Monthly Archives: September 2011

it’s amazing how many compliments a girl can get while walking around behind a bouquet of kale

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of course, the compliments were all about the greenery.

after gobbling all of my remaining kale chips in an afternoon meeting, there was no way i was missing the farmers market yesterday. no, siree. this stuff that i did get my hands on was gorgeous. and it really was like i was walking around with a bouquet. you can’t imagine the number of people who stopped me – even other vendors! now i’m thrilled to report the store of kale chips replenished and just in time for our road trip tomorrow. 😀

in certain ways, kevin and i are opposites. while i was all giddy about kale, this is what put a smile on his face…

i took a girlfriend from work to the market for her first ever visit. i am willing to call it a success since we’d packed our shopping bags full by about the third stall we visited. the veggies are just soooo appealing. it’s hard to say no to any of them.

i’ve always loved the concept of eating locally. it’s just to appealing to know that your food didn’t need to be preserved, to know the route it traveled to your dinner table and to reasonably be able to go and pick it yourself. how comforting! and that’s not to mention flavour! garden carrot vs. store bought carrot. is there any comparison?

i’ll definitely miss the market once it goes into semi-hibernation after next thursday. yes, river market will be a great space for it and once a month is better than nonce a month. thing is, i’ve had it in my back yard all summer and i don’t have a garden of my own.

this week’s loot. cranberries! hazelnut flour! and check out those green zebra tomatoes…delicious!

did you know that locavore was chosen the 2007 word of the year for the oxford english dictionary?!?

it’s national coffee day!

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i’m sure you heard the news: national coffee day. how did i celebrate? by kicking the stuff.

i have memories of being a kid and asking, no begging, for a cup of coffee. it just seemed so very grown up. i’d do whatever i could to sneak a sip and as i recall my dad’s and his mother’s the be the most tempting (they were the only two who took sugar.)

present day, coffee and i have a very casual relationship and i rely more on being the one who has to buy the toilet paper to make me feel like an adult. i usually pick up a starbucks or two on weekends, though lately i’ve been craving it in the evenings as well. when my naturopath asked me, i told her i average two cups a week. my attachment to coffee is solely flavour based. i’ve never found coffee to serve me as a stimulant. it doesn’t wake me up nor does it keep me so. the only effect that i really notice is dehydration.

*however* on my recent vacation i got into the habit of making myself a cup of coffee shortly after waking. after i started doing it every day, that cup began to turn into two, sometimes three and i began to notice a couple of things. one: if i drank coffee, i was more likely to skip a meal or a few. no good. two: on more than one occasion, it turned me into a basketcase. sure, maybe it was the lack of food, but i found myself hyperemotional and a wee bit irrational. on the healthier living front, neither were good news. when i reported the sensitivity issue, my naturopath suggested the blame falls on the adrenaline that results from the caffeine. sure, my (former) naturopath has been coaxing me to quit it long ago. the only thing she dislikes more than coffee is decaffeinated coffee. my experience coupled with hearing the new girl tell me the same thing gave me pause for thought.

it’s not going to be easy. even today, i contemplated convincing myself that it would be okay to have one last cup just to honour java day, but sided with the no time like the present philosophy. besides, it didn’t really gel with my 21 days to health endeavour.

speaking of…day three’s challenge is to go to bed fifteen minutes early. gotta run! but before i do…here’s a little diy something about coffee i ran across while reading up on its effects throughout the day.

i’ll take my coffee to go…um, where exactly?

that’s definitely a place further down the healthy path than i’ve ventured to date. your thoughts?

how do i look?

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last year, in an effort at career development, i took a course in presenting. as an exercise, the instructor chose a student and proceeded to ask us questions to which she asked we respond based on our perceptions of him. is he married? (yes) does he own a home? (yes) where was he born? (no, not india. he was born in canada.) that kind of thing. the questions kept coming and it was remarkable how easy it was for us to not only have an opinion on whether he plays sports (badminton, so…sort of? :P) but also a consensus. (we said no) the message the instructor was trying to deliver was that no matter how much we want to give lip service to the contrary, a person’s presentation does affect our opinion of them. (the lesson was to always present well in every sense of the word.) i cursed that instructor for not choosing me because, boy, did i wish that i could’ve heard what kind of impression i give off.

though we’ve never met in person, nathan and i have known each other online for long enough that i’d genuinely call him a friend. we converse on various topics (the internet, the philosophy of optimism, site design and, most recently, he’s filled the role of meat coach) via several methods (email, twitter, facebook, pen & paper, words with friends.) we’ve viewed any number of photos of one another, but still it’s not the real deal, as i’m sure anyone who has done any online dating can attest to. interestingly, the other day and through a series of tweets also involving my bestie, nathan laid out his belief that i am short. evidently, somewhere along the way, i gave the impression of being “a little spitfire.” he also ‘fessed to thinking amy the tall one. in reality, i tower five whole inches over her measly 5’6″. i teased that i was offended at being thought so much smaller than i am (well, only slightly. it did rattle me a little and until then i’d never realized how attached to my height i am.)

nathan’s belief was, in essence, an extension of the exercise we’d done in that class.

i’ve often marvel at the mystery of looking at my reflection in the mirror. i am very aware of how i look to me, but i spend a lot of time wondering the ways in which i am perceived differently by others. just as my relationship with another person colours how they look in my eyes, so our visions of ourselves are tinted. in much the same way as people react to hearing their recorded voices, that’s how i look at photos. when i see myself in a still, it enables me to separate from all the attachment i have to how i look and get a glimpse of the person i am to other people. i’m not sure how other people see me and i’m not particularly concerned about it. curious would be a much more apt term to use. i’m just curious.

lightened up protein power goddess bowl
it was certainly divine (heh. goddess. divine. get it?)

i don’t know if it’s obvious, but the kitchen and i have got a love-hate kinda thing goin’ on. i like the end product of having something healthy to eat and taking care of the people i love. i find it pretty fun to try new stuff and feel accomplished when a new recipe turns out well or i hear kevin tell me i’m an amazing cook. yes, i enjoy cooking, but i also kind of hate the time it consumes. that was evidenced by the mini-meltdown i had yesterday midway through creating my tomato soup. i looked at the clock and realized that since i’d been home from work, i’d spent nearly every minute standing there in front of the stove. it was nearly 8pm and all the time that i could’ve spent doing my version of fun stuff had expired. hmph. fortunately, i had kevin around to laugh in the face of my despair. literally.

today’s his gym day so i knew i was on my own for dinner, but my obsessive recipe seeking was not taking a rest. while in the midst of it, i had the most brilliant idea: i would plan (and make!) tomorrow’s meal so that i could not only visit the market again with a co-worker (second week in a row!) but also spend some time actually hanging out at home for once. mission accomplished. i now have zero food related responsibilities before our trip this weekend. (but knowing me, i’ll probably create some.)

just a note: that goddess bowl was phenomenal. i ate way too much of it as a result. lentils, quinoa, spinach and other goodies with a lemony tahini sauce. i’m still full, but even that isn’t stopping me from imagining another bowl!

lemons & tomatoes

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i started my today by reading up on the research i’d neglected last night. luckily, i woke up with 21 days to health on my mind and avoided getting behind. (that afforded me some extra time to avoid something else – getting out of bed.) interested in adopting some new, healthy habits? this is the way to do it! today was my day one so i can’t attest to too much take away just yet, but i have a good feeling about it, based mostly on the fact that i’ve spent a fair amount of time at the creator – meghan telpner’s website and it’s packed with awesome information. i’d recommend you check it out, too.

21 days to health is all about making healthy adjustments in life. each day, you’re charged with doing something new. i’ll confess to peeking ahead and, honestly, none of it is that big a deal! once you complete the day’s task, you tick it off. the next day you add another thing to the list. by the end of the program, you’re making 21 ticks per day. each task is backed with a page or two of reasons/facts related to the why behind it.

today ‘s assignment was simple: a morning refreshment of warm water, lemon and cayenne pepper. i’ve done the morning lemon water thing before, but never with cayenne. it was a pleasant surprise to see how the pepper suspended in water and a relief that i didn’t have to keep stirring it up. tasty, refreshing and cleansing. 🙂

as i sipped my tonic this morning, i contemplated our dinner plans. it can be a challenge for me to cook when kevin is such a devoted meat lover while i steer straight clear of the stuff. sure, he’ll go vegan some of the time, but tonight wasn’t originally planned that way. giving in to a craving i had on sunday, we’d already bought all the ingredients to make tacos. seriously? ugh. sure, it’s easy to create a his and hers meal and, oh, i am a sucker for them, but, come on. it ends up being meat/fake meat and tortillas with salsa. hardly something to brag about, let alone eat! so, i delivered notice that healthy was the theme for dinner, but i still didn’t know what would be headlining. as i sorted through sites belonging to the usual suspects, i was genuinely lost about my menu until suddenly it struck me: soup! it’s fall and the days have been rainy. what better way to relish that while warming up as well! (and you know what they say about great minds…my girl bex had the same autumn inspiration tonight.)

armed with a little more direction, i carried on my search. i finally knew i had a winner the second i laid eyes on creamy roasted tomato, garlic & onion coconut soup that was showcased by oh she glows angela just the other day. wow. this seemed some serious and irresistible business so on the way home, i stocked up on tomatoes.

i knew this was a bit of a risky play on my part. first, in my defense, let me tell you that in conversation just last week, kevin had sung the praises of tomato soup declaring it his favourite. now, i can ‘fess up: three of the ingredients listed for this recipe are on his do not eat list. i knew i was safe with the tomatoes because 1. see statement above and 2. the rule is that they’re okay when they’re cooked. the onions and coconut milk? well, that was a gamble and i knew i should try to keep him as far from the kitchen as possible. both fall into the what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him food group as he himself declared, though, so i wasn’t being nasty about it. (and i’m the one who gets the reputation as a picky eater?!?) he busted me on the onions, spying them in the pot during one of his kitchen visits.

qc: you said you love tomato soup.
k: yeah. campbell’s.
qc: it’s tomato soup!
k: but, i’ve never tried that one.

the look of trepidation on his face as i handed him his first dinner bowl was adorable. (had he not loved it and asked for seconds, it would have been as annoying as all get out, i bet.)

the soup was phenomenal. although it took a lot of time to make (i left my tomatoes to roast for just over 1.5 hours,) the actual effort was minimal. i blended mine to smooth and threw in some croutons i’d made earlier.

voilà. the perfect accompaniment to tonight’s episode of new girl. oh, that jess…<3

options

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sometimes life just takes control and shows you who’s boss.

the second i closed the door behind me this morning, i knew something was wrong. the tiniest bit of care would have ensured i had my keys with me on the other side. i slipped my hand into the pocket of my raincoat and, just as i suspected, those weren’t my house keys in there, but my office keys. (yes, i have enough of each to keep them on different rings, thankyouverymuch.)

when i told kev about it, he asked “how did you feel?” ugh. i told him the truth. “i panicked. then i got over it.”

feelings are much like waves. we can’t stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf. ~ jonatan mårtensson

standing there in the still and quiet early morning hallway, i assessed my options. sure, i could be the victim in this situation. i could curse the return of monday or my early wake up call. i could count all the ways that things don’t go as planned à la just my luck... i could ride the wave of anxiety i’d initially felt and spend my morning frantic over who would be willing to come to my place and bail me out, imagining every possible inconvenient outcome. i could let it ruin my day. or i could just let it go and see how things worked out.

the final option has not, to date, been my style. nope, even though i consider myself an established optimist in most circumstances, i often have a tough time coping with change or unexpected circumstances. i get antsy and uncomfortable and i can’t really think straight.

but here’s the thing: with just a little awareness and effort, that’s happening less and less frequently. nope. this morning, i just shrugged, smiled to myself and off to work i went. progress!

and guess what? everything *did* all work out and even though today was kevin’s gym day, i didn’t need to disturb his plans. coincidentally, my mom and i had some business to do this week (tv buying, yo!) and, as the other key holder, it made convenient sense to have her come into town and take care of that today. yay!

turns out that as good as calm feels, it’s even better when you’ve worked for it.

cute, no?
yeah, i shamelessly stole it from here.

so then the mail started rolling in. two particular blog posts that arrived in my inbox completely brightened my entire day.

how to write 300 000 words in a year by chris guillebeau – sure, i’m pretty consistently in awe of chris and i’d love anything he wrote, but this was somethin’ special. yes, his travel is extraordinary and his ambition is infectious, but this hit home. it was about writing. everyone fancies themselves a writer, no? to a certain sect of the population, it’s the most appealing (and common) dream. i guess it’s the hard work that gets in the way. guilty! as chris encourages the reader: “Make your art your obsession. Fall in love with it. Experience withdrawal symptoms when you don’t give it your attention.” aye, aye, captain. 😉

and

elephant in the room at living in the (k)now – “Everyone, including ALL parts of us, wants to be recognized. That is one of our essential needs in life – the need to be SEEN. Recognition of the soul is vital to our wellbeing. … The minute you say YES to whatever situation you are in, pleasant or unpleasant, you have essentially said to the Universe, “I trust you. Everything will be ok” and then… things do end up ok.” it echoed my experience in the morning and it was kinda cool to feel so connected to sweet thais.

out for a drive

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this is something that kevin and i have started doing more and more often. when we have no place to be and nobody to answer to, we’ll hop in the car and hit the road. with just a vague direction and no specific destination in mind, we wing it through the day and see where the road takes us. this is something my folks used to do. they’d pack us kids into the backseat and take off. we hardly went as far kev and i branch out, but it’s still such a fond memory. it’s like we’re wanderers. or gypsies.

❤ goofing off lakeside ❤

kevin just spent four days in harrison hot springs last week for work. while he came home with a lukewarm opinion of the resort, the town as destination was still his suggestion. excited at the prospect of dipping into the therapeutic hot springs, i agreed and made sure that we both brought swimsuits along. the drive out that way is pretty remarkable, a combination of farmland and riverbed. gorgeous. coffee and conversation made the trip even more enjoyable.

this looked like a good little place to eat our lunch
sasquatch park

after we did a drive by (through) of harrison hot springs’ little town, we charged further on. ahem, who could resist visiting a place called sasquatch?!? especially when it’s a stone’s throw away. turns out, sasquatch is a provincial park.

i’d packed us lunches before we left and we dug into our brown paper bags at a picnic table beside the lake there. it was calm and quiet and beautiful. once we’d finished off our sandwiches and fruit, we strolled around the area for a while. the water was littered with dead salmon (sans eyes – ick!) we weren’t sure what that was about, but i certainly hoped it was just some arc in the circle of life and not a sign of pollution or other disaster.

pretty shoreline flowers

after our short flirtation with nature, we hopped back in the buggy and returned to harrison. upon some investigation, it seemed my healing aspirations were not meant to be. the resort won’t allow access to non-guests, a shame since i’d heard form several people that (for a steep price) they do. the public pool is a tiny one, just like one in any community centre, but at three times the cost. plus(!) a fee for a locker. sigh.

exploring the back yard of the antique shop

a quick stroll through town and we were back on the road. we stumbled across a classic antique shop on our return trip and couldn’t resist stopping. there, amid commode chairs, wood stoves, rusted out golf clubs and the largest selection of salt and pepper shakers i’ve ever seen, i found a couple of owl-y gems to cart home. one lacquered art piece and a ceramic container richer, our next stop was at one of many farms along the way for the area’s specialty: fresh corn!

an excellent souvenir to bring home

i love a day like this, spent exploring, experiencing new things and enjoying each other. the freedom and the easy-going vibe slow me down and remind me of all the things i have to be thankful for and how happy i am in my life. ❤

these are a few random photos from our adventure. i’ve posted more on my facebook page. we’re not friends on facebook? why the heck not??

in my ‘hood

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this is when it always seems to happen. just as the weather turns the slightest bit cooler and darkness begins to fall earlier in the evening, they descend. it’s almost without notice they arrive, bringing with them their bright lights and their glowing decorations.

around these parts, movie cameras and trailers are a common sight. it happens all the time. i mean all the time. almost constantly, there is some crew set up around the neighbourhood.

here’s the drill: if it’s within a certain distance, as residents, we’ll be given notice. sometimes it’s a letter delivered and posted to the front of the building, but if it’s close enough, the news will be delivered door to door. they outline how the folks invading the area will inconvenience residents with their needs, but the reality is, there are perks in it for everyone.

you see, once filming has begun, there is bound to be a catering truck in the vicinity. if i’ve learned one thing, it’s that the folks working the counter of said catering truck would be thrilled to include you as their customer. the times when my actual building has been used, catering is all access for those of us living here, but i once made friends with a very talented soy latte maker i passed on my way to work each morning and he became very reliable in having one ready and waiting for me when passed by every day. let me tell ya, i was pretty sad to see that production wrap.

i dig the whole film-making process. i find it really exciting to watch and i love to see all of the effort and hard word that goes into a project. i’ll often try to follow up and check out the final product later on. i’ve seen a lot of shows from my apartment window and even more while out walking the surrounding streets.

trivia!!
q: my suite was short-listed to be used in the pilot episode for which popular tv series?
a: criminal minds (back then, it was called quantico)

it’s amazing how much trouble can go into recreating an everyday scene. a lot of what i see is an elaborate production designed to look routine, but nights like these are special. these are the nights when they line up the pumpkins and web the walkways, it’s lights! cameras! hallowe’en!

approaching the set just after midnight

we kind of missed all the action, but there are a bunch of kids in costumes just past the big light and the white truck in the photo
the scene was them walking down the street and catching a fright

years ago, at almost exactly the same time in september, i was rolling in laaate from a wedding. the cab pulled up on the street about a block away. they were in the business of making diary of a wimpy kid. i’ve never seen that reflection of my neighbourhood, but there must have been a significant hallowe’en scene because lining the street where i got out of my chariot and around the corner from the actual filming, there were carved pumpkins lining the sidewalks. it looked way better than it does any other time of year – even on real hallowe’en!

the current project: the secret circle, a television series.

The “Secret Circle” series follows 16-year-old Cassie, who moves from California to live with her grandmother in New Salem and falls in love with a mysterious boy named Adam. But, when she enrolls in high school there, she realizes that he, she and all the other elite students at the school are witches! She befriends their leader, Diana, but soon discovers that Adam and Diana are dating, which leads to a whole bunch of complicated drama.

sound familiar? ugh.

they say that one of the reasons vancouver’s so appealing for film production is because it can be dressed up to look like any other city. sometimes it’s the little details that make that most believable.

i know. leave it to me to focus on the mailboxes.