Tag Archives: valentine’s day

A Day of Loooooove

Well I had an extra long and an extra awesome weekend. I haven’t squeezed in so many activities in one weekend since the summer and it was nice to take a break from the winter hibernation.

First up, Valentine’s Day! I like to acknowledge the holiday (can you call it a holiday?) without getting too crazy about it. I would say that Evan and I appreciate each other every day, but I love love so I don’t mind a day dedicated to it.

Evan asked me a few months ago what I thought of making each other Valentine’s presents instead of going the typical V-Day gift route (flowers, chocolate, Star Trek robe, etc). I am a sentimental sap, so I agreed. But then I had no idea what to make for him. I didn’t want to bust out the craft supplies and make some lame Valentine’s card…I wanted it to be a bit more creative.

I was talking about this with one of my coworkers and she was like “Why not make him a recipe box since he loves to cook so much?” and that really got me thinking. So I made him a cookbook. Please ignore the cheesiness of the cover!


Winnie likes

But it’s not just any ol’ cookbook… It’s a cookbook full of recipes inspired by the meals we have had when dining out together.


Therefore combining cooking with memories, to add a bit of sentimental value (which I know Evan appreciates). Like a cook/scrapbook. My blog and my (probably annoying at times) incessant picture taking really came in handy for this, because I had pictures of nearly all of our restaurant meals. So the pictures are from our actual dates, and the recipes I found online, but were inspired by the meals we had ordered.

I ended up filling the book with about 30 recipes, including the best appetizers we have experienced…


And the most delicious entrees.

IMG_9557 IMG_9558 IMG_9559

Hopefully Evan will take the slight (okay, massive) hint and recreate all of these dishes for me.

He genuinely loved it and said it was the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for him. I think he thought that I was planning on making him some kind of photo collage or calendar, so he was definitely not expecting this and his reaction was just the best.

(Just a note because I know someone is going to ask me, I laid out the book in Adobe InDesign, PDF’d it and then submitted it online to Staples for printing and binding. Staples did an awesome job and were super speedy and helpful. My only complaint is that some of the pictures turned out a bit on the red side, but this also could have had something to do with my file.)

And here is Evan’s lovely present to me.


Shadow boxes mounted on the wall so we can showcase all our romantic memorabilia. Riiiight up my alley. I love it.


He had already included stuff from our Florida and Niagara Falls adventures, and we added to our collection that day when we hiked downtown to the new Ripley’s Aquarium, the second part of Evan’s V-Day gift to me.



It was awesome, but it was BUSY. Very, very busy. I had heard not to go on the weekend because of how crazy it is, but we thought Friday during the day was safe. Wrong. We noticed a bunch of school buses when we arrived. I did not even think about field trips… So that is my only complaint. It was pretty crowded. It just opened in the late fall, so hopefully it won’t be busy forever. I’ve heard it is a lot quieter at night, so I may have to go back…the exhibits were truly amazing.


They even had a special dive show to celebrate Valentine’s.


So that was cute.

My very favourite was the Dangerous Lagoon exhibit, the underwater viewing tunnel with many different species of sharks, sawfish (which are crazy looking), eels, and a bunch of other scary but awesome-looking fish.


It has a moving sidewalk so you don’t have to worry about walking. That was very handy because I could not tear my eyes away from the water and if I had to be responsible for watching where I was walking I probably would have run over a small child.



The sharks were just the coolest. There were so many amazing fish.


I also loved the seahorses.


A couple of those were definitely celebrating love day…


And the sea dragons, which I cannot believe even exist.


That thing looks like a plant!

This eel-type creature that somehow reminded both Evan and I of Winnie…


The sting rays!


This little guy just looked ecstatic.


Watching him made me so happy.

And the eerily beautiful jellyfish. I could have stayed and watched just the jellyfish for hours and hours.



They are the coolest things ever. But I sure would not want to be stung by one.

I highly recommend going to the aquarium if you are in Toronto (just not at peak times). It blew me away and was even better than I expected.

Instead of doing the dinner thing, we had a nice brunch together before the aquarium…


A slight boozy brunch…

I finally got Evan to Lonestar! And we shared the best fajitas I have ever had, even from there.


With ribs, chicken shrimp AND steak. I was full for two days after this. So insanely good.

So it was a very nice Valentine’s Day. No complaints at all. Hope you had a good weekend!


The Donkey and the Phone Number

Since it is Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do an illustrated story for you guys to show you how much I love you and appreciate you following along with my antics.

So I started thinking about what I could draw, and what my most memorable Valentine’s Day is. And I don’t really have one. I seriously cannot remember any of my Valentine’s Days, and I think it is because it’s not really a big deal and I just like Valentine’s Day for the chocolate. Also, I thought of this last minute and I don’t really have time to draw anything elaborate.

But I do have a lot of stories. So here is a beautiful love story (or probably crush story would be more accurate).

When I was in Grade 9, I used to go to this bowling alley all the time with my childhood friend Amanda. Her mom and brother played in a league there, and since we lived in the middle of nowhere and had nothing else to do, we would join them on the nights they would play and just hang out, acting cool. This particular bowling alley had a huge arcade, and you could win tickets that you could then cash in for prizes.

The prizes were of course nothing spectacular, unless you saved your tickets up for ages and ages, which I never did because I am impatient. But the particular prize that I was after was the guy who worked behind the counter.

I thought he was just ridiculously dreamy and I had been keeping my eye on that prize for months. He looked like James Van der Beek, and he was my dream. Whenever I was at the bowling alley I would frantically play games so that I would win tickets so I could go to the prize counter and have an excuse to talk to him. I would order coke upon coke and a ridiculous amount of poutines so that I could walk by his counter to the food area and maybe he would notice me. My go-to plan of attack with boys I liked at that age was to stalk nonchalantly (although looking back t it was probably pretty obvious) from afar.

It did not work. I don’t think he ever said anything to me besides “Hey. What do you want?” as he gestured to all the prize bins.

And I was extremely shy around boys and could barely make eye contact, let alone strike up any sort of interesting conversation.

But one day, after a few months of this, my friends and I were all at the bowling alley for Rock n’ Bowl, and I felt brave. I had my pals as backup (sometimes I am fueled to do crazier things than I normally would if my friends are with me, even now). Clearly James Van Der Beek was not going to take the initiative and ask me for my number, so I was going to have to take matters into my own hands. I decided that I needed a creative way to get his attention.

So I won a bunch of tickets from the games room, strolled on up to his counter, looked him straight in the eye, and presented him with my winnings. And then I pointed to a bin full of plastic farm animals and I said




And then I felt shy and I broke my eye contact and looked away all embarrassed. I prepared myself to run away.



SUCCESS! He wrote down his number for me, and he seemed excited about it.

And this story really goes nowhere because I did not know proper phone etiquette at that time, and called him a little bit too often. Like repeatedly if no one answered the phone. This was before cell phones of course, so it was his home number and one time when he finally did answer he told me that his parents told him to tell me to stop calling so much. I did not have call display yet, so I didn’t understand how he knew it was me, but I was still too embarrassed to call back after that.

And then MSN happened and we somehow reconnected just as I was graduating high school and we went out once and he didn’t look like James Van Der Beek anymore (puberty hit him hard) and I realized his personality wasn’t that great anyway.

Sometimes my friends still say to me “Hi. I’ll take that donkey and maybe your phone number,” as a joke. It makes me laugh.

So the point of this story is, if you are without a lover this Valentine’s Day and you have a crush, make the first move! It works! You ask for that donkey and that phone number!

And with that…


Hopefully that will be me today.


Happy Big V Day!

I hope all of you are having a great Valentine’s Day and are feeling extra loved today!

I also hope your day is looking something like this:


I know mine is.


Office Boccia Finals and Valentine’s Card Regifting

Big day in my building today…it was the Office Boccia finals!

If you remember, my team did not make the finals so there was no chance of us winning the coveted Office Boccia trophy. The mini trophy next to it was for the team that came in last place, and thankfully we didn’t get that! I definitely expected to.

About 20 people came to watch the semi-finals and final game, so three games in total (the two winners from the semi-finals played each other in the final). It was pretty chaotic with two games going on at once in the same office, and balls were flying everywhere.

I roped our new intern Hannah into coming with me to cheer on the finalists. I was rooting for my friend Jessica’s team from the Coaches Association of Ontario, but sadly they lost in the semi’s.

The atmosphere was exciting, and the games were intense. I am glad my team didn’t make it to the finals. We would have been slaughtered, and it would have been embarrassing.

Each game was extremely close, and in many cases decided by less than an inch.

It was serious business.

The participants did not mess around, and measuring was necessary numerous times.

In the end, the team from Ontario Blind Sports Association (aka No BS, Eh?!) were the ultimate victors, and took home the trophy and the registration money.

(I should mention that the sets of boccia balls reside in their office…maybe a coincidence, probably not).

Anyway, such a fun lunch hour, and such a great way to break up the work day. I can’t wait for the next season of Office Boccia to start! We are stepping it up next season for sure! (I say that a lot, so we will see.)

In other news, I visited my saucy little Nana after work today.

She is so ridiculously cute. I just want to squeeze her into a million pieces.

For those of you who are new to my blog, please note that my Nana is 97 and a half (she’ll be 98 in early July!). And yes, I have to bring up her age every time I mention her, because it’s amazing! LOOK AT HER SKIN! She has no age spots! She is remarkable. And still the most positive person I know.

I have mentioned before that since my Nana has moved into a home, she doesn’t get to go shopping very often. She is very frustrated by this, because up until a few years ago she lived in midtown Toronto and had a ton of shops near her. She really misses buying things for myself and her other grandchildren, and will often save things she has somehow acquired in her home to give me (socks won at Bingo, leftover cookies from meals, other random things). It warms my heart that she still tries to take care of me.

Every year my Nana gives me a card for Valentine’s Day, but sadly this year she was unable to get out to buy one for me herself. She is a resourceful woman though, and was not about to let that stop her from getting me a card.

So here is the card she gave me this year:

At first I thought she made me a card during nursing home craft time or something.

And I’m not going to lie, I immediately pictured this scene in Happy Gilmore:

But when I opened up the card…

I saw that she probably didn’t make it herself…

Nope, she regifted a Valentine’s Day card that a child had made for her, whited out the name, and replaced it with her own name written in pen. Just so she had a card to give me.

I died. I kept a straight face, but on the inside I was absolutely dying. Ohh how I love her.

She admitted it right away, she didn’t try to pass it off like she had made the card herself or anything. That would have been weird…

But man, it was funny.

And that’s not all I got!

Cookies saved from meals!

And some money too, which was very nice. But truly I would have been fine with the card and the cookies. Made my night.

My Nana kills me. She is the best!