Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Veg Fest in Toronto, Knitting Updates, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  On Friday night I went to Veg Fest which is organized by the Toronto Vegetarian Association. I had a great time going with my friend, trying samples, and learning more about a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. We first spoke with a woman from Mercy for Animals about their organization and how they work to make lives better for animals on factory farms. I have since added them on Facebook, Instagram, and visited their website and love what they are all about. Then we went to the area of the festival where they had lots of food and products which were all vegan. I tried the Chick Chicken burger at a food truck which was made from chickpeas and my friend got the imitation beef burger. It tasted so good, I would not miss chicken eating that burger. Then we went around and ate samples and I also bought a vegan ice cream made from oatmeal. It was so good and my friend bought a donut from Bloomer's to share. I was pleasantly surprised how delicious it was.

Photo of me about to eat the vegan ice cream

Veg Fest tents set up 

My chick'n burger which was really made from chickpeas. It was really good!

My friend's burger, she got their famous burger which looks like beef patty but it is also made from chickpeas
I have been thinking lately of cutting back on eating meat and I want to live a more vegetarian lifestyle. Right now I am not limiting myself and saying I won't eat meat, but I want to gradually reduce eating it for my health and compassion for animals. I am excited about this change which I have been contemplating for quite awhile. I can share some vegetarian and vegan recipes I like on the blog too. I have gone a few days without meat now and eating more nuts, beans, other foods which contain protein but I am still learning about supplementing my diet with other foods to get the protein and nutrients I need.
Tonight while I was at Loblaws, I saw these snacks in the natural food aisle that I sampled at the festival and had to buy them because they were so delicious. The Hungry Buddha coconut chips are so good and they a crunchy and so flavorful. The SimplyProtein chips I have not tried yet but did try the granola bar and liked it, so I am looking forward to giving them a try too. They were a decent price, under three dollars each. I am not affiliated with these brands in any way, I just wanted to share which snacks I liked from the festival with you.

Vegan snacks
In knitting, I have not been knitting too much this weekend. I was busy seeing family this weekend and getting organized before school starts. I will share some progress made on my stocking and sweater seaming in a couple days to catch up! I will also be starting to knit some other projects soon and looking forward to sharing those projects with you.
I am still reading Love the Wine You're With: A Novel and enjoying it so far! I have also started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and I am loving it! I will be posting an entry soon on my experience with the book and how it helped me to get organized and start tidying up properly!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! If you would like to keep updated on when I post entries on my blog, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also put your email into the subscribe button at the top right corner of my blog to get email updates when I post!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Spiral Socks Knitted, Sewing Sweater Seams, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. It was the first day back at school for many yesterday, I hope that if you have children, they had a good first day! or if you are returning yourself, hope you had a good day. I will be starting my courses next week on September 12th, and only have one course I have to drive to the college for in-class sessions, and the rest are online. I am looking forward to starting up with the next batch of courses to finish the certificate later this year.I have been watching the news on hurricane Irma, I hope that if you live in the areas that the storm will hit that you stay safe!

Knitting:
I finished knitting the Patons Spiral socks and they look great. I can put them away now for Christmas to give to my mom as a gift. I love knitting socks, they are such a small project, easy to pick up and bring with me to watch television, or as you saw this summer, I brought them camping and to Montreal to knit while away on vacation.



I loved this pattern, it was a simple one and easy to remember and kitting in the same pattern for 13 inches. You can see the notes on Ravelry here. I am thinking of using this pattern again in the future, maybe for another Christmas gift or make a pair for myself at some point.


The socks laid out flat do not look as much like socks but more like stockings. I think it is so amazing that when you put them on, they fit your feet so perfectly. I like that about these tube socks, that they are so comfortable.


I will be pulling the sweater seam out today so I can re-do it and I have been working on that today too. I did some more research and I think sewing the sleeve first then going down the side of the sweater is what I will do this time for the whole sleeve is sewn in half instead of knitting side, then up the sleeve because it was tight and uneven that way. In the photo below the right side is not sewn yet I just placed it like this for the photo to show how it will look once the seams are sewn.


Reading:
I finished reading Into the Water this weekend. I loved the book, it was intriguing and kept moving a long and kept me interested and reading on. It got mixed reviews, and one thing I have to agree with it that at the beginning of the book you are introduced to a lot of characters and it is sometimes hard to remember who is who. I had to go back a couple of times to refresh my memory. Once I knew who the characters were and jumped back a couple of times, it was so good and the character development was so amazing. I love how Paula Hawkins adds so much darkness and mystery to her characters and she touches on some topics which are dark and show how evil some people can be. I think she handles these topics well and captures the emotions of each character wonderfully. I would definitely recommend Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, and I am looking forward to reading books she writes in the future.


I am currently reading Love the Wine You're With by Kim Gruenenfelder. So far I am in the early section of the book, learning about the characters and I will learn more about the characters as I read on and as they come together to create their business. I think the characters so far are trying to find themselves and are in negative situations at work and in love, and I am looking forward to seeing the changes they make as I read on. I also started reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I will try to finish this book this week so I can begin applying the steps I learn. I will probably write a post this month on the topic to share what I learned and how it changes my outlook on tidying and keeping organized. 
             
Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AsKatKnits for Unwravelled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

What are working on and reading this week?

Thank you for visiting today, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to visit me and if you would like to keep updated on future posts please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can enter your email in the top right corner of my blog to subscribe and get email updates when I post.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe and Knitting Progress

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today is the Labour Day holiday in Canada and my boyfriend and I are relaxing today, going out for lunch with his mom, and getting ready for another week ahead. I also tried a new smoothie recipe I am excited about. I became interested in making smoothies in the summer and they were and still are my go-to for breakfast. I really love having the Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie in the morning and the Ultimate Busy Family Smoothie from Kiwi & Bean, they are my go-to smoothies right now to start my day off right. With fall approaching, I was feeling the usual craving for a pumpkin spiced latte or Frappucino from Starbucks and it got me thinking that maybe I could find a healthy smoothie recipe to satisfy my craving. I found a recipe from Andie Mitchell's blog for a healthy sugar-free pumpkin spice smoothie. She found the recipe in Jordan Younger's book Breaking Vegan. I was excited to try this recipe because I love having pumpkin spice flavored drinks and this recipe is also sugar-free, so it is also a lot less calories than your typical pumpkin spice drink. This smoothie was so tasty and filling, and satisfied my craving for pumpkin spice drinks. If you are craving a healthy version of your pumpkin spice latte or Frappucino, this recipe is for you.


Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree mod: 3/4 cup (I added 3/4 cups for taste and color)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or kale/ mod 1/2 cup (I added only 1/2 cup because the first time I made it, it tasted too much like spinach and it turned green)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup ice
  • a few pinches cinnamon
  • 1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder, optional (recommended: vanilla Vega One)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds, optional
Blend all the ingredients and enjoy! This recipe would be perfect for snack in the afternoon to give you a boost and to drink while reading under a cozy blanket. I am looking forward to getting my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year, I am also looking forward to making pumpkin pie and eating pumpkin muffins. What kinds of drinks and treats do you like to have at this time of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe from Andiemitchell.com

In knitting news, I have been knitting the second sock and love how quickly it is coming along. I am knitting socks using the Patons Spiral sock pattern which I found on Ravelry. I should have the socks done this week at this rate. I will be happy to have one of my Christmas gifts knitted in September. I will also be starting another gift this month so I will have to start thinking about gift ideas. For the 3timeChic sweater, I am starting to take out the seams on the one side I completed. I realized that I did not sew the seam correctly the first time and it was tight under my arm so I will be starting that part over. I will share my progress with you sometime during this week.



Thank you so much for visiting my blog! If you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or enter your email at the top right of my blog to get emails when I post a new entry.

Have a great day!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Hello September, Goals, and Knitting Updates

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Happy September! I cannot believe it is already here. September always symbolizes fresh starts and new beginnings for me. I think it is because of September being the start of school for me for so many years and again this year I will be starting four online courses as part of my Office Administration certificate. It could also be the crisp and coolness of the air which brings on a different outlook and feeling of freshness. Today I  have been feeling excited and hopeful for things to come for the Fall. I love the start of Fall or thinking of Fall coming. I also love writing goals at the start of September and the start to many months but mostly this month in particular. I will share some of my goals below for September.


My goals for September:

Read two books:
I created a goal on Goodreads to read 25 books which is always such a reach for me. I am now at five and will be finishing Into the Water soon and will be finishing Love the Wine You're With: A Novel by next week, so I will be up to seven. I would like to read two books this month to get up to nine books. I think it could still be done by the end of the year,, if I read faster and selected shorter books.

Finish sewing sweater seams and knit the neck edging:
I have started this process and will be working on it this month. I ran into some problems but I will give myself time to get it right. I will be pulling some of the seams out and redoing them. I am looking forward to being done the sweater and being able to wear it this Fall and Winter.

Get organized:
I like to use this time of the year to get organized, especially because I will be starting courses soon and I will be busier so it will be good to get more organized and have a place for everything before I am more focused on getting assignments completed, going to classes, and studying. I also want to get all my textbooks for school, get some new clothes, and a few other things before I go back. I will work on filling my Happy Planner with intentions, appointments, and important dates today. I got the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo which I will start reading this month to help me to get organized and read some tips for tidying up. Hopefully I can get some tips from the book on how to tidy up and get organized this fall.

Exercise regularly:
This Summer I was consistent with exercising and did workouts regularly 3-4 times every week. I would like to continue this into the fall and winter and keep getting stronger and healthier. I think that exercising in the morning right at the start of the day has worked best for me. I seem to follow through on plans to exercise in the morning before I start doing anything else or get too tired later on. As you may know, I have been following Tone it Up workouts and they really have been helping guide me on how to workout properly and feel stronger and more toned. I will continue working out to their videos and so happy I found the Tone it Up community.

Try new recipes:
In the summer, I tried more smoothie recipes and light summery dinner recipes. With the Fall and Winter comes the cravings for more hearty and warm meals. I would like to keep looking up new recipes that are hearty and also healthy. I will share some  of my favorites with you all too.

Cast on for another Christmas gift: 
I am almost finished knitting a Christmas gift or my mom, and it would be good to start another one around now since I have a few people on my list who I am knitting gifts for.

I hope I accomplish these goals this September. I will update you at the end of the month on how I did with my goals. I love making lists of my goals around this time. What are some things you would like to accomplish this September or this Fall?

Knitting Updates:
I have finished the first sock from the Paton's Spiral Socks pattern. I am working on the second now and I really like how the first one looks and feels. It has such a different look when it is laying out compared to past socks I have knitted,but fits so comfortably even without the heel flap. I had my doubts about how a sock without a heel would fit, but I am happy it fits comfortably as I am giving them to my Mom for Christmas.

Spiral sock on the left completed and starting the second one


I have been working on the seaming of the 3timesChic sweater, but it has come to a halt because now I think I did not do it right because it is so snug under my arm. I might have to tear out what I have done already on the sleeve and between the sleeve and side of the sweater. I will share more about that process and the outcome soon. I will also be picking up the chevron lace scarf and Christmas stocking again soon, I have put them aside for now while I have been trying to get the socks and sweater completed.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AsKatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! if you would like to follow along with me and keep updated on future posts, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can now add your email on the top right corner to the email list to receive emails when I write a post.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Weekend in Montreal, Dining and Sightseeing

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I just got back last night from a wonderful trip to Montreal with my boyfriend. We spent the weekend eating delicious food, sightseeing, and catching up with an old friend of mine. Visiting Montreal is like going to a second home because I grew up in the west-island in Quebec and my family and I made many trips to Montreal over the years when I was growing up. Whenever we go to Quebec to visit family and friends, we also make a stop in Montreal and get some dinner or look around. It means so much more to me now that I got to spend more time just being a tourist in the city and taking it in, whereas when we usually come to visit, we only spend a couple of hours in Montreal to fit it into our plans as we are only there for a few days on our visits. We stayed at The Sandman in Longueuil because it was close to the metro and it was available at a good price. We really enjoyed our stay, the room was comfortable and clean, and we had a good time there. Being a metro ride from the city also encouraged us to see how the metro was in Montreal which neither one of us had explored.


First day: 
We traveled from Toronto on the VIA Rail train, leaving at 11:30 am and we arrived at around 5 pm. This travel took most of our day, but we made the most of our evening in Montreal once we got there. We got downtown and looked around while on our way to eat dinner.


Old Montreal

Walking to Modavie
Charming building in Chinatown

 We first walked past the Notre-Dame Basilica and the architecture of the church is so beautiful. I read online that Celine Dion got married there. It is beautiful on the inside from photos I looked at online. We did not go in this time, but hopefully I do at some point on another trip there.

Notre-Dame Basilica

At the front steps of the church, and people lining up to get a tour of the inside

We had made a reservation at a wonderful restaurant called Modavie. I had found this restaurant online and it looked like it would be nice to go to. We made a reservation for 8:15 pm and we got seated at our table with excellent service right away. I loved the ambiance and the live jazz music playing in the background was so enjoyable. It was someone's birthday there and the singer sang happy birthday to them and I thought it was so beautiful and that it would be so nice to spend a birthday celebration at a place like that. We ordered a charcuterie plate to start which was a lot of food for the two of us but so delicious. I ordered a seafood linguine dish that was so delicious. My boyfriend ordered the lamb burger with fries and really enjoyed his meal. 


Dinner at Modavie: Seafood linguine and the Modavie Punch 
After dinner, we walked to the harbor and watched a video being projected onto a wall. This resembled projections at night we had seen in Ottawa and Dominican Republic. My favorite has to be in Ottawa when a video about Canada's history was being projected onto the Parliament building.  We took some photos and enjoyed the beautiful weather. There were a lot of people around there and things going on. It was fun to just walk around there and enjoy the evening.


Display left over from Canada's 150th birthday! I was also here that weekend
Second day: 
I was in love with this view in the morning from our hotel window at the Sandman. It is such a perfect view of Montreal.

I loved this view!
We went to Terrasse Place D'armes for lunch. It is a beautiful outdoor restaurant tucked away on a terrace on 8th floor of the hotel. It was a beautiful view, overlooking part of old Montreal and it was a perfect day to be out on the terrace, the sun was shining and it was warm. I ordered the pulled pork poutine and my boyfriend ordered a burger and fries. I loved the poutine there, it was so delicious. 


My view from our table, facing Notre-Dame Basilica






Then we walked around old Montreal, went into some shops, and then got some ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. As we were eating we watched a performer stepping up on a ladder with swords sticking into it. He had the crowd engaged but did not too a lot of acts, more talking we thought than anything. 



Then we went on the Metro to St. Catherine's St.West to shop. We did not to do much shopping while there on the second day more just walking to see what was there and Simon's was closed that day so we went back the next day. After 6 pm, we met up with a childhood friend of mine downtown and went to Cafe Parvis for dinner. It was a lovely place, there were plants up towards the ceiling hanging down and it had a very relaxed atmosphere. I didn't take any photos while there but the pizza I had was so delicious. I ordered the cresson pizza that was topped with tomatoes, avocado, sour cream with green onions, jalapeno vinaigrette, and feta. It was so delicious, I will need to go back there again. It was so nice meeting up with my friend we all had a good time. 

Day Three: 
The third day we went to Dunn's restaurant which is famous for their smoked meat sandwiches. They were so delicious and we ordered a poutine on the side as well. My dad said the cheesecake was so good there too, but  we will have to order it  next time, because we were too full after our big lunch.


 The rest of the time we walked around St. Catherine's street again and I popped into Simons and this is probably one of my new favourite stores now because I loved everything in there and wish I could bring it all home. I can't wait to go back there and shop some more. We picked up our luggage from storage and got onto our train for the 4:40 pm departure and got home to Toronto around 9:50 pm. I did some knitting on the train ride and finished knitting my first sock which I will share with you tomorrow. I really liked the train rides to and from Montreal because it gave me so much time to knit and read.

Working away on the sock


The trip to Montreal was wonderful as always and I can't wait to go back. There are so many more places to explore and if we had more time I might want to go up Mount Royal, I have been up there with my family it is such a beautiful view of Montreal. I think it would be a lovely place to visit in the Autumn when the leaves are changing colors. Have you been to Montreal before? if so what were some of your favorite restaurants or places to visit?

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope this inspires you to check out Montreal some time! If you would like to keep updated on when I post on my blog, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Knitting on the Beach, Camping, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I just got back from a weekend away camping with my family and my boyfriend. I had a wonderful time. We went to Sandbanks Provincial Park and camped in a campground that is in the park. I had such a good time, spending time with family and to be in the outdoors, reading, and knitting. I went to the Sandbanks beach two days in a row and while we were there I got a lot of knitting done.

Joining Along with The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along, with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, and AsKatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesdays.




It felt so good to be camping again, roasting marshmallows, spending time catching up with my family around the campfire chatting and playing games. 


My tent is the closest one, our home for a few days

Tall trees surrounded us at the campsite
We got a lot of sand fly bites while we were there, there were so many more bugs this time camping than when we go to Craigleith in Collingwood, Ontario. I really loved all the tall trees at the campsite. It was also so nice having the beach in walking distance from the campground. We could take walks there during the day to go swimming and relax, then in the evenings we could walk down to watch the sunset. They kept the washrooms clean at the campground, and the camp sites were spread out nicely. We will probably go back there, but next time I would bring more bug spray. 

Spending time reading, while hearing the birds chirping in the background
While I was camping I started reading a book called Love the Wine You're With: A Novel by Kim Gruenenfelder. I really am enjoying it so far and I got it for the camping trip to have a light read while on the trip. So far I have been introduced to the women and their work and we will find out soon how they came to create their wine shop business together. I look forward to reading about their friendship and reading about their girl time. I am continuing to read Into the Water by Paula Hawkins as well. I am really intrigued by the story and I look forward to reading on.

Thank you for visiting my blog today and I hope you come back to visit! if you liked this post and would like to keep updated on when I post new entries, please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a good day!

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