Category Archives: Lunch

Some Lunch Issues (and my new favourite lunch spot)

I haven’t talked about work stuff for a while, but my office moved at the beginning of July from downtown Toronto to Port Credit (south Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto). If you don’t know the area this will mean nothing to you, but basically the biggest change is that my 25 minute subway ride to work has turned into a 35 minute drive. Unless there is traffic, and then that 35 minutes can turn into two hours. So that’s fun.

The drive isn’t as bad as I expected it to be though, and I was kind of done being stuck on the subway twice a day with 8 million other people anyway, so no big deal. I also really like our new office a lot better than our old one, as it’s a lot more open and bright. So besides the drive this has really only affected my life in two big ways: my reading time and my lunch time.

Taking the subway every day gave me an extra hour of daily uninterrupted reading time, so I do really miss that. I was just powering through all the books for a while, and now I am STILL reading the first Game of Thrones book (but I’m almost done!). I’ve been trying to read before I fall asleep at night, but I’ve been so tired at bedtime lately that I just fall asleep immediately. So squeezing in the reading has been tricky.

And lunch. Ohh how I miss the lunch options that were downtown. I worked steps away from the PATH (basically an underground city) which had countless food courts and restaurants and every lunch selection imaginable. I found the best salads ever in that area.

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Exhibit A (Chipotle, so nothing exotic)

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Exhibit B

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Exhibit C

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Exhibit D

But our new office isn’t very close to anything like that. There’s a natural health foods grocery store which sometimes has good salads, or a Tim Hortons, within a five minute walking distance, but other than that I have to venture into downtown Port Credit if I want to spice my lunch up, and it’s about a 15-20 minute walk. On the bright side, I’ve been packing my lunch a lot more, so at least I’m saving money.

I did find a really awesome restaurant in downtown Port Credit though. It’s called Raw Aura and all their food includes 100% raw ingredients, so nothing is heated. It’s also very vegetable-based, with organic ingredients, and gluten, dairy and sugar-free.

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They’re not paying me to write a review or anything, but I’ve been there about four times and every time has been interesting and beyond delicious.

The first thing I tried was the “ravioli.”

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Which is red beets stuffed with creamy cashews and ricotta cheese, red pepper marinara sauce and kale chips. It was different than any ravioli I’ve ever eaten, and it was surprisingly extremely good. I’ve actually ordered it twice.

I have also gotten the yellow coconut curry “noodles.”

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Which is zucchini noodles with cashew, coconut oil, lemongrass, pineapple, lentils, red pepper and red onion tossed in yellow curry. Also delicious.

And their big kale salad is pretty amazing.

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It comes with half an avocado and a breadstick. I like that.

I also tried some of my coworker’s burrito.

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And it was really interesting how meaty that thing tasted without actually including any meat. It’s a sun-dried tomato and carrot tortilla with lettuce, tomato, red onion, guacamole and refried pumpkin seeds (pretty sure is what gave it a meaty taste). That is a cashew sour cream on top.

It’s kind of weird eating everything cold because I am so used to eating warm food, but it’s a kind of weird that I am really liking. I’d eat there every day but it is a bit on the expensive side for lunch.

And this chocolate cheesecake, that does not actually include chocolate or cheese, just blew me away.

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It was SO good. And I felt really good after eating it, not all full and gross like I would after eating regular cheesecake.

So if you’re in the area I’d highly recommend checking it out. And if you’re not, welp, sorry. Hopefully the pictures didn’t torture you too much.

Have a great weekend! It is the last cottage weekend of the year for me!

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The Beach Date (and the sausages that almost weren’t)

Saturday morning after my night out with the girls, Evan picked me up for a beach date!

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We had plans to visit his family in Belleville for the rest of the weekend, so we figured since we were in the area we would hit up Sandbanks for the day on Saturday, which is a beautiful beach on Lake Ontario. I have been to Sandbanks many times before though (usually for camping), and on the drive there we were talking about how busy it would be since it was Saturday and decent weather. Evan grew up in the area and mentioned he knew of another beach that was way less busy. Little Bluff, a conservation area on the opposite side of Sandbanks. I had never been there and when he explained it I was down immediately. So that’s where we ended up, and it was beautiful.

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There is a little bluff that overlooks the water (hence the name “Little Bluff”), and the view is just gorgeous. The water is such a beautiful colour.

As we were driving into the conservation area, Evan was telling me a story about the last time he was there with Brotherman when he was about 14, and about this fox that was stalking them because it wanted their beef jerky. Coincidentally, as soon as we got out of the car we saw a fox! I immediately yelled “He’s after your BEEF JERKY!” But luckily the fox ran away and did not harass us. He was not after our beef jerky.

There is a little trail beside the bluff that leads down to the water…

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And as soon as you exit it is just beauty, beauty.

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This beach is the exact opposite of Sandbanks. All rock, no sand, and barely any people! Such a good call. Sandbanks is my favourite sandy beach in Ontario, but rocky swimming is my favourite because I find the water so much more clear and refreshing, and it’s usually deeper. I couldn’t wait to get into it.

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That is the little bluff behind me. Evan and I decided to be adventurous and swim over to it.

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When we got close it was shallow enough to walk, but I was iffy about putting my feet down on the algae rocks in that area, so I preferred to keep swimming. Evan got pretty close to the cliff.

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This was taken about .2 seconds before Evan saw a water snake beside him. Snakes to Evan are like spiders to me, so he had a bit of a freak out and was suddenly next to me a second later. He immediately declared this particular area a snake zone and said he was outta there. As we were swimming back, he was turning back to look at me and was all “I KNEW there would be snakes here! They love the rocks! This is a snake’s dream! Blechhhh snakes!” and I noticed what looked like a stick half out of the water directly in front of him. I interrupted his snake tangent to ask “What’s that in front of you?” and he turned around just as he was about to swim into it. It was of course another snake, much larger than the first one he’d seen. I wish I had our reaction on video, because him panicking made me panic and we were both splashing around like maniacs so we would scare the snake and it wouldn’t come after us. I tend to pick up on the reactions of others, so both of us going nuts was hilarious I’m sure.

I don’t really mind snakes, and I used to catch garter snakes when I was a kid, but I don’t particularly enjoy them swimming in the water with me… Blech.

Anyway, we made it safely back to our beach area and set up shop.

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So Evan had mentioned he had brought a picnic for us, and I was expecting some snacks and maybe some bread and possibly meat for sandwiches. I was not expecting him to bust out a grill.

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He exceeds my expectations of pretty much everything daily though, so I should not have been surprised. He has tricks up his sleeve.

He also had beer.

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Cheers to not getting attacked by a snake.

That guy thinks of everything.

The grill was to cook these mini sausages Evan had bought. I was all over this idea, but then we had some grill issues… It suddenly got very windy, and we could not get the coal that sits underneath the grill to light. We tried for so long and it was just not happening. We decided we needed to help it out.

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We collected a bunch of sticks and dry leaves to light a fire inside the grill, but still, too windy to light. Wasn’t happening.

So Evan thought maybe if we created a wall around the grill we might be able to block the wind and light the fire.

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But nope. Still didn’t work. It would catch for a second and then just go out. I find it funny how easy it apparently is to burn your house down, but lighting a fire in a designated spot designed for fire-starting is so hard.

Eventually we packed up everything and went up to the picnic shelter. Evan was not letting us have cold sausages, so he got creative.

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And finally, FINALLY, after about an hour of trying to light the damn fire, we lit the fire and were able to light the coal on fire.

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He even brought tongs that resourceful minx!

And, more importantly, were able to cook our mini sausages.

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Success.

It was perfect after it was officially lit, and the coal got extremely hot and cooked our sausages perfectly. I was pumped.

And what delicious little sausages they were.

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I think they tasted better because it had taken us so long to make them and I was worried for a bit that they may not happen at all. I was very grateful for Evan and his sausages.

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Loverssss

It was a good beach day!

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30th Eats

My 30th on Friday got off to a good start when I arrived at work in the morning and my fellow communications girls had left this for me:

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They know that food is the way to my heart. I think TimBits are pretty much the greatest things ever invented, and in that little box was the most delicious chocolate mousse tart. I like my coworkers a lot.

I like them so much that I let them take me to lunch that afternoon.

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Those cheeky minxes are Melissa and Emily.

We went to Terroni, a cute little Italian restaurant not far from our work.

We started with bread, which came with olive oil, and we also requested hot peppers on the side.

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What is it that is so insanely delicious about white bread? I can never say no to it. I think it might be my favourite food.

For my lunch I ordered the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese.

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And I LOVED it. Did not regret my decision at all. I ate the entire thing. Not one noodle left behind.

I was incredibly full afterwards, and as we were walking back to work I was telling the girls that I had a dinner date with Evan after work and I didn’t know how I was going to manage that because I felt like I might not ever be able to eat again.

I don’t know why I was concerned about this though, because eating is never a problem for me. I can eat at any time. And by the time 5:30 rolled around I was more than ready to go again.

Evan had planned a surprise birthday dinner for me and wouldn’t tell me where we were going until it was time for me to meet him. He just told me to dress nice but not too fancy, and comfortably because I may not be sitting down the entire time. I was intrigued by his random requirements, but I tried my best to meet them. I thought about Googling places in the area we were going, but I do genuinely like surprises so I was able to refrain.

He ended up taking me to Copacabana, a Brazilian steakhouse around Yonge and Eglinton that I had never been to before.

Copacabana is not just any old steakhouse though, it’s all you can eat meat!

And salad bar also, which Evan and I started with.

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They had some pretty good selections and I filled my plate up.

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Times two. I loved the quinoa salad, the mussels, and that bread with the cheese INSIDE in particular. Could not get enough of those. The bread especially was ridiculous and was actually about 10 times better than I expected it to be.

We also ordered traditional caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail.

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Which I have never had before, and I really liked.

But what I was really excited for, was the meat.

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So much meat excitement. If my reaction to the meat selections was a gif I’m pretty sure it would look like this:

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Because the meat selection was ridiculous and I could not get over it.

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I’m pretty sure the only meat on that coaster we didn’t try was suckling pig, salmon, and chimichurri steak.

And you don’t even have to get up to get the meat. Very convenient. Servers come to your table with perfectly tender seasoned meat on rods and they shave it off for you with basically a machete.

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You just grab it with your tongs and throw it onto a side plate.

For an hour and a half they kept coming by our table and when that succulent meat showed up I couldn’t say no. I tried everything that came our way and I loved it all.

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That is lamb chops, beef rib, and some other kind of delicious steak.

They also switched it up sometimes with grilled pineapple with a brown sugar glaze that is apparently supposed to help with your digestion so you can eat more meat. I loved that also.

I was so insanely full afterwards that I could barely move. Luckily we were able to walk back to my apartment, which took about 25 minutes. It was nice to kinda walk it off. I felt less like a whale when we got home than I did when we left, so that’s a win.

We were still so full though that we passed out by 9pm and slept until the next morning. Party time! I guess I was practicing being 30.

Not to worry though, I made up for that on Saturday night.

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But that is a story for another post.

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Jamaican Me Hungry

Alrighty, last Jamaican recap post. Let’s talk about the FOOD!

I was a bit apprehensive about the food, because I have heard stories of resort food not being the greatest or making you sick (like in Cuba). Just about how it’s cooked differently and can be bland tasting, and the sauces sometimes aren’t great (and this was a concern for me because I eat things for the sauce a lot of the time). This was not the case in Jamaica at all, and the food for the most part was amazing. And you can drink the tap water! That was a huge relief. I had no worries food-wise, and I was never hungry. Usually I was way too full.

The Buffets

Though we had unlimited a la cartes at our resort, we sometimes went to the buffet for dinner if we wanted to save time, or if we didn’t want to be too full (because the a la cartes left me feeling so full I thought I might actually explode). And we did the buffet for breakfast every day and usually lunch also. Good times in the buffet.

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(I need to take a second and just mention how much I loved all the adults on the trip, as they were usually more intoxicated than we were and they were absolutely hilarious.)

The selection in the buffet was insane. They had an entire section dedicated to CHEESE (we found Dawn and Leanne in the buffet after the catamaran trip eating plates of just cheese with the buffet tongs – they know how to do it right). The buffets basically had every food imaginable, including pizza, assorted meats, fries, sushi, fish, and a pasta bar. I discovered the pasta bar late into the trip and that’s pretty much all I ate for lunch and dinner for the last three days because it was SO GOOD, I couldn’t get enough.

I apologize for my buffet pictures because I tended to just load my plate up with random stuff and it just looks like a mess.

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That would be a giant salad of random goodness, pizza, curried potatoes, some pasta, and roasted vegetables.

This is an example of a lunch salad bar. I would maybe start with a salad (heavy on the cheese)…

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And then load my plate up with random goods.

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Bean salad, tomatoes and mozzarella, ham, steak, cheese, pizza, rice, fish. That was probably x2. I need to mention also that they had the BEST bread. Ohh how I wish I was still eating that bread. So good.

And after I found the pasta bar…

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That is a mess… This one is better.

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Ah, that bread!

For breakfast nearly every morning I had a perfectly made omelette…

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And I really enjoyed their bacon and hashbrowns. LOVED the hashbrowns. They also had cereal, pancakes, french toast, fruit, ham, scrambled eggs, potatoes, yogurt, and you could get your eggs done however you wanted. They also had assorted juices and a smoothie bar, and their frozen banana with milk smoothie was definitely my favourite there.

The only thing I would usually steer clear of was the breakfast ham and the hotdogs…both were just not made how I was accustomed to and I wasn’t really a fan.

For dessert I usually was too full to have anything besides fruit.

On the third beach, Sunset Cove, there was a little shack that served authentic jerk chicken which was pretty amazing…

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Served with seafood rice. You had to be careful while eating your chicken though, because they just chopped up an entire piece of chicken with a large knife and it included the bones.

Also, in the sports bar they served hamburgers, hotdogs, quesadillas, pizza and nachos until 7am every single night. It was fabulous. The quesadillas were the BEST.

The a la Cartes

We went out for several group a la carte dinners.

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This was in Poseidon, the seafood restaurant by the third beach. We started with the salad bar and soup here, and then for my appetizer I had muscles…

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With shrimp as my main course.

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I had several rounds of the salad bar, so by the time I was done my dinner I was so full I thought I might die, so I couldn’t even do the dessert thing.

The next restaurant I really enjoyed was the Mexican restaurant (though several people said it was their least favourite, but I don’t think they really liked Mexican to begin with). Our table had chips, salsa, and guacamole on it for everyone, and I wanted more of it so I also got it as my appetizer.

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I had soup as well. And for my main I chose fajitas, because I just love them.

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I thought they were really good, so props to the chef.

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I was also able to manage dessert here…

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I do not remember what that is, but I do remember that it was good.

And my favourite a la carte restaurant was Reggaetoni, the Italian restaurant. We started with the salad bar… 

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Again, lots of cheese…

For my appy I had the bruschetta…

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And for my main I chose the spaghetti bolognese, and HOLY. I was blown away.

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It was amaaaazing. I loved every last bite of that thing.

I was again too full for dessert, so I just had some fruit, but I got a pic of Joanna’s and it looks pretty delicious…

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That’s it for the a la cartes for me, but they also had a Indian, Asian, and a steakhouse and I heard they were all really good.

Also, just want to mention the airplane food, because we flew Canjet and I’m pretty sure it’s the only airline that still actually serves meals. Our breakfast on the way there was not good (in my opinion), but lunch on the way back was pretty decent!

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That pasta was not too shabby at all, and continued my three-day pasta binge. I also really enjoyed the bean salad.

Welp, that’s it! Jamaica recaps be over, mon! I hope you enjoyed. If you missed any of my others you can check them out here.

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Fantastic Friday

Hello friends!

Sorry about all that re-blogging business. Is re-blogging your own posts bad blog form? Probably. Anyway, this week has been super busy, and besides work nothing has really been going on. Except for a few minor fantastic things, and those are the things I want to talk about. So today is Fantastic Friday, because alliteration and fantastic things make me happy.

Fantastic Thing 1

There is an amazing bakery across the street from the Starbucks near my work, so if I run out for a coffee around mid-afternoon snack time, I can’t resist stopping by there and picking up a little something…

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That little something is usually a cupcake. They have the BEST homemade cupcakes with buttercream icing. You know what is so fantastic about that cupcake? The cake to icing ratio. I have never seen a cupcake with so much icing! I pretty much eat cupcakes for the icing, and I think there may actually be more icing than cake on that thing. That is a huge win. It is so creamy and buttery. I never want that cupcake to end. I could eat that cupcake every single day for the rest of my life (but my pants say no, don’t do it). I almost wish I never had one, because around 3pm I start to fantasize about eating it, and then that is it. I must get it.

Fantastic Thing 2

My work has a beer cart on Friday’s as a reward if everyone completes their timesheets. A BEER CART! Do you know what it feels like to drink beer at your desk while working?

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It feels like a dream. I feel like I’m in a dream. They have a really great variety of beer brands also. Today is Friday! I’m already excited for the beer cart! Everyone better have finished their timesheets or I will hunt them down!

Fantastic Thing 3

This bacon tree:

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I stopped at this burger place on my way home from work because I heard it has really good poutine, and I noticed this while I was waiting for my food (poutine, obviously). That is actually real bacon hanging from the tree. I wanted to eat it. So festive. The jars of Nutella in the background did not go unnoticed either…

Fantastic Thing 4

I have really been missing having a Druxy’s in my work building. It was so convenient (maybe a little too convenient), and their salads are so amazing I have no words. So I have been going through a little bit of a lunch transition while I struggled to find something close to my new work that I love as much as Druxy’s. I pack my own lunch a lot of the time, but when I don’t it’s very important for my hunger monster that I have a go-to lunch spot nearby.

I found one!

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This could possibly be my dream lunch! There is a little deli down the street that has really awesome soup and sandwiches. They have good salads too, but I have really been loving the soup and half sandwich deal. It comes with their homemade chips! I love this because it’s a big lunch and I can stretch out eating it over at least an hour, and then it’s almost mid-afternoon snack time, which means less time without eating. If I plan it correctly I can almost be eating all day. That is a half grilled ham and Brie (I LOVE Brie) sandwich and a maple sweet potato chipotle soup, which sounds like an odd combination but I couldn’t get enough of it. They also have pretty delicious Christmas cookies which I am usually unable to resist. But I don’t get a Christmas cookie the same day I get a cupcake. Usually.

Unhealthy eats have definitely been sneaking in over here lately… So another fantastic thing is I have been walking to work every day. It’s a round trip of about 50 minutes, and seems to be keeping everything in check in the pants department. I’ve also been better with the workouts lately, but that is a story for another (less fantastic) post.

Fantastic Thing 5 (for my cat)

Winnie has a few new sleeping spots that she thinks are quite fantastic. The first one is on my radiator.

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I find her there when I get home from work every single day. Winnie likes it hot.

Her second new favourite sleeping spot is not the most fantastic for me. Before I shower each morning I usually lay out the shirt I’m wearing that day on my bed so I can quickly change. Winnie takes this as an opportunity to leisure around on it and lick herself all over it.

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Thus getting cat hair all over my shirt.

I am going to say her favourite sleeping spot is with me though.

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She is my little weekend morning spooning buddy. Winnie is like my Nana in that she is fueled by love. This means she is going to live forever. Don’t tell me otherwise! She may be 19 but she is still spry!

That is pretty much it in fantastic news. Have a fantastic Friday!

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Fam Lunch (alternate title: why doesn’t Lindsey get a diaper?)

I had a half day at work on Friday (I had 1.67 days of vacation to use up before the end of the year, so Friday was .67), so just before lunch I hit the road to my aunt Nancy’s house for a little lunch date with my family. (Side note: I drove to work for the first time since I started working there and it took me six minutes. Much better than the hour to hour and a half commute I used to do).

Anyway, my cousins Chrissy and Allie were visiting from BC with their husbands Aran and Keith (respectively) and their beautiful little babies, and I haven’t seen them all since Allie and Keith’s wedding in BC in June so I was pretty excited. We also had our amazing Nana with us for the day.

That picture is terrible. I didn’t have my camera with me, and my iPhone was slacking on the picture-taking, but that is basically just a lower-quality version of this picture from the spring:

Only one less dog and one more baby. Chrissy and Aran’s son Evan is missing from both though, he is tricky little minx to lock down for a photo. But I did get him earlier…

I’m surprised they were okay with me holding Evan upside down, considering my track record of dropping children on their faces… Evan sure liked it though. He made me do it over and over and over.

Anyway, we had a really great lunch full of Ukrainian food in honour of our Ukrainian Nana.

Who is the cutest Nana in all the land. We say that she is going to live forever because she is fueled by love.

We started with borscht (beet soup) that my aunt made herself, and it was soo delicious.

Seriously, it was amazing. I am sometimes not the biggest fan of borscht, it really depends how it is made. My Nana used to make really excellent borscht also, so I guess it runs in the family. My aunt said it is really easy to make actually, so I think I may have to try it out sometime. Pretty much my entire family is obsessed with sour cream also, so we all topped our soup with that.

And our main dish was pierogies! Or my family has always called them something different that I don’t know how to spell and I can’t even Google it, but when I was little I interpreted its pronunciation as “pettah hair”.

Whatever you call them, they are the best. Definitely one of my favourite foods. My Nana used to make the best ones ever! I miss them so much. And of course each pierogi on my plate must be topped with sour cream. It is very important. I can NOT eat pierogies without sour cream. And fried bacon and onions. Yes yes.

We also had kielbasa, which I LOVE, and cookies for dessert.

After lunch (and man, I was stuffed), Allie and my uncle Brian had some work to do outside, so the rest of us headed into the family room to sit around and digest. Chrissy and I snuggled up with our Nanny on the couch and had a little catch-up session.

Nana snuggles are the greatest. My Nana has smelled the same for as long as I can remember, and being near her makes me feel all warm and comforted.

Anyway, we were just talking, and all of a sudden my Nana brought out a little gift bag and said she had presents for us!

I know all about Nana’s presents, let me tell you. She is all about the ‘care packages’. She always likes to get us useful gifts. I have mentioned this before, but it’s worth bringing up again. When she lived on her own, she loved to get me anything that was on sale at the grocery store, so cookies, oranges, cheese (wrapped in wax paper, tin foil and then plastic wrap), and bread were all big items that frequented the care packages. Also half-used bottles of Windex and paper towel. And stamps. The care packages have always been very random (but very useful), for as long as I can remember.

And they are more random now that she is in a home and can’t really get out and shop for herself. My care packages from her now consist mainly of socks won at Bingo, cookies saved from meals (in Ziploc bags), other random gifts she has somehow acquired (like little stuffed animals, or figurines), and stamps (still stamps!).

Here was her care package for me around Easter:

And another one from a year ago or so:

So I know how random her “gifts” can be. But I was not prepared for what came next.

When my Nana was not doing well in the summer, she was pretty much bedridden, and couldn’t get to the bathroom on her own during the night. So she wore diapers for a bit. Hey, it happens. We will all be there someday (let’s not think about it). So I guess when she was getting better, she switched from diapers to these diaper-like pads. They were basically like REALLY thick maxi pads. So she pulled two of them out of the bag, turned to Chrissy, handed her one, and said “These are for your PANTIES,” (really loudly because her hearing is not the greatest).  And then she turned to me, handed me the other, and repeated “THESE ARE FOR YOUR PANTIES.” And went on to explain why we might need them. Feminine time, you know (sorry to all you men reading this).

They were not unlike this:

And Chrissy’s husband was sitting across from us watching the whole thing.

We were dying. Chrissy, my aunt Nancy and I could not contain our laughter. I tried, really I did, but I was crying. I was doubled over with tears streaming down my face. My Nana has been known to say funny things sometimes… One time after Easter dinner as we were leaving (and this was years ago), she asked us “Do you want a beer for the road?!” Um, Nana. That is illegal.

But this trumped everything she has probably ever done. And she was so serious about it. She really was just trying to be helpful, and it warmed my heart and made me laugh ridiculously hard all at the same time.

As we attempted to contain ourselves, my Nana looked at me and said “Oh, Lindsey! I thought you were Allie! Sorry, this isn’t for you,” and she took the pad out of my hands and tucked it back into her bag. And then she handed me MY gift.

Frickin’ cookies saved from meals!!!! No pad for me, suckers! This of course made us all laugh even harder.

So then my cousin asked, “Why doesn’t Lindsey get a pad?”

And my Nana said “Well Lindsey lives on her own you know…”

Yes, yes I do. A girl has to eat! If living on my own gets me cookies instead of a diaper, well, I am down with that. She also gave me $20. Who is the favourite?! 🙂

And then Allie came inside, and my Nanny regifted her the pad, and we all laughed all over again. She is 98, so of course she is allowed to have moments like this. But man it was funny.

It was a great day with my family. I loved seeing them!

And I know our Nana had a great time too. She kept saying how happy she was to be there. She is amazing. Sometimes I look at her and I just feel like my heart might burst. She makes me so happy.

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