. But that’s neither here nor there. The real point is that while in the store, I ran into someone I knew! From New Brunswick!! Toronto is almost 1500 km away and home to 2.5 million people. It’s not like I was expecting to just casually run into someone I know from New Brunswick in a random convenience store downtown.

Anyways, clearly, a dinner was in order.

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Both of us New Brunswickers have been told that we need to experience sushi in Toronto. He was staying near Kyoto House on Dundas, which I’d been told had good sushi at a good price.

They actually offer an all-you-can eat deal, but we weren’t really feeling it. I opted for the Special Sashimi: Tuna, Salmon, Surf Clam, White Tuna.

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Yeah, I legitimately love the “raw fish.” It’s got such a sweet flavour!

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Loved the thick-sliced sashimi!! Oddly, my favourite part was the pickled ginger, and I don’t typically like fresh ginger.

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Scott went for the Sushi Special which conveniently arrived on a boat. I hate to say this, but even the rolls tasted better than the ones I tried in NB. And the miso soup was honestly the best I’ve ever had. I don’t care if that makes me a Toronto snob now… good food is good food.

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The sake was totally Scott’s idea.

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But when in a sushi house in Toronto, right?

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The best part though are the pieces of fruit you get at the end of the meal.

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It was super fun catching up with a friend from home. Now I want all my friends from back home to come visit so I can take them out to eat in Toronto. Kapeesh??

 

Question of the Day: Sushi. Yay? Nay? What’s your favourite thing to get? So far I love salmon and tuna sashimi… but I’m always looking for new things to try!

Reflections, Flashbacks, and Lessons Learned

Four months ago, on January 4th, I started a brand new job. People start new jobs all the time, but I like to think I’ve become a bit of an expert in my 24 years.

My first job was as a cashier at Zellers when I was in grade 11. I lasted the month of December, then politely left the second the holidays were over.

My second job came the summer after grade 11, when I was 17. I was hired on as a barista at a Starbucks in a book store because I used words like “youthful” and “bright” to describe the taste of coffee.

My first day there was probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences of my life. But that job pulled me out of my teenage shell. I’d gone from agoraphobic to a Chatty Cathy in a green apron in just one year. The last day on that job was more bitter than sweet. But high school was over and I was on to, erm, “other” things.

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By other things, I mean another Starbucks in a city 90 minutes away.

I stayed at that Starbucks for two years before I quit to focus on school. Those two years were just as good, if not better, than my previous year as a barista. I met my best friends at that store, had a blast, and made some pretty good drinks!

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I ended up returning to that store when I started to miss the money, and social aspect. However, I ended up leaving after another year, when I scored a job as a radio reporter and broadcaster.


I read the weekend news, working a few extra coffee shop jobs on the side. I became a full-time reporter there once I finished university. I was at the radio station for two years all together, and again learned more about myself than I could have ever predicted. I thought I was doing the right thing by forcing myself even more out of my shell everyday as a reporter. But I guess I have my limits. And this was it.

I was not reporter material, but I will always look back on my days in the radio biz with fondness. There is a certain old romance about radio that you just don’t get with any other medium. I’ll hold on to this old mike sock forever.

I’d started back at Starbucks before I even left my radio gig in December. I’d taken up the role of supervisor to get me through the in-between period of getting my personal training certification and figuring out what the hell I wanted to do with my life.

Then I got an e-mail.

A shot in the dark. An old professor of mine e-mailed me on my old student account three days before Christmas. I got a pull to check that neglected account before leaving for home for the holidays. This professor also happens to be the communications director of my alma matter. A job in the department opened up and he thought of me. Days after leaving what should have been the perfect job, a new one fell into my lap.

And I loved it.

The university campus is beautiful, the people are wonderful, the work is fun and challenging in all the right ways. I was filling in for someone due back in May. So the short-term position worked perfectly in my “what the hell am I going to do with my life?” plan.

Today, four months after starting, I said goodbye to my first ever desk.

In four short months, I learned even more at that job. Not that I had to force myself out of my shell, or put on a veil, or be a certain someone. But rather, I learned to just be. I learned to be myself, to be honest, to be open. I learned happiness is possible no matter where or what I’m doing. Happiness can be where I least expect it, so I better not push it away before I have the chance to experience it. I learned it’s possible to look forward to a job everyday, and feel comfortable in your work environment.

I also learned just how very important note taking is. And how impossibly disorganized I really am.

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I walked out today with pieces that I wrote, contributed to and helped design over the months. A lot of hard work on one little piece of paper.

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They will be placed in the shoebox with my mike sock and green apron. Maybe I’ll pull some of them out again one day, but I fully expect to keep adding to that box as the years go on…

For the first time since I was 17, I do not have another job lined up. I don’t have a plan. It is strange beyond explanation. I feel like a stranger in my own life. But I am excited to finally be taking this jump. Because this month, I learned happiness is possible anywhere. Even though everything from here on out is completely unknown, I’m confident I can be happy wherever I end up.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”

- Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking-Glass, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”

Not Ready To Leave

Good news! I don’t work until Tuesday evening, so I decided to stay an extra night at my mom’s :) I’m currently cuddled up watching movies with the fam. No wonder I want to move home – they treat me too well! ;)

Chris wasn’t feeling well this morning so I was solo for spin class today at the giant-sized Nubodys Dieppe. It’s one of those “Super Clubs” and it’s gorgeous!! It’s in a heavily wooded area and has a “resort” feel to it. I wish I’d taken pictures. But no worries, it’s the gym I’m doing my personal training course at in a couple weeks – so I’ll be back!

As for the spin class, it was challenging, I loved it. The instructor was quite knowledgeable and explained what and why we needed to do everything really well. She also had us do some tough seated hill climbs, and then standing climbs while we pulled back and hovered over our seat. Holy moly, my legs are pretty accustomed to spin, but they’re already sore!

Came home starving as per usual and filled my belly with more smoked meat.

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Toasted on rye bread with mustard, relish, swiss cheese and grapes on the side. Believe it or not my family has actually eaten most of the giant hunk of smoked meat my mom bought at Costco. We eat like pros ;)

It’s also become a bit of a running joke that my nana, mother and I eat our cookies one half at a time.

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I guess we like to nibble on our sweets rather than eat them all at once. Others keep finding bits and pieces of cookies and wondering what happened to the rest of them :P

Also being nibbled – another Costco-sized item – mixed nuts.

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Way too salty for my tastebuds, but that hasn’t stopped me from digging out the brazil nuts ;)

It was a goooorgeous day here. Around +3 C (37 F) and clear skies. So my mom Mark, Jane, Chris and I all head out for a walk.

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We walked down to Centennial Park, one of Moncton’s green areas. The trails weren’t that great because the snow was either melting or freezing over into ice.

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Is it wrong the ducks made me think of Julia Child and de-boning a duck? I can hardly believe I was a vegetarian for eight years ;)

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I must also say that I enjoyed running on this same trail more when I was home this summer. I miss the warm weather already!

We were out for around 50 minutes. It was great to get the fresh air – it’s been a while for me! I’ve been hibernating indoors recently.

I was hungry again when we got home, so I dug into one of the Glo Bars Angela gave me.

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Angela said this is a new flavour with no name yet. It had peanut butter, apricots, cranberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds and some mystery seed I couldn’t put my finger on. Hemp maybe?

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The bar was ooey-gooey and absolutely lovely. I liked the huge chunks of dried fruit and almonds. Felt more like a treat than some of the other boring bars I eat.

Dinner tonight was yet another fabulous meal. I was in charge of the salad:

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Mixed greens, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, green pepper, bacon bits, parmesan. 

My mom’s dish was the real masterpiece though…

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She pretty much made it up!! Instead of making a turkey pot pie, she made the filling (with xmas dinner leftovers), then topped it with biscuits. 
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Sosososo good! I liked the filling much better with biscuit than I do with pie crust.

 

So I am going home for real tomorrow. I have yet to hear a confirmation on my new job, but I tentatively start next Monday. What a whirlwind that’s going to be! At least it will make this next busy week at Starbucks easier to get through. I’ll have to stock up on cheap coffee while I can ;)

I’ll also be working on the typical “year in review” and “goals for the new year” posts when I get home. I just don’t want to put the time into it while I’m here with the fam.

 

Question of the Day: Looking back over the past year, what’s the one thing that stands out in your memory the most? Mine is graduating from university in the spring!!! I’d say that’s a big milestone, no? :)

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