Battle of Ingredients #7: Easter/Spring Edition

Battle of Ingredients

Welcome to the next Battle of Ingredients. My co-host Starry Traveler Phoebe and I gathered this time with friends for a little Easter/Spring celebration.

Heres what we did!

Wine

Barefoot Sparkling Moscato

Tonight’s wine from our friends is the Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato. It was light and sweet. A more in depth talk will be in the wine recap next month.

Main Meals

Lamb Chops – Phoebe

Lamb Chops

Phoebe gets the big task of taking care of the meat dish this time around. We did research and realized that Easter usually revolves around ham or lamb and after some talk, she decided to take on making lamb chops. They were marinated and topped with salt and various herbs. It took about 2 hours to cook in the oven.

This one turned out pretty good. It wasn’t cooked through but I’ve had chops before and they usually aren’t plus it was marinated and seasoned just enough to have a lovely taste.

Ratatouille – Kim

Ratatouille

Recipe via Pinterest: https://www.ricardocuisine.com/en/recipes/5312-ratatouille?epik=0DYovE_IWH0tx

Trying out a quick one pot ratatouille this time as our primary vegetable dish. I followed the recipe above fairly closely. Eggplants aren’t in season right now so they were hard to find good ones. So the portion for that was a little less. However, this ratatouille was both easy to make and tasted pretty good. I may have overcooked it a little and it would have benefited from having some pasta or something to serve with. In comparison to the original, I think I skimped out on diced tomatoes a little. Everything’s a learning curve and I certainly had fun making this one and would try it again particularly using a pot this time instead of a pan since there is a lot of vegetables to add in so it started getting a little crowded and that affected the cooking time.

The better version would be to slice everything thinly and then organize it and pop it into the oven to cook. Perhaps a future trial.

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes – Kim

Dairy-free Scalloped Potatoes

Recipe: https://veganinthefreezer.com/dairy-free-herbed-scalloped-potatoes/

Next up is something of a side thing which was the scalloped potatoes. I recently made scalloped potatoes for a Goodfoods box and thought about it for this meal as a dairy-free style and found the recipe above on Pinterest. Scalloped Potatoes were done in the afternoon in advance as to free up the oven space and then reheated. We used a mandoline to quicken the process. We used some unsweetened almond milk (unfortunately, I only had the vanilla flavor) and we took a chance with it to see if it would affect the taste. It did still have a slight vanilla flavor which felt a little weird but overall, the texture is still there. I’d redo this one with the herbs (as the recipe above indicated but I didn’t have any this time around) and also with some unflavored and unsweetened almond milk. We only ended up with one portion left over so I’d say it had a decent result.

Dessert

Marshmallow Wands – Kim

Marshmallow Wands

Recipe: http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/springtime-marshmallow-wands/

The ideas I went through for the dessert was numerous but with the two dishes above, I wanted to go for something a little simpler so I went with these springtime marshmallow wands which is basically skewering three marshmallows and then coating them with dark chocolate and adding sprinkles then letting the chocolate harden. Its times like these that I wish I knew how to temper chocolate before coating it so that it would have that lovely crunch when you bit into it. Anyways, I am still learning and these did turn out really great. I know that the coating could have been better but I learned a lot from this recipe as simple as it may seem. Marshmallows and dark chocolate is just yummy! It is a little on the sweet side so I only made enough so everyone had one.

This wraps up this Easter/Spring edition of Battle of Ingredients!
Not quite sure what is next one but might be a spring Farmer’s Market edition for 2018.
Its still in discussion right now 😉

Do you celebrate Easter and what foods do you make?

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My Weekly Adventures: Gardening and Something New!

Weekly Adventures seems like a good place to address why things have been a little off schedule. Thing is, my backlog I had built is depleted. I’m rebuilding it right now but the reason is that these last two weeks have been so busy with just preparing the house for the new season, mostly gardening, that I haven’t sat in front of the computer.  And when I do, I fall asleep.  Energy level is just not there.  Honestly, I needed to reassess a few segments and give it all a new direction and organize a few little other things.  Still, its been busy even if posts are up in the morning as I usually would like them.

These last two weeks haven’t been exactly eventful.  It has been but I already talked about the Ottawa Race Weekend. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE! Other than that, there’s mainly a lot of gardening and just a little bit here and there.  This will be a shorter post (unless I ramble and I’m already doing that…).

Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Garden

This isn’t the updated version two weeks later now but when I first planted it that day, this is what it looked like.  What do I have here? Cucumbers, Asparagus, Leeks, Okra, Kale, Lettuce, Zucchini and Eggplant. If you were looking at the updated version, well, the lettuce is almost all eaten but the neighborhood bunnies sadly. I’m trying to figure out a way to remedy that problem with fences. And somehow the cucumbers, at least some of them, either got uprooted by the heavy rain or it got pulled out and dried out in the hot weather so I only have two (and one half dying) still there. Other than that, everything seems to be doing good.  My zucchini is by far the strongest, followed closely with asparagus and broccoli. Although, maybe the asparagus won’t count because I need ot at least take care of it for 3 years before there is any harvest.

I’ll give you an update on the vegetable garden soon periodically! I spent a lot of time in here and even my friend helped me out a lot by getting the rest of the grass removed.  There’s still some grass on the side but there’s a soil issue that we’re trying to figure out.

Herb Container Garden

Herb Garden

Here’s my little herb garden I’m working with. I actually have a Chamomile and a new Rosemary inside which I don’t have a picture of. These ones are Italian Oregano, Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Sweet Mammoth Basil and Boxwood Basil. They are looking lovely so far. I actually just was reading up on the Pineapple Sage and it said that it had a pineapple smell on the leaves which I never realized and it does! 🙂 That is so cool!

Mosquito Repellent Container Garden

Mosquito Repellent Container

I kid you not! My patio is going to be mosquito repellent everything soon. Actually, I tried a similar container like this and it was pretty good.  Last year, I didn’t and I was just mosquito buffet. This has Geranium Citronella, (my dying) Rosemary, Lemongrass and Marigolds. The rest of the marigolds is planted in the container on the ledge of the patio.

Marigolds

Flower Patch

Flowers

This is also not reflective of what it is now. My crimson star is blooming a lot yesterday. The addition here is my new echinacea and my husband’s violet. We also ended up getting some lily of the valley in our path unexpectedly. I suspect its because of my neighbor’s patch. My mom gave me some flowers that are growing and hopefully will have buds eventually. Things are looking good.  I added some new top soil so it looks healthier now. Its going to be a slow process to get some new top soil for everywhere, including the grass.

We have a few yard projects this summer so I’ll keep you in the loop as to what else is going to come up. This year’s goal is to make my garden beautiful and thrive (at least a little bit more than before). So far, its going well!

An Amazing Belated Birthday Surprise

Did I ever tell you that I have the most amazing best friend in the world even if she is sporadically vanishing because of her busy schedule and she lives provinces away from me right now? She flew in to be my bridemaids for the wedding back in October and completely surprised me last week when I came home to a package on my front door. I thought it was my husband’s but it turned out to be Amazon Fulfillment Service and I opened it up and this is what I got!!

Blue Snowball iCe

A New Mic for podcasting! I’ve been saving up for a new mic for a while now.  A lot of new gear to get the gaming and podcast quality to go up. Lots of upgrades needed and I’m trying to get it done little by little. I was using the mic on my webcam and it feels like its slowly dying. So this is amazing! And you know what this also means, her support for my passion for this new thing I’m doing! I’ve thanked her a thousand times and she knows I appreciate this so much.

I guess its fair to say that a lot of people in my life don’t understand how I’m still blogging and spending a lot of time doing this. I’m not earning anything from it and it all seems like a hollow and unrealistic dream/hobby that is just expensive at times. Fact is, I like doing this and I hope to improve enough to be more and its nice to know that one more person, especially one of my best friends understands that.

Cute Kitty Moment

cat

Upcoming:

  • Next round of Netflix A-Z
  • Baking Through Disney
  • Book reviews
  • TV Binges

Have an awesome day, my lovelies!
This week is going to be super relaxing as I create some sort of backlog! Enjoy! 🙂

Gardening (& Home): Spring is Here!

Not like I don’t have enough segments, I’m going to add one on gardening.  I think that this blog might head into some home stuff since my house is a huge focus of my life right now.  Living there gains a whole lot of perspective in having a million things to do. At times it can feel overwhelming but I’m up to the challenge.  I’m in my second week officially moved out and I’ve really wanted to use this opportunity to put a fun element of that here, now that I’ve finally seemed to gain some regularity to sleeping.  Kind of.  Energy levels are going up and there’s still a lot to do and I’m taking baby steps to get them done.

Spring has been long-awaited and last year, I already talked a lot about my container gardening progress with a little help from one of my friends.  She’s off to have a baby really soon so I’m pretty much alone this year to start the season.  First task on hand was getting the garden ready and this past weekend proved to be extremely efficient.  I cleared all the flower beds from dead leaves and pruned some perennials and all that lovely stuff. I even turned  a little bit of the soil and planned out how I’d like the garden to go this year. Planning is the first step, right?

I’m not sure if I’m behind with sowing seeds but seeing as my tulips and daffodils are just growing now, not even flowers yet. I’d say I still have a bit of time. Except for these ones..

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While flowers were scarce, we’ve been decorating our den with some lovely flowers like this.

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I’m proud of my den because while my books didn’t quite fit completely in the shelf there, this room is super awesome from the color of the walls to the simple decor.  Out of all the rooms, I think this one is the closest to be done.  Well, the office is pretty good too once I sit down and set up my PC.  I’m just too lazy to backup my laptop who reminds me everyday that it might just about die on me…scary thought.

The first week I was there, I sowed some broccoli, basil and cat grass. Unfortunately my basil has shown no sign of anything.  I think maybe the seeds aren’t good anymore.

broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts

Cat Grass

Cat Grass sprouts

I had to elevate my cat grass from the bay window before my cat destroyed it before it was even worthy of her eating it.

Plus my calla lily made it through the storage season under my care with a lot of help from my mom giving me pointers.

Calla Lily

Calla Lily sprouting

The sole survivor from last year that looks miserable the whole winter took one shot of root booster to be filled with flower buds are my pink fuschia.

fuschia

Fuschia

Joining this one is my mom’s gift which is a yellow orchid. She claims orchids don’t need sunlight but just light in general so the bay window is perfect for it. I’m not exactly sure it’s that easy.  I’ll stay optimistic.

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Especially since, the boyfriend went and got me another pot of orchids for my birthday.

orchids

I love orchids.  I just don’t know how to take care of them.  In my mind, they are extremely hard to sustain.  I’m going to have to start reading up on it a little.  I do hope that it will blossom again after this time.

That’s a little update on my new living environment and introducing my gardening segment.  If it holds up, I’ll add a little menu spot for it 🙂

My next gardening update should include sowing more seeds, probably carrots, cucumbers and zucchini and perhaps sweet peas for container gardening indoors.

Do you like to garden? Have your spring bulbs sprouted or bloomed yet? What do you like to grow?

My Weekly Adventures!

Life is an adventure so anything I do qualifies! So before you start talking about how watching TV isn’t, thats like saying reading a book isn’t. I can pretty much say that there’s a lot of readers who would disagree with you.  We are explorers and we travel to lots of fun places. Maybe you think I’m crazy but I’m not 😉 So to saythat this week is less actually going somewhere but just achieving little things.

Before we move along with this, I’d like to remind or bring to your attention that my Halloween Movie Marathon Poll has been up.  If you haven’t seen it or having voted, please head on over HERE to help me out 🙂 With some earlier planning, I can get more movies seen in October and make it an amazing month, especially with all of your help/recommendations!

1) Dragon’s Den!

dragon's den poster

I absolutely love watching Dragon’s Den.  I skipped a few season in middle but when it first launched, it was one of my favorite shows.  Its really grown to be completely amazing.  Although some pitches are just completely out there, some are really awesome ideas.

The last episode where recapped some of the some deals are usually amazing.  Its all so amazing to see people’s dreams become a reality.

2) Splurging on TV *blush*

A little shameless selfie :)

A little shameless selfie 🙂

I never intend to splurge and I pretty much don’t impulse buy anymore. And I didn’t because I fully planned to go out and get Season 2 of Arrow but then I was thinking, I have to catch up with Vampire Diaries also. Now I’m waiting for Grey’s Anatomy Season 10 to go on special too (but then I didn’t watch Season 9 yet so its not so rushed).  See, I’m still logical, right? 😉

I’m trying to not go too crazy over Arrow so I started watching Vampire Diaries on the weekend.

3) A Productive Weekend Starts….Harvesting Herbs

Vegetable Herb Harvest

Lemongrass, Orange Thyme and Yellow Zucchini

The weather got cold really fast last week and somehow is supposed to get warmer this week again….gradually.  Either way, it was the kick in my butt to speed up the process and let my fatigue take the backseat.  Thursday night activity consisted of going to harvest everything I could while there was still a bit of light before sunset.  Orange Thyme and Lemongrass is currently in the drying process.

4) Bike Support for my Friends

Thanks to my friend who took the picture

Thanks to my friend who took the picture

Oasis Marathon is going to be happening this coming weekend so my friends who are going to do the half marathon along with one doing the 10km and 3 others in for the fun went out for a group jog.  My job was to be bike support for their 17km run.  It included making sure that they were hydrated and giving them directions and scouting out the route ahead.  There were heavy winds and then my bike support broke down near the end because of bike issues.  Note to self, next time make sure to bring tools.  I did manage to bike very slowly home after making sure everyone passed the intersection to head home.  It was a pretty fun day and I biked a whole lot of distance and I was so tired after but I couldn’t let my body slow down because the garden and my house needed me.

5) Transplanting in and out

Garden

Top Left are the transplanted flowers from pots for next year

Between early morning before bike support and coming back afterwards, I got the two flowers at the top left planted into soil.  They should be both perennials viable in my zone.  They were also paired with others so I needed to pot those right away and brought in a few plants as well.

indoor plants

Eucalyptus, Orange Thyme and Citronella Geranium inside

This is only partial because others are by the bay window or in the dining room. Still a lot of transplanting to do this week and then hopefully it will be done…for now. Next is the shopping for spring bulbs and getting those in the ground.

6) Workout room done!

On Saturday, after the run, I went to battle the anniversary sale in Walmart and aside from a bunch of household products, I also ended up getting on special the final touches to our workout room.

Hello workout flooring ;)

Hello workout flooring 😉

Oh right, my boyfriend’s weights.  Mine haven’t been moved yet.  I can’t possibly lift that.  All I can do is roll them across the floor when they are in my way.

7) Making Awesome Ribs

Ribs

I know I’m backtracking, but on Friday night, I sat down after running errands at my place with more moving stuff around and came home to make my ribs.  Ended up eating at around 9:30pm or something but they were so worth it.  I don’t know the measurements but I used soy sauce, smoked paprika, ground pepper, honey, ground coriander, herbes de provence to marinate it.  I did marinate it in the morning and then just popped it in the oven for 1.5 hours in the evening.  They turned out amazingly delicious 🙂

8) Autumn Chrysanthemums

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Nothing more to say on that.  So beautiful 🙂

9) Hot Pot (aka Chinese Fondue) with my girl friends

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One of my girl friends came back from Western Canada to settle a few things so we got together for a hot pot hang out.  There was so much food and it was amazing to chat with the girls.  Its always filled with fun and laughter.  And we’re even going to go see The Maze Runner together this week.  Yay! 🙂

10) Favorite Quote this Week

dark side

It was a tad tiring and busy but it was pretty fun as well.  I’m looking forward to seeing The Maze Runner.  I can actually see the fuzzy finish line in this whole moving business where I’m trying to do it slow and by myself so I can save money, still, its almost there.

How was your week? Tell me about it!

Happy Monday! 🙂

*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 🙂

#FantasiaFest, Friends, Date Night and Fun Times! :)

Wow, this week went by really fast!

This week wasn’t exactly eventful but it did mark a few things happening and so much to be grateful about. I’m really enjoying this busy weekends and not so busy weekdays.  Its nice to finally regain some form of balance in my life and any sign of negative and I just dodge it and bounce right back to being happy and positive 🙂

Next step: getting back to my working out more regularly 😉 Maybe I should do my workout posts again.  What do you think?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, lets see what things I have to be happy about this week 🙂

1) FANTASIA FESTIVAL!!

Fantasia Festival has started and as I write this, I’m back from the third movie.  I’m happy because I managed to get tickets for all the movies I wanted to see except one (other than the ones I had to skip because of scheduling problems).  Things always work out in  the end and you’ll see why.  If you missed my post on the movies I bought tickets for, you can check it out HERE!

There is one movie not on the list.  After Joseph @ The Cinema Monster dropped me a comment after seeing my lineup, he told me about two movies.  One I couldn’t put into my schedule but I looked into The Harvest with Michael Shannon and decided to add that one in.  Here is the trailer on the Fantasia Festival page:

http://www.fantasiafestival.com/2014/fr/films-et-horaire/80/the-harvest

A funny moment for you: I actually didn’t watch the trailer before getting the tickets and just read the plot.  Lets say, I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty creeped out…  I’ll tough it out though! It does look quite good 🙂

Final tally is now 11 movies and 14 tickets! 🙂 One more movie than I expected because I just couldn’t let go of That Demon Within.  Nick Cheung has really grown as an actor and anything that he’s in cannot be bad so I just couldn’t resist, what else can I say, right? I still remember him when he first started taking up stupid roles in ridiculous movies that I didn’t laugh at.  He’s really changed and does more sophisticated roles and its works out a lot better (at least I think so).

I have a good space between each group of movies so expect the reviews for Open Windows, I Origins and Cybernatural and tonight’s in the next few days 🙂

2) LEMON VERBENA & its flowers

Lemon Verbena

I may or may not have talked about before in my many gardening posts but my lemon verbena had little bug issues and thats why its now living outside for the summer.  It bloomed some cute littler flowers in the middle of the week when I went for a miniature gardening maintenance run 🙂 Bug issues are completely gone and the leaves are perfect.  These little victories (and some that will follow) makes me slowly grow more and more interested in this gardening business.

3) BIKE RIDE TO OLD MONTREAL WITH FRIENDS

Old Montreal

Old Montreal from the Concord Bridge

Montreal

Downtown Montreal from Concord Bridge

Saturday was a busy day and it all started at 9:30am in the morning when me and two friends started getting ready for our Old Montreal bike ride.  I do one of these every year at least once.  Its a really nice ride with amazing scenery that reminds me of why Montreal is actually a beautiful city when you put all the stupidity aside.  This year, I had company, making it so much more fun 🙂

Lobster Roll

Lobster Roll

And we even got to enjoy some of those pretty famous and extremely tasty lobster rolls!

4) ATTENDING A WEDDING FOR A LONG-TIME FRIEND (that I haven’t seen in a long time)

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Weddings are a super happy event. I haven’t seen this friend in ages and being at her wedding (and the bachelorette party last weekend) makes me really honored that she thought about me enough to invite me to the happiest moment of her life. She was a beauty and a princess all  night in the most elegant manner.  The wedding was beautiful and it was so much fun.  I saw a few people and reconnected with them, and even hit the dance floor all in good fun! The restaurant even had a window and terrasse facing the fireworks.

The couple themselves was just the symbol of love.  It was also an honor to be there to witness two people completely in love with each other, go through all that they’ve gone through and finally get to this step in their life.  I was so deeply moved by the event itself 🙂

5) COMPLETING THE FIRST FLOOR

Office done with new lights also :)

Office done with new lights also 🙂

Suffice to say that I talk a lot about my new house, but I think it comes with being a homeowner.  I’m almost all moved in except for a few things but I figured that as we get things in room by room, we’re getting every step closer.  The first floor is all done! We bought some new ceiling lights last week for the office (brighter than the previous owner’s) and with the natural light and everything, the office is looking lovely.  Next weekend will be spending time arranging how all the furniture goes while my boyfriend will take care of the painting in the main floor and basement.  The main floor will be the hard part as its a bit more colors and more tricky.  Progress, my friends! That makes me happy 🙂

6) SUCCESS WITH THE SELF-WATERING SYSTEM

raspberry plant

Raspberry is happily hydrated

Raspberry plants are like overly demanding and easily dehydrated babies. It wasn’t happy with one wine bottle full of water so I added another one. Then it still guzzles the water in exactly the same speed. At least, my baby here is blooming some flowers at the top and maybe it’ll be a champ and grow me some raspberries 😉

vegetable garden

Miracle squash/zucchini growth

My mom says these are yellow zucchini so I’ll take her word for it. This baby went through a lot.  Its grew from a snapped stem repaired by green tape. And then I put in a self-watering system about 10 days ago and unlike my raspberry up there with a tantrum, I came back to a sudden growth of this zucchini right there.  Its telling me I love you. And I love it back because its has so many coming out.  I just hope it doesn’t get tangled in its own growing vegetables.  I guess when that time comes, it means it time for harvesting! YUM! 🙂

7) THE STAR OF MY GARDEN: PURSLANE!

Purslane

Purslane in full bloom

Coming home yesterday to tend the garden, the happiest sight is to see everything going well and then my Purslane is looking very beautiful with its little pink and orange flowers brightening up my deck! 🙂

I’m still trying to figure out what I can do with these purslane because apparently it is a herb or edible plant.  I’m interested to know what use I can do with this.  I’m taking it easy though.

8) LITTLE VISITORS IN MY GARDEN!

bumblebees

Bumblebees hard at work!

I haven’t put my work into my front yard.  But thats starting soon.  However, the previous owner’s left these rather bland looking flowers from afar but along with the fluffy fern things and my flowers and whatnot in the backyard, its attracting a lot of bees. I took a neverending weeding break to try to capture them hard at work.  This is the best picture I’ve taken in a while 🙂

9) DATE NIGHT WITH MY BOYFRIEND

Montreal

Evening sky in Montreal

My boyfriend and I work opposite schedules so we don’t see each other very often and we don’t spend too much quality time either.  With the Fantasia Festival, its my way to just not sit at home and stare at my walls and just go out and have fun.  Although I saw two movies by myself already, I was happy that my boyfriend agreed to see 3 of them with me.  The first one starting at 9:30pm on Sunday.  We drove out and was welcomed by lovely weather and a beautiful evening sky as we drove over the bridge.  Romantic, eh? And made our way to see Cybernatural.  He is my best movie viewing buddy because he always automatically discusses the movie with me afterwards. Its fantastic to ponder on it in my head by myself or even talk out loud to the walls or my cat but its also nice to have an answer some times.

Joking aside, we really needed a date night! He gets a break next weekend and the week after, he’s back on double duty for being my movie date 😉

10) FANTASIA LUCK!

I love Fantasia Festival ever since I went last time.  This time, my biggest worry was to not choose the right movies.  I mean, I only chose one that sold out and it didn’t even sell out on the screening I’m going to.  Either way, I remained confident with my choices. I honestly have to say that, although there was some small issues, overall, I enjoyed all of them.  3 for 3 sounds like a good track record and it has be all hyped up. Last night’s was the first one where it was hosted by people related to the film.  Director Leo Gabriadze and I actually think the other man was the executive producer Adam Sidman.  There, they also had their supposedly first live Skype Q&A session.  The first to join was the writer Nelson Greaves and producer Timur Bekmambetov.  After 10 minutes or so, they even brought 3 cast members (which is pretty much half of the lot).  First was the two girls, Shelley Hennig and Courtney Halverson and later, Moses Jacob Storm joined in after he resolved his technical issues.  Its a pretty ingenious idea and matches how technology has really changed how certain things are done.  I’ll talk more about it when I review them.

To be absolutely honest, I’m just feeling so lucky! Luck isn’t normally on my side often but I make the best of what I can. It is now and I’m enjoying every moment of it!

Things are going great, my friends! I’ve been having a blast this summer!

sunbeams

Before I leave, here’s a lovely quote I found and here’s the article you might want to check out for 15 Quotes about Life from Children’s Books!

Happy Monday, my awesome friends!

Movie sets, Kurios and Upcoming events :)

Yup, its a little mash up of a weekend personal post and little updates.

Its been a slow and quiet week over here in Tranquil Dreams.  I’m slowly getting back to my normal routine and getting back the energy as the jetlag settles down.  I’m hoping that at least my sleeping pattern will get back to normal soon.

The world around me hasn’t really been as quiet and this last week has been pretty exciting.  Its really helped to bring my energy back to par.

We have a few things to get through so lets get straight to it! 🙂

Since I’m laying off movies for a while, Netflix finally put up Season 4 of Glee.

Glee Season 4

Still missing Season 5 to be caught up. I binge watched all of it.  Its not quite as good as the first two seasons but I kind of like the mash-ups and the fresh blood brings an interestingly cute vibe to the group.  Plus, the whole New York NYADA times is cool. I love Kate Hudson’s character even if she’s not a regular.  Now I’m ready to get on with Orange is the New Black 😉

On Tuesday, I left work to a somewhat transformed street in front of my work. Its turned into old New York for a shooting of a film called Stonewall.  I read up and I believe it is directed by Roland Emmerich.

Stonewall

Stonewall

Stonewall

New York Taxis and Police cars

So very cool, right?

But it doesn’t stop there…

On Wednesday, apparently a section of Chinatown was transformed for the filming of The Walk directed by Robert Zemeckis starring the extremely charming Joseph Gordon Levitt.  My friend’s store was just outside the set so she had given me the heads up, unfortunately, I was really disappointed because my health is more important and I have my chiropractor appointment (which made me feel better).

But, things always have a way of working out and I took an extended walk on Thursday after work and guess what I found out? Evening movie set and shooting just on the street behind my work! Yay! 🙂

So, I dropped by to see if I could take any pictures and of course, they didn’t allow it when the actual filming started but the cars and setup was just amazing.  And no, I don’t believe I recognized anyone…

On Friday, the much anticipated Cirque du Soleil show Kurios, which my friend and I bought tickets for in May finally came around.  I left work a little earlier and went off to the ports of Old Montreal to the Cirque du Soleil tents full of excitement.  It was pretty chilly that day so I’m packed with layers.

Kurios

At the front door 🙂

Kurios: Cabinet des Curiosites looked amazing right from the get go.  Its my first Cirque du Soleil experience. Here’s a little trailer before I continue.

Apparently, even before the show started, my friend said I looked like I was ready to jump out of the chair while watching all the characters walk around.  And when the show started, the music was so upbeat and fun.  The show itself was exciting and everything was just perfect.  A mood booster right there! It has a somewhat steampunk style and a little Wizard of Oz sort of out of the world experience.  I know it’ll be touring to Quebec city, Toronto, San Francisco and whatnot.  You can go check out the site.  Its REALLY worth your time 🙂 I’m almost contemplating going to see it a second time…thats how awesome it was.  I just can’t wait for the soundtrack to come out!

Let me take a minute to calm myself down from all the excitement of just remembering it.

Okay! All good!

Saturday was pretty busy.  I had a few errands to run, a load of chores to get cracking on and well, I decided to go plant shopping with  my awesome friend, Phoebe @ Starry Traveler’s Road. I think it’ll be the last time this summer because its already getting a bit crazy. We discovered a new little place for plants on the way to the garden center we went to last time.  Here’s my new plants: some flowers and herbs 🙂

Scroll over the pictures to see what they are…

I have lots of new flowers since my yard needs a huge changing around.  The previous owner didn’t tend to it much so now I have a few mods to make during the summer.  I’m going to doing pots of nice flowers and trying to figure out what works with what.  Coming back from vacation, my basil was all grown up.  And the next thing is to try out the mosquito repellent container garden.  I hope that it works because it’ll be pretty awesome.

Yesterday I didn’t get to transplant any of these plants into bigger pots but I will be tending to that gradually in the next week.  This weekend was very busy since after that, I had to head over to my boyfriend’s nephew’s birthday party. It was very nice to hang out with everyone.

The highlight might actually be watching a bunch of grown men playing bean bags 😉

20140621_185919

As for today, I just got back home from some lovely tree adventure.  I’ll be posting about that in a few days, as I didn’t have hands to take pictures but my friends did and they turned out pretty good 🙂 I’m interested to see how it turned out 😉

I was going to go on about something else but its getting a bit long so I’ll talk about that next week after I put a bit more thought into it.  Maybe we’re looking at some new project ideas that I’d like your opinion on.

For next week, Hong Kong and some movies reviews from my flight.  This should be for about 2 weeks so it’ll give me time to plan out whats afterwards.  Especially since, July is going to be pretty jam packed with a friend’s wedding around the corner (with it a bachelorette party), my best friend flying into town, some outdoor adventures like maybe another tree and water slides, and also, FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL! I’m waiting for the schedule of that to go up.  I also bought tickets for Montreal Comic Con which is in September.  Boyce Avenue concert is coming up in October.  Life is happening, eh?

I constantly get asked whether I actually sleep.  Believe me, I do 😉

Before I leave, lets give you some happy music from Virginia to Vegas called Colourful.

Hope you’ve all had a fantastic weekend! 🙂