My Weekly Adventures: Shopping Hauls Recap

We’re already halfway through December! Its kind of crazy to think there’s only 16 more days and its 2019. I’m pretty happy to see 2018 go away because it seems to have been a tough year for everyone that I’ve talked to. I know on my end that as bad as things are, when I look back, I see that things did turn out to have the best results out of a bad situation, so glass half full, right? Its how I stay positive. I’ll do a year in review in the next weekly adventures. Not sure together or separate post yet. I guess it depends on time and how I want to structure it. Its a lot of housekeeping behind the scenes going on for the blogs and projects right now. However, there were a few little things that went on this past 2 weeks so let’s check it out! If you follow my Instagram, then you might have seen some of this…

Salon des Metiers D’Art de Montreal

smaq 2018 haul

The Salon is back in town and smaller and shorter than previous years. However, I am now a veteran at this place. There are places that I haven’t tried before and some cool ideas but somehow I ended up picking up stuff from the usual and some returning stalls that weren’t there last year (or I missed it? I don’t remember). So let’s take a look at what I picked up:

  • Cidrerie du Minot – Ice Cider
  • Cryo – Ice Cider
  • La Nougaterie – Nougat – Christmas, Lavender, Chocolate, Classic
  • Coach House Shortbread – Sugar Plum, Rose and Almond, Ginger flavors
  • Nutra Fruit – Dark Chocolate covered Cranberries
  • Courtesy of my friend’s honey wine purchase, a gift of Confit of Onions

Most of these are either gifts or things to share for upcoming festivities with family and friends.

Signé Local – Square Dix30

Signe Local Dix30

The husband and I finally went to Signé Local in Quartier Dix30 which is a store full of local artisan products. Its like Salon des Metiers d’arts everyday. I’m really trying to support more local products because I’ve bought some really durable and great stuff so I’ve been wanting to go see this spot since it opened earlier this year. Its nice that we went because I found a few things:

  • Oomph Popcorn Seasoning- Vegan Maple BBQ Flavor
  • Les As Du Fumoir – Smoked Salt
  • U’nhiver – Handmade Winter Hat + Extra Pompom

Ooomph is one that we’ve bought before and its pretty nice. The sales rep there told us that some people actually use the seasoning for other things. It is a pretty good idea. As for the hat, its pretty cool because you can remove the pompom. It has a snap button (is that what you call it?) and the second pompom was an extra $10. Its pretty nice because not only is being able to change the pompom pretty fun but whenever these hats go into wash (which this one needs to be handwashed anyways) its nice to remove the pompom because its what wears out the most.

Grocery Trip to Plattsburgh, USA

Target

TARGET Haul:

  • Winter Oreo
  • Sugar Cookie Pop Tarts
  • Frosted Nerds
  • Quaker Oatmeal Medleys
  • Lacroix: Passionfruit, Cran-raspberry, Tangerine
  • Sierra Mist
  • Candy Cane
  • Larabar: Snickerdoodle, Strawberry Chocolate Chip

Pricechoppers

PRICECHOPPER Haul:

  • Fresh Bagels
  • KIND Granola Bars
  • Popcorn (because it was on sale and we needed it)

Walmart

WALMART Haul:

  • Cape Cod: Wave Reduced Salt, Waffle Cut
  • Crunchy Rice Rollers: Mixed Berry
  • Larabar: Mint Chip Brownie
  • KIND granola bars 12-bar value pack
  • Ritz Bacon

I haven’t gone across the border (a lot, like once earlier this year) for many reasons in the past few years. Mostly it is because of the fact that our exchange rate is absolutely stupid low. After I saw the foreign exchange on my transactions, I kind of regret it again but then it had some cool vegan snacks and whatnot, flavors and such that aren’t sold here. Most of the stuff I bought aren’t sold in Canada or else I would feel that it wasn’t exactly worth it. However, it was a nice trip.

Holiday Marathon Update

We’re two weeks into the holiday marathon. Its been going pretty on track with posts related to Christmas every other day. Its been quite a batch of stuff from books to movies to TV binges. You can find it all updated as the reviews go up on the page HERE.

We have another 10 days to go and a few other things in my plans. Hopefully you’ll stick around and keep checking out what I’ve dug up from Netflix and my Kindle and such.

Housekeeping/Planning Ahead/Catching Up

December also brings on a bunch of housekeeping. You will see that most of my indexes are being updated and should be all ready by the time we hit the new year. They are all currently updated to the end of November (if I remember correctly). As for planning ahead, I’ve talked about a few things here and there between this and the What’s Up posts so I’m debating a few structural things but unsure about how committed I will be to a fixed schedule because that is usually when things fall apart. Considering that sort of thing and figuring out how to fit everything I want to keep and maybe what I’m not so dedicated to anymore because I added a good few new segments last year and revived a few as well. Suffice to say, taking everything into consideration, I also have a lot of catching up and backlog. I’m fairly confident that by the end of the year all the movie backlog will be done because its all double features that I’ve already paired off. And books is all done except for one which I can’t figure out how to do for the past few months and ended up rereading at least 2 times. The main thing is TV series and the fact that I’m debating something really ambitiously stupid or doing something more sensible but something I had wanted to do for the past few years but never figured out how to structure it around what’s here. A lot of thinking going on but 2019 overview will talk about all of that and we’ll even go back and talk about some of the achievements this year in 2018 in the next weekly adventures to wrap up the year (if not in a separate post).

I’m sorry to keep talking about this if I’ve talked about it before. To be honest, I don’t remember much sometimes and this adventures post has felt slightly empty so I just wanted to use this space to share some vague thoughts.

Cute Kitty Pics

**I realized that I forgot to post a cute kitty pic in the last weekly adventures so here’s two this time to make up for it! My cat is enjoying the fireplace and basement hangout time a lot to say the least. **

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
What have you been up to? Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

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Toronto Haul – August 2018

I go to Toronto more than I actually should. Actually this year was the exception to the equation. I usually just go about once a year or something unless something else comes up and well, something else came up. This past weekend was my best friend’s wedding. Her husband is from Toronto so they ended up holding their wedding there. I honestly think I’ve been to more wedding outside of Montreal than in Montreal. Its a weird thought and shows how many of my friends have moved away, I guess.

Either way, it was a really fun weekend. We ate some awesome food, tried out some new places: two of which I’ll do a restaurant overview for during this week. I’ll show more of the wedding stuff in the next Weekly Adventures, mostly because well, it seems we may have skipped the last one. I know I did and it was deliberate.

Before I jump off onto another tangent, let’s check out some stuff I got in Toronto.

Things I Bought Because I Was Forgetful..
Scarborough Town Centre – Yves Rocher & Walmart

Cosmetics and Lotion

First stop on Friday in Toronto was the hunt for everything we remembered that we forgot during packing for the wedding stuff. For myself, it was not exactly all forgot but I don’t use make-up a lot so a lot of mine had expired and I needed to get some new stuff. Nothing heavy since I don’t do eye make-up because it causes eye infections for myself so just some simple concealer to do the job and seeing Fantasia and work destroyed my sleeping schedule, I’m currently rocking some puffy panda eyes and I had forgotten my eye cream. A trip to Yves Rocher was in the stars and the closest we could find on the way to the hotel was at Scarborough Town Centre. I’ll share the eventful moment there in the Weekly Adventures but one of the great things was the great service at Yves Rocher but a lovely lady who gave me some really fantastic suggestions and actually suggested that I changed to the other skincare line as my skin had changed and its why I was having all the blemishes I’ve been having lately. I didn’t get the skincare line seeing as I was away and didn’t really want to spend so much just yet but I loved the service of just sharing the knowledge of it all. So I got some body lotion and the eye care gel at Yves Rocher.

At Walmart, I got a concealer and some nail polish. I actually ended up not painting my nails for the event but I did also pick up this interesting product called a blur stick which I’m still exploring whether its something I could use or not as it felt really oily. I’m not sure the texture works well for my skin type, so I passed on using it and am still researching. If you all know what it is and have any suggestions or dos and don’ts, please do share with me.

T&T Supermarket (2 Trips)

T&T Supermarket

Most of the snacks and such were bought on the first stop. We didn’t think that we would go back but we did end up going again on Sunday. Friday was to pick up a late lunch of dimsum, which I didn’t take pictures of. We stocked up on drinks which I also didn’t take pictures so and they are all consumed. I can tell you that I was on a semi caffeine detox since March where I cut tea out of my life completely. I don’t drink coffee so its a given, I suppose. Either way, this weekend, I drank all the tea that I didn’t drink in the last few months or at least it felt that way. However, the Vita brand which usually is known for its lemon tea and such actually has this Green Tea and Japanese Green Tea which both tastes fantastic and its unsweetened so its the legit ones. Going back to the picture, look at these flavors, its like a world tour of Lay’s flavors.

T&T Supermarket

During the first trip, we saw these pokemon Ocean Bomb sparkling water. Actually when we went back in the second trip, we saw one new one and lost two so I guess I shouldn’t procrastinate so much in buying stuff. Either way, that was a spontaneous purchase although I’m still fairly unsure about trying the Pikachu Cucumber flavor. We also saw this KIM brand drink for bird’s nest drink. I’m not sure how many people know about bird nest’s drinks. Regardless, the happiest purchase here is the black sesame stuff because I love black sesame paste. Its my favorite dessert. I’ve never tried this brand so hopefully it’ll be good. I ended up sharing the bag with my mom.

Big Apple & 401 Brewery

Big Apple

Our always must-stop location is The Big Apple. I love to grab a pie and strudel and my husband loves the brownies. It is quite amazing to see how this location as grown in size and variety of what they offer. I remember stopping there the first time and it was still known but not quite as popular as it is now. I kind of miss the quieter days but they have really diversified and made it a truly Canadian experience with what they offer also.

401 Brewery

In the building, they have the store for 401 Brewery. We’ve never had anything from there before. Seeing as we didn’t manage to pick up anything at LCBO this time, we decided to grab some ciders. We picked the traditional apple cider and then a peach cider and a pear cider to try. We also saw a sparkling oaked cider which seems like it could be a nice smoky taste sort of experience. We are looking forward to trying it out eventually.

That wraps up this shorter Toronto haul as I get things into order!

Baking: Homemade Granola Bars

We’re back on the next baking adventure.  I’ve never made any granola bars but my husband and I both love to bring granola or protein bars as snacks to work.  I had bought some granola at the store a little while back and I’ve been hoping to give it a go soon.  Finally, I felt like it was time to do it so here we are!

Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars

I confess that they look a little like Granola Squares.  But that’s okay.  The husband says they taste good.  If you want to give this a try, you can use the recipe in this simple infographic below.  Also, click on the image to go to the original post and get more insight on this.

only granola bar recipe I didn’t make my own granola and had bought it like I mentioned and actually used one with boosted protein in it for the husband.  This was for him and that is why I went with using daily milk instead of the almond milk that I have. So for the dry ingredients, mine was simple.  The granola mix, which I only have 4 cups of and the baking soda.  In the wet ingredients, I used mashed bananas, peanut butter and like half-half of honey and maple syrup (because I ran out of honey).  I probably should have decreased the portions a little because I was short 1 cup of granola but I didn’t and that’s probably why its not the texture that I think it should be.

homemade granola bars

Regardless of those little changes, the husband did think it tasted good.  I personally like the recipe because its natural from honey and maple syrup as more natural sweeteners to the moistness coming from fruity bases like puree or mashed fruits. Its really easy to put together. And you all know how much I like quick and efficient recipes.

This one is definitely a winner but I believe that mixing honey and maple syrup might not be a good idea and that I would do a dairy-free version next.  I’d give this recipe a second go with a different flavor.  Let me think about what to use and we’ll be doing a round 2 of homemade granola bars

What do you like in your granola bars? 

Plattsburgh Finds & Lunch at Applebee’s!

One of the best moments is being able to reconnect with good friends.  Its been a year or so that I haven’t spoken with one of my friends.  Sometimes, its just one of us taking the first step.  I guess thats a problem for me because I always assume everyone is busy with their own life and I don’t like to disturb them.  Long story short, one of my good friends who is also my best travel buddy is around again.

Our new plan from hanging out again was setting up our trip in advance.  We decided to do a short Plattsburgh food run.  The perks of living relatively near to the US border is that we can go and do food runs and explore all those options Americans get that we don’t in Canada. We were joking as we were looking at the different flavours that Canada gets on who  makes these decisions on what Canadians like rather all those other ones that’s there.  Seeing as it is across the border and one day, it all dials down to getting a whole lot of food…or when they asked our reason, Pop Tarts, Iced Tea, Oreos and Chips… What more can we say, right?

Our first stop was Champlain Centre for a Target run. Then across the street to Hannaford, lunch break at Applebee’s and finally, ending it off at Walmart.

Lunch at Applebee’s

This is the second time I’ve been here.  My stomach was a little wonky that morning so I tried to not eat too much.  We ended up sharing these samplers where you can choose 3 choices. Our choices were: Pork and Shrimp Dumplings, Honey BBQ Riblets and Sweet Potato Fries.

Applebee's

Applebee's

Applebee's

Let me tell you: these samplers are really good! I loved the riblets the best but they were all tasty and just enough to share for something light.  Its a pretty good idea to have this on the menu 🙂

Now that we have food out of the way, lets check out what I got.  Keep in mind that other than the movies and book, most of this stuff, I can’t get in Canada.

1. Sobe Life Water

Its like a vitamin water, I guess.  I’ve never seen it in Montreal but then I never try to seek it out either.  I figured it’d be something new to try when I don’t feel like drinking water or tea 😉 But I have tasted some of Sobe’s juices and they are pretty delish!

2. Movies: You’re Next (Blu-ray), Snitch (Blu-ray), Takers (DVD) & Land Before Time 8 & 9.

I’ve been collecting the Land Before Time series since I was a kid and they are still incredibly fun to watch.  Don’t judge…

3. Book: Paper Towns by John Green.

I saw the trailer for this movie and it reminded me a little of Eleven Reasons Why minus the manipulated feelings while I was reading that book so while I want to catch it in the theatres when its released, I also wanted to read it before.  Here’s where Target is fantastic because it has 20% off the regular price and that’s awesome.

4. Chips: Cape Cod Chipotle Barbecue, Lay’s Wasabi Ginger, Lay’s Mango Salsa, Lay’s Garlic Cheesy Bread, Frito’s Twisters.

Junk food galore right here and its just the start as you can see.  As of now, I’ve only tried the Wasabi Ginger and that tastes pretty good.  Usually these ones are pretty hit and miss but something about it tastes a little like ramen powder with gingery and mild wasabi hotness 😉 Garlic Cheesy Bread is my boyfriend’s since thats his favorite appetizer choice.

5. Cereal: Froot Loops with Marshmallows!

Excuse me, I love marshmallows and I love froot loops.  It was this one or the Fruity Pebbles with marshmallows, I think.  The cereal aisles in the US are just incredible!

6. Pop Tarts: Unfrosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Wild Berry Bloom (Limited Edition), Frosted Cinnamon Roll

I love these unfrosted Pop Tarts.  Mostly because its just the perfect sweetness.  When its fully frosted, it gets a little too much for me.

7. Slow Cooker Sauces: I don’t get why we don’t have these in Canada.  While I’m all about homemade food, this is really great backup dinner solutions.  All I need to do is buy meat the night before.

8. Iced Tea: So I’ve never seen this and it had some nice flavors.  I love hibiscus flavored stuff and I’m trying to find the one I had tasted on my travels a few years back, till today, still no luck.  I haven’t tried this one yet so who knows, right?

9. Lactose-free Ice Cream: The choices for gluten-free and lactose-free or anything allergen free in Montreal is miserable.  I mean, its limited choices and outrageous prices that I kind of want to forego eating these things so I got a nice little cooler bag and bought three tiny tubs of ice cream.  You see two up there, yeah, that’s because there’s also a raspberry sorbet in the freezer 😉

10. Fruit Roll-up (not shown here): Look, we only have Fruit by the Foot here.  While I enjoy that, there’s always 1 out of 3 trips to Plattsburgh that I pick up some Fruit Roll-Up.  I’d definitely think about getting Fruit Gushers eventually.  Its pretty tasty and for the most part, nostalgia wins over me 😉

I guess that’s all there is! Crossing the border, I could see the customs not really caring when they asked us what we went to buy.  Its probably one of the smoothest border crossings I’ve had, as in not a lot of questions and not even a lot of cars.  It was a quick food run but it was tons of fun just catching up and buying random stuff.  At least, I’m stocked up for snacks for a few months (or I hope I will).

Do you have travel buddies? Are you a fan of doing day trips? What are your favorite snacks?

Labor Day Weekend: Recharged and Refreshed!

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

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

Lets check out what happened in the past week!

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

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

1) Spotting and saving a caterpillar

Catepillar

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

Saturday gardening highlight over!

2) Snail in the Geranium?

wpid-20140831_143038.jpg

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

Day 2 highlight finished!

3) Second batch of Plushies

wpid-20140901_114444.jpg

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

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

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

4) More harvests and flowers to look forward to!

Strawberries

Hibiscus

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

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

5) Discovering New Flavors

Smoked Bacon Ritz

Smoked Bacon Ritz

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

6) My cat finally won!

First tactic to take over the chair

First tactic to take over the chair

And…

The winning tactic

The winning tactic!

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

7) Getting back on track and little updates!

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

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

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

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

creative people

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

HAPPY HAPPY TUESDAY, MY LOVELIES!! BIG HUGS!