All in A Week(end)’s Work (plus some blogging help please)!

I have no idea how to title these things anymore.

My highlights of the week are so similar that they really don’t have any titles.  Maybe I’ll just give it a segment name, once I figure out something witty and fun 🙂

Moving right into  this past week..it was a short work week because of Labor Day weekend and the weekend came incredibly fast with a few little fun things!

1) Completing Nike Training Club program on Saturday night

nike training club

Its been hard to get back on this whole working out routine.  The first was the hardest of the program where I felt my body didn’t belong to me.  I could barely do push-ups anymore and every move was a mega chore.  By this last week, I was able to pull off a good bit of burpees, push-ups, even figured out the whole plank row deal once and for all.  I’ve sweated buckets and buckets of sweat over the last few weeks and although I did the Getting Lean (Intermediate without running) program and I’m not sure I got that lean but it sure did make me feel absolutely fantastic 🙂

Now its back to one or two weeks of self-disciplined workouts.  If I can keep it up for a month thats great, if not, I’m jumping back into Nike Training Club for the Getting Toned program.

2) ARROW Season 1

arrow cast

Montreal Comiccon is this coming weekend and for that, I went on the mission to binge-watch Arrow Season 1. Arrow is amazing.  I love the main character but everyone else is fantastic.  Its absolutely fun to watch and I’m pretty sure I’ll be done in a night or two at the pace I’m going 🙂 I’m going to admit that I love watch Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen doing those crazy workouts (shirtless of course), I also love the rest of the cast. Everyone is just so awesome! 🙂

I think the CW dishes out the most series that I like. Its pretty amazing!

3) After Work Adventures: RedBall Project

RedBall Project

 Through the RedBall Project I utilize my opportunity as an artist to be a catalyst for new encounters within the everyday. Through the magnetic, playful, and charismatic nature of the RedBall the work is able to access the imagination embedded in all of us. On the surface, the experience seems to be about the ball itself as an object, but the true power of the project is what it can create for those who experience it. It opens a doorway to imagine what if?…That invitation to engage, to collectively imagine, is the true essence of the RedBall Project. The larger arc of the project is how each city responds to that invitation and, over time, what the developing story reveals about our individual and cultural imagination.Kurt Perschke 

RedBall Project is travelling the world to spark imagination.  Has it landed in your city yet? You can check it out: HERE

4) After Work Adventures: Fountain House

Fountain House

Fountain House is a temporary exhibit on the streets on Montreal.  Its built on the concept of water flowing throughout and the idea to celebrate drinking water.

The Fountain House is first and foremost a space open to the public, like a park. Inside, at the centre, there is a basin with water flowing in it. Why did we choose to celebrate drinking water, a public good that might seem rather mundane? Precisely because we take it for granted, and we tend to forget the previous generations that built the infrastructure that now allows us to benefit from this resource.- Quartier des Spectacles

Its open to the public till October 26th.  It has water flowing down the center, the plants on the side grow (I presume), and they have stairs to go up where you can look out into downtown around us.  I love water so this was a pretty sweet concept.

5) Getting out right in time

Montreal

On Friday evening, the sky went dark shortly I left work.  Taking my time, I’m walking to the bus terminus, hoping that it doesn’t rain.  And then it does.  I feel the first drop and then the drops come a lot faster right when I spot where I am and dash up the stairs to the OACI building, which is part of the underground passages in Montreal.  As I went in, I got out of the rain right in time.  Another 10 seconds and I would’ve been completely soaked.  Yay to perfect timing or should I say, being at the right place at the right time 🙂

6) Saturday: Friend’s Birthday Brunch and Shopping Ventures

Saturday was one of my very good friend’s birthday.  He’s almost like my brother and we hang out quite a bit.  For his birthday, I usually offer to take him out for a meal, this year it was at this brunch place in Old Montreal that he’s been talking about forever called Le Cartet

That was possibly the best brunch I’ve had ever.  For one, the coming in the cast iron pan made it so delicious and a very unique experience.  Plus, everything was cooked in duck fat which just melts in your mouth.  Except it also means, I probably won’t eat this all the time, for my health’s sake.

After that, he wanted to go shopping so we went on a little venture around town and ended up in Mountain Equipment Coop out across town since that one is gigantic.  I managed to get my boyfriend and I a new hiking backpack and got myself a yoga brick because I’m not flexible and to avoid injuries. One of the few purchases that day, along with a few movies: The Shining, Moon, Weird Science.

A very fantastic day with good company and nice chats! Hanging out with friends is really quite awesome! 🙂

7) Sunday Gardening 1: Fern 

Fern

Everything deserves a chance.  With that in mind, I decided to give my fern a second chance.  It was looking monstrously huge and just totally out of control.  I gave it a little trimming and pruning.  Took some branches out (dead and alive), shrunk its size and gave it some structure and voila! I think its looking pretty nice! 🙂

8) Sunday Gardening: Autumn Flowers

Autumn Chrysanthemum

I haven’t quite finished with fixing up the side area in the front yard but I pulled out the frustrating vine plant and now the area is completely clean after I cut a part of the tall stems that are done blooming.  Things are starting to look good.  This week, Rona had a fantastic sale on Autumn Chrysanthemums so I thought it’d look nice in that spot. After a lot of pulling and cutting and shovelling, these two got planted and ready.  The one on the right is coral and the left is orange chrysanthemums 🙂

I can’t wait to see them bloom!

Now to end this off, there are a few highlights which I’m going to give an update for some coming blogging stuff!

  • I have drafted a general list of movies that I’d like to watch for Halloween marathon but I’d also like to give you all a chance to choose what you’d like to see so I’ll be putting together a small poll soon.
  • The original plan to do recommendations month in September is not happening as I want to continue to put extra focus on books so BRING ON MORE INDEPENDENT WRITERS! 
  • Pinterest Therapy session coming up!
  • I owed you all a review showing my new movie crush. That did not happen last week unfortunately since I’m shifting my schedule a little, but it will go up in the next few days 🙂
  • Following that, I’ve been thinking of making a new segment either for Crush of the Week (or something along those lines), highlighting an actor (or sometimes actresses). Maybe it’ll be a monthly basis.  It really depends how impressed I am with what I’m watching. Is that a yes or no for you?

To recap, a few questions this week:

Do you know where to find online yoga routines?  Have you seen Arrow? Have you started fall gardening yet and what are your favorite autumn flowers?

What do you think about a new segment for sexy actors or beautiful actresses? 

Thats all for today! Happy Monday! 🙂

Labor Day Weekend: Recharged and Refreshed!

There’s nothing I love more than having a long weekend to relax and take it easy (and recover from a cold). And seeing as I was completely off the computer most of the day for the last 3 days, I’d have to say that I really did accomplish that to recharge and get a lot of house work done.  A new season is coming. As much as I will miss summer and I hope the heat lasts a bit longer, I need to start preparing for the winter season.

With that said, this weekend was extremely productive.  Believe it or not, I was starting to burn out a little from everything so taking these few days off was everything. I didn’t really rest physically, not even mentally but being away from the blog and the internet helped me think a few things through and I’m pretty hyped up to get back on track with everything here 🙂

Lets check out what happened in the past week!

Nothing much happened during the week so lets just go straight for the weekend, shall we?

Before we get into this, remember that I spent 3 days gardening…so, things get pretty dialed down and simply beautiful.

1) Spotting and saving a caterpillar

Catepillar

So okay, it was probably my fault that I ripped out some stupid leafy plant that did nothing but destroy the lilies and took up space for nothing in my garden and in turn, I think I knocked this little furry caterpillar onto the soil.  So here I saw it on one of the leaves before I put into the garbage bag so I carefully placed it onto the leaf in the plant next to it.

Saturday gardening highlight over!

2) Snail in the Geranium?

wpid-20140831_143038.jpg

Day 2 consisted of fixing up that patch of garden off side that I was talking about last week.  I’ve ripped up a lot of this vine-y plant and trimmed some of the overgrown stems a little.  I finally figured out that these were not chrysanthemums but rather geraniums.  While I was moving stuff around and trying to get all the plants to find their own space again, I saw a weird pattern hiding in the geraniums.  It turns out it was a pretty big snail, at least that biggest I’ve seen in a garden.

Day 2 highlight finished!

3) Second batch of Plushies

wpid-20140901_114444.jpg

This past week, its been amazing because my boyfriend and I found some awesome deals on a bookshelf and a drawer set at IKEA and assembled that, giving us space now to unpack some boxes.  That also means I could not only pack up a good part of the annoying stuff I was avoiding and also more plushies.  Labor Day was spent on a lot of things: one of the tasks being washing these guys.  You have my Snoopy puppy set, Stitch, Zazu and Classic Mickey.

Sidenote: Bambi, Lucifer and Lady are relatively new to the collection so they were exempted from shower and hanging awkwardly on my clothesline because they were generally dust-free. And Marie (from Aristocats) gets exempted because she doesn’t sit on shelves, she gets the privilege of sitting in suitcases and carry-ons.

One more batch to go and then we’re done 😉 Lets hope next weekend will be sunny!

4) More harvests and flowers to look forward to!

Strawberries

Hibiscus

Pretty straight forward here, Hisbiscus is non-stop blooming.  That makes me really happy.

Strawberries are ripening for the second batch.  The raspberry plant is doing pretty well and yellow zucchini looks like there are a lot coming out but space is an issue and causes it to die before it gets big enough to harvest.

5) Discovering New Flavors

Smoked Bacon Ritz

Smoked Bacon Ritz

Its always been Oreos with new flavors but I saw at Loblaws this new flavor for Ritz crackers.  It actually tastes very much like bacon. So delish! 🙂

6) My cat finally won!

First tactic to take over the chair

First tactic to take over the chair

And…

The winning tactic

The winning tactic!

My cat lives by routine.  In the winter, she’ll cuddle in bed with me but in the summer, its all about sleeping on the chair.  Its cool, comfy and almost directly under either the A/C or near the window. So at 10 every night, she starts her conquering the chair.  She usually just sleeps like the first tactic but last night, she decided to try the other way and her big butt made me slip off the chair.  Who knew, right?

7) Getting back on track and little updates!

First of all, I’ve already done most of my planning on Halloween and have a few things lined up for the eventual event that starts October 1st 🙂 The main feature is going to be Friday the 13th.  I have a few other movies to gather up since my boyfriend is missing about 4 of those movies.  Plus, I need to dig it up out of the packed boxes. Its one of the reasons for the earlier than usual planning.  We’ll see how that turns out 😉

Second, last week, I was so tired from my cold that what I planned didn’t really go up except for a few things.  This week, my very much delayed Saguenay trip will go up.  Plus, I watched a good bunch of movies on Netflix because they were expiring.  I already started writing those so it should be here this week.

Third, I have a project that I’m planning to revive some baking around here.  It’ll collaborate movies and baking if I figure it out right.  Chances are that will have to wait till I get my house in order so I’m looking at the beginning of 2015! 🙂

8) Just to make to an even number…a lovely quote!

creative people

And somehow that reminds me of each and everyone of you in the blogosphere 🙂

HAPPY HAPPY TUESDAY, MY LOVELIES!! BIG HUGS!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

This week’s photo challenge is all about showing our summer lovin’ selves.

If you live in Canada or at least central Canada like I do (and I know a few of you do), then you’ll understand that winter is longer than summer.  Those cold wintery days never seem to end so when summer comes around like right now, every moment is so sweet.  Honestly, unless its crazy humid, I just fall in love with it.

Summer lovin’ is hard for me because I love so many things about well, summer.  Thats when I’m a busy bee and I just always like to be out.

Its going to be a list of sorts 😉

What I love about summer is:

1) BRIGHT FLOWERS

Pink flowers

2) HIKING & EXPLORING

Ausable Chasm

Ausable Chasm, a few years back

3) FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL

Fantasia Film Festival

After movie talk with director Jon McNaughton for The Harvest, 2014

By the way, review coming up for that 😉

4 &5) BIKING & HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDSwpid-20140719_120149.jpg

6) SUMMER DRESSES
(AND OTHER LIGHT CLOTHING)

Summer dresses

(Part of my) Summer dresses

It also includes, sunglasses, tank tops, sports bras, skirts, flip flops, bikinis and all those lovely things that I can’t wear freely 🙂

7) BEING BY THE WATERSIDE (beach, waterfall, etc)

Parc national pointe taillon

Parc National Pointe Taillon, 2012

Chicoutimi

Chicoutimi, 2012

8) ROAD TRIPS

Quebec roads

On the way to Saguenay Lac St Jean, 2012

I’m going to have to end this here since reality is calling 😉 Odd number for a list but it wasn’t supposed to be an actual list. There’s probably more but thats what I can think of right now. Its already more pictures that I probably should have shared.

What part of summer do you love the most? Tell me all about it in the comments 🙂

Check out more posts here!

*Late Night* Pinterest Therapy & Life’s Randomness :)

Its pretty fitting to have one of these every 3 months mostly because if you haven’t known, I work in the lovely accounting field and well, every 3 months, I have a huge quarter and life gets immensely and overwhelmingly busy.  With Fantasia Film Festival lingering about at the same time, I’ve been pretty exhausted.  4 more movies to go before it ends and I’m learning how wonderful life in movies are. I’m taking a little time off today from reviews although I have 3 more festival movies to cover in the next few days.

I felt like a little Pinterest therapy is where I always go to when my mind is overloading.

Before we move forward, I didn’t get a chance to put some interesting stuff that happened during the last week..

1) SURPRISE PLANTS!

Sunflower

Sunflower? We didn’t plant that 😉

I think some squirrels were trying to hide away some seeds and didn’t manage to find them because somehow this year, we sprouted some sunflowers in the front yard and one of them actually bloomed into this lovely thing that brightened up my day 🙂

2) SURPRISE VISITOR

Robin

Young Fearless (maybe naive) Robin on the deck

This robin doesn’t even have all this orange belly grown in yet, so I’m guessing its pretty young.  Plus, my cat was sitting behind the screen door staring at it.  And without zoom, I was right next to it taking pictures and it didn’t even fly away. So yes, fearless or maybe naive, whichever you choose works but it was hilarious to see my cat get all worked up over it.

Did I tell you that our backyard has a robin’s nest and our front yard has a cardinal’s nest? So lots of visitors 😉

3) FIRST VEGETABLE HARVEST!

Yellow Zucchini

Cooked yellow zucchini

If you saw last week’s update, my yellow zucchini was growing at intense speed so this week, after some research to make sure if it was ready to harvest, I did harvest two of them.  My boyfriend seasoned it and here’s what we had for (part of our) dinner. It was delicious 🙂

4) HAVING LAZY TIME WITH MY CAT!

Sleeping Cats

Sunday morning with my cat

Its been a while that I haven’t had to jump out of bed on the weekend mornings and go do something but since I had a Fantasia Festival movie that overlapped with piano, I pushed it to the evening, giving me more time to just stay in bed.  It was needed because I had a few sleepless nights and my body needed to recuperate. There really is nothing more heavenly than sitting around in bed relaxing and doing nothing and just watching my cat. She dreams almost as much as I do so its pretty entertaining 😉

Like I said, short updates so lets move right along to some pins that I found on Pinterest which made me all happy.

First pinning goes to gardening…

5) MY DREAM INDOOR GARDEN

Indoor Garden

Vertical indoor garden

Now, doesn’t that look cool? Imagine the variety of fresh herbs, right?

And my realistic self comes in and says, its a good idea and looks decent but think about bug infestations…why are there cons to everything, right?

6) ONLY A WRITER…

Only a writer

I’m not really a writer but it makes me think…

Awkward of me to put this? Well, I’m not really a writer but it encourages me to think about the potential of it.  I’ve been having this really great idea for a novel but I just couldn’t figure out how to start it.  I have a lot of the middle part drafted in my head.  You know how I do that? I talk to myself in the shower..well, I pretend to be in the story and I start working it out there with different characters.  It sounds weird but I can’t be the only one who does that, right? Some people brainstorm in their heads and some do it out loud…I just happen to be the latter.

By the way, earlier today, I actually managed to get the beginning down on paper for the story I wanted to write for a while 😉 Its not for publishing or anything so just something I want to do for myself.  Still, I’m pretty happy about it!

7) TV & HOT GUYS!

I’ve recently been on track with True Blood and Pretty Little Liars. I don’t usually search up pins on hot actors but I happened to land on one and then it lead to the next one and trust me, I’ll keep going not hat I made a board just for it 😉

So, remember this when you watch Pretty Little Liars, these are not actually teenagers 😛 So I can enjoy them for who they are and that doesn’t stop me from thinking they are hot.  Honestly, I don’t think its possible to have that many hot guys and girls in one city but apparently it happens in fictional places like Rosewood.  Its definitely not limited to those up there.  I just totally love the character of Caleb and his short hair and new look for this season is totally hot. Plus, I’m increasingly liking what they are doing with Ezra’s character and although I find it attractive in pictures and not as much in the show, he’s leaving an impression all the same. My favorite has to be Jason though.  He brings a mysterious vibe to the show whenever he shows up and Drew Van Acker is just ridiculously hot and sexy.

True Blood’s new season hasn’t been all that impressive but I’m still missing the one that just passed by and I just keep thinking they ‘ll just kill everyone off and end the damn thing. Who knows, right? Still, Alex Skarsgard’s Eric look is totally delicious and Alcide is just so manly with those muscles.  I tried to keep it tame with the pictures 😉

Yes, yes, superficial. I get to do that once in a while…

8) DESSERT NACHOS

Dessert Nachos

While I was using the words “delicious” to describe the guys, I started thinking about sweets. There is absolutely NO WAY that I’d do a Pinterest Therapy session without some sweets and this one looks scrumptious. I’m literally drooling and thats a comforting thought and a reminder that I need to get back to baking.

I’m definitely going to try to figure out some gluten free option for making this 😉

BEFORE I GO…

Late night session is getting a bit overboard and its past 2am so I should be trying to get some sleep although stress is stopping me from it.

How about a little song from Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart (review that I posted yesterday HERE)? Its really cute! There’s also an English version and I believe reading that its Samantha Barks that does the girl’s voice. You can find that version on Youtube, if not just ask, I have it in my playlist and I’ll send you the link. But here’s the original French version. Sorry, I couldn’t find english subtitles…

And then a little electronic music song that mellows me out all the time.

Good night my lovelies! I’ll get another review up tomorrow 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

Boxes, tanks, wrappers: for this week’s Photo Challenge, show us something that contains something else. – The Daily Post

First up is Peur Depot.  I talked about this last year as the opening segment of

the Halloween marathon, except back then it was at the Angrignon area of Montreal.  Now they’ve centralized it this year and opened it earlier at Old Port.

Peur Depot

Peur Depot: Containers of Fear

You can check out the original post HERE describing what this is about 🙂 I’m increasingly wanting to go but I’d never do it on my own….

Later on in the day was the beautiful tall glass vases that help the flowers for the centerpiece at my friend’s wedding.  Simple and elegant!

Vase

Glass centerpieces containing beautiful orchids

Here is my response to this week’s theme of Containers.

What do you think of when you think of containers?

Summer Festivals & Friends!

This past week went by in a flash. Maybe it was having fun, maybe it was work being busy but peaceful, maybe it was just having time to finally get things out of the way and maybe its just finally feeling like I’m moving into a direction where things are resolved.  Sure, that resolved feeling doesn’t quite feel that way during this week but as I put this post together on Sunday night, I also try to reset my mindset.

Last week’s updates was set up in a 10 item list mostly focused on gardening but I love that structure so to not overwhelm everyone, I’m keeping that structure from now on but we’ll be staying positive and looking at happy stuff.  That was always the goal of being here and as much as I love to share events, I also love to share positive thoughts 🙂

The past week wasn’t quite as eventful, thank goodness, but it did involve hanging out with friends and experiencing/exploring new stuff so I’m pretty excited to share it.

1) Attending and seeing an entire movie at Shitfest Social

Alone in the dark

Eric organized a Shitfest Social in the Evening with Table 9 Mutant hosting it in his place, although he still made an appearance.  The movie is that one up there, Alone in the Dark. You can check out all our comments and interaction right HERE! It was pretty hilarious and fun stuff to just be watching a crappy movie at the same time and seeing everyone’s comments and criticism.

Just saying, if you do want to watch this, think about all of us that suffered to tell you that it sucks.  I was pretty confused throughout the whole movie as to what was going on and the ending didn’t really make sense either. Plus, it had some pretty horrible music and it was so loud that it overpowered anything they were saying.  Anyways, just perfect Shitfest material, my friends.

2) Free Children’s Workshop at Home Depot

Home Depot

Project: Bug House

Totally new experience for me.  I never knew that Home Depot offered these free workshops for kids once a month.  Apparently, its every second Saturday.  You get little badges for every project you complete and its just amazing seeing kids bond with their parents and other relatives.  A really nice family activity! Kudos to Home Depot 🙂

3) Enjoying my mom’s vegetable and flower garden

IMG_6124

IMG_6125

IMG_6127

There are also lavenders and pink roses, some purple flowers, etc.  Lots going on.

Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato

Squash

“Delicata” Squash

These two are the ones I gave to my mom to plant in her garden: Sweet potatoes and Delicata Squash.  My mom also has chives, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, winter melon, other varieties of squash and bitter melon.

4) Spending time with friends at Longueuil’s Percussion Festival

Percussion Festival Longueuil

Performance

Percussion Festival Longueuil

Face painting

Courtesy of my friend :)

Courtesy of my friend 🙂

I’ve never been to the Longueuil Percussion Festival but the last few years, we’ve been learning a lot of festivals and checking them out one by one.  This one was really awesome since I spent it with some great friends, made some new ones and the kids with us had a blast which always makes for fun times.  There was a bag of free samples from a pharmacy chain and lots of games and crafts for kids.  Plus, of course, there’s food and I’ll talk about that in the next point…

5) Eating great food at Percussion Festival

Lemon Heaven

Lemonade&Ice Tea

Takoyaki Montreal

My friend’s food stand Takoyaki Montreal

Takoyaki Montreal

Takoyaki

Takoyaki Montreal

Shaved Ice from Takoyaki Montreal

J-Dog

J-Dog

Last year for the Matsuri Japan Festival, I had already talked about my friend owning a food stand.  This year, they got a spot in the Percussion Festival.  They had their usual Takoyaki, which is either octopus, shrimp (I think) or mushroom flavor shaped in little balls.  They also had shaved ice in lots of flavors as well.

Not their booth, but J-Dog also made an appearance and last year, I had that awesome hot dog up there and I just couldn’t resist to have it again. Plus, Lemon Heaven was there and they make the best lemonade EVER! 🙂

Friends, Food and Festivals…the 3 Fs I possibly love the most!

6) Reuniting and meeting new friends for my friend’s bachelorette party dinner

Glasses decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Glasses decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Kyomi Restaurant

Special table decoration at Kyomi Restaurant

Bachelorette parties are kept secret so only some food and decor shots here.  I haven’t seen the bride in at least 5 years but we’ve known each other for a long time.  It was my pleasure to be invited to her bachelorette party and her wedding next weekend.  Kyomi Restaurant is not a typical restaurant you would catch me at but the decor was beautiful. The lighting gave a beautiful mood.  You can see it on the glass and yes, those are penis decorated straws.  Don’t ask…

As always, there’s always food in the mix.

kyomi restaurant

Wonton Soup

Kyomi Restaurant

Someone’s meat dish

These two dishes was one of the girl’s meal: Wonton soup and a meat dish.  Not sure the exact thing.

Then me, my best friend and another friend decided to order three dishes and share among us.

Kyomi Restaurant

Basil Shrimp

Kyomi Restaurant

U.B.B.

Kyomi Restaurant

Lobster Salad

All three were very good. Lobster Salad was delicious.  Basil Shrimp was original and I was happy to have rice.  The saw was done really well and they had a rice sheet at the bottom which gave it a nice texture. The U.B.B Maki rolls were great.  UBB has eel, avocado, shrimp tempura and mango.

Blue was the theme.  Here's my outfit for the party

Blue was the theme. Here’s my outfit for the party

Dinner may have taken long and I may have had gotten beat to the last parking spot and ended up parking in the side streets and had to trudge in my heels to and from the car but seeing some long time friends and hanging with a bunch of nice girls was very enjoyable.  It was a change of pace and just a nice night 🙂 I couldn’t join them for the activities before and after as I already had plans and I needed to get home to rest for Sunday.

7) Spending an entire day with my boyfriend

Not a lot of pictures to show for this one but after a pretty busy Saturday, my boyfriend and I took Sunday to recharge and spend together.  Mentally, its been a tough week with a lot of stuff to reflect on and I might touch on that a little but we had a few errands to run so we took care of stuff together.

I’m thankful for those lovely friend and family that took my advice and gave me Reno Depot gift cards because it covered all my pool treating and maintenance expenses and I love you for it.  We didn’t get the chance to get more paint but we definitely have to do that as our next priority.  We made a stop at Ikea and bought some ceiling lights.  As much as we want to change as little things as possible, some rooms have really dim lights and we’re going to do a little moving lights around and installing extra ones.  We still have to go back for a second round for wall mounted lights and dining table but things are falling into place.  One floor is completely painted and I’m getting some furniture ready to be moved over.

Gluten-Free: Bison Burger and Sausages

Gluten-Free: Bison Burger and Sausages

After that we ate dinner together at our home.  We made some gluten-free penne, sausages and bison burger patties (our first time trying) along with some broccoli.

We even managed to see two movies on Netflix: a ridiculous soft porn movie giving this chick a million times to show off her too big boobs called Jailbait  (Side note: I should’ve used this Shitfest, Eric.) and a Marvel movie I’ve never seen and know nothing about, The Punisher with Thomas Jane.  Review for this one will happen eventually…

8) Calming my soul with some Michael Buble

It really doesn’t mean anything but Michael Buble is always a winner especially with these slower songs.  It brings me contentment.  Plus, I started trying to play this on the piano so its pretty much on repeat 🙂 Thats really how this all started.  The second one that I have on repeat is called Lost.

9) Fantasia Film Festival coming up this Thursday!

Last year, I got mega sick last year for Fantasia Festival so I missed my most anticipated movie which when some of you reviewed it, turns out it wasn’t all that great.  Still, this year, I was more structured.  I tracked when the schedule came up and made my setlist of 10 movies 🙂 My boyfriend will join me for the weekend ones so yay to date night.

Still, all is just talk until I get the tickets.  I”ll be updating you on what I’m going to see right after I manage to get my hands on those tickets 😉 I’m excited. It looks like there are some cool movies in this year’s line up

10) Finding inspirational quotes 🙂

fall in love

This quote just made my day when I saw it.  I’m happy that I found someone that I can lean on and confide in 🙂

negative bs

So true, right? Its a work in progress.  Negative BS, the door is that way, please see yourself out 😉

Here we go! My 10 things this week! I’d say its a winner.  Saturday was a bit nuts and overcrowded but the next two-three weeks will be very busy with Fantasia in my plans.  I’m planning on drafting a mad amount of posts so that I’m covered for the nights I’m out.  Lots of planning in there 🙂

Happy Monday my lovelies! 

Gardening & Summer Evenings

Not that those two things are related: Gardening and summer evenings but it kind of does work.

I’ve been hanging outside for a while.  For Canada Day last week, I spent some quality time tending to my own container gardening and transplanted some of the plants I had bought a few weeks ago.  The only one left out right now is my Bay Laurel and thats going to be taken care of this week some time once I buy another clay pot. Plus, that one is going to grow into a house plant tree size so I’m being careful with how to transplant it 🙂

This week has actually been not so eventful and just mostly sticking around my garden and hanging around my new house and actually organizing and moving a tad more of my stuff.  One shelf is finally empty and ready to be moved to my new place.  Just two more thats double its size to go 😉 Plus, with my boyfriend having this week off, he’s been cracking down on moving forward the painting.

Before I get more into my garden and its little surprises, lets check out some stuff aside from that.

On Friday night, I went out with my friend to check out some biking gear and then went to Quartier Dix30 to get some sorbet at this delicious ice cream joint called Bilboquet.  I don’t have a picture of my sorbet but it was so comfortable to sit outside and chat with my friend right next to this lovely fountain.

Quartier Dix30

Quartier Dix30

On Saturday, I went to another Tree adventure with two friends and we discovered the Arbre en Arbre Havelock.  It was a different experience than Arbraska.  I actually think I enjoy the experience a little more although I was rewarded with a lovely bruise on my ankle when I crashed into a platform.  Lets just say that I make a good choice when I don’t play around on skateboards on ground, probably should try to avoid them high up in the trees.  I had a moment where I lost my balance and flailed in mid-air but then I was reassured about how heavy the wires and the harness could handle so I’ve proved that its very sturdy if anything 😉 We had a guide that accompanied us throughout the entire circuit and he was very interesting to chat with.  Plus, he talked about the other Arbre en Arbre experiences a little and I’m pretty psyched up to eventually try those out. For now, there was one part in the last course that was so hard that I’m going to need a break from this tree adventure business. As I put this together, my muscles are expressing their profound hatred for me. So I’m trying to not make that any worse. Regardless of that, the nature of the activity itself is not one that I can carry a camera or phone with so no pictures unfortunately.

That was the end of events for me. So moving onto the big part of this post, my container garden 🙂

Let me see how to start…

1) I harvested my first Lemon mint tips…

Lemon Mint

Lemon Mint

And then used it with blueberries and eventually adding sliced lemons to infuse some water, which actually tasted pretty good.

Infused Water

Blueberry Lemon Mint Infused Water

My mom’s been on my back about how lemon water is really good for me so when she came back from vacation and saw this in the fridge, she was pretty happy about it.  Its refreshing and delicious (as long as you don’t let it infuse for too many days).

2) I implemented a self-watering system for my raspberry because it drinks too much and always has try soil.

Self-watering system

Self-watering system

One wine bottle does the job and it takes about 2 days to empty one bottle.  Even though the top of the soil may look dry, at least its positive that water is constantly flowing directly to the roots. I’m starting to the think the raspberry could benefit from two of these. So far, its been doing better so I’m already pretty happy with it. This is a picture after experimenting with the self-watering system for 5 days or so.  Its looking better everyday 🙂

3) Harvesting strawberries and the accidental harvest of lemongrass

Strawberries/Lemongrass

Strawberries & Lemongrass

My mom is an adorable woman.  She is.  I love her to bits. I’m happy to share my ripe and delicious strawberries with her and my boyfriend. But she was my accidental harvesting of lemongrass because she thought it was weeds.  When she reached down to pull my poor lemongrass, I exclaimed in shock and stopped her. My poor lemongrass has just gotten stronger after the transplant. Its having a hard time at my place.  So I told my mom to smell the stuff before she pulls.  It has an unforgettable lemony scent to it.  If its still good, I believe its supposed to be good for making chicken or something like that.

4) The unlikely but surprising regrowth of Clematis

Clematis

Slow revival of Clematis

After the first rainstorm, my Clematis was drowned in water and looked like it was dying. My boyfriend helped me drill some holes under the pot and it drained for a few days.  This weekend, I saw that it bloomed a flower even though it looked like it had pretty much died.  I’m just happy there’s a second chance for it.  I will have to find a permanent location in the garden for it before the warm weather ends.

5) Second batch of lettuce growing

Salad mix

Lettuce mix

My first batch of lettuce got ridiculously huge so we now have seeds ready for the next year.  However, we chopped it off and some more of the salad mix survived and is growing more again.  This time, we will harvest earlier so we can have proper lettuce to eat 🙂 With all the rain in the last few days, it won’t be long until its ready to be harvested.

6) Calendula blooming

Calendula

Calendula

My calendula is one of the newer additions to the family.  So to prove that the repotting did great, its all perked up and even bloomed some bright yellow flowers to light up my garden a little.

I’ve been reading up on what to do with my calendula.  If any of you have any suggestions, feel free to tell me in the comments 🙂

7) First signs of Squashes

Squash

Squash

I always wondered if the squashes would work in containers but here we are, the first signs of them growing up.  I have a lot of flowers blooming so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that maybe I’ll see even more 🙂

8) Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

There’s tomatoes in the plant! Woohoo! The only one with anything so far. But its a start 🙂

9) Ground Cherry almost 100% back to normal

Ground Cherry

Revival of my ground cherry plant

Unlike the Clematis, ground cherry survived the drowning a little better and after a few days in the sun, it helped dry up the soil a bit more and the leaves are back to its lush green with the exception of a few and its bearing fruit except I’m having a bit of an issue with it not ripening before it falls.  Something I need to look into a bit further and figure out what exactly is the problem.

10) Flowers and Catmint

To end things off, a little display of some of the flowers currently in my garden.  Also, an insert of my catmint that has finally gotten stronger.  It was really droopy when it first came home.

There is obviously a lot more to show but some of them haven’t progressed as much as these and I think 10 items from garden is more than you’d all care to read about 🙂 I tried to keep it short and sweet.

I’ll have more house/moving/garden updates as that will be the center of my focus in the coming few weeks. I apologize that Tranquil Dreams has slowed down on some content but I have it all backlogged and I’m working on things one at a time.  Things will get back to normal soon.  I’m working on it 🙂 There may be a few changes but they will definitely be for the better.

Any green thumbs amongst us?  What do you like to plant? Any gardening tips for me?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Light and dark, tall and short, happy and sad — this week, share a shot that captures a contrast. – The Daily Post

I’ve been on my Hong Kong recap, so I figured I’d search up some contrasts.  They are in a lot of pictures and it just takes going back to find them 🙂

Hong Kong Harbor

Colours in the gloomy weather

Ocean Terminal

Tall people exhibited with normal sized people walking around

Green veggies bringing some color to a home cooked meal

Green veggies bringing some color to a home cooked meal

Daisies

Dark red with yellow daisies

Color contrasts are possibly my favorite to look at.  Light and dark, colorful and dull.  It gives a picture life.

What contrasts catch your eye?

Adventures with Friends, Food and Gardens!

I’m a bit behind schedule.  I had a pretty jam-packed weekend.  But then, I start acknowledging and asking myself whether it ever isn’t. I guess I just like to make every moment of my life in a fulfilling way.

With that said, we have a lot to talk about 🙂

Last Sunday, I went to Arbraska Mont Ste-Gregoire for a tree trekking adventure with my friends.  For some of you, 2 years ago, I also went to this adventure but it was so refreshing to go back.

I’m sure some of my friends would like to stay private so thanks to my friend who brought a camera and opted out of a trail, I finally have a picture of me doing this stuff. She’s just awesome 🙂

Arbraska Mont St Gregoire

On the obstacle course

One of the crazy additions to the courses was this little teamwork pulling maneuver thing.  It was really tough to go through.

Arbraska Mont Ste Gregoire

It was a fun 3 hour activity and really boosted up my energy after coming back from Hong Kong.  It also reminded me that when in doubt, working out is something I should get back into.  With that said, I’ve been thinking of reviving my Workout updates but with a little twist (along with a few new things I’d like to talk about) but thats for another post in the very soon future. We ended the day with an early dinner and then me and one of my girl friends went to go see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  The review should be up tomorrow 😉

Have you done treetop trekking/ziplining? Where was it?

After work on Monday, I went to do some after work stocking up at Costco anticipating the day off for St. Jean  (Quebec day) the next day.  When I went to my new place to drop off stuff and look at my garden, I saw that there was one strawberry all red.  My boyfriend decided that it was ready so here it is:

Strawberry

Lets just say, it was quite sour.  Lesson to myself: Always wait a few days for it to be thoroughly ripe before harvesting 😉 But our first harvest from the garden makes it so memorable. At least all this work is for something.

How about you fellow gardeners? Any harvests? What do you like to plant?

On Tuesday, I went all out on the moving and shifted 2 heavy boxes to my new place, almost clearing off the bookshelf that goes in the office.  It included shifting (my guestimate) 90lbs of books. That what all that money in university and cegep was.  I also cleared out another 2 boxes that I had brought over before but didn’t put away. Its really the final stretch now with mostly the heavy stuff and my essentials that need to go over.  As the painting picks up again, its slowly falling into place. Feeling all self-satisfied, I went home that evening and finally made myself an actual meal with meat and veggies and even tried out gluten-free pasta.

What was on the menu, you ask? Well, here it is:

Herbe de Provence Drumsticks

Herbe de Provence Drumsticks

I did an improvisation with this one while searching one up and came up with using Herbe de Provence, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, a bit of sugar, olive oil, wine and pepper to do this marinade.  As skeptical as I was about it, this turned out to be so good and even had leftovers for lunch the next day 🙂 On the note of gluten-free pasta, its actually not too bad.  Maybe its because I mixed it with this sauce and gave it an acceptable taste 😉

My best friend, who currently lives in Saskatchewan also came back to town and we had a little quick hangout while I had a late night at work and her with her studying. So we met up quickly to fill up our tummies. She took a quick trip to check out my new place, which is really close her parent’s right before I dropped her home.  I had some delicious mussels that night at Les 3 Brasseurs.

Les 3 Brasseurs

Mussels at Les 3 Brasseurs

Finally, we reach Saturday! This was a huge day because I spend the first half of it having a cycling trip with my friends, had lunch and came back.  It was an adventure because my tire decided to pop on the way back in the scorching heat and I had to walk back with it slowly. My friends were pretty chill about it.  We changed the tire with the help of the guys.  No pictures because I didn’t have my phone with me.

In the afternoon, I had a bit of time to do my first solo plant transplant and that was for my geranium citronella, lemongrass and orange thyme so that it was the simple version of the mosquito control plant that I was planning to do.

mosquito control plant

Mosquito control plant

I placed it strategically by the patio door so that if I ever have to step outside that would be where I’d be protected.  Here’s hoping it’ll work 😉

That evening, we had a gathering for my best friend and my friend (and yes, blogger) Phoebe for their belated birthdays at Mrs. Amigos, our favorite hangout spot.

In the long wait for the souffle, we all sat around and did some group selfies (groupfies?). I won’t start showing everyone but this one is me with my best friend 🙂

Friends

My best friend and I

On Sunday, I had to work in the morning.  My boyfriend left with me because we had a show associated with the Montreal Jazz Festival to go to.  I had no idea what it actually is but its called Tarantino in Concert and it pays tribute to a few of Tarantino’s movies like Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction, etc.

Tarantino in concert

Tarantino in Concert program and tickets

Using the songs and re-enacting the scenes on a musical set.  The crew included Bruce Willis’s daughter Rumer Willis and it was very awesome because I got some awesome seats in the alley where they actually were dancing in and out of the audience alleyways. So we had a lot of singing and action right in front of us. Plus, my highlight was when my boyfriend got dragged out during a dancing part to dance with one of the ladies.  It was pretty awesome! The show itself is amazing! So much fun and all the performers and the band were crazy talented.  I loved every single bit of it! There was surprise moments and the whole jumping from one familiar scene to the next was so much fun.

Have you had a chance to see this show?

My weekend is pulling into the end but before I let you go, here’s a picture of a new dress that my best friend got me as a belated birthday gift.

20140629_175544

I have no idea what possessed to get me this dress but here’s to the second tube-y (bodycon?) dress in my closet. Now I know why I need to get back to training.

I’d have to say that I had a pretty awesome week.

I’m having a serious backlog of posts to go up so Hong Kong posts might actually take throughout this whole month so that there’s some diversity. Plus, I have a bunch of movies expiring tomorrow on Netflix and I’m hoping to get through two of them tonight 🙂 Wish me luck!

Before I let you go, here’s an awesome song with very inspiring and positive lyrics called 3 Things by Jason Mraz!

There are three things I do when my life falls apart, Number one I cry my eyes out and dry up my heart…
The second thing I do is I close both of my eyes, And say my thank-yous to each and every moment of my life.
The third thing that I do now when my world caves in, is I pause, I take a breath, and bow and I let that chapter end. – 3 Things, Jason Mraz

Remember to drop by again soon! I’ll be introducing some new stuff here 😉 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art

This week, share a photo of something that’s art to you. It could be some actual “art,” like a painting by your grandmother or the misshapen but perfect clay sculpture your child brought home from kindergarden, or something most people wouldn’t consider beautiful at all, but that has meaning to you. The important thing is that it’s art in your eyes. – The Daily Post

I’m a movie lover, a bookworm, a blogger learning how to write and an amateur photographer.  Not to mention, a patient crafter and I’m all about DIY-ing.  I can sit down and do photobooks, sift through pictures, compile scrapbook layouts hours on hours.  I can cross stitch for hours which feel like minutes and make bottles of origami stars and buckets of origami cranes.  And finally, as an aspiring baker, I can sit around and craft my baked goods for a long time, like with my glow in the dark cupcakes HERE!

What I’m saying is that I’m all about art in cinematography, the picture weaved by the words on paper and the images filtered through the lens of a camera. The best work of art comes from your heart.  Thats the reason why I do DIY and thats the reason why these following things popped in my head when I saw work of art because they are all art in my eyes. Maybe its not worth oodles of money like Van Gogh but they are irreplaceable.

First up is the work of art from my mom…

Cake

Simple strawberry birthday cake

Sure, my mom doesn’t get all fancy like when I bake but what shines through her simplicity is her love. Plus, didn’t we all learn to not judge a book by its cover because my mom makes a kick ass cake.

After an exhibit from my mom, how can I go through without something from my dad because that was the first thing I told my mom and my boyfriend I would be moving to my home: one of my dad’s work of arts.

P1220006

You got that, right? This painting may have migrated to another part of the house because my university diploma is occupying its place above the piano but its coming with me. My dad’s painting of this bird is my favorite.  I always believed that my dad should have taken up the arts diligently and he would have gotten so far with the right opportunities.  Maybe thats because I’m his daughter and I just admire him despite our differences.  Thats my award-winning work of art that I own right now.

Now, we all know my friends hold a crazy place in my heart, at least they all know who they are.  Although my friend’s wedding earlier this year was done in a fanatical rush and frenzy with only 6 short months for a 200 guest wedding, she may not believe it but all those endless hours she put in to make the centerpieces on each table and the individual party favors that made up said centerpiece, they were the most beautiful ever.

20140217_202724I spent a few hours helping out with punching out the little parts of these butterflies and let me tell you, she has some admirable patience and the time and care she put in this work of art was memorable to me, even if no one else realized how much work was put into it.

Unless you just dropped by, you all know I’m addicted to flowers. I love flowers so other than baking and the myriad of things I do, my work of art every year is in making the perfect Chinese New Year floral arrangements 😉

P1200785

How about it? What is the work of art that you love? 

Here is my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge.  Please see other entries HERE!