Friday, December 30, 2011

life is all about the little things...

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!

2012 is almost here. Start thinking about those resolutions. It's important to set goals and be able to stick thru it for the entire year. Last year, my new years resolution was to become a vegetarian and give up meat (forever). Such a simple goal has change my life in so many positive ways. It has never felt so good to be full on veggies!! if I had to describe that feeling in one word, it would be "refreshing". I would love to hear your new years resolution for 2012.

It was so nice to see my family during Christmas, that now I can't believe it is all over already. My mom gave me this snowflake charm for Christmas (amongst the many other gifts my parents spoiled me with) and I have been wearing it since.

It reminds me if my parents everyday, even tho I am 9 hours away. It's funny how the little things in life matter the most, and can make the biggest impact.

In the words of one fabulous power yoga teacher in Ottawa that I tried out for the first time yesterday: "less is more"

So simple, yet so true!

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

dine, relax and don't stress

It's Christmas eve eve today! All I have been thinking about this past month is Christmas, from gifts to food to what am I going to wear. I was so happy, prepared and excited to drive 8 hours tomorrow to my hometown to see the family. All that excitement and readiness fell down the tube earlier this week when I seriously walked into a pole on the way home from a hot yoga class. Yes...walked into a pole! Now, how does that happen, you ask? Well, it's called a serious case of ADD (getting distracted and not watching where your going). My forehead exploded into a tennis ball (which now has gone down) but I have a serious black eye (actually it's deep purple, blue, green, and yellow now). So... that got me thinking. All of this time I spent preparing for the holidays, and now, black eye has overpowered me.

So I decided to look on the bright side, and maybe I should take this time to chillax, instead of stress and overdo it. Enjoy this week before I go face my family and tell them, yes...I walked into a pole and that is why I have a black eye. (or should I be bad ass, and tell them I fought off a bad guy and won?? I'm still deciding...)

I wanted to share how I spent my fabulous week before Christmas for me, myself and I. Remember, do not forget about yourself this time of year, and just enjoy life!

It all started off with fabulous food of course. My two favourites, sushi and pizza!

Followed by a night of my favourite white wine (chilled of course, and white so your teeth don't stain) and a Woody Allen movie Midnight in Paris

Check out the trailer, Woody Allen never disappoints :)

I also decided to indulge and spend some money on myself this week. And what better way to spend money than on things that make us pretty. Plus, this will spice me up during the holidays and take the eye off my black eye!! Hopefully :)

NEW COLOUR by OPI called Pink Friday
(ps. I will post a pic when I try it out so you can see the true colour on my nails)

Holiday socks from the Gap, aren't they so cute!? And by the way, if you live in a cold winter wonderland (like I do!) they are so cozy and warm. Like a fireplace on your feet, seriously. Plus, I went on a 40% off day!

Finally, on my shopping spree for myself, I splurged on Clinique's Butter Shine Lipstick. My fav colour is called Pink-a-boo, a sheer golden pink. So pretty and let me tell you, my lips are so moist and shiny. Such a healthy looking lipstick, but not overpowering. 

And what better way to end my shopping spree day, than with reruns of Sex and the City and Camomile tea.

Oh, and can't forget a little treat for Roxy!

Now my last week before Christmas is ending, and the other day I stayed in and did some last minute shopping on Etsy for my friday who just had a baby in September. It arrived yesterday, check these out!! Leg Warmers for babies up to 12 months.

Make sure to take time to enjoy the sunset!

Hope you all enjoyed this week as much as I did and turned a problem (in my case, a black eye accident) into a positive thing and enjoy life that much more.

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 5, 2011

red wine broccolini risotto

Over the weekend, I was craving a good veggie risotto dish, but not the usual creamy, cheesy, mushroom-white-wine risotto that is popular on the menus these days. No, this one has such a kick, a juicy sensational twist. The key ingredient is Red Wine! So good!! I didn't realise how popular in demand my dish was until this morning, when the twitter-verse drooled over it. So... here it is! Please let me know how it turns out.

And an added bonus, this is a no-fuss risotto. Since it is partially baked in the over, there is no need to constantly stir it!

Red Wine Mozza Broccolini Risotto:

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (note: I used Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread)
  • 2 large heads of broccoli, chopped (about 2 cups - I love a lot of broccoli)
  • 1/2 chopped medium onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup (or a little more) Red Wine
  • 2 cups or low sodium organic vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a dutch oven or ovenproof pot over high heat. (Or if your like me and don't have anything that can go on both the stove and in the oven, I used a large pot, then transferred everything into a glass oven dish then again back into the pot after it was done baking in the over. Quite a hassle, but does the trick!) Add the chopped broccoli and fry until just tender (about 4 minutes, you don't want it too cooked).
  2. Transfer broccoli to a plate, and add the onion and carrot to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes). Add the rice and garlic and cook for about another minute.
  3. Add the wine to the pot and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the veggie broth, tomatoes, and 1 cup of water, then cover and bring it all to a boil. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove pot from oven (if the risotto is a a little wet, don' t worry as it thickens when you add the shredded cheese or just let it all sit on the stove for a bit longer, trust me, it thickens!) Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cheese until creamy (about 2 minutes). Lastly, stir in the broccoli and bon a petit!

*If you are a meat eater (like my hubby), you might want to grill up some chopped Italian sausage

Sunday, December 4, 2011

oh the smell of christmas trees

There is nothing better than the moment December 1st rolls around and it's officially time to buy a Christmas tree. The smell of fresh pine in the cold winter air is so refreshing (there really is nothing better!) The needles are so soft and hang my most delicate and memorable ornaments, and the healthy dark geen branches always seem to give life to my home in the dead of winter. I just love the moment when I can buy a tree and bring it home to decorate (while I sing and dance to xmas tunes). Ya, just accept it, we all do it!

But this year, it's all just a tease as I walk by my local Christmas tree vendor watching all the happy families pick out their favourite tree. This year is all about driving the 9 longest hours of my life down the 401 to see the family, as I left my small town city just over 5 years ago. That is what happens when you are the one to leave the nest, you must sacrifice holidays and vacation to go back to the hometown, since really, it will always be home. So enjoy putting up your tree this year and sing an extra song for me! By the way, what is topping my Christmas charts this year is Zooey Deschanel and her new album A Very She & Him Christmas. Check it out, you will love it, I promise!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

my trip to the farmer's market last weekend

I am new to this english environment again. After living in Montreal for the past 5 years, not knowing too much french has made me forget what it is like to live in a community you understand and feeling a part of something is the most amazing feeling in the world when you have been isolated for the past 5 years.

So, to my surprise, the Christmas Farmers Market indoor party was just awesome. To see and meet so many nice people selling their local produce, xmas crafts and goodies just made my weekend. And it also made me miss my family - a 9 hour drive down the long 401 :*(

I just wanted to share some pics of the sense of community this lovely city offers. BTW, I have been so giddy and happy to be back in my English hood again, in Ontario!

The raspberry scones are the best scones I ever had! From Art is In Bakery

this year's stash of christmas cards

I believe I have the cutest Christmas cards ever! I am one of those pug lovers who would buy everything pug related if my hubby let me, but when he brought home these pug cards, my heart just melted.

Since we just moved to Ottawa last month and right down our street is this gigantic canal that we will be able to skate on this winter, I just had to laugh thinking of my little pug trying to slide on the ice.

i want to be in this video!

Just hilarious... I can't stop humming Yoga Girl in my head!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

latest edition to the happiness project is revealed!

I was so excited yesterday to learn that one of my favourite author's, Gretchen Rubin has wrote a new book about Happiness!! It is called Happier at Home and I think one of the most powerful influences of happiness is if you have a happy home life. To me, my home is my safety nest. A lot of times, when I have a bad day or I am just exhausted from my busy life, I just can't wait to get home. I love my home, my hubby and my lil pug, who are always there to make me feel better. It's my "ah ha" moment in the day, and I truly believe that in order to be happy, one must be happy at home!

Gretchen's new book doesn't come out on shelves until next August 2012, but it's great news and I am looking forward to reading another one of her well put novels. What a fabulous, powerful, and realistic woman, and I love reading her daily blogs. Sign will love it!

Gretchen's Third Splendid Truth: "The days are long, but the years are short."

could you live like this?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

in and around the plateau

I have to admit, my neighbourhood is pretty funky. Every time I take Roxy for a walk, I see something new, or something crazy. It never seems to disappoint me! Too bad the people here are not the friendliest people on earth, but we get by.

The summer months are the best months in the plateau. There is so much green, zen, bubbly flowers spilling out over window boxes, and all around the neighbourhood. Roxy just loves her walks, and always stops to sniff the flowers. Ah, the little things in life!

Montreal is filled with graffiti, everywhere! I am not joking! EVERYWHERE! The city looses its charm after awhile because they don't keep it up. It's dirty, and there is garbage everywhere. But the worst part is the amount graffiti in this city, it's just unbelievable. Most of it I can't understand, just a bunch of gibberish on the sides and doors of every building. But... I like to make the best out of things, so I took some pics of what I think is some pretty funky art:

Finally, along our Saturday morning walk, we ran into this little kitty. So different and what a cutie, I just had to post her. She is a newbie to the world and still doesn't have a name yet. (which I think should be Tiger!)

Oh, and yesterday afternoon was full of sunshine and sangrias (rose style!) Gotta love the weekends!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

broke the veggie news to my doc this am

So it has been 6 months that I haven't ate meat and have seriously cut back in the dairy department. I feel great! I went for my yearly check-up this morning couldn't wait to tell my doctor my exciting news - "I stopped eating meat!"

I thought he was going to judge me with the look, you know the look you get from meat eaters when you tell them that you only eat veggies, grains, and beans. That "are you serious" look with a raise of an eyebrow and a squint of an eye. But he didn't! He just asked me why and suggested that I go to the library this week and find a 1985 vegitarian book called: Diet for a Small Planet

I will let you know how that turns out. But I am also curious as being new at this vegitarian way of living, how will my results from my blood test differ from last year. All I know is that I ate a whole lot more and feel great. I will keep you posted...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

a weekend of U2 in Montreal

Last weekend was so quiet and peaceful. The streets were mellow and empty. Weird, I thought, for a beautiful warm weekend in the Plateau of Montreal. Then I read the headlines - U2 played TWO sold out shows with 80,000 people at each show last Friday and Saturday. Wow, that is A LOT of people! So I chillaxed on my balcony enjoying a Mojito (thatmy hubby made me from scratch) and we listened to the bird's chirp and the sound of.... nothing. It's funny how the little things in life are what matter most.

By the way, if you live on a busy road, you NEVER get peace and quiet!

Check out U2 360 Montreal in a 3 minute wrap up - Awesome!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

one fantabulous black keys concert!

Last night, my hubby and I headed over to the Bell Center to see The Black Keys perform. My hubby turned 29 back in February and he finally got his bday present last night! BOTH our ears are still ringing!!

Of course, I had to get us floor seats (the closer the better is my motto!) and we crawled our way to the front of the stage. (**Tip: wear ear plugs if you get this close! I am scared the ringing won't stop!!). The crowd was a mix of tweenie bops, hippies, and european fabios...a bit odd since we are use to going to concerts in Detroit (way back in the day! And much better by the way). But with just two dudes on stage, one on the drums banging his heart out and the other singing while jammin on his electric guitar lit up a crowd of 8,300 people last night. They were real, soulful, and played their hearts out, and that is all the mattered last night. Though a bit short, and we had to wait (which seem like forever) after the opening band for The Black Keys to come on stage, it was worth it! And by the way, I got a 'best birthday present ever kiss' after the concert!

Check out some videos of the concert last night:

By the way, one of the highlights of the show was when they came back out for the encore in HABS (yes HABS!!!) jerseys! Not only was it disgustingly hot, but it must have been so hard to rock out at the end of the show in jerseys. I thought that was so respectful, not only to the team, but to Montreal. BUT... of course (in some french guy's opinion) they were quote, from

"What band still puts on a sweater of the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre to ignite the crowd during the recall? The Black Keys did last night in front of almost 8,300 fans, and this lack of taste came close to spoiling the cool factor of the show. Moreover, since a couple of his songs was used for a beer ad, it was found that the jocks have taken the duo of Akron in Ohio, which does nothing to enhance the reputation of the group. Anyway, enough of snobbery, the Keys gave a great concertlast night, though short (only 75 minutes, recall included)."

I just can't believe it! How wrong and selfish can one be!?? 

The Black Keys rocked my night!! 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

market street san francisco 1906 - amazing!

This is real footage of Market Street in San Francisco just days before the quake. Notice that every man, woman, and child is wearing a hat. Feels like I'm watching a movie!

Talk about the Google Street Car of the 19th Century.

Friday, July 8, 2011

the merger of science and self-help

Self-help books are filling the shelfs of bookstores and can be found all over the media these days. I remember when I was younger, I never really understood self-help books and grew up thinking it was a sign of weakness. Man, was I wrong!

"Books need to explain the connection between quickly evolving research and the effect on everyday lives"

These days, self-help books are becoming the new ‘Facebook’ of science. It is so interesting to read about personality traits, or why some people are leaders and some are followers, and even the power of ‘The Secret’ and how thinking positively can lead you down the yellow brick road in life. I can’t seem to put these books down, they are so interesting and have been answering so many questions I have been having for years. But, you must have an open mind!

Are self-help books the new science for the social media era that has to go deeper to know why social awkwardness now exists? Hmmm.

The current book on my nightstand is called The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I find her so fasicnation because she is real and I can relate to her. Even though I haven’t began my own ‘happiness project’, reading about Gretchen's findings and studies has helped me get through many situations of my own recently and know that it is okay to just ‘Be Sara’. I love it! Just be yourself, so simple! I love her 12 personal commandments in life and my favourite, “Do it Now.” Why wait?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

meet charlie - the coolest dog ever!

the Chelsea Market is a MUST see in NYC

The Chelsea Market was a first for me when I went to NYC last weekend. I can't believe I waited this long to visit the market. IT IS AWESOME! There was so much fresh gormet food, and of course, one of my fav hotspots, Anthropologie! I always have to get something cute for my loft when I find one of these stores in my travels since we don't have it yet in Canada (hint hint).

The building has so much history and when you get to the middle of the market, stop and relax with a coffee from their gormet coffee kiask. They have excellent sushi, roasted brussel sprouts, and lots of fresh soup and sandwiches.

Almost bought this at Anthropoligie but couldn't think of where to put it :)

I am a big fan of Giada and Bobby! I also love them on the NFS - this show is addicting!!

The best part (for me!) was the fresh homemade bread and cupcakes. If you stop by, you MUST try a brownie or a lemon square (or two!) at Fat Witch

I love you New York!