Thursday, 21 August 2014

Weekend in Toronto with Kaylee

Hello friends, it's been years. 

I have not died, fallen off a mountain, or run away. There's been no running happening on this front, or healthy eating, and work has taken over my life - hence the absence. But hey, that's part of life! Thank you for sticking around, if you have ;) 

I had two days off this past weekend, and Kaylee decided to fly up for the weekend. She brought vegan sticky buns and vegan cookies, so clearly I was more excited about the food. 

 She flew up on Saturday, and that night we went to see the other show at the festival where I'm working. First stop was at the local pub for a quick bite. 
Over dinner we talked about how WEIRD it was to get back to feeling like "us." We hadn't seen each other in two and a half months, and our first kiss felt like we were strangers. The first few hours of us seeing each other again was like meeting for the first time, full of nerves and awkward movements. 

But after a great date, and waking up in each others arms, everything clicked again and went back to normal. Sunday morning we hit the road! I booked an apartment in Toronto for the weekend, so we could have a mini vacation together. 

Coming Spring 2015, Kaylee in the city. 

 First stop once we rolled in to the city was food, and Fresh was calling our bellies. 

I'm a great date. Real classy. 

After we ate, we checked in to our Airbnb flat, which was in the heart of the city. I can't recommend Airbnb enough, we've used it twice and had incredible experiences. You get to stay in a cute apartment, typically it's extremely affordable, and you tend to stay with a local which means they have the best advice on nightlife, restaurants and things to do. 

Then it was time for more food! We met up with our bestie Adele, and headed to Hogtown Vegan to meet up with more friends and VEGAN PUB FOOD. 

The night started with a Dark and Stormy drink. It had ginger beer (non-alcoholic), whiskey (very alcoholic) and lime. It was SO GOOD - I may have had more than one, and I will absolutely be recreating this at home.

For supper I had the Phish and chips minus the chips, plus a side of caesar salad. The "fish" is so damn good and so realistic, it's incredible. I ordered it the last time I went to Hogtown Vegan, and I don't think I'll ever order anything else. It's a show stopper. 

Kaylee had the pulled pork and died a little. This girl hasn't had pulled pork since becoming a vegetarian, and it used to be her favourite meal. I think she was satisfied with their version...

After food we headed to Queen West and had a few drinks at a bar, and laughed ourselves silly. It was such a great night with amazing friends, great food, and nothing but laughter. 

We had so much fun in the city, I can't post about all of it in one blog post, so I'll be back with what we did Monday and Tuesday! 

Hope you're all having a fabulous summer. 

Have you done long distance? Was it weird seeing each other for the first time in months? 
Have you ever been to a vegan restaurant and had one of your favourite meaty meals? 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Currently - July 2014

It's almost the end of July but I thought I'd do a "Currently..." post so I can look back on what I was doing this summer. Some positives, some negatives, but that's the roller coaster of life!

Current books: 
I don't have a lot of time to read, but when I do I switch between Alice Munroe's "My Best Stories" and "The Rosie Project" by Don Tillman.

Current music: 
I have been obsessed with itunes lately and buying as much music as I can possible afford (or think I can by putting it on my credit card). My latest purchases are:
Somebody loves you - Betty Who
Feather, Fur & Fin - Danny Michel
Lights Out - Ingrid Michaelson
Sheezus - Lily Allen
Pure Heroine - Lorde
All About That Bass - Meghan Trainor
St. Vincent

Can you tell I love pop music?

Current guilty pleasure:

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But I do love my pop music... 

Current nail colour: 

For the first time in a long time, I'm going au naturel. Which is driving me nuts - I am way too femme to have bare nails.

Current drink: 

COFFEECOFFEECOFFEE. I am running on zero sleep, so coffee is a must. Also, big smoothies with lots of matcha green tea, more caffeine the better!

Current food:

Lovin' smoothies and salads. It's summer time!

Current favourite show: 
Community, Orange Is The New Black, Broad City

Current wish list: 

I'm on another Buffy kick, and some of my friends here are obsessed as well, so I've been browsing Etsy for some subtle but awesome Buffy jewellery. Now I desperately want  this necklace.

Current needs: 
A deep tissue massage! Work has been stressful and I haven't had any time to work out my muscles with yoga, so my shoulders and neck are feeling the pain. Anyone want to come over and rub me down? Pretty please?

Current triumphs:

I am a stress eater, and when sh*t hits the fan I turn to food for comfort. Well, sh*t has been hitting the fan on a consistent basis, but I have been choosing healthy foods over junky ones. I occasionally indulge in some french fries, but otherwise I've been choosing smoothies and oatmeal when I absolutely need to shove food in my face.

Current bane of my existence: 

Different work schedules than Kaylee. We rarely get to Skype, and it's been really bothering me lately. I knew that long distance would be hard, but not being able to see her face every day is driving me a little bonkers. Also, I've been a little down because a friend of ours from Germany is staying with her for the week, and I'm not there to partake in the fun. It's hard when I'm stressed at work to remain positive about the distance, especially when she's having such a good time with people I miss.

Current celebrity crush:
I've been watching Community, and am slightly obsessed with Donald Glover. He's hilarious, charming, adorable, has great comedic timing and is an incredible rapper. Love. Him. 

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Current indulgences:

A few people at work have birthdays, so this weekend I am going to bake my butt off, then eat all the vegan cupcakes I can! 

Current blessings:

My friends. It's easy to forget how incredible your friends are when you're hanging out with them, but when you're separated and they still Skype you and send you mail, you realize how important they are in your life. I will never take them for granted. 

Current outfit:

Lululemon tank top, black yoga sweater, jeans, and converse sneakers. With pearl earrings. Always a class act. 

Current mood:

Exhausted and a little home sick, but trying to remain positive. 

Current link: 

Amy Poehler is a goddess, and here's why she should also be my life coach. 

What's your life like, currently? 
Have you ever dealt with being home sick? How did you remain positive?

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Love Your Self(ie)

I don't always love the way I look.

It's part of human nature, especially for women, to sometimes feel amazing, and other days to really dislike the image reflected in the mirror.

I try as hard as I can to love every version of myself, from the made up glamazon going out on the town, to the girl who wakes up with dirty hair and racoon eyes. Some days are easier than others, especially when the hair gods decide to bless me with the perfect curl. 

Other days, self love is a struggle. It's not easy being a confident woman, especially with the bombardment of media that perpetuates an ideal of beauty that most women can't achieve. It's disheartening falling in love with a dress or a style of makeup, only to find out it only looks good on a certain type of woman - a type that you most definitely are not. 

Enter the selfie. A lot of people find them narcissistic and vain, and while I admit there is an aspect of vanity whenever I post one, there's more to the simple snap of the picture. Because we are constantly being shown pictures of women photoshopped and altered, a selfie (even when put through a filter) can help elevate our confidence. It's a way of saying to the world: "HEY! I feel great today! Look at me, a normal woman with no extra help from a trainer, or stylist, or makeup artist, and I still feel sexy!"

If taking a selfie helps me love my face and body a little bit more, then where's the harm? 

I also love seeing other people's selfies. I love seeing a wide variety of bodies and faces, especially when the picture was taken by the person in the picture. It represents a moment where they feel their best, which is incredibly attractive. Self love is sexy, people.

So go ahead, snap as many selfies as you want. You look damn good, and everyone should know it. 

Do you love or hate selfies? Your own, or other peoples. 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Quick Trip to Toronto

This weekend I had the opportunity to head to Toronto for the night, and jumped at the chance. I stupidly did not pack any cute dresses or heels for our opening nights at the theatre, so I had to book it to the mall and spend way too much money I don't have on things I don't need. #fashiongirlproblems

But first, food. I got in to Toronto around 8pm, so I made my way to "Fresh" restaurant to see my bestie Adele, and eat all the delicious vegan food.

We started with quinoa onion rings, and a side of chipotle mayo. My last trip to TO was also spent with Adele and quinoa onion rings. Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I had to branch out from my usual dragon bowl and ordered the goddess bowl, which was a bunch of greens, pickled ginger, tempeh, nuts, on a bed of soba noodles. It was fantastic, of course, but my eyes were way bigger than my belly and I could barely finish it. Don't get me wrong - I DID finish it, but I thought a normal person probably wouldn't be able to.

Adele had the squash tacos, which are new and she says they're fantastic. "Fresh" recently came out with new menu items, and I can't wait to go back and try them all. Count down is on!

After food we headed to the cool part of town for drinks. I say the cool part of town, because I am super un-hip and was wearing a wind breaker and sneakers while the hipsters around me wore denim cut offs and sunglasses at night. I am aware of my lameness, and embrace it. #selflove

After a night of girl talk (and checking guys out on Tinder) we called it a night and I crashed with Adele. Sunday morning, we woke up with the sun, at 11am. That's when the sun rises, right?

We went to "Grasslands" for brunch. Last time in TO I went there for supper and was blown away, I can't tell you how excited I was to try their brunch menu. Brunch is hands down my favourite meal time.

We started by splitting the chipotle mac and cheese. It was incredible.

I ordered the chicken and waffles. I don't want to sound dramatic, but THEY CHANGED MY LIFE. First of all, I have never had chicken and waffles, but the idea is brilliant. Secondly, it was absolutely phenomenal. The chicken tasted real, which didn't weird me out so much this time, and the waffles were sweet, and this chick loves sweet and salty food. Holy yum. "Grasslands" is officially one of my favourite restaurants, if you have the chance to check it out, I highly recommend it, vegans and carnivores alike!

After loading up on food, Adele and I split ways and I headed to the mall. After hours of shopping at stores that are way too cool for me, I finally found a few cute outfits and a nice pair of shoes for our openings.

Side note on body image: I haven't worked out in a few weeks, and though my body is softer, I actually still feel pretty great about the way I look. I understand that my body is constantly changing, and am trying to remind myself that there is so much more to me than my reflection in the mirror. With that in mind, I bought a dress that is super tight and sexy. Normally I would shy away from it, but why should I? It made me feel great, so I'm going to stop waiting til I lose the last 10lbs to wear adorable clothes that make me feel hot.

I grabbed a soy latte over ice for fuel, and gave them my favourite name. Totally channelling Colleen's favourite girl, too.

Supper was another big city favourite, Chipotle. With as much guac as I could handle (which wasn't enough, in my opinion).

A short and sweet trip to the big city, but I needed some quality vegan food and cute shoes. 

If you only had one day in a big city, what would you do? 

Friday, 18 July 2014

Day of Theatre in Stratford

I have been living to the fullest lately, and totally living in the moment and breathing it all in - but I do miss blogging, so I'll try and post at least once a week, just to stay connected to all of you :) 

Last Sunday a few of us took a road trip to Stratford, where one of Canada's largest theatre festivals is up and running. Before we caught a few shows, we walked along the water, and it reminded me so much of home! Yep, I'm officially home sick.

We saw "Mother Courage" and the production was incredible. I'm not a huge fan of Brecht's work, but the actual production of the show was so well done, and all of the actors were equally strong. The second act was especially moving - I highly recommend the show if you get a chance to see it. 

After the show we grabbed a bite to eat. I insisted on Thai food, because the town I'm staying in only has pub food, and this gal needed some veggie friendly options! Plus, Thai is my favourite. We went to "Stratford Thai" based on local recommendations. 

I was starving and clearly deprived of quality food, so I ordered the veggie skewers as a starter. Tofu, plus veggies (and pineapple, the best) with a side of peanut sauce for dipping. 

And because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach, I ordered Pad Thai as my main. It was good, but I've definitely had better. I shouldn't complain though, because even okay Thai food is still Thai food, and better than fries any day.

Just when I thought I was stuffed and couldn't have another bite, we stumbled upon a local ice cream shop "Scoops." There was lemon sorbet, so I thanked the fashion gods that I chose to wear a stretchy maxi skirt, and I convinced my body to expand for the sweet taste of sorbet. In a waffle cone, of course. Worth. It. 

After ice cream, we had tickets to see a reading/sing through of "Next to Normal." For long time blog readers (hi mom!), I worked on this show last year, and it was my first professional Stage Management gig, right before I started my apprenticeship. It's crazy that almost a year later, my life has drastically changed and yet I was still listening to a sing through of a show that considerably affected my career.

Of course it was incredible, and of course I bawled my eyes out. 

It was a great day with awesome people, and this weekend I'm headed to Toronto for some more fun with best friends. 

As a side note, my blog is typically centered around healthy eating and working out, but neither are a focus in my life right now. While I don't have much time to blog, the time that I do take may have different subject matter. It's not that healthy eating and exercising aren't important in my life, it's just that I have other priorities, and my blog may reflect that in the next few months. 

Please let me know if there's something you'd like me to cover, such as my experience with a long distance relationship or having to constantly move around for work. These are topics I will absolutely discuss, but if you're curious about other things, I would be happy to reveal different parts of my life with you. 

Thank you for reading! I appreciate it more than you know.