Friday, 29 March 2013

Happy Friday

Well I'm a little late with this morning's post which is also the number one thing on my happy Friday list:

Today is a holiday! hence, I slept in.

Also topping the happiness list today:

I am looking forward to my grown up easter egg hunt that will take place on Sunday morning. I'm aiming to maintain my winner's title from last year.

I made it through my birthday anxiety and wound up having a really lovely birthday where I got totally spoiled. In fact I'm coming to you live from my new Samsung Galaxy tablet!

The weather is finally, ever so slowly, starting to turn into spring. Today's forecast, plus some spring flowers sprouting through the leaves (which is also an indicator that we need to clean up the yard...another day.)

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend (celebrating Easter or otherwise).

Thursday, 28 March 2013


While we were watching Homeland, one of the characters on the show used the phrase 'Out the wazoo'.

Nick: What's a wazoo?

Me: It's like your bum. It's an expression. Like, you've got so much of something it's coming out your ass.

N: So it's like WA- ZOO?

M: <laughing> yes.

N: I like it!

I love that we still have funny language barriers.

I'll be back tomorrow with a Friday post!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Restaurant Review: The Alex

To celebrate my birthday, Nick took me to a restaurant that I've been dying to try for quite some time. The Alex, in Burlington.

The idea behind The Alex is small plates. So you could order two or three things to make up your meal.

Before I go any further, let me just say that we went there on March 23 at 8:30pm - aka Earth Hour. In respect of this, they turned the lights as low as they could go (leaving the lights in the kitchen on, obviously). So we truly dined by candlelight. I really loved that they were willing to cut the lights, and it actually made the meal more romantic.

We wanted to get a good variety so that we could share with each other. To start I ordered the cheese plate and Nick ordered cheddar crab cakes with guacamole. As soon as they put the food down in front of us, I knew I was going to love it.

For our next course, Nick ordered andouille sausage stuffed chicken wings with bubble and squeak. What is bubble and squeak, you ask? Excellent question. It is mashed potatoes, cooked up with cabbage - stay with me on this - it's typically made from leftover dinners, and it's called bubble and squeak because that's what happens while it's cooking.

I ordered seafood paella. I don't know what special ingredient they use, but wowee it was so delicious.

The beauty (or downfall, depending on your perspective) of eating small plates is that you feel like it's ok to have dessert. So we obliged. I had sticky toffee pudding topped with apple compote. Nick had lemon sour cream cake. My mouth is watering as I'm writing this. Both were excellent and actually they were a great combination, the toffee pudding was so sweet, and the lemon cake balanced it nicely.

The service was quite good. Attentive, knowledgeable but not pretentious. I like a place where I can crack jokes with the servers (you know, because I'm so hilarious). The price points are a bit higher than average but I will say this, for the quality of the food the prices are fair.

Don't we look happy? And pleasantly full? We were.

Ps. I was in love with the painting over our booth.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Today is my twenty-ninth birthday.

Some thoughts on my birthday...

I'm not as terrified going into this year as I once thought I might be. This year has been wonderful so far, and I have a good feeling it will continue.

I've never thrown out a birthday card. Let it be known, if you've ever given me a card, I still have it. I have piles of them and it seems like hoarder behaviour, but I just can't bear to throw them away.

I have birthday anxiety. I may have just made this term up now, but seriously, I get really stressed out (read: I cry a lot) the week/weeks leading up to my birthday. But it's not about ageing. It's about the attention. I can't stand having all the attention on me. Am I weird? Probably. Don't answer that.

Nick woke up extra early today (ahem around 4am) to decorate for me. I die. What a sweetheart.

It's not even 8am and already I feel so spoiled. Birthday anxiety, be gone! I am lucky.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Tea with the Bride-to-Be

Over the weekend, we celebrated the engagement of one of my good friends by going for afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. We're so civilized these days.

Let me tell you, it was glorious. We started with spinach and bacon quiche, moved on to egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on mini croissants, then scones with devonshire cream and jam. After we had eaten all of that, they brought out a lovely selection of petit fours.

an open-faced egg salad sandwich that was equally tasty as it was beautiful

"wait - who puts jam in their tea?!" best quote of the day K :)

I don't even like raisin scones, yet I ate the entire thing. It was that good. Did I mention that along with the tea we also had champagne?

some of the ladies with the bride-to-be
 We couldn't believe that each of us were responsible for six different sweets. The lemon meringue tart was my absolute favourite.

with the exception of a few nibbles, i ate all of these

My recommendation? Go. Go now. Go hungry. Thank you Jeannette and congratulations again!!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Happy Friday

Happy Friday folks! Here are a few things that are making me happy this week.

Target has opened in my city. Please please please let it be as good as American Target. Please!


This week I found out that one of the friends I've met through the blogging community is also a sorority sister of mine. She happens to be my lovely and talented blog designer. It just goes to show you that when you join a sorority, you can connect with more than just your chapter. So there's my plug - go join a sorority, they're wonderful and you get to meet awesome people :)

anyone else still have this makeup bag going strong?

One word. Homeland. It's sooo good, and we've only just started watching it. Now I can get over my Sons of Anarchy depression.

This weekend I'm going to toast the engagement of one of my girlfriends (also a sorority sister) over high tea. I'm so excited a) to see her and our friends and b) to go to a tea party!

one of my favourite tea pots (i have many)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Car Maintenance...Or Lack Thereof

I consider myself an independent woman. But there's just one thing that I still can't seem to take care of properly. My car.

To be honest, I just don't care. Sorry Joe! (Joe is my Corolla). When I first got him, I really should have read through the maintenance manual...but I didn't. Since I chose to just wing it, I ended up driving the car for over a year before I got the oil changed. Whoops! Lesson learned.

So lately, the brakes have been making a funny noise. And by lately, I mean like the last 6 months. I finally got around to calling Toyota to make an appointment for good old Joe. Here's how the conversation went:

Toyota Service Technician: So you need to make an appointment for your Corolla?
Me: Yes
T: What do you need to have done?
M: I need to have the brakes done.
T: How many kilometers are on the car now?
M: umm...about 71,000
T: OK it's about time then! What is the problem with the brakes?
M: They make a funny noise. Like a big truck. Or a bus. Like this urrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh.
T: oh....kay....

Moral of the story, don't try to imitate car noises. Better still, read your manual. Even better? Make someone else do it for you.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring...has not yet sprung

Happy First Day of Spring!

Now if only it felt a little more like this...

and a little less like this.

You know the saying for March
In like a lion, out like a lamb
Is the reverse true?
In like a lamb, out like a lion.

I kinda think that’s what’s happening to us. Call me when it's really here. Thanks.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Home Alone

What do you do when you’re home alone?

sorry - i couldn't help myself

Husband is away for work for a few days, so it’s just me and Rocky. As we all know by now, I’m afraid of everything, so being home alone is a little daunting for me (at night, anyway). To make matters worse, when Nick is away, Rocky barks much more than he would if Nick was home. I take it that he’s trying to protect me by warning me about every potential home invader that walks by, but it’s actually really unsettling. It’s hard to know if he’s barking at something legit (a robber) or not (a squirrel) and I’m waaaay too scared to go investigating. A few years ago, I would actually leave the hall light on the entire night. I've graduated to being able to sleep in darkness.

On the other hand, when I have the house to myself during the day, I quite like it. I put on music, sing and dance and just do my own thing. My usual favourite sound track? Jamiroquai. Cosmic Girl. Getter done. I feel bad for the guy who lives below us…Cosmic Girl on repeat is probably not as fun for him.

Side note: it turns out that Nick's work allowed him to come home after all. So I'm alone no longer (but I figured, why waste a perfectly good post?)

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Lemon Water Experiment

So as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I decided to start my day with hot lemon water instead of coffee for a week. Here's how it went.

Day 1 - A Sunday morning, when I would typically down two cups of coffee avec the Husband. 
I feel...
like I would really like to have a cup of coffee, but I didn't. I don't have a headache, which is a miracle. One thing I noticed is how hungry I felt after drinking it. It also made me have to pee really bad (sorry for the overshare) but that reminded me of coffee.

Day 2 - Monday morning. A struggle anytime, let alone a morning without coffee.
I feel...
tired. It's the first weekday of daylight savings time, so it feels an hour earlier than it really is. Coffee would be essential today, so obviously I didn't plan the timing of this experiment very well. At least my headache from last night is gone.

I think the lemon water is making my throat hurt.

Day 3 - Tuesday.
I feel...
tired, but I think it's more likely because I was up later than normal to watch the Bachelor finale. I would love a coffee, but the warm lemon drink will suffice. My mouth feels weird on the inside and it's hard to drink it quickly.

Day 4 - Wednesday.
I feel...
my headache, but I’m thinking it’s more likely because of the weather (change in pressure systems) than the lack of caffeine.When I got to work, I fell in the parking lot (slipped on ice). Classy. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. Then I really wanted a coffee. When something bad happens, I’m always tempted to give myself a treat to make me feel better. I settled for green tea.

Day 5 - Thursday.
I feel...
like it's another day, still no coffee. I looked at my coffee maker this morning, understanding that he's probably sad that he's not being put to use this week. Poor guy.

Day 6 - Friday.
I feel...
yet again thirsty for coffee, however, I am getting used to the lemon water. The saddest part today was that Nick had the day off work, and I, being the amazing wife that I am, decided to make coffee just for him. I made enough for one giant mug, with a teeny bit leftover for a warm up, so that I wouldn't even be tempted to have some. My head hurts today.

Day 7 - Saturday morning. Another morning that I camp out on the couch with a giant coffee mug.
I feel...
like I might give in. I really REALLY want a coffee. I've promised myself that I can have one tomorrow.

So to sum it all up, other than wishing for coffee and having a slight headache, I don't really feel different. I thought this lemon water was going to give me superpowers :)

In light of being persistent, I'm going to keep drinking the hot lemon concoction because I'm getting to like the taste of it. I allowed myself a cup of coffee yesterday (after the lemon water, of course) and I found that my energy levels crashed midday, so I can't say whether I'll be drinking it on the regular anymore or not...

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Fashion Friday: Return of the Sneaker Wedge

Last year, I took a stand against sneaker wedges. I figured it was a quickly passing trend, and yet, it’s still here. Abundantly so, in fact.

I just can’t get on board with these shoes. They are so aesthetically unappealing to me. I know, they’re everywhere. Every fashion blogger has a pair, they've been captured on runways and they are a staple of street style. Both sports shoe companies and high end designers alike have added at least one sneaker wedge to their portfolio. But I don’t care. Mark my words, I will never, not ever, been seen in these shoes.

If I am going to wear sneakers, they will look like this. The point of wearing sneakers is because they're casual, cool, and flat.

I think my biggest hang up with sneaker wedges is that they remind me too much of these, scary looking things. Running shoes + heels = yiiiiiikes.

I have a feeling that some years down the line, we’ll look at them and cringe. Well, I won't, because I won't  have worn them :)

Ps. If you own/like/love those shoes, knock yourself out, they're just not my style.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Lately, on Instagram

Life according to instagram. 
Free coffees, breakfast for dinner, two needy pups, a bowling game (I got a strike!), crossword obsessions, new purse, springy tulips, wine-coloured nails, a pig in the snow.

Grandma's bracelet, the chip clip 2, snow again, friday donuts, coffee in bed (from my fav mug), local artist, rice mecca, baby sushi, ripped (accidentally) resumes.

Follow me @ithinkthisislovely :)

Kettle Bells

Although I know I go on and on about how much I hate exercise, after months of being trapped inside, hiding from the cold, my body has been begging me to get moving.

Enter Nick and his good ideas. He bought us each a kettle bell. His and Hers - aren't we adorable?

Don't be fooled by their size. These babies are heavy. I had seen people use them when I singed up for rowing boot camp a couple of years ago. Those rowers were in fantastic shape. Must. Use. Kettle bells.

So we started using them following these 8 exercises. I feel better already (with the understanding that I must repeat it in order to make an impact).

Starting to not hate exercise as much...this feels good.
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