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Thanksgiving Weekend

This weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving! I have said it before, but I like when our Thanksgiving falls. There is ample time to recover from all the eating before we do it all over again at Christmas.

Evan and I picked up Brotherman and Kelly on Saturday morning and headed to Belleville to celebrate turkey day with their mom and nana. On the way we passed the Big Apple, which I now know is awesome since our stop there on the way to Emily’s bachelorette party in Montreal, so we decided to make a quick detour for pies. You cannot have Thanksgiving without pies. The Big Apple has quite the pie operation going on…

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Where the magic happens

So many pies!

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I wanted to get them all, but we just went with the traditional pumpkin and apple. And also a few apple fritters that we could eat immediately, which actually may have been the best apple fritter I have ever had.

No visit to the Big Apple is complete without a photo in front of said Big Apple. Brotherman and Kelly first…

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And then Evan and I. We had to take a couple before we got a nice one because Evan found a bulrush.

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And he proceeded to harass me with it.

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Until I snapped the end off.

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We also went over to the petting zoo area to see the animals, and this beautiful lama caught our eye.

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Those are quite the teeth. I thought she was cute though, in her own way.

Eventually we arrived at the Nana’s and had a happy reunion with the family. Evan’s mom’s friend brought a few witch hats for us to wear.

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I wonder if she is trying to tell us something…

Don’t worry, the guys weren’t left out of the Halloween hat party.

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We hung out for a few hours, chatting and watching the House Hunters International marathon (which makes me feel like I’m doing life wrong), and then it was time for Thanksgiving dinner. Which was amazing. Curry is the tradition at the Nana’s house (you may remember from last year), so she made us all lentils (which Evan also makes pretty often), meatball curry, yellow rice, curried potatoes, greens, ham, and cachumba (tomatoes and onions in vinegar, I think it is an Indian salad and it is very nice when accompanying curry).

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I was insanely full after that but I went back for seconds of just the meatball curry because I couldn’t get enough of it.  I like this curry tradition.

The Nana made apple crisp for dessert, so no need to break out our pie. It was REALLY good and I was just dying of fullness afterwards. We all just lazed around and were in bed by 9pm. But it was a very fun evening with Evan’s family.

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I am sad his mom and nana are a two hour drive from us, because I would like to see them more often. They make me laugh.

On Sunday we all had breakfast together before heading to Evan’s dad’s place to celebrate with that side of their family. That is where the animals are, you may remember. So we spent the afternoon doing the animal visitation rounds.

Remember Peanut, the little piglet?

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Well, she has grown.

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I got her from all sides so you can fully appreciate her beauty.

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She is large and in charge. And she enjoys oinking constantly.

This is Phil.

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Phil is a turkey, but Phil is not for eating! He is a pet turkey. I don’t think I have ever taken a moment before to truly appreciate how interesting-looking turkeys are…

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So knobby and bumpy and weird looking. His brain looks like it is on the outside of his head.

Phil spends his time stalking the guineafowl. Or maybe it is the gang of guineas who stalk him…

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You will occasionally see the guineas running by if you are inside and happen to glance out the window, and then Phil will be lumbering after them like a big T Rex.

This is Raisin.

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She looks kind of grumpy (and like a muppet) but I think she just suffers from resting bitchface because she is actually a very cuddly chicken.

And then there is this chicken…

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Apparently. That’s what I was told it was.

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They also look angry but are quite nice. Those poor guys had their beaks clipped before they arrived at Evan’s dad and Loulou’s, to deter them from pecking other animals.

This is my favourite donkey Zeke!

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I just love him. He is so nice. We like to tell each other secrets.

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There are also two horses.

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She really wanted in a picture with us.

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After the animal fest it was dinner time. Another great Thanksgiving meal happening over here… All the turkey things!

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I always forget how much I love stuffing. It’s probably good I only eat it a few times a year though, because when it happens I really appreciate it.

I was again full to the point of bursting, so we went back outside for a while before dessert, which was homemade pumpkin pie.

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This was very good pumpkin pie. I don’t even usually like pumpkin pie. Well that’s not true, I like all pie but my order of pie preference is lemon merengue – banana cream – pecan – any kind of fruit – pumpkin. But that pie may have bumped pumpkin up to number two (nothing will ever, ever beat my mom’s lemon merengue pie).

We headed back Sunday night and were home just in time for the Walking Dead, which I was on the edge of my seat for the entire time. Perched on the back of my seat may be more accurate. It was awesome and I was happy with how everything turned out. Yesterday we did a bunch of cleaning and stuff around the house, Evan made ham and split pea soup from leftover ham (OMG so good!), and we actually went to the movies for the first time in about a year to see Gone Girl. I loved it. I thought they did such a good job keeping it close to the book, and the casting was even better than I imagined. Evan really liked it also.

So a very good long weekend. I feel very thankful for this guy:

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And these two:

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And their families for letting me crash their dinners. And all the animals (which I do enjoy visiting, but I have to admit I’m glad they’re not actually mine).

I hope you Canadians had a great weekend filled with all the family and all the food and all the friends! I hope you had that even if you are not Canadian.

I love eating holidays!

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THANKSGIVING!

This weekend is Thanksgiving! Canadian Thanksgiving! Ours is quite a lot earlier than the American holiday, which I am personally in favour of. I like having the two biggest eating holidays of the year spread out. I can’t imagine having Thanksgiving less than a month before Christmas. That wouldn’t even give me enough time to properly fit in my pants again. Someone should have thought of that when designating the American holidays (not like you guys have a lot to be overly thankful for right now anyway with all the BS going on in your country).

Anyway, I’m excited to eat a lot, and my stretchy pants are laid out and ready for the weekend. My Dad and Mona are in Florida right now, and my Mom and Eric live in BC, so I will be celebrating this Thanksgiving with Evan’s family. First time for a big holiday! It’s kinda like Meet The Parents (but I have already met the parents and the family). Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too badly. But I probably will. I can’t eat anything without getting it all over my face. Just ask Evan (I like to think he finds it endearing).

At least I know this time that his Grandma doesn’t like hugging, so I won’t go in for a huge one and get shafted. Unlike the first time I met her when I hugged her and her arms stayed stiffly at her sides the entire time. Not awkward at all. Evan whispered to me afterwards “I forgot to tell you Grandma’s not a hugger.” Thanks for the heads up!

We will be gone from Saturday until Monday. Brotherman is coming with us, and Ian will be away with his family, so this leaves Winnie. Poor little Winnie, all aloney on her owney. Coming with us would be no good for her as she HATES the car and going on a car ride for two hours would not be her dream (it would in fact be her nightmare). Normally leaving her alone for a few days is fine. If you’re not cat savvy maybe you are unaware of this, but cats are super easy. Throw down some extra food and water and they’re good for days (and this is why I have a cat and not a dog). However, because of Winnie’s recent health issues I have been iffy on leaving her, even though she will really only be on her own for one full day.

So Evan found this app that you can download on both your phone and your computer, and it is basically like a nanny cam, so you can watch what’s going on in your house when you’re not there, FROM YOUR PHONE. Pretty cool stuff. So we will be able to monitor Winnie while we’re away. Is that creepy? Apparently there is a motion sensor also, and you get a notification when something moves. Not that I want to be glued to my phone watching Winnie all weekend, but it will be nice to be able to check in (and see if she craps on the floor, which is what gave away her kidney issues in the first place).

I was touched that Evan suggested this AND I’m excited because I have always wanted to know what Winnie does when no one’s home. Probably just sleep, as usual. But I like to think she is throwing a cat party with all her friends (though she has no friends). Either way, we can keep an eye on her.

Maybe she will spend her time plotting how she is going to get her little paws on more ham. She is obsessed recently, and Evan and Brotherman joke that every time she meows she is actually saying “HAM!!!! HAM! HAAAAM!”

Anyway, this should be an interesting experiment.

Tonight is my friend Lisa’s birthday celebration at an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant, so basically it’s like Thanksgiving has come early. I’ll just be eating all weekend long, which makes me happy.

Evan texted me yesterday afternoon and said he and Brotherman were toying with the idea of East Side Mario’s for dinner, but also that he took a chicken out earlier and the chicken would be the healthy choice, and what did I think? I thought about it for a moment before saying that the next day was all-you-can-eat sushi and Saturday and Sunday would be all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving dinner so…why wait to get started on the eating fest? Why have chicken when I can have unlimited salad, bread and pasta?

I chose East Side Marios.

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My pants and I will deal with the aftermath next week when this is all over.

Have a great weekend, and a great long weekend and HAPPY THANKSGIVING if you are Canadian!

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Apples and Sheep and Llamas, Oh My

Yesterday in the late morning, Ando and I headed out to the grocery store, but since the weather was nearly 30C with beautifully sunny skies, we decided grocery shopping could wait – we wanted to be outside in the sun!

Instead we drove to a nearby apple orchard for some apple-picking action.

It felt weird to be doing such a fall activity in such summery weather (I was sweating hardocre, it was HOT!), but it was an amazing time.

I have not been apple picking in years, and I don’t think I have ever been to this particular orchard.  Even though it was late in the season, there were still a ton of apples.

And beautiful views.

There was also a corn maze, which I was pretty excited about since I also have not been in a corn maze in years.

Can you spot Alejandrew?

He was trying to sneak up on me, but I was watching him like the big creeper I am.

And we made some new friends.

Sheep! They were actually extremely cute. It made me want a sheep for a pet. They reminded me a bit of Winnie (our cat, if you are new around here).

But any cute animal that is a bit chubby and on the slow side reminds me of Winnie.

And then…

Llama time!

The llama’s were not quite as nice as the sheep. And actually, I thought they were quite snobby.

But somehow we lured that little llama out of his snobby shell and got him to smile.

It was an awesome little impromptu trip to the apple orchard, and I am pretty sure we are going to have to make this a fall tradition.

We went a little crazy on the apples though…

I have no idea why we got so many, or what in the name of pizza I am going to do with all of them… But apple crisp sounded like a good start.

I love apple crisp, it is one of my favourite desserts, but for some reason I have never made it before.

My friend Joanna‘s mom makes the best apple crisp, and she knows how much I like it, so when we were in high school, whenever she would make apple crisp she would send a little plate of it to school with Joanna just for me. I will always remember that.

Anyway, I have always assumed that apple crisp was really difficult to make, but after doing some googling and checking out recipes, I saw that it actually looked super easy! I ended up settling on this recipe from AllRecipes, but I did change a few things to slightly healthify it up (a bit, there is still quite a bit of sugar and butter, so don’t get too excited).

Here is the recipe with my modifications.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

Apples

  • 6 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water

Topping

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the rest of the apples ingredients (white sugar, flour, ground cinnamon) together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

Mine turned out beautifully.

Seriously addicting though.

Andrew told me that is what he ate for lunch today, haha.

I will be back with regular eating stuff tomorrow, but tonight I am feeling lazy after my busy day at work.

Have a great night!

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Thanksgiving Swag

Hey guys! Happy Thanksgiving to all of my fellow Canadian pals! Or Eat Day, as it is otherwise known :).

My big eat day was yesterday.  We headed up to Ando’s parents in the early afternoon to start the celebration. It is also Andrew’s sister Catherine, her fiance Corrie, and Taylor’s birthday’s within the next week, so we had a lot to celebrate!

The table was beautifully set in honour of the occasion.

Taylor, Ando’s nephew Devyn and I made those pumpkin place settings in honour of Thanksgiving four years ago, and they are still kicking around.

Taylor is always the birthday girl on Thanksgiving, so her pumpkin is extra special.

The weather was GORGEOUS. This entire weekend has been absolutely ridiculous on the weather front. Pretty amazing for Thanksgiving weekend. I can’t get enough of it! Since it was so nice, Taylor, Caitlyn and I hung out in the backyard for most of the afternoon until dinner was ready.

We had a pretty serious handstand and cartwheel contest, and some other games that Caitlyn made up.

She is seriously the cutest ever, and such a little ham for the camera.

Buzz Lightyear (aka Sam) made an appearance as well.

But he is only Buzz while he is in costume, just FYI. I made the mistake of calling him Buzz when he was back in his regular clothes and he said “NO!!! I am NOT Buzz anymore!” all angrily. I guess it is like a Superman thing. You need your costume for special powers.

Taylor really wanted to teach us how to be “swag”.

Which I’m pretty sure I fail at.

Andy seems to have it down though.

It is all about the pointing, I guess.

Papa (Andrew’s Dad) is clearly a natural as well.

Actually, I think he may be even more “swag” than Taylor.

We definitely worked up a pretty huge appetite after our backyard shenanigans, which is a good thing because Thanksgiving dinner is a BIG DEAL.

That giant plate of deliciousness is alllll mine. From left: ham, squash, carrots, corn, mashed potatoes, turkey, and Andmo’s grandma’s amazing sausage stuffing in the centre (I had never tried sausage stuffing until I had Andy’s grandma’s, and now I am obsessed.) I also had gravy on the turkey, potatoes and stuffing.

I cleaned my plate entirely and I was absolutely stuffed. I could barely move afterwards. I usually try to stop when I am full but not too full when I am eating, but on holidays, I definitely embrace being TOO FULL. It is not very often a holiday dinner like this makes its way onto my plate, so when it does I take full advantage. I love Thanksgiving! And Christmas, and Easter.

After dinner it was time to do the birthday thang.

The Birthday Gang

Happy Birthday to Catherine, Corrie and Taylor! Taylor turned 13! She is officially a teenager, and way too cool to smile for photos now as you can see.

Though that cake looked delicious, I had a big craving for apple pie since my slice on Saturday, so I opted for a piece of that instead.

With ice cream, of course!

It was a great day, and a great dinner. I am feeling very thankful for food, friends, family, and sunshine. And I am thankful that I will be back into my regular eating routine tomorrow, because my pants can’t take much more of this. Bring on the veggies!

What is your favourite holiday dinner food?
Turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing for me!

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Wedding and Baby-Packed Saturday

Hey hey!

I hope you guys are enjoying your weekend! If you are Canadian I hope you are eating lots in honour of Thanksgiving. I have been, but my real eat day is today. The rest of the weekend was just prepping my tummy for the goodness to come.

I am so glad it’s a long weekend. My weekend has already been packed full of fun times, and it’s only Sunday. I still have a day and a half of Thanksgiving activities before it is back to work time, so I am thankful for that.

Yesterday in the late morning Andy and I headed over to my Nana’s to pick her up for a little lunch date at my aunt Nancy’s house.

Me and my Nanners

I am just going to, once again, take a moment to highlight how beautiful my Nana is. At 97, check her out! She is still a mobile little ball of positivity, and I still say her skin is amazing. I can only hope mine looks nearly as good as that if I ever get to be her age. Olay moisturizer my friends, every day of her life.

Our lunch date was extra special because my two cousins Chrissy and Allie were visiting from BC with their new baby girls!

Cousins

From left: Allie and Nora, myself, Chrissy and Isla. The babies are only 17 days apart! Chrissy and Allie’s father, my uncle Andy, passed away suddenly last September, and I find it pretty amazing that less than a year later they both had baby girls (Chrissy also has a two-year-old son Evan, who was napping when the picture-taking was going on).

It was really great to see them, because I don’t get to very often with us living so far apart.

My Nanners was especially excited to see those babies.

Nanny & Isla

The picture above wins for being the most precious picture of the day.

It was a big ol’ family reunion.

Fam Jam

From left: Me, aunt Nancy, Dad, Chrissy, Allie and Nana.

Dad, Nana and I

Check out my Dad’s shirt. I have mentioned a few times how fashionable I think he is ;).

The weather was amazing. Sunny and actually hot. It is the nicest weather I can ever remember having on Thanksgiving weekend. My aunt and uncle have a gorgeous backyard, so it was great to be able to spend time outside.

And you know some eating went down.

Lunch Spread

I snagged a plate full of veggies, ham and havarti on a bun, potato salad, pickles and a slice of kielbasa.

My Plate

And then there was dessert.

Pie Plate

I got a little slice of both pumpkin pie and apple pie. This was actually my first time trying pumpkin pie since I was a kid, and you may remember me confessing my hate for pumpkin pie in my video blog. I gotta say, it wasn’t bad. Still not my favourite pie though, and I preferred the apple (which was amazing!).

Ando and I had a great day with my fam.

Ando and I

Afterwards we had my friend Uncle Leon’s (Leanne) wedding to attend to, so we headed home for a couple of hours to get ready.

I spent a good hour and a half trying unsuccessfully to curl my straight and thin hair with a straightening iron, but it was just not meant to be. My hair is the worst for curling. It wants to be straight and flat all the time. I finally did a last minute hot roller thing, and it worked out alright. It still was not exactly curly, but I guess it had more volume than usual, so I’ll take it.

And then it was wedding time! We only attended the reception so we missed dinner (I had leftover quinoa from Friday), but we made it to the party.

Leanne was such a beautiful bride!

Beauty and the Beardo

I wish I got a full-length picture of her to show you guys the bottom of her dress, because it was amazing, and different than the dresses I have been seeing lately.

Uncle Leon and I

Leon was glowing :).

Most of my high school friends were in attendance, so I had a great time hitting up the dance floor with those gals.

We wanted to take a nice group shot of us…

Friends

And mine turned out blurry. Luckily we got a back-up.

Friends + Glasses

If you remember my friend Dawn’s New Orleans guest posts, then you already know that her mom and sister are a good time.

But her dad Bri-Bear is pretty fun as well.

Brenny and Bri-Bear

And was an awesome addition to the dance floor party.

I scored a late night snack of a little sandwich, vegetables, a cookie and a brownie, but it was too dark to snap a pic. It was all very good though.

It was a great day all around, and right now I am off to eat my body weight in turkey and stuffing!

Have a great Sunday!

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