My August Adventures

Can you believe how fast 2020 is going by? We’re at the end of August in a blink of an eye. Its been a bit of a whirlwind this past week but the previous time before was pretty alright as well.

Hiking: Colline du Lac Trousers (Bolton, Quebec)

Colline du Lac Trousers

Kicking off the month before all the rainy and thunderstorm season hit us sporadically for the rest of August was a hike. I wouldn’t call it little since it was one of the longest hikes we’ve done in the past 2 years. You can check out the full hiking trail recap HERE.

Movies and Tea Podcast

As we kick off the Season 5 of Movies and Tea in audio version for David Fincher with our Alien 3 episode HERE, the Youtube channel is slowly catching up as the Season 2 transfer has started for the Guillermo del Toro episode.

Deep Blue Sea Podcast

Movies and Tea had the pleasure of being guests on the Deep Blue Sea Podcast which deep dives into one of my favorite shark movies ever, Deep Blue Sea and discusses chapter by chapter. The instagram post of the episode is above has the link to the episode. Give them some support on this uber fun project.

Fantasia International Film Festival – Virtual Edition

With only a few days left of Fantasia, the movie roster is pretty much set with only a very little of these not seen yet either because of live screenings or simply last minute decisions for on demand films and I haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. That said, a lot of the earlier movies have reviews up already and you can find them all under the Movies section on the menu above. Fantasia going virtual is great since it gives more time to cover more films but at the same time, I still miss some of the theatre reactions and meowing pre-show and whatnot but then this might be the new landscape we’re faced with. Overall, I chose some pretty decent movies with a few that I absolutely loved.

Workout/Gardening Update

Not a ton happened in terms of both of these things hence why I’ve done this section together. I managed to get in one run which was a decent length and relatively alright pace. There was a lot of rain and I’m not so intense that I want to go out and brave the rain for a run just yet. Excuses, I know… The weather has cooled down a little so I’m hoping that after film festival coverage and work crazy phase is done that I can get back to some more runs.

As for the gardening, mostly everything is over. We still have the peppers and two cucumbers still alive. Our raspberry finally decided to have some fruits so we had some harvests now. The bee garden is looking decent as well. The one that’s doing the best has to be the water lily in our bucket that has been having a lot of flowers.

That’s it for this August Adventures!
What have you been up to?

My July Adventures!

These might be some unusual times but July has been right on cue with the hot and humid weather along with some random downpours. There’s a few changes as things get back to some form of normal since Montreal is pretty much in their last phases of deconfinement as offices has the okay for up to 25% of staff to get back to work and masks are mandatory on public transit and indoor public places. I’ll talk about all those things below as well as some updates of July.

Hiking: La Boucle du mont des Trois-Lacs

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After some rainy weather, we finally found a day to go out for a hike to hit the other trail in the same spot where we went in the previous hike. You can see the recap of this hike HERE.

Movies and Tea Podcast

Movies and Tea Podcast is still going pretty strong. We’ve been wrapping up Season 4 for Ang Lee and After Hours this month and will be starting up Season 5 for David Fincher shortly.

On Youtube, we’ve been posting up on a weekly basis and we’re pretty much updated almost the entire first season. As we step into Season 5 for Movies and Tea, it will be updated on Youtube while still catching up on the older episodes in between. Above you can find the latest episode updated on Youtube.

Back to the Office

Back to the office doesn’t really have much to talk about. I wasn’t exactly excited about it since the whole public transit thing is rather stressful mentally. It was okay for the first week or so until the buses started getting more people, probably because of 25% capacity of office able to open. I’m trying to keep a relaxed mindset about it all and just make sure to stay on high alert. Of course, with masks mandatory not only on public transit but expanded to indoor public places, its all about amassing face masks since the government has said that its something that will likely remain mandatory for the foreseeable future.

Gardening Update

All the garden vegetables are doing fairly good. Everything’s have some kind of vegetable growing. We have an abundance of cucumbers and Hungarian Wax peppers. I’m hoping that at some point we’ll get more than the one or two squashes. The downpours will hopefully  help.

Quick Road Trip to Ottawa

I didn’t take any pictures but I went to Ottawa for quick Chinese grocery store run since I had some things that I needed but some Chinese grocery stores here don’t have a lot of. At the same time, it was mostly also a chance to take care of a wrong delivery item from an online order for Eddie Bauer that I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of calling and getting a Fedex pickup and whatnot. Its just nice to take a road trip since there’s no other form of travelling that seems reasonable in the current times. I got a chance to pick up a hiking bag on discount at Eddie Bauer, half a dozen of donuts from Maverick Donuts, ciders from LCBO as well as the above-mentioned grocery run. At least one less thing to deal with for the whole Eddie Bauer wrong item situation that got sorted out fairly easily.

Workout Update

  • Run: 8.19km/ 1hr1min
  • Pool Workouts

With only one hike and one long run this month due to the extreme heat, I’ve been moving every week’s workout into a few pool workouts. Its been mostly about endurance and resistance workouts as well as swimming. Going back to the office also means that I can get back to the normal everyday walking. Point is, I’ve been trying to get more active and lose some weight and stay fit.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this July Adventures!

My May Adventures

Its hard to think that May is over with and at this point, its been more than 2 months in lockdown mode. Montreal is getting into reopening phase so we’ll see how all that goes probably in the June recap as it hasn’t completely started yet, really just starting up. With that said, I still worked from home in May. Things have slightly slowed down but there’s a shift in my own responsibilities and whatnot. Its been a bit crazy, not just the general situation but the weather went from some light snow in the beginning of the month until this last week of May hitting the 30+ degrees Celsius mark so its insane. Not a whole lot to talk about in these adventures but I’m mostly following up from last month’s Adventures post with podcasts and gardening, etc.

Movies and Tea Update: We’re on YouTube FINALLY!

Last month’s adventures, I had talked about working on moving the audio podcasts to Youtube as a new platform to see if we can get some more audience there. After an entire month of trying to do it but never quite getting it done, I gave myself a kick in the pants and did it. The first episode of Season 1 of our archives is finally on. The plan right now is that archives once a week until our current season ends and then I will upload Season 5 in between of putting up archives in between. That way, the old stuff is going up and the new episodes as well.

I’m debating on whether to do some more content after all the main business is done! All up for discussion with my awesome co-host, of course…because as we always say, we hate free time. 😉

Garden Update

There’s probably more to update here. There are a few more containers as I also did try to grow almost all the seeds that I had in the house. Some came out and some didn’t but its still somewhat of a waiting game other than the butterfly garden flowers, which seem to be doing fairly well in both of the containers. I will probably share a picture of it once it has more progress than baby leaves.

The trip to the garden center was also decent. Its more that, probably because of COVID-19 and the later season and unstable weather, there was a very limited assortment of vegetables or plants or whatnot. For example, the zucchini was not even grown from seeds and I wasn’t going to take the risk so skipped it. All of this year’s vegetables are new trials: Butternut Squash, Squash, Delicata Squash, Hungarian Wax Peppers and Marina Cucumbers (which we’ve had before but never grown..my mom has though). It’ll be interesting to see what comes of it all. More updates next month.

The whole staying at home as given a whole new motivation to weeding though so hoping to take advantage of the nice weather and the extra time from working at home whenever I can to get the garden back up to how I’d like it to be.

Game Warp Podcast – New Episode

If the lockdown did anything for us, its getting us back into our Game Warp groove. I’ve definitely been gaming more even if its not for actual podcast recordings but its built up some backlog for game reviews and mobile game roundups to potentially go up as its all in the works right now. Above is our latest episode that you can give a listen!

Online Battle of Ingredients Group Hangout

No pictures here since I like to respect everyone’s privacy and online names and whatnot. We didn’t forget Battle of Ingredients and are waiting for this whole social distancing to go at some point to resume normal operations. We have thought about doing some online edition but its my fault mostly that work and changing seasons has added a lot to the to-do list so not a ton of time to think about it. However, the crew did get together for an online dinner together and then a Jackbox party together so it was a lot of fun. New times calls for new measures to still hang out with our friends and stay in touch.

Cute Kitty Pic

Kitty Cat

That’s it for this May Adventures!
Its mostly little updates on the different projects right now!

What have you been up to during this lockdown period?
Is your city reopening gradually?

My April Adventures!

As we step into April, the world is in a surreal state with COVID-19 running out lives back to the safety of our homes for those who aren’t essential services and/or can’t work from home. I don’t want to talk too much about it on the other posts but as Adventures is more of a personal offering, its hard to not touch on it. I’ve been saying whenever I mention this that its important to stay positive and with that said, we look at the pros of the situation (despite all the bad) and that is we learn to appreciate and be grateful that we still have this blogging community to hide away from the surreal reality surrounding us.

Working From Home

There’s not much to say about working from home other than the fact that April was a crazy month. March was just adjusting to working at home and then April hit so hard because staff decrease and I had to work a 2 person workload. Luckily, I had some help as I slowly got the office set up with the printer and getting new cartridge and stuff that took longer than usual to arrive because of the current situation. I’m starting to realize how hard it is to work non-stop for such a long time. Luckily, April is over and my staff will go back up to almost normal so I can work through May, hopefully more peacefully!

Game Warp Podcast
(& Learning About Headliner)

Game Warp is slowly coming back to life as we settle through our direction and how the shows that we’d like to do in the coming while. Our latest podcast is a review discussion on Life Is Strange 2 which recently won the BAFTA Games Award for Best Performer in a Leading Role with its character of Sean Diaz. We did record this before the whole awards thing so its just a coincidence that we released it at the same time.

As I struggled through how to structure the audio podcasts to be more appealing, my wonderful co-host told me Headliner which is how I made this video. Learning about new things is one of the fun things about blogging and podcasting. Hopefully you like the podcast! Of course, you prefer the audio version, you can find us on Anchor and a ton of other platforms.

Right before this post went live, we released another episode for Game Warp as a list/discussion piece on Greatest Female Characters as well as listing our favorites.

Garden Coming Alive

I do have a bunch of pictures for another Instagram post but then I never go around to posting it up. The garden is indeed coming alive and much more vibrant than the beginning of April. Blueberry is starting to show signs of life along with raspberry and strawberry. The trees are coming back as well. Then we have the perennials especially the new ones last year in the bee garden are mostly all coming back! I promise to share pictures soon on Instagram!

Movies and Tea Podcast

Nothing like blogging more and recording more for podcasts during this time. Movies and Tea is releasing on a good schedule now as we are having a decent backlog! Its all thanks to my awesome co-host Elwood who gets all these shows edited and released, of course! Ang Lee season is almost over. Above is the penultimate episode of Ang Lee for Lust, Caution.

On other news, which I hoped to share with you all this time around, Movies and Tea Podcast will be on Youtube soon. Its a new avenue and will be done with Headliner in the audio format as well. The channel is set up but its mostly putting up all the archive episodes gradually. I’ll give an update in May for sure!

New Objectives

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Everyone is trying to make the best of staying at home as something that they are tackling. I’m sure when you flip through your feed that you see a ton of your own friends tackling baking, cooking, entertaining others through music, streaming, etc. For myself, I’m more of an introvert and while I did say that I would stream if I got to work at home during this ordeal, things didn’t quite turn out that way, as explained in my “Working at Home” section above. However, I did set myself a new goal and that’s to pick one song to play on the piano really well (maybe not perfectly since I’m far from that) but be able to play it and sing at the same time. I’m mostly doing separate practicing right now: piano and singing done separately but soon, I might be able to start putting it together. The song that I picked is Encounter by Stefanie Sun, which is one of my favorite songs and I used to sing it well enough but singing is a tad rusty nowadays. Call it practice or whatever but its been really fun doing this.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this April Adventures!
What adventures, right? Shameless self-promotion is what this mostly consists of!
I’ll try my best to get a better routine down in May once I have more time!

My March Adventures!

Welcome to the March Adventures! March is a big month. Not so much for work (such a rare thing to say over here) in the beginning until the pandemic was announced and things took a flipside and changed the working situation and the general routine.  Not quite the way I expected my husband and I to turn a year older but hey, what can you do, right? On a happier note, as a lot of us have shifted our lives at home, I’m 34 today and celebrating in the beautiful confines of my home, still employed and healthy! In the state of things right now, its important to be grateful and appreciative for the things that we have!

Ultimate 2010s Blogathon Done!

Early March wrapped up the Ultimate 2010s Blogthon that I co-host with Drew’s Movie Reviews as we celebrated with our fantastic guest reviewers their favorite/most significant 2010s movies. You can find all the entries HERE.

Day Off

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I had a day off in early March after a 10.5 days work week to recuperate. The husband also had that day off so we ended up going to do some shopping since I needed to upgrade my skincare routine. You can see the new purchases. I had a birthday discount card so it was alright. We also had a lovely lunch at La Belle et la Boeuf eating some burgers.

Little did we know how things were going downhill after this date outing.

Kavala & Boulangerie Ange

Right before we had all the social distancing orders from the government, I did manage to have a few last hurrahs with friends.

Boulangerie Ange

The first was checking out the new bakery at a new condo district called Boulangerie Ange. We did pick up some bread, croissants and baguette while trying out their breakfast combo. Its pretty good and would definitely be something to check out later on when things get back to normal.

Kavala

We also managed to squeeze in another restaurant hangout with our Battle of Ingredients crew at a Greek tavern called Kavala. I was going to do a post on it but have decided to postpone it as its not like restaurants are currently open (other than takeout and delivery). Either way, it was a delicious place but I’ll talk more about it afterwards. On that note, Battle of Ingredients is, of course, on hold until further notice when things get back to normal.

Work Changes & New Routine

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After a week of nerve-wracking public commute to work with all kinds of preventative measures in the bus and sanitization and home cleaning, my boss figured out a way to let me work from home. Although, above is only immediate needs for the week or so and I do have to pop back into the office every week or so to grab new documents and drop off work done, its been a fairly quick adaptation to working at home although its somewhat changed my routine as I’ve needed to add in time for doing things I’d usually use for reading and walking to work as workout. Still, I can’t complain as I still have a job as we’re considered essential services when the province lockdown came into effect. As of writing this post, I have already gone back to pick up another crateful of documents to work on as we’ve outlined the goals for the next few weeks.

New Routines and Plans 

In lieu of the current state of events, I have already talked about new routines. While I’ve been trying my best to keep up with setting a new routine, mostly with better chore management during the week. I’m slowly finding more time to get in the other projects. You should be seeing more baking related posts (yes, Baking Through Disney should show up after a few little basic baking to get myself back on track to make sure I’m still good with the basics and organization. At the same time, I have an huge amount of backlog of double features and TV binges to write as well as a lot of  book commitments and blog tours to work on over the next little while. Content should be back on track as I know the last 2 weeks or so have been a little all over the place.

At the same time, Elwood and I have been working hard on getting ahead with both Game Warp and Movies and Tea podcast recording so remember to check out our wrap up for Season 3 as we look at Ang Lee and then our After Hours and Shark Week. You can check out Movies and Tea HERE and Game Warp HERE. More podcasts and written reviews/posts will coming up from myself at least as I start finding time to wrap up a few of them. In terms of gaming, I might actually start streaming soon as I kind of made a deal with myself that if I had the ability to work from home and had more time that I’d start doing that..just deciding on the game to stream right now.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for the March Adventures!

I’m going to assume right now that if things stay the way they are, I will have to be a little more creative with the April Adventures as its less adventures in the going out but more what I’ve been up to at home. I have some buried project ideas and whatnot that I want to find time to do so we will see.

On that note, feel free to share what you have been up to? Have you been confined to your homes as well?

My February Adventures!

February has passed us by and with the month ending, we take a look back at all the little adventures that happened! Its been a crazy month with a lot of work and overtime and just fatigue, more and more. I took some days off here and there and there were some inconsistencies in the blogging schedule. I also did manage to have some fun little moments between all the snowstorms and daily life things. I already know that it would be a hard and busy month but hey, we’re done now! Suffice to say, it might not be as eventful but still, let’s check it out!

Bouge Bouge 5KM Montreal Souterrain

Kicking off February in absolutely style as I went to do the 5KM MTL Underground Run. The second year participating and this year, while I didn’t feel tip-top and wasn’t sure whether to go for it despite the fatigue from work and really wanting to recuperate, I was the one who said that I’d do it this year, unlike last year where my friend signed up for me and was slightly forced into it. I toughed it out and my time wasn’t too bad. I’m actually enjoying these 5KM runs that keeps me motivated to train a little. This one is a bit tough on the knees with all the stairs going up and down. I’m thinking of doing one or two more 5KM runs throughout 2020 but we will see how things go.

Ramen – Lunch at Kumamoto

We had a crazy snow storm on Friday and after having to dig ourselves out and help out our neighbor and then go save my friend from a little dilemma, we headed out together for a lunch at Kumamoto. Previously, I went there for a hotpot for two people but they are a ramen restaurant so we went to give that a go. I have to say that, in terms of variety of soup bases, this one has a lot. They also have a nice bit of side dishes to choose from. The karaage chicken here is probably the best out of the few places that we’ve been to.

Ultimate 2010s Blogathon

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Just like clockwork, Ultimate 2010s Blogathon started the week after Valentine’s Day. This year, we’re celebrating the movies of 2010s the stood out to ourselves and our guests. As the blogathon is in its final few posts, nearing out wrap-up. You can find all the reviews released HERE.

Snowstorm, Family Dinner, New Plant & Souvenirs

I didn’t take a lot of pictures for any of these things so I figured I’d just cover it all in one section with what little pictures I have. First to hit in February was possibly the first big snowstorm. An actual storm with like 35cm of snow or something that made for some crazy shoveling. When we went back to shovel our backyard patio, it took the collective effort of the husband and I over and hour to clear it all out.

As holidays are a rarity in the first 2 months of the year, my mother-in-law gathered up the family to have a dinner together. We had some surprise news drop and then also had a delicious meal with Italian soup, ham, potatoes, meat pie and then chocolate dip for fruits and cakes. That was a lot of fun.

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We went shopping for something to fix my shower and ended up picking up a cactus because the husband wanted one. I’ve never had a cactus before so I’m going to read up on it and try to not kill it.

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Finally, my friend went out to UK for a few days vacation and ended up getting me some cool souvenirs including a UK themed Mickey and Minnie to join my collection. They currently occupy the empty office table so I guess they are quite royalty in my house.

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for February Adventures!
Anything fun that you did in February that you’d like to share?

Wine Recap: December 2019

Welcome to the last wine recap covering December 2019 (at least for the foreseeable future of 2020). Wine recaps are fun but we’re moving on to other things. There’s more than enough to flip through over the almost 2 years of doing this segment. I will try to share it over on Instagram to boost up some content on that platform. 😉 December was holiday season so we might have tried out a few wines and such.

Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay 2018

Casillero del Diablo

Producer: Concha y Toro
Alcohol Content: 13.5%
Location: Chile
Taste Tag: Aromatic and Mellow

The beginning of December is a little blurry now. I remember this wine being a little on the dry side. Perhaps in the semi-dry territory but it did match the aromatic and mellow taste tag. There’s still subtle notes to it that does give it layers and actually gives the wine some depth (if you know what I mean). Its actually the first time that we’ve tried Chilean wine so its definitely a decent experience.

Brickworks Ciderhouse Burgundy Effect

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Producer: Trilium Beverage Inc.
Alcohol Content: 5%
Location: Ontario, Canada
Taste Tag: Medium-Sweet & Fruity

Big fan of blackcurrants here! Huge fan in fact! If anyone has had Ribena, that’s one of my absolute favorite juices out there. Kir is also one of those liqueurs that also appeal to me quite a bit. Saying all that, The Burgundy Effect is a blackcurrant apple cider which is pretty alright. Brickhouse does the Queen Street 501 the best in my opinion and then its the Batch: 1904 before it comes to this one. Its not quite as sweet as their apple cider selection but for those who are seeking a little kick and still getting the fruity with decent berry taste, this one definitely does the trick. Plus, the blackcurrant-apple cider is a pretty unique blend.

Grand Frisson de Glace Recolte 2017

grand frisson de glace recolte 2017

Producer: Chateau Taillefer-Lafon
Alcohol Content: 7%
Location: Quebec
Taste Tag: N/A

Costco purchase right here plus it was on sale. So I got this one for $10 or something. Crazy stuff because most Recolte varieties are actually quite pricey. Grand Frisson de Glace might be one that I’ve tried a few years back but don’t remember anymore (or it could be another one). This one is alright. It has a decent balance between acidity and sweetness. Its not my favorite but I don’t dislike it either. For the price and the accessibility, its definitely a decent choice.

Val Caudelies

Val Caudalies

This one is part of the Battle of Ingredients so I’ll send you over there to read about it right HERE.

That’s it for this Wine Recap!
I can’t emphasize how much I enjoy everyone that has dropped by to check out these posts! I’m not a professional wine reviewer and its more just a very basic feeling on wine appreciation using my own preferences. 

It was a pretty calm month in general and to kick off January wines as a start off point for everyone to find me on Instagram. Here’s the post on the Blue Nun 24K Gold Edition.

 

 

 

 

My December Adventures!

Its the last day of December. Isn’t that crazy? I’m doing this on the last day instead of tomorrow since we have 2020 business to take care of then so shifting things up a little. We’re going through the very busy December and all kinds of recap and seemingly a bunch of shopping and gifts and fairs and outings, etc.

Fingers crossed that all will go as planned as writing in December has been a bit all over the place… (it hasn’t because this is going up much later than expected)

CRHS Annual Craft Fair (December 1)

DIY Christmas

You can see the post on it HERE.

Marbled Ornaments

Next up, I went along and tried out some Marbled Ornaments as well! Which was mostly a failed attempt in general but did decide that its a project to further pursue and figure out. Plus, its some nice way to use up old nail polish so that its not just thrown out without some form of recycling/repurposing. You can check my post on that HERE.

Marché Casse-Noisette & Mini-Comiccon

Marche Casse -Noisette took place from November 28 to December 8 at Palais des Congres which happened to overlap with Mini Montreal Comiccon held December 7 and 8 also at Palais des Congres just one was in the main hall and the other was upstairs. With that said, it made sense to go and check out both at the same time. While the haul wasn’t particularly a lot, it was a first time visit for both place for myself. Some nice discoveries to be found. I will definitely go check the Marché Casse-Noisette again but probably not the Mini Comiccon as its rather lackluster.

Salon des Metiers d’Art 2019

Salon des metiers d'art 2019

  • Coach House Shortbread Company: Dark Chocolate & Salt; Almond & Rose; Ginger
  • La Nougaterie: Salt Flower Caramel; Dark Chocolate; Christmas
  • Nutra Fruit: Chocolate Covered Cranberry; Dark Chocolate- Cranberry Spread
  • Cidrerie du Minot: Des Glaces
  •  Choco Chocolat: Dark Chocolate; Dark Hazelnut

A lot of the SMAQ 2019 sales is about the same as previous years, the exception being that I bought the spread from Nutra Fruit and the chocolate from Choco Chocolat, which I believe is a new booth this year at the Salon. Most of this stuff is for festival party time and gifts and whatnot.

Ottawa Day Trip

Mavericks Donut

We took a quick trip with a friend to go to Ottawa to do some quick errands. We had a nice lunch at Fatboys (post about our first time HERE) and then finally found time to go grab some donuts at Mavericks Donut, which they had 4 dairy-free flavors and the husband and the friend each chose 4 to get a dozen. After that, I finally brought home Pumbaa from Disney Store to join Timon at our place and then picks up some wine at LCBO and some food in preparation for NYE dinner plans at T&T Supermarket.

Holiday Festivities: Christmas Dinners & NYE Hotpot

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Christmas Eve dinner was a ton of fun with a lot of people at the in-laws. It was a fun little event with some surprise gifts for ourselves which we didn’t expect to get anything in the first place. My mom wanted to have a turkey feast (as shown above) so she held a dinner and invited us and some of her own friends for dinner and here we have the overzealous food galore. Everything was delicious as usual. NYE is a hotpot meal and part of the Battle of Ingredients festivities so a separate post will be done for that.

Boxing Day Shopping Haul

Boxing Day this year has been a little less exciting. It has to do a lot with the fact that we’ve been trying to decrease expenses and its truly changed the spending habits into being very cautious with our expenses. Its not going to seem it since we’ve done a lot of shopping this past month…seemingly..but then its all useful things or food. Either way, without further ado (as this is the last part before this post ends)..the shopping haul from Boxing Day.

  • Adidas outlet: Running Shoes
  • Dynamite: Sweater and 3-pack scrunchies
  • Steam Sale: Life is Strange 2: Complete Edition, Detention, Gris, The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, Glass Masquerade
  • Playstation Holiday Sale: Overcooked 2, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  • Amazon: Playstation 4 Controller Charging Dock
  • Walmart: John Wick 2

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this December Adventures!
How was your holidays? Had a lot of fun with family? Did you do some Boxing Day shopping?

My November Adventures!

November is here and gone! Compared to the crazy October, its much calmer, especially since this year I didn’t even think about NaNoWriMo at all. Its the first year in a long time that I haven’t done it (although last year I didn’t finish it). Either way, there are a few plans scheduled in and a remote coverage for a film festival and well, just preparing for December and other little tidbits.

Let’s check it out!

MTL a Table: Rose Ross

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Coregone, carrot mousseline, beluga lentilles, fennel and basil

First to kick off November is our first spot to check out for MTL a Table. This time was a more half the gang deal as it only appealed to ourselves and Phoebe and her family. Rose Ross is located in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Rosemont in the Promenade Masson and serves French cuisine but with a lot of the local ingredients available to them. It also has some vegetarian options and even had lactose-free dessert which always wins my heart over. The menu also had an Aeroplan privilege exclusive which was fun. The full recap of the meal is HERE.

MTL a Table: La Classe

La Classe

The second restaurant that the group (except my husband who had to work) went to was La Classe, a restaurant in College Lasalle with their students taking up the various tasks from host to servers to kitchen. Its one that we’ve been to before however they had changed their name this year to La Classe. The food here is always pretty good and its pricing is incredibly worth it for its quality and for French fine dining. You can check out the recap of the meal HERE.

MTL a Table: Taboo Cuisine Rebelle

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Salmon gravlax marinated in lemongrass and ginger oil, Asian sauce, wasabi, pomegrenate, fried capers, shoots

The last restaurant in the MTL a Table this year is a new find for the majority of us which turned out to be fairly disappointing. Its pretty much North American food in a lounge setting with a very prominent small finger foods and drinks. Its price point outside of the MTL a table was pretty high as we looked at their menus so MTL a Table gives a general experience of it. There was a lot left to be desired. You can check out the recap HERE.

The First Snowstorm of the season

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Coinciding with our week off from work, a lovely little staycation, much overdue for myself was the first snowstorm of this winter, well, late autumn to be accurate which brought in about 15cm of snow. Some neighbors told us about how most snow removal service contracts only started on November 15th, which this storm hit November 12th so some companies didn’t come around to remove snow, causing quite a few headaches. Luckily, while the storm did knock some of our road trip plans out, it did let us take our time with shovelling the snow, although we still did it in relatively one go in the morning.

Staycation Day Trip: Ottawa & Shopping Haul

Disney Store Ottawa

Disney: Christmas Eeyore

LCBO Rideau Center

LCBO

T&T Supermarket Ottawa

T&T Supermarket (without hot/cooked food)

Other than the shopping haul and just taking a moment out of town, we went to eat at Fatboys Southern Smokehouse. You can find the recap HERE.

An Afternoon with My Battle of Ingredient Co-Host

Kumamoto

PresoTea

The week of staycation is almost at an end and what vacation would it be without running an errand to the dentist to pick up (very expensive and makes me thankful for benefits) Night Guard and the much more exciting hangout for my good friend and Battle of Ingredients co-host for a lunch at Kumamoto and an afternoon tea at Presotea after she helped me out a great deal with something I’ve been meaning to do for a while (but needed a kick in the pants to do).

MEGA Expo

MEGA MIGS Festival 2019

Finally, to wrap up the staycation week once and for all was heading out to check out MEGA Expo which was held at Le Grand Quai, which is so new that I have never been in before. The venue was nice and we saw some nice games. The recap should be over at Game Warp..but it isn’t because I’ve just been hitting a writing slump and busy with work…Its still happening because there’s so many games that I really want to talk about.

Blood in the Snow Festival 2019

Blood in the Snow Festival took place on November 21 to 26 in Toronto. Of course, I didn’t have time to go but I was lucky enough to get remote coverage and it had almost all the movies available to review. Its a short festival but one that highlights a lot of Canadian genre films and while it had some meh films, there was still a lot to love and some really great stories and premise. The reviews should all be up on the BITS 2019 tab HERE. But as usual, I will do a top 3 (since there was only 8 full feature films).

  • Majic
  • Hunter’s Moon
  • Z

Marche Ephemere EtsyMTL

Black Friday – Shopping Haul

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I actually didn’t think about Black Friday until it was literally the week of as the flyers started coming in. Its been a goal to spend less so I’ve decreased a lot of expenses. With that said, I did take a look at the sales and got a little something here and there. Not a whole lot of physical shopping as I was stuck at work rushing a deadline but here’s the general list.

Amazon

  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Crawl
  • Greenies Dental Treats (for cats)
  • Car phone holder

Steam

  • Blackwood Crossing
  • Batman: The Enemy Within
  • Yoku’s Island Express

Playstation Store

  • Spider-Man
  • Days Gone
  • God of War

Michael’s (shown above): Wreath and Wreath supplies

Decathlon: Water Pouch (for backpack)

Cute Kitty Pic

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That’s it for this November adventures!
A lot more packed than I expected but it had to do with the last minute vacation.

Overview of 2018 & What’s Happening in 2019!

Welcome to the annual overview post. I didn’t get a chance to get to it yesterday so I’m doing a quick one with the look forward to 2019. We could do two posts but I’m honestly not really in the mood to overload anyone with these posts. Its more of a reminder of what I’ve achieved in 2018 and new or adjusted plans to work with for 2019!

OVERVIEW OF 2018

2018 was a rough year in general. I had some PC issues in the beginning of the year which caused a whole lot of crazy as I had to get another PC built which put a lot of stuff behind. We had some other personal issues that caused a lot of worries and issues. However, 2018 is over now and as I look back, there were some really nice achievements and that is what matters. I started Tranquil Dreams to focus on the positives in the first place so that is what we’re going to do right now.

How about some stats to start? I haven’t done those in a while, it feels like at least.

Total Posts in 2018: 374 posts
Total Views: 69,450
Top 5 Countries: USA, India, Canada, UK & Hong Kong SAR
Top 5 posts published in 2018

And then for some achievements:

  • Goodreads Challenge – 30 Books
  • Fantasia Festival coverage of 20 films
  • Festival du Nouveau Cinema coverage of 9 films
  • Blood in the Snow Festival – remote coverage of 8 films
  • Montreal Comiccon coverage for Game Warp Podcast
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon co-hosted with Drew’s Movie Reviews
  • Started up and co-host Movies and Tea Podcast with Elwood
  • Set Up the Facebook page for Tranquil Dreams
  • What’s Up segment on Youtube
  • Set Up a Weibo social media account

What to Expect in 2019!

2019 is here! A lot was done last year when I look back so I’m hoping to keep up and polish some social media skills and hopefully promote the blog a little better. Its all about working on the content right now. A lot of my issues this past year when I look back is procrastination and that sprouted from lack of organization or following through with tentative schedules and just not having the motivation from all the garbage that life threw at me. Then I added on a few segments as well (probably should of mentioned in the above section).

Resolutions: Less Procrastination (because none would be impossible) & Better Organization

BOOKS

  • Goodreads Challenge: 40 Books (might increase to 50 depending on what happens)
  • More focus on Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Getting back to reading Classics
  • Other TBR books that I own, outstanding book requests and blog tours

MOVIES & TV

  • What stays the same: Most movies and TV from Netflix and rentals and Web series on Youtube as well as film festival coverages
  • Adding in focus on Chinese language Asian movies and TV series (could be China, Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan, Singapore)

FOOD & DINING

  • Battle of Ingredients, Goodfood recap, Food Festivals and Restaurants
  • Baking Through Disney revival (whether its Disney reviews and conceptualizing baking projects)

WEEKLY/MONTHLY SEGMENTS

  • Music Obsessions (first weekend of each month)
  • Wine Recap (10th of each month)
  • Weekly Adventures (15th and 30/31 of each month)
  • What’s Up (everyday Wednesday – possibly back to video format)
  • Sunday Lists (biweekly to monthly frequency)

The main shift this year is the focus on Chinese language Movies, TV and possibly books since I’ve been meaning to get back to some Chinese reading. I’ve felt like a part of what started off a lot of my interests in the first place so when I moved into blogging and gave up a lot of it, its been always something that I’ve been trying to get back to. Its a risky move because no one really reads those posts but this space is about my interests and I do want to share those interests with you especially since a lot of it is now moved to more modern platforms like Netflix and Youtube having access.

Other than that, after some thought, I’m also heading back to more food-oriented content. It might be a slow start but I have changed my approach on the Baking Through Disney project and will start on reviewing Disney films while figuring out how to approach the design for baking. That way the project doesn’t get held up and ends up falling apart again.

As for What’s Up, as I’ve mentioned before, will end up going back to a video and written format. Both formats are fun to do so depending on time, I will work on trying to have both of them  paired up.

Its kind of long but quite a bit of the same going on!
A lot of the repeat for those new to the blog to see where you can navigate.