Animal Selfies and Early Thanksgiving

Get ready for a bunch of pictures of farm animals! On Saturday morning Evan and I headed out to the country to visit his dad and Loulou for an early Thanksgiving celebration. Actual (Canadian) Thanksgiving is next weekend but I am all for any reason to celebrate the eating holiday twice. We decided to do it early with them as we hadn’t been up there in a while and this way we could spend more time with them.

If you’ve read my blog for a while you may remember me talking about Evan’s dad and Loulou’s place before because they live on a hobby farm and it is highly entertaining. Their animals make me laugh hard and I really enjoy hanging out with them. Winnie’s great, of course, but I see her every day and a cat is not quite as exotic as, say, a chicken.


We were sitting in the kitchen shortly after we arrived and Loulou brought in this little chicken with the most perfectly coiffed feathers. Her name is Panda Bear and she is just a little muffin.


She is quite friendly for a chicken and she sat on my lap for like 20 minutes and let me pet her like a cat!



I really had no idea chickens were so nice. Since I can count on one finger the number of times I have had a chicken on my lap, I went in for the selfie. She was all over it.


She is quite photogenic. I loved that chunky chicken and I would have loved to bring her home with us, but I don’t think Winnie would approve so we’re probably going to have to remain a one cat household.

Jubee, the bird, also likes to hang around the kitchen, preferably on Loulou’s shoulder.


Staring evilly at me while he eats a cookie out of his foot like it’s a hand. I think he is probably taunting me because he had a cookie and I had none. Birds kill me.

The newest additions to the farm are the fish. There are five fish tanks full of them now.


And yeah they’re fun to watch and all, but I prefer animals I can snuggle with, so onto my favourite donkey, Zeke.


I have said it before and I will say it again, I just love that donkey. Like Panda Bear the chicken, Zeke appreciates a good selfie.



I’m pretty sure he remembers me because every time I’m there he trots over and nuzzles himself against me. I like it. I would also like to bring him home with me.

I also caught up with Kashtin the horse.


Although this time he did not try to eat me like he did at Christmas last year…


And I was a little disappointed.

The most attractive rooster I have probably ever seen also lives on the farm.


Look at those beautiful feathers.


If I was a chicken I would totally go for him. Except he is sexy and he knows it, which is a turnoff. And he’s kind of grumpy.

I feel bad talking about turkeys when I am about to tell you about the delicious turkey we had for dinner, but these turkeys are not for eating. They are for strutting.


Especially the biggest one, his name is King (and the little white one’s name is BB, cute). Just to give you an idea of his size…


He is large and in charge, and when he walks he kind of looks like he is floating. He is like the Lord of the turkeys. And he knows it.


You do not mess with him. I am not sure if you know this but turkeys sound absolutely hilarious. I know they are known for the “gobble gobble” but honestly I am not sure how someone originally translated the sound they make to that. I guess it is the only way to describe it though. Well, it’s more of a “gobblelelelelelelele” It sure is unique. King also made kind of a scoffing/snorting noise. I think just to assert himself as the alpha male, but of course I am no expert. I got a video of it though (just click on it to play):

Turkey lurkey.

A video posted by Lindsey Evanoff (@happyorhungry) on

He pretended he didn’t like me, but he was definitely following me around so I think he was just playing hard to get. Eventually he got in a selfie with me. He couldn’t resist.


I’m telling you, turkeys are hilarious. Their head looks like a brain.

And, I hate to say this, but then we ate turkey.


I am really sorry King and friends! But you are so delicious! (again, those particular turkeys are pets and not for eating)

Loulou also made pumpkin pie, which


…was all sorts of delicious.

We also watched the Jays game on Saturday night and took a couple of long nature walks.


We are trying to get back onto the whole being active wagon since we sort of fell off at some point over the summer. It happens (like, every time).




Adventures in Ottawa

Sorry, I’ve been a lackluster blogger the last couple of weeks. I have no excuse really, but I’ve been busy with work stuff and I’ve had a stupid cold all this week and my brain has felt quite foggy. Next week, I’m stepping it up!

So my Bestie Lisa was working in Ottawa last week and extended her stay over the weekend in case any of us wanted to grace her with our presence. Which, of course we did. My friends Dawn, Emily and I decided to take a road trip to our nation’s capital for a reunion.


Although I’m not sure if you can call it a reunion if we just saw her two months ago. She lives across the country in Calgary but somehow I end up seeing her more than some of my really good friends who live here. No complaints! In the words of Evan, I am very rucky tucky (meaning: lucky).

Anyway, with our stops it took us about five hours to get there, but we chatted for most the ride and the time flew by and was actually fun. We definitely needed some road trip sustenance, so we stopped at a roadside takeout burger joint, which also happened to have poutine. And not just poutine, pulled pork poutine! I was all about the chicken strips until I saw that on the menu. I couldn’t say no.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the rest of the world needs to get on the poutine bandwagon, I’m telling you!

Once we arrived at Lisa’s hotel we caught up for a bit and then headed out for more eating. We weren’t sure where to go for dinner but we knew were were feeling something pub-like, and after walking around in circles for about half an hour we stumbled across a cute Scottish pub on Elgin Street called Deacon Brodies. We sat at the front window which was totally open to the street and great for our favourite sport: people watching.


I feel like downtown Ottawa in general is great for people watching. There are many characters on those streets.

In true Scottish form, I ordered a cocktail with whiskey, apple juice and sparkling wine. It was different and it was strong, but I enjoyed it. I thought about ordering poutine for dinner because it sounded really good (as poutine always does), but I can’t eat poutine twice in one day. I mean, I could, but I feel like I would be judged. So I ordered chicken curry and it was sort of plain and not great. I was having some serious regret about not getting a sandwich. I don’t know what I was thinking.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our night out.



I even let Lisa curl my hurrrr for the occasion. She was all “Ugh, your hair! It just does not want to curl!” and then realized she had accidentally turned the heat on the curling iron way down. It does like to curl now (in high school it did not but it’s possible I just didn’t know what I was doing), I just don’t like to curl it because it takes me forever and I am lazy.

Our next stop was Patty Boland’s, a two-storey pub in the ByWard Market. We went there for Dawn’s bachelorette party a few years ago and I vaguely remember it… I do remember it being a good time. Actually, when I think back to it, I mostly just picture this in my head:


So, a good time.

We were not disappointed in Patty Boland’s. If you are planning a night out in Ottawa I highly recommend it.


There was a live band that evening and they were different from most bands I see live at places like this. I am not sure how to describe them, but kind of a funk twist on pop rock songs. We were digging.



Digging, I tell you.

Emily has such a beautiful natural smile.

It was super empty when we first got there so we were having a time being ridiculous on the dance floor by ourselves.


And then as the night wore on it turned into this crazy crowded moshpit of 19-year-olds, so we headed out to the patio for some air. As you do when you’re old. It was still a good time out there.

During a band break the lead singer came out, so we made friends.


He came over and we were all “Can we get a picture of us picking you up?” and he was immediately like “Yeah! Just make sure you tag me on so—” and I interrupted and was all “Yeah yeah, we will, let’s go” and we picked him up mid-sentence.


He liked it a lot and he gave me his card to properly tag him but somehow it got lost. So, unfortunately I do not know his name or the name of his band. Maybe he will Google and find this. Stranger things have happened.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 7.41.46 PM

Like the time the drummer from Pravda in Toronto found my blog and commented on it 6 months after we were there.

We all had a really good night. A fairly early night, ’cause we are olds, but a good night.

In the morning we found this total greasy spoon for breakfast and it was awesome.


Their sign said best Montreal smoked meat in Ottawa so I was all over that! It was really good. I don’t know if it’s the best in Ottawa, but it’s possible. My watermelon was sad, but otherwise it was an excellent breakfast.

We also found this amazing knick-knack store called Mags & Fags (for serious) so we spent some time exploring in there. I wanted to buy everything in the store but I kept myself to some bacon mints (so awful) and these amazing socks.


CATS!!! Because you can never have too many cat socks.

And we took a quick trip over to Parliament Hill for some sightseeing. The Canadian Police Memorial was happening on Sunday morning, so the area was super busy and there were people everywhere.


And then sadly it was time for us to head back home. We were there for a good time, not a long time! Hopefully I will be seeing that fabulous city, and my fabulous bestie, again soon.



Last week I found out that one of my friends passed away suddenly. Meredith, or Merdypops as many people called her. Mere and I originally met while we were working together for a sport organization, and although I haven’t seen her in years, we kept in touch and would regularly message back and forth and send each other funny things. Mostly pictures of misspelled signs, or instances of incorrect grammar. That was her favourite.

I know she was an avid reader of my blog – she was one of my very first readers, so sometimes when I was writing a post I would have her in mind and include a phrase or sentence that I knew would tickle her.


I am not sure what the etiquette is when talking about death on your public blog. Truthfully, we were not even that close and she had so many friends and people who loved her, so who am I to say anything. But I just know that I can’t stop thinking about her and for the past week I have sat down to write about other things and I just want to talk about Meredith. She had such a strong personality and was truly one of a kind. I’ve never known anyone like her. She was the queen of sarcasm and apt eye rolls, the ultimate grammar and spelling police, she always had a joke ready, her laugh was infectious, and she made me laugh so hard I cried. She was totally bold and no-nonsense. She was blunt and said what she was thinking. I can only wish to have the kind of confidence she did.

She was always willing to help out anyone, and was always volunteering and active on various sports teams. She was warm and welcoming and had an incredible amount of friends. Like, genuine friends. She is loved by so many. When I met her, I was interviewing for my very first corporate job out of school, which at the time was a bit of a scary experience. She was there to greet me, and she chit-chatted with me while we waited for my panel of interviewers to come in. It totally put me at ease. I felt like I already knew her, and she told me at the time that she already liked me better than anyone else they had interviewed. Pretty sure you shouldn’t say that, but it gave me confidence and made me feel like I had a chance. When I got that job, she was instantly a friend.

Meredith was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma earlier this year, and had finished chemotherapy in early August. There is no cure for the particular type of cancer she had, and when I mentioned to her how sorry I was to hear about it she just said “Ah, shit happens,” and went on to tell me that her cancer responded well to treatment. She was incredibly positive about starting immunotherapy in the next few weeks, which she would do for two years, and she said she was feeling a lot better and healthier after finishing chemo. She was very open about her experience. Recently she uploaded a bunch of pictures of herself while in treatment to show that going through chemotherapy isn’t as scary as people think it is.


In her own words: “Thought you may be interested in how these donation dollars work. This collage shows before diagnosis, chemo pictures and an after shot. So many people have a cynical view of chemotherapy, but had the lymphoma society not funded the research for my type of cancer, I’d never look this good! Ha! I find that people tend to keep it hush hush when they are going through treatment. If you’ve never had to support someone through cancer, it can seem scary and overwhelming. Chemo units are full of people reading, eating lunch, eating cookies that volunteers dole out, and amazing nurses. I wanted to show that it’s not scary. And again, the fact that we have free health care is extraordinary.”

Meredith passed away suddenly last week while vacationing in Jamaica, due to a pulmonary embolism in both lungs. As heartbreaking and sudden as it is there is some comfort in knowing that she was in paradise, in the sunshine with her lover. And there is comfort in knowing that she did not suffer; her battle with incurable cancer did not get drawn out.

I want to share with you something that she wrote on her birthday this year, because it is inspiring, and (for me at least) it puts things into perspective. It did when when I read it the first time, and I take it to heart even more now.

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 6.38.06 PMI thought that I was positive and lived in the moment, but I can learn a thing or two here. I especially agree with “You can be dealt good cards and bad cards, but you are essentially the one who plays them.”

Meredith had been fundraising for Calgary’s Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada over the last couple of months, which she also was to participate in on October 16, 2015. I know Team Merdypops is still walking strong, and many of Meredith’s friends will be doing the walk in her honour. If you are interested in donating please click here. All funds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, which I know was an important cause to Meredith.

Thanks for reading, and please send some positive thoughts to Merdy’s family and friends. I know they are all hurting with the loss of this amazing woman.


Happy or Hungry Eats the World: Las Calenas (Colombia)

If you missed it, I am on a mission to eat authentic food from every country in the world, right here in Toronto! You can find all past recaps here.

Today I am talking about Colombia.colombia

We have a few traditional Colombian restaurants in Toronto, but a few weeks ago I happened to be at the Downsview Market with my friend Hannah and we stumbled across the Colombian food stall Las Calenas. I think the food stalls at the market are more authentic than a restaurant, as it seems to be families from those countries who are making the dishes. For example, at the Jamaican food stall there is literally just a mother and daughter and a single stove, cooking up salt fish and festivals. It feels legit, like you are actually in the country. It is an experience.

There are Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, Afghan, Caribbean, Jamaican, and Dominican Republic food stalls (I will probably be going back), but it was Las Calenas, the Colombian one, that caught our eye. Specifically the Lechona, that stuffed pig on the right in the below photo.


Lechona consists of a whole roast pig, stuffed with rice, pork, peas, onions and a combination of spices and then cooked in a brick or clay oven for up to 10 hours. What you see in the photo is the skin sewn together to keep the rice and pork filling inside. As the pig cooks, the skin becomes crispy.


Colombian dishes, like many other countries, vary widely by region, and Lechona is typical of the Tolima area of Colombia (to the west of Bogota, the capital). It is apparently served in specialty restaurants throughout Colombia though, and the Colombian lady working in the stall told us you would find Lechona at any family Christmas dinner in Colombia. It was really, really good. I’d totally be okay with having it for Christmas dinner.

We also got a couple of empanadas and a Buñuelos Colombianos, a type of Colombian cheese ball.


Buñuelos Colombianos are a traditional Colombian Christmas treat, but they are also popular year round for breakfast with hot chocolate or coffee. I have to be honest and say that the cheese ball wasn’t quite as cheesy or as flavourful as I hoped it would be. Here’s a picture of what the inside looks like, and it was not quite what we were expecting (I think we were hoping it was going to be more like a melty cheesestick).

I’m sure we are all well aware of empanadas. At least I hope you are or you are not doing life right. Empanadas originate from Spain and Portugal, and they are a small pastry that is baked or fried. In Colombia they are usually fried and contain different fillings that vary from region to region. Apparently the fillings are endless and they are sold on any street corner. I loved my empanada, but then, I have never met an empanada I didn’t like. I don’t see how anything could be wrong with carbs filled with various treats. Dumplings and pierogies and empanadas and other carbs or pastries filled with things (coxinha!) are so far my favourite dishes from every country that has them.

I was going to save Colombia until I was able to hit up a Colombian restaurant as well, and then include the dishes we got from Las Calenas and do them both together… But at the rate I’m going this project is going to take me four years to complete and I don’t have the time or the room in my pants to be eating countries twice. But in my experience, Colombian food is delicious and I definitely will be eating it again someday!


The Last of Summer

Welp, that’s that. Summer is officially over. Happy first day of fall! I’m not super pumped about it because I know the cold weather is a comin’, but I had such an amazing summer that I am feeling satisfied. One of the best I’ve ever had. Also one of the busiest. I would not be able to keep up that level of activity year round and I can’t lie, I am excited to do a little hibernating on winter weekends. Just a couple of winter weekends though. I don’t need six months of winter weekends. I keep hearing that we’re in for an exceptionally long and cold winter and please, please no! I don’t want it!

Anyway, since this past weekend was the last official weekend of the summer, Evan and I decided to spend it at the cottage. When I originally checked the weather last week it was supposed to be beautiful and sunny all weekend. But of course, as usually happens when we decide we’re going to the cottage, as the weekend approached the weather turned to shit. It was beautiful and sunny all week, and it is beautiful and sunny all this week, but Friday afternoon and Saturday were crap. So when we arrived it was overcast.


But hey, at least it wasn’t snowing.


Evan wanted to make sure his boat motor was still running, so we took the little aluminum boat out on the lake for a bit.


It started no problem but we came thisclose to running out of gas, so that was pretty nerve-wracking. It would have been a nightmare. We made it back though, just before it started raining.


It’s still my favourite place, even in the rain.

We ate burgers and listened to the Jays game on the radio and were in bed reading by 10. Party animals.

We didn’t stop for food or anything on the way up on Friday, so on Saturday morning we headed into Hastings, a little town near the cottage, for breakfast and groceries. For breakfast we went to the cutest little place called Banjo’s, right on the lake.

banjos 2

(not my photo)

There are only maybe eight tables in the entire restaurant, so it’s really small and it doesn’t look like anything exciting, but they have great breakfast, I tell you what.


My breakfast was so good. Simple, and I don’t even think I could tell you what was so good about it, but I really enjoyed it.

After grocery shopping we drove by a rummage sale in a church basement, so we decided to stop and check it out. When we walked in the ladies handed us a plastic grocery bag and told us to fill it up with anything we wanted for $5. The rummage sale had already seen a lot of rummagers, and it was pretty picked over in there, but we scored some good VHS movies for the cottage!

Rummage sale haul! Got some sweet VHS tapes for the cottage! I am especially excited for the story of the 1989 Toronto Blue Jays. And the...bathtub spout.

Because yes, the cottage still has a VCR. With a dual DVD player. High-tech. As I mentioned on my Instagram, I am pretty excited for Sky High! The story of the 1989 Toronto Blue Jays. Also the bathtub spout. That was Evan’s pick. He thinks he will be able to use it on an upcoming project.

It was raining when we got back, so we pretty much did nothing for the rest of the day. We read and napped on the couch and it was awesome. The rain eventually stopped in the early evening, so we made it outside for a bit.



You can’t tell in the photo, but the combination of the sun and the clouds was making the trees look like they were in high-definition or something.

Dinner of champions right here!


Kraft Dinner, it’s been so long!

Sunday was beautiful. Finally.


Not a bad way to start my morning.

It was a bit chilly in the shade, but the sun was so warm and nice. After breakfast, Evan and I decided to take the canoe out on an adventure.



We explored all around the bay that the cottage is in, and I think it was the most peaceful I’ve ever seen the lake.


The sky was perfect, there was no wind, and the lake was smooth as glass. It was an easy paddle, and we kept mostly to the shoreline so we could see creatures (or as even calls them, crit-jures).





We saw a turtle, some fish, a ton of birds, and a lot of beautiful skyline. Just gorge.


When we got back we played cribbage by the lake, while again listening to the Jays game. I haven’t played cribbage in yeeeears. I think we’re going to be busting it out this winter on hibernation weekends.


I should mention that we specifically have “cottage clothes” that we leave up there to bum around in. Hence why Evan is always looking…his best. I know you’re checking out his outfit.

On the way home we stopped at this amazing takeout barbecue joint, Yorkie’s Bar-B-Q, for dinner. I’ve had a pretty good beef brisket from there before, but this time I went for the pulled pork and maaaan.


It was good. We also shared popcorn chicken, which was just as good as I hoped it would be.

So it was a pretty great way to end the summer, especially Sunday.

And now I am okay if people start talking about sweaters and boots and pumpkins and leaves. But not excessively!


Ain’t No Party Like a Muskoka Stag & Doe

This past Saturday night was the Stag and Doe of one of my oldest friends (not age-wise, time-wise) Melissa!


^ picture from Saturday night.


^ picture not from Saturday night.

I’ve mentioned this several times but if you need a refresher – Melissa is my friend that I accidentally blew across the lake with while skating, and fought with over the Jason Priestley Ken without the bald spot, who I crotched myself in front of, and met Elvis Stojko with. We grew up together and were pretty much inseparable until high school happened and her mom moved away. We sort of drifted to separate friends during high school, as tends to happen when you go to a different school, but we eventually found our way back to each other. I am so glad we have stayed in touch and that I will be celebrating her big day with her. She is one of my faves.


^ picture from the end of Saturday night.

We used to try to convince people we were sisters when we were younger, and a lot of times they believed us! Suckers.

If you are not familiar with a Stag and Doe, don’t worry, I am going to tell you all about it. They are also known as a Jack and Jill, and the last one I went to was my friends’ Dawn and Mark’s tropical themed one. They are basically a social with the intent of raising money for the wedding of the bride and groom. You sell tickets to everyone you know, there’s a bar, lots of food, games, raffle prizes and a silent auction. Typically Stag and Doe’s take place in a rented hall, but I have been to one at someone’s cottage and also someone’s house before.

Melissa and her husband-to-be Will’s Stag and Doe took place on Mainhood Lake in Muskoka (aka Ontario cottage country). Melissa’s grandma owns some cabins on the lake, and I was up there last year with Melissa and her mom when my mom was visiting from BC. They have a large property so it worked to have the party there.

Let me tell you that Stag and Doe’s are already my dream party. There is nothing better than playing games with hilarious drunk relatives, in my opinion.


Like this one right here.

It would be impossible to have a bad time. A Stag and Doe in Muskoka? A party outside in the woods with a bonfire and drunk relatives and games? Next level. I had the best time ever and I did not want the night to end.


Evan and I arrived in the early evening on Saturday, just in time for cotton candy skies on the lake.


We were staying in the Honeymooner’s Cabin for the night, so we quickly dropped our stuff off in there and made up our bed.


It is the cutest little cabin. Much preferable to pitching a tent!



We loved it. I have actually stayed in the Honeymooner’s Cabin before, with my mom when I was about 13… #romantic

Once we were settled we were ready to party. I was so excited to catch up with Melissa and her family and friends.


Jenn, Katie (Melissa’s two sisters), Melissa, me, and Lacey. Lacey and I worked at Dairy Queen together for a couple years back in the day.

I saw so many people I haven’t seen in a very long time. It was quite the reunion.

Let’s get to the games. There were tons and tons of raffle prizes.


In the one above you just had to write your name on the back of a card and if there was a symbol under your card, you won. The winner got a barbecue and 7 bottles of booze. Evan and I were out in the first round, so that was sad.

Then we had poker darts…


You had to throw five darts at cards to make the best poker hand. Evan did not come close to winning that, surprisingly. But that’s okay because he made it into the final round of Wack Off!


aka, who can hammer a nail into a stump the fastest. He didn’t win, but that’s okay because he also made it into the finals of horseshoes!


Which he has never even really played before, so big kudos there. He was KILLING it! They had a freakin’ horseshoe arena set up with dual pits! It was quite the tournament. That is my partner Jack at the end in the red hat. I was really counting on my partner to carry me in the horseshoes, but sadly he was drunk. I mean, so was I, but I was still the kind of drunk that makes you better at things, so I played the best game of my life (6 points, haha). I wasn’t staggering (yet). I was loving life.


And loving Katie!

So, Jack and I did not win at horseshoes, but I was living vicariously through Evan. Sadly, he lost the tournament to Katie and Uncle Jeff. But that’s okay, because he made it into the final round of the Toonie Toss!


I love a good Toonie Toss. I knew it was going to be here. For those of you who don’t know what a Toonie is, it’s Canada’s $2 coin (our $1 coin is a Loonie because it has a loon on it, so when they made a $2 coin it was only natural to call it the Toonie – side story, when Paula and Fabian were visiting they refused to believe us that we called it a Toonie and asked our server in a restaurant to confirm we weren’t pulling their legs).

So in the Toonie Toss you throw your Toonies at a Texas Mickey of booze, and whoever’s Tooney is closest to the bottle wins the booze. In this case 3 litres of Jack Daniels.


And would you guess who won.


That is right. I like that he is good at things. It was Evan’s first time meeting everyone and I think he really impressed them with his sweet Toonie tossing skills. That Texas Mickey came home with us!

My favourite game of the evening was probably who can hold the case of beer up the longest.



I did not win. I actually got disqualified because I wasn’t keeping my arms straight (and most of the ladies were using a 6 pack of king cans, not that massive case). But I have Evan’s winnings so it is all good.

Man, it was a time.


A really, really good time. That is Melissa’s fiance Will on the end there, but possibly not the best representation of him so just wait until the wedding. And after this I cannot WAIT until the wedding.