Gardening 2018 #2: Garden Center Haul

2 weeks or so has past since the first Gardening 2018 post!

Time sure does fly by. I’ve been working hard on weeding and setting up the garden with what I have so far. There is still a ton of stuff to do but Victoria Day long weekend is the staple weekend where I go to the garden centre and pick up at least my first big haul! This year, I went back to Les Serres Jean-Francois Dauphinais.

This place is still one of my more favorite places to go to. I actually also made a quick stop over at Pepiniere Auclair.

Here’s a lovely mosaic of what I did pick up at the center as a starter and after, we’ll take a look at what I’ve planted and other garden updates as a follow-up from the last post.

Its the first year that my husband was fully awake to go to the garden centre with me and ended up leaving feeling like he enjoyed it. That is the difference of being on graveyard shift and normal shift (at least for him). It was a very different experience and he was a real champ and kept me company and helped me out a few times with the whole gardening thing. A different experience in some ways. This is definitely just the first batch and the two flowers are the only ones currently not planted in ground yet. We have a few little gardening clean-up areas left but my husband has been working on a few little things helping me open up some more of the garden this weekend as well.

Let’s take a look at how everything looks now!

First Part: Front Yard

The flower patch in the front yard definitely has grown a lot more since the last update. Amazing what two weeks could do. Crimson Star still doesn’t have any buds so I’m wondering if it will since its already much later than usual. The tulips are all blooming now and giving some beautiful colorful life to my front yard. Once these end, the yellow flowers in the back should bloom if things go well. Aside from that, it seems that my middle area is not coming back so I’m going to be moving something over that has been cramped up in a corner of the garden forever but I just never found a home for it. Update on that next time for sure!

Moving along, the Bleeding Hearts are looking spectacular. I’ll be posting some cool pictures of it over on Avenue of Daydreams over the next week or two. Its scheduled but I can’t remember when.

gardening

Honestly, this sad patch along the front facade of my house did get a nice trimming and yet again, I forgot to take a picture of it since the last time but the Dianthus seems to be coming back. This patch seems like its not having much perennials come back, however, as I walked around this week, I saw, what I believe is, the cone flowers coming back. Its the little leaves in the top right area. I remembered i had moved one there and it was shadowed by the hydrangeas but this year I trimmed the hydrageans so hopefully it’ll successfully come back.

Part 2: Strawberries & Raspberries

Enough said about this area. Its just growing out of control as usual. The strawberries are getting perkier and stronger every year. There are a lot of blossoms. Hopefully the bees are dropping by to pollinate it. As for the Raspberries, I’m trying to keep it under control but it sure looks like, its not exactly making much of a difference. I waited two weeks and already my lily is hidden in these raspberry shrubs already.

Part 3: Container Gardening

Marigolds

On with the container gardening! We are actually have quite a few of these this year despite saying that we’d have less. As usual, the planter for the ledge of the patio full of marigolds. Marigolds naturally repels mosquitoes so that is the purpose of them being at the edge. Talking about mosquito repellent, here is my mosquito repellent container.

Mosquito Repellent Container

Geranium Citronella, Lemongrass and Marigold makes up for my mosquito repellent container. I read somewhere that if you walk by the plant and brush your hands over it, it will help keep the bugs away. I did it on one arm and it didn’t get me but the other arm caught a mosquito bite. Even if its not effective, it still looks pretty nice. One of my prouder planting moments 🙂

Basil, Curled Parsley

A little change here as well. Usually I get a few herbs and plant them in a container garden. This year, we got the lavender that went into the ground right away (at least I chose to do that), leaving these two so I put them into a smaller pot. I’m hoping there’s enough space but the strong one will survive, right? It’ll make it out! *positive thoughts*

lettuce lettuce

Others may hang flowers in their hanging pots but since 2 years ago, we’ve been planting lettuce in hanging pots and let me tell you, they are quite successful usually. This year, we are changing it up and putting 2 lettuces instead of three. Three always ends up one being scrawny and sad so hopefully two will work out for the better. With that said, the lettuce this year was slightly weak and when I was taking them out, two broke off from their roots. I’m currently trying to revive them in water to hopefully sprout back some roots but don’t know if it will work.

As you can see, lettuce and cucumbers are dominant in the garden this year. With limited garden space as the expansion is still in progress, we are doing two cucumbers in containers this year and I did some companion planting research and paired them up with lettuce. Kale makes no difference so I just put it in since they don’t take a lot of space and we harvest them fairly quickly as we like to make kale chips and cook it.

The final two are just individual kale and my variety of lettuce containers. The highlight here is that I’ve rigged the top one with a watering system. To be honest, I don’t think the system works as well. The water goes down a little too fast for it to be useful. The wine bottle method in the bottom is definitely still doing the trick. I’m going to compare the two and see at the end of the season, which works better. Who knows before we observe for a little while longer.

Part 4: Vegetable Garden

echinacea

The echinacea is back! I’m really happy about that. I did lose one of them but at least one came back so I’m already fairly satisfied with it.

We put up the same fence as we had last year. Its to prevent bunny attacks on my lettuce. This part is the general informal entrance of my patch since you pretty much need to straddle the front trellis to get in. Its not tall but can still be hard to do. As you can see, my blueberries are growing well enough. The green onions are bursting with harvest and there in the middle is a cucumber plant. We needed to keep them near the mesh side and I’ll be getting a trellis to link it to the side.

Continuing to the other side and the full extension. The far left is all herbs. Lemon Mint and Oregano came back and in the center, I planted the Lavender. As for the rows, The first row is Marketmore cucumbers and Kale. The reason for this is to swap things around. I’ve planted zucchini in the front for a few years and its normal to change things around to help the soil replenish nutrients. Second row is all the Bok Choy. And the final row is English Cucumbers and Zucchini.

Part 5: Water Lily/Water Garden Debut

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

What can I say? I grew up with a pond in my backyard. Water gardens remind me of my dad. A part of me has always wanted a water garden so I made the effort to get a water lily and try to make it grow especially after my mom gave us these giant clay pots last year which was my dad’s. The water lilies was pretty pricey but I believe if you put them under soil over winter, its supposed to make it through every year. My mom is the expert on that so I’ll get more info from her soon.

And that’s it for the garden!
We have an idea of opening up a few more patches so my husband has been helping me a ton with that!
He makes the progress go a lot faster especially when opposite from my scattered mind of wanting to do everything at the same time, he actually focuses on one task.

Still some research! I’ll update with the flowers being planted in ground.
I just want to make sure that I open a big enough plot so that I can see the Clematis and it will give it the best chance of survival and blossom.
And a few moving plants about the garden coming up and pruning of a few trees.

Seems that this Gardening thing will be a biweekly deal as it currently stands.
I’m just a beginner gardener so its a journey all on its own.

Fall Decor!

Its a gloomy and windy Sunday! We have a few plans but Fall is among us and we’ve been preparing for winter’s arrival which is supposed to be incredibly harsh this year. Wood is stocked up and windows are cleaned (mostly).

Today’s post is simple! I’m slowly figuring out how to breathe some life into the house with just more colors. When I do make it all lively, it also keeps me motivated to keep it clean all the time! Plus, some of this isn’t exactly fall decor but more just closing the garden outside and bringing stuff back in.

A nice trip to Michael’s came up with some fall fake flowers (on sale!) and first bouquet we put together in the den is this cooler tone one. The pumpkin is actually a real decorative pumpkin that I bought at the Atwater market. A few more in the decor in the dining room.

A little shadowy but here, we got a new plant stand from IKEA. Very much needed since my cat is a plant eating monster and we need to prop plants up as much as possible. Below is a little experiment I’m trying with oregano to grow it in water since I read a few posts on it on Pinterest. So far, its doing pretty good. As of yesterday, it grew out roots already. Maybe I’ll try to do that with basil and have better luck. Its just with this, changing water regularly is going to be the hurdle to remember.

Next decor, is this fall bouquet that we put together from that Michael’s trip mentioned above. Also with decoration squashes from Atwater Market trip. My mom gave me some lovely apples and we’re working on eating those and making pies (recipe coming up).

In the yard,I took the picture a little late yesterday after some vicious rain that ended this morning so the flowers are not looking as good but very nice chrysanthemums! I bought this just a few weeks ago so they should be around for next season as well.

Finally, I cut in some fall flowers from the yard and put them next to the computer (aka my workstation). Its been my companion along with those cranes sitting on my light which was my first wedding anniversary gift from my husband. He made ten and that means a lot because he isn’t very good at origami so he added a cute note giving them a really creative name that I want to use for something. I’m working on figuring out how to put that either as a segment here or a change in the Youtube channel name is it has a lot of unboxing and gaming material mostly. I’ll see if it can come into use.

A simple post for today. It was supposed to go up yesterday but I took a day to just relax and catch up some movie watching and all that wonderful stuff as I face the reality that NaNoWriMo starts in a little over a week and I need to start not only getting ahead with posts for Halloween but start preparing for posts in November to not get in the way of trying to be on track or ahead with my word count.

Happy Sunday, my lovelies!
Hope you enjoyed this extremely random post! 🙂

My Weekly Adventures!

Two weeks have already passed by since the last Weekly Adventures? That is crazy! I can’t even believe we’re already halfway through February already.

In case you didn’t drop by the review for The Longest Ride, Happy Valentine’s Day! Its pretty much late in the evening for anyone in Eastern Standard Time (which is where I’m at and some of you are already in the evening). Thing is: it is Valentine’s Day and while I don’t celebrate it particularly, it has been pretty busy also running errands and taking more time than usual as we’ve entered deep freeze here in Montreal with temperatures dipping in the -35C with the wind chill factor and all that lovely stuff.  Winter has been late to arrive but we never really skip it, right?

I have a little more to report this time than last since I was just overloaded with work in the previous Weekly Adventures. If you did miss it, Chinese New Year happened and you can see the events of that right HERE!

Let’s go! 🙂

Ceramic Cafe with my husband and his niece

I love going to Ceramic Cafe.  Its this little place where we choose a piece of ceramic they have on location and you sit down for whatever amount of hours painting it.  We had a 2 person full day coupon so we had to only pay for his niece.  She is absolutely crafty and imaginative.  It was a ton of fun.  We were a little pressed with time since she had to go back to go for a sleepover or meeting with her friends (or something like that), but we did pretty well.  I managed to pick it up this weekend so we have the before and after it went into their baking process.

Ceramic Cafe

Before

Ceramic Cafe

After

My husband did the car piggy bank (which he ended up giving to his nephew).  The owl was his niece and of course, the cat is mine. 😉 I wasn’t sure how mine would turn out but I’d say it rather simple but cute.

If you notice, the last time I got one of these coupons, I went with my friend and I did that fruit bowl in the back. It has a Dr. Seuss quote around it.

Valentine’s Day Marathon: Short & Sweet!

Valentine’s Marathon came and went really quickly.  I didn’t really get a lot done but I’m pretty proud of all my choices.  It was an enjoyable run.  Plus, if you think about it, I started at the end of January when I did Far From the Madding Crowd. Still, continuing on the Nicholas Sparks adaptations was pretty good and the other choices were some decent finds with one that blew my mind.  In Your Eyes is right up there as one of my favorite romances right now. This is by far the least amount of movies in the few years I’ve been doing this with only 5 films but it is in quality and not quantity.  I do enjoy watching good movies more than bad and I’m pretty forgiving of romances.  It all worked out for the better.  Plus, Grease: Live was aired exactly at this same time frame and while I didn’t peg it as Valentine’s, it was a fun experience that was because of its emphasis on young love.

Now that this is behind us, if you missed any of them, head to my Valentine’s Marathon page HERE if you want to revisit this year or any past year’s choices.

New Plants!

Air Plants

Money Tree

IMG_1065

We don’t celebrate much of Valentine’s Day gift but I’ve been talking about getting some lovely air plants to purify the air in our house a little quite a bit.  Its pretty much whenever I go to Wal-mart, I’ll go to the garden section and stare at it.  I’ll admire it and then leave without buying it.  Last week, my husband and I went and he finally urged me to buy one, which is the first one with those pretty pinkish grasses and beautiful flowers.  When I came home on Friday night from work, he had left me two pots more of these.  One was these air plants and the other was a little thing that people call “money tree”. If my plant, like the fern part looks a little torn is because my cat decided to give it a tasting before I got home to place it better.

Its time to grow some cat grass for her before she goes and eats anything else that I don’t want her to. On a second note, I’m starting to think about spring seeding and prepping for opening my garden and how to set up my vegetable garden when early May comes around. Its the first year that I’ve fertilized it and prepped it enough to turn it into a vegetable garden so I’m planning on getting some good stuff in there. Matching it with some container gardening and I think I might be set for this summer. 🙂

Ultimate 80s Blogathon!

Ultimate 80s Blogathon

At this point, I’ve done so many reminders and announcement posts on the Ultimate 80s Blogathon, you might hate me by now.  While its not Drew’s first blogathon, it is my first blogathon and I’m so happy that he let me join into a wonderful idea that he had for this one.  Ultimate 80s is a great idea and the turnout and excitement has just wowed me.  The blogathon will be running for close to 4 weeks currently with posts alternately between both of our sites Monday to Friday of the week.  We’ve received some fantastic posts! Tomorrow, we’re kicking off with our own 80s selection.  Remember to head over and check out Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews and give him a follow to make sure that you don’t miss any of the posts.  If you are worried about that, I also hatched a backup plan for you and have a page on the menu on top dedicated to the Ultimate 80s Blogathon or you can just click HERE!  Currently, there are already 5 front runners that helped us out by sharing their posts on their sites last week to drive up the hype! They are fantastic choices and awesome reviews so remember to go check it out! 🙂

Balancing my Life!

Nora Ephron quote

Its been a while I’ve inserted quotes here but this kind of matches what I’m doing right now.  Between movies, books, podcast, baking, house stuff, work and recently gaming, my life is all over the place. Its funny because in all the mess, I actually feel very happy at finding a balance.  It does make me think about the direction of the blog.  Its a little early reveal of what might change for Tranquil Dreams.  I love sharing everything that I do and I’m pretty scattered in what I like to do so I don’t mind doing a bunch of stuff at the same time.  Its a mess that I love and embrace very much.  And don’t worry, to those wondering, I do sleep 😉 I have the best guardian in the world that makes sure I do and that’s my darling cat. I guess we should wrap up with a little sleepy cat picture.

Sleeping Cat

Upcoming:

  • Ultimate 80s Blogathon
  • 2015 Oscar Nominations Reviews

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! 🙂

Alaska Cruise on Norwegian Jewel [Day 4]: Juneau, Alaska

Other than the price being really worth it for the Alaska Cruise, it was also a nice route because there were only 2 days at sea and after that we were pretty much at port or circling the Glacier Bay National Park.  That’s coming up…but next up was Juneau.  If there’s anything you’ll notice, Alaska ports are pretty much all rainforest territories.  Vegetation grows on so little earth and it rains a lot, although not so apparent for us because we got only that one time where we were leaving port and it rained.  I just can’t remember if it was at Ketchikan or at Juneau.

Day 4: Juneau, Alaska

We’re here! Day 4! Juneau’s port isn’t right next to the city so we had a shuttle to go which we realized was actually a little silly because the walk back wasn’t too bad either.  It’s like a mile.  Still, we took advantage of the free service 😉

Juneau Alaska

Arriving into Juneau, Alaska

We also had a shore excursion booked for Juneau which included stopping at 3 locations. Let’s see them, shall we?

Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier

This place to visit Mendenhall Glacier was stunningly beautiful.  Its a pity that we couldn’t stay longer because it had a few trails and there was the waterfall which was a decent distance to get to.  We did get there and have to run back to catch the bus on time.  There was some really nice scenery with water, glacier, icebergs, etc.  It was so peaceful and nice despite all the tourists around. There was also some really nice plants and flowers growing around the trail that we took.

Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier Mendenhall Glacier

 Shore Excursion: Macauley Salmon Hatchery

I’m from Canada so salmon is kind of a thing we know about. Hatcheries and all that stuff, I’ve visited a few of them in the past.  This place didn’t have so much value for me.  The facilities were really  nice though.  Inside there was some animals displays and had a little aquarium going with some marine life like shellfish and coral and some fishes.  It was a quick little stop for some coffee and to know a little more about the various types of salmons in the area and just how the hatching process works and the role of the hatchery.

Macauley Salmon Hatchery

Macauley Salmon Hatchery

Shore Excursion: Glacier Gardens

The last stop of the shore excursion was at the Glacier Gardens.  Its a 50 acre rainforest botanical garden that features Flower Towers which are using dead tree trunks overturned to fill with plants as decor.  It also includes a tour that elevates a good few hundred feet to a vantage point where we can get a beautiful view of the whole Juneau area. Its breathtaking and beautiful.  The ride up was fascinating as the guide tells us about the history of how the Gardens came to be and how the owner came to have the Gardens set in the Tongass National Forest.  Its a unique experience and a lot of fun.

Glacier Gardens

In the Gardens Gift Shop

Glacier Gardens

Gardens Gift Shop: A special Mother’s Day photo with my mom.

Glacier Gardens

The ride going up to the peak

Glacier Gardens

The view at the top

Glacier Gardens

The view at the top

Glacier Gardens

Flower Towers

Rest of the Day

The tour took up a good few hours, probably around 4 hours or so.  We went back to the ship for lunch and came back out to explore the city a little.  On the path there, I bought two t-shirts which were rather subtle tourist-y ones.  But they were really nice and made from bamboo so really comfortable. We also walked by this really tourist sort of restaurant called Red Dog Saloon.  We didn’t want to go in so we just took a picture outside.

Juneau Alaska

In the city of Juneau, tourist spot, Red Dog Saloon

As I mentioned before, this day was also Mother’s Day so the boat had some little decoration in the buffet area.

IMG_9538 IMG_9535

The Moms in our group got to choose the location of dinner that night and we went back to Chin Chin Restaurant.  Unfortunately those pictures turned out a little fuzzy and I already showcased that restaurant before.  I think we might actually have another night there so there might be more pictures. I just can’t remember until we get there.  That night, it was also comedian and that didn’t work with my mom and her friends since they wouldn’t understand it so we skipped the show.  I did end up spending some time with my mom to walk around the ship and look at the decorations and take some pictures with my mom.  This trip overlapping Mother’s Day was one of the highlights so since I  moved out, its these moments that matter a lot.

I ended the evening after my mom headed back to rest since we had an early start the next day going to the lounge again.  There was some nice music and that’s when I met a few more very awesome people from southern part of the USA.  Very nice people and it was nice to chat with some younger groups of people.  We have no contact now but hey, it is a cool memory.  We did hang out a few more nights during the trip at the lounge and had some fun times. No pictures of these events since I was off duty with my DSLR and my phone was slowly dying during the trip.  I’ll tell you all about the debacle when it actually happens later on 😉

For now, this is the end of Day 4 of the Norwegian Alaska Cruise at our stop in Juneau! A really captivating shore excursion for the most part and a great evening making it a fantastic way to spend Mother’s Day with my mom! 🙂 Which reminds me, I should get that picture with my mom printed and framed.

Remember to check back for Day 5!
Easily one of the most memorable stops and the day we cross back and forth from Canada and USA over and over again 😉

Pinterest Therapy!

Because its tax season at work and moving to a new place is a whole bundle of adapting so I can’t sleep while worrying about my cat adapting.

*takes a deep breath*

Yeah…stressful week, my friends.  Work is starting to pick up and everyone is starting to go on edge and its affecting me just a little.  I’m pretty glad that its Friday because then I can hang out with the boyfriend since we’ll have our weekends to go out and run errands.  Good news is that my cat is adapting a little better since yesterday and getting back to her old shenanigans at our new home. I can feel my boyfriend frowning right about now…

Anyways, we’re all building a new routine and its hindering the whole blogging thing a little so my posts are a little all over the place now. And there’s just a million things to organize and clean.

In the heart of a newish place, Pinterest has really soothed my soul in teaching me a few things for plans I have for two things I plan to implement: healthy eating and garden (herb/veggie/flower).

Let’s get this started!

Infused Water Recipes 

Infused Water Recipes

Moving out means that I’m partially getting my own freedom but it also means that I don’t have my mom running after me making sure I’m hydrated and eating enough fruits and vegetables.  I’ve gradually been trying to implement that sort of lifestyle more because its easy to go for the junk food category but I need to be more responsible for my health.  Staying hydrated has been my side goal this year.  I’m aiming towards the 8 glasses of water everyday.  I usually get about 5…. not too successful.  Last summer, I started experimenting with infused water and this year, I’m going to give that another shot.  Its particularly refreshing in the summer.

Fruit Salads (with a Twist)

fruit salad

I acknowledge that I’m really pampered.  At my mom’s, she would bring me fruits every night. Seriously, its the best.  I love fruits, I really do but cutting and washing fruits is not on the top of my to-do list when I get home and race with time to finish everything before midnight comes around and bedtime starts calling out to me.  While a lot of you think that I never sleep, I do and I’ve been needing it more and more. So, with that in mind, I’ve been thinking I’ll whip up some fruit salads.  I love them a whole lot and I’m actually really good at it. The only thing I’d like to try to give it a twist.  While this one is about adding vanilla pudding powder to it, I’m thinking a little more like honey or whatnot.

Its an idea, right? 😉

When to Sow What?

sow seeds

I don’t have a green thumb. I tried last year and it was kind of a draw. Only my fuschia is standing and my bay leaf plant looks like its about to die every single day.  I bought a ton of seeds last year and I’m planning on kickstarting that vegetable garden.  I haven’t quite decided if it’ll be in ground or container or above ground garden.  I’m planning it out. Thing is: I want to try this sowing seeds thing so I’m working on it in advance.  If that fails, I can always head to the greenhouse place that I go to and pick up some more varieties 🙂

This little chart motivated me to sow those broccoli and basil seeds earlier this week. Marigold is going to be planted and I’m going to research a little more on other seeds I have that I’d like to grow.

10 Mistakes New Gardeners Make and How to Avoid Them

herb garden

My ultimate goal is to grow a successful indoor herb garden.  I have the rack for it and everything I need for setup.  The only thing now is gaining the skills to keep it alive.  This little article actually taught me quite a bit and I’m reading the herb books that I bought last year.  Its a whole lot of research for this gardening thing. I’m determined to master this thing one way or another.  I’m planning out what I’d like of course and slowly learning as I go.

How to Garden Ready for Spring

ready for spring

Garden is my territory so it also  means all the tidying work comes to me.  Well, except the mowing the lawn part.  My boyfriend likes to do that apparently.  Its fine with me.  This weekend’s all about getting the garden ready especially since my tulips are popping out of the ground now.  I was worrying like crazy that they wouldn’t 🙂

Plants to Help Save Bees

plants to help save bees

I’m a little scared of bees but the garden thrives on bees and butterflies and birds.  I love them and they are fantastic for what they can do.  I had found some seeds at Walmart a few weeks ago for butterfly and hummingbird gardens and I already know where I want to plant them.  When I saw this one, I was a little intrigued to see if I can make this work as well.  As you all know, I need them bees to help me with my veggies and flowers growth.  Plus, whats summer with butterflies and bees flying around.  Did I just get all poetic right there? 😉

Bonus: Veronica Mars

veronica mars

I’m REALLY late on this wave but I finally am starting to watch Veronica Mars, the series.  I’m halfway through Season 1 and man, I have a pretty huge girl crush on Veronica Mars. It makes me think that I really need to start that Crush of the month segment.  Plus, ever since I’ve seen Moonlight, I had a huge thing for Jason Dohring but he’s not in a lot of stuff so imagine my joy when I saw him in this one.  I haven’t read up anything on this but I did search up some pics and I’m sure him and Veronica will be a thing later on.  Still, I’m obsessed, so incredibly obsessed.  I have a date with Netflix tonight to continue watching it.

Quote:

veronica mars

Yay! I’m moved out! New home, settling in, figuring out gardening, learning how to be responsible and live healthy.  I’m sorry if things go a little all over the place in the next few weeks but once I find a schedule and routine that works, we’ll be all set! I do have a ton of posts planned, so I’m going to try and tear my eyes away from Veronica Mars and all those organizing the house stuff to get it written 🙂

Anyways, enough of my rambling! Pinterest therapy over this time! I’m feeling a little better!

Happy Friday, my lovelies! 🙂

Summer Fun Keeps Going On! :)

I can’t think of creative titles for summer anymore.  There’s only so many ways I can say that this summer is totally awesome.  The weather is beautiful and I’ve had some nice activities and some cool stuff coming up.  I’ve been totally loving the festivals and I think the autumn round of festivals in Montreal are the next ones I’m looking at now. Life’s been really treating me nice.  I’ve thought a few things through, set a few priorities straight and learned a whole lot about myself.  Really? That revelation in the last week made me extremely grateful to be alive and breathing. Sure, things don’t go perfect everyday but I also learned that with the bad comes the good and thats how things balance out.  I’m absolutely fine with that because at the end of the day, its the good stuff that sticks in my mind. I think back and I smile before I go to bed to welcome the next day.

Yes, rambling again..I know.  Still, lets check out some nice stuff that happened this week 🙂

1) Planning Weekend Getaways

Quebec roads

On the way to Saguenay Lac St Jean, 2012

I used this picture for last week’s photo challenge but its relevant to what I’m about to say.  I actually have a weekend getaway coming up soon (*ahem* like this weekend).  My boyfriend and I have been obsessing over our house so much that we just thought it would be a good idea to go away for a weekend since this is his last week of vacation this year.  So, we’re heading back to the beautiful and scenic Saguenay Lac St Jean area of Quebec.  Thats the road we probably will be travelling again through a fauna reserve/park. We have some hiking planned and a festival and perhaps some shopping if there are some good deals.  Maybe some waterfront walking.  In general, just time to relax.

I may have another weekend getaway coming up with my girl friends but thats still in discussion 😉

Some people save money for luxury products/makeup/clothes, etc. I like to save it up for my house and going away (and movies).  What can I say? We all have our little pleasures.

2) Sweet Potato Flowers

Sweet Potato

Sweet potato flower

I didn’t really know that sweet potatoes had flowers but apparently this one does and they have this cute light hue of purple.  It was hidden under the crazy amount of leaves but I saw it this past weekend and snapped a quick photo of it.

3) Raspberries!

Raspberry plant

Raspberries growing

They aren’t quite red and ripe yet but my raspberries are quite abundant.  They are drinking water like crazy and I’m actually struggling to keep them hydrated with the intense heat that took over last week.  I filled up two bottles and 24 hours later it was all gone.  Maybe its time for a 3rd bottle or just soak the soil through before inserting another bottle.  I’ll probably have to check that out tonight.

4) Into the Storm Advanced Screening!

Into the storm

If you follow my blog, you already know that I’ve been increasing the whole output of movie reviews and who knows, maybe I’ll change it to Tranquil Dreams Reviews one day. Its definitely something rolling around in my head since I do reviews of movies among other things.  Or I’ll expand it a little.  Whatever it is, I’m passionate about movies and Fantasia Festival this year has given me a few revelations.  One is that I’ve become more confident in my opinion of movies because when I sit in the Q&A and I listen to the questions, I realize that a lot of people actually have similar overanalytical personalities.  Like, although I’m scared to talk about it sometimes like ask about it during Q&A, I secretly have thought that.  Just a few movies have made me feel like, I’m not totally crazy..haha! Thats already pretty good and its a nice feeling.

Anyways, we’re not here to talk about that..  My FIRST advanced screening, my friends.  I may have not gotten the special screening of Guardians of the Galaxy but man, this was a completely different experience just being at the advanced screening and for a movie I wanted to see, Into the Storm 🙂

Review for that coming up with the next 24 hours 😉 I’m a tad behind on reviews but I’m trying to write the best I can for them so I’m giving each movie a few days to sink in a little.

5) Shopping spree!

I’ve been really trying to change my wardrobe a little since my style has slightly changed as well and its been a while that I’ve stocked up on summer clothes, especially  not that I’m a tad more comfortable with my physical appearance.  I need to get back to working out and toning but point is, I’ve been more comfortable with everything and well, the initial idea was to go groceries and to look for new shoes for work.  I usually go in running shoes but then when I want to wear summer dresses, I need flats.  I ended up coming home with some wedge sandals which look pretty good and are rather adorable. You can see them up there.  I got the beige ones.  I also got some clothes on sale at Dynamite and for those who don’t know, Jacob is bankrupt so everything is on sale right now 40-60% off and I got that dress which still cost me quite a bit but the quality was worth it 🙂

6) Date Night

The Drownsman

Date Night with my boyfriend is a rarity nowadays, especially when it means moving our butts from our place.  This weekend, it was a date afternoon till night.  I had scheduled in two movies: The Drownsman and Time Lapse and we were out from 4pm till midnight.  The two movies weren’t disappointing and one totally exceeded my expectations.  Plus, both was hosted by people involved in the movie.  The Drownsman, which is the picture you see up there had almost its whole cast there and a bunch of people involved from director, producers, editors, sounds, etc. It filled up the whole stage.  Time Lapse also had it too with their producers and screenwriters.  It was very awesome.

Then we actually discovered in between the movies, a restaurant called Charcos Rotisseries, a chicken place.  We stopped there for dinner.

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This place makes some pretty delicious fries.  I found the Chicken fingers a bit dry but the grilled vegetables were done really well. My boyfriend at the chicken burger and he said it was heavenly.  We followed up with iced tea lemonades at Starbucks and then a little bit of arcades in between the two movies.

7) At home Brunch

Brunch

Brunch

My boyfriend started his last week of vacation so on Sunday morning, we went for early groceries and he was super awesome and made us a complete hearty breakfast with scrambled eggs, hash browns and bacon.  Yummy! 🙂

8) ONE FINAL REVELATION

quotes

Yup, right on! I made a lot of revelations this year about myself: blogging, movies, analysis, life, work, positive outlook and the final one I had just last night was fully accepting this. I’m completely okay with this but I saw something last night and reminded me that there are some things thats really worth it to let go of. Not a frequent occurrence so I won’t say too much.

Now, before I leave you, how about some music to loosen up the mood a little?

Super fun video for Sam Tsui’s Wildfire.  Love it! 🙂

Now that overtime is over and Fantasia is rolling to its end with one more movie left, I’m all yours…well, until I go on my getaways, that is 😉

Happy Monday my lovelies! 🙂

#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!