My Weekly Adventures: My First 5KM!

Welcome to February! We just passed through Valentine’s Day yesterday which I spent with my mom for dinner and then went to do some errands and wrapped up the night preparing for a podcast recording and writing and gaming. Suffice to say that I didn’t celebrate but then I’m hoping that you did enjoy the ongoing Valentine’s double feature celebrations going on here. Its been a packed first half of February whether its personal stuff to settle or working (yay to overtime) or trying to get everyone to join into Ultimate 2000s Blogathon and much more. Its been a packed 15 days!

Let’s see what went on!


While I did get forced into doing the 5km and it was a painful experience especially afterwards because I hadn’t trained for it. However, I did a pretty awesome time, coming in 10 minutes faster than I initially expected. Time was: 35:21.9 . Not too shabby,right? Anyways, I’ll be getting back to working out soon since I need to fit into dresses for two upcoming weddings in 2019. And I’m sure that after my good time without training, my friend is going to try to get me to do more 5km runs. I’m not opposed to them because it was quite fun but then running inside through the underground and running outside are two different things completely.


February 5th was Chinese New Year and we did some nice decorations different from last year and went crazy looking for flowers to decorate. 5 flower shops but at least now, we know where to buy some flowers near-ish to our neighborhood. Yay to discovering new things, right? Its the year of the pig so Piglet and Pua made its appearance onto the shelf outside of my office as piggy decorations. I also picked up some new fake flowers from Michael’s for the tall floor vase to give it some color.


Valentine's Marathon

For the first time in all the years that I’ve done the Valentine’s Marathon, this is the first time its extending past the 14th. Because of the theme this year with the Netflix alphabet, I am going to continue through this until the end of February to finish out the alphabet. There are some fun changes due to lack of choices. Anyways, point is, I have a nice little tentative schedule to pair up with the blogathon as they overlap and be able to finish off the Valentine’s Marathon with the entire full alphabet runthrough. I’m pretty excited. I’ve picked a nice variety of subgenres so it still feels very fun.


Sign up has ended as of last Monday. If you are just seeing this and want to join, you can drop me and email and we can see if we can get it arranged. However, we will be emailing out notices to participants on their posting date. It starts on the coming Monday! Time flies, right? I believe we have over 3 weeks of posts so its going to be a fun time because there are some nice additions this year, some new blogs that haven’t joined in before and then returning ones and some other pieces aside from written reviews. I love seeing our participants getting creative! As usual, I will have a page ready to go on the menu so you can catch up on any posts you missed on either here or Drew’s Movie Reviews.

If you haven’t followed Drew yet, then you definitely should HERE. My blogathon co-host is absolutely fantastic!


We are currently in the aftermath of the snowstorm which means sitting here waiting for the city and boroughs to clear out the snow. The day after the snowstorm in the morning to work was when this photo was snapped. As you can see, not much as been clear and well, walking on the streets is because the sidewalks were pretty much non-existent or just snow-covered ice which is almost more dangerous. The city whether Montreal or suburbs have been doing a pretty slow job in general this year. As I’m writing this post, its raining outside so bye-bye to snow but welcome rain on ice and giant slush puddles at all corners of the street. You know…the fun stuff, right? 😉

However, I can’t complain too much because we are incredibly lucky at our home. I went out to shovel at 11:30pm and the city was clearing their second round of snow and the very nice guy plowing saw me, the crazy lady that shovels in the middle of the night, and decided to move his plow up my driveway and cleared it all including the path. Its the first time its happened to me so I was pretty shocked in a really happy way. Although, when we woke up in the morning, it was so very tall that I had to climb the mountain at the foot of the driveway to head to the bus stop. But we are also super lucky because my neighbor has a snow-blower and he does our driveway when we get storms or lends it to my husband.

Cute Kitty Easter Gnome Pic

**Pictures taken at Winners Homesense at Quartier Dix30**

Thats it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to?

Hop (2011)

Easter is just around the corner and I felt like I should post an Easter movie.  How many are there out there? I already saw Rise of the Guardians (review HERE).  Netflix had this movie sitting around and I remember seeing the first 10 minutes of it a few weeks ago at my boyfriend’s parents.  Honestly, I have zero hopes for this one and I really think it’ll turn out bad but that is what makes it perfect for a brain-dead day 😉

I always try to push away any early expectations or lack of before I see anything so lets check it out!

hop posterDirector: Tim Hill

Cast: James Marsden, Russell Brand, Kaley Cuoco, Hank Azaria, Hugh Laurie, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins

Ever since he was a little bunny, EB (Russell Brand) has known that he will be the next in line to be the Easter Bunny to take over his father (Hugh Laurie). As he grows up and the time that he will take over the Egg of Destiny, he knows that he isn’t right for the job but rather he wants to be a drummer.  Not caring for the consequences of the impending Easter day in 2 weeks, he runs away to Hollywood to search for his fame.  There he meets Fred O’Hare (James Marsden) who accidentally hits EB with his car and takes him in.  Fred has no direction in his life and while helping his sister (Kaley Cuoco) house sit for her boss, he tries to get his life in order while helping EB reluctantly as they both unknowingly is searching for approval from their father in their own way. At the same time, back at the Easter Bunny headquarters, Carlos, a chick and the current Easter Bunny’s number 2 wants to take over the Easter Bunny duties.

Okay, I give up.  I don’t know how to make this sound interesting. I’m just going to leave the synopsis like that.  You get the idea, right?

hop easter factory

Suffice to say that I didn’t really like it all that much but I didn’t particularly hate it either.  It was just pretty blah, for lack of a better word.  Now, I do have some pros I’d like to talk about before the cons. They are worth a mention and maybe what will push you to watch this.  At the same time, I think maybe kids might get some enjoyment out of it more than say, me. I like pretty childish animation but as musical as this got, it didn’t really work for me. Oh right, I’m getting carried away.

One of the biggest pros is the beauty of the animation.  C’mon! Look at that Easter factory: the vibrant colors, the details and even the animated characters were done in a rather cute way. Look at our ninja royal guards, the Pink Berets.  They actually carry a bit of the Alvin and the Chipmunks qualities, in a way. Here’s for the director who made Alvin and the Chipmunks a few years back, right? Tim Hill gets to do this plus the little one is so cute and clumsy, qualities I love in animals 😉

hop pink berets

Another pro is James Marsden. I never quite understand why he takes on these animation crossed with real life movies.  I like it a lot usually, especially Enchanted (which I probably should review soon) and in this one, I actually liked Fred O’Hare.  James Marsden pulls the funniest facial expressions and he puts some fun into this.

Hop 2011

I guess this makes me go to the bad part.  What really hurts this animated flick is the story.  It could because once you start the beginning narration, you already know what will happen in the end so the sense of danger never amounts to anything.  And Carlos, our supposed villain, isn’t really that threatening.  He’s actually kind of funny in a weird way but then Hank Azaria does his voice and that man is a voice genius.  And then we have Russell Brand.  I’m not a fan of him. Period. I don’t like him as an actor, or even as the voice of EB. As a voice, he was tolerable but nothing that made me feel like I liked EB very much either.

Hop 2011

Overall, if you are watching this with kids, they might enjoy it because its not scary and it has some nice happy beats and furry animated bunnies and chicks, plus lots of candy.  However, the story does lack a bit of inspiration. Even its nice animation and James Marsden’s involvement couldn’t give it more life.  I really don’t hate it.  I’m just indifferent and I know that I probably wouldn’t watch it again.

Have you seen Hop? Do you have any movies you watch for Easter? What are your thoughts on James Marsden?


Restaurant Review: Henry’s Diner in Burlington, Vermont

I didn’t really research any restaurants before I left for Burlington with the girls.  All I knew was that I was in for a fun and relaxing weekend and left it up to my awesome friends.  Of course, they did their homework and they also knew what they wanted to do.  One of them gave me a heads up that she wanted to go eat at a diner.  I’m alright with that.  I’ve never eaten at a true American diner.  She suggested to this one, which is really close to our hotel, relatively speaking, its like in our backyard.  Of course, the main reason wasn’t how close it was, she told me that apparently former US president Bill Clinton, while he was campaigning in Vermont, ate there every day. How’s that for a fun fact? I never double checked that fact so if its wrong, its not intentional, feel free to correct me.


So after we went back to the hotel after Panera Bread, we found everyone awake and functional, so we decided to head over to grab our brunch.  *ahem* I already told you that this trip was about pigging out.  We also use these meals to figure out the plans for the day.  Henry’s Diner had a wait time of about 5-10 minutes where we had to wait outside and enjoy the nice spring weather (which was lacking in Montreal).  During this time, we stood and looked at the  Easter Weekend Menu.


After we sat down, we had a bit more time to reflect on the menu to see what we wanted while observing the size of the plates. I decided to order Vermont country ham.

Vermont Country Ham

Vermont Country Ham

 Other than not really digging the potatoes, this plate was totally delicious.  I managed to eat everything and was super full from it. If there was just two bone in hams pieces, then it would have bit a lot more manageable 🙂 Still, it was really good!

Crabby morning eggs benedict

Crabby morning eggs benedict

One of the girls took this and this one has crab cakes under the eggs.  The only issue she had was that the poached eggs aren’t supposed to be runny but these were a bit undercooked.  However, there were no other complaints so I assume it was alright. A very original take to a traditional dish, I’d say, no? Or do other breakfast places do this?

20130330_104315Next up, one of the girls got a lighter meal which was waffles with two sausage patties.  No complaints here either and I think, the sausage patties were a new experience for her, which is always fun 🙂

Veggie Omelet

Veggie Omelet

Looks delicious, right? I think my friend who took this enjoyed it.  Although we were all hitting our threshold for over eating.. haha!

We almost wanted to come back for another meal.  Henry’s Diner is extremely delicious. The service was pretty decent and the wait time wasn’t too long.  Its a cute little diner and I found it fun.  The first place that made me want to test out my self-portrait function with my phone while waiting for the food.


Do you have any cool diners near your place? Suggest away! It’ll give me new travel ideas 🙂

This really makes me think about checking out all those cool places that Guy Fieri checks out in his show that we were watching on this trip..haha!

On the Road..Take 2!

Its the long weekend starting today! Woohoo!

Its ridiculously early here in Montreal at 5:30 or so am (when I post this up).  Why am I up on Good Friday so early?

Well, I’m on the road again, my friends! Like last time in Toronto, I never abandon you so its just a short post to tell you that I’m out of town.  I know I haven’t been totally answering everything on reasonable delay this past week because its been crazy busy, I will be likely answering slow also to any comments during the day.  I’m out with three girls so as they told me that we’re intending to pig out..I’m foreseeing lots of food reviews ;).  We’re doing shopping so maybe I’ll have some Burlington finds. You’ll know all about it if not during the trip, when I get back 🙂

It’s only a less than two hour drive but I’m hoping that leaving so early that the border will be less busy.  Here’s me hoping, right? Going into the States for long weekends is something I tend to avoid but I’m sure it’ll be fun.

If you get bored, I rushed in a book review last night and a movie review will be going up once I get internet later today!

You know I always end these things to set off the awesome long weekend no matter what you do with some music to pump up the energy!

Have an awesome long weekend! 🙂

Coconut Cloud Cake!

Doesn’t that sound delicious? Apparently, last night at my boyfriend’s mom’s birthday gathering with the family, it was a huge hit! Everyone told me how much they liked it and for the first time, one of them even asked for the recipe.  Another reason why I need to post it up PRONTO! 🙂 But seeing everyone enjoy it makes me happy because its why I do it!

Before I get ahead of myself, I was asking with another recipe, what to make for Easter and Marilyn @ MKG-Memories-Keepsakes-Gifts told me that sour cream coconut cake is a must.  I can’t eat sour cream, so I found myself a coconut cake with everything that I could eat. Awesome suggestion Marilyn!


This was found here:

This cake could get complicated to make and my forewarning is that in general its not complicated however, it does take several steps and before putting this frosting, you need to wait for the cake to cool down for an hour.


The texture of the cake was pretty nice and fluffy.  Everyone described it as “light”.  I’d say thats a good word for it.  The frosting was very delicious.  I actually like it being made with egg whites. It gives it a little nice texture different from whip cream.  I haven’t had whip cream in such a long time, it hard for me to actually describe it. I did like it a lot though.  The taste was very good. If it was something I’d make regularly, I might decrease the sugar just a tad.


There was a good amount of modifications that I made.  For one, I didn’t have cake flour so I used all-purpose flour.  Superfine sugar was replaced by granulated sugar.  All cream of tartar was removed.  You will notice if you click through to see Martha Stewart‘s cake that hers has a little frosting center.  However, due to time constraints, I had to skip that step, instead I covered the exterior with frosting and then added a bit more coconut on the top.

I think it went pretty well. It looks pretty decent and the taste was totally awesome! My boyfriend said he felt like it was a slice of heaven 🙂

Any other Easter baking traditions to share? I’ll probably be baking on Wednesday night again 🙂

Spiced Carrot Cake

I’m FINALLY back with some baking! I think I’ll start making Wednesday my baking day…let’s see how that schedule holds up. I’m planning to get back to cooking on the weekends and some continuation of the A Bite of China Project! Just need to find some time to head out to the Chinese groceries soon 🙂

So I had a few recipes I was looking for and I ended up looking up Martha Stewart’s Easter dessert slides and this  Spiced Carrot Cake came up.  The other choice would’ve been Oatmeal Shortbread, but I’ve been doing  A LOT of shortbread in the last few baking posts that I wanted to switch it up a bit.  So here it is!

Spiced Carrot Cake

The recipe is right here:

There were some minor modifications made. For one, I don’t own a round pan so its square.  Thats just aesthetics, of course.  I’m sure it won’t make much difference to the taste.  Right now, my house is filling up with baked goods smell again and this smells delicious 🙂

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Okay, focus back to the changes I made.


– I used the 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

– Since I’m lactose intolerant, I don’t have any yogurt, so I replaced it with almond milk.  I was going to use water but then I felt that almond milk may probably provide a thicker complex to it, making it resemble the consistency of yogurt more.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  Of course, my second option could have been soy milk as well.

-I omitted the glaze or confectioners`sugar since it was already sweet enough and we have balanced lifestyle to work on 😉

This one is a winner in terms of carrot cake.  It smells amazing, it looks awesome, the texture is fantastic.  The only thing I would change when I bake it again (and I know I will) its probably less sugar.

What difference in taste will happen with using cinnamon over cardamom? I have never used cardamom so I don’t own any.  Definitely down to try it if it is enhances the taste or gives it a little something special.

I want to continue with some Easter baking..what do you suggest? Cupcakes? Spring Sugar Cookies? Shortbread?