Tuesday, July 31, 2012

new blog!

Had a change of heart

Please visit my new blog at http://sarathymes.blogspot.ca/

All is welcome, please stop by and say Hi!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

watch out! these little fire engines will attack

This is funny and so true. Whenever I walk my pug along the canal, I seem to dodge these little guys. They're kinda bitchy :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

self-knowledge is key!

Know yourself better a little be more each day. Try to be real, honest, and know exactly what you want out of life. Then... go get it!

A good timbit from Gretchen's - The Happiness Project blog: want to know yourself better? Ask yourself these questions.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

second avenue sweets

Oh my! I have finally found what I was looking for in Ottawa! A good, no - not just good, an AMAZING local bakery!!

The little gem is tucked away from Bank street on Second Avenue (hence, the name!) and is always fresh, and loaded with goodies every time I stop by. Coming from Montreal, I had the hardest time finding a bakery that lived up to my standards, because we all know Montreal is filled with the best of the best in the bakery world. And Second Avenue Sweets was recommend to me by a local peep when I was in a mad search for a lemon tart.

For my 1 year wedding anniversary, I surprised my hubby with this gynormous tart. He absolutely loved it! Every bite was so lemony. It's amazing how something so simple was so delicious and fresh. It wasn't overly sweet and filled with that fake lemon power we all buy at the grocery stores to make the easy lemon meringue pie.

They also have lemon cakes and cupcakes that I can't wait to taste. But, one thing at a time! If I took anything away from my experience in Montreal, it was portion control! Your food tastes much better when you limit yourself and don't get greedy.

By the way, if you want something specially made, make sure to call and order it a day ahead of time. You won't regret it, I promise!
#Ottawa #bakery

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

nothing beats the morning summer air

Every morning I try to begin my day with the fresh early morning air. I take my little pug all over our hood to get her little legs moving and clear my head for a new day. It's funny when you wake in the morning and it's like a fresh new beginning. Your worries from the day before don't seem to matter as much.

I have been taking Roxy for early morning walks ever since she was a pup in the Montreal Plateau. But in Montreal, I would always come home with a fresh baguette and some sort of chocolate croissant. Now, we are much healthier!

The simple things in life are what makes us who we are and gets us through each day!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

tulips and ottawa

This past weekend was just gorgeous! The weather was perfect and the tulips around the city were in full bloom. If your thinking of coming to Ottawa, now is the time get over here! The markets are open, the tulips are here, and Van Gogh is back! Starting May 25h, you can visit the Van Gogh exhibit here. I can't wait!!

Here's a tease of just how beautiful this Capital city is in May!

#ottawa #tulips

Thursday, May 3, 2012

we finally did it! kanata here we come!

I am soooo excited! After many many months (well, only 6 months) of house searching, touring opens houses, and checking out the various areas of Ottawa, my hubby and I decide to plop our nest down in Kanata. Yes, I know, we are leaving the Glebe for Kanata, but I am so happy. Kanata is filled with beautiful new homes, young and old families and just wonderful, friendly people. It's about a 10-15 minute drive to the DT core of Ottawa (not too shabby) and you get the best of both worlds out there.

We bought a brand new home in Kanata Lakes this past weekend, and it will be up and ready this November. What!!! I have to wait!? This is going to be the hardest part!

After living in the Glebe for a long long winter, I realized I don't need to be living in the heart of the action. The homes here are so old. And I mean OLD, over 100 years old! Plus, driveways are hard to come by when you live so close to DT. (Yes, I will have a driveway and a garage for the winter!!) Plus, I find the Glebe is filled with old money. Older retired couples who have been in these houses all their lives, not willing to leave. I feel like I am 2 generations behind sometimes living in this area. On the plus side, the Glebe is close to the Canal and some really good food. Check out my Ottawa Restos page for some helpful reviews.

Now the fun part begins! We have multiple appointments this summer from pluming, to the wiring, electrical, and even the designing the placement of our cabinets and colours. This is going to be so much fun! Time to get the ideas piling in...I need magazines, and lots of them!

This is how I would like my kitchen to look like. I just LOVE white kitchens! So simple and clean!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

the scone witch

This little hidden gem just outside the main core of DT Ottawa is such a fabulous place to chillax with family and friends over coffee and a fresh warm scones. It's away from all the noise, but close enough to gather all your peeps for a quick lunch or a weekend afternoon snack.

It's small and cozy, which is why I love to come here on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy some fresh local food. It's always consistent and they even serve breakfast (best meal of the day!)

The Scone Witch offers a wide variety of scones and homemade jam to snack on, scone 'sandwiches' sided with a salad for lunch, and scone 'sandwiches' filled with breakfast goodness such as cheese and eggs as well as fresh ham for those meat lovers (note: they do NOT serve lunch meat!!)

I love when I come across new local cafes with fresh ingredients and not full of tourists. If you haven't tried The Scone Witch, I suggest you grab a friend this weekend (or a good book) and head over there for a delicious ginger scone! Just to note, it's hard to only eat one of these. I usual grab some to go and snack on my way home.

Monday, April 23, 2012

snow in april, what!?

I woke up this morning to this blinding white light outside my window. Thought I slept thru summer and now it's suddenly winter again. It's almost May and it's snowing! Talk about crazy weather. It's just wet, sloppy and plain cruel!

Plus I already packed away the winter boots, scarves, mitts, and jackets with a high hopes, a smile, and a margarita in one hand as it was 75 degrees and sunny two weeks ago.

Check out my walk with Roxy this AM. She wasn't too impressed!

And just last week, I was at happy hour sun tanning with all the patio peeps!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

1,000 awesome things

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time on Neil Pasricha's blog 1,000 Awesome Things because I am such a true believer that life is all about the little things. Sometimes either the smallest thing can get me very upset, or could make me so very happy. It's amazing how life works, and we are so caught up in this busy lifestyle that we never just slow down and take a breath of simplicity.

One of the simple gestures I find fascinating in life is a simple smile. When I was living in Montreal, I remember walking down the street one day in the city (which everyone walks in that city) and realizing how lonely I felt. I was surrounded by so many people, but they were all strangers just passing by. Everyone was either on their iPhone or staring at the ground as they walked by me. Now after moving to Ottawa, almost every time I walk down the street surrounded by people, someone always passes by and says "hi", or simply looks me in the eyes and smiles. You wouldn't believe how much better I feel just by receiving a simple smile. I'm not going to lie, at first, it was so weird to me. I thought, 'do I know you?' Now, I make sure to always smile at people or even say "hi" and a quick "how's it going". Trust me, that goes a LONG WAY in life!

Check out Neil Pasricha's Ted Talk: The 3 A's of awesome

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

update: trimmed my own bangs today

I just wanted to give an update to yesterday's post because I watched this video (many times!), made sure I had all my clips, fine-toothed comb, and scissors (for cutting hair) and now have some results to share.

I tried trimming my bangs today for the first time, and it was a success! I am so happy, because it is a little scary when you're used to going to the salon every month and they do it in less then a minute. At home, it was a completely different experience. First off, that girl cut her own bangs in 2 minutes. Ya, right!? I have the same hair type as the woman in that video, and It took me about 20 minutes (before clean up) to make sure it was done perfectly. You DO NOT want to rush.

I had just washed and blow dried my hair before trimming, and I would recommend this to anyone trying this at home.  Make sure you use salon scissors for an edgy look. One point to take note from the video: make sure you snip in different directions. I snipped very little at a time, and repeated the video's technique at least 5 times. This meant starting in the middle, snipping, the grabbing each side, pulling it all together and snipping again. It's better to snip little by little and repeat the technique several times, instead of snipping a big chunk at once. You couldn't see my mistakes that way because it all blended in and gave my fringe a nice choppy look.

Also, I like my edges (sides of my fringe) a bit longer than the middle, so I snipped them separately to keep the length.

Feel free to email me or post a comment if you have any questions, or you tried this DIY bang trimming for the first time at home too.

It was scary at first, but now I will be doing this at least once a week to keep my fringe looking fresh.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

how to keep those bangs trimmed and clean

This short clip is all you need to Do It Yourself and keep those bangs out of your eyes.

I trim them every two weeks. If you keep that short schedule, you don't have to cut so much off each time and it's less risk you will make a mistake.

Check it out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

blueberry buttermilk muffins & my new muffin top pan

I was so excited to try out my new muffin top pan my mom brought up to Ottawa last weekend. It's almost the size of small pies, but it magically makes muffins! I love blueberry muffins and wanted to try adding buttermilk and oil to the recipe (instead of butter and yogurt).

The result was perfect! Large, golden brown, scrumptious muffins that pop berry in your mouth in every bite.

What you will need to prepare:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar (optional)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon salt

Zest of one orange

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup safflower or canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (plus more) of fresh blueberries 

What you will need to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven (or top for non-convectional ovens). Spray the muffin top pan, lightly.

In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract.

In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and zest. Add the blueberries. With a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix the batter.

Fill each muffin top cup, fill it to the top with batter. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 - 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 - 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Makes 9 large muffin top  muffins.

eh viola!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

the manx

There are 2 resto/pubs I hit up once a week because they have by far, BY FAR... the best food and drinks in the city (in my opinion!).

I will post the other pub soon...

But first, The Manx. Yummm, this place is just awesome. It's a small little hole in the wall basement under an aparatment on Elgin Street, and I seriously missed this place driving by the first time I ate here. It doesn't even have a website (but I found a menu here). Yes, it's that good. It doesn't need a website, because it's full of locals (of all ages) and the atmosphere is so fun and relaxed.

It's small, so there is always a wait. On a busy night, you usually have to wait 45 minutes for a table. But don't fear because they feed you beer while you're waiting in the small doorway, chatting it up with other locals. I have had some pretty interesting conversations with complete strangers during my wait to eat at the Manx.

I am not a writer, so the best way I now how to describe just how delish the resto is, IS...by posting pics. Please drool over these...

BTW - the menu is small (which isn't a bad thing) but they have a chalk board full of daily specials when you walk in the place. I recommend the specials. You will go home happy, full of good beer and good food. And... maybe a new friend :)

Curried Sweet Potatoe, Tofu, and Veggies over Noodles - Sepcial of the Day

Grilled Chicken Wrap with half Potatoe Wedges and Salad (dress is a good vinigarette) - On Menu

Codd Burger - On menu

Grilled Chickpea Wrap - On Menu as Chickpea Burger

Salt & Pepper Tofu Chickpea Wrap grilled with Tomato Asiago Soup du jour - Sepcial of the Day

Can`t forget the Mill Street local beer - Cheers!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

my first trip to gatineau

This past weekend, my hubby and I were on a search for Gouda! My family is coming up to Ottawa this weekend for Easter and instead of the typical Easter chocolate eggs, I thought it would be fun to shower them with cheese (and some good old fashion maple syrup I found at Farm Boy!). So what better place to go for cheese then across the border to Quebec! Really...there isn't a border, just beautiful tiny bridges all over Ottawa connect the two cities.

We didn't find any Gouda but we did look around and I must say, Gatineau is just wonderful! So much nature, and fresh air, I felt so alive! We stopped by the Marina in Aylmer to chillax with a fresh baguette and a coffee we got at the little tiny cafe and just had an AH HA moment. I can't wait until the summer to check out Gatineau Park! Now...if only I had a cottage!

Pics taken at the Marina

How cute is this Timmy's? So cozy!